Friday, June 29, 2007

All roads lead to Rome. As a follow-up to yesterday's Roman dress, I just had to post these fabric photos. File this under: one that got away. This fabric was available on ebay about 6 months ago. I forget now what kept me from posting it when it was live.
It looks like upholstery fabric, or curtains, but wouldn't it make a splendid trapeze dress? I'd be tempted to wear it with gladiator sandals, and coif myself like a Roman matron. Yeah, I know, this print is more Greco than Roman, but indulge me, okay?
I'd wear it to the race track. Not that I've played the ponies since I was in pigtails.
The sport of kings has gotten quite seedy since my youth in the clubhouse. Not by a Longshot by T.D. Thornton, documents a year at the run-down Suffolk Downs track in East Boston. Known as "Sufferin' Downs" to both hard-luck career gamblers and the underpaid jockeys, trainers and track workers, this portrait of the gritty East Boston oval is reviewed here.
I spend an inordinate amount of time reading reviews of books and movies that I have no intention of pursuing further. This, is one of them. Andrew Keen's Cult of the Amateur, reviewed by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times. True, I've never really trusted the Times after that whole weapons of mass destruction inaccuracy (remember that?), but I figure the style Section (already a bastion of nepotism, and self congratulation) can't trigger any crimes against humanity, right? But from there I generally stumble into Books and Arts and then who knows what can happen.
Ms. Kakutani is a Pulitzer Prize winning book critic. I also really like her hair. Her review of Mr. Keen's book is nicely restrained and informative. Plus she has saved me from reading the book. From the gist of it, Mr. Keen is arguing that the Internet is the downfall of Western Civilization since the articles that get the most readership are simply those that are the most popular. In this way, traditional media is being erroded, and factual errors are being promulgated. And in this I absolutely agree with Mr. Keen.
However, though I just have this blog that no one reads, I do hold myself to standards of journalistic integrity. I cite my sources, and do my darndest to spell everyone's name right for starters. I don't defame anyone (because that's bad karma), and it don't pass on rumors. I have debated whether or not to post photos with people in them modeling novelty prints. In the end, I decided to post the photos for 2 reasons. I am offering free advertising for the item, and I generally compliment the model. After all, I only post images I like, right?
Of course not everyone plays nice. Anonmymity provides for nasty ad hominem attacks and even death threats. And a lot of spurious content. But then, the NYTimes has had some spurious content too. I think Mr. Keen makes an excellent point that if all our news is coming from amateur bloggers, not only are we using internet research to support our partisan opinions, but also newspapers themselves are losing advertising revenue and many are lacking the resources for more in-depth reporting. I feel that I have witnessed the Village Voice decline over the years.
But Mr. Keen sounds, as Ms. Kakutani puts it, "elitist and churlish" when describing the outlets now available to artists and musicians. She quotes him as describing publish on demand services as “just cheaper, more accessible versions of vanity presses where the untalented go to purchase the veneer of publication”. Ouch.
When he laments that in the end we'll only listen to amateur garage bands. I don't know that that's so terrible. I prefer to get my entertainment to come from people I know. Since most of my friends are dancers, magicians, and singer-songwriters this happens naturally. It's obvious that technology has broken the stranglehold that book publishers, record and theater producers have had over whose content is viewed.
My issue is with Youtube and other sites based on the premise of humiliating unwitting participants. Why can't we all play nice?
Have a great weekend, goslings.


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