Tuesday, May 05, 2015


I've noticed my Facebook feed has become increasingly parsimonious about what it bothers to share with my friends. And vice-versa, natch -- which means I'm missing some primo links-of-note. As are you. Surely this provides the incentive we need to slip the surly blue-and-white bonds of that juggernaut corporate algorithm and get back to our humble blogs, with their charmingly retro HTML feeds?

Alright, I'll go first -- here's some of the internetty goodness you may have missed:

"Infomercials of the gods!" "As sacred texts go, the Bhagavad Gita (“song of the Lord”) is notable for both its brevity and the relatively straightforward relationship between doctrine and narrative. It has a plot" -- Scott McLemee reviews Richard H. Davis' biography of the Bhagavad Gita.
"It was all really bad and scary, and kind of broken, and everyone loved it, especially me" -- Leigh Alexander explains why the demise of Silent Hill, video gaming's most successful (in every sense of that word) horror franchise, matters.

2015 is the year I finally got on-board Quartz. If you don't know what I'm yakking about, check Quartz out. The past week alone has yielded some trenchant stuff: Forbidden from riding bikes, fearless Afghan girls are skateboarding around Kabul -- photos; Michael Smith's applied wisdom re: the artist's life is getting lots of link-love, for very good reason; and RIP Dan Fredinburg, a Google engineer killed on Everest who photographed some of the world’s highest peaks for “Street View.”

Speaking of Nepal, my wife's organization is involved. Good people, already there, already doing good things. You've done the research and have your charities, I'm sure, but I'd be thrilled if you gave CBM some thought as well.

If you are ever a Mennonite, you will never not be a Mennonite:
A shot from my childhood town. A museum piece, in fact.
"I am an atheist. I am also a Mennonite." So concludes Robin A. Fast, (despite his grandmother's fervent protests).

PopMatters has a spanky new website template -- a genuine improvement on their old one, for once. Now, thanks to them, I've discovered The Dirty Aces:

Assuming these guys can get a distribution deal worked out for our side of the pond, their album From The Basement could well become this summer's Roll Down The Windows soundtrack.

Finally, RIP, Grace Lee Whitney, Star Trek's "Yeoman Janice Rand." My inner 12-year-old will forever have a crush on your outer 35-year-old.


DarkoV said...

Darrell, always with the interesting links! That Dirty Aces link was a treat. Reminds me of a cross between the (old) J. Geils Band, w/ Harmonica Dick and Peter Wolf AND the amazing Rod Piazza. Tempted by the YouTuber I went ahead and did an Amazon.uk order on the latest album. Will let you know....want a burnt one?

Darrell Reimer said...

"Amazon UK" -- yikes! Since their earlier album is widely available, I'm assuming it's just a matter of someone somewhere dotting an "i" or crossing a "t" on a distribution deal.

paul bowman said...

I recognize Whitney but knew nothing about her. Interesting that her passing follows so closely on Nimoy’s.

paul bowman said...

Back to the humble blogs, yes. I keep wanting to do that. A lot of material, too — if life would just settle down a little. Speaking of which, I ought to be sleeping instead of reading yours here, oughtn’t I ...

Darrell Reimer said...

Re: Whitney, curious also that she (and Nimoy, really) made it to such advanced years, given the personal history. I've often wondered why her character disappeared midway through the first season -- should take a trip to the library and read the memoirs, really.

Darrell Reimer said...

As for blogging, I've been wondering if my ambitions for this one don't get a bit lofty, at times. Just because the blogger can go long-form doesn't mean the blogger has to go long-form. Should I use it more like ... a medium-form Twitter feed?

Odds are I'll just keep doing what I do, though.

Joel said...

I've heard three reasons why Yeoman Rand disappeared mid season. The standard Trek lore is that she was gotten rid of to free up captain Kirk for romance with more exotic women.

But apparently there were also rumors of her alcohol addiction causing her performance to suffer.

And there's another story that they just needed to get rid of a character because of budget cut backs.

I was never really a huge fan of Yeoman Rand myself. I mean, I was a geek enough to obsess over these minor details and minor characters in Star Trek, but I found Yeoman Rand's character to be a bit whiney and cry-y, and felt she really sucked the life out of any episode she had a major part in.

Which is not to deny she had a certain sex appeal. But then, the enterprise crew were always meeting beautiful women

Darrell Reimer said...

Yeah, but she was blonde, Joel! Re: her departure, doesn't Shatner in "Memories" say she'd been sexually assaulted, then sacked, by someone involved in production? He doesn't name names, of course. And Majel Barrett famously sniped, "I don't know why they don't sell that book in the fiction section." But ... it's not at all out of the realm of possibility, really.

Darrell Reimer said...

But, yes: had they kept her on-board, her proximity to Kirk could have put a damper on his inter-galactic catting around.

Joel said...

I actually read Shatner's memories back in 1993 when it came out. I don't remember that part, but it was over 20 years ago, and my memory is pretty lousy...

Okay, make that 4 theories as to why Yeoman Rand left the show (None of them necessarily exclude the others, so they could all be partially true.)

Okay, I'll concede the point about the sex appeal. I just didn't care much for the character.

I should clarify that I have nothing against the actress herself. I'm sure she only said the lines as they were written, and did as she was directed.

Joel said...

Just read the wikipedia entry on Rand's departure


Interesting the sexual harassment comes up there as well, and apparently was also in Grace Lee Whitney's autobiography as well.

paul bowman said...

“Just because the blogger can go long-form doesn't mean the blogger has to go long-form. Should I use it more like ... a medium-form Twitter feed?”

I’ve had similar thoughts, but I haven’t ever managed it when I try. I’ve resigned myself to FB for all the quick &/or throwaway stuff.

Darrell Reimer said...

You can rely on FB for throw-away ... mostly.

paul bowman said...

I’ll always sort of think the pre-FB internet was nicer for creativity & conversation. But here’s something I notice: if the quickie-&/or-throwaway turns into something more — a decent discussion, an unexpected point of connection with somebody you didn’t think was paying attention, &c. — I feel like I’ve gotten lucky. Exactly because it was throwaway, the psychological payoff when you get a little (inter)action on the thing is kind of powerful. With the blogging, for me at least the charge I get is more up front. I like to imagine that the blog would be interesting to a few people out there, should they stumble across it — and I’m fairly satisfied, on posting, just in thinking a post is up to the occasion even if they never do, whoever they are. Which sounds vaguely like a treatable mental disorder, now that I have it before me in writing.