Re: Poor little rich people

1

"Sometimes I am shocked by things that people say. If you substitute in the word Jewish or black, you would never say something like that.

So...because you shouldn't say "Jews control the media" you also shouldn't say "Rich people control the media."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:00 AM
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I thought libruls controlled the media. Seriously, if these people are so depressed about being rich, why don't they give it away? There are a lot of uncontentious charities which could do a lot with the income from a few hundred million dollars. Also, if you're that way inclined, Matthew 19:21.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:10 AM
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2 is about my reaction to people who complain that the poor/prisoners/etc. have it too easy. This seems to fit into the same category.

I guess part of the reason that rich people seem more and more willing to publicly say horrible privileged things about being persecuted/etc. is that a bunch of sycophants have found a nice professional niche convincing them of that fact. I don't see why anyway should indulge them in their desire to be called 'therapists' though when the word 'sycophants' is right there just waiting to be used.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:19 AM
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Ford was walking north. He thought he was probably on his way to the spaceport, but he had thought that before. He knew he was going through that part of the city where people's plans often changed quite abruptly.

"Do you want to have a good time?" said a voice from a doorway.

"As far as I can tell," said Ford, "I'm having one. Thanks."

"Are you rich?" said another.

This made Ford laugh.

He turned and opened his arms in a wide gesture. "Do I look rich?" he said.

"Don't know," said the girl. "Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you'll get rich. I have a very special service for rich people..."

"Oh yes?" said Ford, intrigued but careful. "And what's that?"

"I tell them it's OK to be rich."


Posted by: Douglas Adams | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:20 AM
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Meanwhile, we are so poor we don't even have a language -- just this stupid accent!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:23 AM
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when the word 'sycophants' is right there just waiting to be used.

"Toady" has a nice ring to it.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:38 AM
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What percent of super rich people pass as middle class or UMC? Like, live off a regular day-job salary and just have a giant bank account there, earmarked for college tuitions, inheritances, medical bills, maybe a mortgage or something? You occasionally hear of this. In other words, what percent of super rich people find the idea of living ostentatiously repulsive? Like, if these horrid people were sincere, they'd just live a less conspicuously wealthy lifestyle (not to mention give away large chunks of their wealth, obviously). How many actually do that?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:38 AM
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Also, my dream job is to be this therapist and have a secret blog on the side where I mock all my clients and never get discovered. And not have any anxiety about getting discovered.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:39 AM
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8. Couldn't you just post it here? If I was a billionaire I'd pay you a stipend so you could do that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:50 AM
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7: based on the clients I've dealt with, its more than you would think. If we're talking about the 2 million to 10 million tranche, I'd say "the vast majority of them"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:53 AM
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7: I know a few that I wouldn't call super rich, but are wealthy, and live pretty normal UMC lives. Possible exception of much speedier vacations, and more likely to take random friend or kids friends with them, gratis. There are a couple others who basically only work, so the only impact I can see on their lives is they fly more comfortably.


Posted by: Wry Coder | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:56 AM
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Seriously, I suspect it's harder than you think to live a non-ostentatious lifestyle if you have fuck you money in the bank. You start off with a nice house in a convenient district, and a small car, and then you have kids, and you need a bigger car anyway, so why not a really top of the range one while you're in the market? And life would be so much easier if your partner had one too. And you have to catch a redeye for work, hell, just this once upgrade to business, not why not first? And you know, a wood fired pizza oven would be fun, and people wouldn't really mind...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:58 AM
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12: I suppose it depends what you think of as ostentatious.

A fully loaded Land Rover with car seats in the back and a 5000 sq ft. Home in a fancy suburb is a different world than driving your Bugatti to one of your summer cottages for the weekend.

Oh, and in 11 speedier vacations should have been spendier vacations


Posted by: Wry Coder | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:07 AM
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That doesn't apply to people with $2M - that isn't what it used to be. If you're mortgage is still mostly unpaid, and your pension plan isn't near maturity and your kids aren't through college, you can't retire with $2M, especially at current interest rates; it would be a nice cushion for a middle class lifestyle, but not even close to ultra-rich. I was thinking of >$50M as the sort of people who buy these sycophants.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:07 AM
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14 => 10, 11.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:10 AM
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I dunno, I'd push back a bit on 12, further to my 10: Imagine someone who was born in 1950 in a mid-middle class household, went to college in the early 1970s when it was still cheap, got into a profession, bought a house in a decent neighborhood in the city, or a growing suburb in the early 1980s, lived a moderate lifestyle, saving assiduously and investing prudently, no huge setbacks, a couple of moderate windfalls from relatives' estates -- at this point, they're at retirement age, and could easily have a multi-million dollar net worth. There's thousands and thousands of people like that, and the reason they've done well is that they DON'T trade their car every 2 years, or fly first class or eat out at restaurants every weeknight. Now, if you had serious fuck-you money, which I believe I've argued before, starts in the 10-20 million range, you can be making enough from fixed income investments (assuming a professional salary) that a lot of those luxuries are pretty affordable. This is where the preferential capital gains tax rates and qualified dividends exemptions really start to make a big difference.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:13 AM
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14: Okay, if we're defining the people we're talking about as those who want/need wealth therapists, then I'd bump my number up to maybe 30 million in most parts of the US, 50 million on the coasts.

People who have 2 million in investments right this minute are not usually making today's interest rates -- quite a lot of their wealth would have been invested when rates were much higher.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:17 AM
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I didn't click on the link so maybe this was repeated, but a couple years ago the 1% by household income started at 380k and the 1% by household wealth at 8.4 mil.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:24 AM
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17. I don't think we disagree fundamentally, but the OP is about people who think they need wealth therapists and we're nowhere near 40 comments yet. My point is that if you're in the $>30/50 bracket, it's harder to live modestly, because it's all set up for you not to.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:26 AM
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Net worth of 8 million may not be classical fuck you money, but it would seem to me that an intelligent person could find a way to live on that.

I'd be willing to try. In the interests of science.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:28 AM
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I'd be willing to try. In the interests of science.

Pro tip: don't waste it on hiring a sycophant.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:31 AM
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This is a good look at gradation of "very rich" in contemporary America.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:33 AM
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But back to the thrust of the OP, most of the very wealthy people I've talked to (and there've been quite a few) are not what I would call psychologically healthy. Most of them are extreme misers, who get VERY upset if they find a $6 charge on their statement that they weren't expecting. They're all pretty paranoid about people (not just the IRS, but relatives, business partners, etc.) trying to take their money. And of course, they're usually surrounded by sycophants already. You would not believe the contortions that stockbrokers will go through to avoid having to call a client about the most trivial piece of bad news -- again, when I say "$6 fees," I mean just that -- I've had many, many 30+ minute conversations over the last 20 years that revolve around whether or not a $6 fee is valid.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:39 AM
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My uncle is rich, but he passes as LMC, not UMC. Lives in a trailer, drives a Fiesta.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:45 AM
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Of course, the reason he's rich involves not giving a shit about material things....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:48 AM
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And not having kids helps.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:49 AM
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Not having talked to any billionaires yet, to the best of my knowledge, I have to take most of 22 on faith, but the beginning part sounds exactly right, and the ending resonates as well.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:49 AM
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If I were rich I'd make sure my kid went to a public school. The rich are uncomfortable around people who aren't rich and can't can't immediately fly off to Europe. That's what I learned from watching Born Rich.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:05 AM
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The author of 22 seems like a massive tool.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:05 AM
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Link in 22, I mean.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:05 AM
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What percent of super rich people pass as middle class or UMC? Like, live off a regular day-job salary and just have a giant bank account there, earmarked for college tuitions, inheritances, medical bills, maybe a mortgage or something?

I am good friends with a family like this. I actually knew them for a few years before I even realized they were wealthy. I wondered a few times how they paid their bills, including a lot of things that I couldn't afford (nice house that isn't in any way ostentatious but that would certainly be out of my range, very high end kitchen appliances, nice vacations, etc.) on two jobs that both seem sort of part time and don't seem like they'd pay all that well, but nothing was out of whack enough that I didn't really think anything of it... I honestly just guessed that their jobs paid better than I realized. But nope, it turns out they are dynastically wealthy (all inherited). Most of their money is in trust funds that pay out (generous) annual stipends, so they can't actually access all of it at once. I'm not sure if their lifestyle would change if they could. Anyway, they're nice people.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:14 AM
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Really? Seemed pretty reasonable, all things considered.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:14 AM
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The scenario in 16 is the premise for the book "The Millionaire Next Door." The idea is that aside from the mega wealthy, the wealthiest people are the ones least likely to show it. If you're constantly upgrading car, renovating house, you probably don't have as much money as people saving long term and living small.
I got super pissed about an extra $4 from Citibike last weekend, I just made it to a dock with 30 second remaining then parked in a broken slot and didn't realize it until I'd gone over 30 minutes.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:16 AM
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I only have intimate experience with people in the bottom wealth category, and 22 sounds very plausible. My ex-husband's and college boyfriend's families were in that range, and it was interesting how not different fundamentally their lifestyle was from the one I was raised in (MC/UMC). Everything across the board was nicer, and they had more help, but it definitely didn't feel like a different class. Being UMC, I had the right knowledge/manners/appearance to fit in, even though I hadn't grown up with a country club or a gardener and my travels through Europe involved hostels, not 5 star hotels. They also prioritized very differently from each other, choosing to "relatively" scrimp in one area to splurge in another. Boyfriend's parents lived in a nice but modest (for the neighborhood) house in a nice suburban neighborhood, leased really fancy cars, and spent money on vacations and eating out at 5 star restaurants. Ex husband's parents lived in a large but not huge house in a historic part of their city right out of the CBD, owned a beach house, vineyard + historic farmhouse, and land/cattle. They owned expensive (but not as flashy) cars, and rarely ate out. Managing the properties was a full time job and they were not wealthy enough to have the midlevel staff to manage the lower level staff (no butler, head housekeeper, personal assistant), so my ex's mother was in charge of "managing the households" in a way that was actually very demanding and stressful. None of the houses of either family (except the vineyard) had extensive grounds, pools, or tennis courts, but were slightly better kept-up versions in slightly tonier neighborhoods of the sorts of places I'd grown up in. Both mothers were low maintenance and didn't do much shopping or beauty care. Both families tended to fly business on long haul, economy for shorter trips, and occasionally upgrade to first through miles. All the kids went to elite private k-12 schools with school tuition in-line with Ivy league universities.

Both also considered themselves to be "not that rich." My American bf considered himself middle class, because his comparison was his comparatively wealthier neighbors and classmates who consumed more ostentatiously. My Aussie husband knew he was rich (and there were class differences between the two that I'm glossing over), but he still had friends whose families really did have mansions with butlers and play weekly tennis matches with high level politicians. Also, his father was a socialist, and so they were known in the wealthy elite circles for being the leftist eccentrics.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:28 AM
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22 seemed reasonable especially the part about dividing costs by 10,000 to understand how they live. But the part that's not emphasized (a little in the $1B section) is that it isn't how much money you have that gets you treated differently, it's how you spend it. People don't walk around with a $number floating above their heads. People treat you differently when you make $200k contributions to this or that, host enormous parties, pay lots of people to work for you. So it still seems pretty stressful to pull off the social impact that comes with all the money, because you can't just have it, you need to show it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:32 AM
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I think I've told you about my grandfather's best friend (and possibly lover?) who was an extreme miser/millionaire. He owned a house but no furniture except a broken pool table and wooden vegetable crates (he probably had some sort of bed, but I never saw his bedroom). He mostly ate canned foods, and he wore clothes until they could no longer be patched, and he held his pants up with rope. He lived to be in his late 90s, and after he died he left over a million in cash under a floor board.* For the last 10 years of his life, he'd give my grandfather $5,000 in cash for his birthday and for Christmas. He also verbally bequeathed his estate to my grandfather, but never wrote a will, so the money went to some distant relatives in Canada.

*Which is even more astonishing when you think that it's money that hadn't been accumulating interest for the past 60 years.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:34 AM
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Some rich have never even seen a violin that wasn't a Stradivarius.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:37 AM
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But on the article in the OP, I assume the NYTimes has secretly gone full Marxist and is trying to instigate revolution.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:37 AM
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33: Yeah, I've read a bit of that, and my experiences with rich people both socially and through business tend to bear all of it out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:55 AM
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One of the things I've been thinking about a lot for the past couple of years is the way I live in an intellectual bubble that lots of people -- friends, cow orkers, neighbors -- really have no experience of. Even leaving y'all reprobates aside, I know quite a few people who have published books, both novels and non-fiction, many published poets, professors, commentators, tastemakers, locally well-known actors, directors, musicians, architects, designers, prominent philanthropists and business people -- some of that comes from my journalism background, and a bunch from family connections to intellectuals, but a bunch of it just seems to fall together through friends and my interest in those subjects. Compare that to all the folx I know who barely even read books, let alone know people who write them. Given the opportunity to have that without money, or money without those connections, I'm pretty sure I would go for the intellectual stimulation every time, but then no one's ever offered me $20 million, so who can really say?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 10:02 AM
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40: $20 million, but you have to read nothing but Dan Brown novels for the rest of your life. Yes or no?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 10:20 AM
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It seems like those connections would be even easier to acquire with money, if that's what you're interested in doing with your money.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 10:21 AM
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Interview With Morris Berman ...who has moved to Mexico

The Internets fucking suck. Went looking for a video of a little old lady knitting and cackling:"Guillotine" but none to be found.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 10:31 AM
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It might be nice to identify a bubble I want to live in, and figure out how to get there. I used to have a solid software nerd bubble going on, but that was in the Java era and its been tough keeping pace. I've got the Caribbean technology for development bubble, but that's on a slow boat to nowhere. A highbrow intellectual bubble sounds nice, but I probably don't have the chops.

