January 19, 2005

Lileks on Soap Aroma

James Lileks has a wonderfully written rant on the subject of soap:
... by Eucalyptus Spearmint. The soap and the shampoo worked hand in hand; they welcomed the lotion like a long-lost brother. The general scent was manly in fashion that recalled the barbershops of the Gilded Age; as one laved one’s chest one could conjure up images of bowler hats on the coat rack, well-thumbed Police Gazettes, shoe polish and cigars. A time of heavy coins and horse manure, warmish beer, a scandalous flash of ankle. When I finished my morning ablutions I had the momentary conceit that I smelled like Stanford White, and this mood carried me on its shoulders throughout the day.

But the company dropped the shampoo. Lileks says:
I could understand if you had abandoned the line completely; such are the vicissitudes of retail. But to keep the line going while eliminating a crucial element of the aroma profile is an act of colossal arrogance and cruelty, knowing as you do that no other shampoo in the store meshes with such ease and familiar grace into the Eucalyptus Spearmint line.

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December 18, 2004

A Christmas Tree Photo

Photos enliven a blog, and this one seems appropriate.

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December 16, 2004

The 12th Day of Christmas: The Incredibles, Christmas List

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here. You can get to the whole list a here and to all my lists since 1988 here.

12. The Incredibles, 2004. An aristocratic and bourgeois animation movie combining Toy Story with James Bond, about a family of superheroes. It teaches elitism and devotion to honor against the whines of the mediocre, yet the family is perceptively 1950's American.

The aristocratic element is the stress on heroism and the special talents of a minority who are obligated to use those talents for the community. The superheroes are proud of themselves, but in a fitting way, and their pride is not combined with any need or desire for recognition from the masses. Buddy, the villain, only has the talent of high intelligence and creativity, and he burns with envy. What he wants above all is recognition from others. He has an inferiority complex, and he is indeed inferior, morally if not in terms of his overall power. Nothing he does can overcome that. What he ought to have done was to accept his place in the world, because we do not create ourselves. When you are born without superhero powers, you cannot make yourself a superhero, any more than a man can become a wife or a dog a man.

Yet these are American aristocrats. That is one reason they feel duty to the community, which is perhaps not strictly speaking a universal aristocratic trait. They work for a living; they have secret identities; they like blending in; they behave the same way as the rest of us most of the time, and it is a bourgeois lifestyle. They are not looking for gigantic challenges; they just want to do good, a even a mere fire or mugging is enough of a bad to call forth their effort.

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December 13, 2004

The 11th Day of Christmas: Fridge Phonics

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

11. Fridge Phonics alphabet toy. When a child puts a letter in a box and presses it, the box says the letter's sound. $18.

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December 11, 2004

The Tenth Day of Christmas: Tennessee Ernie Ford, Yelena Polyanskaya, and Art in Our Time

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

10. Tennessee Ernie Ford's wonderfully rich voice, especially in his gospel songs. We have a CD of those that are good for our children to listen to as they go to sleep. His rich, deep voice is quite soothing. My two-year-old boy will ask for "the man singing" music when he goes to bed.

A couple of times recently the question has come up of whether art is flourishing now or not. Only a few days ago I recommended Charles Murray's excellent 2003 book Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950. He tries to get numerical measures of how well different times and places have done in artistic and scientific creation. He stops in 1950 since it is hard to evaluate recent work. Ordinarily the problem is that we overestimate recent work, but in music and painting, many people think that recent work is worse than work from earlier periods. Does that mean it is even worse than it looks?

This would be perverse. Murray finds a downward trend in artistic creation per capita, especially adjusting for increased wealth, but the 1900-1950 era has so much greater population and wealth that the picture in absolute productivity is not so bad. Beyond 1950, the amount of art has exploded. Could it be that in painting and other graphic arts, at least, the amount of good work is great, but it is lost in the mass of mediocrity? Today I visited an exhibit of the very good paintings of Yelena Polyanskaya. I can't find a painting website for her, but she also does photography and piano performance and composition (she has a doctorate in piano). They looked good enough to me to be in a museum. But she is completely unknown, and likely will stay that way. Similarly, the stores are filled with wonderful vases, furniture, and crockery, but it is for a mass market (even if luxurious) and so we do not think to compare it with museum pieces.

