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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

Workaholic or passionate?

From Seth Godin:
A workaholic lives on fear. It's fear that drives him to show up all the time. The best defense, apparently, is a good attendance record.... The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays.
Link.

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"the elegant lie"

Sunday, I had the opportunity to sit in the WPVM studios during a broadcast of WordPlay. Katherine Min read from Secondhand World; a lyrical novel of sorts. Sebastian Matthews discussed the autobiographical elements of the novel. Katherine Min responded, "Fiction is the elegant lie that leads to the truth." And I wrote it down in my notebook along with other jewels I gathered from observing the recording of WPVM's WordPlay.

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Letting go

Two things happen when you let go of something; you feel the pain of its absence more acutely or you feel the freedom from the weight it once possessed in your life.

To build a lean-to

I built a backyard lean-to that survived rain, wind, snow and freezing temperatures.
With the rising housing costs and manufactured mortgage crisis, it is very affordable housing. However, there's no heating, toilet or running water. But the clear night skies are amazing--and that's priceless.

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Thanks for NOT READING

Did I write that I was going to "shut down" 1000 Black Lines? I posted that one of my blog goals was to attain 1000 blog posts. Further, the countdown to the last post does not equate to shutting down. But thank you for making it appear like I am bleeding out of the blogosphere and providing voyeuristic entertainment for those who do not regularly read 1000 Black Lines but would like to witness the apoptosis of a blog. To shut down implies deleting--i.e. ceases to exist; i.e. terminate.

Did I write that I was deleting 1000 Black Lines? For crying out loud, read and comprehend before you post! Better yet, don't blog at all and go read a book with lengthy sentences and complex words. And I thought I had ADHD. Now that my blood pressure is experiencing a correction, I'd like to point out that the countdown was to share how many posts remain until the goal is attained.

What editors do

From The New Yorker:
Editing takes a variety of forms. It includes the discovery of talent.... It can be a matter of financial and emotional support in difficult times.... an editor ordinarily tries to facilitate a writer’s vision, to recommend changes... that best serve the work.... editorial work is relatively subtle, but there are famous instances of heroic assistance: Ezra Pound cutting T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” in half when the poem was still called “He Do the Police in Different Voices”; Maxwell Perkins finding a structure in Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel” and cutting it by sixty-five thousand words.
Link.

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7 habits of a customer-oriented company

From CRM Media:

  1. Store Experience

  2. Convenience

  3. Range and Assortment

  4. Quality

  5. Customer Service

  6. Multichannel

  7. Product Availability

(via Community Guy) Link.

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Paparazzi for hire

From AdPulp:
people paying faux paparazzi up to $1500 to follow them around town with cameras
Link.

The secret lives and desires of poets & writers

From The New Yorker:
Part of the reason there were no real biographies is that little was known about Gibran’s life, and the reason for that is that he didn’t want it known.
Link.

And from Slate:

...one of the most troubling dilemmas in contemporary literary culture.... the question of whether the last unpublished work of Vladimir Nabokov, which is now reposing unread in a Swiss bank vault, should be destroyed--as Nabokov explicitly requested before he died.

Link.

From 1000 Black Lines:
  1. Jessica Smith, Burn it. Poetry burns well. And it is a fitting end for poetry, esp. anything from that angsty juvenile period...
  2. 1000 Black Lines, Thanks for the advice. I'll burn it along with all the friendship bracelets, florescent T-shirts.... Who needs to worry about the high cost of heating fuel when burning poetry is such an affordable alternative?
Link.

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"a terrible idea to suppress"

From TNR, an interview excerpt of Ian McEwan:
I think it is ineradicable, and I think it is a terrible idea to suppress it, too. We have tried that and it joins the list of political oppression. It seems to be fairly deeply stitched into human nature. It seems to be part of all cultures, so I don't expect it to vanish. And yet at the same time, if it is built into human nature, why are there so many people who don't believe in it?
Link.

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Are you Starbucked?

From Washington Monthly, regarding Taylor Clark's Starbucked:

In his closing section, Clark addresses the question of cultural homogenization--the idea that, by being everywhere, Starbucks is killing the individual character of far-flung communities.... "Starbucks diminishes the world's diversity every time it builds a new cafe," Clark writes. "The company, by its very nature, endangers cultural uniqueness, and this is why I am not a Starbucks customer."