Also, the petroleum engineer bubble I live adjacent to seems to be popping.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 10:44 AM
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I hear that the Pauline Kael bubble is supposed to be nice.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 11:02 AM
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How can you tell if you don't know anyone who lives in it?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 11:12 AM
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43.2 You're right. Very thin pickings. There's this and this. But not good.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 11:16 AM
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||
For people who followed the McGinn sexual harassment thing....

I remember being deeply aggravated by the extent to which the stuff McGinn was saying about his conduct* was being taken as an objective or highly plausible description of what had gone on, and treated like a neutral starting point for discussion about whether or not he was being railroaded/falsely persecuted/etc. It's very gratifying to see just how dishonest he was being about the extent of what happened.

Also while I'm not a lawyer my guess from what's in that lawsuit is that McGinn, Erwin and the University aren't going to enjoy the next year or so very much.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 11:41 AM
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At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is who we fuck and who fucks us.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 12:00 PM
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I can't tell if it's a different mouseover text, or just the same mouseover text, but older.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 12:25 PM
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2 gets it right: Seriously, if these people are so depressed about being rich, why don't they give it away?

A lot of commentary about this seems to focus on the very real burdens that these people do feel: managing all the properties is really hard, especially without the proper midlevel staff to manage the lower level staff! No doubt, no doubt.

What is it: is there a felt requirement to continue to possess these properties, to keep it all in the family, as though it's due to the youngsters? And yet some such families continue to acquire additional properties.

It looks to me as though there's a significant failure of imagination going on in legacy families.

I honestly don't know whether I myself would find the influence made possible by possession of vast hoards of money to be so valuable that I'd continue in pursuit of that influence/money, at the expense of watching the bottom 50% (or 70% or 80%, worldwide) suffer. 'La-la-la I can't hear you' is pretty strong, but in the end, unconscionable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 12:28 PM
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The wicked shall stay, to get their eternal pay.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 12:41 PM
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I don't like adverting to christian moral precepts, but I suppose that's the only moral ground some people can see. Word is that you have to approach people on their own turf.

Honestly, I was glad that Bernie Sanders said he's not a capitalist.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 12:58 PM
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I presume after years of being surrounded by people who want your money, most with decent intentions, you cop an attitude. Dizzy with options, you go egoistic, arbitrary, or conventional/traditional. It isn't that there are no good choices, it is that there are too many.

We are all wealthy now in the Attention Economy. How do we decide which blog to read, which book movie tv show? Do we actually believe we are making rational logical choices, based on knowledge argument evidence?

Some of us depend on sociality, we choose a tribe and follow that small crowd. In the case of billionaires that tribe likely takes great pride and comfort in their own perspicacity but that is hard and might as well wait a while. They all give it away in the end, and they know it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 1:17 PM
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The other thing:

One of the smartest guys I knew, really liberal, designed medical diagnostic computers and translated Pali as a hobby, told me the only meaning in life was creating dynasties. It's bullshit, but BS that lasts a few generations and all you got if you ain't Sophocles.

That Tidal Wave of Progressive Moral Enlightenment crashed on Belzec. It will crash again. The way out is localized delusion, I helped the old lady across the street so I and the world are good, nevermind the damn whataboutters.

The mean old fucks of millenia ago weren't that stupid. This isn't conservatism, just pessimism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 1:33 PM
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One must know Homer and b'lieve me 'bo, Sophocles, also Sappho-ho.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 2:38 PM
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12/14: The vast majority of rich folks I know don't really telegraph that they're rich. Sure, if you chat with them you might find out that they were an early employee at Google or that they have a title which implies that they make 7 figures a year, but you have to know enough about the industry to know that someone who landed at Google before year X is rich, or that someone who's at level Y at MS is rich.

The article talks about the 1%. What's that, maybe $400k/yr? The secret decoder ring is that someone who's "senior staff" at Google or "senior principle" or MS, or the equivalent level at any other major tech company is in the 1%. I know *a lot* of these folks, and they seem basically normal, other than the fact that almost all of them put in a lot of hours at work.

Maybe this is just a failure of imagination on my part, but I don't see why being rich has to warp your life unless you're so unbelievably rich that everyone knows who are you are. If you're merely a billionaire like the founders of Stripe, Dropbox, or any other successful company that hasn't turned into a Google or MS, basically no one you meet outside your industry is going to know who you are unless you wear a sign. What's there to hide?


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 3:32 PM
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Tech folx are a bit of a special case though, is it not? Partly because so much of it is steeped in West Coast culture, but also a conscious effort to pursue passions rather than appearances. I.e. it's perfectly reasonable for some upper-management type at Google or Apple or MS to do a lot of rich-people stuff, but you're also supposed to be motivated by something outside of yachts and parties and mansions-on-golf-courses, whether that's the work itself, or some cultural or technological proclivity. Nerdlesse oblige and all that.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 3:37 PM
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AHIMSUB my cousin, the over-achiever's commentary on the tech barons he's met as a result of TED talks and stuff: "They all had one big idea, and ran with it and made their millions, and now they're terrified they'll never have another."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 3:40 PM
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Obligatory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7VkWAYHUFQ


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 3:48 PM
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The link in 22 doesn't seem as insightful as it purports to be. For one thing, a lot of the stuff that shows up in the higher levels is affordable to people in the lower levels, should they choose to allocate their budgets in a certain way. You don't actually need a net worth of 30 million to spend 5k a night to stay in Cannes. You don't actually need to be a billionaire to be able to set up a meeting with a billionaire you don't know. It's also weird that he seems to think of "heads of state" are at the top of the power scale. I basically agree with 29.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 3:53 PM
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Some multimillionaires have never seen a violin.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 4:25 PM
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$5k/night is cheapish for Cannes, I believe. In any case, you're not a "rich" player* there unless you either own or rent a giant villa or have a megayacht, which cost like $500,000 to rent for the week.

*ie in this particular case the kind of sucker the studios hope to use glamour to convince to depart with his or her money, but still.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:02 PM
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The (mere?) 1% isn't such a useful distinction. It not just senior engineers at Google or whatever, it's cardiac surgeons at top hospitals, legal partners in many firms. Many (most) of theses people started off UMC and we're just really good at the money acquisition part. If you make 500k+ a year and aren't an idiot about it, before long you aren't really middle class at all and should really stop pretending you are.

But those folks aren't the ultra rich, and they don't really live in the same world. That worls is the .01 percent or whatever.

Think about it this way. If I have a million dollars (liquid) I have a decent retirement nest egg. If I have 10
million I will make more in interest dividends from it than most jobs can plausibly provide. If I have 100 million I can pay multiple decent salaries without feeling any pinch, and if I have a billion dollars I can pay experts a salary that will put *them* in the 1%, just to structure my holdings to save more on tax etc. than they cost. At a billion dollars, literally anyone who lives on a salary is achievable for your staff just because you decide you want that. Almost all physical goods are in the impulse purchase range. You can't think about the world in the same way where most purchases are small relative to your earnings over the time taken to think about them...



Posted by: Wry Coder | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:17 PM
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I would be really nice to just go buy whatever down backpacking quilt you want. I slept outside last night, because camping, using two lesser bags. I was perfectly warm, but it's a stupid lot of stuff to carry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:29 PM
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I recently went to the estate sale of Dollie Cole, the wife of former GM president Ed Cole. She was a compulsive shopper in a particularly charismatic way - she had a bunch of school buses, fire engines, warehouses and warehouses of stuff on her property. Part of her house is a Wendy's - she was driving by and it was closing, so she decided to have it rebuilt attached to her house. On the weekend we were there, the bedroom suite was displaying mostly black and white silk button down shirts and black and white pantsuits. But there are warehouses more of clothes. I got an amazing silk bathrobe of navy blue tiny polka dotted silk.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:30 PM
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I can't figure out what her net worth was, though. How do you figure that out?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:31 PM
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It's just applied math.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:32 PM
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The tricky part is figuring out how much to subtract from the value of a house for sticking a hamburger place to the side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:36 PM
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70

is "backpacking quilt" distinct from "sleeping bag"?


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:37 PM
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71

A sleeping bag has a bottom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:38 PM
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The insulation of a sleeping bag works by trapping air, so the part you sleep on really doesn't insulate at all. So they just got rid of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:40 PM
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I don't think they do that while climbing Everest or anything. But for an early chill in fall in Pennsylvania, it works fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:44 PM
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Also, I just learned that you can buy meta boots. It's a sock-slipper insert that goes into the hiking boot. That way, when you don't need boots, you just have the slippers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 5:55 PM
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63: 5k/ night is cheapish for Cannes, but if you are a billionaire you still wake up the next day $10k ahead or so.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:24 PM
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71: what do you sleep on then


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:29 PM
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A bear


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:32 PM
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I sleep on my side usually.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:32 PM
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on the ground?


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:34 PM
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pad of some kind?


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:36 PM
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Yes. You have to have a pad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:49 PM
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Mine is only 1.5 inches thick. It has sufficient insulation but I wake up every couple of hours because of squishing myself with myself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:52 PM
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83

url to bear pad


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:53 PM
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84

If I were a billionaire, I would have a thicker one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:56 PM
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85

If you were a billionaire you could go camping on sleigh pulled by two polar bears, laughing and knocking back shots of Dom Perignon and throwing away the remainder of the bottle as you howled through the night.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 6:59 PM
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"wry coder" is a good pseud and 83 is a good comment even though I confess I don't fully get the allusion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:06 PM
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84: Anything thicker than 2.625 inches is vulgar though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 7:57 PM
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86 it really is.

87 girthier, surely.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:00 PM
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My current boyfriend's family were billionaires in the 19th century, Ottoman style. Pretty much all that is left of unimaginable wealth are 7 foot oil paintings of men with giant fezes and even bigger mustaches, and photo albums filled with people riding jewel-encrusted elephants and elaborate picnics on vast country estates with Persian carpets with turbaned servants and ivory backgammon sets. It's weird to think that it's only a few generations removed, but the lifestyle is so utterly alien and unimaginable to the current generation.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 8:11 PM
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I'd ask event/support staff at venues attended by superrich tech people if they actually blend in that well. Although I suppose the bar for rich asshole isn't that high, given that asshole is within reach of people at all levels of wealth, so there may be no way to easily distinguish 200k/year asshole from 500k/year asshole.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:02 PM
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At least they have their own comic book character:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richie_Rich_(comics)


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:18 PM
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"I think Casper is the ghost of Richie Rich."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:22 PM
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$20 million, but you have to read nothing but Dan Brown novels for the rest of your life. Yes or no?

I feel bad about the off-the-charts strong "no" I would give this, because with $20 million I could subsidize a large number of talented writers for many years while they worked on their hard-to-market masterpieces (and could finance a press and all that stuff), and the devil's bargain where I could do that much good for literature, with the only catch being that I couldn't read any of it... still a non-starter.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-18-15 9:45 PM
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a title which implies that they make 7 figures a year

What, like Duke of Westminster? (Probably more like 9 figures in fact.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:09 AM
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What percent of super rich people pass as middle class or UMC? Like, live off a regular day-job salary and just have a giant bank account there, earmarked for college tuitions, inheritances, medical bills, maybe a mortgage or something? You occasionally hear of this

Ogged is secretly a Koch brother. Pass it on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:20 AM
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AFAIK I don't know* anyone IRL who's this kind of rich, except:

My dad held onto all the stock he got working for Exxon for 31 years, and then got a very nice buyout to retire at 56**. Despite the vagaries of the stock market, AFAICT he has maintained a couple million in the bank for over 15 years of active retirement.

Anyway, he himself just lives sort of the UMCplus lifestyle: the same crappy suburban house we bought 30 years ago when we moved to Jersey, but his 2 cars have gradually gotten nicer and nicer, to the point where it's now 2 Porsches (when he retired it was a Saab and a Mitsubishi). What he mostly spends money on is golf (he belongs to a country club, which is where I'm headed with all this) and museums (and live music, but that doesn't cost much; 55 Bar is 55 Bar)***. For both the club and the museums, he's paying enough to be among the elite, without actually being one of them.