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December 08, 2004

The Eighth Day of Christmas: Murray's "Human Accomplishment"

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

8. Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, Charles Murray, 2003. Murray picks up where Diamond leaves off. Two stupendous tasks: 1. To measure the accomplishments of genius numerically, comparing times and places; and 2. To figure out why the numbers are different.

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December 07, 2004

The Seventh Day of Christmas: Guns, Germs, and Steel

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

7. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond, 1996. Better would be: "Wheat, Yams, and Pigs: Why Civilization Arose Where It Did". The Middle East is not only truly he middle of the world, it has the best wild grasses and the most domesticatable animals.

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December 06, 2004

The Sixth Day of Christmas: Alexander Pope

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

6. Essay on Man, Alexander Pope, 1744. Philosophy in poetry. Man is "Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled: The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!"

I've been quoting Pope for some time. See "Man's Moral Predicament: Pope's Essay on Man, Posner on Liberal Education" and"For this plain reason, man is not a fly"; Pope and Brains and "Man: Why formed so weak, so little, and so blind?" and "Knowing about God"

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December 02, 2004

The Second Day of Christmas-- Ishiguro Novels

Every year I send out with my Christmas cards a list of good things I have come across during the year. I'll post these one by one here.

2. An Artist of the Floating World 1988, and The Remains of the Day, 1989, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Gripping, though-provoking novels of character, about the sadness of old age when one realizes one's idealism has been spent on bad causes-- Japanese militarism and English appeasement. A warning to us all. See my earlier posts on An Artist of the Floating World and The Remains of the Day.

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October 12, 2004

Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World.

In June I praised Kazuo Ishiguro's 1989 novel, The Remains of the Day, which is about butler Stevens who pridefully sacrifices all for dignity and for doing his little bit, as a butler, to bring about world peace by serving the peacemakers. The problem is that the peacemakers turn out to be the appeasers of the 1930's, people entirely mistaken whose efforts are worse than useless, and with them Stevens's life.

A similarly elegant, sad, and perceptive book is his 1986 An Artist of the Floating World. Here, the protagonist is a Japanese artist who rebelled against his teacher's partying and paintings of actors and geishas ("the Floating World") to instead use painting to advance political progress and the reform of Japanese national spirit. The book is set in 1948, though, when the artist, his wife dead in a bombing raid and his son dead as a soldier, sees that his idealistic fascism (if that is the right word for the 1930's militarists in Japan) was a mistake. He manages, however, to rise above his pride and to confess that he was mistaken. It is a novel about the conflict between generations, and the struggle-- so often unsuccessful-- of men to do something significant with their lives, and to make the best of failure.

"...if we'd seen things a little more clearly, then the likes of you and me, Matsuda-- who knows? -- we may have done some real good. We had much energy and courage once. ...

But then I for one never saw things too clearly. A narrow artist's perspective, as you say. Why, even now, I find it hard to think of the world extending much beyond this city...

We at least acted on what we believed and did our utmost. It's just that in the end we turned out to be ordinary men. Ordinary men with no special gifts of insight. It was simply our misfortune to have been ordinary men during such times." (p. 199, last chapter).

Such a book is good for teaching humility, and some sympathy, perhaps, for the modern Hollywood artists who are trying to advance evil causes. It takes great talent to write a sympathetically critical book about such a man.

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October 04, 2004

Acebay, a Card Game for 5-Year-Olds

I just invented a card game that my 4-year-old and 5-year-old want to play over and over. They named it "Acebay", to remind themselves that an ace is better even than a King. Here are the rules. The dealer shuffles, and someone else cuts. Then the dealer deals 4 cards to each of the 3 players, dealing them one by one going clockwise, and the players look at their cards, but keep them secret. The player to the left of the dealer starts by putting out one card, and then each of the other players puts out a card. The highest card wins the trick, with the Joker being even higher than an ace. In case of ties, a coin is flipped to decide the winner. The winner starts the next round. At the end, the overall winner is whoever took the most tricks.

The game does have some strategy to it, but though I find it tedious, my girls love it. It is their first card game, and they find just dealing the cards challenging. My 5-year-old has caught on to the idea of strategic play, but my 4-year-old asks me which card she should play next. The game is a good way to learn numbers, since one can count the symbols on the cards to see who has the biggest card and wins.

