“To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.”—
I used to buy a lot of MP3s. I don’t anymore. That’s not to say I don’t listen to MP3s. I have about 10,000 of the little guys squeezed like vienna sausages into my iTunes music folder, and I listen to them a lot. But when I buy music today I buy it on vinyl. I’m no audiophile, no retro hepcat, but my ears tell me that music sounds better on vinyl - warmer, more nuanced, less shrill - and I make it a point to listen to my ears. Also, I’ve rediscovered the pleasures of looking at the art work on record jackets. Thumbnail images are pretty weak substitutes. In fact, they suck.
But the decisive factor in the transformation of my purchasing behavior, as a marketer would say, wasn’t aesthetic. It was the decision by record companies to start giving away a free digital copy of an album when you buy the vinyl version. Hidden inside the sleeve of a new record, like a Cracker Jack prize, is a little card with a code on it that let’s you download the digital files of the songs, often in a lossless format, from the record company. So I no longer have to choose between the superior sound and packaging of vinyl and the superior mobility of digital. When I’m near my turntable, I spin the platter. When I’m not, I fire up the MP3s.
Buy the atoms, get the bits free. That just feels right - in tune with the universe, somehow.
Today I called a Senator’s office for the first time.
First, let me say how fantastic it is that when you call the office, a real-live human picks up the phone and can speak to you. There’s no annoying menus, no transfers, no answering machines. Washington, please don’t ever change this.
I was calling mostly to find out why the Senator supports (and co-sponsored!) S.968, aka the PROTECT IP Act aka PIPA. Perhaps there was an argument I was missing — I know how myopic the tech world can be sometimes.
What I got was a reminder of how dangerous this legislation will be, for people who care about:
freedom of speech
startups and job creation
facebook, tumblr, youtube, reddit, 4chan, and any other major site that touches user-generated content
OK so back to my phone call. The first question I asked was “why does the Senator support this legislation?”
The guy on the other end of the phone said: “well, he’s a co-sponsor so he’s not changing his position.”
He must have known why I was calling.
Asked the same question again. This time the reply I got this time was different: “Senator Schumer is in favor of censoring the internet.”
….whhhhhhat? Up until now, most of the statements from congresspeople have done that neat thing politicians do where they say words but don’t actually answer the question. They do the “censorship” dance very well – never say it out loud, but vote for the bill nonetheless. From what I can tell “anti-piracy” and “pro-censorship” are actually the same thing here, though politicians usually argue the former so as not to seem anti-first-amendment. No one has been brazen enough to drop the C-word without hesitation. But this dude apparently had no problem with it. I said again: “So you’re saying Senator Schumer is in favor of censoring the internet?”
Imagine how different our national economic situation would now be if at the time of the Wall Street crash the federal government had taken over failing Wall Street banks, broken them up, and restructured them as locally owned independent, cooperative community banks and credit unions with a clear mandate to fund local homeowners and responsible businesses.
Far from being a radical idea, the result would be a system of financial institutions that would look very much like the one we used to have comprised of community serving local banks, mutual savings and loan associations, and credit unions—until the frenzy of deregulation that began building momentum in the early 1980s destroyed it.
Then imagine that instead of pouring trillion of dollars into Wall Street bank bailouts the government had directed that same money to economic stimulus spending targeted to local businesses, governments, and nonprofits putting people to work addressing the priority needs of our communities.
Those dollars could now be working to rebuild our local food systems, green our homes and buildings, build our solar and wind energy capability, create recycling facilities, roll back suburban sprawl, and provide our children with a quality education and our families with affordable health care.
We are talking literally trillions of dollars that went to bail out Wall Street—partly from the Treasury Department, but mostly from the Federal Reserve—that could instead have gone to rebuilding Main Street.
A band and song that reminds me why I do this for a living. Thank god the best band on the entire tribute also covered the best song off the album. Nice work MOJO, although it ain’t New Order without Hooky.