And it's amazing to hear, through him, the sort of wealth these people have, and it definitely tracks with (the bottom end of) what's in 22. There's definitely that line where UMCness just drops off, because why would you go to the effort to economize on anything? Someone commented above about how someone with $10M could do Cannes or whatever, but the point is to be able to do such things without a moment's thought. With $10M, daily life is luxurious, but a splurge is still a splurge--you couldn't do Canne and Aspen and have the Stones play your kid's bar mitzvah. The difference when you get above that tier (wherever the exact cutoff is) is that almost no single event/purchase rises to the level of worth thinking about. Hell, even an impulsive purchase of another vacation house is easily enough undone, and if you lose $250k on the transaction, eh.

Oh, also: basically everybody at the club believes every bit of insane rightwing nonsense you can name. Firmly liberal, he just holds his tongue and shakes his head.

*in the sense of, "would have over to dinner"; I'm sure I must have met someone rich

**I just did the math again. I can't believe how young that is

***oh yeah, and fancy scotch. What the hell are we supposed to do with all those bottles of scotch when he dies? I can't stand the stuff. Mots, if not all, will have been opened, so no resale value. Give them away at the funeral?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 8:51 AM
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You could donate it to the Pittsburgh Rusty Nail Appreciation Society.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 8:53 AM
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97: Assuming that they haven't all died of tetanus by then.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 9:00 AM
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91: Not just comics. Hilariously, one of the most senior Barclays executives in the credit crisis was Rich Ricci.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 9:16 AM
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My impression is that in this day and age there's exactly one item that distinguishes the truly "rich" from the very wealthy -- your iwn private jet capable of international travel. These are unspeakably expensive to maintain and even very rich people just charter flights instead of having them (still super expensive!) but if you have one you immediately move to the level of being able to go where you want, when you want anywhere in the world, and very important (but not quite as rich as you) people are happy to catch a ride with you. I've never been on one myself, but at that level you can do things like eg offer to take the Rolling Stones to lunch in Aspen, and it's no big deal. It opens up an unimaginably different lifestyle. And then those guys are 1 tier down from the Saudi royalty who have 747s. Anyhow, it's all about planes.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 9:45 AM
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In support of 100, my observation of several CEO*s of large companies is that unlimited use of a corporate plane is one of the perks they enjoy and "defend" the most.

*Who in most cases don't really have the personal wealth necessary to be comfortably in the private plane class.


Posted by: Charles Lindbergh | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:03 AM
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100: Does that make them more likely to die in a plane crash? It seems that way.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:07 AM
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AIMHMHB, Je/rry Bruck/heimer's private jet shares hangar space with our corporate jet, and his jet puts ours to shame. I don't know if it's capable of international travel, but it's huge, so I'd guess that it is.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:16 AM
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102: I read that somewhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:20 AM
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Give them away at the funeral?

Why not? Plenty of people would be grateful. Something to remember him by.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:23 AM
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**I just did the math again. I can't believe how young that is

I'm jealous.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:23 AM
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unlimited use of a corporate plane is one of the perks they enjoy and "defend" the most.

Indefensible though it may be:

This paper studies perquisites of CEOs, focusing on personal use of company planes. For firms that have disclosed this managerial benefit, average shareholder returns underperform market benchmarks by more than 4% annually, a severe gap far exceeding the costs of resources consumed. Around the date of the initial disclosure, firms' stock prices drop by an average of 1.1%. Regression analysis finds no significant associations between CEOs' perquisites and their compensation or percentage ownership, but variables related to personal CEO characteristics, especially long-distance golf club memberships, have significant explanatory power for personal aircraft use.

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:38 AM
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I wonder what the par is on a golf hole that somebody needs to use an airplane to play.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:40 AM
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Oh, also: basically everybody at the club believes every bit of insane rightwing nonsense you can name.

Would this person be a member of the club?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:43 AM
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Sewickley Heights. What do you expect?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:45 AM
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111

I assume the club is in New Jersey. Or at least easily reachable by Porsche from there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:48 AM
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112

Where does ownership of a non-jet plane put you? I have rich relatives with small planes,* some just for fun and some because it's the best way to get around their giant ranches. I have no idea about the economics of plane ownership. How does it compare to a boat?

Like:
sailboat

*If you build the plane yourself, does that change anything?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:55 AM
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113

112.last Hobbyists don't count.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:57 AM
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114

113 was me


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:58 AM
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115

It has to be jet or it's just bullshit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 10:59 AM
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Although really rich people don't content themselves with jets. These days its all about rocket ships that take you to Mars.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:06 AM
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goddamn html. My transportation hierarchy hypothesis was:

sailboat - propeller plane - yacht - jet - megayacht -747


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:08 AM
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118

113

So, if it's a small enough plane you might not even count as rich?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:08 AM
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119

I can definitely see a little Cessna or something being a splurge-hobby* for someone at a reasonably upper place on the middle class spectrum. It's not that different from the kind of smallish sailboat that people in Minneapolis drift around the lakes on during summer.

*Someone who's really into it, or who has multiple hobbies at this level of expense had better be rich. But if it's your one expensive hobby I think it's in the realm of something you could save up for without being very, very rich.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:17 AM
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120

Like:
sailboat

but really, my cows


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:27 AM
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A Cessna will cost you about $50-$200k to buy second hand, depending very much on how many hours it's done, and then you're looking at very roughly $100-$150 an hour all in to fly. So it's not a cheap hobby, but if you are the sort of person who can buy, say, a Porsche when you really only need a Toyota but the Porsche is more fun, then you are within striking distance of being a recreational Cessna pilot. Say it's reasonable to spend 5% of your gross income on a hobby you really love. So to be a recreational pilot, you could be earning not much more than $200k?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:28 AM
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Yeah, my impression is that 115/119.1 are right. The little Cessna can be useful and fun but it's a hobbyist item. The jet lets you say, in New York, I feel like having dinner tonight in Barcelona, who wants to come, and then going and inviting 8 people and doing that and coming back that same night (I know someone who was invited on exactly that trip).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:28 AM
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117 Where does ekranoplan figure in your transportation hierarchy, Buttercup?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:28 AM
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I think it used to be cheaper to be a recreational pilot. My cousin is a priest and he used to fly all the time. He never owned the plane, but he would rent them often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:29 AM
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If you build the plane yourself, does that change anything?

Your life expectancy?

I think "I have rich relatives who spend a lot of time flying planes they built themselves" definitely qualifies you as having, in Victorian terms, Expectations.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:29 AM
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123 was me. Stupid browser.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:30 AM
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127

I think he quit sometime in the 80s.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:30 AM
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123

It's pretty obvious:

sailboat -- propeller plane -- yacht -- jet -- megayacht -- 747 -- EKRANOPLAN!!!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:32 AM
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The jet lets you say, in New York, I feel like having dinner tonight in Barcelona, who wants to come, and then going and inviting 8 people and doing that and coming back that same night

That sounds like hell.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:32 AM
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130

If you're really wealthy you just get toted about on a palanquin.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:33 AM
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"...we hope you enjoyed your trip to St Tropez. To those of you who managed to find a luxury yacht to your liking: we rejoice in your good fortune. And to those of you who remain tragically un-be-yachted: our hearts go out to you at this difficult time. Oh, and because someone asked earlier, the cabin crew would like to say that they like to think of themselves as your hosts, and would be insulted to be offered a tip."
"The pilots, on the other hand, like to think of themselves as your pilots. Please slide your insults under the flight deck door."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:34 AM
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129 Yeah, but at least you eat well.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:34 AM
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If you make it yourself it gets a lot cheaper - in the same general vicinity of this kind of thing. And that particular Dory looks like it would could cost significantly more.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:35 AM
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129: Is it really unpleasant to fly to Barcelona if you set aside all that you need to deal with to fly commercial, especially coach?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:36 AM
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135

I admit I wouldn't know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:38 AM
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I don't know either. But I've heard that some private planes are really comfortable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:39 AM
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133: range of 220 miles? What's the point?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:39 AM
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138

What about Air Grotto?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:43 AM
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139

Unless you're wandering up into the 'owns-own-jet' area owning a plane isn't really going to be anything more than recreational, because before that point first class plane tickets are going to be a lot easier and just as available on a whim. Once you've reached the point where you have a pilot and flight crew on standby then it becomes a different thing, but you can't just kind of randomly take off into the air from your driveway or local small airfield and zoom over to O'Hare on a whim in a dinky little prop airplane. At that level it really is like owning a small sailboat - it probably lives in a garage somewhere and you zoom around in it when it's a nice summer day but it's not a practical investment.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:44 AM
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137 Tesla needs to build an electric plane.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:45 AM
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That sounds like hell.

The plane comes equipped with coke and hookers, which helps to make the long flight palatable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:45 AM
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I'm pretty sure that Barcelona-plane had divisible bedrooms, so it was like a big, wonderfully catered party going over, followed by amazing dinner, followed by sleep in a pretty comfortable bed, being woken up with breakfast.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:11 PM
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143

Maybe if you can't afford French food, Catalan food is amazing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:13 PM
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144

It's hard to think of a worse drug than coke for a long flight, but I guess my imagination is stuck in coach.
I'd prefer being sedated and stored in the overhead.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:13 PM
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144: Maybe some of us are better off not being super-wealthy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:19 PM
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146

A party, a good night's sleep, and breakfast over a


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:28 PM
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I knew the moment I hit post what I did.

A party, a good night's sleep, and breakfast over a less than eight-hour flight?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:29 PM
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I am very confused about the timing of the NY - Barcelona trip if it is consistent with the (NY morning? early afternoon?) impulse to "have dinner in Barcelona tonight." Help?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:29 PM
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149

It's your plane. Have the pilot fly by way of Stockholm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:30 PM
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150

147.2: The rich know how to squeeze the most out of life.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:31 PM
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Every now and then I like to feel depressed about my transportation option. I go to the Amtrak site and price out a ticket from Pittsburgh to anywhere useful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:31 PM
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151: And then you feel better because you know that the poor suckers in Columbus can't even do that?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:32 PM
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153

You can drive to Akron or Steubenville (or something) and get on that same train.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:33 PM
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No, I guess it would work if you left at 10 a.m., given how late restaurants stay open in Spain. Okay. Mmmmmmm Tragaluz.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:35 PM
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155

I guess there's also one train that just stops in Pittsburgh and doesn't go to Ohio at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:36 PM
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154: Tomorrow, then? Who has the plane?

I'm driving to Akron, and there I'll catch an Amtrak train to NY. I guess I better leave right away.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:40 PM
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AIMHMHB I live about 2 blocks away from block long swath of Bugatti/Maclaren/Bentley/Lamborghini dealerships. It's pretty surreal.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:40 PM
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158

Are you even allowed to drive yet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:47 PM
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159

If that's a sore point, I only asked because lurkers in email requested it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:49 PM
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158: You're just jealous because you don't have an obelisk in your honor.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 12:58 PM
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158 Still need to sign up for my next exam. I've been avoiding it because I have to get up really early. Think I'll go to a different place this time.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:00 PM
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One of TWYRCL's friends holds an occasional salon, where I noticed an older man whom I recognized from the gym: she said he was a regular attendee, who belonged, no lie, to a support group for people with too much money. I told her that some friends and I had a remedy for that.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:02 PM
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If somebody can think of a word for a person who participants in therapy that rhymes with "expropriate," let me know so I can use it in a joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:05 PM
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Oh, I was completely misunderstanding. Party on the plane, dinner in Barc, sleep on the plane back - that makes sense.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:13 PM
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165

reprobate? commisariat, pronounced with a Russian accent ?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:14 PM
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Misanthropriate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:15 PM
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167

"Expropriate the reprobates" is pretty much the opposite of what I was going for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:18 PM
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Expropriate something I ate?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 1:45 PM
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169

So I was talking to some friends about this, and my friend's roommate works for a consulting company, and the roommate said the CEO of that company told him that owning a boat or plane only made you rich if you had a full time staff to maintain it.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:11 PM
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I swear, a lot of these people who think they aren't "rich" would also admit that they're in the top 0.1%. Everyone seems to have their own pet nomenclature in which "wealthy" is richer than "rich" which is richer than "affluent", or "rich" is richer than "affluent" which is richer than "well off". "Well I'm certainly comfortable, and I will probably be affluent soon, but I'm not rich. That guy is rich. He's the only rich guy in the wealthy neighborhood, because his house is the biggest."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:26 PM
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When we have these discussions I always picture a person saying, "Yes, he has a house with a backyard and he and his wife each have a car, and he has a computer and a television and he flies to visit his relatives once or twice a year and.... he still says he's not rich..."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:32 PM
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148 -- yeah, I think they ate at like midnight or one am Spanish time. Which isn't actually unusual at all in Spain, but even if it was if you're at the transatlantic jet+full time staff level you just call up the restaurant and ask if they'll stay open for you and your private party coming in by plane, and, guess what there is a price where restaurants will do that for you.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 2:47 PM
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My friend's dad had his own prop plane and used to fly between his house in WA and Oakland where I lived on a regular basis. He had to stop somewhere in Klamath to refuel, but it was pretty useful.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 3:51 PM
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174

Having walked around in airplane hangars twice now looking at helicopter wreckage, I'm pretty unenthusiastic about small craft flight.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:08 PM
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175

I'm pretty unenthusiastic about small craft flight.

