Carl: Whether or not your political align with his, Michael Lind did some useful work this week in his three–partseries in Salon of breaking down the current language of economic populism on both sides of the ideological divide, and, one can only hope, restoring the term “rentier class” to our vocabularies.
In another analytical mode, Richard Nash provides a refreshing, historically deep examination of the state of literature and publishing that is an immense relief from the blah-blah-money-blah of the day-in-and-out digital-dread discourse. To spoil the ending for you: “Let’s restore to publishing its true reputation — not as a hedge against the future, not as a bulwark against radical change, not as a citadel amidst the barbarians, but rather as the future at hand, as the radical agent of change, as the barbarian. The business of literature is blowing shit up.”
Last week in TWC, I paid tribute to the late Jason Molina. This week his fellow songwriter and friend Will Johnson lays a beautiful mourning cloth over those bones.
This week it is the time to mourn Paul Williams of Crawdaddy! magazine fame, one of the inventors of rock criticism as the barbarian. He started when he was 17, and stopped too soon. May our own maverick wildings someday make up for his lost time.
Also in sequels, in this week’s Tuesday Musics, I presented some discoveries that came courtesy of a talk by Ian Nagoski. Here is one I alluded to but didn’t follow up, the Indian classical singer Kesarbai Kerkar, whose amazing story (itself an epic Indian tale of humiliation, pride, discipline, triumph and withdrawal) is dwarfed by her actual art. (Thanks to Gabe Levine for the find.)
Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:
Chris: Out of every ignorant-white-dude-rap-writer moment some good may come: one prompted Julianne Escobedo Shepherd to reel off a veritable curriculum of critics from different backgrounds, old-school and new-school, many working outside the familiar journalistic venues.
Carl: Some prankster friends of mine this week imagined what happened if a TEDx conference took place on the island where The Wicker Man was set. And then they simulated it in real time on Twitter. More than even the Twitter short-stories and other creative experiments I’ve seen there, this felt like it was in its native environment and breathing in the medium’s oxygen, via the collaborative creation of the illusion. (From what I can tell it didn’t set off any Orson Welles War of the World panics though.)
On a similar reality-or-simulation note, I wish I could be a member of this club. Or that anyone could have been a member of it. Up in the air, in beautiful balloons.
“America still had post-Mandingo dreams, no matter how it looked, which really weren’t getting met by Michael Jackson. I remember a lot of interviews when Prince started catching on where they asked people, ‘Why do you like Prince?,’ and they said, ‘Well, Michael Jackson’s cool, but Prince gives us more sex.’ ”: Questlove’s Prince master class.