This brings me back... to my own experience reading Starbucked in Starbucks.... here is what I saw in those two Starbucks locations: People buying coffee. People drinking coffee. People waiting for the restroom. People working on laptops. And, on one occasion, a barista giving a tourist directions to a nearby cafe.

Link.

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Your community gathering spot

From AdPulp:
The web is social. Coffee is social.
Link.

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Sponsor this blog

If I planned to continue this blog beyond the 1000-post limit, I might consider contacting these potential sponsors:
Cafe Du Monde

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Gauyaki

Tazo

Primaries, blimps & football

WARNING: this contains overt political content and may offend some readers; specifically those readers (mostly well-meaning friends who will probably not speak to me again after reading this post or if they are still speaking to me will inundate my inbox with Ron Paul propaganda) who think I should support Ron Paul for President. It wasn't long ago some well-meaning friends were saying the same thing about Howard Dean.

The NC Primaries aren't until May. Yey, can't wait to participate.

Next door, the SC primaries are in progress. Yes, it is the season for American politics at its best (or worst). An old Larry Norman song seems to capture the mood: "nothing really changes/everything remains the same..."

Remember this floating object? (via Expats4Dean) Link.
All that blimp and he still lost.

And now this floating obscenity. (via Bostonist) Link.
Need I predict another lost campaign?

You'd think a political campaign marketing group would be more creative than to use a blimp. A blimp is the kiss of death... unless it is floating over an American football stadium.

GQ had a good idea... use a bimbo blonde babe attractive intelligent youthful female to promote patriotism... or support for the troops... or something to do with red, white and blue nationalism.

But the cliche red, white and blue is so passe. Presidential candidates need to be bold: how about green and gold?


I think I'll write in Brett Favre for President.

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Writing tips from published authors

Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules for writing fiction Link.

Stephen King's seven tips for becoming a better writer Link.

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Under the covers

For those who take book covers for granted.
(via Ministry of Type) Link.

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Books that "Take Your Breath Away"

It is all about packaging, whether one likes it or not. The British design/publishing company knew that when they released their catalog of books produced in cigarette packaging.

When browsing bookstore shelves the standard trade paperback size becomes overwhelmingly boring. Packaging matters. Cover design matters. Page layout matters.
Anyone who has ever been in a bookstore knows that you’re not browsing books; you’re browsing covers. To have a chance in a sea of covers, you’ve got to have a compelling visual that grabs people.
(via Andre Brocatus) Link.

If a designer can make a book's packaging and cover attract a reader, the page layout and text should create a literary (and art) experience with an archaic technological device--a book.

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“Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.”

From 43 Folders:
[Chuck] Close talks about evolving his method of working to overcome his own personality.

"I’m a nervous wreck. I’m a slob. I have no patience. And I’m rather lazy. All those things would seem to guarantee that I would not make work like I make. But I didn’t want to just go with my nature."

So instead of painting overwrought, expressive things when the mood struck, he committed to making his epic, close-up portraits by breaking the work into tiny pieces and hewing to a grid. Not only did the grid make technical sense, it forced a lifehack on Close that would help him deal with his own tendencies. It helped get the work done...

Link.

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How to sing in French

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Remember grammar class?

Of course you don't. Based on the blogosphere, it must not be taught in schools anymore.

If you are one who remembers grammar class, this is great: Diagramming the Preamble to the US Constitution. (via Boing Boing)

If not, visit Grammar Girl: Link.

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When the coffee runs out (or, where did all the books go?)

There's a difference between greatest or best and most beneficial books. But if no one is going to visit the library to discover them, will they truly be great, best or beneficial? Some people must be reading those odd artifacts called books. Otherwise a self-published novelist with a great book deal would have remained in the shadows of the literary landscape.

Oh, bother... maybe I need to switch from coffee to chai.

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Writers at Home Series reading this weekend

From Elaine Fox (fox@unca.edu):
UNC Asheville's Writers at Home Series Continues January 20

UNC Asheville's Writers at Home Series continues with readings by local authors Roy Andrews and Gary Lilley at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St. Writers at Home is part of the Great Smokies Writing Program, a consortium of Western North Carolina writers and UNC Asheville. The event is free and open to the public.

