A small victory.

Was it just yesterday I went off on Rant 13B at lunch? That is, Why The Hell Is Facebook Worth $96 Billion? Probably. I deliver it roughly every other week. I don’t get it — a few ads on the sidebar for weight loss? How does it add up?

The only thing I can figure is, the data and privacy and all the rest of it we share with them, so willingly and unthinkingly, is worth a lot. A LOT.

Over time, I’ve been trimming my Facebook apps to the bare minimum I need to interact with people I want to interact with. I’ve had to resist stuff like Words With Friends, but given my problems resisting crap like Angry Birds, that’s probably a pretty good thing. But by doing so, I’ve been spared the mortifying — to me, anyway — updates I get on what everybody’s reading, delivered via “social reader” apps. Did I need to know my friend’s wife has a fondness for Kardashian news? No. Did Famous Journalist really check out a story about Kate Upton’s breasts? Shudder.

Still, there’s a sense, every time I run through my news feed, that I’m selling all my information short.

So it’s with joy, real joy, that I read that social readers are collapsing — the Washington Post’s, but also the Guardian’s and others. There’s a nominal explanation from the WashPost, something about Facebook modules, whatever they are, and I guess it’s plausible. But I can’t help but hope there’s something to it. I love the WashPost like few other newspapers– er, “content providers,” but there has to be a limit. I’ll register at their site, and they can presumably track what I’m reading there, but Mark Zuckerberg can kiss my bum. From casual observation, my opinion isn’t a minority view.

Sharing is one thing. Window-peeping is quite another.

Social media is essential for journalists, but man, I wish it weren’t.

Any “Mad Men” fans in da house? Of course there are. Any guesses as to what it cost to land the rights to “Tomorrow Never Knows” for last night’s episode? (And may I just say, what a great choice. My favorite on “Revolver,” and I didn’t know until today that the things that sound like seagulls in the first few seconds are actually tape squeals. Learn something new every day, etc.) A quarter-mil. Yikes.

We have a local story unfolding here, yet more of the endless corruption shenanigans in local government. Long story short: An overpaid county development officer left her job last fall, willingly, pocketing a year’s salary as severance, which would merely be wrong and appalling, except that the county is bankrupt and laying off less fortunate employees. A few raised a stink, which became a big stink, and throughout it all, this particular development officer has stuck her elegant nose in the air and refused to apologize for any of it, other than to say she deserved every penny because she worked so hard.

Over the weekend the Freep broke a story about some of the outside jobs she held, for alleged nonprofits that existed mainly to guide even more dollars into her overflowing pockets:

Turkia Awada Mullin had only one Cadillac, but she had two monthly car allowances to pay for it.

One was for $500 from her $200,000-a-year job as chief development officer of Wayne County. The other was for $500 or $600 — she couldn’t quite remember — paid by the Wayne County Regional Jobs and Economic Growth Foundation, one of several nonprofit groups Mullin headed in addition to her county job.

Did she really need $1,000 a month to run her car? Mullin was asked last month.

“I think it’s more than that with the mileage I put on it,” she said.

Poor, poor, greedy, greedy baby.

The tower of Monday has been scaled. Let’s hope the rest of the week goes more smoothly.

Posted at 12:27 am in Current events, Media, Popculch |

67 responses to “A small victory.”

  1. MaryRC said on May 8, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I was surprised at first to hear that “Mad Men” paid Apple Corps for the rights to the song, and not Sony (which as I understand it acquired the Beatles’ publishing catalogue by helping Michael Jackson pay off his debts). I gather that Apple still has the recording rights while Sony has the publishing rights, if I have that correct.

    I met someone (a friend of a friend of a friend) who used to work for Apple Corps in London. She worked there in the mid-70s, after the Beatles broke up, and was a friend of May Pang with whom John Lennon had a mid-life-crisis affair. Her apartment was full of items with the Apple logo on them — Lucite coffee tables and vases, etched mirrors — and I was told later that she had just helped herself to them. Five-finger discount, so to speak. The Apple Corps business ventures were notorious for this. I guess now someone’s keeping better track of the money.

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  2. alex said on May 8, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Glad I haven’t given up the ghost to Facebook other than a false identity I use in the course of my employment for the purpose of espionage. (I’m not selling people’s information, just using it against them when it contradicts their civil tort claims.) I can’t imagine what would make Facebook worth that much money, but I do recall when Elliott Spitzer busted the brokerages for peddling stocks like AOL while touting triple-A ratings and values that bore no relationship whatsoever to the company’s assets.

