We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, August 20. 2019
Sometimes I think that the impression the newspaper is trying to give you is the opposite of reality. There's all this stuff right out front in the news, but the shadow of reality is visible if you squint really hard. The newspaper is what they want you to think. Well, it's Tuesday, and I don't feel like thinking much at all, which is fine. All the bad news that they don't want you to talk about is released on Friday afternoon, late-ish, and all the made up news they wanted to gull you with is released on Monday in the AM, so we're all clear today. We can talk about trivial stuff, like popular music or vice-presidents. The Guardian is cooperating nicely with our Tuesday timetable with their listicle The 30 best films about music, chosen by musicians.
Hmm. The Guardian isn't shy about putting scare quotes on regular nouns used by their political opponents, but they missed an opportunity to put them around the word "musicians." I assume their longer, first-draft title, Crabby Opinions About Pop Culture from the Only "Musicians" Who Were Awake Before 4 PM and Replied To My Last-Minute HARO Bleg, was too long for proper search engine optimization. The author of this list seems to think we've entered "an uncommonly busy period, if not a flat-out golden age" of "movies about musicians, whether biopics, fictions or documentaries." I don't think so, and their list backs up my opinion, not theirs. It's a bad list, and they should feel bad.
The good news: This Is Spinal Tap is on the list. The bad news: So is a documentary about Wham! I guess even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time. The rest of the list is awful, and incoherent, in a very particular, modern way. Any pop culture list is bound to linger on recent things, but the list isn't limited to the last decade. If you say "best," you should know a little history. To the target audience, history began when they were in Pampers. Everything before that was a dark time, when everyone's behavior was suitable only for apologies and reparations. One hardy soul takes a stab at history by mentioning the Woodstock movie, but that's likely because they've heard there's a Woodstock movie, not because they've seen it. Sha Na Na played at Woodstock. That's all you need to know about the event.
Right off the top of my head, why wouldn't someone mention:
Bah, I'm arguing with fools. Feel free to add any I've forgotten to comments section. On to the news!
IBM and Yahoo had something in common besides dismal performance. We're not allowed to notice it, however, so we won't.
The National Liberation Front of Corsica? Corsica had terrorists? Corsica has electricity?
I'm suddenly fresh out of snarky remarks.
Seem more like the subscription service model used by Rent-a-Center for crack house couches than SaaS for useless chat apps. Anyway, for some reason, I'm reminded of Johnny Cash's song One Piece at a Time.
All tech IPOs are now Ponzi schemes being palmed off on the stock market before the music stops. This one is especially silly. And stop comparing them to Amazon, article writers. Amazon made a profit right away, but dumped the money back into expansion continually, mostly to avoid taxation. Borrowing money over and over isn't the same thing.
This is a question that's been on my mind for a long time, said no one ever.
From the resurrected Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys, natch.
Oh dear, we've disappointed an aesthete from an prisoner-organ-harvesting paradise. A more even-handed appraisal than the headline sounds. And of course even patriotic souls like me have to acknowledge that the United States is the worst country in the world, except for all the others.
Why Is Joe Rogan So Popular?
I can explain it. He's just a Rush Limbaugh who votes straight Democrat on the way home from the Crossfit gym.
It looks like a doorstop at Liberace's house.
Have a happy Tuesday, everyone!
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
That article on the culture shock of moving from Guiyang, China to Chapel Hill, North Carolina has some silly bits. Guiyang is roughly the size of Atlanta and Chapel Hill is roughly the size of Chapel Hill, so the absence of crowds of people and late night shopping and entertainment options and an extensive mass transit system is hardly a difference in culture. Also, the surprise over the air conditioning and energy inefficiency and the cost of food - yeah, we're filthy rich and we can afford it.
The silliest bit though is his "surprise" at the availability of guns - it would be more believable if he expressed surprise that he wasn't given a free gun by the customs agent at the airport and that not everybody in America is armed and not everybody gets shot to death 3 or 4 times a day. If there's anything every foreigner knows about America, it's McDonalds and guns.
One of his comments referred to the lack of public transportation. This is often echoed by those who don't drive, those on welfare and other hangers on. My advice would be start a "public" transportation company. One thing you will figure out really quickly is very very few people want to travel in a bus any distance for what it would actually cost. Almost every country on earth that has "good" public transportation is taxed to the hilt and the transportation employees are paid more than the average citizen. THIS is the problem with ALL "public" benefits. It is over priced, taxed to the hilt and you have no choice (hence no freedom). My other suggestion is please go back where you came from.
Films about music. I seem to remember a little vignette called "Amadeus" that a few people liked.
I'm a HUGE fan of The Who, and I wouldn't even put "The Kids are Alright" on the list. It wasn't very good. "The Compleat Beatles" is better. And I like "A Hard Days Night".
