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August 18, 2006

Comments

North Korea nuke test? Or administration ploy to knock Jon Benet Ramsey of the front pages with more scary monsters?

And can CNN, MSNBC, Foxnews, etc. etc. all STFU about Jon Benet? Please?

Is there anyway to get the top 10 songs off your iPod without plugging it in to your computer to boot up iTunes?

Go Tiger!

It'll come out in the next few weeks that the real Jon Benet Ramsey killer was Osama Bin Ladin.

an ObWi Friday random 10 ? sign me up!

John Prine : Pretty Good
Big Star - Try Again
Idyll Swords - Morning In Miniature
Belly - Untitled and Unsung
Elliott Smith - Oh Well, Okay
Fleetwood Mac - I Believe My Time Ain't Long
The Feelies - Slipping
Mudhoney - No One has
Rush - The Camera Eye
Medeline Peyroux - Between The Bars


that last one is an excellent Elliott Smith song that shows off how great a songwriter Smith was, and what a fine singer Peyroux is.

i'm very happy with that mix.

as Josh Marshall says things can always get worse.

yeah, it's the Guardian.

cleek - yeah, I saw that too.

random 10:

Ray Charles - Yesterday
Eric Clapton - Layla
Paul Westerberg - Waiting for Somebody (from the Singles soundtrack)
The Eagles - Victim of Love
Jimi Hendrix - May this be Love
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
Pearl Jam - State of Love and Trust (Live)
Third Eye Blind - How's It Going to Be
Lauryn Hill - Everything is Everything
The Black Crowes - Seeing Things

Andrew, of all the people who have posted their music on this site, you are the only one who I can even hum more than one or two of them. I don't know if it's age, class, or what.

The only Sound of Music song I have on my hard drive is the yodeling song...

Random:
1. Perpetuous Dreamer - Sound of Goodbye
2. Apollo 440 - Liquid Cool
3. Stabbing Westward - Shame
4. REM - Shiny Happy People
5. Stabbing Westward - ACF
6. Megadeth - Ashes in Your Mouth
7. Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Deserve This
8. Gorillaz -- 19 2000 Gorillaz
9. Metallica - Holier than Thou
10. Lords of Acid - Hey Ho!

Andrew, your lack of cool is more than covered by your awesome and inspiring courage.

I don't own an Ipod.

1) My favorite Heart tune is Sylvan Song. I'm a sucker for mandolin; even a bigger sucker for a mandolin duet.

2) Genesis has more songs that are better than Taking it All Too Hard, but dismayingly many songs that are worse. I prefer the Peter Gabriel days, personally, but I can remember a day when I was unaware that Gabriel was ever the lead singer and a substantial composer.

3) Pretty in Pink is probably bottom on my list of Furs songs. Not a huge PF fan, but The Ghost In You and Love My Way were both popular and listenable, and both better songs. Anything off Mirror Moves probably fits that description.

"..and because I'm currently acting battalion commander..."

Well, that's gotta be the best reason I've ever heard for not blogging. Do you feel the urge to muster the troops and order a full-dress forced march across a couple of counties? I dare you to order the soundtrack of "The Sound of Music" blared into the mess halls across the base.

Von's excuse that he has a new baby suddenly sounds lame. ;0 Next time Hilzoy can't blog because she needs to construct a syllabus, you can bet she'll try to think of something a little more swashbuckling.

I haven't time to list any songs because I'm building the Panama Canal in my basement.

Chaaarrrgggee!

I have WinAmp but no iPod, and my collection is too dang small for a Top Ten to be meaningful. So I'm putting my vote up for Sweeney Todd (the entire musical) since I saw it last week.

since this is an open topic--

what's up with Atrios?

Every time I check his site, it looks like he hasn't posted anything since Tuesday.

Even weirder, the number of comments peaked at 403 a few days ago and hasn't changed since (I don't actually *look* at the comments--that would be a mistake--but I do check the number).

I'm thinking Duncan Black has not been called up to be acting battalion commander. So what's up?

Ozymandias, I'm sure Rove is looking for the terrorism angle with JonBenet Ramsey. If the administration can combine the fear of terrorists and child molesters, there's no legislation they won't be able to pass. We need spying with no oversight, indefinite detention without trial, legalized torture, withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions, jailing of dissident judges, and estate tax repeal to keep America safe from terrorism -- and for the children.

