Listen Up

I love podcasts … they’re how I get through my workday. And I found a new one – done by d r i f t g l a s s and Friend-of-Stinque Bluegal.  Get it here.  I’ve listened to every single one, and I liked them all. And throw some money their way, ferchrissakes.

62 comments:

10:07 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

People. Finally. A wake-up call.

Somehow I think this just could be the tipping point for Inhofe.

10:11 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

Please tell me Greg’s brother isn’t the special guest.

10:21 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@nojo: Dude. My martini. It just went out my nose.

10:22 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@Benedick: As long as the headline is “Study Finds” and not “Oklahoma Becomes America’s Sahara”, Inhofe will have no problem sleeping at night.

10:24 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@SanFranLefty: There’s no callback like old callbacks.

10:36 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@SanFranLefty: Please tell me Greg’s brother isn’t the special guest.

Could someone please fill me in?

10:42 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

Only marginally related via the involvement of recorded sound:

ASCAP’s Paul Williams catches the virus known to cause teabaggerism; claims that Lessig’s challenge to a public debate is an attempt to silence ASCAP

W. T. F. Is there something in the water served in corporate boardrooms that’s causing this? Did Mr. Williams lick a toilet seat at his local meeting of the John Birch Society?

10:55 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@al2o3cr: I recall reading a post on a wingnut blog – said that publishing an excerpt from an Ann Coulter column was ‘misquoting’ her. Sort of the same thing.

11:13 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@blogenfreude: Then there’s Terrel Owens, who said he was misquoted in his own autobiography.

How ’bout them wingers who nod knowingly at the mention that an interview was “edited.”

11:38 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@blogenfreude: Hint:

I tried. I really did. But I got bored after Greg plugged his brother’s piece again. I mean, Nojo and FCS are the only ones consistently keeping this place up and running, acting like they give a flying fuck about the people who visit this site, and the other folks on the masthead make the occasional appearance just about as often as Caligutard is sober enough to pop his head out of the White House for a brief word about Wall Street. I’d probably listen to Nojo and FCS discuss something maybe. And the theme to The Wire? Seriously?

ADD: And Marcel has been showing up lately.

11:43 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@redmanlaw: That sounds like a bad joke. “Yo mama’s so dumb, she said she was misquoted in her own autobiography.”

11:44 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

And just cuz Memory Lane can be fun:

I’m frustrated because the comments iz broke, and Nojo (who has a job and other things to do like most folks around here) has done his damnedest to give us some semblance of community; like I said, he was the only one posting anything for a while, and had it not been for him, this site would have died. There was nothing to read and no reason to visit until Nojo and FCS started posting.

So, Nojo (who has a job) and FCS (who probs has one too, but I don’t know — he’s kind of violent), do what they can to keep this refuge from Wonkette going. And they are doing a fine job of it. The posts are interesting; they comment themselves; they start discussions. They make this place a fun place to visit.

But some other people think they’re investment bankers who can just piss on our heads and tell us it’s lemonade and think they are owed some sort of fidelity or respect because of what, exactly? *crickets*

Nojo hit it on the head when he said that sometimes communities spring up from these things, and quite honestly, if you’re too good to even post on your own blog or to fix the fucked up comments, or too busy to say, “Sorry, I know things have been kind of shitty around here recently — I’m working on it,” then don’t be surprised if some rude person calls you out.

Once again, I call bullshit. The comments have been broken for going on a week, and Nojo hasn’t received the support he needs to try to fix comments that aren’t even on his blog. (Nojo does have a blog, BTW, that mirrors the posts he makes here. It’s The Unbearable Hamster of Being at http://nojorising.blogspot.com, I believe – so we could always go over there and comment on the same shit that he’s posting over here, if we ever wanted to.)

What started out as a protest turned into a decent blog no thanks to you.

11:44 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

Look for a hilarious rent/rend reference in June 2012.

11:45 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@JNOV: Dunno when that was posted, 0r where, but I am not chopped liver. I am not a potted plant.

11:47 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@blogenfreude: No, that was Hunter and me going at it at Cynics’ Party. I don’t have his or Greg’s comments, but Disqus saved all of ours.

11:49 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@JNOV: A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. We have matured … or have we?