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Poems for Children to Memorize

I think I'll repeat this old entry, since I've updated it:

UPDATE, OCTOBER 4: See also Joanne Jacobs and The City Journal "In Defense of
Memorization"
by Michael Knox Beran, to which Pete DaDalt kindly drew my attention. By the way, we haven't gotten round to memorizing any poems-- kindergarten and preschool have somehow displaced it. By the time I figure out how to raise children, mine will be grown! That's why tradition would be helpful; it's hard to roll your own. ...

... We had a 5-year-old visiting us Saturday while her parents were moving from one one house to another. She was able to read a phrase painted on our breakfast nook wall, "Faith, hope and love-- but the greatest of these is love," and it turns out her mother has taught her to read in about three months. That made me wonder whether we should teach our Amelia something formally. How about poems? She won't learn those at school. She already has learned most of "The Owl and the Pussycat". Her Grandma Rasmusen had the good idea of asking each of her grandchildren for a child-specific performance for her birthday in April-- for example, 1-year-old Benjamin's singing a song and Amelia's recitation of a poem.

So I put together a list of poems for children to memorize. Half of these are too long, and it may be the whole plan will dissipate, but I'll see what happens, and keep my eyes open for other good poems. So far I have the following


A Story (Unknown)

Chartless (Emily Dickinson)

Whistling (Jack Prelutsky)

Little Seeds (Else Minarik)

A Spike of Green (Barbara Baker)

Hiawatha's Childhood (Longfellow)

The Wonderful "One-Hoss Shay" (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Senior)

The Spider and the Fly (Mary Howitt)

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Clement Moore)

Home (Edgar Guest)

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September 12, 2004

Aspen Edge Beer

Coors's Aspen Edge beer is a "low-carb" beer that is 4.1% alcohol. I recently tried it, and seeing the "low-carb" label thought it might be low-alcohol too. I've been trying to find which low-alcohol beer tastes best, and thought this might be the one. It tastes better than the no-alcohol beers, but 4.1% is too close to regular beer for this to be worth drinking. One review says...


...lots of corn and rice adjuncts here, with a watery toasted malt taste every once in awhile. Bottom line, pass this one up. One of my friends actually liked this swill. Then I broke out two bottles...one Dreadnaught, and one Speedway Stout. I dared him to sip those then just try to put his lips "over the Edge". Well, he did it, but not without a slight gag.


That would be unfair if this were truly low-alcohol-- a review says "Speedway Stout is a HUGE Imperial Stout, with pounds and pounds of coffee added during conditioning for a little extra kick!"-- but Aspen Edge is still in competition with, say, European and homebrew Pilsners, and loses.

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August 19, 2004

Lileks on Department Stores, Fargo, Prairie Skies

The American Enterprise of last month has more good writing by James Lileks, "A Rich Boyhood in the Plain Void".

...And then you'd go to mom's favorite store, DeLendrecie's.

Cosmetics on the main floor, a mezzanine above, the hiss and thump of a message arriving via pneumatic tube. Downstairs was a small restaurant with a black-and- chrome counter (made by the same company that made the barbershop lather dispenser, you suspected). Going downtown with mom, having a soda at the counter, spinning around on the stool until you were green--you felt as if you were part of the adult world in a way you simply cannot get in a shopping mall today. The adults didn't look like plus-size children. The women wore dresses, hats, hose, and heels; what few men were about in the store were either natty snappy clerks or fellas in suits from the bank or the insurance office. A trip downtown was a trip into the world of money and work, a world completely separate from your world of school and play.

His observation is correct. Nowadays, adults do not want to be adults. They want to dress and behave like children, and have the government be the parents, but very lenient and wealthy parents.

A separate part of the article says,

You can't describe the vastness of the Panavision prairie to East Coasters. Either the idea bores them--sorry, if there's not an all-night Thai take-out every ten blocks I am so not there. Or it's incomprehensible--what, a dirt ocean that just sits there?

Yes. That's it. The earth is flat and the sky is big, and you're a small lone thing rolling between the two. True Midwesterners have no time for oceans--all that pointless motion. It comes in, it goes out. What's the point? True Midwesterners have no time for mountains. They're so obvious. They don't do anything. We have mountains, in a way; they're called clouds. And they move. Can yours do that?

This is not a novel point--I have heard it often from the Chemist from Montana--- but Lileks says it so well!

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August 17, 2004

Improving Operas; Music Criticism; Strauss's "One Night in Venice"

From an old record blurb by George Jellinek:

As a libretto, "Eine Nacht in Venedig" is decidedly not a work of art. ... "One Night in Venice" is clearly a modern impresario's dream. No amount of tampering or experimentation is likely to cause aesthetic indignation or critical furore. Quite the contrary, in all probability it will be an improvement over the original. For here, surely, the play's not the thing.

It is refreshing to see this kind of writing about classical music, and this attitude that art is to be improved, not merely preserved.

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August 08, 2004

Chess, Go, and a Chess Solitaire Freeware Program

I recently downloaded a solitaire chess program that I like, Winboard-GNU Chess (download the Winboard program, which includes GNU chess). I did not like chess as a boy. It made my head spin, and I was annoyed by the arbitrary nature of the rules. Why, in particular, should knights exist, with their peculiar leaps? Why should pawns attack diagonally even though they move forward? Why is Castling an allowed move? And I seem to recall a crazy exception for pawn capture called "en passant". The game completely lacks elegance.

What I liked better was Go, or Barduk (in Korean). Go is simple and elegant in its rules. All of the pieces move the same way, and capture is achieved simply by surrounding the opposing pieces (with the edge of the board counting as part of the surrounding). The game continues for finite time-- until all the territory on the board is divided between the players-- with no chance of a draw and with degrees of victory based on the extent of territory controlled rather than just Win/Lose/Draw. Because of this simplicity, the game is much more intuitive, and more related to the real world; the Chinese have seriously compared Go to war, but nobody pretends that chess is really like war. Go has a much bigger board than chess, and uses handicapping that throws off the advanced player from standard openings (rather than the stronger player surrendering a piece as in chess, the weaker player is given one or more pieces on the board as a head start). This means that the mere memorization of openings and attempts to look a few moves ahead are less important than in chess.

But I now like chess better than I used to. I see that the intricate rules do at least make for a balanced and challenging game that is interesting from start to finish. The knight's move, for example, is useful at the start of the game, when the pawns (and other pieces) impede normal movement. The rook's ability to go across the entire board in two directions is nullified at the start by its position in the corner and by blockage from all the other pieces, but once lots of other pieces have been taken and once the rook has moved to the middle, it becomes very valuable. I'm still dubious about castling, which is not used in every game, but perhaps there is some good purpose for it too.

So, although I see that chess might still be a pernicious activity, entertainment without edification, I at least find it entertaining. If it can provide relaxation, that is enough. And I find it more relaxing in solitaire, playing against the computer, perhaps because I don't feel guilty about playing a thoughtless game against an unthinking opponent, perhaps because I don't feel guilty about imposing on a better player who always beats me, perhaps because I can choose the moment when I want to take ten minutes to play.

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July 23, 2004

Splitting Infinitives

In a post on poor writing in the New York Times--- "They have offered theories about what that purpose may have been, like an effort to withhold information..." --- I wrote

In the old days, a Times reporter would have written They have offered theories about what that purpose may have been, such as an effort to withhold information , to at least get the grammar correct, or They say the purpose may have been to withhold information , to make it less verbose and clearer.

A reader kindly commented:

I heartily approve of parsing text from the Times and the Post, but if you're nitpicking grammar, you might want to tidy up your own, "to at least get the grammar right." :-)

and

BTW, pls. feel free to edit out my comment above (and this one too!) along with the split infinitive, should you choose to make changes.

I am grateful for his comments and the way he wrote them. One of the perils of writing about writing is that mistakes undermine one's credibility (why?-- perhaps by indicating that the writer doesn't really think the topic so important). And I wouldn't mind admitting a mistake and rewriting the passage. I can almost always find ways to improve something I've written, even in scholarly papers that are way beyond the tenth draft, and I very much believe in nitpicking grammar (see my recent post on commas and Eats, Shoots & Leaves). But here, again, is what I wrote,

In the old days, a Times reporter would have written They have offered theories about what that purpose may have been, such as an effort to withhold information , to at least get the grammar correct, or They say the purpose may have been to withhold information , to make it less verbose and clearer.

