Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Thu Nov 1 03:05:44 2007
Abayment of Drums

I'm sometime amused at the subtlety needed to make a good music video - I know that others may differ here, but I personally have little interest in seeing the artist play the instrument or strut around a music stage (likewise in person, but concerts are fun because the acoustics are sometimes better, the music isn't as engineered by a sound studio, the musicians sometimes interact with the audience (or "read the crowd" to choose what to play or how to play it), and being around other people who like a given band can sometimes be interesting, whether it be TMBG, some nice flamenco music, or classical stuff) - music videos act instead as a venue for a low-intellect performance art or skit. One of the groups I liked whose videos were particularly novel was the Danish pop band Aqua - they took the skit idea pretty seriously, some relating to the song title, some not (likewise with Toy-Box). The German band "And One"'s videos use video more to manipulate the viewer/listener directly - they don't tell a story so much as use emotionally evocative imagery in sequence (the video for "So klingt Liebe" is something I'm still scratching my head over). It seems that a lot of user-created content on Youtube is made by people who have different aesthetics - they tend towards video that's very-literal -- almost mechanical in its construction. Thinking about the bands whose videos show them playing the instruments, I wonder if that's usually in there because the bands insist, because it's good branding on some level, or if some people like that. At least from my perspective, if it's there it should be minimal. Maybe part of it is that they identify as musicians (at least, as tied to their music) more than as artists, and so, music being "their thing", them playing their instruments seems obligatory for the videos...?

Amusing how the hot topics in an election tend to be forgotten (the content of the list, not necessarily the issues themselves) from election to election. Apart from the invasion of Iraq and the possible invasion of Iran and universal healthcare, illegal immigration and related topics seem to be part of this coming election's list. One point of debate is service by the DMV to this group - the governor of NY state recently floated plans to offer three tiers of driver's licenses, one of which would be targeted specifically at illegal immigrants. In this article on the matter, consultant Hank Sheinkopf notes that "You take a hit in some portion of the electorate for being against this, you take a bigger hit being for it. If you try to explain it, you get into more trouble".. true about so much in politics, either on the stage or among friends. My thoughts:

  • Planning for highly flexible numbers of people, in state services and other areas, can be very difficult
  • Counterargument to claims of racism: if it tends to impact people of one race more than others and if that is by the claimant's definition definitionally racist, it is only accidentally so - it is by intent just citizen-ist, which most states are (and probably should be)
  • Another issue is that by potentially broadening a class of people living in the US (resident aliens without citizenship subject to deportation), we move closer to having an Arab-esque legal system with a permanent underclass with few/no labour rights (in their case, largely Indians). Presently, the "born in the United States = citizenship" avoids that, but has the "Anchor Baby" problem. Perhaps a less abusable solution would be to amend that to requiring one of the parents to be of at least permanent resident status?
  • Smattering of news:

    Al Jazeera has a neat article on Iranian women playing rugby. Also, it's nice to read about cases where the Kitty Genovese case was not repeated.

    Finished reading the book on reform in communist societies, quick thoughts ("quick", haha):

    The coverage of China wasn't as good as I would have liked - it didn't cover areas of social change in the detail that the other regions were (although in my conversation with Mac, some of this was made up for - he painted a picture of China that had fallen back into an essentially feudal-warlord system). This is disappointing - that Deng Xiaopeng was just the first herald of dying dreams...

    Amused that at the end of the book/collection, they admit that because of the rate of change, they knew that the book may be outdated rapidly.