Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 18, 2021


You’re looking at an early birthday gift I just received from my friend Kirby. I guess it caught his eye on the Clutch Tees catalogue; the combination of green (my favorite color) and the Caddyshack referential (one of my favorite movies) doubtlessly triggered the purchase.

I’ll conveniently overlook the subtle attempt to prematurely age me by a whole month :)

It is a good-looking t-shirt. (I would have posted a pic of me actually wearing it, but I gave up after taking a half-dozen fairly crappy shots of myself looking gawkishly dorky.) The Bushwood Country Club logo (accompanied by the “It’s In The Hole!” crest) is hardly an officially-sanctioned symbol, but then, none of these ironically-hip humor tees are ever formally sanctioned. I wonder how they get away with using some of those unmistakable catchphrases and such; I’m guess there’s enough legal leeway in fair-use provision that the movie studios can’t (or won’t) sue.

Or if they do, they can do so after I cash in on my forthcoming free shirt from Clutch. Because that is the deal they’re cutting for any bloggage tossed their way, and that is, of course, what this post amounts to. I would feel bad about the quasi-shilling, but since I would be blogging about getting the gift anyway, my conscience is clear.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/18/2009 11:44am
Category: Fashion, Movies, Pop Culture
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If you’re the type that still clings to a TV news anchorman as some sort of authoritative voice to deliver you the news, then the idea of that same talking-head grooving as a music blogger is probably jarring. But that’s the incongruity you’re stuck with, should you come across BriTunes or Amplified, the pop-culture side projects of the two frontmen at NBC News and ABC News:

[ABC's Dan] Harris, 37, anchors ABC’s “World News” on Sundays and is a general assignment reporter who spent six months in Iraq. He has a “Nightline” piece coming this week on children in the Congo being accused of witchcraft and subjected to abusive exorcisms. [NBC's Brian] Williams, who turned 50 last month, is a news traditionalist with such a formal manner on “Nightly News” that his bosses once worried that viewers would have a hard time relating to him.

Their musical credentials were met with some suspicion in the rock world. “There is sort of a feeling of ‘What are these interlopers doing in our special little space?’” Harris said.

If the hard news business ever goes soft, I suppose Harris and Williams could apply for jobs at Pitchfork

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/18/2009 11:07am
Category: Bloggin', Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV
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If your book intake consists of merely reading with your eyes or hearing with your ears, apparently you’re missing out by not using your mouth:

It’s part of a pattern. Instead of making music at home, we listen to recordings of professional musicians. When people talk about the [audiobooks] they’ve heard, they’re often talking about the quality of the readers, who are usually professional. The way we listen to books has been de-socialized, stripped of context, which has the solitary virtue of being extremely convenient.

But listening aloud, valuable as it is, isn’t the same as reading aloud. Both require a great deal of attention. Both are good ways to learn something important about the rhythms of language. But one of the most basic tests of comprehension is to ask someone to read aloud from a book. It reveals far more than whether the reader understands the words. It reveals how far into the words — and the pattern of the words — the reader really sees.

Can’t say that I agree, because reading for me remains a visual activity. I’ve never taken to audiobooks, because like any audio-visual adaptation, they force both a linear pace and a specific interpretation upon you — you might as well just watch a movie. With the written word, you can read at your own pace, and keep certain elements of the narrative neutral (or at least appropriately ambiguous).

I don’t see how that intake is improved by reciting it. Again, audiblizing the read just imposes your pace and interpretation onto whoever’s listening to you, as described above. It injects a group activity vibe to this media exercise, but one that’s inferior to the solitary experience.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/18/2009 09:56am
Category: Creative, Publishing
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