Monthly Archives: June 2007

Boomer reflections on the Hippie Era? Count me out.

I wish the authors of these Boomer disavowals would just replace his “There were” and ‘they’s with an honest ‘I’.

[T]here were gentle people, awash in new ideas, fresh attitudes, boundless energy and free love. There were also grimy, seedy, drug-addled loners and drifters who used the spirit of the Summer of Love as an excuse to avoid responsibility. There were all kinds, who gathered at the epicenter that was San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. That’s what happens when tumult envelops a nation with a population at the time of about 200 million…

That’s what what?

But the Summer of Love was about a mindset, which lingers today in both the idealistic twentysomethings of 1967 who are now wistful sixtysomethings, and in the heirs to that revolution of thinking and behavior. The Summer of Love continues, fresh flowers and all.

Methinks thou doth project too much.

We see the Boomers without your personal emotional investment in that moment and that revolution. The new platforms for community and networking popular among our generation are a backlash or counterpoint to 1960s youth movements, leveraging your successes, trying not to perpetuate your failures. We are not a mirror, or a monolith, and we are not your heirs.

For a more thorough perspective on our generation worldviews, see the Pew survey on young voters which points to several fault lines and details a real libertarian streak among younger Americans.


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How to rationalize not buying an iPhone

I love myPod but if this is what it takes, I’ll wait to upgrade, thank you very much.

Scholars and Rogues offers more useful rationalizations. For frustrated consumers:

[W]hen you sign up for an iPhone, you’re not just getting a phone from Apple–you’re locking yourself into a two-year exclusive contract with AT&T, the sole carrier of the iPhone at present. The phone carries a hefty price tag, and you’ll incur an equally nasty $175 termination fee if you decide to break your contract early. Most people I know don’t have the scratch to pay as much as $675 for testing a phone, so you’re pretty much stuck with it.

And for activists:

And that means for the next two years or so, your bills are going to support a company that is turning over your calling records to the government without your knowledge or consent. AT&T also provided extensive assistance to the NSA in developing and facilitating its massive illegal wiretapping initiative, which violates everything from FISA to the Constitution.

Not to mention, it might not work:

You finally get your iPhone (after maybe waiting HOURS) and what happens during activation? Error city! Many people are reporting various errors… the one I have seen a couple of times is the following:

We’re sorry, AT&T has determined that your current account cannot be used with the iPhone.

Other people are seeing this error:

Your activation requires additional time to complete.

Somewhere, PC Guy is smiling smugly. His army rejoices:

Now granted I am sure Apple tech support is extremely busy however it would seem this is just a minor (little sarcasm there) oversight on Apples part…

If you have Windows Vista 64bit edition (possibly Winsows XP 64bit) [sic] and would like to use your iPhone in combination with iTunes, forget it! At least for the time being. I could reinstall Windows XP or Vista 32 bit I guess, but then again I shouldn’t have too!

Still, I’ve got a feeling this will be the eventual C.W.

The other American cellular companies are in big trouble.

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Back from our break, still runnin amok

Listen to our debut EP

The Run Amok EP

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The Primo Dons shun UK TV tenor Paul Potts

“Britain’s Got Talent” names a salesman cum opera tenor the winner of its competition, and opera critics respond by hashing the victor, 36-year old Paul Potts of Wales:

“Mr. Potts is the sort of bog-standard tenor to be found in any amateur opera company in any corner of the country,” wrote Philip Hensher in The Independent of London. “His tuning was all over the place; his voice sounded strained and uncontrolled; his phrasing was stubby and lumpy; he made a constipated approximation only of the fluid sound of the Italianate tenor.”

None of the Four Tenors made it to the final round of five, so lucky for Potts, the bar was lower than what his critics are holding him to.

Judge for yourself:

I think he’s pretty solid for an amateur, not powerful to listen to, but powerful to watch. He strains and trembles through the song without looking phony. He’s genuinely trying too hard to be acting. He hangs tough through the verse, and only starts to strain on the memorable refrain. His high register isn’t powerful like a lot of opera singers, so he can’t kill the finale section. But he’s singing with all his heart, and he puts on a powerful performance.

