In many cases, linkrot will have set in and links may have broken.
Number portability: Imagine never having to change your telephone number again. Convenient? Mais oui. Orwellian? Somewhat. Then again, telephone numbers are Orwellian. Caller ID identifies you to whoever you are calling. Cellphones, when activated, track your location, as O.J. Simpson knows all too well. So the concept of an unchanging telephone number is not such an ethical leap, at least for an industry and its attendant regulators who permit any and all technological advances without due concern for user safety.
Phone numbers are changing worldwide in any event, but for fixed telephone numbers to really work, they have to cause whatever phone is nearest you to ring; you should not be required to stay close to a landline or a cellular telephone. If you own a cellphone in the 604 area code and visit Toronto, you can make free local calls by dialing area code plus phone number, but if you make the mistake of dialing a 1 first then you will be dinged for long distance. Anyone in Toronto who wishes to call you must incur a toll even though you are within the local calling area. Now imagine how this works in Europe, with dozens of telephone companies and dozens of sovereign nations. Indeed, 388 has been set up as a new pan-European country code, though not actually put to use. (Details.)
Rambling speech by Ian McDonald:
A personal theory of mine is that the music that stays with you all your life is the music you heard when you achieved social mobility. When you got the car, when you had a bit of cash, when you could get out and about and actually socialise on your own, as an independent person. The music you heard then stays with you all your life. [...] I grew up with the Stranglers and Sex Pistols and Elvis Costello, that kind of 1977–78 punk ethos is what stayed with me. I was very lucky. If I had been born three years earlier, it would have been ABBA.
Hey, fella. Quit your dissing.
During the Divorce Referendum the Irish Catholic church threatened to deny the sacrament to women who wanted to be remarried. There were no exceptions to be allowed: it didn’t matter if you had been married to an alcoholic who beat you and sexually assaulted your children, you were not going to get a second chance in this world or the next. And that is the position that Mother Teresa intervened in Ireland to support. [...]
But Mother Teresa was interviewed by Ladies’ Home Journal [and] she says that she heard that Princess Diana was getting divorced and she really hopes so because she will be so much happier that way. [...]
[I]t would be O.K. if she was going to forgive everyone. When she went to Bhopal after the Union Carbide industrial accident killed thousands, she kept saying “Forgive, forgive, forgive.” It’s OK to forgive Union Carbide for its negligence, but for a woman married to an alcoholic child abuser in Ireland who has ten children and no one to look after her, there is no forgiveness in this life or the next one. But there is forgiveness for Princess Diana.
<a href="page.html##Facts cannot be copyrighted. A URL is a fact#">or something similar. It gets tricky when the destination text uses reserved characters like quotation marks. Still, it is attainable.
.orgis morally superior to
THRILLHO), and what’s worse, the concept is too distastefully akin to 1970s-style American CB radio codes.
If a single development can be said to have triggered the recent surge of consumer interfaces, it is – appropriately enough – the rise of the MP3 sound format, and specifically the panoply of user-created “skins” available for MP3 players like WinAmp. As a grassroots interface design movement, the “skins” craze is probably second only to the rise of the web itself in its scope and diversity. MP3.com currently lists thousands of alternative skins for the WinAmp application, created by almost as many armchair interface designers.
[Next a brief synopsis of Brian Hayes’ dissection of QuickTime 4.0’s interface.] However much I agree with the sentiment behind Hayes’ critique, there’s still something slightly doctrinaire about it, something that neglects the energy and inventiveness of the skins craze, with its endless variations on the consumer interface theme. I think this explains the somewhat mixed feelings I have about the consumer interface as a genre. I appreciate the design flaws of the QuickTime player, but I still find myself enjoying it – if only because it looks so much more elegant that the gray, abstracted windows that otherwise populate my computer screens.
