A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘in memoriam

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about a week of her life as a freelance writer, highlighting so much of her work relates to social connections as opposed to actual writing.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas shares an astonishingly prescient take by E.B. White on the power of television from 1938.
  • Hornet Stories notes the efforts of the Indonesian government to get the Google Play Store there to block 70 apps used by LGBT people.
  • At In a State of Migration, Lyman Stone looks at demographic trends in Hawaii, the other major insular possession of the United States. Low fertility and a high cost of living may actually lead to population decline there, too, in the foreseeable future.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the death, at 59, of trailblazing gay comedian Bob Smith.
  • JSTOR Daily links/u> to a paper noting how Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Uprising played a critical role in shaping post-war Jewish identity.
  • Towleroad notes the announcement of an astonishingly preserved 1945 film clip showing gay men, out, at a pool party in 1945 Missouri.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one prominent Donbas separatists’ push for an aggressive response to the Ukrainian government over the collapse of Minsk, including an attempt to reclaim the remainder of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts from Kyiv.
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[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • The Big Picture shares adorable photos of baby animals.
  • Multi-planet system K2-138 is one of the systems found via crowdsourcing, Centauri Dreams notes.
  • I did not know that David Bowie and Brian Eno visited the Gugging mental health clinic in Austria in 1994. Dangerous Minds has the photos.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Mike Pence has tried to defend himself from Adam Rippon’s criticisms by lying about his past.
  • Information is Beautiful shares an infographic depicting the edit wars last year on Wikipedia.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Northern Ireland may get a referendum on marriage equality, giving it a chance to catch up to the Republic of Ireland and to the rest of the United Kingdom.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a vintage article noting that trying to apply the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which could unseat a sitting president if the president was disabled, could cause a constitutional crisis.
  • Language Hat notes a study suggesting that, as humans become more sedentary, linguistic evidence suggests smell becomes less important.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders: how many films, how many novels, have been about _women_, not men, who are difficult geniuses? Where is the female equivalent of House?
  • The NYR Daily examines the Afro-futurism of 20th century novelist George Schuyler and his Black No More.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers what someone would see as they descended into a black hole.
  • At Towleroad, Steven Petrow tells how HIV/AIDS doctor Mathilde Krim saved his life.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one, militant, response in the Donbas republics to the breakdown of the Minsk Accords with Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her love for New York’s famous, dynamic, Hudson River.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the amazing potential for pulsar navigation to provide almost absolutely reliable guidance across the space of at least a galaxy.
  • Far Outliers notes the massive scale of German losses in France after the Normandy invasion.
  • Hornet Stories looks at the latest on theories as to the origin of homosexuality.
  • Joe. My. God remembers Dr. Mathilde Krim, dead this week at 91, one of the early medical heroes of HIV/AIDS in New York City.
  • JSTOR Daily takes a look at what, exactly, is K-POP.
  • Language Log notes that, in Xinjiang, the Chinese government has opted to repress education in the Mongolian language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests that the risk of war in Korea is less than the media suggests.
  • At Chronicle’s Lingua Franca, Ben Yagoda looks at redundancy in writing styles.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the complex relationship of French publishing house Gallimard to Céline and his Naziphile anti-Semitism.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the latest images of Venus from Japan’s Akatsuki probe.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the apparent willingness of Trump to use a wall with Mexico–tariffs, particularly–to pay for the wall.
  • Spacing reviews a new book examining destination architecture.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers what I think is a plausible concept: Could be that there are plenty of aliens out there and we are just missing them?
  • At Strange Maps, Frank Jacobs shares a map of “Tabarnia”, the region of Catalonia around Barcelona that is skeptical of Catalonian separatism and is being positioned half-seriously as another secessionist entity.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that an actively used language is hardly the only mechanism by which a separatist identity can exist.

[MUSIC] The Cranberries, “Linger”

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I was getting ready to leave Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge early Monday afternoon when the news broke on Facebook that Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries had died. I was taken aback; The Cranberries is one of those bands that defines my mid-1990s experience of watching music television, Canada’s MuchMusic, and to have yet another star gone prematurely … Sharing their breakthrough song “Linger” was the only response I could think of as I walked those chill street.

Oh, I thought the world of you
I thought nothing could go wrong
But I was wrong, I was wrong
If you, if you could get by
Trying not to lie
Things wouldn’t be so confused
And I wouldn’t feel so used
But you always really knew
I just want to be with you

The Independent has a nice feature explaining the genesis of the song, how the young O’Riordan took a song written by Noel Hogan and introduced her own lyrics, talking about her own teenage heartbreak at a nightclub.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote at Pitchfork about this song, more evidence of O’Riordan’s “flinty open heart”.

It was one of the first songs the band completed after O’Riordan joined, when they were just in their late teens. It’s a tale of love, deceit and the lingering feelings of desire for an impossible relationship, an impossible situation, and an impossible partner who broke the contract of love. “It’s ruining every day / For me I swore I would be true / And fellow, so did you / So why were you holding her hand? / Is that the way we stand?” asks O’Riordan. “Were you lying all the time? / Was it just a game to you?…” Yeah, you don’t want to be on O’Riordan’s emotional hit list.

