Weekly links   21 September 2014

Deana Discovers Music is a musical journey that I have started. Inspired by the birth of my son, I have had the pleasure of watching him experience the sights and sounds of this world for the first time. Like many new parents, I’ve enjoyed exposing him to albums I’ve adored throughout the years. My goal is to open my mind and listen to one new song a day and write a corresponding review. A year from now, I hope to have 365 reviews for 365 songs. http://www.deanadiscoversmusic.com/

She reviewed Cold Cold Water by Mirah, one of my old favorites. Go send her your favorite songs to review!


It has to do, I think, with the NFL’s curious, quasi-self-appointed role as the safe zone of troubled American masculinity — or, more broadly, as a kind of wildlife refuge for endangered privilege. http://grantland.com/features/ray-rice-domestic-abuse-nfl-culture/

One of the most radical things you can do is to actually believe women when they talk about their experiences. Anita Sarkeesian — http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/13/6145169/anita-sarkeesian-shares-the-most-radical-thing-you-can-do-to-support


On the internet, celebrities are famous only to the people who talk about them, and they’re only famous because we talk about them, and then we hate them for being too famous, and make them more famous by talking about how much we hate them. Could there ever be anything more self-defeating than this? Ian Danskin — http://innuendostudios.tumblr.com/post/89201006992/this-is-phil-fish-transcript

Here I had thought this guy was the patron saint of butt metal and frat parties, whose genuine positivity and desire to shut off brains in the name of fun had been co-opted by pretentious music snobs who were basically making fun of him — and here I find that he’s a classical, university-trained pianist who began studying at the age of five. He spent his adolescence playing noise and experimental music, and later played in Current 93 and the Boredoms. He was a motivational speaker at a Brony convention, lecturing about positivity and the good, healthy community surrounding a creepy, reprehensible and disgusting fandom known for appropriating and sexualizing a cartoon made for little girls. He’d had multiple TV shows, written advice columns in international newspapers — there’s nothing this guy hadn’t done, and he wasn’t a moron, he was really talented and probably a genius.

But the facts still weren’t lining up! I couldn’t find a logical bridge between the happy guy I was reading about — the same guy I’d seen on stage, the guy who had accomplished all these incredible and strange things — and the mellow, almost morose guy I saw in the airport. Meredith Graves — http://thetalkhouse.com/music/talks/meredith-graves-perfect-pussy-talks-2/

Based on a documentary I’d seen about Bronies Graves seems a bit uninformed on what the Bronies are all about, but she’s has some interesting first hand observations how Andrew W.K.’s public persona diverges wildly from his private life. She also raises some interesting questions about authenticity that add another dimension to Danskin’s arguments about fame in Phil Fish video.


Swiss watchmakers seem to have forgotten how they underestimated Japanese quartz watches in the 1970s as mere gadgets and not real watches. That mistake led to the near collapse of the watch industry. Elmar Mock — http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swatch-inventor–swiss-watch-industry-missed-the-smartwatch-boat/40606754

When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit fits. […] What’s the more ostentatious purchase — a $20,000 Rolex that will last a lifetime, or a $5,000 Apple Watch Edition that will be technically obsolete in four years? If you think Apple is polarizing today, you haven’t seen anything yet.“ John Gruber — http://daringfireball.net/2014/09/apple_watch

And they finally added page-turn buttons back… sort of. The ideal e-ink Kindle would have hardware page-turn buttons and a touch screen, and the Voyage is the first one to promise that, but instead of buttons, they’ve added “pressure-based page turn sensors with haptic feedback.”

You know what else is a pressure-based sensor with haptic feedback? A button. Marco Arment — http://www.marco.org/2014/09/18/kindle-voyage

Not working out the way you hoped

What Cook and U2 probably wanted to duplicate yesterday was the organic delight when Beyoncé released an entire album out of the blue last December on iTunes. Instead, U2 stuffed a locksmith card in your doorframe, which you’ve probably already tossed. In case you didn’t delete this modern-rock wet wipe, here is my track-by-track guide to “Songs Of Innocence,” by those famous tax-avoiders U2. Sasha Frere-jones — http://www.newyorker.com/culture/sasha-frere-jones/u2s-forgettable-fire

When you buy Amazon stock (the main currency with which Amazon employees are paid, incidentally), you are buying a bet that he can convert a huge portion of all commerce to flow through the Amazon machine. The question to ask isn’t whether Amazon is some profitless ponzi scheme, but whether you believe Bezos can capture the future. That, and how long are you willing to wait? Benedict Evans — https://a16z.com/2014/09/05/why-amazon-has-no-profits-and-why-it-works/

When I was teaching screenwriting at Pepperdine, I used to warn my students that their friends were going to stop watching TV with them, and wouldn’t go out to the movies with them anymore. David Gerrold — http://www.gerrold.com/how-criticism-destroys-enjoyment-and-how-get-past-it/

Several of my friends tell me they would never fall for the grandparent scam. Psychologists call this “the illusion of invulnerability.” I suggest that, never having been subjected to this form of emotional torment, they should not be so sure. Shirley Streshinsky — http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/fraud-phones-loved-ones-illusion-invulnerability-grandparent-scam-88636/

How to make change

Economics may be too simple for economists to understand, but thankfully most of the rest of the world can pick it up with the right story. The job of non-mainstream economists is to tell that story. Dean Baker — http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/testimony/baker-rethinking-economics-2014-09-14

We understand that a reference guide created by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system does nothing but uphold that status quo.

Similarly, we have to use that line of thinking when talking about the English language: Who created the rules? And who benefits from them?

As per usual, what this comes down to is an issue of privilege (of course!). In fact, grammar snobbery comes down to an intersection of multiple privileges. Melissa A. Fabello — http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/05/grammar-snobbery/


Look, I’m athletic, girl, I’ve gotten several Rec League MVP’s Lil Dicky — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocGiulPm3IU

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