Sounds like sour grapes to me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:12 PM
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176

One such story.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:29 PM
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||
Annals of contemporary racism:

I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "j-----" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to j------ town for that!" My interlocutor was born in 1941. Sigh.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:41 PM
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Missed a dash in the first "j------"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:43 PM
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I used to fly Cessnas back in the day, before I embraced cowardice.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:46 PM
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180

I confess I have no idea what word Natilo is referring to.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:54 PM
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180: nor I


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:56 PM
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3 syllables, ends in "oo"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 4:56 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "jamiroquai" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to jamiroquai town for that!"


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:00 PM
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I had no idea that was a slur, for any kind of person at all.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:00 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "jello" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to jello town for that!"


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:00 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "Julia Stiles" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to Julia Stiles town for that!"


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:01 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "jotun" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to jotun town for that!"


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:03 PM
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No way!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:04 PM
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you can't just kind of randomly take off into the air from your driveway or local small airfield and zoom over to O'Hare on a whim

Thanks a lot, Baby Doc Daley!


Posted by: Ghost of Meigs Field | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:22 PM
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176: If a door pops open on an aircraft, that's on the pilot. Happened to me one time over Honolulu. One of the reasons I decided to embrace cowardice.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:24 PM
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CharleyCarp - everyone knows that helicopters are complete deathtraps. Small airplanes are a completely different story!

That said it's pretty amusing how people in the aviation industry bemoan the decline in general aviation while overlooking the root cause that normal jobs don't pay enough for non-rich people to be able to afford airplanes any more. I guess that line of thought leads to dangerous ideas...


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:26 PM
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I know the word! My mother in law once used it to describe the bad neighborhood around a train station we had to go to late at night. We informed her that this was quite racist.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:39 PM
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Aren't gyrocopters supposed to be a safe alternative, something about the physics of thrust driving the lift rather than the other way around prevents them from flipping over catastrophically?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:40 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "jotun" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to jotun town for that!"

Well, frost giants are scary.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:44 PM
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There is no safe alternative to racism.

Also, please send this to the Prussian Embassy in Siam.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:44 PM
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Well, frost giants are scary.

Especially in the boondocks.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 5:49 PM
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That is definitely not a word I've ever heard except by reference. It's one of those that's so comical that it's hard to believe anyone was ever able to use it with a straight face. I mean, I get that the ridiculousness is part of the slur, but the vast majority of ethnic slurs don't have that character.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 6:58 PM
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193: some say gyrocopters are the best of both worlds. Others say they are the worst. I'm unsure.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 6:58 PM
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some say love, it is a gyrocopter


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 7:00 PM
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I heard my first non-ironic, non-condemnatory use of the word "Joen't do it!" today. As in "as if I was going to drive all the way over to Biden town for that!"


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 7:22 PM
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Forget it, Joe, it's Bidentown.

Seven letters, starts with J and ends with oo, and the clue is "word so rude that Natilo can't even bring himself to write it out". Hmm.
Do you mean the sound oo or the actual letters? The only one that comes to mind is "jackaroo" except that has eight letters and it isn't rude at all. I mean, I've heard jackaroos use it about themselves.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:56 PM
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201: Jigaboo. I'd heard it, but only in stories from my dad about crazy racis stuff his father said back in the day.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-19-15 11:59 PM
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Figures I'd be pwned on this one, but yeah, gswift is obviously right. It seems like such a cartoonishly racist thing to say that I would be surprised to hear about anyone using it sincerely if I hadn't already heard from multiple sources about how much virulent racism is hidden under the veneer of "Minnesota nice."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:10 AM
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cartoonishly racist

Right? It'd be like hearing someone chuck around "bohunk" or something. The 1930's called and want their slurs back.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:35 AM
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Oh, of course. How stupid of me. This is why I always take so long to complete the Racist Crossword. ("9 down. A person of the Hebrew faith: 3, 3, 11".)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:41 AM
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My initial reaction would be to find Natilo's word more shockingly racist than the n-word, because 1930s. Am I weird?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:37 AM
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I dunno, I find obsolete slurs have lost a lot of their sting. I wouldn't expect even a Jezebel writer to be offended by being called a flapper, for example.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 5:03 AM
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If you made a list of all the slurs and sorted them from least to most hurtful, jigaboo would be third from the top, after honky and ofay.


Posted by: R. rubrum | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 5:47 AM
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It's either not particularly disturbing, because it's so archaic it can't possibly be meant seriously, or sort of extra disturbing, because anyone who means a word like that seriously is racist in a sort of terrifyingly out-of-touch with modern norms kind of way, and apparently has some reason to believe there are other people like them. I'd need a lot of context to figure out if it were a tasteless joke or flipping over a rock to find something seriously horrible underneath.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 5:52 AM
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Speaking of race relations and the early 20th century, I'm quite embarrassed to say that, despite being very into geography as a kid, I only just learned that the "Mississippi Delta" and the "Mississippi River delta" are totally different places. The first verse of Graceland makes a lot more sense now.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:02 AM
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Then what is the Mississippi Delta?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:04 AM
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The Mississippi Delta for race relations is about .2 of the New York Delta.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:06 AM
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It's the northwestern part of the state of Mississippi between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers just south of Memphis. It's part of the alluvial plain where the Mississippi River has dumped rich sediment over time when it flooded and so is one of the best cotton growing regions. It's also the home of Delta blues.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:14 AM
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Until you ruined my comfortable illusion, I assumed the Delta blues came from New Orleans. And that they guy who wrote "Walking in Memphis" was just referring to the fact that Memphis picked up it's musical tradition from there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:16 AM
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Right? I feel like I've spent decades living a lie.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:23 AM
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I preferred the lie. Stop making me learn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:24 AM
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It's like that scene in "They Live" and I've been beat up and made to wear the shades 'o truth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:25 AM
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I thought it was just a funny word, not that I've ever had cause to use it. Never heard it in context so I didn't know it was a slur. I mean, I've heard this guy's name before, but I never checked out his act which, uh, wow....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:29 AM
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I only just learned that the "Mississippi Delta" and the "Mississippi River delta" are totally different places. The first verse of Graceland makes a lot more sense now.

Whats actuallly really cool is that the Mississippi Delta (and the whole friggin' river) are a where they are because of crazy-ass geology. Apparently there is a sunken rift valley - like a tear in the continental plate - that goes from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to New Madrid, MO, where they had those nasty earthquakes in the 1800s. But its all burried because the entire rift valley is filled with silt that washed down the river, which is how you get "delta" hundreds of miles inland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:33 AM
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219: Behold Maciej "Brevity is for the weak" Ceglowski's Confronting New Madrid. Which at the end sort of circles back around to the vicinity of the OP.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 6:40 AM
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209 gets it right.

Where do I remember reading a line about how science tells us that the Mississippi River grows by X miles every year, which means that, by the year 2000 (this was an old piece of writing), it will extend 500 miles into the Gulf of Mexico?

Also, I've known for a long time that the Delta wasn't the delta, but I never quite understood why.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:13 AM
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220: Holy shit, the Mississippi flowed backwards at New Madrid.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:18 AM
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No big deal. The Nile flows up the whole way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:21 AM
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Along the lines of not knowing the code- a relative posted something asking for prayers and a bunch of people responded with a hands-together praying emoji. To me, it looks looks like something quite different.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:50 AM
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There was a recent TV spot where a white anchor said something on the air about "that jigaboo music" and her black co-anchor nearly passed out, right? She later claimed not to have any idea that it was an ethnic slur, i.e. "I thought it was an inoffensive racially-loaded word you applied to things, not people! OMG." Here we go. Cleveland.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 10:01 AM
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AIHMHB another relative (cousin of the person mentioned above, and they all grew up together- I can only imagine the dialog in that house) once was talking about negotiating with a car dealer and said that he was trying to "chew her down." In that case, since she didn't even get the ethnic group being slurred, I'll believe it was an honest mistake.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 10:10 AM
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224 I went to some screenings here* last weekend and met the lead film programmers, a Lebanese director. We exchanged mobile #s and in response to a message of mine later he texted me a thumbs up emoji which looks a lot like it's flipping the bird.

*Including Protazonov's famous silent Aelita and Tarkovsky's Solaris. Not bad for Arrakis, not bad at all.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 10:12 AM
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227 Stupid HTML close tag fail


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 10:24 AM
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225 - I remember that! I can actually kind of sympathize with her because the term is so goofy sounding that I don't think people would immediately associate it with really vicious racial hatred.* From the way it sounds it's easy to imagine hearing the n-word expressed in a contemptuous/hateful/threatening way (even if it's not always used that way - it just sounds like it could be). But "jigaboo" actually does sound like the sort of thing that could be a general kind of music (with some racial undertones) right there alongside bebop**, ragtime, boogie-woogie, doo-wop, etc.*** The video is wonderful just for the amazed expression on the other anchors face - he's not even appalled or anything, he just looks like he's already looking forward to her reaction later on when someone explains to her what she just said.


*There are a lot of old racist stuff that seems this way to me: maybe it's that (white) people were more secure in their violent white supremacy and as a result just sort of looked down on black people in contempt and thought of them as vaguely comical rather than being really scared of them the way a lot of racists started to get during the 50s and onwards? It's hard for me to imagine golliwogs being popular in the US, or at least these days anyway.
*Still can't say/type/think this word without immediately thinking "and Rocksteady".
**I'm guessing she heard it referred to that way by a racist relative/whatever and didn't realize that they were being really racist when they said it. I've certainly seen that kind of naivete in people, anyway.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 11:30 AM
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Is it even naivete to hear a word used to describe a type of music and not think it's a racial slur? I mean, why would she think it's a racial slur?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 11:42 AM
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The naivety is assuming that the racist uncle wasn't being racist. If your racist uncle refers to those kids with their mixamack music, you should assume that mixamack is a slur.

My (German) FIL's father referred to jazz as "jungle music".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 11:58 AM
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Hey, autocorrect, I didn't write "Naivety". That's not even a word, is it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 11:58 AM
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Felix Naivety.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:02 PM
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Why do I think "mixamack" is racist against Eskimos?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:04 PM
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I think it would be a wonderful if a couple clever hackers tricked their way into however many autocorrect databases there are (there can't be too many, right?) and unilaterally just started changing the spellings of words. I'm guessing that people rely on them enough that it might actually change the language overall, even if it was a relatively obvious chanje.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:06 PM
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235 You mean they haven't already?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:10 PM
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236 me, it was me.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:11 PM
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Not that I'm awear of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:11 PM
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203: the person I was talking to was in The Great State of Virginia


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:20 PM
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||
I thought this was going to be "local guy moves away but continues following our team" stories. Nope.
|>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:28 PM
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going to be +one of those


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:29 PM
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209: I'm reminded of George Allen's "Macaca" moment, where it took a while to unpack that he must really have studied up on his racial insults to have that one handy.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:29 PM
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240: But it was one of those stories. Just a peculiarly repulsive example.


Posted by: peepp | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:38 PM
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240: No mention of the former Republican mayoral nominee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:39 PM
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243: Yeah, that repulsiveness is the real value-add. I was intending to ignore it until I looked up where precisely Efrat was.

This is the first in a series of localish people moving to Israel/Palestine, with the next one is about a lawyer working for Palestinians. Maybe as a series it'll be more balanced, but its credulousness is worrying.

I don't have a clear sense to what degree the local community (Moby's and my neighborhood) supports this, and how much room there is for dissent. (I'm guessing a lot, but not necessarily for goyim.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:51 PM
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This Mississippi Delta versus Mississippi River Delta revelation is freaking me out. How did I go my whole life, and not know this?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:51 PM
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I blame teachers unions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:54 PM
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246: It was news to me too. Geography is kind of a blank spot generally, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 12:58 PM
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At least your school covered Iowa then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:01 PM
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It makes me sad that so many smart educated adults are confused by that, but admittedly the nomenclature is confusing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:01 PM
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I've seen "naivety" before and am strongly in favor of it, since a) we have the anglicized "naive" with no dieresis and b) I hate to omit diacritics but sometimes feel pretentieux including them. But autocorrect should let you pick.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:03 PM
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John McPhee wept.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:04 PM
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Ugh, that story in 240 is like the nasty ethnic cleansing/war criminal version of the NYT society page, where you don't know if the writer is secretly trying to clue you in to how horrible some of these people really, genuinely are or if the writer is so innocent/unpleasant enough themselves that they don't realize how awful they're making the subjects of the piece look. Even that picture the woman smiling and holding up her pepper spray made me feel angry.

I did get a good laugh out of the woman who blithely talks about how a two state solution couldn't work because then she wouldn't be living in Israel (unless she moved), and thinks that a one state solution would be better, with no apparent recognition that any one state solution that wasn't just "exactly like now except probably even meaner" would involve her being kicked right out of her neighborhood and told to find somewhere else to live.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:09 PM
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246: It was news to me too. Geography is kind of a blank spot generally, though.