    Other than my father, I didn’t think there was another person in the entire world who shared my name until I came across a Facebook page with my name on it, evidently that of someone in Germany, with utterly putrid tastes in American music and television. I told Nance that I need to start my own page in order to defend my honor. Still haven’t gotten around to it though.

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  3. Deborah said on May 8, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Speaking of Mad Men, my husband thinks the elevator shaft scene was a reference to Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Megan was being compared to the mystery woman played by Kim Novac. And the name of the episode Lady Lazarus is the title of a Sylvia Plath poem. Obviously referencing Megan’s rebirth.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Sorry, but as Chekhov famously said, if you open up an elevator shaft in the first act, you’d better have someone fall down it in the third.

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  5. basset said on May 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

    This reliable source says the seagulls were backward guitar:

    Perhaps the most striking sound on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is one of tape loops [the sound achieved by tape saturation, by removing the erase head of a machine and then recording over and over on the same piece of tape]. ‘The tape loop idea started because they all had Brennell machines,’ recalls Geoff Emerick. ‘Paul in particular used the make his own loops at home and walk into the studio with bags full of little reels saying “Listen to this!” The seagull-like noise on “Tomorrow Never Knows” is realy a distorted guitar.’ (According to studio documentation, other loops used included the sounds of a speeded up guitar and a wine glass.) ‘We did a live mix of all the loops,’ says George Martin. ‘All over the studios we had people spooling them onto machines with pencils while Geoff did the balancing. There were many other hands controlling the panning.’ ‘We had five machines running,’ says Phil McDonald. ‘Geoff would say “OK, let’s lift that fader, that sounds good.” It was done totally off the cuff. The control room was as full of loops as it was people.’ ‘I laid all of the loops onto the multi-track and played the faders like a modern day synthesiser,’ says Emerick. „

    —Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p.72, 1988

    Meanwhile, I have only the most general idea what this reviewer is talking about but it sounds just scholarly as hell:


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  6. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I despise the idea that others can see what I’m reading or listening to and have all those facebook options turned off, as well as all games. WaPo still puts articles in my newsfeed, and I read what I want. It bugs me that the default option is for sharing and that you have to seek out ways to stay private.

    But, I think facebook is on the downswing, among my friends at least (and many are not even on it). Fewer are making new posts, and use it only to read others’ posts and like them. These days I use it mostly as a place that aggregates many of my interests and sends me links to read. For that, it’s very convenient. I guess it’s facebook fatigue.

    I will share that I am employed again, in a very small way. I’ll be paid for a volunteer job I’ve been doing since August. Not a lot, but enough to feel valued for my hard work.

    Edit: bassett, that was fascinating. I’ve studied enough music theory to understand it a bit. I remember hearing a story about Bridge Over Troubled Water, and how one percussion sound was made by striking a huge chain against the floor. Organic sound is ALWAYS better than electronically produced sound, which lacks richness due to the absence of overtones. But that’s a rant for another day.

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  7. beb said on May 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    The first blog I read in the morning is always Eschaton. Today Atrios was writing about how how much Facebook apps leak (share?) personal data and as a result he’s cutting apps back to the bare minimum. Then I come here and here’s Nancy talking about doing the same thing — and linking to the same story Atrois linked to about Social Readers. My own guess is that the drop-off is usage of the app to share WaPo content is due to readers not finding articles they felt compared to share.

    The $96 Billion appraisal for Facebook is probably why people think we are in another tech bubble, which will burst in another year or so, destroying what little recovery we’ve had from the Real Estate bubble.

    Both Detroit newspapers (not that there are truly two newspaper) have gone from running their own log-in system to requiring a Facebook log-in. I’m not sure why they think a Facebook log-in is any more secure or free from racist/homo-phobic dickheads but there you are. Since I never felt a desire to socialize on-line I never got a Facebook account. And the more I hear about FB the more I’m glad that I never did. It’s too much like living in a glass house – without any curtains!

    Other sites will let me log-in with my Yahoo mail account, but only after agreeing to let them share all sorts of details from my Yahoo account. I really don’t care for that. It’s too much personal information. Which is why I scrubbed my Yahoo account of all but the minimum required information. 50’s dystopian science fiction often envisioned a world where one would be assaulted by overlapping ads that addressed you by name. Thanks to Google and Facebook we’re pretty much there.

    I wasn’t really paying attention at the time but I thought the current Wayne County Executive was elected to replace the corrupt Ed McNamara with a clean, reform candidate. Only now the new guy is up to his nose in scandals. Has there ever been a clean politician? Or is the world owned by crooks and robbers and we’re just there to be fleeced?