Roy Andrews, a native of New Hampshire, has published short stories in "New Orleans Review," "The Adirondack Review" and "New Hampshire College Review." He has also read one of his short stories on New Hampshire Public Radio. Previously, Andrews directed a university writing center and taught writing about modern art.

Gary Lilley has published four books of poetry, including "The Subsequent Blues," "The Reprehensibles," "Black Poem (The Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series)" and "Alpha Zulu." He received the D.C. Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry in 1996 and has been a poet-in-residence at WritersCorps, Young Chicago Authors and The Poetry Center of Chicago. Lilley teaches undergraduate writing at Warren Wilson College.

For more information, call Tommy Hays, Great Smokies Writing Program Director, at 828/254-1389

Link. . . . .

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Coffee, gotstahavit

From Unclutterer:
Coffee beans you aren’t going to grind and brew within two weeks can be kept in the freezer, but they should not be stored in the refrigerator. Moisture isn’t good for coffee, well, unless you’re actually in the process of brewing. Don’t believe me? Here are a few insights from people much more informed than I...
Link.

And loosely related, from The Point:
...it's not surprising that studies have shown caffeine is an effective aid.... For caffeine to be most effective, however, regular users need to minimize their caffeine use so that when they need it, caffeine will give them a boost.
Link.

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How to write a marketing poem

Step One:
Read anything and everything Seth Godin writes.

From Seth Godin:
used bookstores hate Amazon
And so do independent bookstores
Link.
Who vs. how many.
Link.
More marketing links than you can read...
Link.

Step Two:
Write a 31-syllable waka.

Step Three:
Publish the waka on your own blog, because no prestigious literary journal would waste the time to print it.

Used bookstore owners
hate Amazon. But why? The
staff and owners of
used bookstores know the hands and
faces of bibliophiles.

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Recently listened tracks



The countdown to 1000 posts is winding down.

After this post, there will be 29 more posts until the end.

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An afternoon diversion

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Are you part of the Facebook-hating mob?

Read this from AdPulp:
Hugh Macleod is not part of the Facebook-hating mob... but he does like this critical Guardian piece on the politics behind the company.

Investigative journalist, Tom Hodgkinson, says he hates Facebook in his lead. He then delves into a deep background check on the money men behind the soc net.
Link.

An interesting report regarding Facebook. But the journalism is questionable. When a journalist expresses bias before "objectively" reporting the story two things occur. One, the integrity of the investigation is compromised due to the predetermined objective of the journalist. Two, by framing the story as an anti-Facebook article, the journalist sets the reader up for biased propaganda that is supposed to convince the reader to hate Facebook. And that is not journalism. It is a well researched essay at best or simply an op-ed piece.

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"Starbucks' enemy is Starbucks"

From Tom Peters:
... your problem... lies near at hand. Don't necessarily change your strategy--why waste your energy... Worry instead about Execution and Operational Excellence.... Worry about policy manuals laden with blubber and ... too many meetings attended by too many people viewing too many PowerPoint presentations.... and... about offices for executives that are bigger than they were 10 years ago--and employee turnover that has grown in tandem with executive office-size creep.
Link.

And I might add: worry about consultants that increase the employee turnover and worry about cheapening the product for immediate gains instead of investing in a sustainable product with long-term, consistent gains and worry about "dedicated" employees that work around the clock only because they fear their job maybe subcontracted to an off-shore company that the consultant works with.

How does this apply to poets and writers? Only Hemingway can beat Hemingway. Only Kerouac can beat Kerouac. Only Pound can beat Pound. Only you can best yourself. No one else can do that job for you. You may have a great community of poets and writers that support you, but you still have to do the work.

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A man's home is a . . . Victorian RV?

Link.

When I was in high school, my dream was to trick out a VW van. But this guy is amazing. Check out what he did to a bus.

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Monday night diversion

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What do graphic designers do?



For those graphic designers who have family or friends that continually ask you, "What do graphic designers do?" Show them this video and watch their pie hole hit the floor.

And yes, it's late and I'm madly trying to write ad copy and design an ad for Monday morning and I hit a creative wall and this video seemed to be a nice diversion.

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Go Packers!



Now that is what I call a great American football game!

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you've got to be kiddin'

Gapingvoid:
the business world tends to kill creativity

Link.

