Month of August, 2008

Spot the difference: Russian tanks in 1968, 2008

Have just returned from Prague to read this amazingly ignorant quote from our outgoing SoS about the mess in Georgia:

 "This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed."

 End of the Prague Spring 1968

Iron Maiden in Prague

Was invited last minute with some friends to see Iron Maiden at Eden Stadion here in Prague.

Iron Maiden fans in Prague

Besides having the worst sound of any live stadium show I've ever seen, the concert was most excellent. A giant Pharoah's head split open to release evil-eyed Eddie over the band, shredding in all their elder statesmen glory. 35,000 people turned "Run to the Hills" into a mantra. The whole crowd wore their best, oldest Maiden shirt. Jeans. Long hair, short hair. Fireworks inside. Singing on the trams afterward, as if the whole world were for metal fans.

Rosen addresses thieves...

Jody Rosen has a great piece out today called "Dude, you stole my article" about a small-town weekly paper that plagerized content from a number of on-line sources for basically their entire editorial body. He avoids meta-commentary on the nature of online pastiche and instead goes for online justice, as the editor refused to engage him in conversation about the problem. The title is some bit of irony then, since the "you" in question uncertain and the article is seeking him or her out. The publication took down its website - so someone, maybe even you, got the message.

Who Knew Utopia: Prague's Brussels Dream Exhibit

Radio silence over. Here are photos from the Brussel Dream exhibit put on here at the National Library in Prague:

The main sculpture of the Fair:

Sculpture from the Brussels World's Fair 1958

The legendary Xenakis Phillips Pavillion:

Phillips Pavillion at Brussels World's Fair

Czechoslovak consumer goods in the 1950s:

Other Notables 2008: On Idolator

While Best Music Writing 2008 will hit the stands September 8, it is already in the hands of reviewers, including the insatiable reader and listener Michaelangelo Matos. Many thanks to hims for running down the list of Other Notable Essays. Indeed many are available online and his post has reminded me of a project that I've been wanting to do. So, starting August 8 I'll post two 150 word blurbs on pieces from the Other Notables list. I'll provide links to them so you all can get an idea of what I think makes the piece worthy of its place on the list.