New Dinosaur Family Tree

I always though it was weird we were stuck with a classification pronouncement from the 19th century. I mean, this is from the era when they thought the largest sauropods were so massive they would have to spend their adult lives buoyed up by water or be crushed by their own weight. Even the final-selection-by-computer doesn’t bother me because there are no value judgements involved, only matching of characteristics.

R. Sikoryak’s “Terms and Conditions”

My graphic hoot of the week — here’s the scoop on what it is. I must underscore that there is one game with the book that is irresistible to comic crazies: You go through all 102 pages and see how many artists (or at least characters) you can identify (and how much fun it is to have Apple logos (as well as actual apples) and iPhones scattered everywhere). Then you check the complete list of sources in the back and see how you did. (Yeah, I wasn’t surprised I didn’t recognize Rex Morgan, M.D.) And how apt Sikoryak’s Steve Jobs features were on certain characters — Sarge from Beetle Baily was perfect and Pogo hardly had to be changed at all. Snoopy was marvelously weird. A few of the characters looked quite “off” to me — like the Richie Rich example in the link. Then I realized they were simply from time periods well after I stopped looking at the comics.

I will re-re-read to get a take on the relation to the “Terms and Conditions” text itself, though the largest point, that it’s everywhere and nowhere, is quite on-target.

R.I.P.: Robert B. Silvers

The New York Review of Books and the Village Voice were the bookends of my literary fantasies about New York and the East Coast in general, back when I had never been out here. Brainy/wild — lively/civilized … they could make you feel less lonely out in the thickets and ranges. One aspect I most admired about NY Review is that it was thorough.

Chuck Berry — And the Whole First Wave of Rock and Rollers — Have a Right To Be Pissed

Can’t be said often enough about a peculiar phenomenon I have never understood. The sex-terrified reactionaries of the ’50s wanted rock and roll to just go away — by banning if necessary. Send that monster Elvis into the Army. Send that threat to white women Chuck Berry to jail.

And damned if it didn’t work in a funhouse-mirror way. The rock of the British Invasion and later (up to a point) is annoyingly present (just consider the nonstop soundtrack we had to put up with while the car was worked on this Sat. — maybe the single most painful part was the inclusion of “I Wanna Be Sedated” like it was the hit it shoulda been). But the whole original wave of rockers is neglected except for oldies moments.

C’mon everybody (ahem), you can program that stuff right in with the Boss and related acts.

Rock and Roll Goes Fatherless — R.I.P.: Chuck Berry

Here’s an early mention pointing out an overlooked disc from a box every pop music fan should have.

My three all-time vinyl picks for Chuck B.

Still play him at least two-three times a year. Hasn’t aged a second.

Excellent Jon Pareles obit contains a fundamental insight about Berry: he knew what his audience wanted before they did.