All is full of stuff
I have many MP3s. When I saw “many,” I mean “eight thousand and nine.” Now, I’m not terribly worried about the RIAA beating down my door, because the collection is unevenly divided between songs I’ve burned off my CD collection (1400 or so) or downloaded from band/fan websites – the latter songs being demos, live tracks, gags.

So now I’ll hit “random” and “next” 10 times and say what I’m listening to.

1.) Bjork – “Hyperballad”
The best Bjork song, bar none. Two haunting melodies battle for the spotlight under a gauze of bleeps and hissing. Who produced Post? He/she kicks my ass.

2.) CCR – “Green River”
Surprisingly, I’ve only burned 10 CCR songs off the six-CD box set. This is as good a choice as any, and better than 80% of pop music simply for the inclusion of John Fogerty vocals.

3.) Oingo Boingo – “Only a Lad”
One of the batshit new wave classics from Danny Elfman’s debut album. Not something I’d play to a gang of hipsters, but poisonously catchy.

4.) Pet Shop Boys – “Yesterday, When I was Mad” (Disco 2 remix)
Why the hell do I have this? Disco 2 is a one-off PSB compilation that shops their awesome pop songs to DJs and acids them out of all reasonable interest. This takes the opening synth part and repeats it 10,000 times. Woo.

5.) various artists – “Pajama jama da” (from Urusei Yatsura)
J-pop crap from the classic Rumiko Takahashi cartoon. I have a ton of Japanese pop that isn’t very good. But it’s expensive!

6.) Dennis Wilson – “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”
Live, acoustic cover from that most alcoholic of Beach Boys.

7.) Lexo and the Leapers – “Plainskin”
Bob Pollard (of Guided by Voices) side project. Brilliant. Duh.

8.) Klaatu – “Dog Star”
Oh, Jesus Christ. Bland 70s pop-rock from the band that gave us “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.” I have all of their records.

9.) Neil Young – “Hold Back the Tears”
Sorrowful solo ballad by Mr. Pleasantvoice.

10.) My Bloody Valentine – “Swallow”
Another gorgeous EP track from the best Scottish band ever. Take THAT, Strawberry Switchblade!


Bigotry, huh?
My paper’s taking the finals period off, but the Daily paper covered the visit of anti-abortion protestors to Northwestern.

Joe Scheidler positioned his 5-foot-high picture of a bloody fetus head in plain view of the passing cars on Sheridan Road. The national director of the Pro-Life Action League wanted to raise students’ awareness about abortion March 10 on campus.

Two women — joining a group of more than 75 Northwestern students and community members to protest the anti-abortion group — jumped in front of the tall man as they held abortion-rights signs.

Scheidler calmly walked down the road, only to be blocked by the two students again. Scheidler then lofted his sign above his head, but the duo countered by raising their own signs.

That sounds like every other abortion demonstration, right?

The images of aborted fetuses displayed by about 20 members of the Pro-Life Action League …

Yes, the abortion rights crowd outnumbered the anti-abortion folks by nearly 4 to 1. What did students have to say?

Nick Burt, a Medill freshman, said he contacted as many people as he could around campus and in the Chicago-area to notify them of the anti-abortion group’s arrival.

“This is really our campus,” said Burt. “And we have to be sending a message that pro-bigotry views are not representative of Northwestern.”

So, bigotry: The state of mind of a bigot; obstinate and unreasoning attachment of one’s own belief and opinions, with narrow-minded intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.

I think Northwestern’s got that in spades.


Man of principle
Jesus tapdancing Christ. So here’s the New York Times report on Al Sharpton’s future plans.

He has already had an informal discussion with Fox Television Studios about a possible reality television show, officials there said on Friday. And he recently met with Sid Ganis, the Hollywood producer who included Mr. Sharpton in the 2002 remake of “Mr. Deeds,” to discuss future roles.

“For months they were saying to me from various parts of the media world that they wanted me to do a syndicated radio show, a syndicated TV show, and now these guys with a reality show,” Mr. Sharpton said. “I said I wanted to wait for the end of the campaign. Now that we’re halfway through, I told William Morris to go and complete some deals.”

You’re HALFWAY through? Then why are you already admitting you ran for president simply to set yourself up for a TV gig? Whew!


(Political) murder most foul
Before I watch CNN’s documentary on the Dean campaign, I checked what the right-wing corporate media said about his Iowa concession scream.

– “I think this is why people started to shy away. All of the screaming and yelling is a bit much.”

– “That was strange. YeeeeHa?”

– “Hey look, he can name all 50 states.”

– “LOL … he sounds like an angry geography teacher.”

– “Picture a psychotic truck driver headed full steam for a bridge abuttment.”

– “Good God Howie. What happened? You’re going nuts.”

– “He was yelling all the states in this angry hoarse voice and then yeeehaawed. Now he’s screaming in spanish!? I don’t know what’s got into him but the screaming is starting to get a little worrying.”

Oh, sorry, did I say “corporate media”? That was from Democratic Underground.


Tory comeback
Four years after leaving the UK, I’m still firmly addicted to that country’s political developments. When I left, Labour had an unstoppable parliamentary majority over the Conservatives and they hammered them in a 2001 election. Slowly, however, Labour support is bleeding away. I trace the cause to a hostile British media, as ready to leap on scandal as the Drudge report.

The BBC has some fine commentary on the reasons for Tory resurgence. Handicapping, I’d say Labour will call an election for mid-2005 and lose about 80-90 seats to the Tories.


End of an era
There are many reasons why I’m a mediocre member of the blog community, but chief among them was The Northwestern Chronicle. I joined the weekly campus paper a few months into my freshman year, after the daily paper killed my exclusive interview with Michael Moore. I went on to become a minor editor in 2001 and editor in chief in April 2002, and I held that position, with one break in April-June 2003, until this week. On Thursday morning I sent my fortieth issue to the printer, complete with my commemorative thoughts.

While I was in charge, The Chron got first dibs on my waking life. Before I did anything, I made sure we were good for copy, editors were on task, photogs were assigned. I spent every Tuesday and Wednesday night doing this. And it was worth it. By the end of next week I’ll blog on which of my several job offers I’ve chosen. Not many Medill grads will be doing the same.

So if this were a livejournal, my mood would be “happy face,” and my current music would be Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover.” Read nothing into that.


I filed a review of Danny Goldberg’s problematic “Dispatches From the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit” for Reason a few months back, and it was published in the latest issue. To my great surprise, this takedown of a mostly-forgotten book got noticed by a few cool blogs – Instapundit, Captain’s Quarters, and The Corner.

But that’s not why I’m stroking my ego. Someone submitted Jonah Goldberg’s Corner plug to Fark.com. The resultant flamewar is scheduled to hit 500 posts by noon.

Thanks to Pat for bringing this to my attention. And go pick up Reason!