11:54 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@blogenfreude: I sure hope not. ;-)

11:55 pm • Wednesday • July 28, 2010

@al2o3cr: Wait, wait, back when Lawrence Lessig was still at Teh Farm and before Elena Kagan stole him back to Hahvahd, he made a grand announcement after he was spanked 8-1 by SCOTUS that he no longer gave a shit about tech and his new life’s mission was to take on campaign finance reform, and do a “21st Century Constitutional Convention” with that Texas turncoat Mark McKinnon.

Oh, and Larry to his credit wants to go after diddling priests.

(It’s all on the teh Tubez, I’m too tired to pull up the links – a lot is at his Wiki page*)

P.S. Now that he’s in Cambridge, has he stopped doing the Dieter pose with the black shirt and rimless glasses that he did for every photo op in Shallow Alto?

*Discussion of the “Lessig Method” of presentations on the Wiki page is funny for anyone who has endured one of his classes which basically involves flashing power point and video images as produced by a hamster**/anime animator.

**No disrespect to Nojo’s hamster intended.

@blogenfreude: Darling, we heart you!! Mmmmmwwwwwaaaahhh!

12:03 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@blogenfreude: I’ve also got comments of me cussing out FCS for forcing me to listen to some competitive bugle corps/marching band/some old shit. Log into Disqus if you want to see at least [ETA] SOME of your old comments before Cynics’ Party went in the crapper.

ETA: Don’t know if the pre-Disqus comments are out there in the intertubez.

12:12 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@SanFranLefty:

I do recall him sort of stomping off in a huff, but this ASCAP puke has been seriously pissing on his leg in the press lately. Essentially, ASCAP is claiming that the existence of licenses like Creative Commons is somehow “trying to destroy culture” – despite the fact that a CC license is something that an artist applies. Basically, the copyright industry is now using teabagger logic.

12:15 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@al2o3cr: Whatevs when it comes to Dieter Larry, more importantly are you saying it’s spelled copyright and not copywright like playwright?

;-P

7:46 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick:
did you ever cry underwater?
i scuba dive. been diving here since 96. you should see what the motherfuckers (recreational divers and the govmnt) have done to the reefs.
michael fucking douglas along with catherine zeta, destroyed billion year old reefs and sea life to build their house with corrupt government approval to widen a channel for their motherfucking boat.

@JNOV:
oooh…how can i find my love note to hunter that got me banned from the gawker empire?

7:59 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@baked: Destroying a reef is bad enough. Destroying Send in the Clowns is an outrage!

8:25 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@baked: Can you still log into your (LOLDENTONISADICK) account? I bet you can, but you just can’t comment. So, I’d try logging in, and there’s an option where you can view your old comments. I just checked my account, and it looks like all my old comments are there — I went back to Jan ’08 before I got tired of clicking the “next” button (it only shows ten comments at a time).

I’m betting your account wasn’t deleted because (LOLDENTONISADICK) still wants your comments on his blog(s), even if your commenting privs were yanked. Give it a shot, and if you find it (should be easy — should be like the last thing your wrote), bring it on over here!

TJ/ Jr’s assessment of 1984: “Surprise! It was a downer.” ETA: Loved Hitch’s intro and says it was more dense than the novel.

@karen marie: He totally gets how the audio version would be creepy as hell.

@mellbell: He’s reading Mother Night right now. I’ve got antidepressants on standby.

8:28 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@al2o3cr: I don’t really understand Creative Commons or why it’s a good thing and am deeply suspicious, being a good reactionary, for that reason. I’m puzzled by the ASCAP dispute because a songwriter (I detest ‘content creator’) licenses a work to a recording company so they would be the ones to go after infringement, wouldn’t they? Just as a publisher would. I don’t know much about the music world – why hasn’t BMI got involved in this? – or the world of software, etc. What I didn’t understand at the Creative Commons site is that nothing seems to be paid for. If I incorporate someone else’s work I pay that person for the privilege, that becomes an expense against any earnings I might make. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

In his final years, Mozart tried to devise some way he could make a living from his work. He had no access to credit as we know it, so he used his friends to advance him money against the commissions (which is why it’s now widely believed he was penniless) that provided his income after he turned his back on being a court composer supported by the Nobility so that he could enjoy a greater independence. However, he could not own a copyright and so could not demand payment whenever his music was performed. It’s the idea of copyright that made possible the modern writer. Whether one thinks that’s a good thing or not is a different matter. Which is why I say that copyright is our friend and am deeply suspicious of any attempt to dilute or weaken it. Unfortunately the tone of techdirt is, to me, that of the amateur expert dripping in snark, contemptuous of those who have more practical experience. For example, the discussion of what a movie contract is seems very uninformed. Movie contracts for a writer are so complex these days that no one can negotiate them who isn’t a lawyer.