Speaking of insanity, Diane Rehm is having one of the Power Line guys on right now.

Kid Bitzer, Eschaton is having some sort of caching-related problem that maybe only affects Firefox and only sometimes. Holding down Ctrl while clicking Refresh may help.

Okay, this looks like Focus on the Family are desperate to go bankrupt. I mean... really desperate.

It couldn't happen to a nicer set of bigots. *whistling tunelessly*

Every time I check his site, it looks like he hasn't posted anything since Tuesday.

you're using FireFox, right ? the latest FF has a cache refresh issue that seems to disagree with Atrios' site.

i solved it by changing my FF cache settings to "always check for new content".

[type about:config in your URL, change the browser.cache.check_doc_frequency value to 1]

Random 10:

Gypsy Eyes -- Jimi Hendrix
Hymns to the Silence -- Van Morrison
There Lands the Fiend -- an excerpt from Paradise Lost
Such a Night -- david Bormberg
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall -- Bob Dylan
Sweet Spot -- Linda Rohstadt & Emmylou Harris
Midnight Moonlight -- The Rowans
Vampire Woman -- Hot Tuna
Wharf Rat -- Grateful Dead (October 1978 SF)
Rivers of Babylon -- The Melodians

I don't have an ipod, but I have been listening to a lot of Nightwish lately. I noticed the following lines from "Stargazers": "Floating upon the quiet hydrogen lakes/In this ambrosial merry-go-round they will gaze"

I have two observations:

1) Those lakes must be very quiet, since the boiling point of hydrogen is -423.17 F. (Not to mention on the chilly side.)
2) "Ambrosial" implies food to me. Just imagine the ice cream headache you would get from eating something at that temperature!

David Bromberg. PIYF.

yup. Firefox. They told me it was flawless.

Thanks for the tips.

Those lakes must be very quiet, since the boiling point of hydrogen is -423.17 F

if the atmospheric pressure is really high above those lakes, the lakes could stay liquid at high temps. it probably unlikely that anyone would want to be in that kind of pressure, ice cream or not.

This is a grab of 10 things I've listened to in the last 5 days:

1. "I Melt With You", Modern English, After the Snow
2. "Journey to Ixtlan", Jon and Vangelis, Page of Life
3. "Waiting for My Real Life to Being", Colin Hay, Going Somewhere
4. "The Temple", James Reynolds, The Mind's Eye
5. "Blues in My Heaven", Rin Oikawa, Ashura-jo no Hitomi soundtrack (an album of music composed by Yoko Kanno, familiar to anime fans for her work on the music for Cowboy Bepop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and many, many more; I know little of the show this is for)
6. "Beat Up Guitar", the Hooters, The Hooters Live
7. "Dead Man's Party", Oingo Boingo, Best o' Boingo
8. "Market Square Heroes", Marillion, Script for a Jester's Tear
9. "The Shouting End of Life", Oysterband, The Shouting End of Life
10. "Our Song", Yes, 90125

Andrew, you may like the album 80's Hits Stripped: it's acoustic covers of 80's rock and pop by the original artists. Tracks range from the straightforward to the very peculiar and very fun, with a mix of artists including Colin Hay (of Men of Work, doing foot-stomping good work on "Down Under"), Asia (with a wonderfully lush "Heat of the Moment"), Thomas Dolby (with a gloriously insane "She Blinded Me With Science"), and Billy Squier (who has, no fooling, gone full-bore Delta blues for "The Stroke"). The Colin Hay song in my list above is because the compilation reminded me that I always did like his sound, and I got Man at Work, a collection of remixes and stuff, and Going Somewhere, an album of new work.

What John Thullen said.

Also: I have been waiting for my moment of sad disillusionment with Andrew. Fears about the feds taking over our diets: well, we all have our little quirks. But Physical???

And UPTOWN GIRL???????

[sobs quietly in the corner...]

I have no ipod. The CD's in the player right now are Emmmylou Harris and Mark Knofler's All the Roadrunning, Waylon Jennings's Lonesome, Orny, and mean, and Lucinda Williams's Essence. I haven't changed them since the last time we had a music faves thread. Except I added Gillian Welch, I think.

