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Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
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Managing Editor
Kara VanderBijl
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Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
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Senior Editor
Durga Chew-Bose
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Senior Editor
Brittany Julious
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Wednesday
Mar252009

In Which We Welcome You Back To This Recording

DISCOVERING NEW WORLDS 

By Molly Lambert

Imagine if you will, that This Recording is a spaceship, preferably a futuristic multi-cultural one, like in Sunshine, but with more jews. Since we are out in space (the internet) we can't really land, so most of the tinkering on the ship occurs while in-flight. You, dear readers, are the passengers

chaotic terrains are very unpredictable

As with any outer space mission, no matter how well thought out, things do not always go exactly as planned. One of This Recording's editors, now moonlighting as our technical engineer, accidentally flipped the switch (unlocked the hatch, pushed the button, nuked the fridge) and the cat is out of the bucket. There's no going back now. We moved the island, people.


We hope you like the redesign. We're still tinkering with things, adding new features, and moving our archives to the new location. Hopefully you'll find the new This Recording much easier to read, use, and navigate. We appreciate your patronage thus far. Without you we'd just be a mostly unoccupied craft floating out into deep space.

feedback in comments welcome/encouraged/appreciated

THE EDITORS

Alex Carnevale

Molly Lambert

Will Hubbard

This Recording


Friday
Aug222008

In Which We Discuss The Future of This Recording In A Language You Can Understand

BLISSYMBOLS

by Molly Lambert

Today we begin again.

Originally called Semantography, Charles K. Bliss invented a language that makes ideograms out of seven hundred basic icons. Now known as Blissymbols, it is not widely used and it's still debated whether an entirely logographic language is possible. I like it because it reminds me of rebuses and the sample sentences sounded like Talking Heads lyrics.

In the future, This Recording will be written entirely in Blissymbols.

This is my house.

This is my life.

Please come here today.

I want to go to the cinema.

She is my friend.

It is made of wood.

I lost my hat while at sea.

On icy stairs.

We learn by teaching.

I think, therefore I am.

Who can help us now?

I doubt what the government says.

Whose book is that?

Her boyfriend is jealous of her work.

Their relationship won't last.

How did they like the giraffe?

She has beautiful teeth.

I like the music from these headphones.

Your wife said she was in the hospital because of depression.

That nonsense must stop.

Happy to help!

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording.

ENJOY THE NEW FUJIYA & MIYAGI SINGLE

"Knickerbocker (instrumental)" - Fujiya & Miyagi (mp3)

"Knickerbocker" - Fujiya & Miyagi (mp3)

Spring, Summer Autumn Winter

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING:

Gary Snyder and Han-shan

Beck Hansen and Peter Walker

Andrew Zornoza and Alex Rose.

Friday
Aug082008

In Which This Is The Way The World Ends

Apocalypse Dào

by MOLLY LAMBERT

End Of Travelling - Palace Music: (mp3)

End Of All Things - Times New Viking: (mp3)

End Of The Line - Roxy Music: (mp3)

Endlessly - Mercury Rev: (mp3)

I Don't Want The Night To End - Phoebe Snow: (mp3)

My Whole World Ended - David Ruffin: (mp3)

Summer's End - Archer Prewitt: (mp3)

Apocalypse, No! - Will Oldham: (mp3)

The End Of The Rainbow - Richard & Linda Thompson: (mp3)

The Endless Plain Of Fortune - John Cale: (mp3)

The Losing End (Live) - Neil Young: (mp3)

Till The End Of The Day - The Kinks: (mp3)

Digital World - Kelis: (mp3)

What's The World? - The Smiths: (mp3)

Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie: (mp3)

Come On Apocalypse - Patton Oswalt: (mp3)

Apocalipse - Os Mutantes: (mp3)

The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning - Smashing Pumpkins: (mp3)

Molly Lambert is managing editor of This Recording

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

The Illustrated Society Of The Spectacle

Part One: Guy Debord & Britney Spears

Part Two: John Carpenter & They Live

Part Three: The Large Hadron Collider & Disneyland

Saturday
Jul122008

In Which We Recommend You Become A Better Person

Screwed No Matter What You Do

by Alex Carnevale

Molly posted this article by Robin Nixon on her tumblr, which I felt was amoral, so I'm posting it here. Robin Nixon:

A recent study presented people with two tasks. One was described as tedious and time-consuming; the other, easy and brief. The subjects were asked to assign each task to either themselves or the next participant. They could do this independently or defer to a computer, which would assign the tasks randomly.