We’re living in an age of mass customization, as Gaetano Pesce noted. Seven Cycles will custom-build you a bike, and you can check its gestation online in real time. Any online bookseller will sell you any combination of books (yes, that’s an example of customization: brick-and-mortar bookstores can sell you only what’s in their real-world inventory, though online bookstores can’t always ship all your selections together). Computers become an extension of the human mind, which includes a visual cortex; some of us want our computers to look special. The Mac OS, for example, is allegedly a tried-and-true, complete system in and of itself, but it still permits you to alter the desktop background, load random desktop pictures, and run desktop DVDs; there’s also the Launcher, a sort of Mac OS for Kids. (Years ago, I wrote about the progenitor of desktop customization, Wallpaper. It’s been bubbling up through the collective subconscious for a while.)
Customization is an accessibility issue: Some visually-impaired people simply cannot tolerate, say, a white screen. Furthermore, screen readers interpret visual interfaces differently. For certain disabled users, customization of the UI is the norm, not the exception.
My own computer is relatively highly customized, but I don’t go as far as, say, Kaleidoscope permits. Still, I don’t want a single detail changed. Once I decide on an appearance scheme, I keep it. This is where skins come in: I can select one I like and never have to think about any other interface. I do it my way and leave everyone else alone. In the QuickTime case, Apple (read: Steve Jobs) should have cut the hubris and offered us Classic and Neo interfaces. Jobs is understood to be push–pull on interface issues: He gives us the Appearance control panel but only one Theme – Apple Platinum, the Mac OS 8.5 default. The ostensible reason? Tech support prefers not to deal with the complexity of multiple different Macintosh interfaces that are unidentifiable and undiagnosable over the phone.
I buy that reasoning, but intelligent, experienced users should be able to select their own preferred interface, and commentators should refrain from praising one as “much more elegant that the gray, abstracted windows that otherwise populate my computer screens.” If you like it, go for it. You don’t have to like mine, and neither of us has to remark on the other’s choice. We’re not talking about a New York Times profile here. (Interesting discussion of commercial potential of Themes. The Allegro Themes Project offers dozens of Mac OS Themes.)
<bang>, the activist group that was a half-arsed analogue of ACT UP, was going strong here, one of the few boys who took a liking to me was Ron, who stood about 5’6" and could easily have been hung up on a wooden coat hanger. Blond, glasses, moustache, and a really big mouth. Widely despised by the hateful lesbiana demagogues who dominated the other not-quite-as-good-as-the-Manhattan-original provocateur group de l’instant, Queer Nation. (“And don’t give me any of your condescending comebacks, kuz I’m a little guy and guys like me get beaten up first!” Go, Ron!) I was too young and green to truly get Ron. I didn’t know what to make of his frequent phone calls, in which he showed a genuine interest in me. I don’t think there was anything sexual at work. (Or maybe there was; I’m blind to that wavelength most of the time.) Ron was upfront about knowing he wouldn’t beat the big A; he didn’t mind the disease as much as the chilly reception by should-be defenders like ACT and AIDS Action Now, neither of which supported his human-rights complaint against York University. I witnessed the AAN politburo’s iciness and disdain firsthand, and will never forgive them.
Over at saturn.org, Jack down in Georgia wrote:
joe clark e-mailed a bunch of weblog editors a few months ago and requested a link to his site. he didn’t bother to hide his recipient list, and then when people replied and complained about him compromising their privacy, he was the one acting insulted. now he writes about it on his website[...]. well, joe, you’re getting your link now. folks, the bcc function in the e-mail program of your choice is there for a reason: to hide the recipients of your messages so that others don’t steal the addresses of your friends and family to promote their crappy product. don’t listen to joe – use bcc.
(The self-effacement of lowercase is Jack’s own.) I did not “request a link.” The exact words were “I’m suggesting you look at my own Web site (230 articles!) and blog page (the homepage, of which there are three, depending on your browser preference). You may find me worth linking to.” Further: “Note that this message discloses everyone’s address; we’re all in this (or on that dmoz page) together, and I do not mean this E-mail as spam – rather, it’s a way to introduce myself and make the standard request to check-out-my-site-and-let-me-know-what-you-think-of-it.” This hardly seems like harassment, pushiness, or bad netiquette. People who don’t want their addresses revealed in messages mailed to them need to get offline; it’s like studying French literature in translation. It’s a contradiction in terms.
Oh, but that wasn’t all. Back with Jack:
i suppose joe also feels that getting junk mail from a small-time spammer is going against the integrity of one’s web userhood unless one also gets their mailbox flooded with the giant list of the e-mail’s recipients. i don’t think we need to go over this again.