Random 10 came out more representative today than most:

Chemlab -- Exile on Mainline
Sigur Ros -- Agaetis Byrjun
Nine Inch Nails -- Ringfinger
The Cure -- The Final Sound
Dada -- Dim
A Beautiful Machine -- Another Place
Flyleaf -- Perfect
Hoven Droven -- Skoggspolska
Rage Against The Machine -- Down Rodeo
Process -- Victim of Yourself

Random 11 (and the inclusion of a movement of Beethoven is an indication of why I don't do random shuffles):

Sweet Honey In The Rock: Beatitudes
Bob Dylan: Maggie's Farm
Joan Armatrading: Is It Tomorrow Yet?
Beethoven/Ashkenazy: No. 17 in D minor, op. 31 no. 2 'Tempest'
Koko Taylor: Fire
Aretha Franklin: River's Invitation
Leadbelly: Pig Latin Song (2nd Version)
The Doors: Roadhouse Blues
Muddy Waters: Long Distance Call (1951)
Patty Larkin: Tango
Richard Thompson: Down Where The Drunkards Roll

Holy gaea! How old are you people???

I was going to say, the eighties are over, but jebus, the frickin' nineties are over!

Course, my random ten would likely include Derek and the Dominoes, Rolling Stones, Phish, and Toots and the Maytalls, none of which bands are around anymore so who am I to judge?

P.S. To those of you who would say the Rolling Stones are still around, I ask you: Are they really?

Enrak: one of the things that always amuses me is reading, in the mainstream media, articles that seem to assume that bloggers are crazed college kids. (One of the many indications that the people who write those articles not only don't read many blogs, but are mentally trapped in the 60s.) Best I can tell, most of our commenters are professionals over 35, with the odd grad student.

And no, they're not really still around. More's the pity. It took me a while to give up on them, but about 15 years ago, I lost hope.

Since this is an open thread, let me take this opportunity to say that while I hope they catch JonBenet Ramsey's killer, I have absolutely zero interest in rehashing each and every twist and turn of the case.

Though there was one very amusing moment the day before yesterday: there was Wolf Blitzer, having just done his millionth "heavens, we know nothing about this arrest, and have precisely zero information to communicate, but why should that stop us from speculating?" story, and Jack Cafferty came on and did a pretty withering spiel about how sad it was that we were only paying attention to Lebanon when Iraq was going to hell in a handbasket and a lot of people were dying. When Blitzer had to come on afterwards and say: and now, back to another pointless "Have we caught JonBenet's killer" non-story with zero factual content, his face was priceless.

"if the atmospheric pressure is really high above those lakes, the lakes could stay liquid at high temps"

Um, not to quibble insignificant stuff, but no. The critical temperature for hydrogen is 33K, above which it cannot be liquified at all, no matter how high the pressure. Other gases can have a lot more variation between standard-pressure boiling point and critical temperature; for hydrogen there's only 13K (also 13C) difference.

"I haven't time to list any songs because I'm building the Panama Canal in my basement."

Note to self: do not accept invitations by Tedd--, John to visit his basement.

But I hope your aunts are well.

Cafferty should be on more often.

Our fearless codpiece on the NSA court decision:

I would say that those who, um, um, herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live.

Quoted by Joe at americablog , who then goes on a nice rant in the subsequent post.

"Since this is an open thread, let me take this opportunity to say that while I hope they catch JonBenet Ramsey's killer, I have absolutely zero interest in rehashing each and every twist and turn of the case."

In getting towards five years of living in Boulder (come mid-December), I've not only never sought out the Ramsay house, but it's never even occurred to me to think about it.

Murders are so not the sort of news I pay attention to (or crimes against persons of any sort, or traffic accidents, or anything that's just of concern to a particular family, rather than folks in general in some way; my heart goes out to those affected, by why it's anyone else's business, I have no idea; the notion that other people would be interested in the prurient details of the personal tragedies of others makes me flinch).

I don't have my iPod handy right now, so no Random 10 from me today. However since this is a music open thread: DC-area ObWi-ers (you know who you are), The Hickories, featuring bass player Yours Truly, will be performing next Thursday, 8/24 at the National Zoo's "Brew At The Zoo" event, featuring more than 30 microbreweries and 20 restaurants. It's pricey, though, but I know we have a well-to-do crowd here.

