Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BBC: Beste Filme Des 21. Jhdrts.

Hier die ganze Liste. 100 Filme schon und es ist nur noch 2016.

I'm sorry.

Ich habe von einigen diesen Filmen schon gehoert. Ja, solche Listen sind bloed. Aber manchmal sind sie auch interessant. Diese Liste ist uninteressant. Und das war wiederum Bloedsinn -- der Bloedsinn, der "meine Meinung zur Kunst und zu Listen von Kunstwerken" heisst.

Aber wartet, ich habe noch mehr von solchem Quark anzubieten: warum sieht man selten oder nie Listen der besten Gemaelden eines Jahrhundeten? Ich habe nie eine solche Liste gesehen. Jede Mange von Listen der besten Filmen und besten Rock n Roll Albums, aber keine Liste der besten Gemaelde, oder der besten Skulpturen? Warum? Kann es sein, dass Liebhaber der bildenen Kuenste eigentlich ein klein wenig weniger bloed sind in dieser oder jener Weise?

Hoffen wir doch. Aber: jetzt ich es gedacht habe, ist die Katze raus and geht nicht mehr wieder drin: nicht nur Listen der besten Gemaelde und Skulpturen muss ich haben. Sondern auch ein Art Hall of Fame. Und jaehrliche Award-Shows fuer Maler und Skulpturen. Und fuer Performance-Kuenstler.

Die wollen solches wahrscheinlich gar nicht. Wie gesagt, die sind nicht so. Their ways are not our ways. Die haben ihre eigene Arte, bloed zu sein.

Trotzdem, as wrong as it is, niemand kann mich stoppen. Hier sind die 10 besten Gemaelden des 20. Jahrhunderts:

10. Composition with Blue and Yellow, 1929, Mondrian.

9. Rolling Power, 1939, Sheeler.

8. The Surrender of Barcelona, 1934-37, Lewis.

7. Red on Maroon, 1959, Rothko.

6. Waterlilies, ca 1920, Monet.

5. Campbell's Tomato Soup, 1961-62, Warhol.

4. The Dance, ca 1910, Matisse.

3. Moonrise and Sunset, 1919, Klee.

2. Full Fathom Five, 1947, Pollock, and of course, the completely-predictable #1 is

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, Picasso.

Once again: I'm sorry.

Milli Vanilli Doesn't Upset Me

Their music is crap, no matter who made it.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about: Milli Vanilli were a pop duo who made really lousy, wildly popular music in the late 1980's, won a Grammy for Best New Artist early in 1990, and then later in 1990 were revealed to have sung none of the vocals on their records or in their concerts, which led to widespread outrage. They were sued by ex-fans and at least one class-action lawsuit was successful.

What really surprised me about the whole fooferah was that so many of Milli Vanilli's fans hadn't realized that it's very common for the music industry to deceive people about who has sung or played what. Granted, they usually admit that they're doing it, which makes Milli Vanilli's case a little bit different. A little bit.

For example, Stevie Ray Vaughan is credited as lead guitarist on the title track of David Bowie's Let's Dance. However, the video of the song strongly implies that it's Bowie himself laying down those hot tracks. Similarly, look at the liner notes for Bruce Springsteen's Tunnel of Love, and you will see that that amazing guitar solo on the title track was perpetrated by the one and only Nils Lofgren; however, in the video, it looks as if Bruce is playing the solo.

Deceptive? A little. Does it matter? Eh. Probably depends how big a Stevie Ray or Nils fan you are. I'm a huge fan of both so it bugs me a little, but I'm not so upset that I'm currently planning to sue anyone over it.

At least in both of those cases, the actual soloists are credited on the album liner notes. However, it has been known to happen that musicians don't get their props on the liner notes.

In the case of "I Want a New Drug" from the album Sports! by Huey Lewis and the News, I've long wondered just exactly who the wonderful horn section are. That is a bad horn jam, Daddy! It sounds like Tower of Power, a great horn section, who are credited on later Huey albums like Small World. In the video, at one point there are 3 sax players onscreen. Back in 1984, when the video first came out, those 3 guys looked like Huey and 2 other guys to me. Then again, back in 1984, I was taking a lot of drugs. In a lot of cases, when I look at things I looked at in 1984, they look a lot different now. I looked at the video again just now, and the sax player on the left in the shot with 3 sax players looks a like Johnny Colla, the only regular member of the band who plays sax; and I'm not completely sure, but the other 2 guys look like they might also be Johnny Colla, but in different outfits and wearing shades. Colla is the only sax player mentioned on the album notes, and if that's true, it would mean the horn section was all him, overdubbed. In the video, from left to right, the Collas are playing a tenor saxophone, an alto saxophone and a soprano saxophone.