Right there with you.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:10 PM
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I blame the abysmal coverage of the actual history of the south in history textbooks, due to the confederate lobby. I mean, I didn't know until a couple years ago that Mississippi was majority black for a long time, so why should I be surprised that I didn't learn the details of the geography of the majority black parts of Mississippi?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:11 PM
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I thought this was going to be "local guy moves away but continues following our team" stories. Nope.

Oh my word.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:12 PM
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The weird thing to me is that geography is not at all a blank spot for me. I placed in the top 10 of a large state in the Geography Bee! RWM is also a top 10 in another large state state Geography Bee person, and she also didn't know until this week. That's what makes it so much more embarrassing.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:13 PM
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That's the worst humblebrag ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:17 PM
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Where did you guys think Delta Blues or Delta Airlines came from?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:33 PM
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Geography is not a blank spot for me either. I can't think of the last time I had a piece of geography so wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:35 PM
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259: (a) The delta of the Mississippi River; (b) I never consciously thought about it, but if I had, it would have been the same answer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:38 PM
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259: The river delta, obviously.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:38 PM
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I never considered Delta Airlines as having a name taken from geography. I just figured Delta was for D.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:42 PM
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On (a) I agree with LB and Walt. For (b) I actually meant to look this up the other day (but I was on a plane without internet, and then forgot about it), my guess at the time was that it wasn't geographical at all but related to the call sign for the letter D.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:43 PM
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Didn't think I'd get pwned on that one...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:44 PM
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It's math-y, right? Using Delta as a letter, this is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:45 PM
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259: (a) Africa


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:45 PM
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I also would have thought that the other Mississippi (river) Delta that's like two hundred miles south or so, and a lot bigger was what people were talking about. Also for Delta Airlines I'm with Moby: a bunch of the older airlines started out pretty regional and keep those names, but plenty don't so it's not an obvious assumption.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:47 PM
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It's also airplane related. You often hear it used in landing announcements "We're arriving at get Delta-10."

Also, I assumed Delta was always headquartered in Atlanta, so the Mississippi delta (in any location) didn't really occur to me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:47 PM
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If every time somebody said "delta hat" they meant a style of hat from the Mississippi Delta, I've been doing lots of pointless calculations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:47 PM
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Also, I am now puzzled by Graceland. I had this picture of looking out of the window of an airplane and seeing sunlight reflecting off a multitude of branches of the Mississippi, such that "The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National guitar." (Put to one side where the flight might be from, to be going to Memphis but overflying the Mississippi River delta.) If it's an alluvial plain, what's shining?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:48 PM
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Maybe it was a really old National guitar that had gotten really rusty?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:50 PM
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Maybe Paul Simon is as confused as we are? He is a New Yorker, after all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:51 PM
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Watching Animal House lead me to believe that guitars were made of wood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:52 PM
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Another big geography fan here. I never considered that there would be a place called a "delta" that isn't a delta. Wikipedia does not suggest any reason why it's called that. But I know all those bluesmen were actually from inland Mississippi, not Louisiana, so it's just in the category of "things I never thought about for more than a second".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:53 PM
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Thing is, other than the Delta blues, is there anything historically significant about the Mississippi Delta? That is, any moreso than any other fertile stretch of land. I mean, I didn't learn anything about the CA Central Valley in school, and it's 100X more significant (in terms of economics, population, and, obviously, music).

Other than clearing up the potential confusion with the landform, I'm not sure the Delta is in the top 100 bits of important geographical information about the US. For instance, it's far more important that, technically, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are the Allegheny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:55 PM
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274: Surprisingly, relying on Animal House steered you wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:56 PM
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National Guitar!

Basically it's the guitar version of a Stroh violin, and they were popular ones in early blues music because, well, they were louder.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:56 PM
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I think either Graceland or the Ralph Macchio star vehicle Crossroads taught me that the Delta was "north Mississippi, Louisiana, Memphis Tennessee, where the slaves and blues and Civil War were." "Memphis Tennessee" and "Mississippi Delta" are right there in the song, and he's going through the "heartland of the Civil War,"not the bayou and bottom of Louisiana. Alluvial plains filled with crops can shine!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:57 PM
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Meanwhile, I saw the article linked in 240, went to click, and then said, Nope.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:59 PM
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Wake up people. It's only two rivers. Like every other place in the world where a tributary flows into another river.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 1:59 PM
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This is an even better link than the second one in 278. They're kind of neat guitars. Without knowing better I'd assume he was just playing an electric guitar from how it sounds.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:01 PM
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is there anything historically significant about the Mississippi Delta?

It's The Most Southern Place on Earth, at least according to the author of the book with that title.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:01 PM
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Also to 276, yes, it's signifcant because that's where the incredibly rich soil was for cotton, which is why we had 19th century slaves and Civil War, basically, and is also why the blues are from there. Definitely in the top 10 most historically important geographical features in the US, I'd say. But I didn't know any of that until after I'd learned from Ralph Macchio.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:02 PM
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I was smarter than you losers about something!! Whooo in your FACE.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:03 PM
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Meanwhile, it took me forever to understand the National guitar thing, even though my favorite musician of the '90s had it as his primary instrument*. I just had the same mental image as LB and thought it was some sort of metaphor.

Of course, I also didn't realize he was singing about Elvis' house, because we were a Buddy Holly family, and I knew very little about post-Sun Elvis and the iconography.

*and also had the visual reference of the cover of Brothers in Arms**

**probably an underrated album in retrospect


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:04 PM
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Re: 278

Oscar Aleman played a resonator, too. Presumably for the same reason he and Django also played Selmers (which can also incorporate a resonator); as you say, they are loud.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:06 PM
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Of course, I also didn't realize he was singing about Elvis' house

A Russian spy! Arrest him!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:08 PM
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281: Not everyone has enough rivers for one of them to flow into the other one. Way to gloat, Moby.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:10 PM
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I always thought that "Delta Blues" referred to like, the Yazoo Delta, or something. I've never heard someone say "Mississippi Delta Blues."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:11 PM
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284: A quick perusal of cotton production maps ca. 1850 says that central Alabama was at least as important, both for production and for slave density.

I mean, you can add "one of 3 most important cotton/slavery regions" to "birthplace of the blues" and maybe it becomes more important than similarly-sized or -populated regions, but I don't think you can get it into the top 10.

Or put it another way: if I were teaching a History of America Through Geography class* with 13 units (roughly one semester), the Delta would have a good claim on a unit, because it opens up several important lines of discussion. But I could also pick 13 other regions without leaving my students ignorant.

*I would love this


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:17 PM
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I may have gotten my bluesman wrong but I think it was Son House who was known for defending himself by bashing unruly patrons with his National.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:18 PM
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A lot of you would enjoy Peter Guralnick's Lost Highway. The chapter about Chicago blues clubs has stayed deep within that small part of me that misses Chicago a lot. I've never played a steel guitar, though.

The fact that a bunch of people roughly my age know all the words to "Graceland" has me very confused. This was an album my parents bought, and if they hadn't played it for me in my youth I can't imagine I would have heard the song enough to fix on the lyrics. I still haven't gotten over the shock of people under 60 listening to NPR, but is... mmmm... was the song played all the time on the radio? Is it just a song that "everyone knows"? Do you... also... buy Paul Simon albums? I am collecting this information for my interplanetary dossier.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:26 PM
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It was a popular album in the "dorm" where I lived my first couple of years in college.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:27 PM
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294: That was my experience as well.

Although I doubt we lived in the same dorm.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:31 PM
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293: I think you may be over-relying on "roughly my age". I was fifteen when Graceland came out, and probably know the lyrics as well as I know any album. (Partially because I heard it a lot, and partially because it's unusually easy to hear what the lyrics actually are.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:32 PM
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If you have the right kind of stereo you can play "You Can Call Me Al" backwards which is really hilarious because right in the middle of what sounds like a jumbled mess is that really distinctive bass bit shows up completely identical to what it is in the song played forwards.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:33 PM
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I also like a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. But I'm hopeless about music.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:34 PM
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For homecoming, the teachers at my school did a lip sync version of "You Can Cell Me Al." The principal was Chevy Chase and the Superintendent was Paul Simon. Or vice versa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:39 PM
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If one of them was a foot taller than the other, that'd help you figure out which was which.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:42 PM
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I couldn't stand Graceland. And I was too busy hanging with the cool kids listening to Licensed to Ill, Evol, and Rembrandt Pussyhorse among other things.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:42 PM
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300: Maybe not. I don't like Simon and/or Garfunkel much at all, in addition to be hopeless about music. One was a priest and the other a nun, but they were about the same height.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:44 PM
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Licensed to Ill

Better than I thought it was when it came out, but I still think inferior to Graceland. Aside from raw nostalgia, I'm certain that some of the affection for it comes from callbacks they made in later, much better work (e.g., "let the beat... drop"). I mean, it's good, but pretty flawed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:52 PM
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It's probably just the "dad music" blind spot. I can't put that stuff in any other context at all. Exception: U2 would forever have remained dad music if they had put out any album in 1991 besides "Achtung, Baby," but I did really love "Achtung, Baby" when I was 12. (To this day I have a soft spot for "Acrobat." But this is why I don't get the ongoing Bono-bashing, aside from the data-driven accounts of his actual hypocrisy; it all seems like "look at that twat John Lennon" to me.) And NPR is "mom radio"; zero programming aimed at me, now a thirtysomething mother, is ever going to change that.

"Graceland" is definitely a better song than anything on "Brothers in Arms," though. Gratuitous Memphis link: The Letter actually makes a fine soundtrack to that dog-stealing pole dancing brawl anecdote, although you'd have to cut artfully. This thought has brightened my day.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 2:54 PM
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Anyway, I can't remember any of the lyrics to "Graceland" and I'm fine with this. I now can't stop ""You Can Call Me Al" from playing in my head, which I am not fine with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:02 PM
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And U2 went downhill after "The Unforgettable Fire," which is to say they were in decline before I was aware they existed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:03 PM
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303 At the time I was hanging out with an overlapping crowd as the Beastie Boys (a lot of NYU people, especially film school Tisch arts types). And that album was huge with that crowd when it hit.

Also Racer-X and Atomizer were way better than Rembrandt Pussyhorse.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:07 PM
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Click my link! Earworm! I had totally forgotten "Call Me Al" -- yiiiiiikes.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:07 PM
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308 to 305. Barry, you're cool.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:08 PM
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I don't have speakers at this computer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:08 PM
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309 Only in retrospect. I thought I was the dorkiest geek ever back then even when I was hanging out and going to all these cool shows in Lower Manhattan.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 3:15 PM
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Well over 60 here, and Simon and Garfunkel were mom & dad music, and wanna-be-mom-and-dads music, at the time the music was coming out.

Seduction music for a very low level of college coed, just a step above Association or Johnny Mathis.

Garfunkel's ok, hip with the voice and along for the ride as wingman for a while, but Paul Simon, man, rip-your-eyes-out boring. Even contemptible.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:04 PM
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He knows the kids of U-land and he quotes the girls historical,
From Association to Funicello, in order categorical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:09 PM
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A lot of these guys were in engineering, had guitars they couldn't play, and were pining with broken hearts over an impossible beautiful HS girl.

They got snapped up fast, committed if not married before they were juniors.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:11 PM
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By "these guys" I mean the ones who believed S & G or Joni or Sebastian could magically cause bras to unsnap.

Romantics are sweet and safe, and easy to train and control.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:23 PM
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They had little hooks back then, but not in a way we can understand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 4:48 PM
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Has everyone already seen that "Free Rectal Photography" picture? Because I practically busted a gut laughing at it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 5:49 PM
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Lurid, are you 12? Because Graceland was played ALL THE DAMN TIME when I was barely a teen. Dad music?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:05 PM
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I'm twelve, emotional-maturity wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:15 PM
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The class of 2020 will never have heard Graceland, but a few of them might know Vampire Weekend, so that's pretty close.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:15 PM
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I don't know what that is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:16 PM
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I guess I'd been a dad for 2 months when Graceland came out. Sang along to my daughter for a couple of years. On pretty much any day, I'd listen to side 2 of Brothers in Arms rather than Graceland. I'm probably exactly the perfect audience for that youtube of Knopfler singing the title track for Mandela's 70th birthday. I spent most of the day on planes, so I guess the revealed preference from fooling around with the ipod is Grateful Dead from 1977 and 1978. I suppose that's dad music too.

But NPR is a step too far even for me. My co-counsel had it on the radio yesterday driving me back and forth to meetings etc; I suppose it's always been this bad, but you can just feel understanding slipping out your eye sockets . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:23 PM
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(Driving us, obviously, to meetings, court, lunch, etc. She also took me to the part of the island where she lives, though, and that was basically driving me.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:25 PM
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Eternally 12, absolutely. But I actually didn't realize the main (sole?) audience for Graceland was not people in their 30s and 40s in 1986. I do not trust my memory to distinguish between "things I heard all the time at home" and "things everyone heard all the time everywhere." Like, was Holly Near incredibly famous? Is she the way everyone found out about homosexuality? I'm betting that's a no.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:25 PM
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I, in fact, mostly listened to Graceland in my Mom's car, but that doesn't preclude learning the lyrics. Paul Simon is a good enough songwriter that it's hard to say that he sucks, but I do find Graceland both boring and overplayed, as well as overplayed by boring people.

