For Older Son (and Anyone Else Who's Interested)
"Sooner or Later" - Bernadette Peters

Linkfeast: July 15, 2007

Canadian Christian radio host Drew Marshall has hired two non-Christians to visit five churches and report on their experiences.

I really didn't like the idea at first. To me it seemed like hiring two vegans to go out and rate five steakhouses.

Maybe I was wrong. So far they've visited four churches. I don't agree with everything they've written, of course, but they've made some very perceptive observations...

[Hat tip to achievable ends]

Bottled water is the food phenomenon of our times. We--a generation raised on tap water and water fountains--drink a billion bottles of water a week, and we're raising a generation that views tap water with disdain and water fountains with suspicion. We've come to pay good money--two or three or four times the cost of gasoline--for a product we have always gotten, and can still get, for free, from taps in our homes.

When we buy a bottle of water, what we're often buying is the bottle itself, as much as the water. We're buying the convenience--a bottle at the 7-Eleven isn't the same product as tap water, any more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks is the same as a cup of coffee from the Krups machine on your kitchen counter. And we're buying the artful story the water companies tell us about the water: where it comes from, how healthy it is, what it says about us. Surely among the choices we can make, bottled water isn't just good, it's positively virtuous.

Except for this: Bottled water is often simply an indulgence, and despite the stories we tell ourselves, it is not a benign indulgence. We're moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That's a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (Water weighs 8 1/3 pounds a gallon. It's so heavy you can't fill an 18-wheeler with bottled water--you have to leave empty space.)...

[Hat tip to Memoirs of a Skepchik]

  • We only live a little more than an hour away from Plant Delights so I should get there eventually.  Garden Rant recently went there and re-whetted my interest with Avec Avent: A Visit to Plant Delights:

Plant Delights is known for an amazing selection of nursery-bred hostas, elephant ear, salvia, trillium, agave, and much more. Since the early eighties, Avent has been bucking big-box trends, offering leafy tropicals for outside garden use before anyone else was thinking about it and traveling yearly to locales like Thailand, Vietnam, and South Africa in search of cool plants. All the plants are propagated and tested in the Juniper Level gardens, where Avent tries his best to kill each one. As he said in a New York Times piece last year, "If we found it in a wet, shady area, we plant it in a sunny, dry area." Indeed, Avent's saying, "I consider every plant hardy until I have it killed it myself—three times," can be found on the back of PD T-shirts...

  • What's Working and What Isn'tLeave Me Along, I'm Digging takes the daring step of posting pictures, not only of what's blooming and what works in his garden, but of what's not working.  As many garden photos as I've posted, I've never even thought of posting pictures of the parts of the garden that aren't working the way I'd like them to.  He writes:

The best any of us can strive for is as Henry Mitchell says in my sidebar, "gardens that we are pleased with, more or less." In the end, it's not really about perfection, it's not even about achieving a particular "look." It's about a place, right out the back door where we can find some sanity and beauty in a world that has gone terribly wrong.

On his other blog, In Good Light, he's got some great night photos of the American Tobacco Complex in Durham.

  • There are so many blogs writing about David Brooks' column, The New Lone Rangers, about pop songs by young women.  Unfortunately, the editorial is behind the NY Times firewall so I can't read the whole thing, only bits and pieces quoted on blogs, such as this piece:

[T]hey’re about the same sort of character: a character who would have been socially unacceptable in a megahit pop song 10, let alone 30 years ago... hard-boiled, foul-mouthed, fedup, emotionally self-sufficient and unforgiving... disgusted by male idiots and contemptuous of the feminine flirts who cater to them. She’s also, at least in some of the songs, about 16. This character is obviously a product of the cold-eyed age of divorce and hookups...

He may be correct about the young age of the singers, but he shows very little knowledge of music here.  No songs sung by women in the last 30 years have been fed up?  Even if we eliminate all the blues singers (such as Saffire), there are plenty of self-sufficient, hard-boiled, female pop singers (Some examples from blogs and comments include Alanis Morissette, Madonna, Pat Benatar, Patty Smith, and Janis Joplin). 

Then there's this quote:

Now young people face a social frontier of their own. They hit puberty around 13 and many don’t get married until they’re past 30. That’s two decades of coupling, uncoupling, hooking up, relationships and shopping around. This period isn’t a transition anymore. It’s a sprawling life stage, and nobody knows the rules.

I do hope he's writing, say, about the 1960's rather than the 2000's.  I was too young to know about it at the time, but, what with that "Summer of Love" and "Make Love, Not War," it seems that "shopping around" and plain old "coupling and uncoupling" have been around for a while. 

The Egalitarian Bookworm (Chick?) has a more in-depth view of the music and Brooks' opinion in David Brooks is Still a Nerd, No Matter How Many Bobos He Chills With... And a Discourse About Women in Rock...   

This "I hate my ex-boyfriend character" is also a product of the patriarchy. Remember how in the 90s there were all these female singer-songwriters who wrote their own music, packaged their own images, occasionally didn't shave their pits and dashed off rather poetic and lofty lyrics? Now they've all either sold out (Jewel) or vanished into relative obscurity (Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, etc, etc). A lot of people made fun of them and called them "angry" or "whiny" and complained that they were vegan and PC. So Lilith Fair types have been replaced by these tarty, sassy chicks who wail on and on about how mad they are at their boyfriends while wearing cute outfits and tons of makeup, or in Beyonce's case, their undies.

I never leave the house without incident has a post with the songs Brooks mentioned in his editorial. 

Oh, and we all know that guys for the last 30 years have been singing sweet, sappy, generous, self-giving love songs?! (heavy sarcasm intended)



Hey, thanks for the link.

For what it's worth the songs that Brooks wrote about were Avril's "girlfriend", Underwood's "before he cheats" and Pink's "u and ur hand".

I was pointing out what was "it" a decade ago, women playing the coy sex kitten, all innocent, except um.... not really.

M Light

Thanks for mentioning the songs. I was amazed at how Brooks thought these sorts of songs were new.

The comments to this entry are closed.