I’ve got the world on a string, I tell you

So, last night, I went to see this at Symphony Space, “An Evening with Radiolab,” a combined effort with their show and Selected Shorts. And it was really quite wonderful. The three stories they picked were weird and interesting and unsettling in all the right ways, and Kyra Sedgwick, Jane Curtin, and Liev Schreiber did terrific jobs reading each of them. I thought last month’s show was good, but this was actually even better, and I left feeling pretty happy that I’d stayed late in the city.

Which is why I was maybe less upset than I might have been when the young woman sitting next to me on the train home, clearly inebriated (and it clearly not agreeing with her), vomited against the wall of the seat. There wasn’t a lot, as that kind of thing goes, and she didn’t get any one me. But I wasn’t going to stick around for the second show. I picked up my bag and my coat and skipped out to the next car. I felt bad for the girl, and for the older woman in the seat in front of her, who couldn’t escape quite as easily as I could. So I was glad to see, later on, that the girl was at least sober enough to walk around, and not going to fall unconscious or asphyxiate or something on the train. Of course, I would have been more glad to have discovered this second-hand, or by glancing through the windows of the train as I left — and not, as it happened, because the young girl was stumbling off the train at the very same stop. She was shocked to discover — as a fair number of less drunk people often are — that there is no taxi service of any kind at this station. She seemed ready to collapse when I told her this, and pointed out the nearby — in non-drunk terms, but probably miles away to her — road where maybe she’d be able to get a cab or the number for one. (Though after 11 on a weeknight…I don’t know.) Luckily, the guy behind us both knew the number for a cab company, and she seemed well enough to use her cell phone. So I left them there and walked home to go to bed.

Today, there’s nothing half as exciting. The train ride home wasn’t a lot of fun, but mostly just because I got to it so late and it was so crowded. This morning, I took notes at one of our regular premium text meetings. Which can sometimes be a real chore, but today…well, there were only two projects. A couple of weeks ago, when I was originally scheduled to take notes, there were nine. And it was on a Tuesday, when I usually get to work from home. But another development editor asked to switch, and I agreed, and I really lucked out.

And that’s about the extent of the excitement today. Although yesterday — and tomorrow’s office holiday party, where I must endeavor to learn from that young lady’s mistakes — should be more than enough excitement for the week.

Tuesday various

Monday various

  • Here’s a question: Who inherits your iTunes library? Maybe a follow-up to that: would you want someone to inherit it?

    There’s a significant difference between shelves of books or stacks of records and folders of e-books or mp3s. There’s no re-sell value to the latter, for instance, either because of the difficulties of transferring the files or because of restrictions inherent in the licensing agreements we sign. So the only reason to bequeath your digital media is if you feel the person receiving it in your will actually will want it.

  • Ass-whooping on NPR.
  • In other news, they were still printing Nintendo Power Magazine?
  • Writing credits in documentaries: apparently a bigger issue than you might think.
  • And finally, Space Stallions!

    More information here.

The week in podcastery

I’ve been enjoying Alec Baldwin’s new podcast, Here’s the Thing, although I don’t think he rehabilitated Kris Kardashian Jenner‘s image quite as much as he seems to think in his latest offering. I have no doubt they’re genuine (if unlikely) friends, and Jenner doesn’t come across as one of the world’s most horrible people — which is probably the image her family’s reality television ubiquity most presents. But nor does she come across as particularly interesting or worthy of attention. At best, Baldwin convinced that, for all their faults, the Kardashians themselves are probably not pure evil. High praise indeed. His earlier interview Michael Douglas is a lot more interesting.

Jordan Jesse Go! took a page from Golden Girls with their 200th episode and offered up a clip show. This might be a good place to dive in if you’re new to the show, though keep in mind that the pair and their guests work a little bluer than Alec Baldwin. (Even this Alec Baldwin.) But they’re genuinely funny, and JJGo is easily one of my favorite guys-just-talking-about-stuff weekly podcasts. (Along with its Canadian counterpart, Stop Podcasting Yourself.)

Although I think I preferred Community‘s “clip show” better.

And finally, there’s Studio 360, which I genuinely enjoy, although I was deeply disappointed in host Kurt Andersen’s recent interview with Robert Levine about the Stop Online Piracy Act. I tried posting this as a comment at their site, but even logged in I ran into problems. Perhaps the post is closed to comments now that the show’s a week or two old, I don’t know. At any rate, I thought the rest of episode was quite good, but the one segment left a lot to be desired:

Let me just add my resounding disappointment with the piece. It’s not that Robert Levine (or even Studio 360) has a particular point of view on this contentious issue, much less one that’s antithetical to my own. It’s that no dissenting view is heard except in passing, to be dismissed as fear-mongering, exaggeration, and/or spurred by questionable and monetary motives.

Levine makes a reasoned argument in favor of copyright and anti-piracy legislation, but sweeps aside justifiable concerns that SOPA and its Senate counterpart are absolutely terrible tools in this regard. They will do little to protect the copyright of artists (or the corporations who ostensibly represent them) — who are already protected by a bevy of existing law such as DMCA. Rather, they will almost certainly open the doors to many of the “chilling effects” that Levine is so quick to dismiss. The language of the bill is vague and wide-sweeping and dangerous — not to pirates, but law-abiding businesses and users on the internet.

But, regardless of whether or not Levine — and Studio 360 — agrees with that argument, to present only one side of a thorny, ongoing public policy debate is, at best, an oversight and, at worst, irresponsible journalism. I expect more from Studio 360 and was therefore deeply disappointed.