The next night, Friday 8/25, we're playing at Austin Grill in Silver Spring (behind the AFI Silver Theater). This one is free, plus if you show up and say you know me from ObWi, I'll buy you a margarita. If you bring a group, I'll buy you a pitcher!

Oh, and since we have an open thread, I'd like to direct those who actually like the sport of swimming to observe that Pan-Pacs are in progress, and World Records are being set. Those who care and didn't notice might also check swiminfo.com's archives for extraordinary swims at the USA Swimming Nationals, two weeks ago.

I'm not sure why, but America has sent its A, B and C teams (loosely speaking) while the major talent from Australia is staying home.

Phil:

My brother's a bass player, but I won't hold that against you.

"Murders are so not the sort of news I pay attention to (or crimes against persons of any sort, or traffic accidents, or anything that's just of concern to a particular family, rather than folks in general in some way"

Me too, which I why I do my best to avoid Philly's local news shows, since that is literally all they cover until it is time for sports and weather.

And in JonBenet's case, I have far less interest than in most such cases, since my primary memory of the matter was a general sense of creepiness of a 6 year old being pushed by her parents into dressing and acting like a beauty queen.

Phil: darn, I'll be in Sweden.

More open thread: this, an imaginary diary of Bush's summer reading (inspired, of course, by the news that he's reading Camus) is quite good. My favorite bit:

"August 11: My anger at The New York Times subsides somewhat as I skim Foucault and Sartre. Surveillance serves its disciplinary function only if the populace is conscious of it. And if Americans aren't wrenched from being-pour-soi to being-en-soi (at least in relation to an observer who is Other) by the objectifying gaze of the state -- well, then the terrorists have won."

Sweden. Nice country; very clean.

Whereabouts?

Regarding musical tastes, a few years ago I had occasion to share a house for a summer with a group of fairly unsavory 20-year-old males, all white, all from suburban California. Aside from Weezer, about 90% of what they listened to was the same classic rock that has been playing on FM stations since 1968 or so. I was surprised--they didn't even listen to the Korn*-style bands and so forth. The zombie of John Bonham is still rattling out the beginning of "Rock and Roll", and always will be, apparently.

*I tried to think of a unix shell related joke here but couldn't. Sorry.

I tried to think of a unix shell related joke here but couldn't. Sorry.

We'll never bash you for that, Jake.

Does anyone else here suffer from chronic buyer's remorse when it comes to music?

Does anyone else here suffer from chronic buyer's remorse when it comes to music?

i buy a lot of stuff i end up not liking. but that's because i buy a lot of stuff.

Um, not to quibble insignificant stuff, but no....

you must be using a different definition of "not to quiblle". ;)

We'll never bash you for that, Jake.

err, that was a little korny

Enrak: I'm 40. I've been listening to old stuff a lot lately, while helping work out the details for my father's memorial service and doing extra grieving. There'll be more Peace Orchestra and Paul Oakenfeld and Martyn Bennett and Silke Bischoff and such in my mix when I need less reassurance and familiarity than I do right now.

Slarti: lots of places. It's my aunt's 70th birthday, and all the Swedish relatives are getting together to celebrate, and I haven't seen them for ages. That's in Stockholm. Then I thought: gosh, how could I go there without staying longer and going who knows where? and ended up deciding to go pretty far north beforehand, and to the southernmost tip of Sweden afterwards, for a combination of whimsical and bird-related reasons.

(One of the great things about birding: it introduces a wonderful principle of randomness into traveling. Birds turn out to like the most peculiar places.)

Ten days all in all. Starting Monday.

That's in Stockholm

My favorite part about visiting Stockholm was this restaurant out on the water-taxi route, somewhere. I have no memory of what it was called, just that it was out pretty far and it was on the same island as a small resort-ish cabin-ish place. The food was very good, and the ride out and back very pleasant.

If you stop in Ystad, please give my regards to Inspector Wallander.

Evidence tending to suggest that I have been completely corrupted by pop culture: I have been relistening to Fallen by Evanescence in anticipation of their new release.

To show that I have not been completely corrupted by pop culture: I listen on a CD because I don't have an Ipod.