Then the fireworks come. The twinkling guitars and staccato strings rise with her oh-so-recognizable voice and she nails the unforgettable lyrics thousands of fans have sang back to her at festivals and concerts across the globe these past 25 years: “But I’m in so deep / You know I’m such a fool for you / You’ve got me wrapped around your finger / Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to, do have to let it linger?” [Shakes head. Places palm over heart.]

(Erlewine goes on to write about how the marketing practices of the music industry in the 1990s helped make “Linger”, along with “Dreams” and “Zombie”, such memorable songs, appearing on soundtracks and being associated with iconic moments of pop culture. Recommended.)

It was iconic, was a song that mattered to me even before (almost a decade before) I could actually get the feelings involved. “Linger” is a profoundly honest song, and Dolores O’Riordan felt like an honest person, the sort of person I’d like to know. I wasn’t alone in connecting, or buying that song’s album and is successors; O’Riordan’s strongly Irish voice connected globally.

William Goodman at Billboard also wrote movingly about O’Riordan, how her voice was not just distinctive but distinctly Irish, perhaps symbolizing dynamic Ireland’s moving forth in the world as modern but still itself.

As a kid, this was one of my first introductions to wistful alt-rock drama. In an era of male-dominated guitar rock, I discovered the Cranberries by sneaking into my older sisters’ rooms and listening to their CDs. The cover of the Cranberries’ debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, released at the height of the grunge era in March 1993, showed the band cloaked in black, perched on a couch (as would their next release… they liked couches). It was easy to sit in awe of a vocalist commanding so much emotional power, and so in control of her dynamic, unique instrument. It’s a voice that left deep and lasting marks.

“Linger,” along with the LP’s other single “Dreams,” would launch the band’s career — and go on to sell five million copies worldwide. The group would ultimately sell over 40 million records across the globe. The grittier rocker “Zombie” would become perhaps their most recognizable song, but it’s always their dreamy side that stunned the most—the gliding choruses and lyrics that were like a swan dive off the Cliffs of Moher.

And now O’Riordan is gone. The police say it wasn’t a suspicious death; the suspicion seems to be that, in the context of her openness about abuse she had suffered, that this was an accidental overdose or something intentional. I am so sorry for that: we all need more musicians like her. All I can do, from my vantage point as a distant fan, is to be thankful we had her for as long as we did, and that she gave us songs like “Linger.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 18, 2018 at 12:02 am

[URBAN NOTE] Seven New York City links

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This extended feature from The New York Times makes the case that New York City’s subway system desperately needs the massive funding it needs, else the city itself start to fall apart. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/magazine/subway-new-york-city-public-transportation-wealth-inequality.html

A New York City plan to divest from companies that could be assigned responsibility for climate change and sea level rise is certainly a provocative idea. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/10/new-york-city-plans-to-divest-5bn-from-fossil-fuels-and-sue-oil-companies

The NYR Daily celebrates the life of Fred Bass, the man who built The Strand bookstore in downtown Manhattan. I visited Monday; his life’s work remains a success. http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/01/04/fred-bass-maestro-of-the-strand/

Kim Stanley Robinson’s thoughts on New York City are worth sharing. (The passage in _2312_ where his protagonist went up the Hudson by a flooded Manhattan _was_ one of the best parts of that book, to provide an example other than this novel he wrote.) https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43d39m/sci-fi-author-kim-stanley-robinson-talks-about-new-york-2140

I have to admit to quite liking the Met’s ideal of potentially free admission for all, though I suppose that if this gorgeous museum needs the funding … https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/arts/design/the-met-should-be-open-to-all-the-new-pay-policy-is-a-mistake.html

Former TTC chief Andy Byford is now in New York City, overseeing the MTA. I wish him luck. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/16/torontos-ex-transit-boss-andy-byford-rides-subway-on-first-day-of-new-new-york-city-job.html

The traffic safety program of the city of Toronto remains vastly underfunded compared to that of New York City. http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2018/01/16/while-new-york-city-s-vision-zero-results-are-lauded-toronto-s-have-been-lacklustre.html

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: June Rowlands, Sidewalk Labs, L Tower, race in schools, TTC

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  • The Toronto Star pays respect to the late June Rowlands, Toronto’s first female mayor.
  • Google’s Sidewalk Labs project, intended to remake Quayside, is already resulting in jobs–in New York City? MacLean’s reports.
  • The flooding at the L Tower downtown sounds terrible. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Race, unsurprisingly, remains a significant divide in Toronto schools. NOW Toronto reports.
  • The TTC is increasing bus service on the Dundas and Carlton routes to compensate for Bombardier’s failure to deliver. CBC reports.

[NEWS] Four links: post-strike education in Ontario, mummers of Newfounland, Vancouver, Mary Edelman

  • News that one-tenth of Ontario college students dropped out during the recent strike is not surprising. The National Post reports.
  • Atlas Obscura shares photos of the mummers of Newfoundland and the backstory of this cultural phenomenon.
  • Making abandoned housing in the Vancouver neighbourhood of West Point Grey into student housing sounds great to me. Global News reports.
  • This obituary for Mary Edelman, long-time Toronto resident and repairer of the typewriters of famed authors, offers insight into a fascinating literary past. The Toronto Star has it.