    Meanwhile, proving that conservatism is inherently racist, the conservative Detroit News’s editorial page (aka Nolan Finney) is hyping the possibility that Mike Duggan, right-hand man to Ed McNamara (and a white) had moved into Palmer Park Detroit. Is Duggan planning to run for Mayor? Finney breathlessly asks. Is Detroit ready for a white mayor? As if a white mayor would be any less corrupt than the black mayors we’re already had.

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  8. Suzanne said on May 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I use Facebook to keep in touch with people far and wide, but I notice less and less people seem to be using it on a regular basis, so I find it odd, too, that it’s now going public for $$$$$$. I wouldn’t buy (if I had money to invest)as I think it’s on the downswing, not the upswing.

    I still don’t get, and will never get, the Facebook friends who continually fill the news feed with what they had for breakfast, that they are heading off to work, the work is boring, that their friends have let them down, or the political rant of the week. Snore.

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  9. basset said on May 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

    >>how one percussion sound was made by striking a huge chain against the floor.

    reminds me of the story about ZZ Top’s producer going around car junkyards in Houston in search of just the right door-slamming noises to mix into the drum sound.

    Back to “TNK” for a minute… 801’s version of that is quite possibly the best Beatles cover by anyone, ever.

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  10. Icarus said on May 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I’m trying to ween myself off Facebook too. I’d delete my account except if we get pregnant, I want to post obnoxious “my baby is the only cute baby in the world” pictures back at my friends who do it now.

    I’ve heard the complaining about people sharing what they are reading and eating, etc. It begs the question: what is the correct way to use Facebook?

    My only rule for FB has usually been: don’t overthink FB. having said that, I guess it does annoy me that friends won’t re-share a post about a charity event or yard sale but will post what they had for lunch or the smelly guy on the bus.

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  11. Jolene said on May 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Maurice Sendak has died. Here’s the NYT obit and a recent piece from The Atlantic on a new book published last fall. The NYT piece, written by Margalit Fox, is a pleasure of its own.

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  12. Jolene said on May 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Also, Steven Colbert interviewed Sendak in the course of writing his own children’s book. Many very funny moments. Who’d have thought that Sendak was a curmudgeon?

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  13. Suzanne said on May 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

    My main rule for Facebook is: don’t be boring! That and drop the political rants. I have a friend who posted something for his wedding anniversary about how glad he was that he wasn’t gay because that would be wrong. Really? For your wedding anniversary? I finally blocked another friend from showing up in my news feed because every day was either Mafia Wars games or “I’m off to work”, “Here is a picture of where I work”, “I’m coming home from work”, “I just ate lunch at home”, etc. etc. So dull.

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  14. JWfromNJ said on May 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

    It’s interesting to see how Facebook’s ads adapt – I think my combined habits of spending too much time on FB and clicking on updates for Serious Eats and A Hamburger Today is why FB thinks or wishes I have gout.

    Last week I commented on a friend’s post about the Creation Museum in (of course) Kentucky by posting a link to a website explaining how Noah (and without a time machine) got the dinosaurs on the Ark. My adstream took on a very pious and born again tack.

    I think the best FB ad fail was seeing ads for gay roommate sites after posting about the Rutgers web cam trial?

    A friend reported seeing ads for cargo tie downs after posting about the two parents in Ft. Wayne who Romneyed the four kids to the hood for a trip back from the liquor store yesterday. Kinda surprised its not national news yet today.

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  15. brian stouder said on May 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I had a brief, torrid affair with FB, but then the shine came off.

    And indeed, ending the Face Book affair entailed manifold challenges and commands and so on, but I think my old thing is well and truly dead. (Pam remains on, the better to keep an eye on the young folks’ activity)

    My main beef was that there are people you lost track of 25 years ago, whose track you may not want to regain! (Pam says “Don’t accept their friend request”; but why should we invite such issues?)

    It strikes me as (ultimately) a kids’/youth thing (certainly the level of discourse reminded me very much of the back of the school bus)

    edit: JW, I think it will make the “oddball” national news wire

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  16. alex said on May 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Well, I went and did my civic duty and voted for Lugar. There were hardly any people there. My polling place is usually overflowing with long lines. Whether this bodes well, I don’t know.

    Got into it with a woman passing out Mourdock pamphlets. I told her sorry I’m a Lugar supporter and she started talking crazy and I told her I wasn’t buying anything she was saying, instead turning to friendly conversation with a perennial also-ran from my neighborhood whose parents were both in politics but who has never managed to gain a foothold for himself. He’s running yet again for the state rep seat that has always eluded him. Pleasant guy.

