I’ve had a glut of fun links that I’ve sent around to various people recently. After a certain critical mass, I realized I should just drop them all onto the blog for everyone to enjoy. Also, if you’re on Gmail, I’ll be adding fun links as I find them to my status there via Snurl, a service for making really long links into tiny ones. My intake of new blogs and articles has multiplied exponentially since I added The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Wired and New York Magazine to my Firefox bookmarks toolbar, and here are some of the results:
- ClapClap’s history of the long, slow rise of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which began its pop-culture life as Jeff Buckley’s cover of John Cale’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s tune, and now, given its apparent pervasiveness, seems poised to become the next “Amazing Grace.”
ClapClap’s Michael Barthel talks about how the song gets used on Scrubs and The OC as an easy and cheap emotional shorthand. This made me realize how easily a legitimately emotional piece of music can easily become banal through overuse, the entropy of art. Classic rock stations have the same effect. But Barthel disagrees:
“This is the beauty of the pop song: it’s an artistic hooker with a heart of gold, always willing to be used. It can become a tool, but a song isn’t a Matisse—if it’s used as a washcloth, just wring it out and it’s good as new.”
- McSweeney’s deliciously satirical sendup of Ayn Rand, updated for the new financial crisis.
- And speaking of economics, I’ve read in several places now that economic downturn is bad news for libertarians. The Becker-Posner blog says it best:
“The financial crisis has hit economic libertarians in the solar plexus, because the crisis is largely a consequence of innate weaknesses in free markets and of excessive deregulation of banking and finance, rather than of government interference in the market.”
- Completely unrelated to anything else thus far, here’s a story about a woman with completely perfect recall. She can remember every detail about every day of her life. Why the Greek tragedians never thought of this, I can’t say.
- And, for dessert, cupcakes from John Mayer.
I should mention that a few of these items came via Andrew sullivan’s blog at The Atlantic. I’m addicted. His range is wide, his diction and syntax elegant, and his politics reasonable. I found it very interesting when Michael Barthel of clapclap said, “when you mainly get the world through people who share your filter, it strengthens and hardens.” Incidentally, Andrew Sullivan is a conservative, gay, Christian British guy. So he’s nobody’s echo chamber. Everyone should check him out.
1.) We’ll have to wait about 50 more years to really find out, though.