Eighty-five percent of 42 subjects passed up the computer’s objectivity and assigned themselves the short task – leaving the laborious one to someone else. Furthermore, they thought their decision was fair. However, when 43 other subjects watched strangers make the same decision, they thought it unjust.

The researchers then “constrained cognition” by asking subjects to memorize long strings of numbers. In this greatly distracted state, subjects became impartial. They thought their own transgressions were just as terrible as those of others.

This suggests that we are intuitively moral beings, but “when we are given time to think about it, we construct arguments about why what we did wasn’t that bad,” said lead researcher Piercarlo Valdesolo, who conducted this study.

So why do we choose to judge ourselves so leniently? We have a lot wrapped up in preserving a positive self-image, said Valdesolo, and thus are loathe to admit, even to ourselves, that we sometimes behave immorally.

A flattering self-image is correlated with rewards, such as emotional stability, increased motivation and perseverance. “It is a very functional part of our psychology, but it is not always a desirable one.”

tracie pays a male prostitute to r her

Is it wrong to steal Molly's topic, even though she does it to me all the time, and bitched me out hard for calling Wall·E, Puss·E?

that is one cute robot

How about if I start posting pictures of her, or pictures of Slut Machine with captions that said, "Molly wanted me to post this"?

When am I crossing the line here?

Answer: probably when I get an e-mail from Molly being like, "WTF on that post. Also did you see this article on Oh No They Didn't? Unrelated: did you see Osmosis Jones? It may be Chris Rock's finest moment."

molly told me to post this

I got this e-mail on the controversy:

Even with as much as I hate Moe and think she really might be a patriarchy-inclined, mail order bride from Eastern Europe on qualudes sent over to the U.S. to reinvigorate the gender roles of the medieval Russian feudal system, it's wrong to bash women.

I wrote back,

I think I feel the same way about Norman Podhoretz that you do about Moe.

I understand what you mean though, I really don't like attacking women either although I dutifully do it just because I don't want to be a misogynist. It's amazing how everything in the end just benefits the patriarchy.

Whose life would you save?

I would also marry Slut Machine, vacations would be so fun. It would also probably help with my New Year's Resolution to be more scandalous.

Somehow this ended up in one of the comment threads:

I once dated a guy who lived in Brooklyn - it was a long distance thing and I was insanely giddy about his talent, his charm and his humor. I so very very very dug this guy. Then I flew out to stay with him for a few days, and walked into his place all smitten as hell. He flipped on the lights and the cockroaches were everywhere - all over the walls, the bed, the floor, the tables. It was unbelievable. Now maybe he couldn’t help it. Maybe it was just the building, his neighbors, the visitors he had who let the bugs in. Maybe the only thing he could have done to remedy the situation was move to a new place. My decision was to stick it out and stay there - after all, I was in serious smit. And you know what? A few months later he broke my heart into pieces. I look back on that trip now and wonder if I should have paid more attention to those damn cockroaches.

They should call BK, "Lower Expectations," like "Lower New Jersey."

Everyone has their drunk days. Mondays!

egan getting a colonic

IT WOULD BE BEST IF YOU BECAME MORE MORAL THAN YOU ARE NOW

Morality of Star Trek

When morality is hard to like

The fashion in moral psychology is changing

“We began to realize that for our existence to hold any value it must end. To live meaningful lives we must die, and not return. The one human flaw, that you spend your lifetimes distressing over - mortality - is the one thing…well, it’s the one thing that makes you whole.”

- Natalie-Six on Battlestar Galactica.

Architecture and Morality

Is there a moral instinct?

Whose life would you save?

Morality and monogamy

Morality wiki

Laurie David wants to save the penguins

Remembering Thomas Disch

Everything you know about morality is wrong, and also, your skin produces a marijuana like substance.

