18 March 2008

Tuesday Twaddle

Most of the miscellany has already gotten more comment elsewhere than I've had time for this past week. The Voracious Teen is on spring break, meaning that I have to feed him that much more often (constantly; I thought it was tough when he was an infant...). So that means a paltry pot pourri.

  • If I hadn't seen this in several different places, I might not believe it; it's too close to Spinal Tap for comfort. A former drummer for ABBA died in his garden after a bizarre accident. It wasn't quite a bizarre gardening accident, but he was the drummer, and that's pretty darned close. Where is Marty DiBergi when we need him?
  • Speaking of mistakes in the music industry, here's an idiosyncratic, profits-oriented list of the recording industry's 20 biggest mistakes. Unfortunately, this list is rather incomplete, as one cannot find "disco" anywhere on the list. Perhaps they were distracted by the purple haze of copyright litigation costs. I can see they had their fun.
  • Speaking of the music industry — or, at least, the attitudes endemic in the music industry — here's a piece from the VV praising mob rule in the arts. I'll freely admit that I'm an elitist snob, although an elitist snob who actually reads books before evaluating them (instead of relying upon either marketing materials or the industry's pitiful attempts at "branding")... leading to the previous item on this blawg.
  • Net neutrality has become more of a buzz word than a real concept. It does matter, but perhaps not for the reasons that the commercial players would like. It matters so I can choose to both bomb women and children and write "fuck" in e-mails without worrying that it's obscene. And maybe — just maybe — get the fucking prudes at the FCC out of the censorship business. If it's ok in the courthouse, it's ok on the airwaves (or interthingy).

    I won't go off on a long, involved rant about the Orwellian doublethink inherent in "obscenity" and "indecency," and the various attempts over the years to define them as "non-speech." At least, I won't right now; I think that sentence should tell you my conclusion.

  • Last, and far from least in my mind (but probably not all that significant to most of my readers), consider this article on free legal research. Now, if we can just get away from vendor-specific citation forms, and make legal citations somewhat meaningful without admission to the fraternity, we'll really be making it possible for citizens to understand exactly what's being done to them their rights and duties. Given the organized bar's obstinate opposition to citizen access to the law, I don't see that happening any time soon.