Other music junk: listening to the Pet Shop Boys album Very because I like "Yesterday, When I was Mad", "The Theater" and the orange bumps on the album. "Go West" of course has great nostalgic value for me.

I just discovered Panic At the Disco after hearing their single on the radio. Hilarious.

Random 10:

Sad Eyed Lady Of the Low Lands -- Bob Dylan
Hong Kong Blues -- Hoagy Carmichael with Artie Bernstein (Bass) and Spike Jones (Drums)
Blackhawk -- Emmylou Harris
Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies -- Weird Al Yankovic
You Can't Say "No" To A Soldier -- Spike Jones & His City Slickers
I'm The Slime -- Frank Zappa
Fish Cheer/Feel Like I'm Gonna Die Rag -- Country Joe and the Fish
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds -- The Beatles
White Bird -- It's A Beautiful Day
Ashokan Farewell -- Molly Mason And Jay Ungar

Latest:
Canon a 2, cancrizans -- J. S. Bach (Musical Offering)

because we are using it as background music for an upcoming play, Café Palindrome.

"Does anyone else here suffer from chronic buyer's remorse when it comes to music?"

I have a very firm rule that I won't buy an album unless I like three songs on it. Usually this involves borrowing an album from one of my friends. And while I could of course just rip the disc, I actually buy albums I like.

my house has termites, and two different companies have said I need to tent.

argh. argh. argh.

Random ten:

1. The Sugarcubes - Mama

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena

3. Primal Scream - Little Death

4. Bouncing Souls - The Messenger

5. Venetian Snares - Donut

6. Metallica - Whiplash

7. Pretty Girls Make Graves - Pearls On A Plate

8. Dragonforce - Trail Of Broken Hearts

9. Neko Case - Lion's Jaws

10. Razorlight - Los Angeles Waltz

At least the majority were released this century.
;-)

Friday random Winamp 10:

Oi Va Voi - D'ror Yikra
Radiohead - Let Down
Hooverphonic - Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs
Air - You Make It Easy
Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
4 Non Blondes - Morphine And Chocolate
Saint Etienne - Like The Swallow
David Bowie - Changes
Jem - They
Wilco - Poor Places

but we all got skeletons hidden in our closet mine's called Peter Sarstedt, I love that song

If you stop in Ystad, please give my regards to Inspector Wallander.

Come on Jake. That's got to be a story worth telling.

my list points straight at my shortcomings as a person (pretentious):

Just One Of Those Things, Charlie Parker
Lay All Your Love On Me, ABBA
Easy Living, Bill Evans
Tony's Theme, Pixies
Hackensack, Thelonious Monk
St Patricks Day, John Mayer
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit (BWV 672), Peter Hurford
Var III (R.B.T.) Allegretta, Daniel Barenboim / London Philharmonic Orchestra (Enigma Variations)
Waiting While Under Paralysis, Elliott
Dvorak String Quartet in A minor Op.12 B40 Allegro ma non troppo
The Other Woman, Jeff Buckley

John,

I'm acting battalion commander, not acting post commander. Generally that means I get to sign lots of stuff in the boss's absence. And I get to go to meetings with the brigade commander, about which the less said, the better.

Enrak,

Don't even start. I'm a whopping two years older than you.

Perhaps one of these days I'll put together a list of favorites, rather than simply some random selections. But I see nothing wrong with Uptown Girl or Physical, although neither would be on a list of my favorites.

Slarti: I love Stockholm, despite having passed some of the most miserable months of my life there. (I always knew it wasn't the city's fault.) (Though it was, in part, the Swedish winter's. Sun up at 11, down by 3. Yikes.) -- The light was heartbreakingly beautiful: very northern, very pale, as if it was coming from very, very far away. Snow and ice over houses painted various shades of ochre; the blue water everywhere; the high and pale and distant sky. Also, the sense that whatever was happening in the world was happening somewhere else, far away.

More modern things I liked less: there were parts of Sweden that made me think: this whole country is one big progressive kindergarten.

Plus, there were signs in the subway cars that said: Everyone shall enjoy themselves in the subway! -- which I always found incredibly funny.

But I haven't spent almost any time there in the summer. It will be interesting to see what it's like, since my sense was that the whole country had seasonal affective disorder. Also, in the absence of sun, Swedes come to look as though they have been pickled in brine.

