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November 21, 2003


Charles Stewart

Good points, but awful rhetoric. Why do you call the mildly Italian-American-sounding Jack Valenti "Herr"? Is it because germanifying his title makes him sound ruthlessly authoritarian? Perhaps you can make him sound like he is part of a global jewish conspiracy by using labels with semitic connotations? OK, not fair, but appealing to national stereptypes to throw pejorative assocaitions isn't nice.


You are probably right that it's a good idea never to imply that people are Nazis unless they simply are Nazis. Godwin's Law is a good one. I suppose I was just going for the 'sinister control freak' connotation, a la Soup Nazi. I suppose as well I am amazed at the control freak plus nothing is working aesthetic. Because now that you mention it, here's the scout's honor truth. I was actually flashing back to some or other godawful war movie - couldn't tell you the name - in which a glazed German WW II Leutnant is standing in a bombed out command post, addressing his superior officer. Alles in Ordnung, Herr General. Flames flicker in background. The Yanks are obviously about 200 yards to the West at this point. Stuck with me. The RIAA strikes me that way, frankly. I am such an absurdly law-abiding person. I don't share files. I don't steal music. I feel like they just came over to my house and peed in my shoes when the new CD I bought can't be imput into iTunes for my convenience. Sorry for calling Jack a bad name, if only because I sort of know his daughter and we were friends long ago.


Oh, and give me a break about the "Herr" thing. Don't we have enough real things to be offended about these days?


John, try this: hold down your computer's "shift" key while inserting the CD. I've heard that this prevents the anti-piracy software from loading up, and you can play/copy it normally after that. And report back here whether it works, would you? I've never bought a copy-protected CD, and I don't plan to.

However, I have downloaded The Thrills' entire album, and I quite enjoy it. Frankly, given the way their label is fucking over folks like you, I don't feel bad about it. If I want to get some money to them directly I'll go see them live.


Oh, and one more: if you like the Thrills, I highly recommend you check out Rilo Kiley's latest album.


It's a similar vibe, if somewhat more literate. Also, in addition to the whiny male singer they have a very cute and smart female singer. And they do harmonies. Love them harmonies. There aren't many CDs I can recommend without reservation to almost anyone who asks, but that's one of them. I think you can download a song or two off their website (legally!) if you want a preview.

Oh, and it's not copy-protected.


Hey, somehow my second comment got posted above my first! Causing me to write a fourth!

Got to... stop... commenting...


Realish, thanks for the advice. I actually tried that already. It didn't work, sadly. Same problem. I've got everything in iTunes but track 1.


Hm... bummer. I've read about a few other cracks, like blacking out the outer ring of the CD (the data track) with a magic marker. There's also this:


It sounds like Mac users are particularly screwed, though.


Fewer Thrills, you bloody American savage, FEWER!


Somehow it just sounded better LESS, when it's a band. As in: 'there's less George on this album, because John and Paul were mean and wouldn't let him write'. Ergo, less thrills. Treating it vaguely as a mass noun. Quite intentional, my dear, stuck-up sticky-beak solecism sniffer.


To put it even more simply: fewer Thrills would imply the RIAA was killing music by killing band members a few at a time. Even I wouldn't accuse them of that.

W. Kiernan

dsquared mistakenly sez: Fewer Thrills, you bloody American savage, FEWER!

which would imply that "thrills" are measured by integers, which obviously they are not.


Stop rationalising, guys. It's a count plural noun with a bloody great "s" on the end to prove it. "Fewer thrills" or "Less Thrilling Experiences" or at a pinch "Less of A Thrill".


Dsquared, suppose I remarked, in an off-hand way, "There's less Rolling Stones on the radio these days, because the kids coming up all love Eminem." You might say: that's ungrammatical, just like lots of stuff that pops out of people's mouths. But suppose I said, 'There's less Mick Jagger on the radio ...' This might seem ungrammatical, too. Just a short way of saying 'fewer Mick Jagger songs'. But I think we have actually switched over to a sort of fluid or time-unit talk. 'There's less rock and roll on the radio ... ' Rock and roll is a mass noun, like water. I think in a weird sort of way 'Rolling Stones' is a mass noun too, in the way it gets used. And 'Mick Jagger' is even sort of a mass noun - though he's pretty wiry, I admit. Reason: Mick Jagger is being used as an abbreviation for: Mick Jagger music. Likewise, Rolling Stones music. Likewise rock and roll music. Likewise, Thrills music. Ergo, Less thrills.

But seriously, I was aware of the dubious grammatical overtones of my header. But now I've convinced myself it's on the up and up. So there.


metonymy is the last refuge of a scoundrel :)

W. Kiernan

Dammitall dsquared, you so wise about numbers and their limitations (I was going to link this one old article of yours about cooking statistical data but your archives done dead gone), why do I gotta explain this to you twice? "thrills" is a plural idiom used to label a decidedly non-countable thing.

Or else I go to a bar and have a drink (#1) where I hear a good song (#2) and meet my girl, (#3) we go to her place and make love (#4); Joe visits the park and goes on eleven roller-coaster rides. Damn! envy envy I had fewer thrills than Joe.


Your arguments are indeed persuasive, but sadly the Clash wrote it, I believe it and that's the end of it.



48 Hours

friday or saturday, what does that mean
short space of time needs a heavy scene
monday is coming like a jail on wheels

48 hours needs 48
48 hours needs 48
48 hours needs 48
48 thrills

so tell me an' i'll take the tube
you know a girl, yeah well she's bound to be rude
can't get nothing at the places i've been

i've combed this town from top to bottom
i try to get around but my legs are broken
every time i miss it 'cos i ain't got a ticket

48 hours needs 48 thrills
kicking for kicks


(note the implied ratio of 1 thrill per hour being regarded as the height of hedonistic excess; Britain's national malaise was quite great in the 70s)

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