Ordinary Sunday Brunch

sunday brunch

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] As debates over music in the age of #MeToo rage on, radio is still about the power of the people

[Mu2] Pop Music in 2018 Was a Beautiful, Transformative Mess

[Mu3] Disappearing movies and games: How safe is your digital collection?

[Mu4] How The ‘New World’ Symphony Introduced American Music To Itself

[Mu5] Matthew Herbert Sets The EU To Music With His Brexit Big Band.


Art Links

[Ar1] Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel, explained

[Ar2] “Come,” it says. “Smell the roses. I use beauty as a trap,” the artist, Ebony G. Patterson, told the Cut in Miami this week.

[Ar3] Walmart to purchase Art.com assets

[Ar4] Tania Bruguera and Other Cuban Artists Released from Jail, Government Curtails Law Censoring the Arts

History Links

[Hi1] Pearl Harbor history preserved with help of Paul Allen Philanthropies

[Hi2] Always good, but this week they tackle some history: The Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered

[Hi3] Forty Years Ago, 12.6 Million Feet of History Went Up in Smoke

[Hi4] The Most Amazing Historical Discoveries of 2018

Food Links

[Fo1] Comfort food? Ohio State University installs bacon vending machine

[Fo2] Oversight of US military’s food suppliers called into question after fraud indictment

[Fo3] Despite value deals, fast-food prices are on the rise

[Fo4] Food giants lure consumers with ‘stealth small brands’


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Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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22 thoughts on “Ordinary Sunday Brunch

  1. Mu1: From what I can tell, most people love “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” They perceive it as a fun romantic, seductive song or think that the the MeToo movement is going too far even if they don’t like it. There is the Facebook meme that is attacking other Christmas songs for glorifying hit and runs or exposing kids to adultery. The anti-“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” faction is correct that lyrics are problematic from a modern standpoint but they are coming across as wanting to kill other people’s fun.

    The ultimate issue is how much should art and entertainment be politicized. For ideologues, the personal is political. They analyze relentlessly. Nothing is to escape the gaze of the intellectual. Everything perceived as bad must be thrown out. For ordinary people this is a bit much. The ideologues come across as domineering, puritanical, and fanatical.

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    • When it was written in 1944, it was an amusing song sung by a married couple at private parties for the rich and/or famous. Singers/musicians attending such parties were expected to perform a song or two, but as in “among friends”, which they largely were. According to reports of the time, the wife was outraged when the husband sold the song to MGM.

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    • Out of idle curiosity, do the same sort of people who object to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” also object to libraries offering, or schools assigning, books like the original Sherlock Holmes stories or Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books? Both of which are racist and anti-feminist as hell, reflecting the time and places where they were written.

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      • In my experience, as for what’s in the library, no.

        Because the people I know who object to it are mostly women who read a lot, don’t care what others read (or listen to!!!), but don’t want to have to listen to a song that they find extremely creepy every fucking time they turn on the radio or walk into a grocery store.
        They couldn’t care less what’s in the library.

        Schools do not EVER assign Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe, at least not often enough for me to have ever noticed it, partly because they are racist and anti-feminist as hell, so I have no idea why the fuck you would bring that into it.

        (And I actually enjoy the song, myself, but I’m really fucking tired of people complaining about people complaining about it.)

        Oh, sorry.

        Fishing.

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        • well, also, they’re mystery novels, so genre, so most “general school English” classes wouldn’t assign them. I think the closest thing to a mystery I read for class when I was in grade school was “Two Bottle of Relish” (which I was later surprised to realize was written by Lord Dunsanay, who I later knew better as a fantasy author)

          Maybe I’m more tolerant than many, but I can read and laugh at Nero Wolfe stories. I think part of the point is that Archie is sort of a jerk. Never did get into Holmes much.

          I find “All I Want for Christmas is You” kind of offensive, but for different reasons than “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

          And, oh gads, what I call the “Jesus Shoes” song – about the dying woman whose last wish is to get nice shoes to “meet Jesus” in so, IIRC, her kid gives up all his money to buy them. It’s so crassly designed to jerk tears alongside of being what I consider bad theology that it sets my teeth on edge every time. But people ’round here LOVE it.

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          • I’m never sure about the genre piece because I grew up in a different school system, even though I’ve known plenty of kids here in the US by now (and none of them get assigned stuff with these issues unless it is A Venerable Classic That All Schoolchildren Must Read). I know we did get assigned some genre stuff in middle school in Canada, but it was fairly rare.

            I actually enjoy both Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes. Same as I enjoy Baby It’s Cold Outside.

