Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Hoarding, Archiving, and the Public Domain: Universal Vault Edition

    The New York Times Magazine just dropped a piece on the complete destruction of every master recording in Universal's West Coast vault. I haven't even finished reading it, because it's so terrible I have to digest it in installments and take breaks. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable master tapes were destroyed.
     

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    A Warning from 1992

    Lately, I've been thinking about where things went wrong. Donald Trump is the culmination, not the genesis, of America's nationalistic trend. I suspect that the turn came, ironically, at the moment of the West's greatest triumph, when Gorbachev embraced western values of democracy and capitalism, and the Soviet Union disintegrated.

    Exploring the era, I came across this insanely prescient essay from 1992. I've never been a fan of David Gergen, but damn, he nailed this one. The article is firewalled, so I'll share a few of his predictions.

    Staggered by an economic downturn that has taken a deeper psychological toll than expected and frustrated by a paralysis in its politics, the United States toward the end of 1991 turned increasingly pessimistic, inward and nationalistic...Insistent cries came along that the nation should embrace a new philosophy of putting America first: turn a hard, flinty eye toward economic competitors, said its advocates, and curtail the long tradition of generous idealism in foreign policy.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Shakespeare Wasn't Perfect

    So The Atlantic has seen fit to publish more "Shakespeare authorship" conspiracy-mongering, this time masquerading as feminism by proposing a female candidate. But the piece doesn't quote even a single line of the real poetry that woman wrote. It can't, of course, because that would give the game away.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Ben Shapiro Met A Journalist: Meltdown Ensued

    “This whole thing is a waste of time. Frankly, I don’t care — I don’t frankly give a damn what you think of me since I’ve never heard of you... I think we’re done here.”

     

    When I saw Ben Shapiro trending on Twitter my imagination started running wild. Did he have another college visit canceled? Did someone expose plagiarism in his latest book? Was he subpoenaed to testify by the House Judiciary Committee?

     

    My mind raced from one morbid conclusion to another. What happened that set social media on fire?

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Bill de Blasio Would Make a Great President

    Rumor has it that Bill de Blasio will be announcing a run for president some time next week and the response I’ve seen has been all snark and chortles, even from the left.  I get it — in such a crowded field, another candidate almost seems absurd on its face at this point.  Another issue is that de Blasio is not a particularly popular mayor here in New York City, which invites jokes that we residents are trying to export him to the rest of the country.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    How Far Will Trump Go?

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously invited Russia to hack his opponent’s email. He later claimed that it was just a joke. But when Donald Trump Jr. was told that Russia’s “crowd prosecutor” had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the younger Trump replied, “I love it,” and set up a meeting between the campaign leadership and Russian emissaries. Though nothing apparently came of this meeting, many have wondered why no one from the campaign reported Russia’s operations to Homeland Security.

    Well, President Trump now runs Homeland Security. We should be wondering what he’ll do when Russia tries to get him reelected in 2020.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Should Our Allies Hack Our Elections?

    Two things about the Mueller report are not up for debate: the Russians interfered in our last election, and no one is going to do anything about that. One party is hobbled by the need for bipartisanship, and the other so blinded by partisanship that they'll treat attempts to ward off foreign interference as political attacks on their own side. While we're making this about Trump, out foreign adversaries are preparing to attack our elections again. We haven't punished them or done anything to stop them, so why would they stop? All we've done is give them time to improve their methods.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren

    book cover

    I'm hoping you all remember friend of Dagblog, Colin Asher, who has spent the last seven years working on a literary biography of Nelson Algren, once one of the most famous and celebrating working novelists in the United States and always a solid progressive and friend to the working class.

    I haven't read Colin's book yet, but I have read the article in The Believer that was the genesis of the project.  Colin's onto something big here, perhaps one of the last untold stories of McCarthyism.  He's also a terrific writer and this is going to be a great introduction to Algren's work for a lot of us.  It's not every day you get to discover a lost novelist of quality.

    The book's been getting great reviews, including five stars from Publisher's Weekly and serious treatment from The Nation and The New Yorker.

    You can make Algren spin in heaven by purchasing this book from Jeff Bezos.  Such is life.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Alas for Gene Wolfe

    Gene Wolfe, one of the greatest of science-fiction writers, has passed away. His work was subtle and superb. Wolfe wrote paragraphs you could lose yourself in, like a labyrinth, and come out a changed person on the other side. He thought profoundly about what story-telling means as few other writers have. He was honored inside the genre and sometimes outside it, but deserved far more honor in both places. Any account of 20th-century American literature that omits Gene Wolfe is incomplete.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Your Blog Is Valuable!

     

    Photo Danny Cardwell

    There's more to blogging than writing! For every blogger capable of seamlessly weaving together succinct ideas at blazing speeds there are hundreds, if not thousands, slowly throwing words at a screen hoping they stick. Both groups are part of the same historical, social and cultural epoch. Our blogs, no matter how silly or serious, have the potential to be part of a larger canon. Our words confirm or refute the dominant narratives about the events defining our present and shaping the future. This is valuable. Historians and sociologist of the past would have loved to have access to all of the information we produce.

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