Rob Walker on Ashanti: “Her rap connection doesn't really affect her sound, which is grounded in R & B, so much as it does her persona. She's a sweet-voiced singer with the scrubbed good looks of a model, yet she has a kind of credibility in going toe-to-toe with swaggering gangstas that Britney and her pop tart knockoffs lack. Ashanti is the girl next door—but she only dates thugs.”
Zach Stroum: “What I'm getting at here, is that the reason some of the most intelligent people on the planet aren't getting laid, even though intelligence is supposed to be this attractive feature, is because they think themselves into the ground. I'm not exception to this one either. If I had a nickel every time I mentally defeated myself or gave off the stinky fumes of desperation, I'd have enough money to pay to get laid.”
That article should probably be titled "Intelligent men don't get laid", since I know plenty of intelligent females that get laid. But even that is misleading: I know plenty of intelligent males who get laid. It should probably read "Self-conscious people don't get laid". [via MeFi]
Peter Scheer: “The elite private colleges use gargantuan tuition to do what is usually thought to be the province of governments: redistribute wealth by 'taxing' the families of rich students in order to subsidize the less rich and the not rich. Like for-profit corporations, elite colleges engage in 'price discrimination,' applying different prices to different students in order to extract the most money that each student is willing and able to pay, explains Henry Hansmann, professor at Yale Law School and expert on charitable organizations. But unlike for-profit corporations, colleges engage in this quintessentially capitalist behavior in the service of an egalitarian ideal.”
George Johnson: “If it ain't indigenous to us, it ain't worthwhile. If it ain't something we're good at, it don't exist. And we're so smug, so patronizing, that we don't even take time to wonder if maybe we might be wrong and the whole, wide rest of the world might just be right.”
David M. Pecoraro: “For an album three years in the making, 18 sure does sound like it was tossed together at the last minute. It would seem Moby's artistic growth has been stunted by his suddenly packed social schedule. One gets the feeling from the songs on 18 that Moby's more interested in introducing music videos and being unfunny with Winona Ryder on Saturday Night Live than he is in making music.”
These headlines were on Yahoo's front page at 2:15 AM. Some quick responses:
As for the first story: terrorists attack people, not landmarks. Bridges are worth guarding, but terrorists generally look for very well populated areas. Felling Lady Liberty would be a symbolic victory, but I dunno, doesn't killing large numbers of people interest terrorists more?
Second story: Man, I don't think anybody saw that coming.
Third story: Just too funny.
Fourth story: well duh.
"When words fail" by Scott Feschuk
YES! I couldn't agree more! When I was watching the Montreal-Boston game on the French channel, I saw the elbow by Kyle McLaren as it happened without any commentary. Just the sound of the crowd gasping as Zednik went down. Down with hockey announcers! Well, except for analysis in between plays (not just between periods as Feschuk suggests). There are times when former hockey-players analyze a play or compare set plays to those of previous nights. But yeah. Just have the sounds of the game, as if we were actually there.
Adam Sternbergh: “[T]he hat's story might have ended here, were it not for the intercession of a group of people who have, throughout the 20th century, tirelessly and selflessly led the way in determining all that is cool. I am speaking, of course, of black people.”
I remember wearing a baseball cap all through junior high school. First it was a Duke Blue Devils hat, then a black Toronto Blue Jays cap. I can't remember the reason, but half-way through grade 9 (which for me was part of the senior secondary school, the junior school being overcrowded). I just decided one day to stop wearing one. Since then, I haven't worn a cap, and never really had any desire. Maybe Sternbergh was right: after the mid-90s, it was no longer really that cool to wear a cap.