Thursday, January 13, 2011

Be back soon

I haven't really felt like blogging much these past few days.  There are really much more important things I should be doing that I haven't been doing.  But in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, I'm getting hit with a lesson I took away from this post by Bill:  You really don't want to know what other people are thinking.  Some people, anyway.  It's more disturbing than you could imagine to discover there are psychopaths and sociopaths lurking - well, not everywhere, but in enough places to make the world an uncomfortable place.

(As Jon Stewart pointed out, the life stories of the six mostly-random people who were killed in this past weekend's shooting are enough to make you realize that any random person may in fact have a truly amazing life story, and there's a greater likelihood that any given person falls into this category than into the "crazy" category.  But the crazies can definitely out-shout the amazings.  And out-shoot, too.)

I'm thinking a lot about the basic question "What is a blog?"  Someone set out to answer this back in 2003 for an actual scholarly reference work, and this is the definition she came up with.  Compare this definition to the sites listed on Regator's Top 50 Blogs of 2010.  How many of them fall within the definition from 2003?  Can an argument be made that some of these are not, in fact, "blogs?"  What is the definition of a blog in 2011, and how has it changed since 2003?

But enough of that nonsense.  That's all for another time.  I've been playing around with a...thing on Facebook, something I did once before.  It's a way of generating imaginary album covers.  The rules:

1 - Go to wikipedia and hit random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”. Third picture no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar ( is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption"

Here are the album covers I've come up with tonight:

38541 Rustichelli was a techno-trance outfit consisting of a single member who kept his identity a closely guarded secret.  His exclusive underground performances usually consisted of banks of keyboards and sequencers playing by themselves onstage while the anonymous artist mingled with the gathered crowd.  Tragically, he was often the only person in attendance, and his career ended after a single album which, while completely digital in composition, was released only on vinyl.

Trying to tap into a Japanpop groove, Matthew's Best Hit TV was eventually revealed to be a quintet of North Korean spies seeking secrets of nuclear weapons manufacture.  Their efforts at espionage were slightly less successful than the sales of their lone album, a collection of somewhat sweet ballads and, inexplicably, sea chanteys.

George Maniakes was one of the more successful Greek lounge singers to prowl the clubs of San Francisco in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  Like "No Guarantee of Maturity," most of his songs seemed to be directed towards pre-pubescent girls in an other-than-avuncular manner.  He eventually vanished from public view after a  scandal involving currency speculation and the importation of exotic fruit.

The Shift Key was an early alternative band whose songs were relegated to college stations until well after alternative had gone mainstream and was considered passe.  "A Year and a Half," their seventh album, was considered their most upbeat work, despite controversial cover art apparently parodying the suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.  Following their breakup in 1998, the members all independently went on to form competing "new folk" bands, who now tour county fairs and jamborees and enjoy far more success that they ever experienced in their earlier incarnation.

NOTE: The original images, taken from Flickr totally without permission:

"Very Little on Office Supplies" :  Pericolose curiosità (parte 3) From Fabio Luffarelli
"Health Like a Waterman" :  "Look At All The Lonely People" by CantBuyMeLove
"No Guarantee of Maturity" : "1/52" by rockie nolan
"A Year and a Half" : "Humpty Dumpty *Explored*" by Nelson Oliver


hedera said...

I'm a little confused on why you got that response from Bill's post. I found Bill's post a very thoughtful analysis of an interesting proposition, one on which I don't personally take a position.

Actually, my position is that NOBODY should serve in combat, but that's probably hopeless.

Anyway, I didn't detect any particular weirdness in Bill's approach. I agree with the idea that you don't necessarily want to know what other people think (you should hear some of my relatives!), but I don't understand why that post made you reach that conclusion.

D.B. Echo said...

Hedera, I'm actually referencing this bit towards the end:

"Blogging was a national shock to the system where many of us discovered what others were really thinking. I think the decline in blogging may be a reaction to that -- OK, I don't need to know what you're really thinking; we'll get along better if I don't know what you're thinking; how about we just pretend we never told each other what we're thinking ..."

At least, I think that's what I was referencing. Bill is an editor by profession, and has a policy of freely editing his posts after they are written. So what I read shortly after it was posted may not be the same post that's there now.