New Development

by Kieran Healy on May 28, 2006

Seems like the Volokh Conspiracy is now “trolling itself”:

_Update_: I forgot, Adler is Juan Non-Volokh. All is explained. This “isn’t the first time”: he’s shown an ability to home in on sentences he doesn’t like while avoiding interpretive charity, important contextualizing information or broader political questions.

Dance dance evolution

by Eszter Hargittai on May 28, 2006

As the resident danceoholic I have to link to this video on the Evolution of Dance. It’s been viewed millions of times so I suspect it’s not new to all of you, but perhaps some of you haven’t seen it yet.

I’m not sure if I should be proud of, embarrassed, excited, or feel pathetic about the fact that of the approximately thirty songs featured in the clip, I have definitely danced to most at parties or clubs in the past (there were 3-4 that I don’t recall). To be sure, I certainly had not used most of the moves featured on the video. I’m more confident that that part is probably a good thing.

Watching the clip is a trip down memory lane as the various moments from life rush back when the particular songs were popular at parties and clubs. For example, Cotton-Eyed Joe by the Rednex will forever transport me back to the Arcade 46 bar and dance floor in the basement of our dorm in Geneva where I spent my junior year in college. Just imagine hundreds of people in this hole dancing away to this and other songs (Macarena anyone?). Those were the days…

Following up last night’s post, I’ve constructed two more little Tom and Jerry appreciation sites – for “Pencil Mania”; for “Piano Tooners” [fixed!] You can also download the cartoons themselves here and here. I’ve incorporated my expert commentary into the sites themselves. Are you like me? Do you find these things just weirdly beguiling?

That reminds me. One of the finest graphic novels you’ve (maybe) never heard of is Kim Deitch, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams – and it’s for sale cheap, in hardback [amazon]. Now that Green Day went and sang that song, the poor book will never show up in google searches anymore, I guess. Pantheon doesn’t even have all that much about it on their site. But I’ll tell you a secret. I linked to this page of stills – and this charming little animation – long ago, and the links are still good! (Probably there’s some way to get there the normal way, but I’m not seeing it.)

Here’s a short bio piece on Deitch, who really deserves to be as well known as Spiegelman and Crumb.

RIP: Desmond Dekker

by Jon Mandle on May 28, 2006

Desmond Adolphus Dacres (aka Desmond Dekker) died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 64. The NY Times, where I saw this, seems to be a few days behind – he died on Wednesday. Dekker had 20 number 1 hits in Jamaica, starting with “Honour Your Mother and Your Father” in 1963. (That’s how it’s listed on the version I have, but I’ve also seen it also referred to as “Honour Your Mother and Father”, which doesn’t scan as well. There is, however, no excuse for the Times’ calling it “Honour Thy Father and Mother.”) “The Israelites” [spelling corrected] hit number 1 in Britain and number 9 in the US in 1969. Wikipedia is not right that this was the “first international Jamaican hit”, but it certainly did pave the way for other Jamaican recording artists. His final concert was on May 11.

Ontology of an audience

by John Holbo on May 28, 2006

Matt Bai in the NY Times, “Can Bloggers Get Real?”:

The Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly, recently profiled a 23-year-old law student who writes on Daily Kos’s front page under the pseudonym Georgia10, positing that she may well be the most-read political writer in the city, even though few people know her real name. (For the record, it’s Georgia Logothetis, and she lives with her parents.) In this way, Daily Kos and other blogs resemble a political version of those escapist online games where anyone with a modem can disappear into an alternate society, reinventing himself among neighbors and colleagues who exist only in a virtual realm.

Bai needs an additional, ontological premise. Perhaps: the size and reality of an audience are inversely proportional. Also, this is an unfortunate sentence: “She says she hopes the convention will show politicians that the bloggers are just ordinary Americans — and vice versa.”