Andrew:

[resumes sobbing...]

There is something wrong with just about anything by either Billy Joel or (even more) Olivia Newton-John.

Hmmph.

Bernard--

"Come on Jake. That's got to be a story worth telling."

Actually, there were several stories all worth telling, but they are all police procedurals by Henning Mankell, in which Kurt Wallander is the hero. I apologize for giving you the wrong idea about my Scandinavian crime record.

"Me too, which I why I do my best to avoid Philly's local news shows, since that is literally all they cover until it is time for sports and weather."

Local tv news has been increasingly evil for nigh-on thirty years now. It's all "if it bleeds it leads," and lunatic ignorance, hour after hour, with two minutes for all the real news, pretty much. I almost never watch any of it.

Although I do indelibly recall the Boston early morning news anchor, during the year I lived in Boston, doing a 10-second news story about "Kim Jong the Second of North Korea."

so hard to put one's finger on it: just what is wrong with Billy Joel. i feel a small research industry could form around the question.

for example, why is "just like a woman" a great song, while "always a woman" is hard to stomach?

hilzoy,

Does this mean I should cancel the wedding plans? ;)

Best I can tell, most of our commenters are professionals over 35, with the odd grad student.

Oy! I'm not that odd.

Does this mean I should cancel the wedding plans? ;)

No, just the post-nuptial DJ ;)

Best I can tell, most of our commenters are professionals over 35

i won't be over 35 for another 40 days. don't rush me.

Last 10, as taken from last.fm:
1. Jethro Tull – Rosa on the Factory Floor just listened
2. Hedningarna – Bierdna 7 minutes ago
3. Nick Drake – Harvest Breed 9 minutes ago
4. Loudon Wainwright III – 4 x 10 12 minutes ago
5. Fotheringay – The Ballad of Ned Kelly 15 minutes ago
6. Pink Floyd – Run Like Hell 23 minutes ago
7. The White Stripes - Hello Operator/Baby Blue 28 minutes ago
8. Black Sabbath – The Dark+Zero the Hero 36 minutes ago
9. Jellyfish – Bye Bye Bye 3h and 15m ago
10. Kaizers Orchestra – Bøn Fra Helvete [Live] 3h and 20m ago

I'd like to get my hands on that 80s Hits Stripped compilation...

"Oy! I'm not that odd."

Debatable: should have been "Oi!, methinks. "Oy" conveys a different, Jewish, "oh, no," connotation. But perhaps that was your intention, rather than the British objection.

Hilzoy,
You have Swedish ancestry and you haven't been here in the summer? What are you, suicidal? Swedish - Nordic, really - summers are the best in the world. The temperature is just right, between 20-25 celsius (that's 70ish for you who are not yet in the 18th century) and the light is fantastic. Sunlight for 20 hours a day if you're in the South, endless daylight if you're in the North.

The winter is a bummer, though.

Wow, I really admire your personal courage in posting that incredibly lame list.

*snark*

Actually, there were several stories all worth telling, but they are all police procedurals by Henning Mankell, in which Kurt Wallander is the hero. I apologize for giving you the wrong idea about my Scandinavian crime record.

Once again I reveal ignorance on critical cultural matters. However, I'll check Mankell out, and if I like the stories I'll forgive you for embarrassing me. What title should I try first?

DanK: do you live in Sweden? For that matter, do any other commenters? (Maybe I'll ask this in a regular post.)

Heh, yes, I have Swedish ancestry, proud socialists all, and my grandparents, now deceased, had something to do with the development of the social welfare state. (Now Andrew will add even more songs by Olivia N-J to his playlist, plus some garlic cloves and a hemlock stake.) (Social Democrats, really, and extremely serious about the 'Democrats' part.)

My Mom came to this country at 21, so I have a whole half my family in Sweden.

I did stay for parts of two summers in Gotland when I was 9 and 10, but that was a long time ago. My main chunk of time was late Dec. through early May, 1982 -- right before I landed myself in Israel for the war in Lebanon.

Please, mister, please:
don't play B-17
It was our song, it was his song,
now it's o-oo-owver.

