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#766 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 05:19 PM

Well he did make the point somewhere that the advent of coffee changed the nature of discourse from pubs because coffee is a stimulant rather than a soporific.


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#767 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 05:20 PM

Also, although the piece addressed the social effects of cafés broadly, its taking off point was Jews in cafés.  And Jews historically didn't go to bars.


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#768 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 10:09 PM

(a) Science aside, I have not noticed alcohol consumption making people shut up (except beyond a certain point). :D

(b) Yes, that's fair, and why not write a book about cafes and their Jewish clientele?  The review made it sound like cafes were the only locus of public, social discourse. Or maybe I just read it that way,



#769 voyager

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 11:46 PM

A simple but seldom mentioned component is that cafes;coffee houses have offered "living rooms" for a large population living in very cramped quarters, rooms, bed-sits.

It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#770 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 11:49 PM

And they still do, although people sit there for hours in isolated contemplation of their laptops.

#771 voyager

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:07 AM

And they still do, although people sit there for hours in isolated contemplation of their laptops.

 

Do you suppose Hemingway et cie, staring at their blank pages, were perceived similarly?    


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#772 Wilfrid

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 03:49 AM

Fair point.

#773 SLBunge

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 04:47 PM

Interesting piece about Niki Nakayama


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#774 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

The piece on Rammstein by Amanda Petrusich is a curiosity. Amanda is not a kid, but it’s as if she recently found out about the history of rock music by watching a short documentary.

Her description of Kraftwerk is rigorously accurate and will help readers of an article on Rammstein who have never heard of Kraftwerk.

Then we learn that many rock bands have incorporated theatricality into their performances. In 1974, for example, Iggy Pop cut himself. And then there’s Kiss and Alice Cooper. And did you hear about Jim Morrison?

Stylistically, the band combines “Krautrock, industrial music, heavy metal, and...almost Jacques Brel.” Good to know the rather useless K word is still politically correct; do they assimilate Popol Vuh or Can? (Amanda won’t know.)

And apparently they are so loud you need ear plugs. I suspect her 30 min rock history documentary didn’t include Einsturzende, the obvious (not to Amanda) band to discuss alongside Rammstein, musically, theatrically, and politically.

#775 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

Her general ignorance never ceases to piss me off.

 

But you have to give her this:  she knows more about pop music than Elizabeth Wurtzel.


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#776 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

ELLEN WILLIS was once the pop music critic of the New Yorker.

 

SASHA FRERE-JONES was once the pop music critic of the New Yorker.


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#777 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:05 PM

And then, as I turn the pages, it sits next to a fully informed and angelically written review of a Sam Shepherd play by Hilton Als, which suggests (surprise) that their editors can’t see or don’t care about the chasm in quality between these pieces.

#778 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:11 PM

We don’t get “Sam Shepherd claimed to be indebted to Samuel Beckett, an Irish playwright who wrote experimental, stylized, minimalist plays (often in French).”

#779 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:33 PM

It's weird.  It must be the only place that still treats pop music the same way many publications still treat food:  as something that anybody can write about.


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#780 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:46 PM

Yes, and one can only assume the upper editorial echelons can’t tell good from bad. It would hardly be difficult to find a good writer to cover pop.