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don't get me wrong, i think the article is very much an attempt to obliquely skewer him for the sin of being middlebrow.


A sort of lowbrow Gatsby, I thought. The houses, the heli-pad.



yeah, a lowbrow gatsby who appeals to the middlebrow. the writer's attitude to him as a social being is essentially that of tom buchanan's to gatsby, though he dresses it up better. there's a tension in the article though because the writer does in fact respect his music or at least acknowledges his abilities, though he leaves it to a bruce springsteen anecdote to flesh it out. lots of self-loathing to go around.


it's worth noting that very few millionaire rock stars exhibit good taste as defined by new yorker writers.

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I meant to make a laudatory post last week to the effect that, where other than The New Yorker might you find a smart, funny, informative article on a literary figure as obscure as Alfred Lord Dunsany

I took that test when we applied to adopt! Picture was from the 30's: any idiot could tell that you were supposed to translate the stallion and the shirtless man in the picture into something sexual.

Mitchell is right on this precise point, though: as a classical music fan, I find its use in classical venues to be an outrage.


don't you wish more people would come to this conclusion:



“I’m not crazy about going into a recording studio and doing that kind of life again,” he told me one day. “Or taking on another project where there’s other people involved—arrangers and orchestrators and conductors and producers. I don’t want to deal with it. It’s a megillah. You have to have a certain amount of ambition to want to do all that. And I look back at the guy who was the recording artist, this Billy Joel guy, and I think, Who the fuck was that guy? He was very ambitious, very driven, and I don’t feel like that anymore.”



Joel maintains that there’s discipline in it. “Over the years, Elton would say, ‘Why don’t you make more albums?’ And I’d say, ‘Why don’t you make less?’ ”


He went on, “Some people think it’s because I’m lazy or I’m just being contrary. But, no, I think it’s just—I’ve had my say. If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that’s no reason to do it. I’d want it to be good. And I’ve seen artists on that treadmill, putting out albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and it’s, like, maybe you should stop.”


YES! (Maybe a living white rock bass player.) (Maybe every rock musician over 65 except for Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.)



Why stop at rock musicians? Why not writers, artists, actors, doctors, lawyers...


I mean, Michelangelo did David and The Pieta before he was 30 - someone should've just taken the damn marble away from him at that point.

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