Author: rnhaas

Economics, Politics, Society

UBI Now

COVID-19 is causing all sorts of economic problems. Rather, reactions to COVID-19 are causing all sorts of problems. Behaviour that is good for reducing the spread of this virus is bad for the economy. Nobody is quite sure what to do or how to moderate the inevitable recession. Our government has a plan, this plan …

2000, Movies

American Women aka The Closer You Get (2000, Aileen Ritchie)

This is a mostly endearing little comedy about how, with some modifications, happiness is often looking you right in the face when you don’t even know it. the message of being happy with what you’ve got is a good one, though I’m not sure I want to live in the town depicted in the film.

2000, Music

And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000) by Yo La Tengo

I love I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One. I didn’t initially but, over the years, I’ve come to really, really enjoy it and also come to regard it as one of the great indie rock albums of the era. One of the things I love about it is its relative diversity something that …

2000, Music

The Better Life (2000) by 3 Doors Down

Despite never intentionally listening to either of them in my life. When this record came out I was about to go to university where I was pretty sheltered from Top 40 music. So these songs must have got in my face prior to my departure (and during summers I assume). I really can’t believe how …

2000, Music

The Chainheart Machine (2000) by Soilwork

When you start getting into all the niche metal genres that have sprung up since thrash, it can get really hard to tell what is “good” or even “classic” for that given genre, simply because us music fans who are not obsessed with particular sub-genres of metal don’t have enough context. Case in point: I …

1995, Music

Pieces of You (1995) by Jewel

This album is pretty infamous among critics in part because the songs that would become hits Jewel a year and a half later had to be rerecorded before they became hits – according to more than one critic because they sound so bad here. I don’t really understand what they are talking about, to me …

1995, Music

Maxinquaye (1995) by Tricky

I first heard the “Black Steel” cover so many years ago, by accident, on a CD I won in a magazine contest. (You can get some idea of the vintage of that by that description, I think.) It was my first experience of Tricky and I’m pretty sure I thought he was a band because, …

1995, Music

The Woman In Me (1995) by Shania Twain

All I remember of this record from when I was young is that I thought Shania was hot. (And that I was far from the only one who thought so: the record – and next one – suddenly popped up on a lot of male’s record shelves all of a sudden.) I had no feelings …

Economics, Politics, Psychology, Society

Status Rewards for Paying Taxes

As I have written elsewhere, I feel like tax avoidance/evasion is the second biggest problem humanity faces right now. The rich move most of their money out of the societies they earned that money in, and it sits in off-shore bank accounts, benefiting the account holder far more than it benefits the society where it …

1995, TV

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Jane Austen adaption, except for Clueless when I was too young to appreciate it. But somewhere along the way the culture forgot to impress upon me that Jane Austen is funny. (Imdb lists this show as a “Drama” and a “Romance”.) I find myself kind of incredulous that …

2006, Basketball, Books, Non-Fiction, Sports

Seven Seconds or Less (2006) by Jack McCallum

For many people this is the definitive basketball book since┬áThe Breaks of the Game. It has been written and talked about so much that it was unavoidable that I would have preconceived notions about it and that it would inevitably not live up to those notions. Shock of all shocks, it is different than I …

1990, Music

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt’Em (1990) by MC Hammer

This record has a 1.81/5 rating on Rate Your Music as of March 2020, one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever seen on the site, and a particularly low one for a record that sold 20 million copies. I am not about to argue that this record is good but it’s far from the worst …

1990, Music

Frizzle Fry (1990) by Primus

At some point early in his career Les Claypool, the Jimi Hendrix of the Bass Guitar, made a decision. He decided he wanted to be the leader of his own band, the lead singer and primary songwriter. The thing is, though I would argue incessantly that Claypool is the “greatest” bass player in the history …

1985, Music

No Jacket Required (1985) by Phil Collins

The more I listen to Phil Collins’ solo work – and, to a lesser extent, post-Gabriel Genesis – the more I have come to respect him, both as a performer and, especially, as a songwriter songwriter. His sense of melody is really strong and his lyrics are definitely above average. I know from Genesis that …

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, TV

BoJack Horseman (2014)

There’s something about animation that gives TV shows (and some movies) a freedom of tone which is not accessible to live action movies and TV. Something about animated characters lets us humans be more accepting of tonal shifts and sight gags. At least I think so. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered another show more …

2020, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to North Carolina Day 4: Charlotte Monday March 2, 2020

We had a lazy morning this morning, because we didn’t really have any fixed plans this day. Eventually we packed, checked out, got the hotel to store our luggage and walked back to near the stadium.

1985, Music

Meat is Murder (1985) by The Smiths

One of two things is happening: either I am slowly – slowly – getting so inured to The Smiths that I no longer hate their guts – or I have listened to enough of the British music of the 1980s to finally understand why people thought they were such a big deal. I still don’t …

1980, Music

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1980)

As I listen to evermore synthpop my dislike of the genre is falling away, as I realize that there are songwriters hiding behind the synthesizers, and electronic bass and drums, and the more I discover this, the more I like some of these bands. OMD are one of the innumerable ’80s British bands who were …

1980, Music

Get Happy!! (1980) by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I don’t know Costello’s career as well as perhaps I should, given his sheer volume and his reputation as perhaps (British) New Wave’s preeminent songwriter. But I feel like I know it well enough to mark this as the first record when he began his genre-driving. It’s not as drastic as a departure as some …

1980, Music

Sugarhill Gang (1980)

I know just about zilch about the history hip hop which means I know nothing about the history of record labels and producers thinking they know better how to market the genre of hip hop. But I know a fair amount about how they did that to other genres which, I hope, gives me some …