There’s something appropriate about finally logging on to your blog to update it for the first time in a month, only to find that the server is just beginning an unannounced weekend-long hiatus. It’s not the act of a vengeful god, exactly; more of a passive aggressive one, a pouty deity who’s going to make you say you’re sorry before He’ll let you get on with your life. Sort of a Catholic thing, in other words.
The irony is heightened by the fact that the entry I had in mind was to mention that two of my blogging relations have jumped the Raptor ship largely due to frequent service problems with no explanation. One is Wingedthing, who went to Blogspot and became Julia Glassman. (Though I think that some small part of her, deep inside, was already Julia Glassman waiting to come out.) The other, Kindle, went to WordPress and is still Kindle. That leaves me, basically, under strict instructions to turn out the lights when I leave.
I don’t have any particular good reasons to stick to Raptor, and after the problems over the weekend I have one more good reason to leave. It’s just a habit thing; I don’t want to move all my entries over there, I don’t want to set up a new template, all that stuff. It will probably happen one day, but I’m going to build more of a stake here (through regular entries) before I pull up that stake for greener, more reliable pastures.
On that entry front, I have some content planned in the next day or two which will…hopefully appear. In the meantime, here are some ephemera:
•Via Lore, we have Rockabye Baby, a series of CDs that turn classic and modern rock songs–from as mainstream as the Beatles to as fringe as Björk and Tool–into lullabies. You can hear samples on the site, but it’s not as fun as you might think; they generally fall into “songs that already sounded a little like lullabies” (“Close to Me”, “Subterranean Homesick Alien”) and “songs that clearly are not for babies, even though they’re played on a xylophone” (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Enter Sandman”). A few of them sound good–“All Apologies” is surprisingly well-suited for a toy piano–but even then, I question the value of the whole project, which seems like the musical equivalent of the children’s books written by celebrities. They’re babies, they don’t care, but you’re not trying to impress them; you’re trying to impress your friends who maybe think you’re having a baby too early. Plus, you’re taking a slight increase in coolness short-term, but long-term you’re sacrificing one of the few cool things parents have going for them: knowledge of musical history. You can’t introduce your kids to music if they’ve already heard it in lullabye form; when he turns fifteen, are you going to give him “OK Computer” and say, “Now you’re ready for the grownup version of the songs you listened to in your jam-jams”?
•Via Metamanda: the very, very badly named OhMiBod, a vibrator for your iPod. The selling point for this iPod vibrator, as opposed to the others we’ve seen (really) is that “it will vibrate to the tune of your music.” I know that that’s the kind of thing music fans should just love, like Ani or Thom is personally controlling the setting on your massager. But when you think about it, is it really an advantage? After all, what one wants from a massage–of any variety–is usually something steady and predictable. The prospect of going through a sudden change in tempo or volume–like in “Master of Puppets,” or after the first verse of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”–while using this thing is pretty unpleasant. House music seems to be the only sensible solution, aside from “just buy a regular vibrator; Jesus Christ, will you not be happy until your waffle maker can connect to your iPod in some way?”
•Man, I’m cynical about innovations in musical marketing tonight. Well, here’s something we can all agree to dislike: our president:
“He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we’re learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. … He’s also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides ….”
We smart people don’t just hate Bush because he’s stupid, though he is stupid; nor because he’s unintellectual, though he certainly is that; nor even because he’s arrogant in a way few public figures have ever dared to be, let alone (in Bush’s case) tried to be. We hate him because he rolls all of those characteristics together, to form an unmistakable picture of every stupid jerk we’ve known from sixth grade through the rest of our lives. The fact that one can read the above without being the least bit surprised–in fact, the language chosen (“get a jolly,” “cut a few”) is exactly apropos–is just proof positive that Bush is living the eternal fucking fantasy of every stupid arrogant privileged asshole’s stupid stupid I HATE HIM SO MUCH.