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28 June 2000

Every Number One song ever written is only made up from bits from other songs. There is no lost chord. No changes untried. No extra notes to the scale or hidden beats to the bar. There is no point in searching for originality.
-- The Manual: How to Have a Number One the Easy Way by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, a.k.a. The KLF

I caught this fascinating Richard Rodriguez essay on the tail end of the NewsHour last night. It loses a lot without all the images (particularly the newspaper wedding announcements with their names and photos of happy couples with wildly different backgrounds) and without his voice doing the reading, but you might get something out of it nonetheless:

  • Theological Curry [PBS/Jim Lehrer NewsHour]
    Mixed blood may end up being the least of it. In cities across America, there are marriages that unite, or at least join ancient, often quarreling creeds. Mixed blood, our old preoccupation, is being replaced by mixed soul.

    Nowadays, I meet hybrids that defy every known theological borders; one of my friends describes herself as a Baptist Buddhist, other days she's a Buddhist Baptist. In those newspapers that still publish wedding announcements, one can sometimes glimpse at a future that is already here. ... Routinely now the marriage is between religions, as this one-- Hindu Jewish.

    Demographers expect Islam to replace Christianity as the world's most populous religion within several decades.

    Theological mixing has already given rise in the world to a hunger for orthodoxy. The other possibility is we are entering an age of astonishing ecumenism -- religious traditions flowing into one another, deepening and enlivening one another, within the soul of a single child. The future could well belong to those religious traditions that can tolerate impurity.

I was recently part of a combination Christian/Hindu wedding with two ceremonies, one for each tradition. (Hi Chris, hi Anjala!) It was a very interesting mixing of cultures, and all the many people there from both traditions seemed genuinely happy for them. As they should be, since Chris and Anj are right for each other. :)

I was forwarded the Honor System virus a few days ago. It's an old joke with many variants, but for those who haven't seen it at all:


This virus works on the honor system. Please forward this message to everyone you know, then delete all the files on your hard disk.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Forget the puppet being interviewed on an ABC news show (actually, don't forget it, just set it aside for a moment): CBS is hawking its fake-reality shows even more blatantly in inappropriate places:

  • At CBS, the Lines Between News and Entertainment Grows Fuzzier [NY Times]
    Starting next week, when CBS kicks off its second reality series, "Big Brother," the network's news division will take another leap in terms of opportunism and self-promotion... The newscaster on "The Early Show," Julie Chen, will begin hosting a weekly prime-time interview show based on developments in "Big Brother,"... More than merely interviewing participants in that show, and various sociologists and psychologists commenting on it, Ms. Chen will actually play the role of Big Brother on that show...

    The all-news WCBS radio in New York, for example, included the exit of a woman from New Jersey as one of its headline stories last Thursday morning. Some CBS local television stations are doing the same thing on their news programs.

    "I understand the traditional view that says we shouldn't do something like this." But Mr. Heyward said, "I'm very comfortable with it."

I wish I could remember where I found this link... TIME Digital had a tiny interview with author Neal Stephenson in a recent issue. There's a longer version on their site. Very, very smart and creative guy.

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