    I went in and voted only for a few people I support. For president and a whole lot of other offices, I chose none of the above.

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  17. Icarus said on May 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

    “My main beef was that there are people you lost track of 25 years ago, whose track you may not want to regain!”

    While that is perhaps true, call me a hopeless romantic. I think maybe the person has changed and wants to make amends. Or even more simply, they know that by connecting with you, they will increase their chances of connecting with others.

    In the earlier days it was hard to find someone unless you had their email address or a common connection. Now FB bypasses that and thinks you really want to connect with the cousin of the hair stylist who slept with your brother’s mechanic after that one summer concert.

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  18. Heather said on May 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I like Facebook for keeping up with friends–although I have blocked some of the over-posters. Then I worry about over-posting myself. But it’s not a bad thing to think twice and maybe even three times about publishing your random thoughts to the world.

    I have been thinking about starting a professional page and moving those contacts over there–especially after I was browsing the site on Sunday morning and the chat window popped up with a cheery greeting from a boutique owner I have never met in person. She’s very nice, but I don’t want to talk business with her on my lazy Sunday.

    I second not wanting to reconnect with some people. I’ve ignored two requests from a particularly annoying high school boyfriend. I wish him well, just don’t have any desire to hear from or about him ever again.

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  19. Judybusy said on May 8, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I really enjoy FB–I’ve “met” some really fun people there that migrated from Dykes to Watch out For. Maggie Jochild came to me that way, and she followed me here. That alone must make it worth a billion, right? I’ve also stayed in touch with and became friends with people who I’m sure I otherwise would have lost track of. This in turn has led to some cool, fun stuff: I’m part of a gardening blog, I got to go stargazing at a local observatory, and am seeing a series of Hitchcock movies with a friend of a friend that I really like. It’s also come in handy for giving away extra plants in my garden, which in turn gets me in touch with other gardeners.

    A friend posted an article that posits that FB is making us more lonely because its substitutes real interaction for electronic. However, I’m savvy and use it to foster real-life connections. I also skip all the apps, and hide all the boring or wacko people.

    George Takei’s postings make it worth another billion.

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  20. Scout said on May 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

    The info I give out on FB is so limited and my postings so infrequent I don’t worry too much. I have boring over-sharers blocked from the feed and completely ignore the ad sidebar. I couldn’t tell you what they think I might be buying. Like most things in life, the key is moderation.

    I’m not sure which way I hope the Lugar/Mourdock things goes. On one hand, if Lugar wins it’s a big neener neener to the teabaggin’ Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods* faction, which is a good thing. He would then most assuredly win re-election in the fall, not as good a thing. The buzz I’m hearing is that if Mourdock wins the R spot then the D has a pretty good chance of grabbing that seat. However, I’m always leery about taking the chance of a Mourdock** ending up in DC.

    *Hat tip to Charlie Pierce for the best name yet for She-Who.
    **Even the name Mourdock is so creepy. Like a cave dwelling force of darkness.

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  21. brian stouder said on May 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Scout, I ended up declaring “D” and leaving the R’s to their own devices. If Alex and others help to defeat Mourdock, so much the better; and if not, then the D’s have a better chance than they would otherwise have in November.

    I will say that Alex is a vastly better man than I would have been, if I had gone “R”. I don’t think – once having jumped into that side of the playground – that I could have steered away from their presidential clown car.

    (Especially if the pizza guy is still on their ballot)

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  22. MichaelG said on May 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    That was a well done obit.

    I can’t remember the last time I posted anything on FB. I sort of lurk once a week and maybe drop a comment here or there.

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  23. LAMary said on May 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    On Facebook I see how my brother’s grandchildren are doing. The one who was supposed to be the uber success is working in a fish market and posting crap about how drunk she got the night before and the one who was supposed to be the doofus has become a smart, funny interesting person with an interesting job that takes him all over the world. I’ve advised the drunk poster to cut down on the party postings if she is seriously looking for a better job. We HR types look at Facebook sometimes.
    Agreed about the best track on Revolver, but And Your Bird Can Sing is on there. So is For No One. Good Day Sunshine too.
    How can you pick a favorite track?

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  24. Charlotte said on May 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love Facebook for a couple of things — the casual contact with people I really liked but don’t live near anymore, and for family stuff — also it made my 30th high school reunion *much* more fun last year. But I have all the Apps turned off except for iPhoto and the one that posts links to my blog, and then I have a bunch of extensions including FB Purity, Facebook Ad Hider, and Facebook Classic, so I don’t see the ads. Also installed a Chrome extension called Do Not Track that keeps FB from popping up on other sites (which really creeped me out). A lot of stuff to keep FB out of my space … ugh. But they probably mined my phone so it’s all for naught.

