Category Archives: Uncategorized

Favorite Music of 2016

It would be laughable to present a “Best of 2016” list, given my nodding acquaintance with most new music. Instead, here are 15 songs that looped through my headphones and dreams this past year. Enjoy.

 

 

 

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A New Kind of Presidential Debate Analysis

I don’t know why I love the presidential debates so much. After all the buildup of a summer of attack ads, stretched facts, dirt digging, and political inertia, letting Obama and Romney square off against each other is going to be great television. (Or great streaming video, whichever.)

Of course, post-debate analysis is uniformly disappointing. The pundits pick apart the least consequential aspects of the candidates’ performance in an effort to one-up the other networks with soundbites. (The Times has a nice piece on how past underdogs have won the day with such spin.)

So! I’m proud to announce a new venture with The Penguin Press and Reuters: a post-debate video roundtable with three award-winning authors, each an expert with a unique perspective on the election.

Reuters Global Editor-at-Large Chrystia Freeland will host the discussion. Freeland is the author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else. (You may have also seen her amazing New Yorker piece on the 1% this week.)

She will be joined by David Nasaw, award-winning author of the national bestseller Andrew Carnegie and The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy (arriving in November)Nasaw will provide a historian’s perspective on the cultural and political forces shaping the election.

Last but not least, the roundtable will include Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin, the globally recognized expert on energy and author of the New York Times bestseller The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.

The roundtable starts on Reuters.com after Wednesday’s Presidential Debate at 10:40pm EST. It’ll run for about 30min. Hope you can join in.

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The Celluloid Salon

While most convergences in new media are interesting academically, few are truly thrilling aesthetically. At “The Celluloid Salon” last Friday, Chris Weingarten (@1000TimesYes) created and curated just such an event.

By DJ’ing live soundtracks to silent film shorts, he took an initially witty pairing somewhere more unique. The experience wasn’t simply a hybrid: as the short Dream of a Rarebit Fiend showed the hallucinatory night of a fall-down drunk, Weingarten’s scuzzy ambient noise and comic sound affects (created via turntable scratches) questioned the technological connotations of each. The 1906 film’s adept use of layered images and split-screen made it seem straight out of 1960s; the live turntablism recast itself as an older medium.

Here’s an image from the second short, Coney Island, U.S.A.:

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Godard, Noun and Adjective

There’s a new Godard interview, freshly translated by Film Comment. It’s full of the old auteur’s usual bon mots, such as…

The technological world we live in owes everything to Greece. Who invented logic? Aristotle. If this, and if that, then therefore that. Logic. It is what the dominant powers use all day long, making sure there are no contradictions, so that we stay in the same logic. Hannah Arendt did say that logic induces totalitarianism. So everybody owes Greece money today. It could ask for billions in author’s royalties from the contemporary world and it would be logical to give it to them. Right now.

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