Actually, now that I think of it, Gotland played a small but significant role in the development of my views on foreign policy. It went like this:

The first summer I was there, I was staying with my aunt and uncle and cousins; the rest of my family was back in the US. My cousin and I decided to kidnap his youngest sister, then 1, and hold her for ransom. My aunt and uncle paid up. We thought this was great.

So the next summer, when my whole family was there, the same cousin (now an economist) and I decided to kidnap my sister, aged seven. V-zoy, as I will call her, was of course more trouble: my one year old cousin had no idea she had been kidnapped, but V-zoy did, and we had to tie her to a pole. To make matters worse, my eminently sane parents refused to pay up, leaving us with my now furious sister and no idea what to do. Eventually, we let her "escape".

Which is why I have always been very, very clear that while you can talk to hostage-takers, it's not a very good idea to pay them ransom, absent very compelling circumstances.

I should say: we were asking for, iirc, one crown (= maybe 20 cents at the time) per child. So one can see why my aunt and uncle paid.

Digby makes me sad.

Bernard--
I read the series from the beginning and think highly of it. I recall the first book seeming a little slow, but that may well be because it took a while to get used to Mankell's style. I would have no qualms about recommending the third book in the series, _The White Lioness_ (although Pieter Botha or F.W. de Klerk appears as a character and I recall suspecting him to be ennobled more than the man may have deserved). The later books are likewise just as good.


" . . . the same cousin (now an economist) . . ."

One wonders, as well, how your cousin's views were affected by these experiences.

1. The Cure - Lullaby
2. Little Kings - How We Ride
3. Eric B and Rakim - My Melody
4. The Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom
5. Doctor John - Loop Guru
6. Rodagan and Tricka - Believe This
7. Morphine - Potion
8. The Buzzcocks - You Tear Me Up
9. Le Tigre - Much Finer (Original Version)
10. Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse
11. Kat Cross - Symphony for Irony
12. Kate Bush - Eat the Music
13. Costanza - Desire
14. Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine
15. Liz Denmore - Just a Little Bit
16. Little Kings featuring Shola - Days Like This

Digby makes me sad.

But look on the bright side cleek, we, um, we, er, um, Jon Benet, erm, uh, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBAAAAAL!!!

Hilzoy,
Yeah, I'm Swedish of the the socialist kind - most of us are - although I'm a bit rare since I'm a libertarian socialist. Although it sounds weirder than libertarian democrats, people of my persuasion actually ruled Barcelona for a year or so during the Civil war, before the fascist and the stalinist killed off the idea that freedom and equality actually can co-exist.

I live in the south. Send me a mail if you want to meet a regular ObsiWi reader IRL when you are here.

By the way, a crown is now 15 cent. I blame Bretton Woods 2.

I'm not above quaffing the local firewater with a socialist or three, particularly if they're buying.

Slarti,
So I count you in?

"Digby makes me sad."

You make me sad, because I did not make you sad.

Does Digby post here? No!

There's just no loyalty left. It's so sad.

(Actually, Digby is a national treasure. But I have kinda put in a little work on the Haditha story, too.)

You make me sad, because I did not make you sad.

honestly, i went to your site and searched on the last name of that general before posting that. it was probably only the second time i've ever checked your site before posting here. but i did it! i thought of you!

.. ah, and looking closer i see that Digby's story is not about exactly the same thing as your post. his is about the fact that Lt Gen. Mattis (the Marine who notoriously said "it's fun to shoot some people") is the now guy who gets to determine if there are any charges warranted in the Haditha massacre.

"...honestly, i went to your site and searched on the last name of that general before posting that. it was probably only the second time i've ever checked your site before posting here. but i did it! i thought of you!"

Then all is forgiven.

I have called off the assassins.

"(the Marine who notoriously said 'it's fun to shoot some people')"

That's a very Marine thing to say, though, you know. It's what they're trained for. They are, literally, supposed to be killers.

This gets into the whole military/civilian divide thing that has loomed so large since the cessation of the draft (which I approve of).

I'm not up to writing much about this just now (as I mentioned: not feeling so well, and getting worse as the day wears on), but the topic of, well, the fact that the military is, in essence, about killing human beings, and that when that gets left to a small segment of society, problems erupt, is an issue that really deserves a lot of discussion.

Maybe a post from Andrew might start us off on that at some point?

