This is the third installment of what seems to be turning into a series, and it appears for one simple (and recurring) reason: there's nothing out there that spurs me to a full-length piece this week, and I'd rather not take a single item and blow it up to 6k just to prove my mastery of the dubious art of padding. Which is not to say I've never done that before, of course.

I've been avoiding the subject of Lena Dunham up to now, and really, it hasn't been too difficult: I've never seen Girls, the HBO ensemble show that thrust her into the public eye, and I have no compelling reason to read Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" (New York: Random House, 2014), which presumably got to just under the top of The New York Times bestseller list due to Flavor of the Month criteria, by which is meant that some time between now and 2020 she'll be making the C-list rounds with the likes of Rob Schneider, but in the meantime, she has to maximize her Warhol-appointed fifteen minutes. And truth be told, there's always the question of why someone not yet thirty needs to be writing a memoir; I'm not quite sure I ought to write one, and I'm twice her age and then some. Then again, I have no events from my childhood that I could turn into something dark and disturbing, and if I did, well, I have no compelling need to make myself appear transgressive and au courant, to conform to the fantasies of some imagined audience. (I am firmly convinced that the number of willful brats in evidence today is due solely to parents' unwillingness to address obvious problems out of fear of appearing uncool or something.) Note that the problem is not so much that Dunham fiddled around a bit with her kid sister, but that she thought it was somehow essential to the storyline. The fact that she went into conniptions over seeing someone actually quoting her tale of malfeasance clearly indicates that she had no idea that anyone could possibly object to such a thing. Explains her enthusiasm for Obama, anyway.

Being twice Lena Dunham's age and then some, I have a medicine cabinet stuffed with all manner of wretched, unspeakable compounds that supposedly keep me alive. (At least, the consequences of not taking them are decidedly uncomfortable.) Inasmuch as every drug that actually does something simultaneously does something else — we are not yet advanced to the point where we can design drugs that have one single effect and no side effects whatsoever — I have to be aware of all manner of potential drug interactions. By now I'm used to that; but I'm now at the point where I have interactions without even having drugs. Diuretics notwithstanding, I am susceptible to swollen feet. I also have bad knees, one of which was administered a round of debris-scraping last decade. I can decrease the knee movement, and therefore the pain, quite a bit by inserting a padded insole into my shoes; the padding, however, seems to exacerbate the swelling, or at least to make it seem worse due to the lack of room for expansion. At this point, the only plausible solution seems to be the purchase of even larger shoes.

As I mentioned a few days ago, Taylor Swift has withdrawn all of her recordings from the Spotify streaming service; in a WSJ interview, she said flatly, "Music should not be free." Taking the contrary position was an individual on Yahoo! Answers, albeit with reference to some other performer. The question was pulled for some terms-of-service violation or other, but I'd already featured it in an actual blog post:

Music isnt about money. It should never be about money.. music is art and expression and reaching out to people via that art or expression I didnt ask for your two cents on How what I am doing is wrong If I were an artist I wouldnt give two craps if people downloaded my music illegally as long as people were listening to it and getting something out of it. music is about changing lives and for enjoyment go listen to some immortal technique. He verbally expresses he would boot his own music to reach listeners... Also these people make millions on tours and gear that they sell. I doubt its gonna effect their sails that much if I download some of their music illegally

I suspect that were he an artist earning less than Taylor Swift — which lately seems to be all of them — he might think differently. My own thinking is sort of in line with Swift's, up to a point: I'd prefer that she get paid, now and in the immediate future, but copyright periods have gotten ridiculously long, and if some distant descendant wants a copy of 1989 in 2089 but it's gone out of print, she's perfectly welcome to copy my CD, assuming there's something you can play CDs on at all, seventy-five years from now.

(Previous Random Rants: Vent #647; Vent #854.)

The Vent

  9 November 2014

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