Friday, December 22, 2006

Moved, in spite of myself

Check out my first annual Christmas homily on the Daily Page, where I write:
But the strangest thing happened to me the other night, as I was making my way down North Baldwin Street, on the isthmus. I passed house after house bedecked with lights, and at first I thought my usual grumbling, sour thoughts about the holidays. Then unfamiliar feelings began to wash over me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Big read

My loving partner Ereck just gave me an early birthday present: The Complete New Yorker, an archive of the storied magazine on eight DVDs. This package's quirks were amply documented when the collection came out last year, but let me say: I am delighted. I already have dug in to Jonathan Schell's six-part series on Richard Nixon, from 1975 (I'll have a full report in two months).

Times have changed, and so have the ways we read archived magazines. New Yorker editor David Remnick writes in the book accompanying the discs:
It's rare these days to see readers, save the most devoted medievalists, hunched over microfilm machines. Students who rely on Google as a turbo-charged Library of Alexandria feel no more eager to use microfilm than they do to pick up a protractor and a needle-nosed compass.
That may be true, but I for one love microfilm, and have been known to spend weekends at libraries perusing it recreationally. Had I space enough in my home I might install my own private microfilm reader, though Ereck would probably kill me. But suffice it to say, I dig magazine archives, whatever the format. So this product is right up my alley.

And the DVDs do have one great advantage over microfilm: the wonderful world of color. Look at this beautiful Chanel No. 5 ad from 1975, featuring Catherine Deneuve, on whom Nicole Kidman ain't got nothin'.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


What he said.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Let a thousand big boxes bloom

Here's the lead paragraph of an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, said employees have established a branch of the Communist Party at its headquarters in China.
Perhaps this points to what the Cultural Revolution was missing: Greeters.
Up and running

My e-mail account is working now, so you can again send all those stock tips and virility ads my way.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mail woes

If you're trying to write me at kenneth(at)kennethburns(dot)com, you oughta know that I'm having some difficulty with my Internet service provider, and e-mails are getting bounced. Bear with me, and know that you also can write me at kburns(at)isthmus(dot)com.
Today's fun link

Behold, a Web page devoted entirely to photographs of Elvis Presley posing with other celebrities. My favorites are this one and this one.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Good word

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did

They said, "Listen boy, you're just a pup"
They sent him to a napalm health spa to shape up
They gave him dope to smoke, drinks and pills,
A jeep to drive, blood to spill
They said "Congratulations, you got what it takes"
They sent him back into the rat race without any brakes

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did

Bob Dylan, "Clean-Cut Kid"