Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Richard Wright dies and....

all we hear from the traditional media is [cricket, cricket, cricket].

But if Britney Spears poofs out a silent but deadly, it even makes Fox "news".

Here is a guy who was an original member of one of the most popular rock bands ever, and I didn't even hear about it on the news last night. (For those of you in the cheap seats, he was a member of Pink Floyd.)

Gad, when a minor news figure, Tim Russert, died this year, you'd a thought that we'd lost one of the most important people on the planet ever. But when we do lose someone whose music has been heard by nearly everyone who isn't deaf, and certainly by everyone who went to college (read: "got high"), we don't even get a text scroll at the bottom of a screen (the modern broadcast news equivalent of a reach-around).

I mean, wtf?

I guess this is what we get when the "reporters" who still have jobs today managed to do so by asking presidential hopefuls if they'd ever smoked a joint or not.

Anyway, if you want some details, read this and this.

In other music news, I enjoyed this posting entitled "How the Music Business Spent the Summer Killing Itself"

Short version: when a label realized they had a hit, they would suddenly pull the downloadable version from iTunes and Amazon so people couldn't download only the hit in hopes that they would then go out and buy the CD.

The music industry - or more accurately, the corporations who sell music and not so much the artists - is still in denial that the huge album sales they enjoyed for a while in the 90s and early 00s are gone. Prices were unrealistically high, legal MP3s weren't available yet, and they controlled the radio and TV media's music playlists, so it was a false bubble that was going to pop regardless. (See this recent post and go search on the top 5000 songs of all time and look at the first couple pages. You'll see the songs that were part of this bubble - there's a lot of suckitude there. Clearly an artificial situation.)

But, there's hope. Just the other day I was talking to a guy who's been in on iTunes since the beginning, and he's finally said he's gonna start buying the DRM-free MP3s from Amazon. I think a lot of folks are gonna go, "Wait, I can buy a song I can play anywhere for under a buck? Really? I don't have the buy the rest of the album if I think it's dreck? And the albums usually cost $9 if I want the whole enchilada? Sign me up!" ... "You mean I don't have to sign up at all, just go buy it?"

Once the music industry just lets us buy music the way we want without a hassle, I think they'll be in better shape. Kottke and Co. agree.

Finally, to be totally incongruous, this next piece is not about music, and I'm praising a journalist even though I dissed the profession at the start of this post.

I love the phrase that ends this excerpt from Anne Lamott's article on today's Salon, because she's probably right - only Germans might have a word for it.
When I got home from church, I drank a bunch of water to metabolize the Dove bar and called my Jesuit friend, who I know hates these people, too. I asked, "Don't you think God finds these smug egomaniacs morally repellent? Recoils from their smugness as from hot flame?"

And he said, "Absolutely. They are everything He or She hates in a Christian."

I have been in a better mood ever since, and have decided not to even say this woman's name anymore, because she fills me with such existential doubt, such a sense of impending doom and disbelief, that only the Germans could possibly have words for it.


DarkoV said...

Great post about Richard Wright. I'm still a fan of PF, although I've got to say I never got into them when Syd Barrett was around. Preferred them much more immediately after he decided to exit the group. I never understood what Roger Waters had against Wright. I mean, I realize that Waters didn't get along with most people..but what was it that rubbed him the wrong way as regards Wright?
Any clue?

Yahmdallah said...

To be honest, I didn't know that Waters had a beef with Wright, too, so I don't know what could've been behind it. I know Waters constantly locked horns with Gilmore over perfectionism, tone of the songs (lighten up Waters!), and because he was the other alpha in the group.

But now you've got me curious...

(And thanks for the kind words!)

Anonymous said...

I decided over a year ago that I will vote for Obama in this election, and I actually changed my voter registration in January from I to D just so I could caucus for him. And McCain's selection of Palin has only confirmed that I made the right choice. So you can rest assured that I am the last person on earth to diagnose "Anti-Palin Derangement Syndrome" when I hear someone criticizng her.

But the Anne Lamott column that you link to here has convinced me that APDS is a real phenomenon, and Ms. Lamott has it on stilts. I have rarely seen such pure personal bile set to print. Her line about "they are everything [God] hates about Christians" is inexcusable. First, McCain isn't a Christian at all (as is evident from his discomfort when trying to talk about his beliefs). Second, Palin's shallow, self-contradictory beliefs are totally mainstream among Evangelicals and Pentecostals. Indeed, Palin herself is a totally average, ordinary, unexceptional-in-any-way-except-for-ambition woman. (Which is why she is ludicrously unqualified for VP, but I digress.) Does Lamott really believe that God hates Pentecostals? If so, then Lamott has issues with bigotry that are for more morally serious than Palin's issues of grasping ambition.

I would guess, and I seriously hope I'm right, that Lamott doesn't really hate Evangelicals and Pentecostals. She just hates Sarah Palin, and hates her with such a furious loathing that she can no longer think straight and ends up writing purely spiteful diatribes like this column.

Pity. I used to like reading Anne Lamott. I guess I'll have to add her to the list, along with Andrew Sullivan and Rod Dreher, of good writers who I have to avoid until after this election.

yahmdallah said...

Agreed about the hating thing. God has made is pretty clear how He feels about haters.

I personally get really annoyed at some of my fundie brethren and sistren, but I don't hate them and I certainly don't (usually) doubt their faith.

I, myself, go back and forth about Lamott. Sometimes I like her stuff, other times (like you, here) just wonder what she's on about.

I really just like the line about the Germans having a word for it, and felt it would be too out of context if I didn't include the lead-in.