Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of The South

Mrs. King passed away today, the Queen Mother of the South. Will we ever feel such a genuinely regal presence again? Coretta Scott King was composed of a true, noble character. She embodied ideals of Southern womanhood, perhaps ideals aspired to by older generations of women, but timeless values nonetheless, and she was instantly recognizable for a particular comportment rarely witnessed in a public figure, then or now.

Never in public did we ever hear a word of complaint, anger or bitterness from her lips. She was modest and beautiful, faithful and stoic, strong and committed. She cast an aura of warmth and kindness in every step, and she wore a perennial gaze of wisdom, intelligence and pride, although one lowlit with a shadow of sadness and strife.

The depth of her inner reserves of courage and faith must have been of divine, unfathomable proportions as Mrs. King was forced to live much of her life in what must be every mother's nightmare - an inescapable comprehension that there are twisted, dangerous people always lurking, just beyond the reach of the law, who wish to harm not only one's husband, but one's children. Such was the level of evil and rage that permeated the South in the midst of the race war of the Civil Rights movement.

For her, we should never forget that time - nor our history.

So many came to pay respects (and coverage) throughout the day to Coretta Scott at the King Center on Auburn Avenue . How obvious it was that so very few of the hundreds of faces were white ones. How shameful really, as she has always been there - for all of us.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Words Fell

In case you missed the raw, sad interview with Rosanne Cash on Weekend Edition today, here's where you can hear it.

That poor woman's heart still seems on the verge of breaking into a thousand tiny pieces, and taking us all down for the crash with her. Talk about needin' a Python break! (That being a poor gal's version of rushing off to Martinique with a boat load of money and woes shoved in a Prada bag.)


On Friday, Feb. 3, NPR Music and WXPN offer a midday concert from Rosanne Cash, webcast live at noon ET at NPR.org.


Best funeral/hearse song ever is "Long Ride Home" by Patty Griffin. Listen to a stingy little Amazon snippet here.

Also, in local Fight Terrorism, Take A Vegan To Lunch At Longhorn Steakhouse news, click here. Good grief. What a waste of EVERYONE'S time!


Friday, January 27, 2006

How Do I Quit You, Jesus?

Looks like He quit us instead! Awwww Man. And we missed it. Too busy yakking on our cell phones and twirling nothing into nothing on our iPods.

Click here to touch the video hem of Its garment. Hee-larious.

Firewall of Shame?

Or just looking out for shareholder value? Still the Google.cn controversy rages on through the night...

"Reporters Without Borders, a France-based group that defends freedom of the press, blasted Google, saying the company was taking an immoral position that could not be justified.
"By offering a version without 'subversive' content, Google is making it easier for Chinese officials to filter the Internet themselves.

A Web site not listed by search engines has little chance of being found by users," the group said in a statement. "The new Google version means that even if a human rights publication is not blocked by local firewalls, it has no chance of being read in China."

With a population of 1.3 billion people and more than 100 million Internet users, China's largely untapped Internet market is very attractive to technology companies. Google is opening a research and development center in China and owns a stake in Baidu.com, the most popular search engine in that country."

Full story from CNET News.com article here.

"Millions of people may now be turning away from Google in disgust, but I've just reinstated them as the default search for my Firefox toolbar, because I think it should be supported for its brave decision.

Even if the primary motivation for going into China is that it makes commercial sense for the company - as indeed it must do, since US law is quite harsh on boards that take actions which could damage shareholder value - it also makes political sense.

Supporters of free speech and open societies should be supporting Google rather than lambasting it. "

Full BBC News.com story here.

Filtering and censorship issues regarding the Internet do not exist only in places such as China or Iran or North Korea. Indeed, filtering and access and censorship issues are at a fast and furious pace right here in 'Merica. What you can count on is that the Internet as we now know it will be refined, realigned, redirected and just generally scattered, smothered and covered right here. WE are ground zero for "Internet neutrality" issues.

If you'd like to read more, there's an excellent, albeit rather academic, paper on the web refering to "The Filtering Matrix" you can browse through here. Then, rather partisan but nonetheless illuminating, info on "internet neutrality" and pending legislation to revise the Telecom Act is on the Common Cause website.

Buy Google shares here.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Awesome Moron

But he's ours! Since I'm actually working in the real world again, or at least the taxpayer-funded branch of it, I have, sadly, neglected blogging duties. Here's a fun clip from RocketBoom instead. Boy, do some people have all the fun...

I know this violates my treatise (no link available to such) that anyone not capable of providing "original content" for their own stupid blog should not be allowed to blog, but what's a working gal to do?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Horsey Women Ride Herd On NOLA

Will somebody please get rid of that inflated point of idiocy, Ray Nagin, and install Julia Reed Mayor of New Orleans? Right away. Now!

Ms. Reed was kicking ass and taking names on Larry King last night, stating that every time Ray Nagin opens his "lunatic" mouth, not only do "chocolate" frogs come flying out, but precious attention is, again, diverted from what exactly IS going on in New Orleans. And a lot of really great things seem to be shaping up, if the cameras would ever get over Mr. Chocolate.