I mean I routinely get commercial-type E-mails from other designers and such in our field who found my site and E-mail me a flyer or offer of services. And after joining the local Chamber of Commerce I started getting snail mail from other member businesses. It’s unsolicited mail, but it’s not unethical, right? I don’t mind that so much and in fact am preparing to do the same thing myself. I think it’s just normal marketing, like cold calling, as long as it’s really a one time thing this indicates that it’s not a mass mailing but has some care taken to not continually bug me.
I tried exactly this sort of thing about 2 years ago... visited about 200 websites – mostly ISPs and hosts – and dropped about half of them an E-mail offering my services (using their
mailto:link or form). I think I must’ve gotten at least a half-dozen very nasty replies, along with several weak attempts at mailbombing (i.e., someone making up insults and hitting “reply" a few hundred times). In the “anti-spam vigilante" camp there seems to be little grey area: Either it was solicited or it’s spam. Pretty much discouraged me from any future attempts at this kind of “targeted" marketing.
Another blogger – a bloggertrix, actually – writes:
Your comments struck me as sour grapes more than anything else, and completely unnecessary. Lemonyellow caught the reporter’s eye somehow and for some reason, she decided to do an article about Heather. Full stop. That you or I were not written up is no reflection on our sites at all. It’s not material. And it certainly doesn’t call for you or anyone to put down Heather’s journal. If you don’t agree with the reporter’s assessment, the appropriate response, in my opinion, is silence.
And how did I respond? The same way you would: “Then take your own medicine and leave me alone. Critics should never just shut up because they are contrarians. In fact, half-arsed, ill-conceived self-censorship demands like yours are the sort of thing that prods us to speak more rather than less.”
How do you hide addresses, you ask? The cheap way is to type your address in
To: and everyone else’s in
Bcc:. Or just give the list a title, like Webloggers, add a colon and space to that title, list all the addresses with commas between them, and end with a semicolon. Example:
To: Webloggers: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org;
which will resolve to the form
To: Webloggers: ;.
Sasha, the sex columnistrix in Eye’s Love Bites, may be a bit unhappy and/or may not have had the unremittingly rewarding, assured, self-directed, unblemished, and venturesome sex life the Isadora and Savage types imply having had.
Two months is not long to go without sex. I recently went four, and I’m in my sexual prime (although I did survive thanks to a little magic from the good people at Hitachi). [...] Meanwhile, there’s no way I’d be willing to spend my honeymoon the same way I spent my deflowering: in excruciating pain with my FRANKIE SAYS RELAX T-shirt wrenched over my head.
My heart kind of bled for Sasha when I read this, which rarely happens. I still get all wordlessly melancholy when thinking of it, and I am rarely wordless. Sasha is a real find. She knows her stuff, and, above all, is a naturally talented writer, itself a rarity. We approve of her revealing her own vulnerability and imperfection in an advice column, which by definition are set up as loser-poses-question-to-omniscient-oracle. Takes more guts than Dan Savage’s slang-ridden recitations of the oracle’s previous sex acts, let me tell you. We want Sasha to be more successful, however she would define the term.
norshell.co.ukhas been registered.) The ish features Mr. Gay UK, Mark Ledsham, in what are without question the most ravishing photographs of a nonathlete I’ve ever seen, and I collect ravishing photos of (non)athletes. (Photos posted here, presumably without permission.) I sort of walked around shocked for a day after seeing them the first time. Mark rendered olive-skinned and is dirty, as if brushed with lampblack. (Ledsham looks different in every photo. So few Brits are attractive, even the blacks. The Irish and Scots are another story.) The sheer black Gucci briefs, necessary for his modesty, are all the more erotic as a result. The shooter, Michael Baumgarten, has ascended to my pantheon. (I am something of a photography queen. I collect hundreds of published photographs, in many cases for genuine research purposes – like general sports photos, homoerotic sports photos, and injury photographs, all of which will be fodder for an upcoming book. I’m also one of the few not directly involved in the industry who reads Photo District News, the trade mag. I actually researched a story for PDN once, but that vessel foundered on the rocks when sources wouldn’t talk.)
