Greg Kot examines the role of the Internet in bringing the consumer, i.e., the music listener, back into the picture in the music industry over the paGreg Kot examines the role of the Internet in bringing the consumer, i.e., the music listener, back into the picture in the music industry over the past decade. As broadband Internet has become more prevalent, access to music, either via download or streaming media, has become easier, but not without a price; the RIAA's reluctance - outright hostility, really - towards embracing the Internet forced fans to seek alternate routes towards acquiring music that was already too expensive in traditional format; the meteoric rise of Napster bore fruit to hundreds of other file-sharing browsers. The RIAA's ridiculous, archaic stance also forced artists from their own labels to seek alternate routes in distributing their own music. The most eye-popping example was Radiohead releasing In Rainbows, via the Internet, without the help or funding from a record label, and allowing fans to name their download price.
While Kot admirably paints the struggles of both the artists and the fans to regain control of music, he fails to document the downside to this so-called "revolution". As brilliant a strategy as Radiohead's In Rainbows distribution was, it could have easily blown up in their face; it took a tremendous leap of faith for the band to commit an entire album in this fashion, but the consequences did exist, and should have been more clearly noted. Kot also fails to document how every revolution in music bears unintended fruit - the DIY status of music, and making it readily available for immediate consumption doesn't guarantee success; for every struggling artists carving their niche on various social networking sites, you've got other artists like Lady Gaga and Soulja Boy who, while orginating online, have become yet another disposable product of the RIAA's Public Relations Machine.
Overall, it's an interesting read, but it would have served both the subjects and the book's readers a more thorough analysis and prognosis regarding the future of wired music....more
Right off the bat, I will state that "Columbine" is one of the most riveting, fascinating, heartbreaking and revolting works of non-fiction you will eRight off the bat, I will state that "Columbine" is one of the most riveting, fascinating, heartbreaking and revolting works of non-fiction you will ever read.
What sets "Columbine" apart from all of the investigative reporting done during the aftermath of perhaps the most notorious school shooting in US history is Dave Cullen's skillful ability to cut through the mythology and hysteria surrounding the entire event. Many of the myths that were accepted as "fact" - that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied loners who sought revenge against the jocks and the elites of Columbine - are irrevocably shattered. Utilizing countless pages and hours of testimony from survivors and others directly involved in the school shooting, including the infamous "Basement Tapes" recorded by Harris and Klebold just days before their rampage, Cullen paints in vivid detail the story of how an idyllic suburb suddenly became a buzzword for everything that was bad about everything; high school, parents, gun control, religion, etc.
Cullen smartly deflects the blame cast on Harris and Klebold's parents. If anything, the journals those two kept demonstrate teenagers have a tremendous capacity to mask their true feelings in the face of authority. In Eric Harris' case, he masked a case of classic textbook psychopathy; no amount of intervention or psychological evaluation could have revealed both his lack of empathy towards others and his massive superiority complex, both which led him to eventually conclude that he was indeed like a God, ready to enact his wrath on a world he deemed too stupid and lazy to live. Klebold, on the other hand, was, on the surface, just melancholy, but hid suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and saw his own death as the only way of truly achieving any peace and tranquility in his life. Apart, the deadly rampage at Columbine may never have taken place; together, with Harris' cold-blooded planning and Klebold's eagerness, Columbine became all but inevitable.
There is blame to be cast, and the villain0 of this story is the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. Their incompetence during the shooting and after inadvertently gave rise to much of the hostility and mythology that took place during the aftermath of the shooting.
Regardless of all the details, Dave Cullen, on every page, painted a masterful image of the human tragedy that was Columbine. We became riveted with what Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold unleashed upon Columbine on April 20, 1999; Cullen reminds us that it's the "who" and the "why" of this event that gave it the gravity it deserved.
"Columbine" is recommended ready for everyone. Everyone....more
What you've read about 2666 is true, and isn't hyperbole; this is a mesmerizing, thrilling novel. It'll infuriate at times, because you're wondering wWhat you've read about 2666 is true, and isn't hyperbole; this is a mesmerizing, thrilling novel. It'll infuriate at times, because you're wondering where the hell Roberto Bolano was going with all this, but your patience will be rewarded.
I can't even begin to describe the overall plot of the novel; it's Bolano's writing style, bewitching and mesmerizing and muscular all at once, that's the real reason behind this book.
This critical overview of Steve Ditko, the artists most famous for creating Spider-Man, does the artist justice. With Ditko's blessing, author Blake BThis critical overview of Steve Ditko, the artists most famous for creating Spider-Man, does the artist justice. With Ditko's blessing, author Blake Bell presents a visual study of Ditko's famed work, and also digs deep into his personal and professional motivations.