An anthropologist from Mars
November 29, 2004 7:32 AM   Subscribe

David Byrne's web journal
posted by Swampjazz! (41 comments total)
ahh.. reading about David Byrne's needs for a haircut... good stuff!
posted by bluno at 7:36 AM on November 29, 2004

glad to see you really dug deep into it.
posted by Swampjazz! at 7:47 AM on November 29, 2004

Hrm. Did anyone find an RSS/Atom feed?
posted by bkdelong at 8:01 AM on November 29, 2004

I cook dinner for Malu and her boyfriend. I am dressed as a Mexican Wrestler.

OK - I read the entire page; what am I missing here? It reads just like every other crappy personal blog. What was it that you were sharing here Swampjazz!? How deep do I need to dig to find the FPP-material?
posted by DrDoberman at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2004

well, let's see. how about if you don't find the man, his thoughts, or his art interesting, you don't bother checking it out. I'd imagine you know that by the time you're done reading the name, right? if nothing else there's some nice photography from Europe/S. America.
posted by Swampjazz! at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2004

I also read to the bottom of the page, hoping for something more interesting than name-dropping and dog-breeding. It's certainly got more photos on it than Moby's does. But I've found just about all of David Byrne's creations since Naked to be over-indulgent, off-base and flaccid, so I'm probably not the best judge of blogworthiness.
posted by soyjoy at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2004

Malu and I went to see The Incredibles, the new Pixar film about disgruntled retired superheroes. I laughed and cried, as I do at lots of animated movies. I wonder if I get more emotionally involved in animated characters than in films using real actors?

Someone's been reading Nick Nolte.
posted by eatitlive at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2004

Fair enough. For what it's worth, the tour segments are much more interesting (there's a drop-down menu at the bottom of the page). But if you're already predisposed to dislike him/his stuff, you're not going to love it. It's interesting how many people I've met who've seemed sort of "betrayed" by his post-talking heads work. Not that I stand by it w/o reservation, but at the least I think the large shift in direction deserves some credit.
posted by Swampjazz! at 8:20 AM on November 29, 2004

Byrne has always made a point of writing about the minutiae of everyday life, things he says other people don't bother writing about. Somehow, this aesthetic seems more original in a rock song than in a blog.
posted by barjo at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2004

at least people posted to your thread.
posted by mic stand at 8:23 AM on November 29, 2004

I'm a Talking Heads fan, but not a David Byrne fan, altho I'm a Byrne fan when he was a Head. I have to agree that this reads very much like anybody else's blog, which is fine, but I'm not so sure it's front-page worthy. I dunno, maybe it is. It's interesting but very very dry.

how about if you don't find the man, his thoughts, or his art interesting, you don't bother checking it out.

Ya, not sure about this statement either. It seems to me that an FPP needs a bit more than this as criteria.
posted by ashbury at 8:27 AM on November 29, 2004

For flip's sake, it's a perfectly valid post. What's an FPP got to be these days, a fucking dissertation?

Thanks Swampjazz!.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:39 AM on November 29, 2004

Extract not about haircuts:
A Jamaican woman who cleans my place once a week announces that if she could vote she’d vote for Bush. Seeing the shocked look on my face she says "you're surprised? I think he's a nice man...I know nothing about his politics or policies, but 'e seems like a nice man"
Jeez, she may as well vote for a cartoon character if it's all about conviviality, charm and niceness. The Bush crew are smiling as they stick the knife in.
But maybe she feels she’s cutting to the essence of the man - that her guts and instincts regarding a person are more reliable a measure than what they say or pretend to be. Politicians are professionally good at deceiving, and maybe her instincts are an attempt to cut through that. To see the real person behind the words. She senses that a look in the eyes and the facial expression reveals more of the person than policy and politics.
It certainly would be a time saver.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:41 AM on November 29, 2004

I wonder if there would have been a different reaction had this pointed to a published book containing the exact same content. I mean, I hate "cats n' dinner" blogs too, but damn.

on preview, my pleasure, bluestone. thanks for taking the time.
posted by Swampjazz! at 8:44 AM on November 29, 2004

Hey, at least your not shilling your Hot Sauce company. I like David's web log but had forgotten about it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2004

Swampjazz!, thank you for posting this .
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2004

Put me in the "perfectly valid post" category too, Swampjazz!, and thanks for pointing out the link. I like David Byrne.

