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barthel:

The cycle of backlash is a familair one: as soon as something becomes popular, people are immediately more interested in cutting it down to size than they were before. The naysayers would say that each case is different, and that the backlashee is truly being criticized on its own merits. But is that true? I wanted to see.

Using Python, I wrote a script for a Twitter bot called Mr. Wrongbot. It randomly selects one of the Hype Machine’s 10 most popular tracks, extracts the artist (by accessing the JSON file associated with the page), and then inserts the artist’s name into a randomly chosen insult, all of which are written beforehand with no knowledge of what the artist will be. (See tutorial here.) Are they plausible as insults? Or is the backlash really context-dependent? We’ll see!

(Code can be found here.)

Ah, now I can relax, the work’s been done for me.

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Q. Why do you think, as you say in your book, so many poor people vote against their own best interests?

A. You’re assuming people feel any sort of connection to the system. I have a very close friend who votes Republican like clockwork. He understands the party doesn’t do much that is likely to help him as someone who might need welfare. So, as a social conservative, he’s going to vote according to which party supports his views on abortion, because that’s a thing that matters to him and he feels he can get movement on it, there will be a direct effect. Whereas if he votes on an economic issue, it’s just a different bunch of rich people doing a bunch of rich people things. It’s a question of marginalisation and trust. We [the poor] don’t trust anybody.

"

Linda Tirado, in an interview regarding the impact on her life after her thoughts on poverty and long-term planning went viral earlier this year.  The piece has been republished in this excerpt from her forthcoming book Hand to Mouth.

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mackro:

The Best Reason To Quit Facebook
When I first joined it in 2009, it was like an invitation to a free, giant party with all sorts of friends I knew from different circles and brand new bright friends as a bonus. It was early enough in the party such that one could have private conversations with a few people without having to yell over the party’s din.  It was a really exciting time. As opposed to Friendster or Myspace, Facebook felt like “The Real Deal” as far as a utopia of virtual friend connections. Despite being in my late 30s at the time, I was naive enough to let the euphoria lead me too far inside.
I left Facebook the other day (i.e. deactivated, not deleted) because it felt like the morning after that geological micro-era.  I had become an addict. I know this because shortly after I left, my brain was still heading over to the browser itching to check out Facebook like it had become a reflex.
I was no longer surprised to find out other people had the same relatively obscure tastes in music and art as I did.  That natural joy of meeting such people randomly in real life was now gone.
I was tired of being a cheerleader and sympathizer to everybody equally: whether it was my closest friend, or someone whom I never actually met but had a few good comical comments with, that one day. I had become exhausted.
The primary reason I left Facebook is because I was tired of donating so much of my thoughts and creativity to what is basically a cult — except this cult is one in which barely anyone realizes they play a part. All of that energy could have been invested in myself instead.  At the time, however, the impulse to share those thoughts, or nuggets of wisdom, or creativity was more important than me, in essence, because I had become addicted to the immediate reaction of my friends.  
Except they’re not really reactions as much as simple reflexes.  In a similar way that the writer of “LMFAO” is rarely actually Laughing One’s Fucking Ass Off at the time, a thread of “OMG“‘s or “!!!!!“‘s is rarely a stream of earnest surprise or cheer.
It’s healthier to hear information through a filter, really. It’s more natural. Social media is great to getting out potentially unfiltered news quickly — long before any major media reports on it, if they choose to report it. (Ferguson, Missouri on Twitter is a good example of this.)  Otherwise, I don’t think humans are meant to deal with it naturally.  The 2014 Israel/Palestine conflict is a good example of something that the Internet is terrible at arbitrating on its own.  The truth is: almost everything fits in the latter category. 
I recognize my naivety of the above. Nothing I’m saying is intended to be shocking or a revelation. And I’m aware of the irony of posting this on yet another social media site.
On a final note, there is nothing wrong with the Internet on its own — at least yet anyway.  We’ve just happened to arrive at at time when major corporations have figured out how to twist and manipulate the Internet as a media source just as they have to done to TV for decades.  And if the phrase “Kill Your Television” is open to interpretation beyond TV, why not the corporate-run Internet?

