Ira Robbins: Record Reviews: Who Needs ‘Em? (Rock's Backpages Writers' Blogs)
Record reviews are now brief, upbeat and simple: download these songs, they’re good. Beyond that service, writers don’t provide much real value. They are unlikely to establish a strong connection with their readers, as no sense of prejudices and predilections can emerge from four sentences (at least one of which is going to be strictly informational).
And you can’t even blame space. They are simply kowtowing to the preferences of those readers who care the least.
Jon Millward: Deep Inside: A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars
For the first time, a massive data set of 10,000 porn stars has been extracted from the world’s largest database of adult films and performers. I’ve spent the last six months analyzing it to discover the truth about what the average performer looks like, what they do on film, and how their role has evolved over the last forty years.
Nitsuh Abebe: Why Can’t Beyoncé Have It All? (Vulture)
Given 90 minutes of HBO airtime to sell us any story she wants, she paints a rosy, responsible, carefully composed picture of someone who is, at most, making baby steps toward being less of a perfectionist. The parts of Life Is But a Dream that show us a “real” and “vulnerable” Beyoncé feel like the parts of job interviews where someone’s asked about their greatest weaknesses.
David Macias: Making Dollars: Clearing Up Spotify Payment Confusion (hypebot)
(UPDATED) By David Macias, president of Nashville based label services company Thirty Tigers. Much of the recent discourse about the music business reminds me of listening to partisan political commentators. Continue reading
On the tons of excellent free music coming out via rappers and their mixtapes.
Rappers are very much analogous to bloggers in that both groups sort of do what they do because they want to do it, but they also know there’s not really any worth to what they’re doing - except sometimes one of their cohort gets scooped up by some faceless place with money, so there’s always a little halo of maybe-money attached to what they do. Maybe that halo’s worth more than actually making a piddly amount of money.
Paul M. Barrett: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek)
The U.S. can’t afford regular Sandy-size disruptions in economic activity. To limit the costs of climate-related disasters, both politicians and the public need to accept how much they’re helping to cause them.
Mark Richardson: A Couple of Thoughts on the Springsteen Keynote
All of which to say that Springsteen is very canny about his legacy. He’s smart and he should be. And he’s done a lot of good and made a ton of incredible music and inspired and even changed the lives of many people, including mine. But you have to remember to keep those two contradictory ideas about him in mind at the same time.
Maura Johnston: What Happened to Music Writing This Year? (NPR)
In 2012, attempts to stay ahead of readers' innate desires resulted in a collective throwing up of hands. Think pieces and reviews still existed, but they were accompanied by other attempts to lure readers: Trifles like album titles and track listings treated as news items worthy of their own "stories" (to maximize the possibility of people tripping over their fingers and into a unique view); artists out of the public spotlight for more than six months unearthed as if they were creatures from another dimension; Tweets and other public statements by artists taken out of context and drained of their tone so as to stoke "WTF" headlines; superlative-laden lists not even aimed at expressing an opinion in count-downable form; posts with factual errors seen as hits to institutional credibility and opportunities to wring double the traffic out of one story.
Eric Harvey: How Frank Ocean Transcended The Hype (Buzzfeed Music)
Ocean is a storyteller at heart, and Orange is so compelling in large part because it’s never entirely clear from what perspective his stories are coming, or where they’re leading. Like all great writers, Ocean’s narratives are wholly fictional and half-true — autobiographies on their way to becoming lies
Krista Tippett: Brené Brown on Vulnerability (Nov 22, 2012) (On Being)
You know, and so, I've come to this belief that, if you show me a woman who can sit with a man in real vulnerability, in deep fear, and be with him in it, I will show you a woman who, A, has done her work and, B, does not derive her power from that man. And if you show me a man who can sit with a woman in deep struggle and vulnerability and not try to fix it, but just hear her and be with her and hold space for it, I'll show you a guy who's done his work and a man who doesn't derive his power from controlling and fixing everything.
Ezra Klein: The most important issue of this election: Obamacare (Washington Post)
Which is all to say that, yes, this election matters more than most. It matters more politically because the party in power will likely see their agenda affirmed by a cyclical recovery. But it matters more to actual people because the Affordable Care Act is poised to reshape American health care in two years. A vote for Obama is a vote for the law to take effect and for 30 million Americans to get health insurance they won’t get otherwise. A vote for Romney is a vote for the law — and its spending and its taxes — to be repealed. There are few elections in which the stakes are so clear.
Martha Raddatz and the faux objectivity of journalists | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Raddatz repeats big lies that are D.C. narrative—that Iran is a threat, that entitlement programs are ‘going broke’—during the debate as a showing of ‘objectivity’ as a journalist. Bullshit.
These establishment journalists are creatures of the DC and corporate culture in which they spend their careers, and thus absorb and then regurgitate all of the assumptions of that culture. That may be inevitable, but having everyone indulge the ludicrous fantasy that they are "objective" and "neutral" most certainly is not.
Eric Olson: The Politics of Pressure Support (Pressure Support)
Governor Romney has repeatedly promised that on his first day in office he will work to repeal Obamacare. Insurance companies will again be free to deny my family coverage for whatever reasons they see fit. The Ryan budget which Governor Romney plans to enact as president includes enormous cuts to Medicaid. A vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket is a vote to completely destroy the financial security and medical safety of my child and family. If you are planning on voting for him I’m sure that you are doing it for other reasons but these will be the consequences of that decision. You may not like hearing it but it’s the truth. A vote for Romney/Ryan is a vote that will hurt hardworking Americans like me and my family.
Andrew Cohen: No One in America Should Have to Wait 7 Hours to Vote (The Atlantic)
There is no hidden agenda here. The strategy and tactics are as far out in the open as those voters standing in line for hours waiting for their turn to vote. This transparency—of motive and of evidence—is also what distinguishes the complaints that Democrats have about Republican tricks on voting from Republican complaints about Democratic tricks on voting. Widespread "in-person" voter fraud or voting by illegal immigrants exists mostly in the minds of conspiracy theorists. Yet proof of voter suppression is visible to all of us with the naked eye. All we have to do is look. There is no political equivalence here—only more lamentable false equivalence.
Glenn Greenwald: Obama and progressives: what will liberals do with their big election victory? (The Guardian)
With last night's results, one can choose to see things two ways: (1) emboldened by their success and the obvious movement of the electorate in their direction, liberals will resolve that this time things will be different, that their willingness to be Good Partisan Soldiers depends upon their core values not being ignored and stomped on, or (2) inebriated with love and gratitude for Obama for having vanquished the evil Republican villains, they will follow their beloved superhero wherever he goes with even more loyalty than before. One does not need to be Nate Silver to be able to use the available historical data to see which of those two courses is the far more likely one.