    Mostly today I’m dealing in old-fashioned face-to-face in my neighborhood. The crack house next door has been getting increasingly out of hand. Someone tried to break in to my house last night (thank god we were here and not at Himself’s house). So I’m doing old-fashioned things like calling the cops, asking for more drive bys, and talking to the neighbors asking them to keep an eye/ear out when I’m not here. Livingston is mostly a great small town, but we have pockets of unemployed 20 somethings driving brand-new SUVs (their parents gave them?) including one festering group next door to me. Trash, broken windows, loud music, late night drunken breakups on the front sidewalk. We just wan them all to get arrested at this point — even my hippie stoner neighbors are fed up. (We’re old hippie stoners, we want our sleep and for them to stop stealing shit and dumping trash in our yards.)

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  25. alex said on May 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    My fear, despite the Dems’ optimism, is that this ignorant-ass state might just go for Mourdock in the fall. Mike Pence, another pea-brained peckerwood who yanks off to Ayn Rand with a copy of Mein Kampf up his ass, is considered pretty much a shoo-in for governor this year, if that tells you anything.

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  26. paddyo' said on May 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    FB’s great for family stuff, including ignoring family when needed. I suppose some folks out there notice when a certain relative or friend does not “like” something they’ve posted, but not “like”-ing something is a fairly civil way to “unlike” something, no?

    I’m glad I resisted switching to the “new” FB “timeline” format, which to me just looks ungainly and slow. But I have noticed lately that FB ties the use of at least one or two social apps to your agreeing to embrace the timeline thing. A number of times in the past month, friends or family have posted possibly interesting videos — and when I’ve clicked to look at them, I’ve been taken to a social-app acceptance window, where I’m advised I must adopt “timeline” before I can go forward. I just click “cancel” . . . a moment of video isn’t worth it.

    So, am I being unduly curmudgeonly about “timeline”?

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  27. Sherri said on May 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I had a Facebook account once it went widespread just to see what it was about, never put anything on it but the most minimal information, never friended anyone, and decided pretty quickly that given their cavalier attitude towards privacy (you don’t deserve any!), I wasn’t getting my money’s worth out of it. I went through all the hoops to really delete my account, not just suspend it. For a while, people would bug me about not being on Facebook, but not so much anymore.

    To me, the surest sign of a bubble is that Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram, which didn’t even have any revenue. Just like the dot com bubble was a race for eyeballs on the web, this feels like a race for eyeballs on mobile. The numbers today are that much larger though; I thought it was unbelievable when Webvan burned through $750 million of VC funding on its way to crashing.

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  28. crinoidgirl said on May 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Here’s a surprise: Thomas Kinkaide died of alcohol and tranquilizer overdose: People mag link

    On a recovery forum that I belong to, someone just posted a comment on how sad it was that such a talented artist died from ethanol poisoning. So hard to hold myself back from commenting…

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  29. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I despise Facebook, but where else can I see videos of my grandson dunking a basketball? And I have found old friends I’d lost track of. Still, I think the whole thing is creepy, like Montag’s wife’s four wall interactive TV and soap opera family. And I do post political stuff there, and petitions, to annoy friends and relatives of the Regressive political persuasion.

    Turkia Awada Mullin is a fully Americanized Muslim, I’d say.

    Speaking of Hermanator’s pizza, Little Caesar’s has climbed atop the mountain of most obnoxious TV commercials in the last week. Takes a fast trigger finger.

    Scout: The Mourdock live underground and come out at night to slaughter and devour the beautiful, peaceful Eloi. It’s all in an H.G. Wells book.

    And I hope there is a wake for Maurice Sendak that is a “wild rumpus”.


    Tomorrow Never Knows is probably my favorite Beatles song, but the horns on Got to Get You Into My Life give it a run for its money. I once saw Los Lobos open for the Dead, and they did a spectacular version of Tomorrow Never Knows.


    In an ensemble full of unlikable, unsympathetic characters, Pete Campbell stands out as a particularly odious POS. I think he needs another beating from Layne.

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  30. nancy said on May 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    As you should remember from living here, Prospero, there are many, many families in this area with Arab roots and names who are Christian.