If given a binary choice, I'd pick Brothers in Arms over Graceland any day of the week, but really my choice is "fuck you, Sabbath."


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:39 PM
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I now feel my curiosity has been satisfied and my perplexity dispersed. I'm also not sure 324 made sense. I think I would instinctively pick Dire Straits in the binary choice too and then be sorry.

There were a few interesting songs (two?) on the later Simon album my parents bought, the one with the South American theme? -- experiments that didn't quite work. My strongest memory was of my mother declaring that Paul Simon had said his songs "meant nothing," and so Graceland and not "goo goo ga joob" was my standard for songs that meant nothing, and I had to work to erase all the sense I'd gotten out of the lyrics. Which had a way of lodging them in memory, but poorly.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 7:56 PM
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Brothers in Arms sountracked one of Jed Bartlett's baddest moments. Graceland had no equivalent.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 8:03 PM
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324: lots of people were playing Graceland in my freshman college dorm in 1987. I'd guess Barnard's Sappho or Lavender Jane Loves Women before Holly Near, though.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:02 PM
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College students in the 90s liked the Dave Matthews Band. In the 2000s, Jason Mraz. College students now like that George Ezra guy. What you think of as "dad music" is "middle-of-the-road music".

I do find it hard to imagine that anyone under 40 ever liked James Taylor. But Paul Simon, sure. My freshman year roommate in 2001 constantly listened to the Paul Simon album that came out BEFORE Graceland.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:20 PM
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Some college students in the early 2000s liked Dave Matthews Band (also known as "DMB"), and they also liked the DMB-ripoff act Of a Revolution (also known as OAR). Once, I was in the room of a not-quite friend, several people who were actually friends, and some of Dave Matthews' Band's music was playing, and I remarked superciliously on how college student the whole scene was, thereby drawing some displeased words from the not-quite-a-friend.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:27 PM
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Since this took place at the University of Chicago in accord with economic orthodoxy, however, at no point did I find five dollars.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:27 PM
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What I think of as "dad music" is music actually purchased by my dad from let's say 1970 until 1993 or so. It's not a fuzzy category. There's a canon. I guess it's fuzzy inasmuch as I can't remember everything in the record collection. But it does always surprise me (however irrationally!) when people are into it and share more demographic traits with me than with him. (There is no "mom music" because my mom just listened to Beethoven and, I don't know, the King's Singers.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:35 PM
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I refuse to believe that college students in California or some reasonable place were into Paul Simon in the 80s/90s or Dave Matthews in the 90s/00s. It may be true but I refuse to believe it, it feels like an East Coast/midwest thing. At MY East Coast college, lots of horrible people were into Billy Joel in the 90s, which is surely the most Dad of Dad music and also evidence of the worst taste ever.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:44 PM
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College dorms are horrible. (College is kind of horrible period.) At least my dorm-neighbor was usually melting the shared wall with Das Ich and Skinny Puppy, which I found soothing.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 9:56 PM
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The guy in the next dorm room over made me a copy of his Deltron 3030 CD - that wasn't horrible. There was also the Braid/Jimmy Eat world fan, the Blue Oyster Cult fan, the New York hip-hop guy, and the guy who was into the same cool indie music I was but never spoke above a mumble and hated everyone. And the guy who seemed to only listen to a band called "Trace Fury" consisting of people he went to high school with.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-20-15 10:16 PM
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Absolutely with lurid k on this one. This is another divided by a common language/culture things. Graceland, and Dire Straits are definitely Dad music. Literally no-one my age listened to them, ever.

And I was 14 when Graceland came out.

When I was at university the idea of listening to that ... dreadfully unhip, awkward nerds would have dismissed it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:51 AM
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The idea of cool versus what your parents like is one of capitalism's most potent tools, surely? It allows market segmentation for music as effectively as Procter and Gamble manages for laundry detergent. I'm embarrassed about how much I used to give a shit about consuming the correct category of music.

When I was in high school, everybody in my circle listened to Dire Straits. (I thought they were okay.) We were collectively very rockist -- we were after immortal greatness, rather than pop ephemera. (I don't know why Dire Straits fell under the first catagory, rather than the second.) The enemy was something like Duran-Duran, or Wham. People didn't have a strong opinion about Graceland one way or the other.

Brothers in Arms sucks, but there three or four Dire Straits songs better than all of Sabbath.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:36 AM
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Brothers in Arms sucks, but there three or four Dire Straits songs better than all of Sabbath.

Maybe the wrongest thing ever written on Unfogged. It's hard to argue seriously (and when I do, tongue partly in cheek) for a real objective 'canon' in popular music, but by any sane measure, just ... No.

I like lots of my parents music just fine. My Dad is a huge Ton Waits fan, and my Mum likes Hendrix and the poppier side of heavy rock. I like my grandparents music just fine, ffs. I'm a totally non-ironic fan of lots of pre-war jazz, Sinatra, et al.

But ... that kind of consciously 'quality' Dad music, no. Maybe more now, a bit if it (The Blue Nile, say) but aged 15? No chance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:17 AM
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I suppose that's dad music too.

Be surprising if it wasn't, Phil Lesh is 75.

I can put my hand on my heart and say I have never listened to Graceland, although I was 35 when it came out. I didn't know anybody who owned it, wanted it or had listened to S&G for 10 years. Brothers in Arms is, as far as I can remember, OK but not their finest hour. Never much cared for Sabbath: good of their kind, but flashy for flashy's sake.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:58 AM
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You don't like "Sultans of Swing"? "Romeo and Juliet"? I can imagine being sick of them from hearing them too many times, but bad songs?

I guess it's hard to separate music from the milieu you first associate it with. Fortunately, the only music my mom liked was Elvis and the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack. I do kinda irrationally hate Elvis, and am glad he's slowly disappearing from view.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:16 AM
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re: 340.1

Fine enough as songs. I just wouldn't put a couple of OK songs as somehow superior to the entire output of a band like Sabbath, who basically created several entire genres, and have exerted a huge influence over them ever since. Dire Straits, not so much.

I expect Tigre will be along soon to back me up on htis.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:25 AM
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I think we need to consider whether the genres influenced by Sabbath suck donkey balls or not before giving them credit as superior to non-donkey-ball-sucking bands. Sabbath's signal to noise ratio is not particularly good.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:32 AM
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Now I'm feeling old. I still have, and occasionally wear, a sweatshirt from the 1987 Graceland tour (I went to one of the Albert Hall gigs, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo in that acoustic were incredible). But there was a lot of much worse music than Paul Simon around in those days. OK, in those days I was a fervent evangelical Christian who thought U2 was the height of cool, but still, when I think of what else I listened to then I curdle with shame. Chris de Burgh, anyone?


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 5:57 AM
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According to the internet, he's still releasing albums. Thanks Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:05 AM
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What I think of as "dad music" is music actually purchased by my dad from let's say 1970 until 1993 or so.

I think that's "Dad music". Like, I can tell you exactly what my mom's music was, but I don't imagine it as a portable category.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:27 AM
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Tigre is a carefully constructed shell of man who has created an invincible outside to protect his tender inside. Sure, he says he likes Sabbath, but he falls asleep every night singing along to "My Heart Will Go On".

Obviously, Sabbath is more influential. I'm just talking about comparing best with best.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:34 AM
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Sabbath's cover of "My Heart Will Go On" is simply astounding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:36 AM
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I saw the beastie boys at the old 9:30 club before their first album came out. They brought a cooler on stage and were pouring beers on people. It was pretty amazing.

I remember in 1983 I was really into the Big Chill soundtrack.

"Romeo and Juliet" is a great song.

My dad was way into stereos and used to absolutely blast the quadraphonic version of Barbara Streisand' Stoney End. It is a good album.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:38 AM
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lots of horrible people were into Billy Joel in the 90s

Now that's just weird, unless you mean that some of them played the one song of his that came out in the '90s and was popular. But even in Jersey, where I'm pretty sure that every girl in my freshman honors classes went to see him in '86, he was old news by 1990.

We usually had a communal boom box in studio, and people would take turns* playing stuff, so I feel like I actually had a pretty good idea of what my direct peers, at least, were listening to, and I really, really don't remember Joel ever getting played. A lot of Jane's Addiction and NIN is what I remember.

In fact, the transition from a fairly classic rock orientation in '90-'91 to, well, alternative stuff afterwards was quite stark. Some of that was attrition--we went from 93 students to start 1st year to 54 to start 2nd year--but obviously most of it was changing times and Nirvana.

*one semester, there was so little overlap among the tastes of the ~10 of us in one small studio, that we took strict turns, and everybody else would put on headphones. You'd maybe have 2 people of 10 listening to the box. Other studios thought this was horribly dysfunctional. Come to think of it, it was in that studio that my copy of Rhythm of the Saints had a weird chunk taken out of the edge. Unlikely it was intentional, but maybe someone really hated l.k.'s dad's music.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:38 AM
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Our prom theme was "These are the days to hold on to." Which turned out to be right in terms of "we can't although we'll want to", but I'm glad that even the people who pushed that one through had stopped listening to Billy Joel by 1989.

I did see Billy Joel in concert (with Elton John) at some point in the late 90s, but I went ironically.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:42 AM
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Why Elton John wanted to go to a Billy Joel concert with me, I'll never know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:46 AM
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I'm a little worried that ttaM is either Btock-style or having a stroke.

I'm not convinced that influence is a trump over quality. I'm pretty sure the Eagles influenced a lot of subsequent musicians. Influence usually indicates quality, but sometimes it just means somebody got there first and did it well enough.

Hell, I'm sure there are one-hit wonders that I'd argue as having a better song than the complete work of other, very influential acts. Indeed, it wouldn't be hard if you picked an influential musician that everyone's supposed to hate, like, I dunno, Billy Joel.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 6:47 AM
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To clarify, 352.1 is about typing, not musical opinion.

Actually, I have a question: what did a rockist in mid-'80s UK listen to? WNEW in NY was a classic FM AOR station, with a self-image as being not backwards-looking, and they definitely had a progressive playlist compared with some of their peers (but not compared to anything else, mind you; it was mostly classic rock, new music by classic rockers, and new bands that sounded like classic rock. And Talking Heads.). Every Weds or Fri, Scott Muni did a Music From England show, and everything sounded so poppy. Some of that was just instrumentation/production, but what I don't get is that, if there had been a reasonably popular band playing rock-like music, I assume it would have been on the show. But they weren't, so does that mean that there was just a gap in British music at the time, or that for some reason this very rockist station chose not to bring rock music over?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:02 AM
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353 makes a good point. There may not have been many "new bands that sounded like classic rock" in the 80s, but there were some. You've got your Johns Cafferty and the Beavers Brown Bands, and your Johns Cougars Mellencamp and your Bons Jovi. Whereas among the British imports there are no bands that sound like the Rolling Stones. Simple Minds? Big Country? The Police?

I think the British power-chord rock'n'roll groups of the 80s just didn't cross over to America. Looking at the charts there seem to be several hits by The Damned, Status Quo and Madness which were at best one-hit wonders here.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:29 AM
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My high-school best friend was way into Billy Joel in the early 90s. I think, for him, it was partly a Jewish identity thing. I was into Bruce, so I had no cause to mock.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:30 AM
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Johns Cougars Mellencamp

Didn't he got to John Hopkins?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:31 AM
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I didn't even know Bruce Dern had a music career.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:40 AM
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The Delta:

As with all informal geographic assignations it is not precisely defined--most of the time it is identified per Wikipedia as the NW section of Mississippi between the Yazoo and the Mississippi (actually the Tallahatchie (notorious as Emmet Till dumping river and fictional Billy Joe McAllister jump) north of Greenwood (arbitrary naming change like with Pittsburgh's Three Rivers). Some parts of E Arkansas and NE Louisiana are sometimes included; for instance Delta Airlines was named that when it was located in Monroe, Louisiana and the local community college in Monore is Lousiana Delta college. The unforested portion on both sides of the Mississippi (seen on this satellite view) from about Memphis down to Vicksburg (and on the west side down to about Natchez) shows where there is basically the same physiography.

271: If it's an alluvial plain, what's shining?
There are lots of oxbow lakes and a number of delta-like channels left over from the Mississippi and Yazoo (and other rivers west) having shifted course. (Although less so in the time when anyone would be flying an airplane over it than before it began being cultivated.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:43 AM
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Where do I remember reading a line about how science tells us that the Mississippi River grows by X miles every year, which means that, by the year 2000 (this was an old piece of writing), it will extend 500 miles into the Gulf of Mexico?

Not sure where but it is not correct on several counts. Historically the delta has shifted literally every several hundred/thousand years (see map here). For instance without the intervention of the Corps of Engineers, the Atchafalaya would almot certainly now be the primary outlet about 100 miles west of the current delta). (I believe discussed here before, and of course see McPhee.) So the delta would naturally be growing, but on a broad front.

