Archive for the ‘Scribblings’ Category

What’s with movies these days?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

I went to the movies last night and I’m beginning to feel like Dylan’s Mr. Jones. You know, the line from 1965’s Ballad of a Thin Man: “Because something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones.” What’s with movies these days? Not that I’ve been living on Mars […]

Birds of the British Isles – 1964, Swinging London and all that

Monday, November 15th, 2010

What kind of screwed up world do we live in where American kids don’t care about Swinging London? Kids of my g-g-generation marked the beginning of Modern Cultural Life in 1964—specifically February—Beatles on Ed Sullivan and the subsequent glorious British Invasion of Sixties bands, fashion and…the gorgeous girls—Jane Asher, Jean Shrimpton, Vanessa Redgrave, Patti Boyd, […]

The electrickal method and Mark Twain

Friday, November 5th, 2010

One hundred and ten years ago, somebody was thinking about electronic publishing. On October 17, 1900, George Harvey, president of Harper and Brothers Publishing Company wrote to Samuel Clemons’ literary agent about the great man’s on again off again autobiography.  Clemons, though he had barely begun on the project, refused to allow any publication of […]

The Next Big Thing: Facebook and the Network Effect

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

There’s a Silicon Valley technoid sort of thing called the network effect. It’s an algorithm, you know, something from math class. Now, I have to say that I don’t think about algorithms on a daily basis and I bet you don’t either, though in my distant computer networking technology life, I lived that stuff every […]

Dangerous music – Alex Ross, Dr. Pinckney and Me

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Jill and I sat down in the plush seats of the old Fullerton Hall auditorium in the Art Institute of Chicago last night, there to hear New Yorker music critic Alex Ross speak about the intersection of 20th century music and literature. Mr. Ross’ recent book–The Rest is Noise—Listening to the Twentieth Century—which very entertainingly reviewed […]