Jun 2, 2015
updated the link to his or her website.
Dec 10, 2013
commented on The Story of Soda Is the Story of America
We used to call it "pop" in the Snoqualmie Valley in the 1970s. I suspect there was a regionalism that has been displaced by "soda." Parts of Washington where more inflected by Appalachia culture than New England; and I suspect in Seattle there were pockets of pop vs soda. (http://www.popvssoda.com
It is interesting the quote, because in The Road, the father gives his son a Coke. (So it has survived the end of the world.)
Sep 24, 2013
commented on Shut Up
Since the article itself is indifferent, indulgent, superior, snotty, and whining, and it is holier than thou to tell someone to shut up, the essay must be ironic. One of the beauties of irony (or sarcasm) is that you can say what you mean/don't mean. And you can hear/not hear what you want to/don't want to hear.
So the essay is on the surface telling itself to shut up, and warning us that it is a waste of time. The circular loop of this makes my head hurt because it decries the problem of irony through irony. It complains about surface meaningless through surface meaningless. My head hurting in this way is not a bad thing -- it is kind of like a verbal Escher, a cheap trick of perspective that nevertheless unfolds in odd ways and at a certain point you realize there is no there, no actual stance, just a verbal fog or visual fog in which you can impose your own meaning.
When I first read this piece about two weeks ago it really pissed me off. Rebecca Brown, a creative writing teacher, telling people to shut up? What the hell? And at the time I was also thinking, perhaps she is joking (or being ironic)?
That anyone would take the article non-ironically as I did for about a day, speaks more to an underlying value in Seattle that prefers the sanctimonious, earnest, and successful over the slippery, verbal, and failed. [At one time success was considered failure in Seattle, and when that value was adjusted (since it is clearly nutty) it seems the city went kind of nuts.] Theodore Roethke thought poets should be regarded as business men. Our major civic figures for a long time now have been business men like Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, Bill Gates, and so on. Even the Sub Pop guys are now seen as businessmen more than anything else. The article made me think a bit of Carrie Nation, the temperance movement firebrand who was egged in England for hectoring an audience about the evils of alcohol. This piece is hectoring the audience of The Stranger (The Stranger!) about the evils of irony. We are essentially reading an essay that eggs itself. That is slapstick, which Seattle needs much more than another businessman.
Nevertheless, Seattle has a strong moralizing bent and the essay struck me as coming from that place as well.
Apr 24, 2013
commented on Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
@12 They aren't going to be on CDs or DVDs. They would be on servers like just about everything else.
However, it is weird that a transition to somewhere in Seattle our outlaying areas can't be found for ZAPP.
Feb 6, 2013
commented on Big Three Publishers Come at Amazon with a New Retailing Site
Actually Amazon encourages publishers not to DRM their books. It is the publishers who cling to DRM. The issue online isn't selling books but discovering books. I like LibraryThing and GoodReads, but I can't say that I have actually found books using those sites. I've found books using the recommendation engine, but typically it a kind of multi-factorial thing where I hear about book a number of times in various ways. Bookstores still tend to be a retail space where I will purchase books. Does anyone know of a study about how people learn about books they want to read?