shoshin: Shoshin kanji (Default)
2009-07-14 06:43 am
Entry tags:

The Demise of Books

Yesterday morning, I read a good Snarkmarket article about James Wolcott's Vanity Fair article on the demise of books. Wolcott says, 'How can I impress strangers with the gem-like flame of my literary passion if it’s a digital slate I’m carrying around, trying not to get it all thumbprinty?' and then goes on to talk about, even if he's being tongue-in-cheek, why he's completely wrong. As Rex Sorgatz at Fimocolous says, 'James Walcott [sic] cries that no one will see him reading Anna Karenina on the subway, or something like that.'

Then again, Wolcott also says, 'An overgrown man-child and his precious collection can become a closed-loop co-dependency that functions as a moat.' Sounds kind of like acquaintances of mine who are terrible hoarders. And if the essay suggests he's bemoaning the disappearance of books and CDs, his conclusion suggests otherwise:
'As all this space opens up—as the tokens of our cultural snobbery or keen connoisseurship (take your pick, depending on the degree of pretentious wankery you attribute to others) recede into the hideaway shelves and flash drives—what will refill it? “After two decades of defining ourselves in terms of our possessions,” Holly Brubach wrote recently in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, “we now need to figure out who we would be without them.” I suspect that once this downturn plateaus and shrinks in the rearview mirror, we’ll just stock up on other possessions, which will be arrayed and arranged to show off not our personal aesthetics or expensive whims but our ethics—our progressive virtues.' In any event, Wolcott's a good writer and it's definitely worth reading.

On a related note, book lists by scholars including Social Media, Bollywood and the Science of Sex from the New York Review of Ideas.
shoshin: Shoshin kanji (Default)
2009-07-07 05:33 pm
Entry tags:

K'Naan and Waving Flag

Thought I’d pass along a recommendation for a song I heard yesterday called “Waving Flag” by Somali-born singer K’Naan off his new album Troubador. It’s got sort of a Micahel Franti/Spearhead vibe and it definitely appeals if you like that sort of thing or some of the other HipHop that fuses different styles (there’s a little bit of reggae in her with some guitar work and samples from 70’s Somali pop). Very listenable and deeply personal (the sincerity just sort of comes through in the music when hear it).

He performed songs from his latest album as the SXSW Music Festival in March of this year and you can hear the performance streamed on NPR or you can download it for listening later. In case you’re actually curious and want to hear his stuff.

I've finally had a chance to listen to hear the whole album and I like about half the tracks. Which is to say, there's probably something on the album for everyone, ranging from old-school rap, a track with Kirk Hammett that I like because it reminds me of Rage Against the Machine, and the reggae-influenced "Waving Flag". In that regard, it's got the same diversity as The Way I See It Raphael Saadiq.
shoshin: Shoshin kanji (Default)
2009-07-06 09:14 pm
Entry tags:

Movies with Ninjas

The latest from The Onion News Network about a ninja parade in Modesto is pretty funny, though not as funny as the Onion article about the office massacre by a disgruntled ninja co-worker wherein, among other things, one of them was, "...impaled upon cunningly folded quarterly report folders."

More seriously, though I'm sure it'll be a cheese-fest, Ninja with Scott Adkins looks like it has some beautiful fight scenes. Another ninja movie, Kamui, looks to be more in the classic line of Japanese ninja and samurai epics to judge by these teaser clips. It has much the same feel as the movie version of Lone Wolf and Cub series (also referred to as Shogun Assassin, another movie based on a manga. One hopes it will live up to the sand dunes fight in Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx.