Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tommy's Holiday Camp

Once again I've a small bone to pick with Mental Floss. The last time I got a whole column out of it, but this time the gripe is a bit smaller.

Just about every issue the magazine includes the latest entry in its list of "101 Masterpieces." In the July-August issue the masterpiece being celebrated is The Who's Tommy.

I don't begrudge it a spot on the list. Though the work is a little uneven, it stands on its own as a legitimate work of art. The problem is the notion that it spawned other art works that contributed significantly to the world.

Here's the list of albums and shows that, according to writer Bill DeMain, owe a huge debt to Tommy:

  • Pink Floyd's The Wall
  • Green Day's American Idiot
  • Evita
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch 

To which let me add at least two more:

  • Kilroy Was Here
  • Trapped in the Closet

Yeah, thanks guys. Western civilization marches on.


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As does computer repair. I've got Dreamweaver reinstalled and the site downloaded. So now I just need to busy myself with getting caught up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bean there, done that

A few days ago I was watching Black Death, a singularly non-entertaining piece of crud about misery in the Middle Ages. So sort of like making a movie about white people in coffee shops or wheat in Kansas.

Bored and in need of distraction, I noted that one of the stars was Sean Bean. Though I'm sure he's a perfectly good actor, I've had trouble taking him seriously ever since his appearance in Patriot Games many years ago. The problem didn't arise from the movie itself or his performance in it. Rather, it cropped up during the opening credits.

While we were watching the credits, Bean's name appeared (naturally enough, as he's the lead bad guy in the movie). Someone in the group (I'm looking at you, Ms. Rauber) was temporarily puzzled by the spellings of his first and last names. "Sean Bean?" she asked.

It isn't odd at all if you pronounce his first name "Shawn." But because of the similarity to his last name, she read his first as sounding like "Scene." And of course that made it funny.

What made it even funnier is when we started coming up with relatives for him, such as his grumpy grandpa Mean Bean. His creepy uncle Obscene Bean. His eco-friendly niece Green Bean (try making it through grade school with that one).

Did I mention that this was years ago?

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In site news, guess what? Another massive hard drive crash! This time it was the desktop computer from which I do almost all my work.

Thus this crash took just about everything I've created for my classes for the past 13 years. Oh, and a big chunk of the preliminary work for my sabbatical project. At the moment the dead hard drive awaits more expert attention than I can give it.

Sigh.

Fortunately just about all the content for 8sails was already uploaded to the ISP. And having at least partially learned my lesson from the laptop crash a few months ago, I've been doing a lot of my work "in the cloud" using the 8sails wiki.

So if you absolutely can't stand to wait a couple of days for me to set things right, you can toddle off to the wiki and read the drafts before they're officially made part of the site. Otherwise just give me a bit and I'll recover from this mess and get back on track.