Danish has a band?

"No Regrets" - King Khan and the Shrines (mp3)

"Outta Harm's Way" - King Khan and the Shrines (mp3)

"I Wanna Be A Girl" - King Khan and the Shrines (mp3)

"Crackin' Up" - King Khan and the Shrines (mp3)

Is it moral or amoral to post these songs?

Sartre tells of a student whose brother had been killed in the German offensive of 1940. The student wanted to avenge his brother and to fight forces that he regarded as evil. But the student's mother was living with him, and he was her one consolation in life. The student believed that he had conflicting obligations. Sartre describes him as being torn between two kinds of morality: one of limited scope but certain efficacy, personal devotion to his mother; the other of much wider scope but uncertain efficacy, attempting to contribute to the defeat of an unjust aggressor.

Moral dilemmas:

In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg and more than 30 survivors were crowded into a lifeboat intended to hold 7. As a storm threatened, it became obvious that the lifeboat would have to be lightened if anyone were to survive. The captain reasoned that the right thing to do in this situation was to force some individuals to go over the side and drown. Such an action, he reasoned, was not unjust to those thrown overboard, for they would have drowned anyway. If he did nothing, however, he would be responsible for the deaths of those whom he could have saved. Some people opposed the captain's decision. They claimed that if nothing were done and everyone died as a result, no one would be responsible for these deaths.

On the other hand, if the captain attempted to save some, he could do so only by killing others and their deaths would be his responsibility; this would be worse than doing nothing and letting all die. The captain rejected this reasoning. Since the only possibility for rescue required great efforts of rowing, the captain decided that the weakest would have to be sacrificed. In this situation it would be absurd, he thought, to decide by drawing lots who should be thrown overboard. As it turned out, after days of hard rowing, the survivors were rescued and the captain was tried for his action. If you had been on the jury, how would you have decided?

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

egan and dr. ruth

We gave you a groups of links that you shall never forget for all your days on earth.

Our dating correspondent told you the sad tale of a New Hampshire hottie.

Diane Williams is the genius of the western world.

Thursday
Jun192008

In Which The Earth Takes The Fight To Us

The Human Race: We're No. 1?

by Alex Carnevale

As a species, we think we're important. If something's happening to the planet, we probably caused it, even if there's not much in the way of evidence that we did. This hysteria has emerged in places where disaster strikes, and it would rear its ugly head even more prominently if the fight was brought to the places where rich folks live, like New York and Los Angeles, instead of New Orleans and Myanmar, which are, I believe, about fifteen minutes apart by automobile.

Maybe it's the simple proliferation of mass media everywhere, but the news these days is getting a little bit weird. 34 rays die in a zoo. Feces murder cheetahs. Humans walking on all fours. Drudge seems to be partial to Obama. Bugs are breathing mercury. Consider the recent events in the middle of our country, and it's easy to think: the earth is trying to tell us something important.

making the debate fair

I am what is called a hard Darwinian. You may have seen me being made fun of in Exposed. I believe fitness for survival overwhelms all concerns. If the planet wants us gone, I am prepared to accept that we are not good enough for the planet. And while the mass of human accomplishment towards civilization is impressive, any world in which a film the caliber of Iron Man is a smash hit is not one I want to live in.

We are still primitive ones. Some of haven't even accepted evolution. I'm not prepared to say that we deserve to live at the expense of anything else.

The human species will end at some point. Whether it happens in the next ten years or the next ten thousand is a minute difference to the planet we inhabit.

Have we made changes to the earth that could cause its climate to also change? Of course. Is there any good way of reversing this change or at least slowing it? The better question is, what would an attempt that might or might not be successful cost?

"In Dreams" - Filter (mp3)

But if something can be done about global warming, these people ask, shouldn't we at least try?

This line of thinking ignores the cost of doing "something" about global warming. The cost is high, even higher than you would think. The world's biggest Roy Spencer fan I am not, but this seems incontrovertible:

What worries me is the widespread misperception that we can do anything substantial about carbon emissions without seriously compromising economic growth. To be sure, forcing a reduction in CO2 emissions will help spur investment in new energy technologies. But so does a price tag of $126 for a barrel of oil. Finding a replacement for carbon-based energy will require a huge investment of wealth, and destroying wealth is not a very good first step toward that goal.

