My Thoughts Exactly

Newsom/Christie: Images to Sounds: Hear to There

Over on his other, “real” blog, neutrino/hadron-class Wetmachiner David Newsom tells this charming story about how his book of photographs, SKIP, inspired somebody he’d never met to write a song cycle:


So, a little while back, I got an inquiry from a woman named Holly Christie about one of my pieces, “Blue Truck”. Turns out she’d been looking over Perceval Press’ web site, and she’d come across my book SKIP.

Anyway, she liked it, bought it, and we struck up a dialogue. As fate would have it, Ms. Christie is a singer/songwriter. One year later, thanks to the seemingly infinite generosity of the folks at Perceval Press, Ms. Christie has released a small collection of beautifully produced songs, inspired by SKIP, titled, “To Hear From There”.

It’s kind of amazing. Most times, we put these things out there and they’re met with silence, sometimes a nod. But, man, when they inspire others to take the painstaking journey that, say, producing an EP requires, well, you’ve gotta feel good.

Definitely worth a look. And follow the links to Christie’s site to hear the songs. Definitely worth a listen.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Channeling my inner Leopold Sedar Senghor to make a point about the stupid FISA so-called “Compromise”

Leopold Senghor was still the head honcho of Senegal when I was there as a Peace Corps Volunteer (& later as a grad student). The famous father of negritude was pretty well regarded as the guy who got Senegal its independence from France. But he was ridiculed a little (sort of like the proverbial crazy uncle) because his wife was French, and white. And because he spoke French, Latin and Greek better than he did Wolof. Senghor was Serrere, & spoke that language as his native tongue. But everybody in Senegal spoke at least some Wolof. It was (and is) that country’s lingua franca. I knew several Americans who were quite fluent in the language, including my friend Richard.

I remember one time Richard was going on about Senghor’s horrible French accent when speakng Wolof. In a radio address the night before, at one point Senghor had said something like, “ha ‘bugge nga’ ak ‘bugulo nga’ amul barrak waxtan”, meaning “between ‘I like you’ and ‘I don’t like you’ there is no bench for discussion.” And Richard thought that was horribly undiomatic Wolof. (Note: my Wolof is very, very rusty. I probably got that all wrong, but that’s how I remember it.)

Whatever. It stuck with me. And so, with reference to this recent nonsense about a “compromise” on the FISA bill, and with a nod to the late Mr. Senghor, I would just like to say, that between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’, there is no bench for discussion. Bush and Cheney and all the other monarchists in their administration think there’s a need to pass a law saying that when phone companies break the law, they’re not breaking the law. Fuck that. Y’know, that’s why our so-called founders invented the so-called judiciary. Y’know, so that there would be a well defined place and way to sort these things out. When you’re making ex-post facto laws to exonerate your buddies, you’re not fooling anybody. Or, to quote another sage, I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.

As we say in broken Wolof, Rekk— that’s all.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

The Boston Tea Leaf Party

Those interested in a great eye witness account of what happened at the FCC hearing in Boston on February 25 should read fellow Wetmachiner John Sundman’s piece on the part he saw (including the reception afterwards). But after listening to the FCC’s video archive, reading the statements, and reading the coverage, I’m willing to read the Boston Tea Leaves and see where we are so far and how I think this ends up.

Speculation below . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Adelphia Decided

I was off at my cardiologist getting a stress test, so I missed this. Happily, I had crammed the night before and passed with flying colors! Because today’s FCC meeting was, from all descriptions, totally surreal — including a shout out to yr hmbl obdnt blogger!

Short substance review: The FCC did not adopt a network neutrality condition, they did not adopt a condition on PBS Sprout, allowing Comcast to get by with a voluntary commitment to make the programming available on a non-exclusive basis for the next three years. They acted on the Washington Nationals, and gave a nod to leased access.

More details, and further implications, below . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

What did Martin Really Say About a “Tiered” Internet?

Much has been made over statements made by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin at this week’s TelecomNext trade show. As we at MAP have just had an experience with how often the press misunderstands Martin’s rather carefull statements, I am not as ready as many of my comrades to declare that the end is nigh. There is a huge difference between “customer tiering” (where a customer gets to chose the level of service), “provider provisioning” (where a provider pushes packets faster via Akami or bit torrent), and “Whitacre tiering” (where the ISP charges third parties for “premium” access to subscribers without regard to subscriber preferences). As explained below, figuring where Martin is proves harder than people assume.

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