Here is how I would rewrite it:

In the old days a Times reporter would have written, "They have offered theories about what that purpose may have been, such as an effort to withhold information," to at least get the grammar correct, or "They suggest the purpose was to withhold information," to reduce verbosity and increase clarity.

I would retain the split infinitive, "to at least get the grammar correct", rather than change it to "to get the grammar correct, at least". I admit my advocacy of the split infinitive is controversial, but it is controversial only because there are good writers on both sides of the issue-- that is, my advocacy is controversial rather than just perverse.

The first issue is whether it is okay to split infinitives at all. I don't see why not. The main objection is formalist: that "to get" is like one word, and in more logical languages than English would indeed be one word. An infinitive in Latin would be something like "amare"; in French, "etre"; in Russian-- if my distant memories are correct-- "pahnimats". It would be strange to put an adverb in the middle of a verb-- "I ex-carefully-plored the island" instead of "I carefully explored the island."

Against this formalist objection I would put three other considerations. First, it is standard to split infinitives in our spoken language, and in some cases to do otherwise sounds contrived. Second, splitting the infinitive often creates no ambiguity or change in meaning. Third, an equally good formalist argument can be made for putting the adverb inside the infinitive in some cases-- that do so shows that the adverb is really part of the verb idea being expressed. "To at least get the grammar correct" is one idea, whereas "To get the grammar correct, at least" is two ideas, as the pressure for a comma helps show. Thus, there is a slight difference in meaning. And in rebuttal to Latin's use of the one word "amare" for "to love", note that Latin would also use the one word "amo" for "I love", yet formalists do not object to splitting a verb-idea by writing "I always loved her".

A second issue is whether it is proper to split the infinitive in this particular example. I'm running out of time, so I will try to be brief, and might end up being sloppy. As I said in the last paragraph, there is a slight difference in meaning depending on whether I split the infinitive or not, and I want the meaning that has the split infinitive. Also, "To get the grammar correct, at least" has a very awkward rhythm, a sort of gallop to it. "To GET the GRAMmar corRECT, at LEAST." If instead I write, "To at LEAST get the GRAMmar corRECT," I have a more subtle and suitable meter. Equally important, I put the emphasis only on the important words-- "least", "grammar", "correct"-- and not on "get".

But now I should return to the New York Times. They used "like" instead of "such as". But didn't I do the same when I said, An infinitive in Latin would be something like "amare"? And isn't "like" commonly used in place of "such as" in spoken English?

The questions are related. I could equally well have written 1. An infinitive in Latin would be something such as "amare". But there is a difference in meaning from 2. An infinitive in Latin would be something like "amare". Sentence 1 says that Latin infinitives are similar to "amare", whereas sentence 2 says that one example of a Latin infinitive is "amare" without claiming that other Latin infinitives have any similarity to "amare".

Common spoken usage blurs this distinction, and thus is bad. The New York Times shows this. We can tell that in this case the writers meant that "an effort to withhold information" was just one example of a Republican theory, and that other theories were not necessarily similar to that one. But by using "like" they suggest that other theories were like the one they cite.

Of course, there is a deeper problem than grammar here too, because it is not clear that the Times reporters actually think that Republicans have more than one theory. That is why in the rewrite I propose for them I dispense with talk about theories and just say that Republicans suggest that Berger was trying to withhold information. If the Times reporters actually do mean to say that Republicans are not accusing Berger of any one thing and have multiple theories to explain his theft, then the reporters should tell us about more than one of the theories.

Am I foolish to spend so much time on this small point? Perhaps. But I find it an entertaining issue to explore, and if I could actually improve the writing of some people that would be much to the public good. In fact, if this post even makes people take writing more seriously that would be the public good.

I should warn those who may comment on it, though, that I might be too occupied this next few weeks to reply.

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July 14, 2004

Selling Art to the Masses and Tracy Lawrence's "Paint

Via Daps Lyrics, here are the words to a Tracy Lawrence song I like, "Paint Me A Birmingham"

He was sitting’ there, his brush in hand
Painting’ waves as they danced, upon the sand
With every stroke, he brought to life
The deep blue of the ocean, against the morning’ sky
I asked him if he only painted ocean scenes
He said for twenty dollars, I’ll paint you anything

Could you Paint Me A Birmingham
Make it look just the way I planned
A little house on the edge of town
Porch going’ all the way around
Put her there in the front yard swing
Cotton dress make it, early spring
For a while she’ll be, mine again
If you can Paint Me A Birmingham

He looked at me, with knowing eyes
Then took a canvas from a bag there by his side
Picked up a brush, and said to me
Son just where in this picture would you like to be
And I said if there’s any way you can
Could you paint me back into her arms again?