“I’ve been to pretty much everything, from abandoned castles to top of the line penthouses, but an Adirondacks vacation house built over a defunct Cold War-era missile silo? That’s something special.”—
“The thing is — and this is kind of important — governments are not corporations. I cannot stress this enough. There’s the obvious point that in democracies, legislatures tend to impose a more powerful constraint than shareholders, making it that much harder for leaders to execute the policies they think will be the most efficient. … There’s been a lot of bragging in the 2012 primary about candidates that have “real world” business experience, and how that translates into an effective ability to govern. That logic is horses**t. Being president is a fundamentally different job than being a CEO — because countries are not corporations.”—Dan Drezner, America Isn’t a Company (via kateoplis)
A pretty good list… I only have a few disagreements. First, Sugar Ray were by no means a brilliant group, but they were far from the worst and they definitely don’t belong on this list. Beyond that, I’d eliminate the Crash Test Dummies song because the tune itself is quite good, it’s just the chorus which is a bit silly, but really not that detracting from the overall song. My only other grip is actually Lou Bega - while that song was definitely overdone in its moment and he was never heard from again, it was, IMHO an innovative pop take on a different kind of music than we usually hear in the Top 40, and I think it would have survived better in peoples minds if it just hadn’t been played ad nauseum.
As for the rest, I essentially agree with the choices. I would have put that piece of crap “Lullaby” by ‘who-the-fuck-is-he’ much higher, because it wasn’t even a SONG; the dude just told a story over some generic sounding music. How pathetic. Creed, definitely a worthy choice, and Sisqo deserves it for no other reason than the video for “thong song” which, actually contained no thongs at all. How on earth do you fuck that up?
Since this past Christmas season coincided with the final campaign push before the Iowa caucus, every Republican candidate for president worked extra hard to out-pander one another in claiming that God is supportive of his or her particular flat-tax plan.
But you have to wonder watching some of the Republican debates and press conferences if the GOP hopefuls have actually read the New Testament. Say what you will about Jesus, but he didn’t seem like the sort of guy who would support showering rich people with tax cuts, gutting social programs for the poor and middle-class, or launching multiple wars with Middle Eastern countries. Yet these are the sorts of things that his purported acolytes have been endorsing throughout the year, all the while claiming to be Jesus’ number-one fan in the whole world.
In this article we’ll tackle the five most cringe-inducing moments of the GOP primary, where candidates and their supporters have wantonly broken the Lord’s Commandments with seemingly gleeful abandon. […]
This is one of the things that bothers me the most. Trumpeting your lord all the time is really pathetic when you so blatantly fly in the face of EVERYTHING he was for, and then trying to shoehorn him into your shameful beliefs whenever there’s something that wasn’t explicitly covered in the bible - usually because we live in a different world now, and that old book couldn’t possibly have predicted what the world would be like in the future. It’s just so transparent and shallow, and for voters to stand by these people when they are completely indefensible, I just can’t tolerate that.
YouTube was created by three former employees of PayPal, in a Silicon Valley garage, in early 2005. According to two of the founders, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, a graphic designer and a software engineer, respectively, the idea grew out of a dinner party at Chen’s home in San Francisco, in the winter of 2004-05. Guests had made videos of one another, but they couldn’t share them easily. The founders envisioned a video version of Flickr, a popular photo-sharing site. All the content on the site would be user-generated: “Real personal clips that are taken by everyday people,” as Hurley described his vision.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rock at all. It’s overlooked. And right now, the current musical climate is not unlike it was back in 1991, right before Nirvana got popular. The late ’80s was full of over-produced pop that kids had nothing to grab hold of - they had no way of connecting to this hair metal band singing about fucking strippers in a limousine on Sunset Boulevard. Who can relate to that? Then you had a bunch of formulaic pop songstress bullshit, and music was boring. And then a bunch of bands with dirty kids got on MTV and rock and roll became huge again. And I feel like that’s about to happen. Something’s got to give. It can’t be song contests on television for the rest of our lives. It can’t be the same playlists on every radio station for the rest of our lives. It can’t be music made entirely by computers with people talking over it the rest of our lives. It can’t go that way, it just won’t.”—
Dave Grohl, calling bullshit on those “rock is dead” claims.
