Monday, March 5, 2007

Links for the lovely

Monday is always link day, in which you, Gentle Reader, develop an awareness--perhaps beyond your own level of comfort--of what websites I have discovered over the weekend. This is how it was, is, and always shall be.

  • Oprah's Ugly Secret. From Salon. This one has been popping up all over delicious, reddit and digg, and it's worth reading all the way through. To wit:
    The promises of Oprah culture can seem irresistible, and its hallmarks are becoming ubiquitous. Believers may be separated into tribes according to what they believe, but they do it in pretty much the same way, relying on a "Secret"-style conception of "intuition" --- which seems to amount to the sneaking suspicion that they're always right -- to arrive at their tenets. Instead of the world as it is, constantly changing and full of contradiction, they see a fixed and fantastical place, where good things come to those who believe, whether it's belief in a diet, a God, or a Habit of Successful People. These believers may believe in the healing power of homeopathy, or Scripture or organizational skills -- in intelligent design, astrology or privatization. They all trust that their devotion will be rewarded with money and boyfriends and job promotions, with hockey championships and apartments. And most of all they believe -- they really, really believe -- in themselves.

  • The Letter Project. It's quite simple really: send this guy your address, and he will write you a letter. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • An interesting fraud from the tawdry world of classical music. From the Gramophone. After her death, it was discovered that pianist Joyce Hatto had released the recordings of other performers under her own name. In this article, her husband explains what happened.

  • Finally: LEGO ice cubes. I listened to a sad story on This American Life today about the EPA cracking down on the delicious cocoa-scented smoke from a chocolate factory. My upstairs neighbour, silent for many months, is having another rage episode. In the midst of all this, it serves to remember that the world is not all self-help conspiracy, screaming personality-disorder suffering upstairs neighbours (who never seem to go to work), and reputation built on fraud. It also contains the unexpectedly marvellous.

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