02 February 2009

Sausages Made Out of What???

Today's link platter is preceded by an antepasto recognition of Groundhog Day, in my usual sick, twisted manner.

And now, the main course.

  • I was appalled — offended, even — by the halftime "show" at the Super Bowl. The only thing in that stadium bigger than Springsteen's paycheck was his ego, which must approach Shatneresque proportions if he thought collection of off-key, off-rhythm, off-pitch dreck was worthwhile. In honor of the now-defunct SAT word analogies:

    Springsteen : stadium rock :: _____ : folk-rock
    (a) Baez
    (b) Dylan
    (c) The Kingston Trio
    (d) A and B

    The correct answer is, of course, (b). If Jimi Hendrix were alive today, he'd be excusing his singing by comparing it to that performance last night — not to Dylan.

  • That is, Springsteen's primary value is as a composer, not a performer; consider, for example, Manfred Mann's Earth Band. But how much do "professional composers" make, anyway? Apparently, not enough to avoid side gigs as a necessity... or yet another "advance" in Bowie Bonds.
  • Hollywood journalism in decline shock horror! Simultaneously snide and serious question: How would you tell? The standards at both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter — in substance, in style, and in timing — are so low that they've been doing the limbo under George Bush's IQ for decades. While drunk (or otherwise mood-enhanced, in the tradition of Hollywood recreational chemistry). And not coming close to the bar.
  • If you really want to get fired, just write a semiracy novel that includes a few characters who share forenames with other employers. Then, after you get fired, you might try suing for sexual harassment.
  • Here's yet another ignorant assertion about the Civil War that neglects basic economics: The South did not have the industrial capacity to win the war; even had it won battles at Gettysburg or Vicksburg, or prevented Sherman's march, the best outcome it could hope for was a long stalemate. But then, the NEH hasn't done a very good job of selecting competent historians to write for it since, oh, the beginning of time.
  • Speaking of problems with ignoring foundational economics, consider what a liberal Nobel Laureate in Economics says about bailouts for bunglers and ask yourself whether the "bonus culture" on Wall Street represents a triumph or a failing of rational-actor economics.
  • Your best friend in a recession is your local library. (Actually, a good library is my best friend regardless of economic circumstances... but then, I'm a nerd.) Scalzi agrees, and points out other low-cost, high-value entertainment for the economically troubled.

    I won't bore you with theorizing on the relationship between ownership of copies and availability of entertainment, or time-slice ownership and/or determinatives, or anything else like that. Hopefully, though, just mentioning that in conjunction with the preceding paragraph might get y'all thinking.