    Charlotte, you live in Livingston? I have read a great deal of Thomas McGuane’s fiction (although I put the last one aside without finishing it). I feel like I know the place.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I have a personal FB page that I never visit. The FB page for my trade magazine is somewhat useful as a repository for feel-good items (someone is hosting a charity event!) that are too fluffy for the print mag or website. But I mostly let the company president’s daughter deal with it, since that’s all she seems to know how to do.

    I don’t get FB. I don’t like FB. I don’t like Mark Zuckerberg–his looks, or the fact that he’s so obscenely and inexplicably rich. Nancy’s speculation that they make all that money selling personal data is chillingly plausible.

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  32. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Are you saying Debbie Schlussel would lie, Nancy? She says Mullin is Shia, and a terrorist supporter.


    I wasn’t casting religious aspersions, just commenting on how well Ms. Mullin has assimilated crooked American political culture.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Didn’t Debbie Schlussel write a defense of that psycho who slaughtered all those kids in Norway, on the grounds that they were incipient Islamofascist betrayers who deserved to die? What a waste of carbon.

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  34. Julie said on May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    In a stupid contest, it would be hard to compete with this story from, sadly, Fort Wayne


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  35. nancy said on May 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    She may well be Shia; I really don’t know. My point is that Arab name does not necessarily equal Muslim.

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  36. Charlotte said on May 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Yes Nancy — I’m in that Livingston. I’ve only met McGuane a couple of times, although my sweetheart built his library, and his grandchildren are among my tribe of borrowed/adopted kids. It takes a village, and every village needs an auntie. We’re rotten with writers here … and the truly lovely thing is that the writers all support one another. Such a nice change after the vitriolic competition of graduate school.

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  37. beb said on May 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Jolene, I saw Colbert’s interview with Maurice Sendak. It was just great. Sendak may have been a curmudgeon but he played along with Colbert greatly, showed a great sense of humor and seemed a lot more friendly then he made out to be. Sad to see him go, but 83 is a pretty good run.

    I don’t understand sleeping pills don’t come with instructions in big letter “never use with alcohol!” Maybe people who can’t sleep without help are too cranky to read directions but you would think that would be the number one rule for sleeping pills. Who knew that a drinking problem was “natural causes…”

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  38. Hattie said on May 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I stopped putting family photos and personal information on Facebook AGES ago.

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  39. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    beb, I saw that interview, too. It reminded me of the wonderful doc “It Might Get Loud”, with Jack White and David Evans (the Edge) getting together with Jimmy Page to talk about rock ‘n’ roll guitar playing. Yoda and Luke. Anybody that loves rock guitar music will enjoy that movie, although it does give away that the U2 guy depends mightily on effects boxes and pedals and bizarre tunings. Conversely, the film opens with Jack White building a one-string guitar with a 2by, two nails, a coke bottle, a humbucker and a strand of wire, and playing it.

    I wasn’t assuming anything about Mullin’s religious affiliation. I looked it up. And even a vile POS Gorgon like Schlussel (separated at birth from Nancy Grace?) parbly wouldn’t say she’s Muslim if she isn’t. Although she does manage to call an American citizen dhimmi, which means a non-Muslim resident of a Muslim state, which seems kinda contradictory.

    Everyone knows Where The Wild Things Are, but Outside Over There is just as good, about a girl must to save her baby sister from kidnap by Goblins. The realization of Sendak’s imagination in his illustrations is astonishing. Fans of these books should check out Bronwen, the Traw, and the Shapeshifter by James Dickey (yep, that James Dickey–anybody make it through Anlilam?).

    Kincade’s art dynasty had crumbled into bankruptcy, and buying anything but suicide as manner of death takes more than willing suspension of disbelief.

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  40. Brandon said on May 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    “Tomorrow Never Knows” was referenced in the Chemical Brothers’ song “Setting Sun.”


    This is off-topic but Myrhvold’s Modernist cookbook won the Beard Foundation’s Cookbook of the Year award:


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  41. ROGirl said on May 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    There are a lot of Chaldean stores in the area where they speak Arabic and have signs in Arabic, but they sell crucifixes, Virgin Mary statues and rosaries. It seems kind of incongruous.

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  42. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Inexcusable Murdoch bullshit on energy policy. How does anybody that can feed herself take crap like this seriously?

    Beatles alternative takes of Revolver songs:


    I’ve got the UK release, because it has Dr. Robert on it, another personal favorite. US version has more George songs than John songs, which is strange.

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  43. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    There are a lot of Egyptian Coptic Christians around Chicago and the Midwest. Many of them came here at least partly to get away from the hostility of their Muslim neighbors. I imagine that will get worse if the Islamic Brotherhood takes power in Egypt.

