Carnival of the Vanities #95

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The 95th Carnival of the Vanities is up at d-42. It's themed according to Rush albums, sort of. It's an interesting idea, but I was having trouble seeing the connections between the songs and the posts. Maybe I just don't know Rush well enough. I never could get into them, mostly because there wasn't really enough room for the kind of layering the complexity of their music required when you only have three musicians who try to do only what they can duplicate live. Progressive rock needs at least five people to do it right, unless Bill Bruford is involved or at least two people are doubling up on parts. If you don't have a non-standard rock instrument (e.g. saxophone, violin, flute, tuba, Irish pipes, chicken clucks), then you're already behind.

Two caveats:

First, the host thought La Shawn Barber was a he. This shows some serious ignorance of the naming conventions within African American culture. The 'La' prefix is almost always for a girl's name and can be followed by any otherwise male name (though Shawn can, but isn't usually, female). What's worse is that he didn't even match up his misimpression with her picture. What's worse than that is that he linked to the comments and not the post. Here's the real link for those who want to see the post itself.

Second, the host thinks Freewill is one of Rush's best songs. That's like thinking I Can't Dance is one of Genesis' best songs. It's like thinking Mr. Roboto is one of Styx's best songs. I'm unable to transcribe the sound I want written here.

It's got my post about colorblindness along with a post on a blog I've never heard of before, Strat Speaks Out, talking about something I have talked about before here, the idea that black people who decide to excel in school for its own sake are viewed as not black enough by their peers. They're called Oreos. After all, school is a white thing, so anyone taking delight in the subject matter learned in school must not really be black.

Another blog I haven't seen before, Spot On, has a thoughtful defense of abstinence in sex education and a probing analysis of those who harp on abstinence advocates, noting its success in Uganda. This isn't a social conservative saying all this, either.

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Rounding it up from Josh Cohen online on July 15, 2004 1:41 PM

Since I have a bunch of things I have to work on today, I'm going to post the "Carnival Roundup" and leave it at that. If I missed you, leave a comment. Trust me, it's the best way to catch... Read More


I couldn't sleep last night and stayed up and watched Craig Kilborn and one of his guests was an actress whose name I can't remember. Styx is her favorite group - I hadn't thought of Styx since when, the 80's. Craig said that Mr. Roboto is kind of the story of this actress's career, but she didn't even know the song. So, it must have been a real loser if one of Styx's biggest fans didn't know the song. I'm losing my memory here - I remember liking Styx when I was a kid but I can't call up a tune in my head.
Also - I noticed the error about LaShawn too.

In my defense, it was 1:00 in the morning when I proofread, and I'd been up since 7:15am, so things were bound to get missed.

*shrug* It's fixed now.

I was probably thinking "LaShawn Barber" my brain said "Rishawn Biddle". But I don't know for sure.

Oh, and I didn't even see the picture the first time around. D'oh.

J, you're not the first to mistake her for being male. I just think it's funny that a name that can't be male according to the unspoken convention is so often taken to be male. This happens to her all the time.

Styx had an awful album in 1982, I think, called Kilroy is Here. It was a theme album about a futuristic world and robots. The story wasn't very good, most of the band hated it, and it had a hit single called Mr. Roboto that most long-time fans hated. Fans today don't admit to owning that album except to be completists.

I too thought it was a guy. Oops.

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