Some Predictions About Books By Way of Some Predictions About Music

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Why There Are Riots Tonight in Oakland

I wasn’t surprised that officer Mehserle wasn’t convicted of murder despite all the video footage and witnesses of him shooting an unarmed teenager. I first had my suspicions when Forum reported there wasn’t a single black person on the jury. But then I took heart in thinking that the prosecution would want a whiter jury so it would be harder for the defense to appeal. Besides, the victim, Oscar Grant, was hand-cuffed face down with another police officer’s foot on his neck. So for weeks I held out some hope for a verdict of second-degree murder. Mehserle claims that he… tell me more

We Burn Books

Burning the library in slow motion: how copyright extension has banished millions of books to the scrapheap of history Boing Boing. I came across this nice article by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing wherein he makes some interesting points on how current copyright laws have censored the majority of books. the legal changes introduced in the years after Fahrenheit 451 did more than just extend terms. Congress eliminated the benign practice of the renewal requirement (which had guaranteed that 85% of works and 93% of books entered the public domain after 28 years because the authors and publishers simply didn’t… tell me more

Hipster Hunting

Janet said she wanted to go the Missouri Lounge to make fun of all the hipsters. Everyone agreed that The Missouri Lounge was just crawling with the little buggers.

I was surprised. Not about the Missouri Lounge—though I’d always thought the shack looked like more of a redneck dive—but that Janet wasn’t herself a hipster. She had the chunky, short-cropped hair and the thick black plastic glasses. But no. She was a hipster hater. How could I get them confused?

We ordered drinks and Janet picked out the most egregious violators and made fun of their outfits and drink selections. We did not stay long. Janet made a request from the DJ and there was some misunderstanding, or altercation. So we left.

That incident got me thinking. Did those people deserve to be made fun of? What made them worse people than Janet? What the hell was a hipster, anyway?

Since that day many moons ago, if I hear someone use the word I always ask them what it means. Two things quickly became apparent: 1) no two people seem to have the same definition 2) never have I ever heard the word used in a positive context.

For my money, a hipster is a person with an overly-developed sense of irony. But by that definition, the guy I know who is most likely to be a hipster is a 35-year-old Indian metalhead. He’s also the biggest hipster-hater I know. The “H-word” also seems to be associated with indie rock, though no one seems to know what the fuck that is either.

Here is what some of my research has come up with:

* “Hipsters are trust fund babies that go to expensive private art programs.”
* “Hipsters are people who wear mismatched, ill-fitting clothes and think they are hot.”
* “Hipsters are the shallow types that live in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.”
* “Hipsters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and ride fixie-bikes and make fun of normal people.”

Oh well then, that’s clear. If I am in Williamsburg and I meet someone in an art program I can assume they are shallow and living off daddy’s money. Additionally, if I meet a girl on a fixed-gear bike in Goodwill frocks I can assume she is a snotty bitch that can’t wait to talk about me behind my back. It would do the world a good deed to run off with her inexpensive union-made brew, taunting and laughing. tell me more

Uncle Sam is Reading My Emails

And Probably Yours Too None of us are taking this seriously enough. I was talking to a friend of mine online about a month ago.  She is very a very competent law student that does a good job keeping up with current affairs.  We were talking about the warrantless wiretapping.  I was explaining to her what is at issue here, that they didn’t just hand over “suspected terrorists” (whatever those are) but the random correspondence of American citizens. Her response was, “it is a good thing we are having this conversation online.” Uh, not quite.  It is a terrible thing… tell me more

Hillary Rodhams speech: 1969

Did you know Clinton was the first in her graduating class to deliver the commencement speech for her own graduation? This is amazing. This was in 1969, the height of the tumultuous sixties and not as some rinky-dink college but Wellesley College no less! He was denigrating the Student Movement. If most people were in her position they would keep their mouth shut and just read the speech. Instead she improvises a rebuttal before her speech. This goes to show that she has always been a hard worker and an over achiever and that, just like Obama, she can deliver… tell me more

Suddenly I Find That I Am Rooting For the Underdog

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