And what about "The Last Waltz"?
I kind of like music. That is I listen to it sometimes and I enjoy a station that plays the oldies but I could really care less about who is singing. I mean I don't remember their names or what they look like and don't want to actually see them or see a movie about them. Oddly, Elton John is the only singer whose name comes to mind and that is only because I have seen him a few times on the news and he is always a big prick nasty person. I grew up with the Beatles and they are an over rated group and individually they are even worse. Probably half of their songs feel like torture to listen to (like 'Hey Jude'). I pretty much feel the same way about actors too. Now that I think about it I feel the same way about politicians.
On the music movies, I'd add Twenty Feet from Stardom. It's a documentary about backup singers. It dovetails nicely with Wrecking Crew, filling in details about the clock-punchers of the music industry - people whose names you may not know, but who have had long and even perhaps lucrative careers.
All the above plus:
Joe Cocker: Mad Dog with a Soul
It Might Get Loud
Walk the Line
Have to add that I'm not a particularly discerning critic, having a hard time thinking of a movie about musicians that I didn't enjoy.
Off the top of my head, I'd add the charming Benny Goodman Story and the weirdly prophetic Kid Creole.
This could be a fine line between a musical and a film about music, but I would include The Sound of Music. Maria changes the whole family with music. She teaches the children music. Finally, to escape the nazis, a concert is performed, the Von Trapp family being the headline. Captain von Trapp has been turned from a strict disciplinarian, into a kind hearted man, through music.
The Bugatti goes 0 to 100kmh .2 seconds faster than a factory BMW S1000R superbike, which costs a trifle less, in round numbers, $9 million less.
Doesn't seem worth it.
And if you want thrills, going 0 to whatevs on a bike protected by nothing but biking armored clothing and a helmet beats a steel framed, safety belted airbag protected car.
I don't get Joe Rogan either. At times I have tried to listen but the endless rambling, often for hours, to me is neither entertaining nor informative.
Men don't ramble on and on like that, talking at nauseum over topics. That's what Oprah is for.
There is a UK based company called Regus that is both larger than WeWork and is actually profitable. Yet, Regus's market cap is smaller than WeWork's. Go figure.
Ditto on the video, I have a few family and a couple of acquaintances that are affected both directly and indirectly. This is a touching example of culture doing the right thing.
Music movies: Immortal Beloved and Young Man with a Horn?
"Straight No Chaser" movie about Theolonius Monk.
Hendrix Plays Monterrey
Bird about Charlie Parker
1984 with music by Eurhythmics
The article on tech investing is ridiculous. Look, every investor has a track record. The actual amount of money under his control is immaterial. Either he can deliver the goods, or he can't. So if he has a track record of picking winners (overall) he can sell his track record. All you need is a website that allows investors to choose other proven money-making investors. Not money managers. Yes, I know: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. But past performance usually has a positive correlation with future results. It might not be a very strong correlation; but it's there nonetheless.
So if a guy has been generating a return of 14% consistently over the past four years, it would make sense to follow him. He's not a stock broker, so he doesn't need to be licensed. He's simply giving you permission to copy his trades; at your own risk. He doesn't control your Schwab account, or take your money, or give you advice. He's simply allowing you to observe his actions. That's it.
It's a copyright issue. Not a licensing issue. He's not trying to sell you anything, except his own personal story. For the same reason, he wouldn't need a license to print his trades in a book; and then sell the book at a bookstore. The only difference is that you get his personal story in ten seconds, instead of ten weeks.
The website could have the names of perhaps three hundred top investors; with a two-year running track-record for each. There's no need for investors to do any research; just pick who you want to follow. You'll have your own Schwab Account with your own money, and your trades will automatically copy his trades. You can quit, or change who you want to follow anytime. Again: There is no investment advice being given. You're buying a personal narrative in real time. Your leader will never know who you are; and he won't care either. Tom Clancy doesn't know who buys his books, and he doesn't care either.
The way that people choose to read his books is not his responsibility.
I'm happy to see the BSBB blog is back, but I MISS their dad's blog.
I loved the restaurant of mistaken orders video
Off the top of my head, two of the best music movies are MIA.
"Amadeus". Mozart was a rock star, even before Liszt was a rock star.
"The Rutles: All You Need is Cash". A mockumentary of The Beatles, featuring players from Monty Python, Bonzo Dog Band, the original SNL crew, and even a cameo by George Harrison. The Beatles song parodies are great songs in themselves. The best of the Pre-Fab Four.
All of the above plus:
"20 Feet from Stardom"
Any or all of the 2003 series "The Blues"]
There is a youtube video about $20k oil/filter changes (on a Bugatti).
And then there are the tires....