"Only If for a Night"
It does not come from St. Joseph, Missouri.
It is not made in a brewery located where there used to be a stockyard.
It is not drunk by workers at a stockyard.
Instead, it is from San Jose, California.
Well, "Wichita Lineman", "Galveston", and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" were all written on the beach in Malibu. And both "Dixie" and "Swanee River" were written in Philadelphia…
Where did Walter Scott write, anyway?
And Paul Krugman sends:
Gene Callahan: La Bocca della Verità: The Slavers: When Brad DeLong posted a video of The Band playing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" on his blog, one commentator wrote that he hated seeing rockers defend "the slavers."
It was a stupid remark in that the song is about loss, not slavery, but it also struck me how trite his opinion was. Wow, you're against slavery, are you? That's a courageous moral stance you've adopted there!
But what would his stance have been had he been an upper-class white man in the American South in 1850? Given that you can read off every opinion this guy has from that one comment -- Abortion? A woman's right to choose! Someone is opposed to same-sex marriage? Homophobic! And so on. -- you can bet his views would have been absolutely conventional for the time, i.e., he would have been firmly for it.
I would use the "strike" tag on your entire post if I were you.
Whenever you find yourself getting angry at people for opinions they do not hold and deeds they did not do--well, then there is something badly wrong, isn't there?
The crux of the Confederate experience is, as Ulysses S. Grant wrote, that they "fought so long and valiantly... suffered so much for a cause... [that was] one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse..." Any description of the Confederate experience that does not cover all five of those pieces is, I think, a lie...
Susie Madrak sends us to:
There seems no objective justification for the idea that good music has simply dried up since file-sharing took off. “A digital vampire” – not the title of this season’s bestselling young adult novel, but an ageing rock star’s description of Apple’s online store, iTunes. In his recent John Peel lecture, the guitarist for The Who, Pete Townshend, railed against “the Aluminums” (Apple, I gather) and suggested changes to their business model that would be more supportive of musicians. He also wondered whether the modern, digitally distributed music industry could support the kind of careful listening and risk taking that the late DJ John Peel exemplified.
A reasonable response to Mr Townshend is that he could have picked more obvious targets – notably file-sharing sites and software, which facilitate outright piracy. (He did offer one sharp observation on the subject: “The word ‘sharing’ surely means giving away something you have earned, or made, or paid for?”) It is beyond doubt that the traditional music industry is dying: high street record shops are closing their doors or stocking alternative products, and music sales have fallen by about 40 per cent during the past decade. Digital music sales through retailers such as iTunes are manifestly failing to plug the gap from sales of physical CDs, but that is not the fault of the Aluminums.
Yet a more interesting question is how much this matters. According to Joel Waldfogel of the University of Minnesota, three-quarters of pirated music would never have been purchased anyway. In such cases the consumer gains but the producer does not lose. Alas, for the major record labels – and, perhaps, for the artists too – the one-in-four acts of piracy that do reduce sales seem to be quite enough to corrode the industry’s business model….
Waldfogel manfully attempts to estimate the continued flow of high-quality new music…. Waldfogel… produces some intuitively sensible results: the late 1960s were the pinnacle of the past 50 years, while the 1980s were dark days indeed…. Certainly there seems no objective justification for the idea that good music has simply dried up since file-sharing took off.
Quite why this should be is a puzzle, but Waldfogel suspects it has something to do with the ease with which any band can produce and distribute music – a fact reflected in the growth of independent record labels. The money may be drying up, but the beat goes on.
Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus: "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus" is a work for harp and string orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The composition is based on the folk tune "Dives and Lazarus", which is known by different titles according to region:
- "The Star of the County Down" (Ireland)
- "Gilderoy" (Scotland)
- "The Thresher"
- "Cold blows the wind"
- "The Murder of Maria Marten" (Norfolk)
Vaughan Williams composed the work on commission from the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. The first performance was at Carnegie Hall in June 1939, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult. Boult also directed the first UK performance in November 1939 in Bristol.
The folk tune was also arranged by Vaughan Williams as a hymn tune "Kingsfold," appearing as "O Sing a Song of Bethlehem," in The English Hymnal as "I Heard the Voice of Jesus say," (no. 574 in the original 1906 edition), and as "If You Could Hie to Kolob" (no. 284) in the 1985 Latter-day Saint Hymnal.
Via Thers of Eschaton:
Via Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Via Paul Krugman:
A.S. of the Economist seems really confused:
Social Security: The real truth about Social Security: SOCIAL SECURITY manages to be one of the most popular and misunderstood government programmes. It serves two purposes: to provide an income floor which keeps people out of poverty in retirement (a form of insurance), and to replace income from previous work (a forced saving scheme). There may be more efficient ways to achieve these goals, but generally, Social Security does a decent job at both.
But there is a stunning amount of ignorance when it comes to its financing. On the right, people like Rick Perry call it a Ponzi scheme based on lies. The left prefers to believe there's nothing wrong with the programme and figures when revenues and the trust fund can no longer cover benefit payments some simple accounting trick will save the day...
That is very odd. I thought that the left believed that Social Security's long-term financing problem is a fairly easy fix and the sooner it is done the cheaper it will be.
And then she says:
Social Security’s financing problems can be fixed, ideally with some combination of tax increases and progressive benefit cuts. It is a fairly easy fix and the sooner it is done the cheaper it will be.
Eric Alterman sends us:
Let me also take this opportunity to thank Michael Mattis for showing up at Weld Hall in the fall of 1978 with some 60 hours of E Street Band bootlegs on cassette tapes...