1. In honor of the Knack’s lead singer Doug Fieger, who passed away on Valentines Day, here’s Sherman Alexie’s tribute to “My Sharona”. It was a pretty good song, and the best use of an octave in a riff since Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”.
2. I’m enjoying watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics on TV, but I often sense something basically unwholesome about the amount of buildup and tension that underlies this approach to competition. How is it good for an athlete to train for four years to lead up to a performance that lasts, in many cases, less than a minute? This leads to an emphasis on perfection, a dreadful and unnatural fear of error. This doesn’t strike me as a mentally and emotionally healthy approach to sport, and I hate to see the look of shame that follows an excellent achievement marred by a single mistake. Personally, I prefer a more organic, holistic attitude towards competition. Maybe that’s why baseball is still my favorite spectator sport. With 162 games a year and three hours per game, we get to know and appreciate the whole athlete, mistakes and quirks and all. Perfection, in my opinion, is rarely worth pursuing. That’s what I think.
3. And, when I think of Vancouver, I think of Ralph Alphonso, latter-day beatnik, singer and publisher of the RALPH zine, who once told me of a thriving arts scene in that Pacific coast town. Still haven’t found my way out there myself.
4. Stephen Mitchelmore on a book I haven’t seen yet but very much want to read, Reality Hunger by David Shields.
5. Bill Ectric’s Tamper in 3 AM.
6. Was Rene Descartes murdered? It’s possible.
7. ReadWriteWeb’s proposal for a comprehensive approach to meta-data in online book coverage is worth thinking about. I definitely plan to do some semantic web stuff here on LitKicks, if I can ever find the time.
9. Hunter S. Thompson gets some tech support.
9. I’m not surprised the Barack Obama administration seems to be on the right track in terms of electronic publishing formats. As I’ve pointed out before, this White House really has its act together in terms of technology.
10. Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that there’s a writer named David Goodwillie? I guess I am.