But who knows. Maybe it was Colla plus Tower of Power, and they weren't credited because of some contractual nonsense. That's been known to happen: musicians have contracts which don't prevent them from playing on other people's records, but do prevent them from officially, publicly being on the liner notes. Why? Because record company executives were put on Earth to screw things up for no reason while doing tremendous amounts of coke.

But if the liner notes are correct and that horn section is all Colla -- blending very nicely with the keyboards, I ought to add -- and in the video, that's Colla standing next to Colla and Colla, then that would be a rare case of neither the liner notes nor the video being misleading.

Except for the last part of the video, where the whole band are onstage, and there's only one Johnny Colla playing saxaphone instead of 3 of him, while we continue to hear several horns.

But hey, nobody's perfect. Not even *shiver* Jeri Ryan.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Being Autistic, Part 47

I used to wonder whether my life would have been better if I'd made a different decision in this or that situation. I no longer think that way: Now it's not a matter of "if," but of "how much, and in how many unsuspected ways." Of course my life could have been better if I'd made better decisions.

And I'm autistic, which compounds the whole thing. It means that I constantly misunderstand people. It means that they constantly misunderstand me. These misunderstandings can go on for years before they're straightened out. And of course that's not counting the misunderstandings which I never even notice. I sometimes notice a misunderstanding years after it happened. Who knows how many I've never noticed?

A very significant sub-category of these misunderstandings is humor. I think I do okay, generally speaking, in understanding humor having to do with 3rd parties. But when someone makes a joke about me, suddenly things become very mysterious. What is the intent of the joke? Is it friendly or unfriendly? Does it come from affection for me and mean to make me laugh, or from frustration with me, meant to make others laugh at me? There seem to be very frequent misunderstandings when I make a joke about someone else too. A group of us may be joking around and laughing our heads off, and then I chip in with a joke and suddenly no-one's laughing any more, and I'm all, Oh no, I did it again. And explaining that I was just trying to joke around, and really meant no harm, can be much easier said than done.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I'm so interested in history: no matter what I say about Julius Caesar or Charlemagne, I know that it's not going to bother them.

I know that there are a whole lot of things I understand as well as the average person or better. I realize that many misunderstandings happen all over the place all the time which wouldn't have happened to me, and wouldn't have happened to others if I been there to explain things. But then there's this other category of things, where most people are operating at a level of communication that's way over my head, and always will be.

All my life people have been talking about how intelligent I am. For most of my life it was very hard for me to believe that they meant it. Now I realize that they usually do. However, now I also realize that very often, the context in which people pay me these compliments is some situation or occurrence which has made it seem as if I'm pretty stupid. They're saying that I'm very intelligent in spite of something which would suggest that I'm not. And even more than that: now I realize that they may be referring to something of which I'm completely oblivious: for example, I may have just said something which seemed really stupid. And the person paying me a compliment is saying, implicitly -- sometimes just to me when no one else is around, sometimes to a third party: "Yes, if you'd just met Steven this minute, and were judging him just from that, you might reasonably conclude that he's an idiot -- but he's actually very intelligent." Except that they just say the last 4 words.

The rest of it, they say non-verbally. Maybe they implied it by clearing their throat and doing something with their eyebrows, or with the tone of their voice, or in some other non-verbal way which most of you never give much thought to, because for most of you it's all instinctive and it all works. And if they don't know me well, or if they don't know I'm autistic or understand very much about autism -- or even if they do -- they may have no idea that there's a very good chance that I will miss most or all of the non-verbal part of the statement.

The truth, the part of the truth which people seldom say to my face, is that I actually am an idiot. That's seldom said to anyone's face. The truth is that I'm brilliant part of the time and an idiot part of the time. That's how an autistic person can seem to most people. You might be confused because you've known me for just a little while and up until know I've seemed pretty smart, and now suddenly it seems like I'm 5 years old. Or maybe for most of the time you've known I've behaved like a 5 year old, and now you're confused because I've just said something which sounds very intelligent. That's autism. Some of the time, if you want me to understand something, you're going to have to explain it to me like I was 5 years old. And of course, that means that I'm just not going to be able to understand some things no mater how they're explained to me. Other times, I'm way ahead of you. And there's no clear set of signals to tell you whether you're dealing with the genius or the 5 year old at any given time. There's also no clear set of signals to tell you that I get what you're implying non-verbally. Maybe there's something going on which ordinarily you wouldn't have to spell out, and maybe spelling it out is extremely uncomfortable for you. But if you don't spell it out, maybe I'll never understand what the problem is. And it's exhausting for both of us sometimes, and I'm sorry.

Carry On And Keep Smiling!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Is Usain Bolt Clean Or Has He Just Not Been Caught Yet?

