Mark Linkous, R.I.P.

A fortnight after the fact, while in NYC this week, I heard that Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse had killed himself. He shot himself in the heart on March 6, near a friend’s house.

Linkous’ music was arresting, and shambolic, and attracted the attention of everyone from Tom Waits to Iggy Pop. He struggled with drugs and mental illness for most of his life.

Here’s one of Mark’s better-known tunes, ‘Someday I Will Treat You Good.’ Sleep well.

W@AL: The search for Mrs. Bart continues

Remember Bart?  Canada’s best-loved political fish?  Of course you do.  And you miss him, don’t you? I sure do.

My kids are in Jamaica for Spring Break – which, naturally, got me thinking about Bart.  Here, then, is one from the archives.  Maybe my kids have found her by now!

Kraft Dinner: the crucial question

As we sit here in a blecchy airport in New Jersey, reflecting on life, it occurs to me that the biggest response a posting received, in recent years, was about Kraft Dinner.

I ate a lot of it in university; I still do, given that I am completely incapable of (a) cooking and (b) learning how to cook. Besides, one box neatly satisfies one single and solitary person, which I decidedly am.

Anyway. Recently, a young fellow I know in Wales asked me about Kraft Dinner. “Still prefer butter over milk?” he queried.

Yes, I replied. Yes, yes, I do. Of course.

Being a person who is (sort of) interested in the opinions of complete strangers, I decided to extend my Welsh inquisitor’s inquisition to you, Dear Reader. I’m that kind of guy. I’m open to other points of view. (Sort of.)

So, then: when you make KD, do you use lots of butter, like I and other smart people do? Or do you – yuck! – use milk instead?

Comment now, comment often!

Alex Chilton, God-like genius

We were somewhere in NYC last night, people-watching the St. Paddy’s Day partiers (there were plenty, enough to turn the trip to the Carnegie into a faux-Fenian Hellish ordeal), when word came through that Alex Chilton – genius, god, muse to the Mats – had died. Alex Chilton!

Here’s Westerberg, playing the song that bears Alex Chilton’s name. Rest in peace, Big Star.

Take no prisoners

David Olive, one of the best writers around, wonders about me.

Meanwhile, Warren – who doesn’t like anything he has ever written – heads to the Big Apple for St. Patrick’s day. Wonderful.

The interior of the airport-bound cab. Note the timely St. Patrick’s Day display, lower left. Classic.

I have a better idea

…I recommend that Bill Murdoch create a separate country for himself. He can be King, and the rest of us can put up a tall fence so that we don’t have listen to his crazy crap anymore. Randy Hillier, naturally, will apply to emigrate to Murdochland. (We’ll help him pack.)

That, or we can pray that Little Timmy Hudak keeps these Fred and Barney wannabes around, and thereby loses all hope of ever, ever winning back an urban seat!

Spring is sprung

Took the old VW out today – that means Spring is here, Canada.

This sign, meanwhile, is just wrong. Skateboarding is not a crime, maaaan.

Citizen media vs. The Boring Old Farts

Roy McGregor, in a typically gentle and gentlemanly fashion, has waded into the MSM vs. New Media fracas, here.

Personally, I don’t think he has anything to worry about. The so-called New Media will never supplant the old farts. They write better than we do. They are less predictable than we are. And, most of all, they generate original content – we merely comment on it. Very different. (But if the MSM continues to ape my species, instead of sticking to what it does best, the MSM is done like dinner.)

Why, then, do we keep seeing nervous, self-doubting articles like Roy’s? Ten reasons:

1. Bloggers are writing for a growing audience; journalists are writing for a shrinking audience.

2. Bloggers can’t be let go. Journalists live in continual fear of being let go.

3. Bloggers don’t have anyone telling them what to do. Journalists do, all the time.

4. Journalists used to believe they could write stories that could change things. Now they know they don’t change things much at all – and that bloggers have the ability to change things, too.

5. Bloggers seem to be having more fun.

6. Bloggers don’t have a beat. They can write about whatever they want, whenever they want.

7. Bloggers get to do what most news reporters would prefer to be doing, which is analyzing the news, and not just reporting it.

8. Bloggers don’t have many rules. Journalists have to put up with tons of rules.

9. Bloggers can post stuff that is written up, or filmed, or heard, or any of the above. Journalists don’t have as many options. They have to choose.

10. Internet is the future. Newsprint is the past.

And that’s why the MSM hates the New Media. You’re welcome.