Archive for January, 2013

Jon Swift Memorial Blogroll Amnesty Weekend, 2013

January 30, 2013

This coming weekend is the annual Jon Swift Memorial Blogroll Amnesty, the reasoned, proportionate response to some of the Bigger Names suddenly deciding that they needed to cull their recommendations.  Swift’s brilliant (and certainly modest) proposal was that you should instead find five blogs with lower hits than you and recommend (i.e., promote) them, not drop them.

I don’t need to tell you to read Brad DeLong or Mark Thoma or Bill McBride—or David Altig or David Beckworth.or Jared Bernstein. Or anyone else who is probably already on the AB blog roll.

Things that have been disappearing from view as Blogroll Amnesty Years pass:

  • Single-person blogs
  • Blogs that are not always updated daily
  • Blogs that are not themed but are rather “what the owner feels like mentioning”

The following five are my recommendations for this year, in alphabetical order:

  1. Andrew Rickard (updated almost every day; in perfect timing, just went on a week’s hiatus)
  2. A Boat Against the Current (Mike does update almost every day)
  3. The Hunting of the Snark
  4. You and Me, Dupree
  5. Underbelly (who sent me to Andrew Rickard)

    and a bonus one, because you can never have enough (a) Canadian content or (b) food blogs, let alone both:

  6. Double Trouble, Kitchen Edition
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Twelve the Hard Way

January 25, 2013

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
Make us play nice
And let us be together tonight.

It’s not just that  I’d give my eye teeth to have written “Accidentally Like a Martyr” or just the second verse and the descant of “Empty-Handed Heart,” or my eyes and teeth for “Ourselves to Know” or the above-quoted “Don’t Let Us Get Sick” or the greatest song about Elvis ever written, “Porcelain Monkey,” (And those last three are all from the same album.  Geez!)

And it’s not the funny stuff: the live-in-LA recording of “Werewolves of London” or “Bill Lee” or “Even a Dog Can Shake Hands” (which became the theme song for Action) and especially the song with the title they didn’t print on the back of the CD, “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” Or that the best* thing Mitch Albom has ever written happens to be “Hit Me (The Hockey Song).”  Or the great reference in season two of Californication:

Warren Zevon could sit down and talk twelve-tone theory with, uh, Stravinsky. Half the cockbags who come through here barely play their fuckin’ instruments.

Today would have been his 66th. So let’s take this clip, which I remember (or maybe misremember) as the final episode ever of a short-lived television talk show featuring a possibly-recognizable Nice Jewish Boy from New Jersey:

Requiescat in pace, that’s all she wrote

*Some might say “only good,” but we are above such calumny.