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The naming of books

From Seth Godin:
I was talking to someone yesterday about naming books, and I realized that there are three useful schools of thought here.
Link.

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Break my heart into pieces, please

From The American Scholar:
Novelists and poets, those interpreters of our troubled experience of the world, are often drawn to philosophical systems, theories of history, mythologies. Long works, in particular, require considerable formal organization, and so Dante relies on Aquinas and Catholic theology to structure his vision of the afterlife, just as Victor Hugo and Tolstoy embed powerful discourses about history in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and War and Peace. Similarly, Yeats’s late poetry turns on the detailed cosmology he elaborates in A Vision while Robert Graves’s best love poems celebrate the somber mythos of The White Goddess: “There is one story and one story only.” Sometimes the writers truly believe in these various systems, sometimes the systems merely serve as useful architectural blueprints to produce original and coherent works of art. Of course, what matters most is that the resulting novel or poem, through its use of such theoretical struts and joists, can somehow do an even better job than usual of, say, breaking our hearts.

Link.

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So much for the foreign exchange student program

From Foreign Policy:
Millions of children are being raised on prejudice and disinformation. Educated in schools that teach a skewed ideology, they are exposed to a dogma that runs counter to core beliefs shared by many other Western countries. They study from textbooks filled with a doctrine of dissent, which they learn to recite as they prepare to attend many of the better universities in the world. Extracting these children from the jaws of bias could mean the difference between world prosperity and menacing global rifts. And doing so will not be easy. But not because these children are found in the madrasas of Pakistan or the state-controlled schools of Saudi Arabia. They are not. Rather, they live in two of the world’s great democracies—France and Germany.
Link.

Writing screenplays



Modern art is interesting



"Google yourself"

Advice for the new year, from Seth Godin:
The first thing to do this year

Google yourself.

Link.

Who needs a therapist when there is Google.

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Anyone out there planning to attend the Warren Wilson College's MFA readings tonight?

Here's the remaining, free MFA events:

Events last approximately one hour. Admission is free. For more information, call the MFA Office: (828) 771-3715.

READINGS

Readings will begin at 8:15pm in the Fellowship Hall behind the Chapel unless indicated otherwise.

by MFA graduating students
Friday, January 11 : Graduating student readings: Sara Bauer, Kande Culver, J.J. Penna, Tom McHenry, Mark Prudowsky
Saturday, January 12 – 4:30pm, followed by Graduation Ceremony
Graduating student readings: Allison Paige, Justin Bigos, Sunil Rao, Scott Challener

Faculty Lectures
All lectures will be held in the Fellowship Hall behind the Chapel.
Saturday, January 12 – 9:30am: HEATHER McHUGH: Matters of Letters
Saturday, January 12 –
10:45am: C.J. HRIBAL: Vision and (Re)vision

I plan to attend tonight's reading and tomorrow's lectures. See ya'll there.

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Friday blues men

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Don't marry your mistress

From Gapingvoid:
Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.

It sounds great, but there is a downside.

The late billionaire, James Goldsmith once quipped, "When a man marries his mistress, he immediately creates a vacancy."

What's true in philanderers, is also true in life.

Link.

Sounds advice for practicing poets and writers and artists and gardeners, but not sound advice for managers, art directors, publishers, marketeers, and business owners.

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"Music is social"

From Seth Godin:
Few businesses can successfully sell subscriptions (magazines being the very best example), but when you can, the whole world changes. HBO, for example, is able to spend its money making shows for its viewers rather than working to find viewers for every show.
Link.

I'm confused...

I don't have a television. So in order to catch up on the political debates last night I scan various web sites. Esplain dis; is Hucka-who on the wrong platform? Hucka-what sounds like a Southern Democrat. So now I have to chose between Clinton, Obama and Hucka-nut (and that's because Richardson dropped out to wait in the wings for a VP position) in the May 6 primaries. I suppose there's always an option to write in Bono for President, or better yet, Christ for President (via Woody Guthrie as sung by Billy Bragg & Wilco). AW-right... no more politics on dis blog... I'm Coffeehouse Junkie and I supplant this message.

TGIF, photoshop for dummies

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Creativity in action

From Gapingvoid:
'Tis more blessed to make than to consume etc.
Link.