Sharing because:
1)  Mackro is one of my closest friends.  I take anything he addresses seriously equally seriously by default.
2)  I’m quite content with Facebook still as outlet for information that crosses my threshold/discussion and debate/a way to share out links to my latest work as it’s published (at which it succeeds far more than Tumblr does, speaking frankly; that Tumblr still comes across as a confusing, problematic interface reads less a problem on those who might not be ‘native’ to it and more a bug that’s a design feature at base), but
3)  I speak of Facebook in the previous point as relative ideal rather than reality. The current debate over the forced name change being applied to drag performers — and to my mind, there IS no debate, it is simply a foolish decision on the part of FB — illustrates that.  It might be a breaking point, emphasis ‘might.’
4)  A ‘better’ Facebook might emerge.  A better something else might always emerge.  But doesn’t Mackro’s point here somewhat suggest a possibility that may be inescapable — that when something reaches a big enough/large enough point all that one hope to have either escaped from or avoided is inevitably reintroduced or adapted to?
5)  This doesn’t mean more can’t and shouldn’t be done.  It does mean, however, that multiplicities remain helpful. One core central point remains a bad idea.  But too many different points become too many to maintain, depending on the person.  I have no interest in Instagram at all; I do not communicate primarily via photos with captions as a hook.  Pinterest, eh.  Diaspora, a potential ‘new/better’ Facebook, is something I have yet to fully be convinced of; I remain open to the idea while disconcerted at the idea of Yet Another Network at all.  And so forth.
6)  I have always liked riding waves of knowledge and information as much as diving deep.  That doesn’t speak as much to the success of what I do on both fronts, that’s merely a description of how I engage and process.  It would be foolish of me, though, to assume my standard and view is the universal one.  Per the observations I made (on FB!) on this piece and this one, both of which argue that a built in ‘American’ bias warps perceptions of life and death on a grand level, the dangers of projecting what works for one as working for all are evident. 
7)  Do what you need to do.  Enjoy something only if you get enjoyment from it. Criticize it when it deserves criticizing. And don’t force yourself down a road you’ve been traveling if it just tears your feet and body up as you go to no further end.

mackro:

The Best Reason To Quit Facebook

When I first joined it in 2009, it was like an invitation to a free, giant party with all sorts of friends I knew from different circles and brand new bright friends as a bonus. It was early enough in the party such that one could have private conversations with a few people without having to yell over the party’s din.  It was a really exciting time. As opposed to Friendster or Myspace, Facebook felt like “The Real Deal” as far as a utopia of virtual friend connections. Despite being in my late 30s at the time, I was naive enough to let the euphoria lead me too far inside.

I left Facebook the other day (i.e. deactivated, not deleted) because it felt like the morning after that geological micro-era.  I had become an addict. I know this because shortly after I left, my brain was still heading over to the browser itching to check out Facebook like it had become a reflex.

I was no longer surprised to find out other people had the same relatively obscure tastes in music and art as I did.  That natural joy of meeting such people randomly in real life was now gone.

I was tired of being a cheerleader and sympathizer to everybody equally: whether it was my closest friend, or someone whom I never actually met but had a few good comical comments with, that one day. I had become exhausted.

The primary reason I left Facebook is because I was tired of donating so much of my thoughts and creativity to what is basically a cult — except this cult is one in which barely anyone realizes they play a part. All of that energy could have been invested in myself instead.  At the time, however, the impulse to share those thoughts, or nuggets of wisdom, or creativity was more important than me, in essence, because I had become addicted to the immediate reaction of my friends.  

Except they’re not really reactions as much as simple reflexes.  In a similar way that the writer of “LMFAO” is rarely actually Laughing One’s Fucking Ass Off at the time, a thread of “OMG“‘s or “!!!!!“‘s is rarely a stream of earnest surprise or cheer.

It’s healthier to hear information through a filter, really. It’s more natural. Social media is great to getting out potentially unfiltered news quickly — long before any major media reports on it, if they choose to report it. (Ferguson, Missouri on Twitter is a good example of this.)  Otherwise, I don’t think humans are meant to deal with it naturally.  The 2014 Israel/Palestine conflict is a good example of something that the Internet is terrible at arbitrating on its own.  The truth is: almost everything fits in the latter category. 

