This post is just a bunch of links

Yes, I’ve been pretty lazy about posting the past week. I need to slip in some posts I should have made over the past week, but I’m still working on (procrastinating?). So I’ll be sneaky and backdate them.

In the mean time there’s plenty of cool stuff on the web:

A film adaptation of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.”

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art:

Komaiku: haiku about comics by T Campbell.

A psychedelic animated tribute to America’s Bicentennial from 1975 (warning: may cause seizures):

Shock and Gore, an article by JG Ballard about the films of Salvador Dali from The Guardian.

Twenty Years Ago Today, It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Today is the 40th anniversary of the day the Beatles released their 8th studio LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.   The album did nothing more than revolutionize popular music and kick start 1967’s Summer of Love.  It proved that the Beatles were more than just a boy band relying on good looks and charm and even more than just a great rock and roll act, but true innovators.  A loose concept album, the Beatles were able to push the envelope by taking on the persona of another band and leaving the Beatles behind.

I, of course, was no more than a gleam in my father’s eye when the album was released.  The 20th anniversary of the album in 1987 was my first introduction when media hyped the whole “It was twenty years ago today…” angle.  I knew and liked the Beatles but never realized their full impact in creating an album.  The first time I heard Sgt. Pepper was not the optimum situation.   My mother was a member of a group for singles and divorce people and they had a Labor Day outing at a campground where all the members brought their children.  I shared a platform tent with several other boys, one of whom spent the entire weekend in the tent listening to Sgt. Pepper and singing along in a loud, nasal voice.  To this day I still think of him when I hear the songs I’d never heard before like “Fixing a Hole” and “Getting Better.”

Oddly, despite topping the all time lists of best albums and being remembered for its innovation, I have to say that Sgt. Pepper is not my favorite Beatles album (Rubber Soul, Revolver, The Beatles and Let it Be all vie for that title).   While many Beatles’ songs have a timeless quality to them, there’s something about Sgt. Pepper that screams “SIXTIES PSYCHEDELIA!”  There are still some masterpieces though: the title track leading into “With A Little Help From My Friends,” John’s dreamy and childlike “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and the orchestral work of “A Day in the Life.”  Some great experimenting with world music on “Within You, Without You” and just all sorts of instrumentation and lyricism on “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”  I can live without  the shrieky “Good Morning, Good Morning” and “When I’m Sixty-Four” is far too overplayed.

Happy 40th Anniversary Sgt. Pepper (or I guess it’s actually 60 years since he taught the band to play).  We could use another summer of love this year.

Friday Sillies: Things You Stumble Upon

Today I’m putting up the links to two funny websites made up entirely of things that people just stumble upon.

The first is Found Magazine, the web version of the print magazine that collects things that people find:  “love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles- anything that gives a glimpse into someone else’s life. Anything goes.”  The home page features the “Find of the Day” and you may set it up as an RSS feed to inject a little bit of humor into your daily routine or you may just click through the archives.  Sadly their audio finds section is gone so you won’t be able to listen to Avon Minisure or the Ypsilanti All-Stars.

Next, there’s Overheard in New York consisting entirely of weird and silly things people say in public places.   This is the flagship website which has spawned Overheard at the Office, Overheard at the Beach, and Overheard Everywhere (for people outside of New York).  Just as a warning to the sensitive the language on these site can be rather impolite, but then again nothing worse than what you hear walking down the street.

On the other hand, if you like salty language, you’ll appreciate How to Swear in Any Language.

Happy Friday!