An Embarrassment of Archives

1. I think it’s pretty amazing that Google is putting deep newspaper archives online, including not only the Halifax Gazette (1753 issue, pictured above) but the complete Village Voice, dating back to the 1950s. You know the phrase “An embarrassment of riches”? This is, to me, an embarrassment of archives, because I want to read it all but I just don’t know where I will find the time.

2. Words Without Borders presents
Into The Wild: International Nature Writing. Nice.

3. Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club, on what it is about Dante.

4. Why Dante? Why Plato? Personally, I get much more out of Plato than Dante, but then I’m not Catholic. Nor Guelph.

5. Somebody’s putting on a play about Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish (always a favorite poem of mine).

6. “Fingerblast” is a music video by Adira Amram, who is clearly channeling the “She-bop”-era 1980s.

7. Speaking of the 1980s, it’s a fact that John Hughes was among the best comedy film directors of all time (though, let’s be honest, he managed to be great exactly three times — Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris — and was otherwise way too willing to churn out profitable but repetitive junk). I remember reading him in National Lampoon magazine before he switched to film, and I hope National Lampoon will consider publishing a retrospective of his early work there. Or maybe Google will eventually index the Lampoon archives.

8. Speaking of the 1980s, here’s Mike Watt at the Bowery Poetry Club, remembering the Minutemen.

9. Jay Diamond appreciates Jay-Z.

10. Bobby McFerrin does something a lot cooler than “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.


12. David Updike writes about his father.

13. I’m confused why, if great singer Nick Cave has written a book,
he’s now singing it. Maybe he knows what he’s doing, but I don’t, because to me this kind of kills the novelty of Nick Cave creating a book instead of another record.

14. Richard Nash on the end of indie culture. “Which is OK, because it won. Open source, Twitter. Indie won. Etsy. The irresistible decline of major labels and network TV and corporate publishing. Indie won.” Now what?

3 Responses

  1. I too am glad that the
    I too am glad that the Village Voice archives are online, thanks to it and Google, but the Gawker article you linked to was, as usual, creepy.

    They refer to 1955, when New York City had “a fascist mayor.”

    I am sure these people have no idea who was mayor then, but I can remember him well, having met Robert Wagner, Jr. three times. He was a decent, if somewhat bland and colorless man, who meant well and served three terms from 1953-1965. Pretty much everyone liked him and he’s fondly remembered among most of us who actually lived in New York during his tenure.

  2. I believe Judd Nelson’s role,
    I believe Judd Nelson’s role, in Hughes’ Breakfast Club, inspired Harry Shearer, one of the creators of the Simpsons. I forget the name of the character Judd Nelson played, but he was a yuppie compared to a few of my fellow, cigarette smoking (and God knows what else) fifth graders.

    Foxy Alley Sheedy and Molly Ringwald. Sharp, hustling Robert Downey jr. The (rather) banal Psychedelic Furs.

    The eighties were dumb, the beginning of political lethargy. And I wasn’t much of a maverick, myself.

    Nick Cave prefers writing songs, not books, and this is reflected in his And the Ass Saw the Angel. Yes, Kaddish could be Ginsberg’s best

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