Monday, January 09, 2006

Sentential Links #32

Links. Sentences. You know the drill!

:: Because an Amazon ranking is really the only feedback authors have in terms of having any idea how well their book is selling. (OK, time for a naive aspiring-writer question: don't publishers provide authors with information about how well they're selling? Or is Amazon's info so much more direct and up-to-the-minute? Again, I don't know what I'm talking about here, so....)

:: And having been caught with their hands in the cookie-jar, Congress will now undoubtedly pass legislation outlawing cookie-jars. (Goodness -- I just had to scroll through more than half of Craig's main page to find a post I strongly disagree with. What's up with that?! Lots of good stuff there today -- and I don't merely define "good stuff" as "stuff with which I agree".)

:: Wow. 7,468 unentertaining performances. (Alan apparently doesn't like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Interesting. I liked both Phantom and Cats, although neither overwhelmed me. Oh, and check out Alan's rhyming link-dump. He put a lot of thought into that....)

:: In a word, according to many, all balance and harmony will bring is a mad race toward mediocrity. (Gotta read this blog more....)

:: Don't tell anyone named "Chip" that you are a socialist because he will feel compelled to tell you why that is the stupidest thing in the world and follow you around the room even after you say you've had enough and walk away from him to get a snack. Bad Chip. Stop it. (Thank God I've never met a "Chip"....)

:: Just what the world needs right now. Another argument that evil is simply opposition to the side we happen to be on.

:: Now I may get the prize for Most Truistic Blog 2006, but I've always white-hot loathed the common tendency to separate intellect and feeling, particularly in music. (I do tend to err on the side of feeling, if only because I've so often found myself surrounded by clinical-intellectual types.)

:: I've interviewed a number of high-powered people, including Cecilia Bartoli, Osvaldo Golijov, Julie Taymor, Juan Diego Flórez, John Barry, and Marin Alsop. Never, though, have I been so terrified as when I met Howard Shore, multiple Oscar-winner and composer of the scores to Ed Wood, The Fly, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and many other films. (God, that would terrify me, too. I'm this close to becoming a full-scale Shore nut. And check out this same blogger's Newsday article on Shore.)

:: I guess I should name something that’s entertaining without being artistic, but I have to admit that’s harder for me, because I’m not all that likely to be entertained by something that isn’t, at the very least, artful. (I can't think of one, either -- but then, it's pretty much impossible for me, since I define art as "Any activity whose primary function is to provoke esthetic response". I don't necessarily couple the concepts of "art" and "quality".)

:: Everyone knows by now that the objections to Bush's NSA program have nothing to do with opposition to eavesdropping on Al Qaeda, but are instead based upon the fact that in ordering this eavesdropping, Bush is breaking the law, because the eavesdropping is conducted in secret and without the judicial oversight required by FISA. Surely Steyn knows this, too. But rather than address the argument, he simply lies and says that the objections are based on the belief that the U.S. shouldn't be eavesdropping on Al Qeada. (How Glenn Greenawald spends so much time deconstructing people like Steyn and Powerline is beyond me. He must own stock in whatever company makes Tums.)

More next week, as always.

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