Same question for Michael Phelps.

Remember back when Lance Armstrong was a great guy and a wonderful role model?

I was a big Barry bonds fan. Well, I still am. I haven't turned from loving him to hating him. It's just that I finally stopped kidding myself about the overwhelming evidence that he was breaking the rules -- and, for example, paying a friend to spend years in prison to help him break the rules. My denial about Bonds lasted a long time, but not as long as some San Francisco Giants fans. I do believe some of them still think Barry's innocent, God bless their innocent, trusting hearts. I still believe that Barry is a whole lot of amazing things (Lance, too, for that matter), but innocent is no longer one of those things.

Reggie Jackson is Barry's uncle. Back when I was still standing up for Barry in arguments over whether he was juicing, I kept saying that some men just get much more muscular when they're in their 30's, which is true, and I pointed to Reggie as an example. Reggie bulked up big-time late in his career (1967 to 1987 in the bigs.) When I stopped fighting the accusations against Barry, my entire view of sports and athleticism just collapsed, and I figured anybody could be doping, including Reggie back when he had played. If Reggie did it, would that even have meant he was ahead of his time? Accusations of doping in Major League Baseball weren't yet flying in the late 70's when Reggie was the remarkably-buff Mr October,

but steroids and human growth hormone had already been used in bodybuilding for some time, and had taken that sport from this

to this:

and even before 1980 a few baseball stars had sudden eye-popping muscle growth. They said it was Nautilus and free weights. And no doubt it was. Just ingesting roids won't grow muscle on you. The roids just allow you to work out more often by making your muscles recover faster.

Not only do I now suspect pretty much every successful athlete of using banned substances, I'm sort of in favor of sports just not banning substances any more. Why? Because the bans are not being successfully enforced. The steroid era is not over. Let everybody juice as much as they want. Yes, using that stuff is dangerous. But so is chronic denial of the obvious.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Clinton Foundation Will No Longer Accept Foreign Or Corporate Donations

When Hillary is elected, the Clinton Foundation will no longer accept donations from corporate or foreign sources. To avoid any appearance of impropriety.

What a colossal pile of BS: the Republican Party is owned and operated by oil companies, hedge funds and conspiracy theorists, but let's make sure no one can contribute to this foundation which fights poverty, illness and climate change all over the world, if there's a chance that it might look shady to Republicans, who are owned and operated by oil companies, hedge funds and conspiracy theorists.

The Clinton Foundation has done nothing wrong, outside of the Breitbart parallel universe. Nothing is gained by enabling the Right every time they make up another story about Democratic wrongdoing. That's right: I said: when they make it up.

Sometimes, when Republicans are driving the narrative, as in this instance where they've been riding the idea that there is something wrong with the Clinton Foundation, Democrats really need to grow a pair and tell them to go... Just go. Be not so aggriev-ed by the speck in thine own eye that thou see-est not the beam in thy neighbor's eye. Imagine if Bill had told Kenneth that Monica was none of his business. Imagine if Hillary had said that Congress had wasted enough of the public's time and resources with BS about Ben Ghazi and emails, and she was not going to co-operate and help it waste more. Democrats who stood up to Republicans, can you imagine such a thing? I can.

Economist Veroeffentlicht Liste Von Den Staedten Wo Es Sich Am Besten Und Schlimmsten Lebt

Hier ist die Liste. "Liveability" wird exakt gemessen, der Welt ueber. Wie jedes Jahr seit 2011 ist Melbourne die most liveable Stadt der Welt. Dann Wien, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary. Adelaide, Perth, Auckland, Helsinki und Hamburg in den top 10. (3 Staedte in Kanada, 3 in Australien, je 1 in Oesterreich, Neuseeland, Finnland und Deutschland, na ja.)

Solche Listen von irgendwie besten und schlimmsten Staedten sind stets interessant und unvermiedbar total subjectiv. Kennst Du mich nicht, und zwar ziemlich gut, dann hast Du eigentlich keine Ahnung wo ich mich wohl und unwohl fuehle, so einfach ist das.

Ich lebe in Detroit, weil ich will. Ich zog hier von 6500 Kilometer weg in 2008, absichtlicherweise. Vielleicht werde ich Detroit noch moegen in 2025, als die Stadt ganz cool und tendy wird, wie Cleveland 1995 oder so, nachdem sie jahrzehntelang angeblich die reinste Hoelle war. Vielleicht nicht. Aber ich werde fuer mich selbst entscheiden. Die Leute, welche sich die Meinungen vorschreiben lassen, tun mir eigentlich ein wenig leid. Live here. Buy this. Drive this. Eat this. Fear this. Like this, dislike that. Want this...