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An absolute bloody nightmare

From AdPulp:
If you work in the creative department of an advertising agency in 2008 you will be hard pushed to find either a member of your team who can remember the old process or somebody who can handle a pencil and can draw - but I bet everyone is pretty savvy with a Mac, Photoshop, Quark and InDesign. Suddenly everyone with a computer, a mouse and a piece of software could do “creative” stuff, which is morally superb - but has proven to be, functionally and qualitatively speaking, an absolute bloody...
Link.

My thoughts exactly. If you can not draw with pen and ink don't call yourself a graphic designer. Relying on technology too heavily weakens the essence of visual communications.

Maybe that is why Moleskine Sketchbooks are becoming widely embraced... the need for analog art and letters.

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This is me talking about you talking about you

From Seth Godin:
The truism of the web: people talking about you is far more effective than talking about yourself.
Link.

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Open your mind and let your brains fall out.

Welcome to a post-literate world.

So, maybe reading is an archaic form of communication.

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Graphic novels and reader literacy

Will increased interest and consumption of graphic novels increasing reading among America's youths? From The Kansas City Star:
The school’s Graphic Novels Club more than doubled its members in less than four years.
Link.

I remember when comic books were considered adolescent porn. For all I know they may still be perceived that way. I wonder if the increased interest in graphic novels includes the old Illustrated Classics?

When I was in grade school, my father occasionally bought copies of of the Illustrated Classics. My favorite books were Sherlock Holmes and the case of the hound Of the Baskervilles, Ivanhoe, and The Last of the Mohicans. During high school I started reading an collecting comic books, but not graphic novels. As I recall, graphic novels began appearing with more regularity in the 1990s as a way of propping up poor comic book sales. The first graphic novels I read were collected comic book serials like Frank Miller's Ronin and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes. Reading comic books did not deter me from reading novels, poetry or literature in general. So, again, I wonder if graphic novels will increase reading among America's youth.

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Wanna be a groupie?

This fits/agrees with the post about audio quality of MP3 files.

From Seth Godin:

The thing is, when you dumb stuff down, you know what you get?

Dumb customers.

And (I'm generalizing here) dumb customers don't spend as much, don't talk as much, don't blog as much, don't vote as much and don't evangelize as much. In other words, they're the worst ones to end up with.

Link.

You want quality customers/fans/groupies, give them quality schtuff. For example, the books I design are carefully crafted. A book is a book is a book, you may say. But in this info age, a book needs to be packaged as a souvenir in much the same way an album is packaged as a CD. Why is this important? Regarding the books I design, they are lifestyle objects. When people buy a copy of one of the books I design I want them to emotionally and intellectually connect with the book as one might connect with a new friend. My desire is that these book buyers invite/introduce other people to the experience. This translates to quality customers/fans/groupies.

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How do you write?

Instead of the romanticized "how do you write?" maybe the question should be what do you write? Or, maybe, how well do you write?

I suspect, that a publisher doesn't give a flying flip how one writes as long as it is well written and it moves (i.e. sells) magazines, books, or what ever tool is used provide literary content of merit.

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Chicago Manual of Styles & coffee

I would rather be here:

Faculty Lecture: Wednesday, January 99:15am: DEBRA ALLBERY: ‘When Light Went Forth Looking for the Eye’: A Meditation on the Contemporary Ekphrastic Poem
But no. I have to be a responsible adult, making corrections to a manuscript that is due to the printer next week, searching the The Chicago Manual of Style for the correct way to display endnotes, and slurping coffee like a... like a... ah, what's a good simile I could use here?

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Hi-fi, lo-fi, and the death of good vibes

I've been dubious for years at the proliferation of iPod/MP3 music. I find this article, "The Death of High Fidelity," delicious. Maybe it's the former radio guy or just plain audiophile geek in me that screams, "Rawk on!."

It's not just new music that's too loud. Many remastered recordings suffer the same problem as engineers apply compression to bring them into line with modern tastes.... MP3 and other digital-music formats are quickly replacing CDs as the most popular way to listen to music. That means more convenience but worse sound.... MP3s don't reproduce reverb well, and the lack of high-end detail makes them sound brittle. Without enough low end... "you don't get the punch anymore. It decreases the punch of the kick drum and how the speaker gets pushed when the guitarist plays a power chord."

Link.

And further (this is great):

Still, "it's like going to the Louvre and instead of the Mona Lisa there's a 10-megapixel image of it... I wouldn't look at a Kandinsky painting with sunglasses on."

