Alter-reviews: I got next to nothing this week. I did see a historic "A"-less "ABB" show Saturday night at the Beacon. It was not bad at all, but also weird. Since the last four shows were postponed, it is also one of only two of all time. And I saw a strong Drive By Truckers show Thursday night at Terminal 5 in support of "English Oceans," but I just reviewed the acoustic show at City Winery a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been reading Adam Begley’s new biography of John Updike and listening to The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel by Benjamin Black, read by Dennis Boutsikaris for Macmillan Audio, but I will have to report back later on those. Oh and I should mention the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Workbook, which was great back then, and sounds better now. It’s got a second CD with a 1989 performance at Chicago's Cabaret Metro, and a cover of "Shoot Out the Lights." It’s pretty damn noisy.
Oh and I wanted to recommend another book: Anthony Greco's Chomsky's Challenge to American Power: A Guide for the Critical Reader. As much of pain as Chomskyites are in my life, I do admire much of what the man has done, dishonest as he sometimes is. Here is the blurb I was happy to give Mr. Greco: "Anthony Greco's treatment of Chomsky's role in the intellectual debates of our time is among the most thoughtful, and certainly the most comprehensive I've ever encountered. We are all in his debt for his generous—perhaps overly generous—but still tough-minded and intellectually critical reading both of Chomsky himself and of the work of his critics. His ability to put Chomsky's writings in the context of larger historical debates is also to be greatly admired and appreciated by all who have sought to make sense of the man and his extraordinary (and often infuriating) body of work."
And I’ll be speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit the following week, on April 7th should you live around there.
“The Latest in Expert Speculation”: CNN and the Phenomenology of Breaking News
by Reed Richardson
Much has been made about the white-hot supernova of coverage CNN has devoted to missing Malaysia Air Flight 370 in the past few weeks. And rightfully so. It has been both fascinating and alarming to watch a major cable network flail about so publicly. By focusing so much on a story where so little is known, CNN essentially had to liberate itself from traditional standards of newsworthiness. Over the past two weeks, it’s subjected viewers to cravenly-named "zombie" theories, a shameless over-use of its "breaking news" chyron, numerous instances of model plane-play, as well as fanciful notions that black holes or divine intervention might be at work in the plane’s disappearance.