Also with dams etc. upstream the addition of sediment to the delta is decreased so some of the furthest parts of the delta have eroded (and would have done so more without further engineering projects).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:52 AM
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And speaking of music, will use this as an opportunity to link (agin I am sure) to Henry Kaiser's fabulous cover of Ode To Billy Joe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:54 AM
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Led there by Richard Williams' wonderful blog, I spent a lot of last night half-listening to Don Henley songs on YouTube and it's nice to be grownup enough to admit that I really enjoyed a whole lot of them.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 7:58 AM
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Also with dams etc. upstream the addition of sediment to the delta is decreased so some of the furthest parts of the delta have eroded (and would have done so more without further engineering projects).

Plus, the oil and gas industry have done all they could to encourage erosion, with the dredging and the pipelines and the whatnot.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:05 AM
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361: "End of the Innocence" came out just when I was falling head over heels for my HS GF, and it gave me a very weird feeling of wistful loss for a relationship that was just beginning, and would in fact last 3 1/2 more years. As a result, that song makes me nostalgic, not for the end of the relationship, but for the beginning.

OTOH, a year later I put "Tangled Up in Blue" on a mix for her, and commented that I hoped the "broke up on the docks" line would never come to pass for us, and that song does make me feel nostalgic about the end of our relationship.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:19 AM
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Chris de Burgh, anyone?

Now there's a name I haven't thought of in years. A friend of mine in HS (from drama club, because of course I was a geek) was a huge Chris de Burgh fan.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:28 AM
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I remember the summer my stepdaughter (about 13 or so) rigged up a spare turntable and speakers so she and her pals could sunbathe in the back garden while she marinated them all in the Floyd. They loved her so they ignored/tolerated it. This was about 15-18 years ago? At the end of the summer they all went to see son ridiculous teen movie about aliens taking over the teachers at some high school and all the jocks and popular kids being saved by the nerdy outcasts. During the climax battle scene on the football field they played We Don't Need No Education and she fell about loudly laughing in the theatre - alone. No one else got it. :(


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:41 AM
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336: I'm apparently a year younger than you, and I knew quite a lot of people who were keen on all three of Paul Simon and in particular Graceland, Dire Straits, and even Billy Joel - right thru the mid-90s. Just, I think, the uncool mass-market consumers of music? I can't actually count that many people I knew who didn't own at least one of them, even if in some cases it might be a purchase later regretted.


Posted by: Nasi | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:43 AM
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365: The one where you had to snort speed to be saved?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:46 AM
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I'm trying to think about what kind of pathetic fucking shit-eating moron would rank a single song on any Dire Straits album over any (thinking about it ... yes any) song on the first four Sabbath albums, or even any song on Heaven and Hell for that matter, and am feeling sad about humanity. How can people be so lame?

"Dad" rock is not simply rock that people of your Dad's age might have listened to, since we all know that a lot of older music can rock quite hard (Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club is, for example, maybe the "hardest rocking" album of all time, helped by the background sounds of a for-real riot). It's, as Ttam says, "quality" "rock" marketed specifically to appeal to people who were roughly speaking, Dads, the male equivalent of, say, Adele. Dire Straits was less in this category in the US than in Britain ("Money for Nothing" was a genuine youth hit on MTV) so better American examples would include 80s Bob Seger, Paul Simon and Phil Collins. One of the tragedies of the lamefication of everything is that a lot more music falls into this category, easiest American shorthand is "would they play this on NPR."

In the UK, punk and New Wave and NWOBHM hit like a total purge and stayed that way. In the US, it seemed like that might happen in about 1981, but in fact white-person Classic rock survived and thrived to the point that college kids in the early 90s were listening to the fucking Steve Miller Band routinely.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:52 AM
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Not where I was they weren't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:58 AM
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In any comparison of Dire Straits vs. Other Band, Dire Straits starts out 1000 points behind for their jarring use of the word "faggot"—three times!—in the song "Money for Nothing." Yeah, I get it: it's supposed to be some other dude using the word. But it doesn't work and it completely clangs.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:59 AM
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I guess that should be "white college kids." The ability of shitty middle class white people to disregard America's greatest asset, popular music, knows no bounds.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 8:59 AM
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The ability of shitty middle class white people to disregard America's greatest asset, popular music, knows no bounds

I don't get this -- I've had the impression that popular music is quite popular here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:05 AM
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368: similarly, you know what was No.1 the night I was born in 1980? Odyssey's "Give Out But Don't Give Up". I think I've said before that a huge part of the difference between the UK and the US is that we didn't give up on disco.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:06 AM
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373: That was one of the things that surprised me most when I was in England in early 90s. (The other, chewing tobacco was illegal.) They called it "house" or something, but it was clearly disco 2.0. It was more cheerful than Nirvana and the like.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:08 AM
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Don Henley must die!


Posted by: Opinionated Mojo Nixon | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:11 AM
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But then when European dance music was everywhere in the early 90s, none of it was from Britain. (Snap!, Technotronic, Real McCoy, La Bouche)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:13 AM
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I don't remember any of those.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:14 AM
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I remember the "classic rock" takeover of local radio in the late 80s/early 90s. It sort of receded during the brief flowering of "alternative" or whatever post-grunge was called. Then Clear Channel bought all of the stations and there was no longer any point to listening to the radio at all.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:19 AM
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The "I talk talk I talk to you in the night in the dreams" guy from LaBouche is arguably the fourth most famous English-speaking-with-a-German-accent guy, after Arnold, Henry Kissinger, and Colonel Klink/Sgt Schultz (counts as one).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:20 AM
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Actually, I have a question: what did a rockist in mid-'80s UK listen to?

Well, I think the boundaries between "rock" and "pop" are a bit more fluid in the UK, such that "rockist" doesn't have quite the same valence (I suppose it would be the equivalent of what is nowadays an "indie kid") but Status Quo aside, Queen maybe? Post punk? David Bowie? I mean, it's probably more about what they weren't listening too - Bananarama and such.

As for dad music, just check out a copy of Q magazine from the time. It's always been the dad music bible. To a frequently comic extent.

But then when European dance music was everywhere in the early 90s, none of it was from Britain. (Snap!, Technotronic, Real McCoy, La Bouche)

What about KLF?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:22 AM
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Bananarama was great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:23 AM
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I think I probably was conflating two ideas. The main idea was that I had a sort of primal association of a bunch of records with my own specific father, and from there they took on general qualities. So yeah, Peter Gabriel might be "dad rock" generally, but not in my childhood home. Or Billy Joel, a better example: my dad had no interest in his stuff, so for me it's generic bad music and its listeners cast into the outer darkness. (I like some cheesy Peter Gabriel tracks a lot.) That Don Henley album: yes, present in childhood home, thus is benign "dad music." And so on.

I tried listening to Sultans of Swing yesterday, and it just didn't happen. As a teenage guitarist I loved hearing it suddenly on the radio, but I think Knopfler is just too many times removed from the real blues of yore for me now. It is like tasting Green Tea Snapple after years of happily drinking lapsang souchong. You just can't. And I wholly agree that this is manufactured by capitalism, but those palate shifts *are* irreversible much of the time.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:24 AM
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"We were collectively very rockist -- we were after immortal greatness, rather than pop ephemera. (I don't know why Dire Straits fell under the first catagory, rather than the second.) "

--Short answer: because they used the word "faggot."


Posted by: (damnit jim) I'm a lurker | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:25 AM
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Ooh, thought of another one. Genesis, though arguably more so in the 70s than the mid 80s.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:29 AM
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KLF. FSOL. 808 State. Leftfield. Basement Jaxx. the Chemical Brothers. Orbital. what do you want man, blood?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:32 AM
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I"m still unhappy that oldies went away as a radio category. I guess it held on about as long as big band* did, but classic rock, and stations that are classic rock in all but name, seems to be holding on forever. The first classic rock station I knew of was 92.3 in NYC (an early home of Howard Stern), and in 1989 they would have been playing music from ~1966 to ~1981 , mostly from the first half of that range.

Near as I can tell, that range, nowadays, is ~1969 to ~1990 (I really don't listen to the station I'm primarily thinking of), but we're now well past 40 years beyond '60s rock, and 35 years past the '70s.

Will there ever be a day when mainstream rock stations don't play anything from "Exile on Main Street"? Or is the definition of a rock station a station that plays that sort of thing? I don't think the answer is "when the last Boomer dies", because I'm sure half the guys I went to HS with still want to hear that sort of thing.

*complicated by how that genre sort of split into standards and jazz, but I can't recall a station that included Glen Miller in its regular rotation after 1981 or so, so ~40 years after its heyday. The oldies station around here moved to "classic hits" in the late '90s, so 40 years after the heyday of pre-Beatles rock & roll. AM radio is different, although music on AM is just about finished.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:33 AM
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385: To be fair, some of those are more mid/late 90s than early.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:36 AM
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Is 385 to 353? Because you're listing a bunch of electronic stuff. Was there just nobody in the UK (other than U2) playing crunchy electric guitar in 1987?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:39 AM
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All righty then. Bizarre Inc! Oakenfold! Weatherall/Sabres! the whole On-U sound gang!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:39 AM
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the real blues of yore

God, I'm just so done with the blues. I mean, I don't skip Muddy Waters when he comes on the shuffle, but I don't even need to hear bluesy rock again, and I'm not sure any blues recording in the last 40 years is worthwhile.

All hyperbole, of course, but pretty true. Just burned out on the stuff.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:42 AM
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-n +r


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:43 AM
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388 -- as Ray Wylie Hubbard sings in one of his greats:

Well Ramona likes the Shiner Bock beer/and a band from Wales that's called the Alarm/she says she cried when they broke up/she plays their records down at the Snake Farm


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:43 AM
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382 last needs the "justs" removed, like that advice column said, to lend it the gravitas proper to arguments about authentic blues.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:45 AM
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I'm not surprised that some younger people know and/or listen to Graceland. A lot of stuff survives from earlier, and Graceland is a pretty good album. I'd be surprised if it was common knowledge among a majority of people in college right now, but I think "young people who listen to Paul Simon"* probably sits somewhere between "young people who listen to Pink Floyd" and "young people who listen to the Ramones" in size.

*And, let's be honest, Graceland is his best album because it's the one where he found a lot of much better musicians and then just sort of sang over top of them while they made better music than his. You can't really even credit him with the idea of fusing what he was already doing with those other styles of music. He certainly didn't come up with the idea of blending folk-rock with traditional and modern South African music, at least, and I'd be shocked if any of the other bits on that album were any more original.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:48 AM
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...he found a lot of much better musicians and then just sort of sang over top of them...

Yet when I do that, I get thrown out of the symphony.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:52 AM
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Sure, JRoth, but the guitars in Sultans are, to my ear, taking something like Peter Green as a starting point, and Green is already a gifted epigone; and the 80s production and Knopfler's grating delivery are just too much Snapple for me. It is less about what he's adulterating than about the adulteration itself.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:53 AM
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385 was to 376, I'm pretty sure.

I"m still unhappy that oldies went away as a radio category. I guess it held on about as long as big band* did, but classic rock, and stations that are classic rock in all but name, seems to be holding on forever.

Again, I don't think this is the case in the UK, although to be honest I'm not 100% on the distinction you're drawing between "oldies", "classic rock" and "classic hits", and I'm not exactly clued in to the contemporary commercial radio scene. The biggest oldies stations here have this playlist and this one, which goes back to the 60s and 50s respectively, it seems, and from a range of genres.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 9:58 AM
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397: In the US, "classic" rock more or less means "stuff that could be mistaken for Bob Seger. Oh, and the Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin are allowed too."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:07 AM
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I actually think Bob Seger is kind of unfairly treated these days, there are some really great early albums, but 80s Bob Seger is the archetype of US dad rock.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:13 AM
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As with all informal geographic assignations it is not precisely defined--most of the time it is identified per Wikipedia as the NW section of Mississippi between the Yazoo and the Mississippi

The Taint of America.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:18 AM
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Bob Seger is prefect for truck commercials.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:20 AM
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Yeah, I don't think that there's any mainstream station in the UK that would play 70s rock but wouldn't play, say, the Beatles.

Though someone like ttaM is probably in a better position to judge.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:21 AM
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388: Dredging up memories of what my less pious friends from university were listening to: The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, Big Country, The Alarm.

Does Elvis Costello count as classic rock? King of America is one of the albums that even I loved in the mid-80s, and which has worn really well.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:23 AM
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Does Elvis Costello count as classic rock?

Probably does now, he was New Wave at the time. Sic transit gloria mundi.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:25 AM
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The Go-Go's were the best, but they trained lots of people to use apostrophes too often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:30 AM
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398: classic rock stations around here play pearl jam now.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:39 AM
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221, 359:

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period,' just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.


Posted by: Opinionated Mark Twain | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:44 AM
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400: More like the prostate, no? The taint would be the Florida panhandle.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 10:59 AM
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Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen.