As one blogger says, those "horsey Uptown (New Orleans) women" are running the whole show in NOLA anyway. And it's about time they got the credit, rather than some grossly inefficient, camera-preening stooge who's already screwed everyone in his wake, white and black, front to back. Let the horsey women rule, dammit.

Of course I adore Ms. Reed, because not only is she a Vogue contributor, she inscribed her hilarious book, Queen of the Turtle Derby, to me "from one Southern writer to another." I literally walked on air outta Barnes and Noble after the signing clutching the purchase to my bosom.

I was so giddy with author awe, I completely forgot my manners. I should have asked Ms. Reed, an infamous world class partier of legendary standards on the Southern Bad Girl Society circuit, if she'd have cared to join me for a round at the Yacht Club, or at least a martini at Twist. Silly me. I just hope to have the opportunity for clear thinking nice-nice at some point down the road.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alligator Lizards In The Hair

Never having had access here in the ATL, I'd never heard a word uttered from Howard Stern's ugly mouth, but I caught him on Larry King the other night and naturally fell in love with the way he's giving the finger to the FCC. Sign me up!

Congress and the FCC are on one of those coffer-replenishing "decency" rampages of late. And Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine is really pissed-off. Says the Big JJ:

"There is no free speech about free speech in Washington because Washington can't hear. The scandal here is that Washington acts as if it listens to and represents the people by holding these hearings. But the people are not welcome."

Full outrage here.

So when we all storm the Big Media Bastille, take over the airwaves and roast Michael Powell on a bonfire of used iPods, I'll have my "American Romantic" show. First on the playlist, Ventura Highway. Don't you dare laugh at me. I love that song.

Seems America has been drinking some Apple-flavored Kool-Aid of late. Can't quite figure out if this is a good thing or a bad thing -- yet.

Here's your moment of classic American Romantic, kiddies. And you thought you were cool.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Are All Men Really Gay?

Funny, I was just reading a short story which attempts to place the burden of gross societal isolation on male homosexuality, or, better yet, on men's ultimate indifference to the fate of women/womanhood, in a short story collection by Alexander McCall Smith, the African author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Or is it just indifference to intimacy in general? Tune-in to Brokeback Mountain to find out more.

So then I sneaked a peek on that same movie by reading the DTL review first. Hate when that happens, but as a single working mom, I'm way too busy being a societal scourge myself to get to the cinema as often as I'd like. Too many men to vilify/screw while stirring the meth pot instead. I'll be sure to cry extra tears to make up for his deficit when I finally see this must-see for the NPR set.

If only there was a fiction writer courageous enough to just lay it all on the line and advocate a complete separation of the sexes. Margaret Atwood is likely the only female writer brilliant enough to undertake that considerable task.

Note that I place emphasis on the word "fiction," as I'd hate for reality to intrude on a good fantasy. Those glib, attention-grabbing titles such as MoDo's bestselling Are Men Necessary? are clever and righteous as long as you're gettin' some. If not, then that camera loving, Bible thumpin', Oprah-speak spewin', bad-teeth brother in-law of a dead coal miner on CNN starts looking adorable. And books, well... not so terribly engrossing.

Of all the seemingly zillions of writers I've read over the years, on a cumulative basis, there's probably no one writer's work I've followed more than the ATL's own David T. Lindsay, possibly one of the greatest overlooked media critics on the planet. (I'd call it a "career" rather than "work," but last time I checked, it ain't that.)

It's a crying shame, of almost Brokeback Mountain-hankie proportions, that Mr. Lindsay harbors no grand ambitions, and presumably never has, as he so modestly declares with not so much as a quiver of a proud yet likely grossly underutilized lip. (Think, proportionally, of just the TV lip-flap time allotted to another fine Atlanta writer, Cynthia Tucker, and a veritable wall of shame emerges.)

In a reply to a letter-to-the-editor in the January issue of Stomp and Stammer, an editorial hallmark of the last truly funky publication on the Eastern Seaboard, Lindsay valiantly blurts, "I'm not vying for a gig at the daily newspaper." Jeez hon, who is nowadays?

Sure. About as much as I never think about owning the S-class model.

Despite the (premature) death knell being sounded for all print matter lately, DTL should be at something no less than The Economist. It doesn't matter if you rarely agree with a word he writes. I frequently do not, sometimes to the point of venomous outbursts involving a car or refrigerator door.

But given that there are so few writers with the sheer natural ability and stamina to take you, masterfully, beyond your comfort zone so that you hardly even realize you're out of it until you start to head back to base camp then all of a sudden you're in a freakin' mind-blizzard that's about to hurl you off into the void, again, that you read 'em for the sheer adrenalin rush alone.

Of course, some of us are excellent, experienced, uh, climbers. It's just when we get a little overly confident, stuff starts screwin' up. But I diverge...

DTL's so good, we should be paying to read his work. Hell, he should be given government funding to practice his craft. He should be bathing in a bubble bath of hard-earned, taxpayer C-notes while we serve him fine (French) sparkling wines and (subsidized) domestic pate. Every now and then he could deign to lean over the edge and stuff one of those bills in my diamond-studded thong. Surely that would be a sign of a civilized society, as the reinstatement of the death penalty and assorted warmongering ain't exactly doing it for us right now.

