Dear B_st_rd Airways

The following is the letter I have sent to British Airways.

* * *

Dear British Airways,

I had the displeasure of flying with you on the last day of May, 2006.
I was on the 7:30 A.M flight from Gatwick to Reykjavik.

When I arrived a smug little woman, whose nametag read Susan, told me I was overweight. Not that I physically am (I am and that would have been offfensive), but that my bags were. She waved me away towards the customer service desk, where I was told by a smug man named Peter that I needed to pay at ticketing.

There I met another smug woman by the name of Cora. By this point I
noticed that you never include last names on your nametags. Perhaps
you have had to fire so many employees for their exceeding smugness
that you must reuse the tags? Continue reading “Dear B_st_rd Airways”

For the Love of Frank

Black Francis is back, and as usual, unable to filter his prolific songwriterness down to one simple CD. Fast Man, Raider Man is out later this month on Back Porch, home of Alejandro Escovedo, among others.

Swallowing disc 1 is like slow sipping a 24 oz. Tecate — definitely as back porch-style as Frank Black has ever sounded. Perhaps the Pixies reunion has left him longing and feeling as free as ever to recorded a country record. But, don’t be dissuaded, each cut on Fast Man has the mark of Black’s unique, timeless songcraftsmanship.

more at FrankBlack.net.

All Tomorrow’s Presidents

Today Ken Rudin at NPR’s Mixed Signals blog wrote a post on the Presidents’ project as mentioned here last February.

Rudin, apparently still in need of a good listen, writes:

The songs seem to take liberty with the truth in some cases, and there is at least one obscenity — that involving William Henry Harrison. But people who have heard the offerings tell me they’re pretty good.

I will post an update on the project soon. Meantime, check out these tracks from the compilation.

Ambassador Quincy

Quincy Jones visited China for the first time in his storied career last week. The big story in the press is that Jones offered to compose a theme for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The real news, however, is what’s worth a skim. On May 26, Jones delivered a compelling speech at Beijing University in which he recalled the far-reaching history of jazz as public diplomacy. He expressed his great passion for “4,000 years of awesome Chinese culture” and noted the power of cultural diplomacy as a tool in bring the world together as one.

Read the speech here (.pdf) | (text).

Pew: Nearly 50 Million Create Own Web Content

Another great study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The Technology & Media Use report discloses that while “adoption of high-speed internet at home grew twice as fast in the year prior to March 2006 than in the same time frame from 2004 to 2005,” nearly 50 million Americans have posted their own content to the web.

At GigaOm, Robert Young believes that MySpace and other social-networking hubs are the primary reason for the uptick in user-generated content:

To some extent, self-expression should be viewed as a new industry, one that will co-exist alongside other traditional media industries like movies, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. But in this new industry, the raw materials for the ?products? are the people?

The Pew report also points out the disappearing digital divide. More web postings are generated from within household’s under the $50,000 income threshold, than above it.

VoIP set-ups like Skype and municipal broadband projects taken on by the likes of Earthlink are also breaking down big-money barriers to broadband.