Now, I am not advocating abandoning iPods and other MP3 players.

It is just the fact that art, literature and music have been so diminished in the last couple decades that most people in our culture couldn't tell quality art, literature or music if it was served them on a silver platter with a cue card reading "applause."

For my generation, Gen-X, the touchstone song is Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Robert Levine, writer of the article, illustrates -- with graphics -- the difference in audio architecture of Nirvana's anthem and Arctic Monkey's hit "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor."

Suddenly I feel old.

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The constant tug of blog promotion

I couldn't agree more. From 43 Folders:
My problem, and I suspect this will resonate with many of you, is that I felt like I needed to do many of these things to keep up with the techno-jonses. “All the cool kids have a blog, and I want to be a cool online guy, so I should too. I don’t know anyone on Twitter personally, but everyone says it’s fun, so I should try it too. Hey, what’s your IM handle? Did you see that link I put up on del.icio.us?” As a self-styled writer, I also felt this constant tug to promote myself, to put my work out there for everyone to see, to network and make connections and hope I could stumble into a break (nevermind that my best opportunities have always come from good old fashioned resume passing and phone calls).
Link.

For those of you wondering why you read numbers in the "label" underneath each post, it is the countdown to the last post you'll ever read on 1000 Black Lines.

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Drawing every day



Originally uploaded by W.L.M.II
I used to draw like this -- almost daily. Some of you who know me remember I was seldom found without a sketch book and Sharpie marker. Dozens of sketchbooks are filled with sketches of people, places and objects of life.

Over the past couple of years I stopped. It was slow. First, I disassembled the art table that occupied a place in the living room -- I never had a "drawing room." Then I began leaving the house without a sketchbook or marker in my hand. Then I buried the sketchbooks in one of the cabinets in the house. Currently, they are in a box somewhere in storage.

Now, I look at other people's sketches and pine...

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"seven reasons for running paid advertising on blogs"

AdPulp offers 7 reasons to feature paid ads on blogs. Link.

Question: how many of you bloggers and blog readers actually buy something based on an ad you read on someone's blog?

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"another conversation in our occasional series on poets..."

John Ashbery on PBS. Link.

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Lost in translation

From The Times:

The Prince of Wales has watercolours, it's true, but it's hard to imagine him getting to grips with the waka, with its 31 syllables, strictly arranged into five lines in the 5-7-5-7-7 structure. Akihito and Empress Michiko knock out four waka apiece for New Year's Eve as well, reflecting on the year just gone by, and this year's offerings were helpfully put out in English by the Imperial Household Agency last week. Translating poetry is notoriously difficult and the waka usually come out sounding as poetic as the instruction manual for a vacuum cleaner. Link.

Maybe if I translate my grocery list into Japanese it will sound poetic.

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Dull-prose hell

So, it looks like I'll miss tonights Warren Wilson College MFA faculty reading... child care canceled at the last minute. But after reading the following article, maybe MFA's are horribly overrated. From the Toronto Star:
...when it comes to teaching creative writing, good intentions are nothing but paving material for the route to dull-prose hell. Link.

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This week's Warren Willson College MFA lectures and readings

From Warren Wilson College's website:

Events last approximately one hour. Admission is free. For more information, call the MFA Office: (828) 771-3715.

READINGS

Readings will begin at 8:15pm in the Fellowship Hall behind the Chapel unless indicated otherwise.

by MFA faculty and graduating students
Monday, January 7 : Wilton Barnhardt, Jennifer Grotz, Maud Casey, Maurice Manning
Wednesday, January 9 : Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Megan Staffel, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Peter Turchi
Thursday, January 10 : Graduating student readings: Amy Cloud, Kira Obolensky, Henry Kearney, Matthew Simmons, Maeve Kinkead
Friday, January 11 : Graduating student readings: Sara Bauer, Kande Culver, J.J. Penna, Tom McHenry, Mark Prudowsky
Saturday, January 12 – 4:30pm, followed by Graduation Ceremony
Graduating student readings: Allison Paige, Justin Bigos, Sunil Rao, Scott Challener

Faculty Lectures
All lectures will be held in the Fellowship Hall behind the Chapel.
Wednesday, January 99:15am: DEBRA ALLBERY: ‘When Light Went Forth Looking for the Eye’: A Meditation on the Contemporary Ekphrastic Poem
Thursday, January 10 –
9:15am: JENNIFER GROTZ : The Pathetic Fallacy
Friday, January 11 – 9:15am
: DEBRA SPARK: New Wave Fabulism
Saturday, January 12 –
9:30am: HEATHER McHUGH: Matters of Letters
Saturday, January 12 –
10:45am: C.J. HRIBAL: Vision and (Re)vision



I missed the Saturday and Sunday readings. Did anyone reading this attend? Did Steve Orlen read his Dolly Parton poem?