I’m perfectly happy to be educated but I find this dispute bewildering. And if ASCAP makes unreasonable demands – fees for previews on iTunes? Why not? Actors are paid fees if footage shot for a movie is included in advertising so why not song writers? That’s exactly the kind of demand a trade union or professional association should be making. Question is, who pays those fees? We’re all rather spoiled by free libraries handing out writers’ work for nothing. In my opinion a book should be licensed to a library and fees paid each year depending on how many times it’s borrowed. Let the market speak.

8:33 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick: Yeah, I’m not down with Creative Commons either — smells a little off.

8:39 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick:
HA! i hate her and i could have sung it better. that WAS pathetic.

@JNOV:
i will look for it…it was a doozy if i recall…

8:42 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@baked: I’m sure it was! :-*

11:52 am • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick: You want to know what libraries pay through the nose for? Discipline-specific journals. Hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to the evil empire that is Elzevier. You know how much of that money goes to the scholars who wrote those articles? Not a single goddamn dime. They have to publish in order to get tenure and promotion, and they are forced by the publishers to sign away the copyright to their work in order to get published. And you know who paid for the vast proportion of the research that resulted in the articles? U.S. government agencies funded by your tax dollars (NSF, NIH, NEH, NEA, etc). Creative Commons was started by scholars and librarians who thought researchers and the public should have the rights to access information they created and paid for without being held hostage to the publisheing monopolies (there are about three companies) who charge outrageous fees. Also, those same companies charge authors for the right to use their own work in another article or book. Despite the name, Creative Commons is a product of the academic community rather than artists.
As for libraries providing free access to books–many of the people who read library books have no money to buy books. Authors aren’t losing megabucks worth of sales because books are available for free in libraries. They’re gaining readers they wouldn’t have had otherwise and their work has the chance to touch, and maybe change, the lives of people who would never have encountered it otherwise. Libraries pay more for books that your average Amazon customer, too. If authors don’t get more of the royalties from those sales, they should take it up with the people who are getting rich off this, the publishers and book jobbers. I am of course biased, but I deeply believe that libraries are an absolute good. I’ve sent digital copies of my books to organizations or individuals who needed the information but couldn’t afford the outrageous price my publisher was asking. And yes, my publisher could have sued the shit out of me for it and hit me with punitive damages. I agree with Stuart Brand: “Information wants to be free.” I’m not saying artists and authors shouldn’t be compensated for their work, but if you’re thinking public libraries are the ones preventing you from making the big bucks, think again.

12:47 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Mistress Cynica: I’m with Cynica on libraries. My mom worked in them, and hanging out with her introduced me to Dr, Seuss and other subversive characters.

That said, I’m really queasy about internet sharing at the expense of rights holders. I take every venue on a case-by-case basis, and won’t play where I consider there to be abuse.

This drives many of my music buddies nuts when I won’t share commercially released material.

That said, there is no one clear answer on this and may never be.

1:26 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Mistress Cynica: I don’t think for one moment that libraries are not an absolute good and that they shouldn’t continue to be free to their users. All I mean is that writers must subsidize them and that shouldn’t be. I guess the publishers can count on a certain number of sales so they don’t make a fuss and writers have no one to represent them collectively. I’m suspicious that libraries promote sales. If my own habits are anything to go by I get a book from my library instead of buying it. And now that we have the amazing online bookstores no one will ever buy a full price new book again. As I’m sure you know, libraries pay fees in the UK. Not much, but something. I have no clue how the world you describe works so I’m glad to know a little of what Creative Commons is for and what it does. It seems our government has endless supplies of money to build blast walls in Iraq but nothing to give to scholars, libraries and artists here.

1:45 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick: I’m in two book clubs and am one of the few people in either to actually buy the books instead of checking them out of the library. Of course, if everyone else keeps picking really new books only available in hardcover, that may change.

