URLs du Jour

2019-12-28

  • An end-of-decade grievance from Calvin and Hobbes.

    [End of Decade]

    Note that this comic is 30 years old today, and … Calvin's still right. Lots of other neat stuff, though.


  • At National Review, Kyle Smith looks at Bruce Springsteen and Glen Campbell, inspired by Bruce's recent performance of 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.

    Campbell’s songs (which he didn’t write) were not about desperation and woe, but his life was. For Springsteen it was the reverse; the darkness in his songs is strictly make-believe. This would have been obvious to anyone paying attention, but should you doubt it, I refer you to Springsteen on Broadway, in which Springsteen admits he made it all up, using the following words: “I made it all up.” He went to the movies and borrowed from features such as Thunder Road (1958) and Badlands (1973). In 1987, his album Tunnel of Love reflected frankly on his (brief, unwise) first marriage, to Julianne Phillips, and in his 1992 song “Better Days” he drops a reference to being “a rich man in a poor man’s shirt,” but for the most part what Springsteen has been doing his whole career is speak through fictional characters — gangsters and losers and Tom Joad. He never raced cars. He was never a street punk. He never saw the inside of a factory. “Standing before you is a man who has become wildly and absurdly successful writing about something about which he has had absolutely no personal experience,” he said in the Broadway show. How could it be otherwise? He’s been a rich man since his early twenties. He lives on a 380-acre estate in New Jersey, when he isn’t at his $60 million property in Benedict Canyon. His daughter is an equestrian. If Springsteen were being frank, “The River” would be about a Mississippi of money.

    Lots of neat stuff there too.


  • And (sorry, not much other neat stuff today) the Google LFOD News Alert rang for The enemy within! It's from Javed Iqbal writing in the [Pakistan] Daily Times. And it's great. In some sense.

    The international media portrays the troika of North Korea, Iran and China as enemies of the USA but it never divulges that American armed forces’ blood keeps the machines of US military-industrial complex running. The sole superpower is, covertly, controlled by its mighty war industry that, frequently, plunges it into new conflicts to continue arms’ sale. Its corporate world is facing a new global challenge in the shape of China-US trade war. The hegemonic corporate influence is not limited to the USA but the whole world is in the grip of global corporate entities that, even, dominate governments, media and democratic institutions. The fall of communism has, further, strengthened this hegemonic control as multinational companies’ share in global GDP is risen to more than 32 percent.

    Riiiight. Just one look at the Fortune Global 500 should show the cracks in this characterization. Number 2 (behind Walmart) is "Sinopec Group" which is … state-owned. Want to guess which state?

    For fun, keep moving down the list.

    Capitalism also invented catchy slogans and developed institutions to retain a complete hegemony over society. Democracy is its most famous and widely accepted phenomenon. Rousseau’s ‘eat the rich,’ Marx’s ‘proletariat of the world, unite’ and French Revolution’s slogan, ‘live free or die’ have, either, long been dead or forgotten but trading forces are omnipotent everywhere due to their ability to transform according to changing needs.

    I'd like to invite Javed to visit our fair state, then try to tell me that LFOD is dead or forgotten.


Last Modified 2019-12-29 6:05 AM EDT