When even the Republican candidate for president has in mind a draconian limit on carbon dioxide emissions for no particular reason, you know we have problems. McCain was taken to task by his own party on this issue, and the critique is damning:

The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) estimates that a U.S. cap-and-trade regime like the one discussed in this speech would cause about a one-percent reduction in GDP within five years. In less abstract terms, under that projection, by 2014 something like 1 million people would lose their jobs and the average American family would have about $150 less to spend every month. The costs would ramp up dramatically from there. In short, it would cost a lot.

I know what you're saying: $150? That doesn't even get me an XBox. Hold on.

One, you can get an original XBox for $65.

Two, this idea is hubris. We believe we can control what happens, and that we're in charge. And we'll damage the quality of life for billions of people on that premise.

"The Wake" - Filter (mp3)

Take for example the substantial amount of oil that lies beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWAR. How many people have to suffer before we act here? Jonah Goldberg put it best:

ANWR is roughly the size of South Carolina, and it is spectacular. However, the area where, according to Department of Interior estimates, some 5.7 billion to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil reside is much smaller and not necessarily as awe-inspiring. It would amount to the size of Dulles airport.

Question for McCain: Has South Carolina been ruined because it has an airport?

ash collapses

Most of the images of the proposed drilling area that people see on the evening news are misleading precisely because they tend to show the glorious parts of ANWR, even though that's not where the drilling would take place. Even when they position their cameras in the right location, producers tend to point them in the wrong direction. They point them south, toward the Brooks mountain range, rather than north, across the coastal plain where the drilling would be.

In summer, the coastal plain is mostly mosquito-plagued tundra and bogs. (The roughnecks at Prudhoe Bay joke that "life begins at 40" - because at 40 degrees, clouds of mosquitoes and other pests take flight from the ocean of puddles). In the winter, it reaches 70 degrees below zero (not counting wind chill, which brings it to 120 below) and is in round-the-clock darkness.

If he is even five percent right we should begin drilling immediately.

"I Keep Flowers Around" - Filter (mp3)

so much oil...mmmmm

As Victor Davis Hanson put it:

There is something pathetic about Americans begging the House of Saud to produce another 300,000-500,000 barrels of oil per day, while in mindless fashion repeating the mantra, “We can’t drill our way out of this problem” — as if anyone suggested absolute oil independence was the goal rather than more supply to deflate tight conditions that encourage speculation. Americans, who invented the oil industry, are beginning to resemble H.G. Wells’ Eloi in our refined paralysis.

Exploration and oil production are an issue that is absolutely explosive for Democrats, given their perennial resistance to ANWR, coastal and deep ocean drilling, tar sands, shale, liquid coal, and nuclear. And the irony is that their opposition to drilling — dismissing each potential find or field with the reductionist “it would be only 500,000 barrels,” “a mere million barrels,” or “just a few cents off a gallon of gas” — is classically illiberal to the point of either callousness or abject madness.

Amen. The "debate" over these issues is part of a larger problem: the two major candidates don't seem to know very much about economics, at all. As Karl Rove so brilliantly put it, "Messrs. Obama and McCain both reveal a disturbing animus toward free markets and success. It is uncalled for and self-defeating for presidential candidates to demonize American companies."

In the end, we may just be stupid enough to legislate ourselves into oblivion.

Fortunately, there is a hero who can redeem us. He is basically Keanu Reeves. He is the only man for whom resting comfortably on Angelina Jolie's bosom is more pleasure than hazard. He is here to save us.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

HOW MANY XBOXES WOULD YOU BUY TO SAVE THE WORLD ENTIRE?

"Little Tornado" - Aimee Mann (mp3)

"Medicine Wheel" - Aimee Mann (mp3)

"Columbus Avenue" - Aimee Mann (mp3)

"The Great Beyond" - Aimee Mann (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Where you can submit your work.

This Molly Lambert post takes it to another level.

For the love of Jennifer Beals.