1:48 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@mellbell: Just to be clear, it’s not a question of economics; these people could afford the books if they wanted to.

2:09 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

My main motivation for frequenting the library is not so much about cost, it’s about space. My bookshelf is already full to overflowing and constantly requires me to cull my collection to make space for incoming books. If I want to keep all of the books I really enjoy and know I’ll reread, it requires me to be very selective about what new books I welcome in.

3:06 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick: I use CC licenses on my photography for the simple reason that it expresses clearly and well how I want my work to be used: I want credit, I have no problem with people playing with it (as long as I get credit), I want to force them to use the same terms when the incorporate my stuff, and I don’t want to see any commercial use.

If I were a pro photographer (or writer or whatever), I’d have a different opinion on the matter. For an amateur/hobbyist “content creator”, CC is a good license.

The most obnoxious use of my work that ever happened was when some douchebag advertising agency used my picture for their advertisement without asking, and (obviously) without paying. I wasn’t sufficiently worked up (or solvent enough, at the time) to consider going after them for copyright infringement, but I was quite offended.

3:23 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick:

I say go back to the Elizabethan model of content ownership: author gets one fee, once, then whoever bought it can do whatever they want.

I just said that to piss you off, by the way, and to show off my historisical knowledge. Did it work?

3:28 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick: Hmm, I’m no expert on the subject, but I’ve suspected that, in many cases, libraries create demand to a certain extent. There are only so many copies of a book a library can offer. My wait list is evidence of how much demand there is for this stuff and how quickly you can move up the wait list, because inevitably people get impatient and fall off (likely due to them just running down to B&N or Amazon). The exception to this are books that are on school reading lists, probably because the families can’t afford to buy every book on summer reading lists.

3:32 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I thought the Elizabethan model was wholesale theft.

3:40 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@nojo:

Pretty much. But ostensibly once you sold your play to what we would consider a “producer” he owned it, just like if you sold someone a painting.

3:42 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Except these days, if you own the painting, you don’t necessarily own reproduction rights. Ars complicare, vita brevis.

4:37 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I piss on your Elizabethan theatre, thou jackanapes.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I think libraries are great and we have many wonderful examples across the country. I just think the govt should cough up some dough to support them and the writers whose work they disseminate.

@nojo: The new Ansel Adams negatives, if that’s what they are, pose an interesting problem. Clearly, if they’re real, they belong to the estate. However, if I were running said estate I would give the finder a generous percentage of all present and future income from said pictures. Will they do that? let us see.

4:43 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Benedick:

Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell,
Thou slander of thy heavy mother’s womb,
Thou loathèd issue of thy father’s loins,
Thou rag of honor, thou detested…

5:27 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010
5:35 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@flippin eck: I like libraries because they are free, have lots of books, generally comfortable furniture and frequently the best place to wait out a rain/snow/shit storm. Need a drink? There’s the fountain. Need to take a leak? There’s the toilet.

And when you leave, you can take some books with you.

5:37 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@flippin eck: My hunting, shooting and fishing collections at home and the office kick major ass compared to the offerings at the local public library. I have more books on women and fly fishing, for example, than they do. Howell Raines autographed my copy of his “Fly Fishing Through the Mid-Life Crisis” and author Dave Whitlock drew a fish in my copy of “LL Bean’s Fly Fishing For Bass Handbook.” A good friend and former assistant attorney general here also signed his thoughtful quiet book on fly fishing Holy Ghost Creek near here. Two other friends signed my copy of the book we used to call “The Tome”, “Fishing in New Mexico.”

My former No. 1 fishing buddy B** the Mechanic, now pretty much of an ex-friend due to having falling very hard for Rush and his struggle for justice for the Oppressed White Man, would find ourselves way the hell out on some Forest Service road not sure of what so do and we’d cry “consult The Tome!” and get some idea of where to go next. We saw a lot of country, drank vats of beer, shared many campfires, smoked some cigars and even caught a few fish so having him move to Colorado helped keep the situation from blowing up. My bachelor party 15 years ago this summer was made up of us and another couple of guys who drank our faces off, fished, ate well and wondered whether we would have to pay strippers mileage to get to where we were at.

