October 18, 2004

friends of mine who must have sunlight they say a suntan never fails

* Top ten conservative idiots (third debate edition). excerpt:

"2. Spittle and Smirk
There's no question that Bush seemed somewhat calmer during the third debate than he did during his two previous encounters with Senator Kerry. There is, however, a question which needs answering: what the hell was so funny?

Dubya spent the entire debate with a shit-eating grin on his face that frankly seemed quite out of place considering the seriousness of the subjects brought up for discussion. While Kerry spoke, George stared across at him with a strange, twisted smirk on his face - and if the smirk was a plot intended to reassure voters by reminding them that their president wasn't a) the stumbling buffon they'd seen during the first debate, or b) the PCP-enhanced turbo-prez they'd seen during the second, the plot failed.

When it was George's turn to speak, he answered every question with the same bizarre grin. Bin Laden? Chortle. Abortion? Beam. Unemployment? Simper. And as the New York Times reported, 'Yet even his smile was askew for about half the debate, marred by a glistening light dot at the right corner of his mouth. Viewers could be forgiven for losing track of his answers and imagining Laura Bush in the front row in frantic semaphore, wiping furiously at the corner of her own mouth.'

"If the voters tuned in to this debate hoping for some inspiration from George W. Bush, it must have been something of a disappointment to witness the spectacle of a drooling president whose response to the devastating failures of his domestic policies was 'don't worry, be happy.'

"Perhaps that's why CBS's scientific poll of undecided voters showed Kerry the winner by 39% to 25%, CNN's showed Kerry the winner by 52% to 29%, and ABC's showed Kerry the winner by 42% to 41% (which isn't quite so impressive until you find out that ABC's polling group was 38% Republican, 30% Democratic)."

* Montreal Gazette on how the ipod has changed listening habits.
[via largehearted boy] excerpt:

"If you're among the tens of millions of North Americans who've decided that music doesn't end when you get out of college, the iPod is a little revolution. The ability to pack a truckload of sounds into a gizmo smaller and sleeker than a deck of cards offers avid students of music a treasure trove of possibilities. Because it compresses great swatches of musical time frames and eras, 1944 or 1964 or 1984 are as close at hand as 2004. In comparing styles and demarcation points, the iPod is a musical time-travel fetishist's dream come true."
...
"The deeply interior personalization of the iPod experience can lead to a strange kind of concentration, fostering an appreciation of the ways musicians touch, stab at, shape, bend, caress a note, phrase or riff. The test of a great piece of music: The more you listen, the more you find. There are only so many hours in a day, but the iPod (and supporting media) offers the illusion that you can hear it all wherever you are.

"Too much of a good thing? For chronic-obsessive short-attention spans? The fetishization of music? It's all in what you make of it. It might be fairly said that when music becomes a convenience, its power is diminished. And there is nothing like experiencing live music in the here and now. But music doesn't need defending - only hearing - and there's no one way to hear the music. To prescribe perimeters to listening is to fall into the kind of elitism the iPod was invented to vaporize."

* 10 things you should never buy used. 10 things you should never buy new. [via freakgirl]

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