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  44. Judybusy said on May 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Charlotte, I had just a couple minutes to check out your blog, but didn’t see a way to subscribe. I’d like to follow it!

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  45. JWfromNJ said on May 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @28. crinoidgirl – He knew he wasn’t regarded highly by art critics and that was something that battered him terribly. I don’t think he’s a great artist, but I recognize how that must have upset him. What should he have done, quit painting even though millions of people liked his work? Millions of people like country music and NASCAR too. Taste is so subjective.

    I fully admit I don’t like a lot of “art”. Jackson Pollack, shit… I never laughed as hard as I did during the subplot in Contraband (not a snob movie either) where the stolen JP painting is mistaken by everyone as a paint splattered tarp in a smuggled cargo van. I had a friend drag me to a gallery in NYC to see a “wonderful exhibit.” It was a wooden shipping crate with the top askew, and ropes coming out and coiled on the floor. People stood around in awe. So I feel a little bad for Kincade. That’s no excuse for drinking yourself to death through.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I had little use for Kinkade but sure hope he didn’t commit suicide because he was dissed by art critics. He should have been like Liberace, who cried all the way to the bank.

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  47. Jen said on May 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I’m in the minority here as a fan of Facebook, at least as far as I use it. I’m naturally curious (OK, nosy) so I love to see what everybody is doing. I like to share good and fun articles and silly thoughts that pop into my head. I really try to edit myself, and try not to post stupid things, like, “Today I’m eating chicken salad for lunch!” I try to only occasionally post political things – only when I’m in the mood for a big argument – mainly because I have a lot of friends who get extremely nasty when I post political opinions that differ from theirs, and I get tired of arguing with them. And I like to follow companies – Starbucks, local restaurants, etc. – to find out what’s going on with them.

    I never play the games anymore, mainly because I hate it when people post about games on their Facebook. Also, you can’t have a secured site when you play the games, and my Facebook got hacked back when my connection was unsecured so now I refuse to surf unsecured. And I never, never, NEVER use those social reader app things because I don’t want people knowing what I click on. Sometimes, I don’t want people to know some of the incredibly stupid articles I read – I know I judge people for what they post about reading – and sometimes I don’t want people to know what kind of things I’m reading because it might have something to do with something we’re putting together for the newspaper, and I don’t want us to get scooped.

    I think Facebook is a good tool, but, like everything else, it has its limits.

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  48. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    More Beatles studio takes:

    VG version of You Can’t Do That.

    Jackson Pollock could likely have drunk Kincade under the table, and he was surely loaded when he dripped most of that Dutch Boy exterior house paint onto canvas. JW, we thought Contraband was a hoot, but we like just about anything Marky Mark does these days. Actually, his brother Donnie is probably a better actor, but Three Kings is heady territory.

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  49. beb said on May 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Came across this article via Boingboing.com. It talks about how much trouble reader apps are for publishers Things like having to make as many as six different versions of the same magazine issue. It costs a lot of money to maintain that many versions of a magazine, money that’s not being recouped through sales of digital copies of their magazines. It’s not quite the same as Nancy’s bloggage about people not using the social readers apps in Facebook, but similar enough.


    The article also mentions Apple’s 30% cut on anything sold through their app stores. 30%! It’s like Apple has found a perpetual money making machine. Like inkjet printers, you give the machine away and make a fortune selling the ink.

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  50. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    beb: Like home diabetes testing. Give away the meter and charge a bundle for the test strips.

    Making Anne RMoney’s caddies. RIP Iron Man Burks. Serious blues band. Brilliant guitar playing in Albert and Freddy King style. Sort of finger-picking.

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  51. ROGirl said on May 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Maybe the creditors, investors, mass fleecing of the rubes, and the hollow, soulless greed-driven emptiness of his enterprise got to Kincade, but certainly not the art critics.

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  52. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Hispanic outreach, GOP style:


    i.e. FUBAR.

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  53. kayak woman said on May 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    There are many things about Facebook that annoy me, those social readers being among the top 10. But there are also some reasons I value it. One is that I love being able to keep up with many far-flung family members including some (cousins’ kids, etc.) that I would otherwise not have a clue about where they were. Also, I did actually re-connect with a bunch of 1972 Sault High grads. Now, I enjoy an annual dinner with a bunch of former yoopers who live in the southern lower peninsula. I wasn’t all that friendly with most of them in high school but they are wonderful people and I think it is *me* who has changed.

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  54. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    GOPer obstructionist assault on US economy rages unabated. This is GOP dedication to that policy of austerity that is working so bangup in Europethat GOPers want to follow it right down the rathole.

