Scattershot links today in lieu of content:
Via my friend Tom D., the observation that Back in Black is the second best-selling album of all time, after Thriller. I grow more suspicious each time I see Thriller in the #1 slot. Yes, it’s Thriller, but hasn’t time marched on? Haven’t new acts produced better pop albums? (No) Hasn’t the world gained something like a billion people since its release? (Yes, and one in a hundred of them bought Thriller) Taking nothing away from Thriller‘s importance – two centuries from now, it’ll be taught as part of the Western canon – it stuns me that a record should remain untoppled for that long.
Via my other friend Marie, the Emotional Bag Check, where you can leave your emotional baggage via an anonymous form. You can also, if you’re in a good mood, “pick up” someone else’s baggage, sending them a song to lift their mood (via the streaming technology of Grooveshark) and even an anonymous message. I spent an easy half hour here yesterday and could have gone longer. 80% of the baggage consists of “my boyfriend is a dick” or “why won’t any girls like me?”, so the responses are all pretty easy. And I get to improve people’s moods by sending them kickass songs! “Boots of Chinese Plastic” got a lot of use.
(Yes, it’s possible for anonymous assholes to give bad advice via the baggage claim: “blow him until he says he loves you,” etc. But it’s possible for assholes to use any part of the Internet to be a jerk.)
I rocked until late at night at TT The Bear’s to Karaoke Underground, a traveling roadshow that turns indie rock darlings into karaoke staples. And by indie, I mean they go pretty deep. Hold Steady, Pixies, Pavement, Murder City Devils, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I got to live out a fantasy of several years by screaming myself hoarse to “Ballad of the Sin Eaters” to an appreciative crowd. They’re coming to a city near you, if you live in a city they’re near. Check them out.
Via Futility Closet, an inspirational quote from Albert Einstein, struck from an essay he wrote for the Berlin Goethe Journal in 1915:
“When I look into the home of a good, normal citizen I see a softly lighted room. In one corner stands a well-cared-for shrine, of which the man of the house is very proud and to which the attention of every visitor is drawn in a loud voice. On it, in large letters, the word ‘Patriotism’ is inscribed.
“However, opening this shrine is normally forbidden. Yes, even the man of the house knows hardly, or not at all, that this shrine holds the moral requisites of animal hatred and mass murder that, in case of war, he obediently takes out for his service.
“This shrine, dear reader, you will not find in my room, and I would rejoice if you came to the viewpoint that in that corner of your room a piano or a small bookcase would be more appropriate than such a piece of furniture which you find tolerable because, from your youth, you have become used to it.”
The state, he wrote, “does not play the least role in my spiritual life; I regard allegiance to a government as a business matter, somewhat like the relationship with a life insurance company.”
Finally, Adam B. asked me for my list of five things to do instead of going to grad school yesterday so that he could pass it on to some friends. That’s a valid excuse to
indulge my vanitylink to it again, so there.