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Linkblog – June 25th to July 27th

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Links between June 25th and July 27th:

Just so you know, this is an automated recent overview of the Linkblog, a collection of interesting links I find on my travels. The archives are here: http://www.wibbler.com/category/linkblog/

Musical Cathartics

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When it comes to music, I’m not fussy. I like all types and genres, from classical to rap, to electronica and indie. Pachelbel, Eminem, Daft Punk and Fall Out Boy all feature in my eclectic musical collection.
There are a few musical quirks in the wibbler back catalogue that I’m surprisingly unashamed to admit, however. I never fail to get groans whenever I want to put a Meatloaf CD on. Michelle was made to listen to a whole album once, bless her. I remember buying a CD of his back in 1994, then watching the videos, and deciding that on top of the clever lyrics and music, he at least deserves respect for treating all his songs and videos like feature productions. The songs contain outrageously overblown guitar riffs, while the videos house all sorts of Hollywood-style shots and actions. He is larger than life, and isn’t ashamed of it.
The other one that should seem a little embarrassing is Fatboy Slim. For some reason, I’ve got the impression that he’s a sort of chav hero, someone I really should know better than enjoy music from. But the first time I hear most of his songs, I’ve no idea they’re his – but that doesn’t stop me tapping away and singing along. It’s actually a bit of a shock when I find they’re Fatboy Slim’s musical numbers. It’s happened with songs like Praise You, Weapon of Choice, The Joker, and now today with That Old Pair of Jeans (here’s an archive of videos, if you’re interested).
And like Meatloaf, the videos seem to be more “off the wall” than the standard ones plastered over MTV. They seem to point out that music and rhythm is everywhere, whatever you do. I remember Praise You was just a home video of a group breakdancing. Weapon of Choice was a constant stream of Christopher Walken dancing. And with That Old Pair of Jeans, the main video is of a man juggling. It’s certainly impressive, and has spawned a whole series of copycat videos, many of them almost as good. If you’ve got a spare half an hour, have a peek at them
Anyway, here’s the video (archived here):

And here’s one of the best copycat ones:

The Daily Show – A Seminal Moment

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Political apathy is evident everywhere nowadays. There’s discussion on the cause, but most agree that the media are guilty of marginalising the power of the vote. I just thought it was this country – but The Daily Show, hosted by the razor-witted, sharp-tongued, Emmy award winning Jon Stewart, shows that it’s alive and kicking in America too.
The Daily Show started as a comedic look at the days’ political events in America. Now, it’s the only show which gives it to you straight, in a humourous way that really sticks in your mind. Jon Stewart, in my opinion, is the funniest political comedian I have ever seen, and his show appears to outclass all other “news” shows in America.
So, why am I telling you this now? Well, Jon was invited yesterday onto “Crossfire”, a popular political show on CNN, to discuss his new book. But, instead of promoting, he accused the mainstream media – and his hosts in particular – of being soft and failing to do their duty as journalists to keep politicians and the political process honest.
It was one of the most powerful televised exchanges in recent history. Instead of pushing the tome, Stewart used his time to verbally slap the network and the media for being “dishonest” and “doing a disservice” to the American public. After co-host Tucker Carlson suggested that Stewart went easy on Senator John Kerry when the candidate was a guest on “The Daily Show,” Stewart unloaded on “Crossfire,” calling hosts Carlson and Paul Begala “partisan hacks” and chiding them for not raising the level of discourse on their show beyond sloganeering.
“What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery,” Stewart said. “You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably. I watch your show every day, and it kills me. It’s so painful to watch.”
It takes balls of steel to do something this large. As one of the commenters on Metafilter put it, “Not only is our most honest news program not really a news program, but the only guy on TV who wants to be serious about living up to journalistic responsibility isn’t even a journalist.”
Good luck in the elections, America…
LINKS (because you really have to watch this):
More on the event: Jon Stewart Bitchslaps CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ Show – MTV
Clips from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show: herehere
The Crossfire showdown: BitTorrentQuicktime videoAnother Quicktime videoWindows Media Player (WMP) videoAnother WMP videoTranscript and videos
Comments/articles on the broadcast: MetafilterMTVSalon.com

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