Tuesday, March 22, 2011 

How could they leave us so soon?

After a, err, lengthy hiatus, I've finally made another entry on my Low blog. I'm aiming for one a week (most weeks, at least), and we'll see how it works out, but I am determined to finish the damn thing.

And if that holds no interest for you (heathen!), go read this, which confirms what I've long suspected. It's not that women are less interested in casual sex than men because of some sort of inherent difference, it's because most men are really bad at it... the vital bit (emphasis mine):

In a newly published paper describing a series of studies, University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley asserts that "when women are presented with proposers who are equivalent in terms of safety and sexual prowess, they will be equally likely as men to engage in casual sex."

Her research suggests women, like men, are motivated by pleasure-seeking when they enter the sexual arena. It’s just that women are less likely to be satisfied by a short-term encounter, and they know it.

Friday, March 18, 2011 

I don't like booking time off for St. Patrick's Day, but luckily I also don't like going crazy for it either, so while I may have slumped into work today with a mild hangover, I can't say I felt much worse than sleep deprivation normally makes me feel. For whatever reason, this particularly magesterial song started humming through my head shortly after waking, and it's been there ever since.

My dad sent my brother and I the link to this interview, which is laudable in a couple of different ways, although none more so than this exchange:

A: What makes an interesting woman?
J: Same qualities. Same thing. No difference.

The mere fact that the subtitle to this article is "The Invisibles and Hauntology" ought to clue you in that it's right up my alley, but even then Amy Poodle does an impressive job. Basically, if you've read The Invisibles (you should read The Invisibles), Poodle skillfully articulates some really important stuff that I don't think anyone else has. Essential reading.

Anybody who's talked to me about personal stuff knows how often I refer to the work of Dan Savage, so it was more than a little gratifying to find this fine article (by a Lutheran pastor, no less!) that points out that Savage is actually quite a skillful ethicist, in a field that needs them. Even the area where Dueholm has the biggest problem with Savage is one that I would say is a question of emphasis (he's a sex advice columnist, of course he is going to treat sex as the most important factor!), and overall it's an excellent explication of Savage's ethical criteria for romantic relationships (1. full disclosure 2. autonomy 3. reciprocity 4. GGG - "Think 'good in bed,' 'giving equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything' - within reason.") and the reasons why it might be valuable to listen to his show or read his column.

Lastly, and in some way paired in my head (I read one of these two links before the other, then encountered both linked in the same place, which might account for it), there are this account of a mother's death and this entry from my new favourite advice column. Both are beautiful, and both hurt a little. As I continue to get older (every day!), I find that both qualities are what I am looking for in the things I read, or watch, or hear. And on the latter note, if you've got a little money to spare (AFTER you've given some to relief efforts in Japan), I've got another worthy project for you...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 

And I closed my eyes like Marvin Gaye

Feel good hits of the 8th of March, 2011:

Low - In the Drugs
Spiritualized - Lay Back in the Sun
My Bloody Valentine - I Believe
Pavement - Zurich Is Stained
Radiohead - Sulk
Ikara Colt - Rudd
Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
Twin Shadow - Slow
Crystal Castles - Celestica
Populous/Short Stories - The Holy See

Friday, March 04, 2011 

Conference (and other) notes

So, one of the many things that's made this post a bit overdue was the 2011 EMP Pop Conference; the tenth year of the conference, the first one in LA, and my first trip to California. The normal logistical difficulties in getting around LA (especially while drinking) notwithstanding, it was an incredible time. On top of being a chance to catch up with some Stylus people, I got more heavily drawn into the actual conference than I'd expected to be; the papers were generally great, and the people I didn't already know were fantastic. Probably my favourite paper of the weekend was by my friend Theon, which he's posted here; even if you don't know him, though, it's a great paper (Jeff Weiss and Tal Rosenberg were the other friends of mine who presented, and their Wu-Tang paper was great as well, although as far as I know not posted online right now).

There's even photographic proof of my presence; I'm directly behind a guy in a light grey hoodie, talking to Theon who's in a red shirt and brown jacket. One doesn't want to drop names, both because it's gauche and because it's not like anyone not already a music criticism wonk is going to care, but I got to meet and hang out with a couple of heroes of mine, and it was lovely. Ridiculously good food, too, especially here and here (the latter might be the single best place I've ever eaten in my life, and I will be forever greatful to my friend John Cunningham for taking me there).

And that of course leads nicely into this post, which I found fascinating. The gist? "When music writers grow up, they become food writers." God knows I'm almost more interested in dropping a significant amount of money into a really sublime meal than a collector's edition CD these days (a big part of the shift, which Tewksbury doesn't really cover, is that collecting physical things wears on most of us as our collection swells; the memory of a great meal doesn't take up any space, though, except maybe a bit of waistline).

I can't be the only one who finds these movie barcodes fascinating, can I? I mean, it's no Sheen and Swanson, but what is?

Futility Closet is, if not quite my new favourite blog, my favourite new blog; and I was introduced to it via this post, which is pretty much amazing. Especially when you go here for more context. Tell me you don't find telegraphs and the word "hooray" a little creepy now...

I'm sure you've all read it already, so this link is more for discussion: Wasn't that marathon New Yorker article about Paul Haggis and Scientology awesome? It's almost enough for me to forgive him for Crash.

Lastly, a while back I called Emily Carroll's His Face All Red "one of the absolute best web comics I've seen recently." So you can imagine that I was enthused to stumble on her blog, especially when she posts stuff like this.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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