...don't take criticisms to heart - that's just mefi being mefi. Just sit back & relax - once you send a link out, you never know the trajectory any discussion will take. You can't -- and shouldn't try to -- steer it, it's like trying to herd cats. Lots of really good finds get critical, disappointing, or no reactions from this jaded crowd. Unduly harsh criticisms are often countered by other posters, anyway ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:04 AM on November 29, 2004

People getting overly defensive about their threads in their threads is a little silly/annoying/embarassing.
posted by xmutex at 9:05 AM on November 29, 2004

November 28
Read a post on Community Weblog Metafilter. Though it was shit. Got a haircut and wondered about it!
posted by kenaman at 9:09 AM on November 29, 2004

What xmutex and mjjj said. Swampjazz!, and any other newbies reading this, you'll probably want to stay out of the FPP-worthy argument, if there is one, on your own thread. Let the rest of MeFi slug it out.

Just to clarify, I wasn't opining on the FPP-worthiness myself. I'm sure it will be a good find for some people. The fact that it exists is interesting - I just didn't find the blog itself to be worth much.
posted by soyjoy at 9:13 AM on November 29, 2004

again, fair enough, but my intent was more to get some sort of discussion rolling rather than cover my ass. also someone prompted me directly, I believe.

Honestly, I personally would find it much more silly/embarassing to take part in a dialogue that involves the word (?) "FPP-Worthy" than to defend my opinion on the Internet (actually, that's also kind of embarassing) but chalk one up for experience, I suppose.

I was actually sort of hoping that someone would go off on that Italian police Lamborghini. I thought that was pretty badass.
posted by Swampjazz! at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2004

swampjazz... don't worry so much about it. On one level, it is interesting that celebrities and artists have gravitated towards blogs - and interesting to note that they really aren't different from anyone else.
posted by bluno at 9:55 AM on November 29, 2004

I personally would find it much more silly/embarassing to take part in a dialogue that involves the word (?) "FPP-Worthy"

Heh. And yet, despite being warned against it, you have just done so.
posted by soyjoy at 9:56 AM on November 29, 2004

Looks good to me swampy. You just have to surf over the FPP worthy thing.

These negative comments are a blind to distract us from the clear evidence that quonsar is the MeFi murderer. In terms of percentages, it's an open and shut case and I commend the judgement to the house.
posted by apocalypse miaow at 10:06 AM on November 29, 2004

As a Byrne fan, I'm bookmarking it no matter how dry it is. I didn't even realize it existed, so thanks swampjazz.

Some unsolicited advice: probably best to not moderate the thread too much, though, sj...
posted by dhoyt at 10:08 AM on November 29, 2004

Hey, I didn't know the planetarium was built around a meteorite so heavy it needs its own column into Manhattan bedrock. That's a fairly excellent thing to learn.

Also, what dhoyt just said.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:11 AM on November 29, 2004

Additionally, I now intend to have a link entitled 'Lectures' on my blog.
posted by apocalypse miaow at 10:13 AM on November 29, 2004

"I don't know why the MoMA persists in trying to be relevant and contemporary, they've got PS1 for that. The MoMA is the repository of the modernist vision, that utopian plan for the 20th century, and maybe that's enough. A poetic monument to a failed Utopia. It seems to be what they do instinctively, perfectly, without trying, though they give lip service to being more."

