Guest Star

20 January 2011, 18:58

I don’t usually veer into the Scott Adams terrain, but I had no idea there were now cubicles with sliding doors. I’m walking down corridors and seeing doors pulled shut. It’s not the same as an isolation booth or a proper office but any tiny step toward dignity is a good thing.

Rodney Eric Griffith

Meaningful Labour

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Shuffle and Play

20 January 2011, 18:58

My 1st-Gen iPod Shuffle (mentioned here a long time ago) is still running, but the feature I never use is its shuffle mode. It’s always been the repository for podcasts of Le Show and Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service and lately, every Lenny Bruce recording in my library (which is missing the Philles version of Lenny Bruce Is Out Again and the Alan Douglas mash-up The Essential Lenny Bruce: Politics). They’re ideal for this purpose. When I’m remote, I find time is better engaged with voices that are speaking rather than singing.

I’ve read that the later Shuffles have slightly poorer fidelity and I’m not sure why you’d want them to be increasingly smaller. Even the newer Nanos are button-sized. They look smaller than the UNCLE ID badge.

Rodney Eric Griffith

Recordings

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Big Brother's Records

19 January 2011, 19:39

My earliest experiences with long-playing records are down to my brother. He was a teenager in the 1960s so I remember a Beach Boys LP in our bedroom, and at least one of Bill Cosby’s LPs. He still has some of his original stereo equipment, but few of the LPs. He owned a mono Sgt. Pepper, and his stereo Magical Mystery Tour was one of the early copies shipped with the leftover Pepper inner sleeve designed by The Fool. I remember borrowing Are You Experienced? and the Buffalo Springfield compilation album and Greatest Hits Volume 2 (he didn’t have the first volume). He may still have the US edition of Relics on Harvest with the made-up bottle-opener cover. I know he had a copy of the first Frijid Pink album but I can’t remember listening to it. He would have had a copy of the vinyl All Things Must Pass set if one of the discs hadn’t skipped. When he returned it, the clerk—I think this was in a department store like Sears, back in the days when department stores had music departments—tested the disc on the store’s high-end equipment to argue that the vinyl wasn’t defective but eventually capitulated and gave him the refund. At some point it was replaced with a pirated cassette that did not include the contents of the third disc.

Rodney Eric Griffith

Recordings

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Pussycat, Pussycat

19 December 2010, 12:46

Last December, I thought Nicole Shirtsinger (thank you, Stephen Moore, for the mal mot) could have been replaced on The Sing Off by one of the Old Navy Supermodelquins but now that we’re well into the second year, I see a really strong parallel between the mannerisms of Nicole Scherzinger and Phoebe Buffay. With her hair pulled back, you can even tell that she and Lisa Kudrow have similarly-shaped heads.

Rodney Eric Griffith

TV

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There'll Be Scary Ghost Stories

18 December 2010, 11:29

The first time I watched Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol I was in my sister’s bedroom (while she was out), watching a portable set in the dark. The local ABC affiliate was running it at 8PM on a Monday, and I was aware that the station was breaking with network programming (an early example of Matlocking). Because of increased commercial time, the opening and closing bits were completely excised, so I was left with some impression of the setup of Magoo as actor in a stage play but no closure. As was typical for the time, WEWS had a 16MM print that had been screened many times and was grainy. Run that kind of print through projectors that had seen better days to be seen on a small portable, in a dark room, and depict such a dark series of sequences to an impressionable child, and Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is even more haunting than was originally intended. Of course, in the early 1970s, television from even four years earlier seemed like it was from a forgotten, untouchable era.

I haven’t watched the show in a while (now playing on Hulu). I am reading the Darrell Van Citters book. You can also buy the soundtrack for the first time (digital only, and not lossless).

Rodney Eric Griffith

TV

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