<slash>telecom!" you blurt. Well, it is. This week, it’s also about skin.)
Now Alex is terrified that someone would notice the discreet rainbow bumper sticker on his Miata and, rather logically, put two and two together. Two and two, in this case, equalling “big old queer.” [...] “If you are so concerned about being out at work, why did you put the sticker on your car in the first place? It’s a gay pride symbol. We want the straight people to know about it. Hell, putting a rainbow flag sticker on a bright yellow Miata driven by a thirty-something single man is practically redundant anyway.” Alex, however, doesn’t think of the rainbow flag as a gay pride symbol. To him, it’s a way of finding the tribe, of flying underneath the radar and being able to pick other gay people out of the crowd. Or the traffic jam, as the case may be. Sort of like a signal flare for guys with non-functional gaydar. If you can’t fly on instruments, you’ve got to look for landmarks. “So you put the sticker on your car in the hope that, oh, I don’t know, what? Hunky single men would see you tooling along the Dan Ryan Expressway, notice the sticker, signal you to pull over and ask if you’d like to get together for coffee sometime?”
ForeverEverlasting.com. How many of his preliterate fans, barely old enough to mimic his facial hair, will spell that right?)
I had a friend I’ve known for the better part of ten years. One of the few inverts in town I can actually talk to, because he at least is smart and sharp and keeps up with the media. (Sweaterfags at Woody’s are disconnected from the world. I suppose there’s no other way they could be, since they fund their nights out via paper routes.) He remained my friend even though his friends, of the A-list gay drug scene, thought me hopelessly square, a sentiment shared by two consecutive bfs.
The friend disappeared off the face of the earth three different times, for a total of nearly four years, due to unemployment, marital strife, depression, and drug abuse, and I did everything in my power to make him aware that, to paraphrase Jon Bon Jovi, I’d be there for him. And I was. I thought about him constantly. But he and bf number two used every means in their disposal to avoid me – caller ID, spy cameras in his lobby, looking the other way. He resurfaced twice, briefly, and then re-submerged, giving me the Bells of St. Mary’s self-doubt of “What did I do wrong?”
One day, near the end of 1997, I bumped into him at University and Dundas and we made reacquaintance. Back in our heyday, we talked on the phone as much as five times a day, exchanged frequent snatchmails, and occasionally had RL, f2f encounters, which in retrospect he was never wild about. I guess I was easier to handle as a virtual friend. But in late ’97, we resumed all the old ways of communicating, and I watched as he secured himself in his current job, found a new bf, located a good place to live, and reverted to the man I liked so much before.
Then things tanked for me, and a phone message with the words “You’ve fallen off the event horizon again. You’re too busy being happy to keep up with me" triggered icy radio silence of a sort quite unlike the previous three periods. Now he knows what he’s doing and is hanging me out to dry. My intrinsic qualities and everything I did over the last decade, in particular my steadfast loyalty, do not count anymore. Have you treated someone you know like this lately?
I rode the optimism/pessimism sinusoid all day and repaired to the Suction Cup at Jarvis and King, intent on snaring my preferred window cubbyhole. Old baby-boomer guy is seated there; moreover, tucked into a seating position next to him that I didn’t even know existed, one noted this mid-30s fellow staring out the window. A stakeout, I immediately thought. For the next hour or so, they muttered back and forth about whether person X walking into the building at the northeast corner matched the guy’s height or not. Darkness fell; worries bubbled to the surface about getting a good picture.
Younger fella made a number of calls on his shoephone with reference to someone named Schreiber. The shoephone number he gave out began (516) 459, equating to Nassau, New York. (I am a phone-number freak.) Another message he left IDed him as working for RKO German television. Ultimately the pair gave up, after the old guy fielded the younger guy’s complaints about the weather, parrying with the anecdote that his son can’t wait to repatriate after a year in Australia. The duo could not quite figure out where to go to visit CTV; the three of us decided it was the Eaton Centre destination, and I spent a long time in speech therapy with the young fella on the word Yonge. “Is that Schreiber you mentioned Karlheinz, by any chance?" I asked. Yup.
