Reader Mailbag: Quality Control—The Reader Have Spoken!

Dear Readers, since the atmosphere of our editorial suite has been steadily devolving from “generally gleeful” to “a bit gloomy” to “howling psychic shit-vortex,” let’s dip into the Reader Mailbag turn an ear to the old vox populi. There’s nothing for getting the dopamine and serotonin flowing like a sampling of the V.P., you know? Here goes.

Hailing from somewhere deep within the Internets, Anonymous writes:

I haven't read/listened to these yet, and they may indeed change my life, but Rick, let me tell you about a WNYC segment I just got through listening to about blogs. The segment featured some great accomplished journalist disparaging blogs as 'some kid sitting in his living room' and 'not anywhere close to an actual trip to the Bronx to see the Hispanic neighborhoods or what goes on at the print houses, the interaction with the editors, and how one is paid, which gives reporting it's value, and so on.

You yourself at T.L.B.E. have championed your own exhaustive research including but not limited to my personal favorite 'haggled with morons'. This, in essence is what makes your blog special, it's a piece of yourself, not necessarily what you have good taste in, although that is the vehicle through which you express yourself, still indeed, it's a waste to simply showcase someone else's work. After all, it's your work we're here to see.

That said, I highly recommend watching Lurita Doan's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee at C-Span.org

Thank you, Anonymous! This is really sweet. I totally agree: this blog is special, casting light upon Life’s Mysteries of Knowledge and illuminating each and every one of you who read it. So forget what you’ve heard on WNYC and tune into to the one watt golden emission of WLBE.

We here at The Little Black Egg haven’t listened to this WNYC program, but I think the journalist does make one good point—reading about something on a blog is no substitute for the real thing. Reading a travelogue isn’t the same as going to a place, and reading about me haggling with morons is no substitute for the excitement and glamour of watching me, in the flesh, try to convince a guy who looks like a tattooed Anthony Perkins (but retarded) to knock two bucks off the price of a Throbbing Gristle record.

But I don’t think blogs are going to take the place of, say, a paper of record. The whole discussion is almost moot, really—the people who want reliable news are going to find a way to get reliable news, and the people who don’t give a shit won’t. And I think that some blogs, you know, are perfectly respectable places to get your news. For instance, I’m rather partial to Taken As Read, myself. And will blogs like mine replace, say, The New Yorker? I certainly hope not—while I have poked fun in the past, the most recent New Yorker is sitting in my bathroom even as we speak. I’m about half way through the Günter Grass essay “How I Spent the War,” and look forward to finishing it later tonight—or, possibly, early tomorrow morning (depending on how things go, you know what I’m sayin’?).

Anyway. You make a good point about me showcasing other people’s work, which we here at The Little Black Egg been doing because we’ve been far too busy to write anything entertaining for this fine website. And as the original intention of this website was to keep from vanishing off the face of the earth whilst in far-flung lands, we figured that quantity was more important than quality. But maybe . . . maybe it isn't.

So in the spirit of total capitulation, we’ll make you a deal. It’s a two part deal:

1. We promise to make the time to write more involving little article thingies.
2. We also promise to grant you, Faithful Reader, greater access to us and the fruits of our, uh, typing things on a keyboard.

We now have, tucked away in our profile, an exclusive email address for fan mail, hate mail, criticism, or any other sort of missive you feel like sending our way.

And all you have to do to keep up your end of the deal, Dear Reader, is keep reading. So it’s not a bad deal, right? Right. So stay tuned, OK?


Radio Stan

One of the decisions we made when starting The Little Black Egg was that we wouldn't be one of those blogs that just links to some cool shit like five times a day. We may have been guilty of this abhorrent practice in some of our recent video posts, but Dear Reader, please don't underestimate the sort of sway technological novelty, such as embedded video clips, can hold over our idiot minds.

Still, we here at The Little Black Egg simply couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't point you towards these 20 mp3s of noted film maker Stan Brakhage hosting a radio show. They come courtesy of the astounding Ubu Web.

He plays music and talks, as you do on the radio, but see it's Stan Brakhage, so the actual content is so staggeringly awesome that you will walk away from this audio a changed person. I'm not really one for lectures, but I was spellbound. You could certainly do worse than to take these in at your leisure. I haven't listened to them all yet, but may I strongly suggest the seventh, which I'm going to listen to again after I'm done writing this.

I know what you might be thinking: "Say Rick—can't I just read 'em?"

To which I say, why sure you can! However, you're not going to get to hear the music Brakhage plays, or hear his ruthless impersonation of Ezra Pound. If that doesn't faze you, than read, read away.