We heard one of the college stations playing Mingus’s “Fables of Faubus” as we were driving around today. It occurred to me that nobody would probably even think of Faubus now if it weren’t for the Mingus song. I used to be inclined to think that because even lambasting someone gives them some measure of validity, that it could actually be more effective in the long run to just ignore them. But I’m coming around to thinking that sometimes you have to think of the short run. What might have happened if Mingus and thousands of others hadn’t spoken up against segregation? I’m guessing that the people actually fighting it would have had a much tougher time. Actual legal segregation might still be around. Probably better that we remember the occasional goon.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

So, everyone’s eulogizing Hunter S. Thompson, but I’ve never been able to understand what the fascination is. I’ve tried, but I think that somehow my demons don’t recognize much in his demons. I guess it’s not generally nice to say “what’s the big deal” when someone dies, but somehow from what I know about the guy, it seems like he’d appreciate a little piss and vinegar more than the universal fawning I’ve been reading.

Bird Notes

Some notes on my post about Andrew Bird.

  1. The link to the mp3 of “Tables and Chairs” is working, now that I’ve fixed the five f’d up things about my home network & web server. So you can actually listen to it, and have a clue what that post’s title is about.
  2. I actually love the Magnetic Fields, and listened to 69 Love Songs pretty constantly for most of 2000, as Terri will verify, probably through gritted teeth. The new album just makes me tired, though. I don’t care if all the songs begin with the letter ‘I’ and the tracks appear in alphabetical order— Stephen, give me something I can use!

Turing award goes to Cerf & Kahn

Nice to see these guys get the Turing award. I didn’t realize they came up with TCP/IP in just two days: I guess I’m quite not down with my Internet lore. I wish the NYT article went a little more into why TCP/IP is so cool, because it’s not really hard to understand. People just get scared because there are lots of letters and slashes. I don’t feel up to writing it myself now, or I would.

I think it’s inspirational. It’s nice to be reminded that two people can lock themselves in a hotel with a yellow legal pad and come out two days later with a paper that utterly transforms the world. They didn’t need to be put in a special pre-school for precocious eggheads so that they could get into Harvard when they were 14. They didn’t need VC funding. They didn’t need a note from their mom. They just did it.