I was thinking the other day that after flyfishing for 25 years, I am finally becoming the fisherman I wanted to be.

6:01 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@redmanlaw: Happy anniversary of your bachelor party!!!….oh, and the stuff that came after it too.

Seriously though, warm wishes for continued happiness to you and Mrs. RML!

6:50 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@JNOV: The best I could come up with?

Hey HW, what’s with the pink? Get someone to look into your color schemes.

/shakes head/

7:06 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Nabisco: Oh, gawd: The Pink.

That one I had repressed.

ADD: It’s like they had a bullet list of Fashionable Design Elements — White space! Pastels! — and no clue how to mix them together.

11:44 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Nabisco: Have some more:

@hunter: Wait. Whoa. We’ve got censorship attempts in the comments now? Get out of town! I’ll keep yakking as long as you keep giving me something to yak about or until you outright ban me. You are trying to shut me down because you don’t like what I’m writing, and that’s pathetic. Put on your big-boy boxers, Hunter, and learn to deal with criticism. The funny thing is that I was done bitching. Guess not. (Apologies to the Cynic that came up with big-girl panties Pelosi.)

AND

I appreciate that no one is getting rich off this site. My point is that the ones who have the least to gain are the ones doing the most work while holding their day jobs, and they don’t come here and insult us or offer excuses for their absence due to busy lives or tell us how damned lucky we are that they are doing stuff for free. But like Hunter pointed out, they did that podcast for free, so for that I’m thankful. Everyone loves free shit, except when it comes in a bag.

And I love you, and I know you’re doing your best to keep the peace.

ADD: This site is self-destructing anyway, so someone just let me know where y’all end up when the dust settles. You know how to reach me.

11:54 pm • Thursday • July 29, 2010

@Nabisco: Unfortunately in Ess Eff the public libraries are where the homeless and semi-homeless and others with teh crazee go during the day and it’s not so fun to browse the stacks when you’re worried about turning the corner and see someone (a) shooting up; (b) getting/receiving a blow job; (c) taking a piss. (These are trooo things).

That said, I still have my lie-berry (as we said in Texas) card for the suburban town I used to live in. I use that more than my Ess Eff liberry card.

And I’m with Jamie – I think they create demand. And I’m with Benedick – our government should fund things like public libraries and pools out the wazoo…and perhaps stop funding wars in Central Asia.

12:06 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@SanFranLefty: W/r/t libraries, same thing in Hollywood and Atlantic City. At least they don’t get rousted in Hollywood. They’re pretty much left alone to surf the web, etc.

Man, when I spent that whole month in Hollywood, I was overwhelmed (that’s not the right word; the right word escapes me) by the number of homeless people there — 60,000-80,000? Mind boggling.

When I was stationed in San Diego, one weekend a year we took over a local high school’s football and track fields for this thing called Operation Standdown. Most of the homeless in SD are prior military. Even if they weren’t, they could still come take showers, get haircuts, free dental and medical attention, psych evals, food, clothing, bedding, referrals to local agencies, help with applications for VA services (if they self-identified as prior military — even apps for amnesty for Vietnam draft dodgers) and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. We constructed a MASH unit and treated everyone who came. The only rule was that we were not to ask them about any prior service. That’s one of the good things I remember about being a corpsman.

12:07 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@SanFranLefty: Dreamer. Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy, right?

It’s a clusterfuck, now. It’s too big. Put an idea- “fund libraries”, for example, into the front end of our political system, and who knows what you’ll get out the other end? We all have our agendas, why should the people that make our laws be any different?

We need fewer cooks in the kitchen. I am afraid of the teabaggers. Not because they are wrong, but because they are right for the wrong reason.

12:09 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@Nabisco: @nojo: Haha! Oh, was this when the banner changed from primary colors? That was awful!

10:19 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@SanFranLefty: Yeah, I get that. And sometimes feel guilty that not only are the biscuits growing up in postcard smalltown Amurrica where the tax base is healthy and the lie-berry (we said that as well!), parks and other local perks are well-funded from a confectioner’s endowment, but that there’s little I can do to help with the cringe factor in Big Town Amurrica’s public spaces. That being said, I remember how crowded the Free Library was in JNOV’s parts when I met some folks there for a study group a few years ago, and wondered if Franklin would be as proud of that as he would be that his privvy was on glorious display.