Though I have a feeling I won't be contributing much for a couple of days, just now, so feel free to hold off until then. Because I do have things to say about that very complex and troublesome subject.

We make no bones about it. As Nathan Bedford Forrest (a lousy human being, but a great cavalry general)put it: War means fighting, and fighting means killing.

Or perhaps you'd prefer William Tecumseh Sherman: War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.

To pretend otherwise is what winds us up in so many ill-advised wars with no idea whether to fish or cut bait.

I'll close with a personal favorite, a parody of an Army recruiting effort.

Join the Army.
Go to interesting places.
Meet interesting people.

And kill them.

Not exactly a "top 10", but I listened to "Black Sheep Boy" by Okkervil River three times today in my office. Man, that's a good record.

Well, I posted about Mattis, before reading either these comments or checking Gary. So there!

Mostly because I think the blogosphere ought to take what I hesitate to call affirmative action when we see a case in which someone might be, for totally understandable reasons, presented in a way that's misleading, for lack of context.

OK, so this afternoon when I went back to my office, here were the first ten songs that came up on my iPod:

1. The Replacements, "Here Comes A Regular"
2. Gods Made Love, "Velvet Baby"
3. Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom"
4. Bishop Allen, "Butterfly Nets"
5. Blondie, "Dreaming"
6. Belly, "King"
7. R.E.M., "New Orleans Instrumental No. 1"
8. Broken Social Scene, "Windsurfing Nation"
9. Michael Penn, "Drained"
10. Lesley Gore, "Look Of Love"

PS: There's nothing wrong with "Physical" or with "Uptown Girl." They're both fine pop songwriting! And I do not mean that in the ironic so-bad-they're-good way. If I could write a song half as catchy I'd be very proud of myself. Generally speaking, I will brook no Olivia Newton-John or Billy Joel bashing. Glass Houses was the second full-length popular music album I ever owned, after Get The Knack.

BTW, tomorrow marks my 10-year anniversary with my company, and I got the good news today that I'm getting a 13% raise as a result. Woohoo for me!

Phil--
When you tell us that your band performs "We Didn't Start the Fire" as an encore, I'll stop my own personal bashing. (Personally, I always liked singing "Aldo Nova" in place of "oh-oo wo-oo" in "Sometimes a Fantasy".)

Jake, on that one, I follow the lead of Jimmy Gutterman: A List Is Not A Song.

Actually, pretty much all of Joel's post-An Innocent Man output is uniformly bad, with a couple notable exceptions.

a propos of nothing: here's something from CNN online:

By granting absolution to a convicted moonshiner, George W. Bush also earned the unique distinction of becoming the first president to pardon a cast member of the 1972 Academy Award-nominated movie "Deliverance."


I find this weirdly fitting, although I couldn't say why.

Phil--
I admit I don't like Joel at all, although I used to have a copy of The Stranger around. On the other hand, I have a love of Neil Diamond's work from up until about 1976. In fact, two of the best shows I have seen in the last five years have been the cover band Super Diamond.

Via Ezra, What Right-Wingers See When They Read The New York Times. Very, very funny, especially if you're sure to read all the headlines. ('Clintons Play Soccer With Severed Head of Vince Foster'; 'All Property Is Theft, Sources Reveal'; 'Slack-Jawed NASCAR Rubes Drive Around In Circle'...)

The songs Diamond wrote for the Monkees were his best work.

John Thullen: I have a fondness for 'Cracklin' Rosie', though...

Please! If we're going to mention Swedish police procedurals, we MUST begin with the classic Martin Beck series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo [there are genuine umlauts over all of those "o"s, I believe, but I can't be bothered to figure out how to make them appear here].

Not only are they excellent detective stories, but they contain, en passant, an implicit leftist critique of Swedish social democracy that may well be of interest to some ObWi regulars.

One novel was Americanized as a movie with Walter Matthau (!) as "The Laughing Detective," IIRC, but for goodness' sake don't judge the series by that.

"there are genuine umlauts over all of those 'o's, I believe, but I can't be bothered to figure out how to make them appear here"

I can, I can!

See here.

Or copy this: ö

I was thinking of bringing up Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö myself, after all.

"Well, I posted about Mattis, before reading either these comments or checking Gary."

Because Digby commented, I later gather.

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