Assorted links

1. Ted Gioia’s 100 favorite albums of 2012, excellent list.

2. Portrait of Maria Popova, appreciator (a real word of praise), and in her spirit credit card prototype up for auction.

3. John Adams reviews Camille Paglia, too harsh but “cross-star” reviews are often interesting (and often too harsh).

4. The war against music in northern Mali.

5. Big spider eats two birds (video).

6. Sundry observations from Scott Sumner.

Comments

Tyler, are you aware of rateyourmusic? If not, then you must become aware. Its potential for music discovery, preference aggregation etc., are unrivalled on the internet.

Particularly good: the ability to add users as friends, then create charts out of only their preferences, which can be manipulated to look just at particular years/decades, genres (democratic genre system), types of release (EP, single, album, compilation, bootleg, live album, archival album), place of origin etc.

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I think we should all stop using Google Spotlight as a guide to finding interesting articles.

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6. One of SS's observations: "People in Washington seem to worship power." I understand what it must be to experience this in a concrete way (he was talking about the anticipation for Hillary Clintons' appearance), but this is not really an astounding deduction.

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"5. Big spider eats two birds (video)."

If you actually wanted me to click on that, you should have labelled it "Adorable kitten plays with toys".

Yeah, I hovered my mouse over it and then decided I wanted to be able to go into my attic without having a panic attack. I'll pass.

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I assume everyone here knows that video is fake. It's about as authentic as the 1993 B movie Carnosaur.

Doesn't matter; still terrifying.

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Are we going to get your pop/world music list for 2012?

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#1: how can you be sure you like something when you like everything? "Best albums of the year are not about music".....Hanson would say.

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#5 Top comment is completely 100% accurate.

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The lack of hip hop on that list (#1) is a quite a statement, whether or not Ted realized he was making it...

Also a total absence of electronic music, while finding room for endless saxophone noodling and indie rock retreads.

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I'm guessing in 40 years this list will contain tasteful college graduates doing acoustic versions of "Bands a Make Her Dance" and "Drank in My Cup".

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The statement "Star Wars, a creation that, for all the enjoyment it may have afforded us in our youth, has all the soul and emotional resonance of a video game and ponders the mystery of our existence at the level of a toddler," is perhaps the most myopic and uninformed string of words I've read, heard, or uttered since Steve Ballmer panned the iPhone. I suppose somebody, somewhere must have said something like "there cannot be Chinese poems because I do not know how to read any Chinese languages," but I missed it. One of the first emotionally engaging video games I ever played was, gasp!, a Star Wars game. And worse, a sequel! Innovating in new spaces, conveying new ideas and new ways of looking at things in media is sort of what video games are doing better than anything else right now. I suspect Mr. Adams is too busy chasing kids off his lawn by screaming Kafka at them in Czech-accented German to garner it, but the odds are at least one of those kids has had a rich cultural experience in gaming that Mr. Adams will, sadly, never know or even acknowledge.

Grow up. Kafka's stories and classical Chinese poetry are part of the humanity's artistic legacy. Star Wars video games are mostly mediocre even within the juvenile genre of video games. Kids today are having few rich cultural experiences, as evidenced by the fact that youth today are visibly the least creative in generations. Every previous generation of youth generated major new sub-cultures, musical genres, and new modes of fashion. Today, we have hipsters, an affected style of dress and music that's so old at this point, that today's youth were in elementary school when it emerged.

"even within the juvenile genre of video games"

Video games are well beyond juvenile. At least in any reasonable conception of the word. You might as well classify all of modern sports or music as juvenile. And maybe you do, but at that point you've twisted the word juvenile beyond comprehension.

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For a franchise based on movies, the Star Wars games released after 1992 or so have been shockingly good.

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You know that Scott Sumner has made it when his "sundry observations" get a link!

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