A warning: this is a long post. Really, really long. Sorry.
Scott Miller died on April 15, 2013, at the age of 53. I didn’t know who he was.
Following the public announcement of his death, Carl Newman of the New Pornographers fired off a short series of reverential tweets.
Game Theory had a massive influence on me from my teens onward. Incredible voice, lyrics, melody, production. Damn.
Aimee Mann chimed in. I’m with you. So awful. This may have been enough to lead me to Google the name, possibly read an obituary or two, I don’t recall. Surely there had to be something to Scott Miller if two of my pop heroes were this affected by his passing. But then again, Twitter is so often a grief echo chamber, and this was happening at the same time I was completely distracted by the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath.
On June 18, Newman again tweeted referring to Miller as one of his favorite songwriters, and posting a link to an upcoming tribute concert in New York. The tribute was assembled by Matt LeMay, mostly known to me as a longtime Pitchfork writer, and would feature performances from Newman, Will Sheff of Okkervil River, Ted Leo, Charles Bissell of the Wrens, and others. Scott Miller became an intriguing mystery. How could I know nothing about this guy, given his influence on some of my favorite artists? How had I never come across Scott or Game Theory in my years of obsessive music consumption?
I think it’s approaching time to get back into the blogging thing in some capacity. First though, this probably means a complete overhaul of this site. Bring it up to speed with, I don’t know, some kind of magic. I’m still a little fuzzy. But it’s in my own best interest, from a career perspective as much as anything, to start defining my digital persona.
2012 will be yet another lost year as far as this goes, but maybe we can get some big things happening in 2013. Not to say that this hasn’t been a significant year in every other respect — took a great gig at 360i, getting up to speed on the world of plastic surgery prices and promos for BuildMyBod. Things are moving along — they just haven’t been here.
CNN: Are whites racially oppressed?
My immediate response to seeing this front page article on Friday was disgust, incredulity, anger — mostly toward CNN for allowing this message a shred of legitimacy, or implying that there’s enough of an argument here to merit prominent coverage from a major news network. The article itself is weak sauce: a mishmash of bullet points detailing alleged “signs of racial anxiety” among whites, miscellaneous quotes from academics and right-wing pundits, a conclusion filled with comment-baiting rhetorical questions about our country’s future, and ultimately an unhelpful shrug: “When you take the long view of human history, change is slow, but change happens.” OK then! That answers that.
Still, it’s been hard for me to dismiss the article altogether, or at least its existence. As of today it’s been recommended on Facebook by 39,830 people. There are over 8,000 comments on the article itself, which I can’t bring myself to read (the one on top declares, “Bush created DHS and used unwarranted wire tapping to find terrorists now Obama uses DHS to track down Americans that do not agree with him. Gradualism and lies is the way of the Marxist”). Yes, it’s a blatant grab for traffic on a Friday afternoon, posing controversial questions that the writer, John Blake, has no intent of actually attempting to answer. But the fact that the questions are being asked at all — and that people are interested in them — has to deserve a closer look. Read More
Only a couple of notable surprises in the Oscar nominees announced yesterday (Javier Bardem, the Coens over Chris Nolan). But even more predictable is the media coverage. Just like I warned you in my last post:
CNN: Where’s the diversity at the Oscars?