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Warren Wilson College reading -- review

Brief review of last night's Warren Wilson College MFA faculty reading.

Marianne Boruch read first and from her new book that she didn't know had been published and available at the book store. Always a delight to hear her read. Poems read include: "Still Life," "New Paper," "A Musical Idea," and others.

Charles D’Ambrosio read a lengthy, intriguing piece that I assume is the opening to a novel. When he finished, I wanted to shout, "What happens next?"

Van Jordan read about a half dozen poems both old and new (from his recent book). His personae poems and eulogies were delightful and haunting.

Michael Martone read one of his "contributor notes" from his book Michael Martone: fiction. You would have had to been there to understand the unique humor of his story. As one amazon.com reviewer put it, "Mind-bending multiple views of Martone's real and/or imagined lives, written in 2-3 page faux contributor's notes." His piece was hilarious and a great way to end a rich reading.

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Keep moving

From tompeters.com:
General U.S. Grant was the master of this. "Keep moving, somewhere, anywhere, but keep moving" was his de facto-de jure "strategy." As long as he was on the move the other general was in a constant reactionary mode of operations....
Link.
Business strategy for nomads? No. It is strategic planning -- SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bounded. Further:
Air Force Colonel John Boyd re-wrote the modern military strategy book with an idea called "O.O.D.A. Loops." O.O.D.A. stands for: Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. Whoever has the shortest OODA cycle tends to win—mostly by confusing the enemy, who is forced into a permanently reactionary mode of action.
Link.
My take away: more coffee, less sleep?

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Pillaging the New York Times

What Poetry Hut learns from pillaging the NYT and Time Magazine archives for poetry related articles:
a. the public has never supported poetry
b. poets have never made any $ from poetry
c. women poets have always been marginalized but at least some aren't called "spinsters" anymore
d. poetry has never sold
Link.
This reminds me of my 7 things you should know about being a poet post.

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Poetic tradition

From The Nation:
Creeley was at the exact center of a poetic tradition that stretched from the twelfth century to the present Link.

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Maurice Manning's poetry lecture summary and thoughts


As promised, some highlights from yesterday's Maurice Manning poetry lecture.

The lecture centered on "Some Thoughts on Sympathy." Maurice began by defining sympathy. First, it is not the "I feel your pain" emotion that is manipulative, fake and inaccessible -- a show of feeling rather than creation of feeling (i.e. the desire that you feel me feeling your pain). Sympathy defined as honest feeling, common understanding -- as in "two beasts bound together" like oxen -- of suffering.

Maurice cited the Romantic period as the historical place where sympathy in literature is born -- where the outward reaching heart surveys the humanity of the world and returns to the mind where it is changed, sympathetic, and reaches outward again. "Isn't that what we seek in poetry, to be changed?" Maurice asked. From there he presented the two-step machinery of Romanticism -- heart and mind cycle -- using the physics examples of sympathetic motion in plucked strings and pendulum motion.

This is the part of the lecture where I was deeply engaged. He went deep into physics and linguistics to make the point that sympathy occurs naturally -- it is part of our nature. It is the transfer of energy from one property to another, one person to another, from the page to the spirit. This is the kind of lecture that challenges me, resonates with me, makes me want to go deep. I'm starved for it.

Maurice used Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse" and Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight" as examples of sympathy in poetry. After an in depth analysis of the linguistic patterns of "To a Mouse," he concluded his lecture by stating that the poets he referenced found the self in these poems. "We're always yoked to something..." he said. "The mysterious force of the poem stays with us even after we have closed the book."

The applause was loud and seemed not to affect him as he paper clipped his lecture notes. As the applause subsided he quietly stated, "I guess it's lunch now."

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