Links! Get ’em while they’re…well, here’s some links.
:: It has been easy for a lot of people (mostly non-drummers) to take Ringo’s gifts for granted through the years because he was pretty happy to sit back there on his riser (no one had ever done that before), contributing his steady, reliable backbeat. He has always been the most overlooked Beatle. A lot of people have described him as a “meat and potatoes” drummer, but I beg to differ. (Me too. There are some moments in “A Day in the Life” when Ringo fills in a silence with something interesting on the drums — something interesting that lasts all of a second and a half. But that’s what drummers do. They’re the ultimate in music’s temporal, ‘in the moment and now the moment’s over’ nature.)
:: I guess he figured that if I knew who Ryan was I knew everything I needed to know and if I didn’t know who Ryan was then I also knew all I needed to know or at least all it was my business to know. (My parents once told me a story about a time they were driving out west, as they used to do every summer, and stay in campgrounds. They would stay up late, sitting by a fire, and sipping beer. Well, at one campground, apparently a bunch of bikers pulled into the campsite next to theirs, and one of them, a big burly lad all in leather, came over to ask: “Are you folks gonna stay up late and make a lot of noise? ‘Cause we’re really tired and we got a long way to ride tomorrow.” I love that.)
:: It might be different in other cities but you know, Buffalo is in Western New York. It, really as far as the layout, the landscape and the area was kind of like the South, in New York. It’s not anything like the city. It’s real laid back in the country, but the people are horrible. As far as getting in trouble in Buffalo or socially, there’s nothing to do. (That’s a quote from former Buffalo Bills receiver Josh Reed, who decided to leave town as a free agent a few years ago and seek his fortune elsewhere, after two contracts here with the Bills. He was drafted in the second round way back in 2002, which means that in his time here he never played for a single playoff team, and in all honesty, despite some flashes here and there, Reed never rose much above the level of ‘guy who’s nice to have on your team but he’ll never make the big clutch play for you’. Now, over the last bunch of years we’ve seen a lot of such players leave the team and badmouth the city afterwards — Rob Johnson, Willis McGahee, now Reed — and hey, if you didn’t like it here, fine. But then, you didn’t really contribute much to a team that wasn’t very good, so what do you expect? It’s telling that none of Reed’s attempts to catch on someplace else have succeeded; he signed with the Chargers after his last season here but was cut in training camp.
What also interests me is when these young athletes complain that their particular brand of fun isn’t to be found in Buffalo. That’s entirely possible, as this is neither a particularly big city nor a particularly rich one. But here’s the thing: these guys make a ton of money. If it bothers them that the kind of club they like to hang out in doesn’t exist here, well — real estate’s cheap in Buffalo and these guys are getting paid a ton of money. Why not open your own place and create the kind of scene you wish existed here? Why the sense of entitlement? I don’t get this. Anyway, enjoy your post-NFL days, Josh. Oddly, while you were never a great player, I never disliked you…until now.)
:: My life is now one where campfire stories are becoming another word for Tuesday – to which I mean adventures are the new normal.
:: I’ve used it before on several novels, notably ones where the plot got so gnarly and tangled up that I badly needed a tool for refactoring plot strands, but the novel I’ve finished, “Neptune’s Brood”, is the first one that was written from start to finish in Scrivener, because I have a long-standing prejudice against entrusting all my data to a proprietary application, however good it might be. That Scrivener was good enough to drag me reluctantly in is probably newsworthy in and of itself. (I read this post all the way through, and I barely understood it. I’m generally fascinated by matters of writerly process, but now I’m wondering if I’m doing it wrong now, by just writing my books in OpenOffice.)
:: Apparently some people read “getting a PhD in English” as “getting a PhD in creative writing.” I find this hilarious because it demonstrates a profound ignorance of what studying English entails.
:: Le Guin’s argument appears to be that all human societies are prone to dysfunction and corruption, no matter how well-meaning people are. (I read this book when I was in seventh grade. I did not understand it, and I definitely should read it again. I’ve heard it cited a lot as an SF classic in the years since I read it. Come to that, I’ve read a pathetically small amount of Ursula Le Guin.)
:: When you consider the amount of time spent making this film and the amount of people who were involved in it, it is really quite baffling. Someone had to write the script (namely Akiva Goldsman). That script undoubtedly had to be approved by the higher ups at Warner Bros. Then actors had to be cast, costumes and sets had to be designed, an entire production crew assembled and at no point did anyone stop and say, “Are we really making this movie? This movie?”
More next week!
I have to think that the "problem" with Buffalo for some of those athletes is that I suspect it lacks a strong urban/black music scene, especially compared with larger cities.
I definitely agree, and I even sympathize. It's got to be hard to get used to a certain set of cultural things and then wind up in a place that doesn't really have them. But it's not like Buffalo is a lonely outpost in Antarctica or anything, and it's not like these guys get dropped here with a tent, a parka, and a speargun. They'd rather bitch than make it the way they want it.