30 April 2008

Random Thoughts

This was just too rich to pass up. The headline reads: "People of Lesbos take gay group to court over term 'Lesbian'." I guess Lesbosian just doesn't sound right. Lesbosite? Lesbiot? Lesbo?

What about Greek?

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The emoluments of power? "TROUBLED WA Opposition leader Troy Buswell has broken down in tears at a press conference and admitted he sniffed the chair of a female Liberal Party staffer." [Sorry, I couldn't help posting this one.]

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Good News! "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." Oh, wait. That was five years ago.

Footnote to the above: From a strategic point of view, it's long been my opinion that the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was the efficient cause of the fall of the U.S.S.R. Not the ballyhooed Reagan "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" rhetoric. They brought it on themselves by overreaching. Happens all the time. Strategic miscalculation on this order can bring down the economy of an empire. It seems to me the U.S. is now approaching the same point: GWB's adventure in Iraq is crippling the U.S. economy, not to mention sapping our moral strength. Does this augur change in America on the order of what happened under Gorbachev/Yeltsin? Who's to say? But it is important to pay attention. The fatuous rhetoric continues to deceive: "We're just in the mopping up and rebuilding stage." "Victory (however defined) continues to elude." " We've been so successful we can't pull out now." "If we pull out, all hell will break loose." "If we don't fight the terrorists over there, we'll have to fight them over here." "We're not bogged down in a quagmire, we just can't leave yet."

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Speaking of rhetoric: When you hear someone bashing a theory of justice as fairness as a "redistribution of wealth" in this day and age in the United States, they don't mean selling off the public holdings at bargain basement prices or giving massive tax breaks and incentives to cronies and corporate confederates which, in turn, deprives the rest of the society of social services, education, infrastructure, etc. No, they mean something else altogether.

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Here's a fascinating article by David Byrne from Wired magazine about the economics of the music industry. Funny story: some years ago I was taking my son to see a movie on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where we lived then. It was a weekday afternoon showing of "Babe", you know the talking pig movie. It wasn't the first time I'd been. (The kid loved it.) It was the first show of the day and there were maybe 20-25 people there. Anyway, I was first in line when they opened the theater and was standing downstairs at the popcorn stand and this guy behind me starts talking about the movie to his kid. With my back turned, I weigh in. "Oh, yeah. I think it ought to be nominated for Best Picture and not just Best Animated Feature." I turn around and smile and, of course, there's David Byrne. Then he says this: "Oh, I voted for it." We nodded politely.

btw: the guy's got a pretty cool website and blogs with some regularity.

I ran across this article while researching two separate ideas for blogging: 1) modes of publication for fiction (indy, small press vs. agented, mega-corporate; and 2) the place of popular musics such as rock, jazz, rap, country, world, folk, etc. in the pantheon/canon of high art (e.g., opera, chamber music, symphonies, ballet, etc.)—with the obvious analogy to the genre vs. "literary fiction" arguments. Look for them.

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1 comment:

May said...

Wouldn't "Greek" be a bit too generic?