In the language of Steven Bochco cop shows, I made them.
How do you pronounce kielbasa? keelBASsa? KEELbasa? Or, as I suspected, KEEoobasa? This issue burned steadily for weeks. One found himself at Europe Bound snarfing up about-to-expire Clif Bars and the blustery, guyish blond cashier, with big round glasses, spoke in an accent. “Is English your first language?" “No.” He wasn’t biting. (Story of my life.) “What is?" “Polish.” Aha. Asked him why he picked Canada, where he’d been for twelve years. I came over all shy and did not pop the question, but on a return visit, I kicked out the jams.
– You’re a native speaker of Polish, right?
– How do you pronounce kielbasa?
– How do you spell it? With an L or –
– An L with an apostrophe.
– An L-bar?
The L-bar character, called weh (I think; see picture), is most famously found in Lech Walesa’s name (the second L). It’s pronounced as an English W, and not like an English L or a German W.
But on visiting the shop today, I learned, to my disappointment, that “the Polish guy" no longer worked there. I had been looking forward to his bristly hair, glasses, and attitude. Norbert is apparently his name. It would be.
[Update: On a subsequent visit, there he was. Turns out there are two Polish guys working at Europe Bound – or were. The one I like is Robert, not Norbert.]
cooljobsaddress, which, it must be noted, isn’t even a
mailto:link in the graphic. That address is rather akin to the specially-coded postal addresses used by Hollywood talent agencies: Mail sent to that address has to originate from a rube and can be discarded unread.) I’m just wondering what good ol’ Scoutie was thinking. What’s wrong with keeping your old site online, with a request that we tune in on the 27th for the new-and-improved?
Martin Amis on Diana Trilling in The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America:
At one point I made an incautious remark, illiberal in tendency – an undergraduate remark. Mrs. Trilling cracked her teacup into its saucer and said: “Do you really mean that? Then what are we doing here? Why are we sitting here having tea with this person?" [... Later,] I quickly re-identified the kind of unease that a woman like Diana Trilling is always liable to provoke. You have to watch what you say when she’s around. I mean this in the best sense. Mrs. Trilling is not touchy or snobbish or oversensitive; she is just intellectually vigilant, snake-eyed. In her company you are obliged to move up a gear.... No, she isn’t the most soothing of companions, but you end up chastened and braced, and there is much laughter and enlightenment to be had on the way. [...]
"Growing old is hard. Growing old alone is harder,” she said. “You become more sensitive with your friends. You wonder whether you are being asked out because of pity. There is an increased dependence on routine. I won’t leave the bed unmade in the morning. I won’t stand by the refrigerator and eat a boiled egg. I want to, but I don’t.”
We did Lava on du Collège on what is allegedly invert night, Sunday. (No cover, OK? Inexpensive. Walked there.) We only do Lava because we wish fervently to do James, alias “the legendary DJ James St. Bass,” strawberry-blond, fawny-eyelashed, big-calved. If one is to lend credence to intelligence gathered elsewhere – from his friend, while James bopped his head with almost Cirque du Soleil–calibre gyroscopic limberness as the rapturousness of Rage Against the Machine washed over him – I’d have to be missing a few teeth and have slightly lopsided ears and pour cement for a living to ignite anything resembling interest, but I was adjudged to have made an entrance and to be “cute in an arts-student kind of way.” Arts student. James. Please.
Chez Lava, we drank our tomato juice and could identify most songs played by the “legendary" James. Why were so many from the 1980s? The kicker, of course, was my entrance. I made sure to make a good one. Received a wave in reply. (He recognized the hat. Actually, I own three.) Next to me at the bar was a man of questionable masculinity and his gf unit – chaste, one assumes. James apparently has some fabulously showy and ostentatious rapper–drum-n-bass-d00d invert friends, of the sort who don’t believe in labels, man! and would pick your pocket at the Comfort Zone. Why did the other table, populated by five black and one white customers (an unusual mix in this neighbourhood), keep asking for slips of paper to write on? I hit up James for more Moby, but the woman’s intuition sent me on downtown before he got around to it.
