1. One of the reasons I still work at AOL.
2. The Beatles’ Love album, on second listen, is not that good.
3. I still love Justin Timberlake.
Archive for November, 2006
1. One of the reasons I still work at AOL.
CarolOrsini2 (9:26:16 AM): So i saw a car on my way in the morning that’s license plate said “GET-VOIP”
CarolOrsini2 (9:26:19 AM): For serial
RebeccaA06 (9:27:32 AM): wait
RebeccaA06 (9:27:36 AM): i don’t get it
CarolOrsini2 (9:27:50 AM): VOIP is the webphone
CarolOrsini2 (9:28:04 AM): Voice over internet protocol or something like that
which means I’m taking her advice. Let’s talk about L.O.V.E.
Oh, first of all, I was, like most people my age, a Beatles fanatic from an early age. All parents who were born too late to actually experience the ’60s focused on the Beatles instead, it seems. Anyway, there was a point when I was about 12 when I remember listening to “A Hard Day’s Night” because “it had been awhile” and I had been “focusing too much on ‘The White Album’.” When I got to college, I couldn’t really enjoy listening to the Beatles anymore. I mean, I could watch Help over and over again for the cheekiness and the quirks, but I got sick of the songs.
George Martin and son came up with the idea to remix/master classic Beatles songs for a Cirque de Soleil spectacular. Listening to it was refreshing. Let’s do this trackish-by-trackish:
1. “Because” – pretty bare. the intricate harpsichord (peut-etre?) notes that laced their way through the original are missing; John’s perfect pitch can be heard more easily.
2. “Get Back” – leads in with the first guitar note of “A Hard Day’s Night” before the steady drum of the original pounces in. Towards the end you hear the white noise of “A Day in the Life’ creep in.
3. “Glass Onion” – very muddled. I ignored most of it.
4. “Eleanor Rigby” – at this point I’m listening very closely to see if something is different, and my mind is playing tricks on me. It ends so nicely, though, with a soft “ah” and the opening notes of “Julia.”
5. “I Am the Walrus” – not noticing much.
6. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – aw, this made me happy. There are girls screaming in the background.
7. “Drive My Car” – Jessica and I made this our answering machine message (focusing on the “beep beep”) when I was in middle school. They mix in “What You’re Doing,” which is one of my favorite old Beatles-no-substance songs, but they keep the percussion from the initial tune in. Aw, it’s so nice. Leads out with “The Word.”
8. “Gnik Nus” – “Sun King” backwards. Lame.
9. “Something” – I miss George. This song isn’t too different, but it made me want to put on the Traveling Wilburys instead. The end gets slightly dank before leading into …
10. “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” – Oooh, I hate the addition of “Helter Skelter” to the end of this song. They should have left that golden nugget out.
11. “Help!” – nothing interesting to say.
12. “Blackbird”/”Yesterday” – blah.
13. “Strawberry Fields Forever” – addition of guitar parts. More pitter-patter drums. Some “Sgt. Pepper” at the end, along with “Piggies” and some “Hello Goodbye.” While it all sounds a bit jumbled, it clears up in the end with some heavy percussion and the “hey-la hey hello-ah” and ends on a clean note.
14. “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows” – this was a perfect pair of songs to mash together. Both have the eerie sitar punctuating them. Subtle additions of the plucky opening notes from “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” start increasing towards the end.
15. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” – OK, now I’m bored with this idea.
All in all, a good idea, very cleanly done, one thumb up. It was satisfying to listen to these tracks with a little spice added.
I watched Shattered Glass yesterday, and man, was I entertained. For those of you who are not aware of this amazing situation, Sir Glass was a reporter/assistant editor for The New Republic, and he contributed to a bunch of other mags, including Rolling Stone. He made up about 2/3 of the stories he wrote, inventing people, places, organizations, situations, etc. I am mostly amazed with how, in 1998, nobody thought to look anything up on the Internet. Glass’s attempted cover-up was nothing short of genius. He made a “website” for the fake company he created, Jukt Micronics, that was at a members.aol.com page. Here’s a taste:
This is perhaps my favorite excerpt:
“At a conference sponsored by the National Assembly of Hackers last week, teenage hackers and graying corporate executives flocked to Ian, patting him on the back and giving him high-fives. “We’re so proud of him,” said Ian’s mother. “He’s doing such good things, and he’s so smart and kind.” At the formal dinner that followed, the emcee explained that Ian had just signed a contract for $81,000 in scholarship money–and a collection of rare comic books.”
The Glass case was something that got mentioned in journalism classes, but I never knew the specifics of it. Another famous one toted by professors as a sin is the Janet Cooke Washington Post scandal from 1981. This little lady won a Pulitzer Prize for her investigative reporting endeavors, and had to give it back. She completely invented an 8-year-old heroin addict named Jimmy and wrote a piece about him. The best part of this story is that Mayor-extraordinaire Marion Barry said that ‘Jimmy’ was known to the city and receiving treatment. A worthy quote:
“Jimmy’s mother Andrea accepts her son’s habit as a fact of life, although she will not inject the child herself and does not like to see others do it.”
We had a lengthy lesson about Jack Kelley from USA Today in Advanced Reporting. This guy actually wrote letters to friends that were saved on his computer in which he asked them to pretend to be sources sought by the paper to verify his stories. Reporters like these guys always just happened to be in the right place at the right time. This story picks apart one of his articles that, in retrospect, is outright ridiculous.
Reading up and refreshing my memory on all of this stuff has given me, as stated in the title of this entry, a huge journalism boner. Stephen Glass said that when he was assigned a story, he would write it and then think, “If I only had this one quote…” But actually GETTING that quote is such an awesome feeling. I have no sympathy for him or any of these plagiarizers.
This has ignited the journalistic fire in my soul! I scoured mediabistro today looking at dream jobs. I will work at a magazine someday; I will not fuck up; I will be awesome.
I have picked my top ten albums of 2006. Ahem:
1. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
2. Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds
3. The Futureheads – News and Tributes
4. Mojave 3 – Puzzles Like You
5. Belle and Sebastian – The Life Pursuit
6. Love is All – Nine Times the Same Song
7. Jenny Lewis w/ the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
Ugh. That’s all I can think of so far. Most of the stuff I overplayed, I think, was from 2005 – Editors, Jose Gonzalez, Damien Jurado … The Islands’ album was ok, and so was Band of Horses. But it was a year of David Bowie. So many people have put Keane and the Killers on their top of 2006 on Amazon lists! Like, really? I’m not going to deny that “When You Were Young” tickles me in some of the right places, but …
Let’s say all of the things that have occurred already at AOL happened on the same day. What would be my tipping point? Let’s recap:
1. There is a license plate in the parking lot that says ROTFL (for those of you who are not as “in-the-know” as I am, that means Rolling on the Floor Laughing).
2. To celebrate the launch of new AIM and AIMToday, some dude came dressed up as the yellow “running man” logo and tried to hug people.
3. At our Christmas party, there will be steaks branded with the AOL logo.
4. On election day, I was a nervous wreck because of Rick Santorum. However, my worries had to cease for ten minutes when I was given the task of updating the page to reflect Britney and K-Fed’s divorce.
Let’s say the running man presents me with a cake on my birthday, Britney and K-Fed get remarried, I play an online role-playing game out of curiosity, and a man plays a U2 song but changes the lyrics to reflect AOL’s recent achievements. That will be the day; I promise you all.