Sometimes you’re the bug

Well it's a strange old game you learn it slow
One step forward and it's back you go
You're standing on the throttle
You're standing on the brake
In the groove 'til you make a mistake

Sometimes you're the windshield
Sometimes you're the bug
Sometimes it all comes together baby
Sometimes you're just a fool in love
Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger
Sometimes you're the ball
Sometimes it all comes together
Sometimes you're gonna lose it all […]

Mark Knopfler, "The Bug"

Bit of a crimp in my BlogHer plans: My car Karza's front windshield was cratered last night. I was laying in bed and I heard it happen, but I didn't realize what happened until A. and I were leaving our apartment this morning.

Full of passionate intensity

[…] Were pro-Israeli and
pro-Arab viewers who were especially knowledgeable about the conflict
immune from such distortions? Amazingly, it turned out to be exactly
the opposite, Stanford psychologist Lee D. Ross said. The best-informed
partisans were the most likely to see bias against their side.

thinks this is because partisans often feel the news lacks context.
Instead of just showing a missile killing civilians, in other words,
partisans on both sides want the news to explain the history of events
that prompted — and could have justified — the missile. The more
knowledgeable people are, the more context they find missing.

more curious, the hostile media effect seems to apply only to news
sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased
sources usually draw fewer charges of bias. Partisans, it turns out,
find it easier to countenance obvious propaganda than news accounts
that explore both sides.

"If I think the world is black, and you think the world is white, and
someone comes along and says it is gray, we will both think that person
is biased," Ross said.


Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post, "Two Views of the Same News Find Opposite Biases"

QotD: Shaken not stirred

What's your favorite drink or cocktail? What's in it?
Question submitted by

Vodka and Red Bull was my good friend in Austin, Texas, for most of March. I'm not averse to a Jack and Coke.

I've been drinking ambers lately, but I like my Guinness.

I'm still stuck on late-harvest rieslings.

Two against nature

Pitchfork: Can you explain the shtick behind the Gnarls Barkley persona?

Mouse: It's a little simpler than people think. It's not so much a
Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse record as the two of us together being
something else. There was kind of a different thing going on with us as
we were doing this record. The combination of the two of us made [it]
something other than just the obvious. So we gave it a name, and that's
what it was. […]

Sean Fennessey, Pitchfork Media, "Interview: Gnarls Barkley"

Artistic collaboration is a profoundly strange business. Do it
right up to the hilt, as it were, and you and your partner will generate a
third party, some thoroughly Other, and often one capable of things neither
you nor the very reasonable gentleman seated opposite would even begin to
consider. "Who," asks one of those disembodied voices in Mr. Burroughs'
multi-level scrapbooks, "is the Third who walks beside us?" My
theory, such as it is, about Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, is that their
Third, their Other, Mistah Steely Dan hisself, proved so problematic an
entity for the both of them, so seductive and determined a swirl of
extoplasm, that they opted to stay the hell away from him for twenty years.

William Gibson, "Any 'Mount of World"

Bonus-round: Will Layman's Jazz Today column in PopMatters "The Strange, Mixed Fate of Steely Dan" and Steely Dan's "Steelyard 'Sugartooth' McDan: The Man … The Legend … The Tour"

P.S. I did not get to see Gnarls Barkley's shows in the city this week, but I will see Steely Dan and Michael McDonald next week at Shoreline. I heard announcements for the show on a classic-rock radio station while rive into the city one evening earlier this week. This life can be very strange.

Paging, pt. 1

I'm spending time out of the heat and in air-conditioned environs whenever possible. I'm thinking I didn't make full use of a Buns and Noodle coupon I got in the mail yesterday. I'm wondering about two groups of people: community leaders who rail against the rise of hip-hop fiction and  authors who question the need for an African American section. I'm admitting I haven't spent much time in the gay & lesbian section because I feel guilty for not spending much time with the anthology I bought at A Different Light a couple of months ago.

So long, Mickey Spillane

"Velda was watching me with the tip of her tongue clenched between
her teeth. There wasn't any kitten-softness about her now. She was
big and she was lovely, with the kind of curves that made you want to
turn around and have another look. The lush fullness of her lips had
tightened into the faintest kind of snarl and her eyes were the
carnivorous eyes you could expect to see in the jungle watching you
from behind a clump of bushes.''

Associated Press, "Mystery Writer Mike Spillane Dies at 88"