So, I read Sturgill Simpson’s rant. It’s a complaint that’s been raised millions of times before: how Nashville supports mainly ‘country pop’ while legends like Merle Haggard fall by the wayside, etc.
Here are my thoughts about this… hang on tight, this might be a bit unpopular…
Of course country radio supports mostly catchy mainstream country pop. And that’s okay. I see the same phenomenon happens in all kinds of genres, and you always have outrage on the “artiste” side and silence on the “mainstream” side. Because no one really likes to defend that they prefer watching “Jurassic World” over “Moonrise Kingdom,” or want to hear “Honey Bee” when they turn on country radio, not “Kern River Blues” (the Haggard single mentioned by Simpson).Read more →
I really enjoyed this NPR show on happiness. It is full of important reminders about what makes people happy, and what doesn’t.
While I was already aware of most of what was said, one section did contain an eye opener. When you experience misfortune, it helps to stay aware that “this, too, shall pass”… (I already knew that part)… but why is it so darn hard to remember this? In spite of experiencing the healing power of time all the time, it seems we can’t seem to get it into our heads. We continue to sweat the small stuff in the present, until it fades into the past.Read more →
Okay the packaging contains all kinds of hyperbole - but this is actually a really useful device. It makes good coffee. Not as good as the one I typically make (one cup at a time, with freshly ground beans, using several paper filters, and strongly boiling water from my HotShot dumped onto the coffee grinds), but close.Read more →
Recently I started re-reading Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves To Death.” (In German: “Wir amüsieren uns zu Tode.”) This is a book that deeply influenced me as a teen. In young adulthood I lived without TV out of principle, mostly because of this book. (I do remember looking longingly at the small portable TVs while shopping at an electronics store, though.)Read more →
My reviews on three documentaries I watched recently: “Autism In Love,” “The Genius of Marian,” and “Transfatty Lives.”Read more →
I gave “Showtime” on Amazon Instant a try, and as part of this got to watch the first season of “Outlander”, a show with an intriguing concept. (“While on her honeymoon, WWII combat nurse Claire Randall is mysteriously transported back to 1743 Scotland, where she is kidnapped by a group of Highlanders - and meets an injured young man named Jamie.”)Read more →
So in March Verizon FIOS stuck me with a mega-bill after all my free goodies and discounts of my contract suddenly expired. I called them immediately. (Sadly, that’s what you have to do if you are an existing customer… if you want discounts, you have to pick up the phone, wait in line, then haggle.)Read more →