Saturday, August 06, 2011

[Good Links] Premium Clickage

Premium Clickage: Assorted odds and ends, haphazardly gathered over the past couple of months.

  • From 1954 to 1998 the most popular name for boys in the US was Michael, except for one year: 1960 -- the year I was born. The name that that was tops that year? David. Just from my first name, you could take a good guess at my age. Interestingly by 1989 David had dropped from the top five, never to return.
  • I happen to think Roger Ebert is a braying ass who happens to write an excellent movie review, which includes, as a subtalent, blow-coke-out-your-nose put-downs.
  • Detroit just keeps on giving. "[T]he working-class district on the southeast corner of Eight Mile Road and the I-75 Service Drive... made international news last month after FOX 2 publicized its citizens' very loud cry for help. A hand-painted billboard visible from the highway that read: WARNING THIS AREA INFESTED BY CRACKHEADS." Turns out the house is owned by BGE properties, a company in Lathrup Village (used to be a very nice suburban enclave next to Southfield back in the '60s/'70s). The reporter's official queries to BGE were taken by someone calling himself "Broadway Benjamin." No, really. I can't imagine how crackheads got in there.
  • A couple of good articles popped up regarding the current Best Show on TV, Breaking Bad. At Grantland, " Because TV is so simultaneously personal (it exists inside your home) and so utterly universal (it exists inside everyone's home), people care about it with an atypical brand of conversational ferocity...". At The New York Times, "Television is really good at protecting the franchise," [series creator Vince] Gilligan said. "It's good at keeping the Korean War going for 11 seasons, like 'M*A*S*H.' It's good at keeping Marshal Dillon policing his little town for 20 years. By their very nature TV shows are open-ended. So I thought, Wouldn't it be interesting to have a show that takes the protagonist and transforms him into the antagonist?" The show is currently in negotiations over how it's final season will play out. Don't start watching live at the point. Stream it from season one to catch up. It's worth it.
  • Since I skipped out on any book reviews this time, you might read this appreciation, and accurate updating, of Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, by Paul Fussell, a wonderful book on the difference class attributes in the U.S. (cultural not political, except tangentially). It first came out in 1983. I think I read it around '85. But I remember much of it to this day, and see its accuracy still. Sharp and witty, fast and fascinating. Should you read it? Yes, unqualified.