@JNOV: @nojo: My comments on layout and style ended after this and a later dismissal of Nojo’s decision to go with blue rather than red for the time stamp. Yoda Pez and Cat Stick were, as always, right.

11:17 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@Nabisco: Ahhhh… Ben Ben’s shitter! The display was closed when we went last spring. I was SO disappointed!

W/r/t the library in my old ‘hood. Piece of crap. Useless. No books. In 11th grade I had to write a report/give a class presentation on Zola. I went to the main library, and I could only find one of his novels, and it was in FRENCH! So, I read La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret . Ugh. The next year I was assigned Melville. Pfft. I bought the Cliff Notes.

Call me Ishmael…

11:33 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@JNOV:

I couldn’t even bear to finish the Cliff Notes for Moby Dick my junior year of high school. I had one of those annoying English teachers who would take quotes from the book and have you identify who said what in the test, so I realized that even if I finished the Cliff Notes I’d be screwed. Never any substantive or reflective questions on her tests. (She was also a born-again who would proselytize during class – keep in mind this was at a *PUBLIC* high school – and once told me in front of everyone that I was going to go to hell and that I would never amount to anything. I think she’s dead now.)

Back to Ishmael, I got a 17 on her Moby Dick test, and that wasn’t the lowest grade in the class. Only one student had read the book and so the overall class mean on the test was around 25.

11:49 am • Friday • July 30, 2010

@SanFranLefty:

You know, I hear about some people dying, and I’m like, “What took you so long? Thank FSM your stupid ass died before you could fuck over even MORE people.” Yeah. I hear you. ::big ass hug::

W/r/t Moby Dick. I read about ten pages, and I was like, “Um…this frackin’ book is LONG, and I’m already bored out of my skull?” I tried to BS my way through the paper and presentation. Let’s just say my teacher was not pleased.

But, this is one of my favorite paintings by Bo Bartlett: Ishmael. Yeah, I’ve written this dude fan mail. And, yeah, he wrote me back. ::big ass geek smile::

12:06 pm • Friday • July 30, 2010

@JNOV: @SanFranLefty: There was an English professor at my alma mater who was obsessed with Moby-Dick, so much so that he offered a course which consisted of reading and talking about the book and little else. It sounded intriguing, actually, but I never had the prereqs or time for it.

12:13 pm • Friday • July 30, 2010

@SanFranLefty:

I loved Moby Dick, but this was in large part due to the skill of an amazing teacher.

I read it in college in a class that had built up to it with earlier Melville, Whitman, Sarah Fuller and Hawthorne. Moby Dick was the capstone to our education in the religious and philosophical themes in 19th century American literature.

This teacher not only taught us about American intellectual history, she taught us how to critically analyze extremely difficult writing. Skills I acquired in that class I use to this day.

Moby Dick is a very easy book to hate or be baffled by. Any teacher who tries to teach it conventionally (particularly to high schoolers) is almost certain to fail.

I was very lucky.

1:12 pm • Friday • July 30, 2010

@Walking Still: I can see that. Here’s what my HS teacher did — the class didn’t read MD, I read MD and was supposed to teach the class about it. For two periods. Kinda crap, IMHO. I think he was going for the grad school study group thing where you break down an overwhelming amount of journal articles so that each person reads a certain amount, creates an outline/summary and explains their articles to the study group so everyone at least has an idea of what’s going on if they don’t have time to read all the articles.

Problem was, I wasn’t taught MD, and it wasn’t a journal article. I didn’t have the literary background, access to analytical works about Melville (shitty library, remember?), etc. to make sense of the damned thing. I guess I’ll read it eventually, but I think my teacher was trying to cover too much ground in too little time and without providing us with the proper background, if that makes sense.

My 10th grade English teacher read sections of Beowulf to us in Old English. That was music to my ears. :-)

4:02 pm • Friday • July 30, 2010

@JNOV: That’s sounds like getting thrown in the deep end with a lead weight life preserver.

I’m not sure I’d recommend Moby Dick to any high school class. If I was going to try it, it sure wouldn’t be that way.

11:08 pm • Tuesday • October 22, 2013

Whoa. We talked about fucking Moby Dick on this thread, too.

What is wrong with us?

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