            I’m just so sick of people reacting so grumpily to women not liking something and not wanting to hear the damn thing, and thus doing something about it. I find their grumpiness more objectionable than the song. Perhaps if we eventually get to a place where random dudes DON’T act like they’re entitled to free holiday gropes and other bullshit and get away with it on the regular, I will be less sympathetic to the people who would prefer not to be hearing stuff that bothers them on top of all the other “fun” they get to deal with an extra helping of, this time of year. As life actually is, I’m pretty mama-bear-ish protective at the moment.

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  2. [Hi2] I have Blight’s Frederick Douglass bio on my Christmas list, should be good and I don’t really likely biography for the most part. Blight has a broad perspective on the history of the era.

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  3. Technical note: The State of Discussion appears to be updating differently on different pages. Right now, on the front page, Jaybird’s 11:25 AM comment is the most recent. On this page, my 11:48 am comment is the most recent. On the State of Discussion page, LeeEsq has replied to my 11:48 comment, but the comment isn’t here.

    Lee has entered some sort of stealth mode where he can be wrong on the internet with impunity.

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  4. Mu3: [Confessions to certain IP crimes ahead…] I buy most of my books in e-book form these days. I break the encryption, if present, and convert them to the open EPUB format. I am steadily replacing the existing paper library with EPUBs or PDFs, in anticipation that Mrs. Cain and I will be downsizing our housing at some point in the future. Replacing does not generally mean “buying another copy”. At least every six months I dump the whole library to DVD. Every year or so a copy of the DVD goes to the safe box at the bank. To be blunt (and crude), I simply don’t trust the bastards.

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    • FWIW last time I checked “fair use” (which includes format shifting of media you own) had been restored as a good defense in the case where it violates the DMCA. That wasn’t originally the case but it was one of the last things Billington fixed during his tenure as Librarian of Congress, to carve fair use encryption-breakings back out of the DMCA. (Note: I am, of course, no lawyer and this is not legal advice.)

      (Note to the copyright-interested – you probably want to go tell your senatorial critters to keep copyright under the jurisdiction of the librarian of congress, rather than the whims of the president, for this and other related reasons…. I know plenty of you are against increasing the president’s powers and this is a bill that is likely to go through if it doesn’t get significant pushback…. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/tell-senate-not-put-register-copyrights-hands-president)

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      • Your opinion is certainly better informed than mine — I haven’t followed copyright stuff professionally for years. Has the Librarian specified any conditions under which cracking encryption is legal? AZW to EPUB to read on a device where Amazon already provides an AZW application might be an interesting test case [1]. For books, another interesting question of whether scanning, OCR, plus software to examine where text falls on the page(s) to reconstruct paragraphs and such is allowed “format shifting”. Especially if, after doing so, my original printed copy is tossed. Same question as to whether owning a print copy entitles me to download a scanned OCRed copy from the internet — if it is legal for me to do it, does it matter how the file comes into my possession?

        [1] The software I use to read the EPUBs uses my choice of font, vertical and horizontal spacing, and paragraph properties (first line indented, specified white space following). At least the last time I checked, the Android Kindle app left things in the (too often) ugly format chosen by the publisher.

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        • I’m a bit fuzzy on the specifics since it’s been a year or two since I reviewed them. From what I remember, the cases that got the Librarian to change the DMCA provisions had to do with folks cracking DVD encryption for their own fair-use purposes… it caused quite a feather-fluffing among the MPAA types.

          Were it me, I’d be very comfortable doing what you’re doing under a fair use defense, which would not, of course, mean that a judge would agree with me. I don’t think there’ve been test cases of that specifically yet. It’s also possible that your license from amazon has you signing away your fair use rights (since I don’t buy OR pirate Kindle books, I haven’t read the fine print on it in the last 5-10 years or so), in which case contract law would trump copyright law anyway…

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  5. MU3 – Tangential, but as I was driving around yesterday, listening to a playlist I put together on Spotify (all good music, all the time) an unfamiliar song came on. A Christmas Song! I hate X-mas music and set this list up partially so I wouldn’t have to hear that stuff. But somehow it had been added and when I checked my saved file, I noticed a bunch of stuff I had never heard of had been added. And not in an “If you like that, you will like this” way, but dreck. Utter shlock. Needless to say, I was not amused.

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    • A person whose newsletter I read had the same problem – er, not the exact problem, but utter dreck she would NEVER have listened to being added to her Spotify account – and it turned out that she’d been hacked for like 8 hours back in October…. might be worth checking in to?

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