    Strange Hillary Clinton piece. Hillary as VP on the ticket would likely seal the deal for Obama, sure, but I don’t see him dumping Biden. As for looks and makeup? Remember in 2008 there was cleavagegate? Mrs. Clinton was certainly an improvement over Quaker Oats that preceded her in the WH.

    Mitt gives the Etch-a-Sketch another shake. What does this asshat believe in? That the authors of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were divinely inspired? Coulda fooled T. Jefferson.

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  55. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Hillary Clinton link:


    Can’t wait for Mittens to blurt this howler on the campaign trail in MI:


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  56. Joe K said on May 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    From my Daughter the editor reporter. Lugar out.
    Pilot Joe

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  57. brian stouder said on May 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    As of 8:25 pm, you can see the Mourdock beerhall putsch (or whatever) here:


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  58. alex said on May 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    A victory for Merdecock. Hope you’re happy, Hoosier yutzes.

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  59. Suzanne said on May 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Yep, Lugar gone. I think he hasn’t had to campaign for years that he really didn’t hit it hard. This might give the Democrat a chance, though. I would and have voted for Lugar; I know I won’t vote for Murdoch.

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  60. brian stouder said on May 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    As of 8:38, the room the nominee is going to speak in looks distinctly…..white. And male. And older than 40.

    Yup – THAT’s a winner, in Indiana! The video link above is funny; it’s dead-live, and you can hear the newsies yapping to one another, and to their director

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  61. Deborah said on May 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Dems gotta win in Indiana. They need to go balls to the wall. I will contribute for sure.

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  62. Deborah said on May 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I just read what Carville said on CNN. I’m not a huge fan of Carville, let me say but he gets something right here and that is the Dems have a LOT of hard, hard work to do. They can in no way shape or form expect that it is a shoo-in. It will be an incredible slog so get going. This is where I think the Dems have the most to learn, unfortunately.

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  63. Deborah said on May 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Marilyn comes down http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/69824485/News/Time-lapse-video-Marilyn-dismantled

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  64. Charlotte said on May 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Judybusy — the RSS/subscribe options must have disappeared in a re-design. I re-added them … thanks for checking it out. I haven’t been posting very much the past few months because I’m working on a book … but it’s a sweet tiny community.

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  65. Judybusy said on May 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Cool video Deb. Marilyn literally deconstructed!

    Thanks, Charlotte, will go back and subscribe. You probably have way too much internet reading already, but google Catherine Friend. She and her partner began sheep farming 15 years ago, and she’s written two memoirs about it: the first was Hit by a Farm and the second came out maybe late last year. It’s called Sheepish. She also has an intermittent blog about life on the farm. Their farm is about 90 minutes away from me, and I’ve gone to some readings. She has also written three delightful lesbian love stories, two of which are set in the time of El Cid in the 900s or so.

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  66. alex said on May 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    We just replaced a refined gentleman with an obdurate fool. I’m still not over the shock of it.

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  67. Prospero said on May 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Bassett @5, that information about the tape loops is interesting. The master of looping guitars is undoubtedly Robert Fripp, who used a bigass reel-to-reel to create what he calls Frippertronics (it’s like the ultimate big ‘lectric guitar sustain):


    Adrian Belew, the soul of King Crimson, was also a master practitioner, who wrote much better and far more accessible music than Robert Fripp. A current wizard is KT Tunstall, who uses a loop box to record harmonies and percussion (banging on her guitar), and even backup vocals at the beginning of each of her songs, then plays along with herself Beautiful woman with a terrific voice and serious guitar skill. The box was her accompaniment in her career as a busker. Excellent songwriter too. Popular opinion says KT is gay because of this song:


    But, unfortunately, she’s married to a guy.

    KT setting up loops:


    This takes some amazing musical skills in my opinion, like nearly note perfect pitch and tremendous rhythmic sense.

    I’ve fooled with loops before and it is amazingly entertaining for the player. Like playing three guitars at once, or just one if you were Jimi playing the 12-string Star Spangled Banner on Rainbow Bridge, but that was several (or 100) guitars multi-tracked.

    That is a cool Marilyn video. Most complex architectural and HVAC design project I ever worked on was Copley Place, constructed over the Mass Pike, commuter rail and the MBTA. You can imagine, ventilating the resulting 1/2-mile tunnel was difficult.I’ve seen a time lapse video of the entire construction shot from cameras mounted atop the infamous Prudential Tower (that used to rain down huge shattered windo panes) a few blockss away. Astounding. Somehow, this remarkable doc is not on the internet that I can find.

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