Quickie

Just a brief quickie from me tonight, after another four weeks of hiatus. Talk about on and off…

A couple of days ago I joined Last.fm. This is a sort of social network that keeps track of all the music you listen to and sets up all kinds of statistics and then recommends new music to you according to your taste (unlike that bullshit on Amazon). But it’s not only another one of those spying tools that have been invading the internet. You can also listen to music; to all kinds of music, actually.

Every user has their own radio station which plays tracks that they listened to before. And you can tune in for free. The greater the variety and number of songs a user has listened to, the more songs will be on their station. Last.fm also lists gigs in your area, or gigs of your favorite artists, or whatever you want it to. Go check it out. It’s a lot of fun.

At the top of the right sidebar you can already see the music that I recently listened to, including links to my profile (with my charts) and to my radio station.

On another note, I’d like to say “Happy P-Day.” Thomas Pynchon turned 70 today and is as alive as ever. Or so we think. Hopefully he’ll live long enough to write at least one more of his big-ass tomes. He probably has about ten typewritten, proofread, and ready-to-be-published manuscripts—each at least 1,200 pages long—in the drawers of his desk that are just waiting to be published posthumously by some wacky editor. Unless his wife, Melanie Jackson, or son, Jackson, intervene.

Which makes me wonder why Pynchon had his first child only in his mid-fifties. He needed someone to handle his estate with the utmost discretion because he knew that the media, publishers, and scholars would go through his stuff before his dead body had cooled off. But he only realized that rather late. Pynchon is a slow learner himself.

On yet another note, let me express my discontent over the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to do away with price fixing on books with a simple: Fuck You! Pardon my French, but this says it all.

Dave Barry wrote a funny review in The New York Times Sunday Book Review about the trouble of writing letters nowadays. Read it and weep.

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