Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tim Goodman: Miley Cyrus on skin spin:
"Come on, she's not Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan or Vanessa Hudgens (yet). It reminds us all that we live in a sublime world. Like when President Bush appeared on 'Deal or No Deal.' We're sure that if given the chance, John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt would have jumped at the chance to appear on a big screen next to Howie Mandel.

-- This is now, officially, the most depressing column ever written about our culture - and it didn't even mention Gary Coleman.

-- Oh, wait. Turns out the 'Diff'rent Strokes' star, now 40, will be appearing on 'Divorce Court' Thursday and Friday with his 22-year-old wife. And no, that's not a joke. And neither is the item about President Bush on 'Deal or No Deal.' In fact, it's all real. You may now go outside and fall on the ground and weep."

Tim Goodman is my favorite TV columnist/critic, and he touches on that supremely surreal Bush appearance on "Deal" and fails to also include his appearance on "Idol" in the same week! I half expected him to start The Siege of Iran last Friday just to see if his approval ratings could get any lower. Instead he moves yet another aircraft carrier into the gulf as "a warning". This is going to happen and nobody is going to lift a finger to stop him. Still! After 8 YEARS of this shit! We're more concerned about Miley's naked back! Sublime world indeed, Tim.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clinton moves on after Pennsylvania win - Yahoo! News:
"Hillary Clinton beat Democratic rival Barack Obama in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, prolonging an increasingly negative presidential nominating fight and keeping alive her slim White House hopes. Clinton's 10-point win paid immediate dividends in fund-raising for the cash-strapped New York senator and shaved off some of Obama's lead in popular votes and in delegates who select the Democratic nominee at the August convention. Both candidates immediately looked to the next round of contests on May 6 in North Carolina, where Obama is favored, and Indiana, which is considered a toss-up."

ENOUGH! I'm done! I will ignore the entire enterprise until late October. I can't stand it any more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Praying passenger is removed from San Francisco-bound flight:
"'He doesn't respond to them, but his friends explain that once you start praying you can't stop,' said Brafman, who was seated three rows away.
When the man finally stopped praying, he explained that he couldn't interrupt his religious ritual and wasn't trying to be rude. But the attendants summoned a guard to remove him, said Brafman, a writer who had been visiting New York to talk to publishers."

I wonder if his friends could explain why he has to stand near the lavatories to pray? Why he couldn't have prayed BEFORE boarding? Why he couldn't have gone INTO the lavatory?
Rowling says fan's book could endanger other authors - Yahoo! News:
"'Are we, or are we not, the owners of our own work?' said the author of the seven Harry Potter books that have sold about 400 million copies."

NOW we get to the heart of the matter. And I'm afraid I would have to answer to Ms. Rowling, no, you are not the owner of your work once it has been set free into society. Rowling did not sell 400 million copies to herself. Yes, this new book builds on her work. But that's how culture evolves. Copyright was never intended to stifle that. It was intended to allow authors to earn a living from their work, to encourage them to create. It was society's method of funding and rewarding creativity. It has now been perverted to reward corporations and businesses for precisely STIFLING creativity. In the age of zero cost distribution, copyright must be re-considered as a means to promote creativity. I mean, who profits when a book is copyrighted for 75 years after the authors death? Society doesn't. No, J. K. You want to sell your book to the public? Then you need to allow the public to build on your work as it sees fit. There are other ways to "protect" Harry Potter from errors and mis-interpretations. Everyone knows your name on a book is the official word. YOU are the brand not Harry Potter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rowling tells court she's stopped working - Yahoo! News:
"'This is very personal to me,' said Rowling, who wrote the first Potter book as a poverty-stricken single mother and is now estimated by The Sunday Times to be worth about $1 billion. 'I am an author -- 17-years of my work is being exploited here. This is not about money.' Rowling has said she plans to write her own Harry Potter encyclopedia, which would include material that did not make it into the novels, and donate the proceeds to charity."

Now for all intents and purposes, Ms. Rowling appears to be an intelligent and business-savvy woman. But she is missing the point here. Third-party products don't ruin the core product, they enhance it. They cause it to become essential. Yes you could say it "exploits" it but that's technical. Besides, this lexicon is based on a fan site. You do not want to alienate your fans. She needs to relax, take a week off in one of her dozens of posh homes all over the world, have a mojito or two and just chill out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

REM - Accelerate (2008)****
This release reminds me of Bruce Springsteen's latest in that both seem upon first listen to be composed of songs that consciously sound like past successes. But as you keep listening to the songs themselves they reveal themselves to be actually pretty darn good without all the context.