At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Thursday, November 20, 2003


Thomas Inskeep complains that the recently published Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time is too stodgy, the top 15 spots being occupied by works at least 20 years old. I agree that it's possible the RS staff is prejudiced in favor of classic rock, but neither am I opposed in principle to the idea that rock music has irrevocably passed its golden age, as happened to jazz in the 1960s. Not knowing much about 90s music, I can't judge, but I would be genuinely curious to know what contemporary albums Inskeep would compare with Highway 61 Revisited or Pet Sounds.

Of course I have my gripes about the list, which is after all one of the things that makes such rankings perenially amusing. Prog rock is, as usual, unjustly disregarded. The inclusion of a few token jazz masterpieces doesn't make sense--if the list isn't restricted to rock music, why aren't any country, folk, or world music albums mentioned? I won't detail all the minor quibbles I have with individual rankings, like putting Joni Mitchell's Blue above her Court and Spark. All that said, I think these lists give rock nerds something to talk about and educate younger fans about some classics they may not be aware of.

My dad urged me once when I was in high school, "You and your friends need to stop talking about albums and get girlfriends." Some things never change.

From Wired Magazine
The Second Coming of Philip K. Dick, about his posthumous success through movie adaptations. Features a brief interview with Uma Thurman.

Movie News

Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop is working on a film adaptation of the Narnia Chronicles! I hope they don't water down the theological elements.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


A pretty good site with reasonably accurate chord charts for lots of bossa nova classics.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Library Outlaw

In library school the instructor of our reference class encouraged us not to answer questions on our own authority. I violated that sacred code twice last week. One fellow asked me to proofread a job letter, and later a middle-aged woman needed help understanding her research paper assignment. In the latter case I don't think I could have done much harm or good, since she was so compulsively garrulous that all I could do was lob occasional nuggets of advice into the rushing stream of gab. And I felt confident proofreading the man's letter since I graded hundreds of student papers in my days as an adjunct professor. I think that, with the future of reference librarianship so tenuous, anything we can do to make ourselves valuable (within reason) is to be commended, for selfish reasons if nothing else.