The Treme of the future, today! Well, a while ago I guess. But that only makes it more impressive!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:04 AM
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re: 390

I'm basically with you on that. I got a few incredulous comments from Alameida last time I mentioned I don't really like blues. By which I meant that I like all the (mostly black, mostly American) genres of music that descended from the blues, but not much blues-simpliciter. I'm a moderately obsessive soul and jazz fan, but blues as a genre was burnt out 40 or more years ago, and the people that really like it are often just people who like white guys wanking on guitar.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:06 AM
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re: 388

A fair bit of heavy-ish rock, but mostly appealing to rock/metal fans, and a fair bit of indie-influenced music was fairly guitar-centric. But really, Brit-pop (early 90s) was the big revival of guitar-orientated 'rockist' music.*

* not really fair on bands like Pulp, or even Blur, who weren't particular rockist in bent, and even a bit unfair on Noel Gallagher at least, who was always reasonably vocal about his love of some dance music, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:09 AM
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"blues as a genre was burnt out 40 or more years ago, and the people that really like it are often just people who like white guys wanking on guitar."

This is true.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:14 AM
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Mentioning of oldies stations reminds me of the stations that used to play stuff like Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, The Carpenters, The Association, etc, when I was a kid in the 70s (WCBS FM among others IIRC). I hated that stuff at the time but like it all quite a bit now. Nostalgia maybe? I don't think it qualifies as "Dad music" though my dad played it in the car at the time. My dad's music was doo-wop and other 50s music like Elvis. And "Dad music" I think of as Billy Joel and Phil Collins. Ghastly shit, then now and always.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:17 AM
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These reports of blues being 40 years dead are depressing me. I figured there was plenty of good stuff and I didn't know where to look. Can I at least get an amen that Mark Knopfler is not a vast improvement on the entire canon of blues artists from 1920 to 1970? I'm getting worried here.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:27 AM
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414 Amen. Dude's a wanker.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:30 AM
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Marc Maron's interview with Richard Thompson featured the latter being politely noncommittal in response to the former's question about whether or not Knopfler totally bit his style.

However, I like both "Sultans of Swing" and "Romeo and Juliet", and even "Brothers in Arms", sentimental though they all are.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:34 AM
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Huh. I never knew bassist extraordinaire Sara Lee was a Brit


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:36 AM
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414: I barely associate him with the blues. I mean, I get that he's in the tradition, but c'mon.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:37 AM
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370, 383 also, "chicks for free." Gross.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:40 AM
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370, 383 also, "chicks for free." Gross.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:40 AM
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407: Thanks! I wanted to say Twain, but I couldn't remember enough of it to have any sense of whether it was his style.

The biggest oldies stations here have this playlist and this one, which goes back to the 60s and 50s respectively, it seems, and from a range of genres.

Those playlists are more era/style diverse than you'll find on a (typical) USian station that describes itself as a genre. We do have these "play anything" stations, which kind of live up to it, as long as "anything" doesn't include hip hop or metal, and probably not a representative sample of R&B either (that type came up once before, and someone claimed they just play white music, but that's not the case in my city), but those are explicitly not era-defined.

"Oldies" means "between Chuck Berry and Sgt. Pepper, plus Motown before it got too funky". "Classic hits" is poppier than classic rock, and is pretty similar to the first playlist you link, but, again, narrower in time spectrum. Since "oldies" covers a time when pop and rock weren't meaningfully different, when the station aged out of mostly playing '50s/early '60s stuff, they needed a name that denoted, "don't worry, no hippie music or hard rock." Thus, classic hits.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 11:50 AM
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418: but most of my comments were specifically about "Sultans of Swing," remember. I am actually listening to the song now because I started to wonder in the midst of this if I'd been tripping and it really was all about baseball. I think I was a little unfair; he gets some sweet double stops in. But I'd still rather watch that Son House video upthread one more time, or hear "Smokestack Lightning" one more time, or hear either the original or the Rhiannon Giddens cover of "Last Kind Words," on and on and on.

I do think the riff in "Money for Nothing" is worthy of a better song, and I hope in the last 30 years it has found a few new homes.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:00 PM
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I think of Knopfler as pulling more from that sort of flashy, sort of somewhat influenced by blues and jazz, style of country playing that comes from Chet Atkins. Lots of double stops, short sustain, not much in the way of bending. They've certainly played together, more than once, and I can hear a fair bit of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSdThfseSkQ&t=3m40s

And funnily enough, here he is with some other British/white guys playing with Scotty Moore, who I'd guess is another influence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy5nVCE-WvY


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:21 PM
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I like blues music and Mark Knopfler and never considered that they had anything to do with each other. But I must realize that there's more to blues influence than writing songs in the time-honored blues formula. "Song from Sonny Liston" from 2004 came to mind when Chet Atkins was mentioned.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:37 PM
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OT: Do laptops not come with power cords anymore?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:42 PM
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I love Sultans of Swing. And Les Boys.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:47 PM
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Never mind 425. I was asking for a friend who has since had a better look in the box.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:48 PM
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Yeah I may have backed into a confession of my lack of sympathy for other older forms, but that's a totally fair point about Atkins; and I've made quite a lot out of a knee-jerk reaction to 45 seconds of one song because I was taken aback by the responses. I used to like it! Not so much yesterday, apparently.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 12:53 PM
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I was asking for a friend who has since had a better look in the box.

Ah, we all remember the days of our youth, back before we had a good look inside the box, when we had to pretend we were "asking for a friend."


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:00 PM
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410. Corey Harris, Junior Kimbrough (or RL Burnside-- the Fat Possum recordings of these guys are a new direction rather than nostalgic retread), Vieux Farka Toure are all doing much more than imitation or nostalgia. I'm not crazy about everything she does, but Valerie June is another new voice off the top of my head.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:01 PM
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However, musical education is no excuse for leading someone to watch a Chet Atkinized version of "Walk of Life." I'm going to focus entirely on work crawl off into a hole and die now. Thank you all for a lovely time.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:03 PM
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Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside are great, but they both died more than 10 years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:10 PM
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422: And the high-pitched chorus is in a better song.

I love Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler.. That live version of Telegraph Road is so good.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:11 PM
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This one, although it's missing a few minutes at the beginning.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:14 PM
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430 to 414 as well. You could do worse than checking out Fat Possum-- I knew RL Burnside, found other stuff I liked from their unusual late recordings of him.

Or say Steve Earle-- more traditional. not experimenting the way some of these other recordings are, but he also seems to be interested in doing more than say Buddy Guy has been doing for a while, to perhaps unkindly name someone talented who has embraced stasis.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:19 PM
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Hey hey, lw is on it. I was going to mention Junior Kimbrough, who I think of as a true innovator in the blues. Corey Harris and Alvin Youngblood Hart are very good, but not really original in the way Kimbrough was. So maybe the blues mostly died in the late 90s.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:24 PM
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I'm not claiming that new blues is thriving enough to produce something fabulous and novel every 5 years, rather a) responding to the claim that it died 40 years ago and b) pointing to some interesting recordings that are not nostalgia, not aimed at guys interested in BB King retreads.

But point taken.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:25 PM
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I'm glad that some people are even more moralistic about music than I am.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:28 PM
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Another good label for new stuff in the blues is Alligator Records.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:30 PM
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Often do I find myself listening to the public radio blues show. The new stuff is mostly things that could have been recorded at any time in the past 40 years, but the blues establishment also appears to be banking a lot of the future on a guy named Jarekus Singleton whose sound is slightly different. I see now that he is on Alligator Records.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:54 PM
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Huh, I missed the music thread.

[Dad rock . . .] the male equivalent of, say, Adele

I think that's a pretty good way to describe it. I like a fair amount of that music, but I know what you're talking about.

By which I meant that I like all the (mostly black, mostly American) genres of music that descended from the blues, but not much blues-simpliciter.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. (Though I'm also not a big fan of notably bluesy rock music -- e.g., the Rolling Stones), and I'm not quite sure why. I recognize that it's good music, it just doesn't attract me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 1:55 PM
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The air freshener lady's interview with Richard Thompson is one of radio's unintentionally hilarious gems. She is such a loony fan girl during the whole thing and he is very kind to her.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:29 PM
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Air freshener lady? Oh, har har. Yes, quite. Well, who wouldn't be a loony fan girl.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:38 PM
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Though I cringe imagining the particular inflection she likely gave to her lunacy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:38 PM
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442: Right before Liane (?) Hansen retired from NPR, she got to interview Ray Davies, apparently a career-long dream, and she was a complete fangirl, and he was very kind as well.

I very much enjoy when media pros let their inner child out.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:42 PM
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My aforementioned favorite artist of the '90s was clearly a blues guy (he had a couple noisey albums that were pretty far from the blues, but I can't say that's how I love him best), so it's not quite blues delenda est for me (and I like Valerie June quite a bit; wanted to go see her 11 days ago, couldn't).

It's more the "BB King retreads", but it's also the blues-rock thing, that specific flavor that is very traditional structure, dull lyrics, and then a solo that's supposed to be the good part. Ick.

One of the things I appreciate about Jethro Tull is that they started out in the Brit-blues vein, but then Ian Anderson decided that he really didn't have much connection to the lives and experiences of black guys from the American south, and should perhaps explore other avenues.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 2:50 PM
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I found it hilarious in that just this side of cringingly unlistenable. Admittely I have low tolerance for her in general. That said her shows with and about Susanna McCorkle make me dissolve in tears.

McCorkle I treasure immensely for her musicianship but sometimes find painful bc of intonation issues. I'm annoyingly picky!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 3:02 PM
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. . . then a solo that's supposed to be the good part

I was just listening to some of the Albert King / Stevie Ray Vaughan album and, as somebody who doesn't generally like electric blues, it's pretty good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 3:12 PM
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The blues thing, for me, I think, is partly about the relatively narrow harmonic and melodic forms that are part of the 'canon' of blues. Which, when imitated and imitated and imitated going back decades, end up just being a bit empty. The influence of the 60s Brit blues boom guys [interesting of their time] is long and pernicious, especially in the UK, where there are still a lot of 'blues' bands on the pub circuit, and I've seen dozens and dozens of them.

That's not to say that a bit of gonzo high octane blues guitar can't be fun sometimes, or that there aren't still good/interesting people making blues albums but overall, meh.

It's a bit like gypsy jazz, which is another genre that's fun, but which is ultimately imitation [like turtles] all the way down. There remain great players, making entertaining music, but it's a bit of a heritage exercise most of the time.

So, here's one of the more interesting of the last couple of decades of players [this is a trad tune, but he does less trad stuff]:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7UHmKfUAu8

and here's one of the more gonzo guys, who is hilariously entertaining, but ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPW3yYEqM1w

[this is another entry in the 'you can't play like this' stakes for the Unfogged guitar players]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 3:54 PM
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Too true re gypsy jazz, but Grapelli's soundtrack for Milou en mai is lovely.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:01 PM
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"Blues" on current playlist, listening last night/tonight

Cliff Bruner...just kidding. Ok, for reference assume its old stuff

Little Walter and Otis Rush
Long John Hunter
Luther Allison
Toots Thielemans (?)
Paul Butterfield
Taj Mahal
Lurrie Bell
Blues Package
Omar & Howlers
Alisa Jones (?)
Big Joe & Dinaflows
Count Basie - Cafe Society Blues
Bonnie Raitt
Mississippi John Hurt
Bobby Bland
Jimmy Witherspoon
Nora Jean Bruso
Lonnie Pitchford
Preacher Boy & Natural Blues
Neville Brothers

(about 40-50% of what I listen to, not counting real jazz and soul)

Judge Me!!!! I'm a masochist!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:27 PM
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Ttam, sorry for being childishly rude. I actually did appreciate the "lesson", as I always do. It's not your fault that it had some kind of extreme kryptonite effect on me.

Anyway, seriously, the juke joint chapter of Lost Highway is great. Have you read it, NickS? I wouldn't say I am a huge blues listener or anything (as may be obvious?) but I do seem to play it a lot, so think of it as a living language.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:45 PM
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So, Cory Wells.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:50 PM
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Sorry, Alisa Jones is bluegrass. Left out Woody Guthrie and Django Reinhardt.

Won't talk of the ways I relate/connect "blues" to:

Old English folk/bluegrass/Amer Real Country/60s English folk/electric folk Sandy Denny/psychedelic music and acid folk

Listening to Kind of Blue or Sorcerer can I hear Jean Ritchie modal ballads? Did Miles listen to it at the time? Is this heresy or racism?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 4:58 PM
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Folk Baroque

Mode

"Traditional folk music provides countless examples of modal melodies. For example, Irish traditional music makes extensive usage not only of the major mode, but also the Mixolydian, Dorian, and Aeolian modes"

Oh well. Back to Sabbath vs Simon vs Knopfler.

Looked up 1986 in music albums but couldn't find final sales: Streisand, Patti Labelle, Sade, Whitney Huston, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Lionel Richie were up there. Do you know who you people are?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-21-15 5:26 PM
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re: 452.1

I didn't think it was childish or rude. Strongly held opinions re: music are fun, even when as wrong as any wrong thing ever was, like Walt in 337.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-15 3:53 AM
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Did Miles listen to it at the time?

Almost certainly not. Miles was pretty vocal about who his influences were, and he basically hated almost everything and everyone.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-15 3:58 AM
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