CharleyCarp writes: I can't say I find the framing of the article all that interesting -- OK, it's fine that he helped the kid learn about music and life, but the article somehow didn't get me to actually care -- but Miller himself seems like an interesting example of a type. How much can he really enjoy playing the same songs night after night? Pays the rent, obviously.
The best thing about reading this last night, though, is that it reminded me to listen to Boz Scaggs playing Baby's Calling Me Home (which Scaggs wrote while he was in the Miller band) and then Sweet Release from the June 30, 1971 Fillmore West concert. Both, but especially the first, illustrate a future that might have been regarding the use of brass in rock music. Maybe one of you smarter people can speculate concerning why Sweet Release isn't more solidly in the Classic Rock canon.
Heebie's take: I think of Steve Miller as being the very first musician that I loathed after loving, in that special self-loathing "how could I have been so dumb" way. I was probably 14 or 15 when I realized I loathed him.
Now I put him in the same category as Journey and Joe Walsh, and I can't tell anymore if other people see them as terrible musicians or kitschy or what. I basically don't enjoy any of them but can't muster the intensity of loathing, either.
I'm coming up empty today. The only note I had was to see if any of you could generate the name of a childhood game I used to play. It was a solo game with a ball and a wall, where you had seven tasks that you had to get through without making a mistake. Then each round, you had to do the same seven tasks with a new wrinkle introduced, increasing difficulty. I played it a lot around 6th grade - it was fairly easy and I found it meditative to work through the levels.
Then I googled and found out it's called 7-up. So that was easily resolved, which unfortunately is not exactly what I wanted, since I didn't have anything else to post.
I recently read the first book in the Great Brain series with my kids, which I loved as a kid. Boy have they aged weirdly. (Related because there were tons of old-timey games in them - One-O-Cat, Duck on a Rock, Jackass Leapfrog, etc.)
In one chapter, Andy Anderson has lost his leg due to gangrene after stepping on a rusty nail in an old barn that they weren't supposed to be playing in, and so he'd hid his injury until blood poisoning set in and they had to amputate. He wears a peg leg and can't do his chores anymore or play with other kids. The narrator, JD, finds Andy sobbing one day and Andy explains that he wants to die because he's plumb useless. JD agrees that he'd also want to die if he were plumb useless, and so he'll help Andy commit suicide since he's such a good friend.
They really go the extra mile trying to kill Andy, all while talking about what a great friend JD is, to do this for him. They tie Andy up in a burlap sack and roll him off a diving board into a freezing river (because that's how you kill kittens), but the sack breaks when it hits the water. (My kids: Do they really kill kittens like that?? Me: Would you like me to tell you a small lie to feel better? Them: Yes. Me: No, no one would ever do that.) They put a noose around his neck, throw it over a rafter and tie it to a pole, and set Andy on JD's brother's horse, and then whack the horse over and over again, trying to get it to run. (The horse just gets madder and madder, but won't run.) (Eventually they're discovered by The Great Brain and the chapter changes course.)
I am not entirely sure that when I read the books the first time through, I realized what a morally unreliable person JD is. I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to think critically about what the narrator was telling me about what a great friend he is. It sure was an odd read with my own kids, but they seemed to like it.
1. Parodie writes: Did you see that they tried and failed to replicate the marshmallow test results? Essentially, if you control for background, the longitudinal effects disappear.
Heebie's take: Seems about right for the era of the reproducibility crisis. Every result that seemed cute and pithy should be suspect.
2. The first and third kittens were not painful at all, with a couple ibuprofen. The second kitten was a bit more, but tolerable. The last kitten was excruciating, on my ribs. Holy mackerel.
Today is Daddy Cat, same spot as the last kitten, on the opposite side. I'm kind of panicking. I've got some old rxs for tramadol and codeine (but I don't want to be dopey there, and eventually I'll have to drive home, although I can hang out in Austin if I need to.)
Mossy Character writes: NYT:
the group's dissolution "brings to an end the ethnonationalist wave of terrorism that started with the anti-colonialist violence of the second half of the 20th century."Presumably there are exceptions (most obviously the PKK, depending on one's definitions) but impressionistically this looks true, and interesting. From a paper comparing ETA and the IRA:
bombs that went off in two pubs in Birmingham on 21 November 1974, killing 19 people [...] the IRA denied responsibility. Likewise, ETA did not claim responsibility for the bomb that exploded in a restaurant in 1974 killing 13 [...] Terrorist organizations can survive as long as they do not completely alienate their existing and potential supporters.Whereas with transnational terrorists the public they propagandize is often global, not local.* So for instance IS violence in Europe may have operational costs in alienating European Muslims, but not necessarily strategic costs in terms of global mobilization.
*Where it was local, as in Iraq and Syria, IS and AQI alienated their publics pretty quickly.
Heebie's take: Things fall apart?
This latest stuff about separating children from parents and photos of children behind chain-link little cages is really nauseating. What should an average podunk citizen even do, besides angrily type into the abyss of the web her strongly worded opinions? Aside from the obstacles inherent in finding the will to be an activist, I don't even know what I could be doing.
What I'm trying to say, clunkily, is that I'm generally a pretty sorry activist, but this feels like the kind of crime against humanity where we're all complicit because we know it's happening.