And Joe, about the French band Manau... I can’t stand them! That’s music for kids or for “mediocre minds"; there’s no creati[vity] and I still don’t understand why you saw them on TV when there are many great French [songwriters] and musicians. The lyrics of the song are not even theirs, that’s a traditional song with hiphop on it! A ‘belette’ is a weasel. The song says “I hear the wolf, the fox and the weasel; I hear the wolf, the fox and the weasel singing... But who is the weasel?"
I’m accustomed to processing a lot of visual information, having been a typography queen for nearly 25 years. I am occasionally impressed by Web design. I am rarely stopped in my tracks. Just days after dismissing Poz for its pastiche of design tropes, I run across a site that shows us how borrowing ought to be done. And it’s a personal site, by Douglas Pearce of D.C. With his grids, faux-3D type backdrops, and severe asymmetric design, he’s got all three feet planted in the ’30s, ’70s, and ’80s. The out-of-focus author photo on the homepage ties everything together and cements the gestalt. There’s more going on here than the sum of the parts.
And it gets better, since he’s coded Java and DHTML that, if experienced in Netscape and Netscape only, tend rather to stun. The killer, though, is Doug himself: Not only is he a fan of the Magnetic Fields, visually sophisticated, accomplished, articulate, and, at roughly 23 years of age, he’s gorgeous. The doors of the castle swung open when I used Netscape as a key, rather like Myst, and the defocused auteur photo was revealed in its razor-sharp state. So I just sat there for a while in awe. I am rarely awestruck. Impressed, sure, with the neurons audibly firing in my mind. But this – triggered by the whole package, meaning not just his looks but his site’s – is the different sensation, of a sheet of screen-door mosquito netting materializing in front of my face and gliding straight through me, slicing my mind up into tiny rectilinear tubules, like the old Spy cartoon (At Home with the Modelling Clay People – “Mommy! Mommy! Grandma passed through the wicker chair!"). Things like this hit me in slow motion, immobilizing me first then slicing and dicing me.
I suppose a dinner date would be out of the question. To slobber in public would be outré.
The single “Enemy" by Days of the New is maddening, because it falls barely short of brilliance (and needs to be longer by a full minute). No discernible guitars, and the shameless deployment of gimmicks found in disposable techno numbers – doubling back on lyrics ("I don’t want I don’t want to be your enemy" – punctuation doesn’t do it justice here), sampled sped-up handclaps. Portentous delivery, apparently by the 20-year-old prodigy who is Days of the New, Travis Meeks. Some plumbing of the depths of masculinism, which, even in this late age, surprises when articulated by such a deep voice. (Like the shock of reading dickface from Filter telling Stolling Rhône he’s a large man, and thus needs a large cellphone handset, then, a few weeks later, reading his recollection of necking with Trent Reznor, which the latter could not “handle.") It seems that addressing someone as “little man" is understood as a convenient, quick-n-easy, cost-effective way to put a guy down. ("Enemy" is pretty old now, but it’s still being played on the radio – on hoary old Q107, no less.)
Though compared to “Personal Jesus,” “Enemy" is more in the tradition of the dance remix of U2’s “Desire,” still fabulous 12 years later. We need a greater cross-pollination of dance and rock. Rammstein is not enough!
Our word of the week is blouson, which must be pronounced only a certain way: BLUE-zahn, with primary and secondary stress, respectively. Aréna Hommes Plus uses the word a pleasing four times in the first half of its issue 99:
Perhaps someday I will own one.
Our word for next week is faux-naïf.
eCementing.com, but nearly every reload produces an otherworldly, hilarious, or startlingly-plausible combination.
Homo – I loved American Beauty, I have to say.
Hemo – I’m very happy to hear that, because this movie gets two enthusiastically-plasma-pumping veins up from the Thinblood.
Previously, I wrote:
Last week “Mais qui est la belette?" by Manau was broadcast (mistitled “Mais où est le belette?") and its catchiness stuck with me. Apparently it stuck with the producers, too, because they reran the video this week. Manau turn out to be a Celtic French hiphop formation. Quite the combination. I know what le loup and le renard are (the wolf and the fox), but is there such a thing as a belette, or is it a neologism that gives the whole song a reason for being? (Lyrical extract: ‘J’entends le loup, le renard et la belette. J’entends le loup, le renard chanter. [...] Mais dites-moi alors, mais qui est la belette?’ Or listen to a RealAudio snippetette.) Recommended.