I recognize my naivety of the above. Nothing I’m saying is intended to be shocking or a revelation. And I’m aware of the irony of posting this on yet another social media site.

On a final note, there is nothing wrong with the Internet on its own — at least yet anyway.  We’ve just happened to arrive at at time when major corporations have figured out how to twist and manipulate the Internet as a media source just as they have to done to TV for decades.  And if the phrase “Kill Your Television” is open to interpretation beyond TV, why not the corporate-run Internet?

Sharing because:

1)  Mackro is one of my closest friends.  I take anything he addresses seriously equally seriously by default.

2)  I’m quite content with Facebook still as outlet for information that crosses my threshold/discussion and debate/a way to share out links to my latest work as it’s published (at which it succeeds far more than Tumblr does, speaking frankly; that Tumblr still comes across as a confusing, problematic interface reads less a problem on those who might not be ‘native’ to it and more a bug that’s a design feature at base), but

3)  I speak of Facebook in the previous point as relative ideal rather than reality. The current debate over the forced name change being applied to drag performers — and to my mind, there IS no debate, it is simply a foolish decision on the part of FB — illustrates that.  It might be a breaking point, emphasis ‘might.’

4)  A ‘better’ Facebook might emerge.  A better something else might always emerge.  But doesn’t Mackro’s point here somewhat suggest a possibility that may be inescapable — that when something reaches a big enough/large enough point all that one hope to have either escaped from or avoided is inevitably reintroduced or adapted to?

5)  This doesn’t mean more can’t and shouldn’t be done.  It does mean, however, that multiplicities remain helpful. One core central point remains a bad idea.  But too many different points become too many to maintain, depending on the person.  I have no interest in Instagram at all; I do not communicate primarily via photos with captions as a hook.  Pinterest, eh.  Diaspora, a potential ‘new/better’ Facebook, is something I have yet to fully be convinced of; I remain open to the idea while disconcerted at the idea of Yet Another Network at all.  And so forth.

6)  I have always liked riding waves of knowledge and information as much as diving deep.  That doesn’t speak as much to the success of what I do on both fronts, that’s merely a description of how I engage and process.  It would be foolish of me, though, to assume my standard and view is the universal one.  Per the observations I made (on FB!) on this piece and this one, both of which argue that a built in ‘American’ bias warps perceptions of life and death on a grand level, the dangers of projecting what works for one as working for all are evident. 

7)  Do what you need to do.  Enjoy something only if you get enjoyment from it. Criticize it when it deserves criticizing. And don’t force yourself down a road you’ve been traveling if it just tears your feet and body up as you go to no further end.

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I’m wondering if it all comes back to men. Not about banning or about even banishing them, but about the spaces men have carved out for themselves on the Internet, and the spaces they lack.

When I look around the Web, I think about the teenagers who used to write me letters and read my columns, and I wonder where they’d go. Would they end up on 4chan or Reddit or at Barstool Sports? They were all gamers, so what would their online gaming experience have been like if chatting during games was as widespread and vicious as it is today?

These were guys who were 13, 14, 15, maybe a little older. They didn’t have anyone to talk to, not really. No way would any of them talk to their moms, and most probably didn’t have girlfriends or even girl friends. Their buddies were just as clueless as they were, but everyone pretended otherwise. But the problems they had were very real and very worrisome: How do I talk to girls? How do I ask one out? How do I know what’s an STD? What happens if I’m 15 and I think my girlfriend is pregnant? How can I stop people from bullying me? What if I’m gay? What do I do if I’m suicidal? How do I stop feeling so lonely all the time?