Could you Paint Me A Birmingham
Make it look just the way I planned
A little house on the edge of town
Porch going’ all the way around
Put her there in the front yard swing
Cotton dress make it, early spring
For a while she’ll be, mine again
If you can Paint Me A Birmingham

Paint Me A Birmingham
Make it look just the way I planned
A little house on the edge of town
Porch going’ all the way around
Put her there in the front yard swing
Cotton dress make it, early spring
For a while she’ll be, mine again
If you can Paint Me A Birmingham
Oh paint me a Birmingham

The music is important, of course. Poetry seems to be in the doldrums since 1950 or so, just like classical music. Could it be that the talent that would have gone into both has gone into writing popular songs instead? That's where the money is, and someone with talent can do equally good work either place.

Some might deny this, and say that popular music is no place for an artist, because the masses won't buy good music. Suppose we grant the premise-- that the masses like bad songs better than good songs. Although I'm an economist, and economists usually are too bound to the idea of "consumer sovereignty"-- that consumer decisions cannot be criticized on grounds of taste-- I am quite willing to abandon the idea in contexts like this. But let's think about the implications of consumers not being willing to pay as much for artistic music as for schlock.

The key is to make the right comparison. Suppose Artist A is trying to write good, artistic songs for the masses. He will of course earn far far less than Artist B, equally talented, who prostitutes himself to write bad, schlocky songs for the masses. But that is not the proper comparison. Rather, we must compare Artist A with Artist C, who is trying to write good, artistic songs, but in the venue of classical music. I bet Artist A will make far more money than Artist C. He will certainly make more money from royalties, and the only question is whether Artist C makes enough from subsidies from nonprofits and government to come anywhere close. If you're writing good music, maybe it won't sell as well as bad, but if the mass market is a thousand times bigger than the classical market (for newly composed music, that is), a conservative estimate, then you can do far better with a 1% market share than a classical composer could with a 100% market share (900% better, in fact, in this example).

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July 12, 2004

POEMS FOR CHILDREN TO MEMORIZE

UPDATE, OCTOBER 4: See also Joanne Jacobs and The City Journal "In Defense of Memorization" by Michael Knox Beran, to which Pete DaDalt kindly drew my attention. By the way, we haven't gotten round to memorizing any poems-- kindergarten and preschool have somehow displaced it. By the time I figure out how to raise children, mine will be grown! That's why tradition would be helpful; it's hard to roll your own. We had a 5-year-old visiting us Saturday while her parents were moving from one one house to another. She was able to read a phrase painted on our breakfast nook wall, "Faith, hope and love-- but the greatest of these is love," and it turns out her mother has taught her to read in about three months. That made me wonder whether we should teach our Amelia something formally. How about poems? She won't learn those at school. She already has learned most of "The Owl and the Pussycat". Her Grandma Rasmusen had the good idea of asking each of her grandchildren for a child-specific performance for her birthday in April-- for example, 1-year-old Benjamin's singing a song and Amelia's recitation of a poem.

So I put together a list of poems for children to memorize. Half of these are too long, and it may be the whole plan will dissipate, but I'll see what happens, and keep my eyes open for other good poems. So far I have the following


YOU'RE NASTY AND YOU'RE LOUD (Jack Prelutsky)
A Story (Unknown)
Chartless (Emily Dickinson)
Whistling (Jack Prelutsky)
Little Seeds (Else Minarik)
A Spike of Green (Barbara Baker)
Hiawatha's Childhood (Longfellow)
The Wonderful "One-Hoss Shay" (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Senior)
The Spider and the Fly (Mary Howitt)
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Clement Moore)
Home (Edgar Guest)

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July 06, 2004

The New Cupola Spire at My Parents' Farm

This won't stay gold-looking long, but the new spire does look nice now.

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July 05, 2004

Fireworks over New York Applet

My parents sent me this good Fireworks over New York applet. Click on the sky, and fireworks burst on the spot.

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