And Joe, about the French band Manau... I can’t stand them! That’s music for kids or for “mediocre minds"; there’s no creati[vity] and I still don’t understand why you saw them on TV when there are many great French [songwriters] and musicians. The lyrics of the song are not even theirs, that’s a traditional song with hiphop on it! A ‘belette’A. is a weasel. The song says “I hear the wolf, the fox and the weasel; I hear the wolf, the fox and the weasel singing... But who is the weasel?"
I know how I erred in my original posting: Making a big deal out of a little. Like what the crypto-fags at the Big Steel in Moncton did 20 years ago, when one of ’em left a note, handwritten in a very expressive, outspoken, filigreed swash, attached to the new Steely Dan LP, Gaucho. You gotta listen to it! Because it’s so damn cool! And we’re so excruciatingly fashionable, and, by definition, superficial, that we’ll endorse anything with a patina of cool. (Though don’t ask me who thought “Hey[,] Nineteen" was actually cool.) Next time, I’ll be more careful. Do my research. Hear the album. Besides, I’ve seen ‘La tribu de Dana’ and it was – how you say, in English? – a dud.
Dear Mr. Clark; I would be very interested in learning if the Conservative Party is joining the Canadian Alliance? It is very frightening to infer that this would happen. The Conservatives have been a respected party with a few downfalls here & there but please do not allow this respect to diminish by joining the Reform Party (under the Alliance name). Sincerely concerned. The Watsons of B.C.
I’ve never actually received this kind of misdirected E-mail before. Bit of a surprise, huh? (Given that the official sites of the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark haven’t been updated in months or years, what are the odds that he reads E-mail at all?) Incidentally,
joeclark.org is coming.
– Yeah, I gotta get it next time I’m at HMV.
– I’m thinking I should get it for down when I’m in Fort Lauderdale.
– For that and Santana, I’m trying to get my CD burner to work, but it takes 98 not 95 –
– You got your burner?
– Mm, but it only works with Windows 98 or NT, and I’ve got 95, but I’m upgrading my laptop and it’s supposed to work with the USB.
– And I can burn it in –
– Does it take as long to burn a CD as to, like, listen to it?
– Well, almost. Like, you take Santana. Not every song is good, right? so you can just drop the two you don’t like and it makes it faster.
– And he’s a white guy! He’s white!
– I know.
– He’s everywhere. On every commercial. Like, on Sex and the City, which I’ll be watching later –
– Great show.
– there’s this Kahlúa ad, and the music sounds like backward music, and it’s Moby!
We then endured a dissertation on the incredible! infrastructure Japanese teppanyaki restaurants boast at every table ("a gas line and a fire line [sic] and water and sewage – and that’s at every single table" – or so his friend, “a straight guy,” in the restaurant industry tells him).
Kyoko, who smoked a cigarette beside him, hosted a TV Asahi trend-update show.
In America, jungle has gone from ultra-cool obscurity to omnipresent subliminal banality (used everywhere in adverts, MTV links and as get-the-viewer’s-pulse-racing, newsflash-coming background music on TV news programmes), without any intervening period of pop breakthrough or even hipster consensus.
There seems to be a meme spreading ever more broadly, one that’s tied closely to the alleged ticking-over of the millennium clock. In the 2000.02.19 Toronto Star (article unavailable online), Alex Law describes the Chrysler PT Cruiser’s designers as having “come up with an exact replica of a vehicle that never existed.” This seems cognate with the description of St. Etienne, Air, Cassius, even Pizzicato Five as producing soundtracks of nonexistent movies, soundtracks of films that have not been filmed, “imaginary soundtracks.” It seems that an archetype can steep into the culture – an archetype with no examples, a fact that doesn’t stop us from calling something an example. A song, or a car, can derive from a feeling as if from a mother.
I told you it was a meme. Œil hebdomadaire runs an interview with two Dutch musicians, Gerry Arling and Richard Cameron, who’ve put out an entire album of faux-soundtracks: Music for Imaginary Films.