Archive for November, 2008
Since 2003, I’ve made discs and MP3 playlists of my favorite music of the year to swap with friends. But this year, I just haven’t been feeling it.
I really like In Ear Park and The Walkmen’s new album, and I’ve listened to Dodos’ “Fools” a couple dozen times (my tastes are skewing folky in my dotage). And it may be too early to say, but “Single Ladies” is percussive and weird and anthemic enough to be this year’s “1 Thing.”
But mostly I’ve been tuned out. So, I ask the Snarkmatrix: What have I missed? What do I need to hear?
The Big Picture’s new post is about Mumbai. I have to say: I understand it better having looked at these. More and more I’m starting to think the future of journalism is more images, more images, more images. Not just images — never just images — but honestly, I’ve read a lot of articles about Mumbai over the last three days and words are just not capable of communicating some parts of this story — of any story.
However, fair warning: I did not click the black boxes. You’re on your own with those.
I think you should go see Slumdog Millionaire this weekend. Seriously.
That might seem off-kilter, because this is a movie about Mumbai that is fundamentally optimistic — a comedy, in the classic sense — and the real tale of Mumbai these past few days has been anything but.
But Slumdog Millionaire also has it share of darkness; it doesn’t stint on the grim, weird things that are a part of this city’s life.
More importantly, it is, all together, the most interesting, accessible, and revelatory portrait of modern India I’ve ever seen. And if you find yourself a bit at odds, feeling like you ought to do something — ought to attend to these events mentally or morally in some way — I think learning isn’t a bad place to start.
If you read only one Somali pirate story, make it this one:
“Mummy, mummy, please can I phone the pirates for you?”
By this time, with rain battering my windscreen and cars jamming the road, I was at the end of my tether.
“OK”, I said, tossing the phone into the back of the car. “They are under P for pirates.”
“Hello. Please can I talk to the pirates,” said my daughter in her obviously childish voice.
I could hear someone replying and a bizarre conversation ensued which eventually ended when my daughter collapsed in giggles.
This was a breakthrough. Dialogue had been established.
I just discovered this site, a collection of expositions of the fugues in Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Some of Tim Smith’s writings are pretty opaque to those of us who aren’t trained in music, but many of his comments are accessible enough. (“If you think of the subject as a dancer, then the fugal process is one of finding a suitable partner. But what if the dancer has the ability to be its own partner? Well that is stretto. And stretto is what the C Major fugue is all about.”)
And the visualizations help, although I wish they were done in Flash instead of Shockwave. But hey, it was made in 2002.