- Even very talented people make mistakes: the writers of "'Allo 'Allo" and "Are You Being Served", among other shows, also created what some people consider the worst British sitcom of all time, starring the talented Mollie Sugden and taking place on a space station. Here's an episode.
- A relaxed Geman man shows you how to use to some free synthesizer software.
- The computer pictured above is an analogue computer from 1960, which was basically a fancy graphing calculator for engineers. Here is a marketing brochure that diagrams the relevant circuits.
- I recently saw a meme about coloured toilet paper, something I only have a very vague memory of, as it was already going out of style when I was a small child. Here's an blog post about colour in that era.
- Josh Reads was on fire this week.
- I stopped watching the Simpsons around twenty years ago but apparently, not long ago, there was a Simpsons scene so offensive that Youtube gave it a warning. Compared to some of the extremist political videos Youtube has recommended me for no reason, this is pretty mild.
- Speaking of sitcomish cartoons, this excellent song has been in my head for two weeks.
At the moment a bunch of recently ultra-conservative companies are becoming extremely progressive in a very short time. As a reminder that they don't always have your best interests in mind: a feminist cigarette ad from the 70s.
KFC's marketing team tries to do a lot of weird, wacky things with Colonel Sanders' image, but none are half as weird as his extremely diverse musical career.
Little Pig: A bizarre Chinese ad with inexplicably high production values.
For the actual story of the Western Canon, try Great Books Of The Western World, a list of books (almost all public domain) that give a pretty good sampling of the development of Western thinking (including non-fiction like Euclid, for example, not just the fiction American English professors like). Better to go straight to the source.
Bloom presents his central thesis in a very convoluted, muddled, disorganized way, with a lot of statements meant to get quick emotional reactions, because the only way anyone could take his ideas seriously is with a lot of distractions.
Bloom has an obnoxious habit of assuming western civilization is only a product of the United States of America, and that any work in the western cannon is fundamentally a reflection of the political and social issues that were in vogue in the late twentieth century. It's such an anachronistic history that long sections about authors that died before the United States even existed come across like quaint meditations on Clinton's America vs. Reagan's America. What does Dante think about Iran-Contra? Does Shakespeare approve of the Stealth Bomber budget overruns? Aristotle stares at a bust of Homer and contemplates Magic Johnson's AIDS.
He accuses visible minorities and women of being only capable of resentment, but he was quite possibly the most resentful person who has ever lived, and had a weird and bitter obsession with successful black people. And, frankly, his female students were quite right to be resentful, as he bragged to his friends about sexually assaulting them.
Late in the book he has a chapter called "Borges, Neruda, and Pessoa: Hispanic-Portuguese Whitmen". There are literally no words to describe how self-deludedly patriotic and naively parochial he is.
He's like an over-the-top parody of a cartoon of an Ivy League professor. It wouldn't surprise me if it were revealed that Harold Bloom never existed, and his entire life was just some elaborate joke.
Back in the Kurt Cobain days, Coke decided to release a rebellious, sarcastic pop that was too cool for itself. I guess it was supposed to capture the look and feel of an alt-weekly comic. Notice how the word "beverage" is in sarcasm quotes. The Wikipedia page and, because a lot of the graphic design was stupidly excellent, the image search.