For Pat Grossi of Active Child, the last two years have been nothing short of enriching. Musically, Pat has worked within and appropriated a number of styles into his sound, from his early days singing with that heavenly voice as a choir boy to his more recent forays into laptopassisted indie-pop made in his bedroom, best exemplified on 2010’s acclaimed Curtis Lane EP. His sound is so wide-ranging that he has found himself touring with many notable acts of differing genres, including dubstep producer James Blake, dreamy synth-pop of School of Seven Bells, and the indie-rock bands White Lies and White Rabbits.
Woke up to an email and this was in my inbox and I’m glad I took the time to listen to this. I remember the first time I saw Active Child, it was at Lincoln Hall and he was opening up for School of Seven Bells (?), maybe. I forget. Regardless, I didn’t even know who/how he was since he was just singing in his falsetto like voice with his harp. I said to my friend
“Who is this guy? He’s like brother of Passion Pit but sitting down with harp. He’s fucking good.”
To be honest, at first, I didn’t even like the guy. Everything just didn’t make sense but somehow later on after two tracks within the show, I was captivated by his music. I couldn’t help myself but just admire his music more and more as he sang these ballads he creates. This remix though, CFCF took it up a notch (somewhat) and made this remix into this late 80’s new age disco track. No, it’s not fast.
It’s a slow ballad that makes you want to close your eyes and drift wherever the water drifts you.
I mean really, doesn’t it? CFCF did a good rework of this and I’m impressed. Thanks PR email of the day. You got me sucked into this dreamy track and now I must share. Active Child has a lot of material out and I recommend. Especially this one…
Deadly serious. ROTJ is piss poor, I don't hate Phantom as much as everyone else even though it's not great. My order is EMPIRE, SITH, WARS, CLONES, PHANTOM, JEDI. Considering it's Star Wars it's not like I'm insulting a well made film series, just a popular one.
Ugh, well… I also don’t hate phantom as much as everyone else - In fact, I think it’s the best of the new films, but in a way, that really says it all… Even with the awful Jar-Jar character, the INSANELY annoying child anakin who couldn’t act to save his life, and the complete blasphemy of the whole “midichlorians” concept, it is STILL the best of the new trilogy, although it is complete and utter garbage. It probably has the most logical & well conceived plot when compared with the other two. Sith the second best of the 6 films??? No. It was the worst, the absolute WORST. BY FAR. It was the worst one after the first 15 minutes and at that point it was completely unsalvageable. Nothing that happened in the rest of the movie could redeem it, although the rest of it was fucking terrible so it didn’t matter whatsoever. I really can’t even entertain a discussion about this other than to say that these reviews sum up all my thoughts on the matter - not to mention they’re way more entertaining and enjoyable to watch than the new trilogy: RedLetterMedia: Star Wars Reviews
If you watch these reviews and still can’t understand why these movies are completely awful, then I’d have to assume that you just don’t understand film-making, direction, acting, plot, story arcs, character development, and dialogue. I don’t mean to insult you or anyone else that likes them, but the new movies are TERRIBLE on every conceivable level. The plot and dialogue is atrocious - the average person on the street could do a better job of writing an interesting story. They actually had some decent actors in there and they come off as talentless hacks! I think the only thing you could say was done well in the movie itself was the music. Apart from that, the new SW movies basically throw all of the concepts of movie-making (as in, the concepts that make movies enjoyable) out the window and are only worth watching for how astoundingly bad they are. And as if all that wasn’t enough, the final icing on the cake is they actually fuck-up the original trilogy. Not many movies could say that they suck so hard they ruin the previous films that came before which were almost universally loved. That’s just a low-down dirty shame. I don’t plan on being a parent but if I ever am you can rest assured my #1 priority will be to shield my child from the 2nd Star Wars trilogy, and I suggest you do the same.