By appearances, the variety among the five British finalists was pretty impressive. But Potts stood out by being against type: a workman amateur throwback opera lover (possibly the last one) earnestly singing his way through a pop music format with the support of an audience that doesn’t do opera.

Here’s the aria as traditionally performed by Luciano Pavarotti:

“Nobody can sing ‘Nessun dorma’ and really do it justice unless with it they have 5, 10 years of experience,” said Herbert Breslin, Pavarotti’s former longtime manager. “If they want to have a totally inexperienced, untrained voice sing ‘Nessun dorma’ and the audience is going to fall off its feet, it’s ridiculous. But that’s the way things are in the modern age.”

He dismissed TV as a serious forum for opera. For all he cares, Mr. Breslin said, “they can shoot a tenor out of a cannon.”

You’d think the opera industry would take any popular attention they can get these days.

Pott’s critics aren’t wrong on the substance, they’re wrong on the thrust. Rather than seize on his victory as proof of opera’s enduring power as an art form, these purists bemoan it as bastardizing something in their custody. Potts isn’t singing for the same ears as Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli. I’m as surprised as you, but apparently there’s an audience for operatic music among people who don’t like the trappings and custodians of opera.

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Sweden v. Metallica (Parts I & II)

Sweden declares heavy metal a public health problem:

A Swedish man is to receive sickness benefits for his addiction to heavy metal music.

The lifestyle of 42-year-old dishwasher Roger Tullgren from Hässleholm in southern Sweden has been classified as a disability by the Swedish Employment Service, which has agreed to pay part of Tullgren’s salary, and his new boss has given him special dispensation to play loud music at work.

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Apparently disabled is no longer a medical term. This guy sounds like real employee of the month material. They’re lucky to have him.

Tullgren says he has always had difficulty holding down a job, mainly because he is absent most of the time.


Only two month ago, a Swedish couple petitioned their government to name their daughter, Metallica.

In Sweden, both first names and surnames have to be officially approved. On the banned list are “offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate” titles, as well as those which might “cause discomfort for the one using it”.

Michael and Karolina Tomaro have already baptised the six-month-old headbanger but, despite a ruling by Goteburg’s County Administrative Court that there was “no reason to block the name”, came unstuck when they “tried to register the name with tax authorities before applying for a passport”. Officials didn’t much like the Metallica tag, and sent the case to a higher court for consideration.

Karolina Tomaro bemoaned: “We’ve had to cancel trips and can’t get anywhere because we can’t get her a passport without an approved name.”

Which proves, once again, that Swedes love metal.

Worst Lullabye Ever:

Later that month, the government relented. The Metallica Tomaro World Tour can proceed as planned.

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The Wall Street Journal analyzes the nascent baby-naming industry helping parents brand their newborns.

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Help this lady find stripper music

Don’t hate, it’s for an aerobics class.

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Morocco’s Hip Hop Revolution

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More examples of hip hop’s growing international influence, this time in Morocco:

Audiences scream and shout in frenzied anticipation for Morocco’s rap bands to perform. Moroccan rap artists are taking the local music scene by storm in what can only be described as a bona fide phenomenon reflecting the voices of the country’s younger generation.

Al Akef explained that ‘rap’ music fundamentally relies on street “lingo” that express the socially and economically repressed conditions of a particular segment of society, which is why this type of music is prevalent in the marginalized neighborhoods and districts. He compared it to the roots of rap and hip-hop in Harlem and the Bronx in the US, and French rap that originated in France’s poor suburbs [les banlieues, French rap is often referred to as the voice of the banlieues]. According to al Akef, French and American rap has a huge audience and moreover has a significant impact on social, and even political, life. Al Akef maintains that such artists and performers possess an awareness, which he contrasts with Moroccan rap performers. Al Akef believes that the content of Moroccan rap is vacant and full of slander, pessimism and vile language.

Sounds familiar.

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