Thursday, September 4, 2008

I swear this post is not about what's-her-face.

Really this time. Here goes:

  • I've done a little tidying up on my blogroll. If you see that you've been dropped, and if you are willing to be seen in a place like this, let me know and I'll be glad to reciprocate links with you. Reciprocity is good.
  • I'm reading Guy P. Harrison's 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God (Amazon) and finding it informative, interesting, and rather bloggish. By the latter I mean the writing style is conversational, it is broken into small sections with plenty of overlap in content, and the sections vary in tone and philosophical heft based on the reason under discussion. A conversational style works for this book since Harrison is not mainly concerned with putting forth rigorous arguments either for or against the reasons presented, but with summarizing and explaining them as well as possible; it comes very much from the tradition of Studs Terkel. Most of the reasons are familiar, but some are surprisingly weak: because god protects me? Because the human body seems designed? Because I want eternal life? Blogga please!
  • I'm trying to like Beck's newest album, Modern Guilt, but it's a little flat by the standards of Beck: he's at his best when he mingles musical styles that don't, at first blush, promise to mix well, but these songs don't do much of that. It all sounds like Beck and his backup band taking REM or Weezer songs and Becking them up -- better than much of what's out there, but not in the spirit of Beck's best efforts. Maybe I'll come around.
  • Pivot is the new buzzword of the political chattering class, and it's well past annoying. It is used to indicate a situation where a political campaign changes subjects or shifts its emphasis, but what's annoying about it, beyond the inherent tedium that attaches to any buzzword, is that it nearly always signals metapolitics. Gasbag commentators use a word like pivot because they insist on a standpoint outside of the themes and arguments and gambits themselves, from which they pronounce confidently upon the likely success or failures of the political theatrics. Can McCain successfully pivot to the economy? they muse. Will Obama now pivot to his criticisms of the Iraq war? they spout. Metapolitics means never having to compare competing proposals, separate lies from truth, or otherwise engage in reporting or analysis worthy of the name. Hey gasbags: pivot this!


Aimee Brons said...

I agree with you on the Beck point. Does seem rather unoriginal, but I like a few of the songs. “Chemtrails” and “Soul of a Man” sound like they could grow on me. Unfortunately the beginning of the latter makes me want to break into “I Love Rock n’ Roll” – which of course is never a good thing. I admire Beck’s ability to produce original and unique albums, but there is a secret, shameful part of me that just wants another Sea Change or Guero.

Dale said...

Aimee, I loved Mutations and Odelay but never got around to acquiring any others (or if I did, I've forgotten - bad sign). He's been hit and miss, but when he's good, he's great. I'm still letting this newest one sink in.