At the very least, there should be a collected series of Lindsay's work available. I say series, as the dude's been at it since I was a teenager, and that, alas, was a long long time ago. It honestly pains me when I think about the dozens of youngsters reading S&S now who know him only as a joyless, forsaken oppressive, and not as the hilariously scathing caustic who could hurl one-liners about awful bands faster than a teen can drone on about his iPod. Twenty or so years later, recalling "The reason ninjas were invented" is enough to make for a darn good day.

Of course, if there was such a book it would be called "unmarketable." Or would it? To understand what technology has done to the literary market place, I direct your attention to this extremely valuable piece, from Wired Magazine's editor-in-chief, about the "Long Tail."

Here's a bit from that:

In 1988, a British mountain climber named Joe Simpson wrote a book called Touching the Void, a harrowing account of near death in the Peruvian Andes. It got good reviews but, only a modest success, it was soon forgotten. Then, a decade later, a strange thing happened. Jon Krakauer wrote Into Thin Air, another book about a mountain-climbing tragedy, which became a publishing sensation.

Suddenly Touching the Void started to sell again. Random House rushed out a new edition to keep up with demand. Booksellers began to promote it next to their Into Thin Air displays, and sales rose further. A revised paperback edition, which came out in January, spent 14 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. That same month, IFC Films released a docudrama of the story to critical acclaim. Now Touching the Void outsells Into Thin Air more than two to one.

Full article here.

One other note before I let you go, isn't it just good old-fashioned, fun-lovin' narcissistic male arrogance to say that a good woman's vagina, or her brain for that matter, ultimately goes "to waste?!" That's so retro it's almost funny. He's almost funny - again. After all these years. Almost.

So who's so isolated now?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pirating On Roof Tops

Don't encrypt? Thanks!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pressure Drop

Uh oh. Kevin over at NG declares that I'm back to blogging, so I'd best get to it although I'm not sure if I have much to say at the moment. This too will pass. Currently, I'm in a boggy state 'o mind where I'm not really good for much except sittin' around wishing I had a long lost friend and a couple beers at my side, a front porch and a funky street to keep watch on.

And what about when Michael Stipe wore his hair long? Then there was the Deacon Lunchbox tribute show I missed and am still kicking myself in the ass for having done so. (Be sure to scroll down for poetry samples.)

Gawd, I loved DL. His and Clay Harper's ludicrous antics got me through many a hell hole back in the day. My dear pal Lu took a beautiful portrait of DL which hangs in her guest bedroom now. I go over and drink too much in hopes of falling asleep there late one night just so I can wake up to that image. Now that would stir some kind of those wonderous early morning musings. (I keep a Coolies 45 near the washing maching just for a regular smirk, least the day's tone get too corporate or humorless.)

And thinking on Lu's amazing portfolio she put together recently on Power Point, at our advancing years, to get into SCAD to finish a degree... what a beautiful angel she is. Then there's that one person whom I can't seem to reach who has held my heart in his hand since I first laid eyes on his sweetest, wild, scruffy self. I would give a million...

This blog put together with help from a Kathleen Edwards CD and a really awful REM bootleg. (Is there any other kind?) Thanks Craig over at Town Cryer. In lieu of anything terribly poignant to say, have some pics from recent time outta the ATL:

Photos courtesy of Tom Roche

Monday, January 02, 2006

Surf's Up

OK then, where were we? My head's been so scrambled lately with such a diverse amount of ya-ya, I'm not sure quite where it is, nor what's quite normal right now. Perhaps a bit of blogging will help straighten it all out, eh?

The holidays did a whammy on me. I'm exhausted. Even with a brief run down to the Lowcountry to admire the view and the marsh perfume, I only succeeded in stirring up emotions and associations and relationships that sometimes should just be left the hell alone.

So it's back to the safety and routine of the ATL. I'll just sit here and contemplate this striking image of what should be home until I render myself suitably situated. If only returning home was filled with such grand serenity. Sometimes home is best contemplated from afar.

And whatever I do, I'm going to sit down and read a least two of the many books given to me for Christmas. While I am pleased that people acknowledge me as an avid reader, as is another of my favorite bloggers, if only I had the leisure time to read 'em. My mother gave me another pointless biography of yet another utterly pointless example of wacko Euro royalty, Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Philip. Talk about a case she was! I can't wait to get to the part where she escapes from the mental hospital to go help the poor. Jeez-us.

Actually Alice, despite suffering from crippling bouts of religion and schizophrenia, managed to actually do something during WWII, unlike most of her pointless Euro-trash relations. She helped save a Jewish woman and her family from the Gestapo, by hiding them under her tiara or nun's habit, presumably -- whatever it was she felt like wearing that year. As I said, what a case. And quite a good read I must admit.

Above shot of Sullivan's Island courtesy of dear friend of a dear friend (Joey "Joe Bob" Hindman), Steve Rhea.