"

— from Leah Reich’s “How To Detoxify the Web”

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post-prufrock said: Hi Crystal! I'm sure like many white male writers who hears your podcast, my initial reaction to your indictment of male-centrism in the music criticism sphere was along the lines of "man, these girls are so right, those stats are scary...but I'M not part of the problem rite!?!?", which I then realized COULD be true but PROBABLY not. Can you think of anything us male writers can do to stop promoting this gross imbalance? Thanks, keep writing forever.

crystalleww:

A couple of caveats to what I’m about to say:

  • I have a full-time job unrelated to writing about music. This means my opinion is very colored. I’m allowed to do and say a lot in this space without fear of losing my next paycheck or access to health care.
  • As a result, I’m also fairly insulated from the day-to-day of music writing. I don’t actually know what it’s like to be a staff writer. I don’t like, have a lot of experience, a long-standing gig with a major publication or anything. I have no idea what the politics look like. I’m sure they’re not fun.

That being said, it always just comes down to being aware and being open. I’ve been very fortunate to write for The Singles Jukebox where my editors and staff actively listen (first step! prerequisite to everything!), work very hard to be aware, and take proactive steps to get better with women taking central roles in those initiatives. Our application process was giving us a lot of white dudes? Let’s rethink our strategy about it. The dudes on your website are crowding out the voices of women, speaking on behalf of women? Okay, let’s create an environment where your female writers don’t feel uncomfortable pointing out this is ridiculous. Our coverage was missing several gaps, especially around what is music that has been ignored by traditional music outlets? Okay, get women to pick artists and songs to cover.

For casual music writing and reading dudes, it’s important to look at your own biases, too:

  • Is your group of music writing friends all dudes? Great, you’ve got a problem. Fix it.
  • Are you primarily reading music writing done by white dudes? Okay, time to think of some new writers to follow. Read Rookie! Read The Toast! Read Hello Giggles! These should not be considered websites exclusively for girls or women. They should be required reading for everyone.
  • Did a woman call something you wrote sexist? What’s her tone? Nope, trick question — it doesn’t matter; your initial instinct will to be defensive, but you should listen and take it to heart and be better next time. 

It’s not the job of the woman to educate or inform. My friendships with women are very well documented online. Do the work and figure them out. And follow those women because they are brilliant, hilarious, thoughtful, fearless, and biting. You’ll find there are more of them than you think.

Good advice. Take it all, if it applies to you, and apply it.

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It’s simpler for me to link to her full Twitter timeline above — she’s sharing out a LOT this morning on the subject — but if you need some key posts, here, here, here and, especially, here gives you a taste.  It appears to be part of a larger evisceration and dumbing down.  

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Well yeah.

Well yeah.

(Source: avinsidelife, via secfromdisaster)

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A treat and a half to do this one.  As I’ve mentioned before, this was the year that, way back in January or February or so, I thought, “Whatever DID happen to the Marilyn Decade?,” a too obscure group that had released one hell of a lovely album on Freek Records in the mid-1990s. Ruminations led to digging around and getting into contact with one of the two members, Richard Conway-Jones, and that ended up leading to Bada Bing being flagged on here since his review of the MD got me into them in the first place, and that led to Ba Da Bing! Records releasing a compilation of a number of Richard’s songs and now this. Hell of an honor and a treat to do this, and thanks of course to J. Edward for signing off on my random idea. You can check out the compilation on Bandcamp, and there’s links in the story directly to his own pages.  Hope you enjoy.

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When Lee won the Governor’s Award for the Arts, Johnny drove him up to Frankfort, Kentucky’s capitol, to attend the ceremony. He showed up at Dead End Road dressed in a suit and tie, but Lee came out of the house in his red T-shirt and bib overalls. Johnny hadn’t expected anything different, but he feigned surprise.

“Dad, aren’t you going to get dressed up? We’re going to the capitol! To where they make the laws!”

“I am dressed up,” Lee retorted, “and this is who I am! If they don’t like it, they don’t have to call me to invite me over there! This is what I want to be buried in! This is what I want to wear!”

"

from Carena Liptak’s excellent feature at Wondering Sound on Johnny and Lee Sexton.

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ILX precovers Syro not Aphex Twin album. It is a series of amendments premeditated Syria and Aphex Twin album, conceived and contracted without the knowledge of music. We hope you enjoy this blunderful cocklection.

Album cover by Sean Carruthers. — Uh…what they said. I’m on “CIRCLONT6A” via samples. And yes that’s the cover. Hi!