Nice weblog.
posted by Eamon at 10:36 AM on November 29, 2004

And yet, despite being warned against it, you have just done so

Yeah, I know. I was going to acknowledge that, but thought I might be being too endlessly regressive and navel-gazing, which I clearly already have been, so. I did really just want to have/incite a discussion, though, not to validate myself or 'moderate'. Apologies if this was some sort of etiquette breach.

On one level, it is interesting that celebrities and artists have gravitated towards blogs - and interesting to note that they really aren't different from anyone else.

But isn't the defining characteristic of an artist/celebrity that they ARE different from most everyone else on some level? Obviously, yes, their poo is stinky, they love their family, & cry at movies too, etc., but I'm guessing that the day-to-day existence of an A-grade "celebrity" is vastly different from yours or mine (for example, I'm pretty sure Moby bones a lot more vegan college girls than I do).

Whether or not their experience makes for interesting reading when presented in diary form is up for grabs, obviously. But I've on the whole found the "blogs" of artists/celebrities that I've come across a hell of a lot more compelling than your typical Livejournal/blogger thing.

Momus has a pretty interesting journal, as does the Mountain Goats guy. Just off the top of my head. But I think rather than celebrity/non-celebrity it boils down to having something to say/not having anything to say. And I think that if you have already been elevated into the public eye, in many cases this is partially a function of already proving that you have something of interest to say.
posted by Swampjazz! at 10:37 AM on November 29, 2004

Brilliant, fandango_matt.
posted by livii at 11:36 AM on November 29, 2004

I don't know why people expect rock stars and pop stars, and musicians and artists to have lives or diaries that are truly any more earth-shattering or more life-changing, or more romantic, or more literary than anyone else's. I mean, aside from the fame and fortune, do you really expect that David Byrne's thoughts about his dinner, or haircuts, or anything else to be so much more profound or interesting than yours or mine?

I know that in some respects he could be considered a poet, and so that argument might come out... but I think that even poets aren't poets 24-7. I mean, come on.

That said, good post. I think it's the mundanity that makes it interesting. I mean, I kind of appreciate how deflating blogs are for celebrity. I like the way that writing about arguments, or animated movies removes some, if not all of the myth from David Byrne as a person. It's kind of romantic, in itself, in a way.. if you see what I mean.

And you may find yourself posting in a weblog,
And you may find yourself reading MetaFilter,
And you may tell yourself, "My God! What have I done?"

haha.. awesome.
posted by paultron at 12:28 PM on November 29, 2004

So the bush of ghosts was a metaphor for the barbershop on 7th?
posted by liam at 12:54 PM on November 29, 2004

oh noooo, I've been fighting this crush on Byrne since I was a wee preteen, now I'll never get anything done, but read his blog all day long. Argh!
posted by dabitch at 1:18 PM on November 29, 2004

ps fandango_matt wins.
posted by dabitch at 1:22 PM on November 29, 2004

:: bows before the genius of fandango_matt ::

Employee of the month award for you!
posted by apocalypse miaow at 1:37 PM on November 29, 2004

I'm still not convinced.
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 3:47 PM on November 29, 2004

Thanks for the link, appreciate it.
posted by Onanist at 3:51 PM on November 29, 2004

nick nolte could kick his fucking ass. then he'd snort some coke off the floor and tear byrne's throat out with his teeth.
posted by bargle at 4:47 PM on November 29, 2004

I think his haircut was extremely poetic.
posted by blucevalo at 7:50 PM on November 29, 2004

I read David Byrne's blog occasionally, and love it. When I saw that Swampjazz! linked to it, I thought, dammit! He beat me to it! That would have been a great FPP for me to make. Now that I've read other people's comments, I'm glad that someone else took the fall.

Those of you chastising Swampjazz! are on a witchhunt. This blog is wonderful and the one of the best of the web. David Byrne is a real poet - if someone like Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits kept a blog, that would certainly be FPP-worthy, and Byrne is definitely up there with them for me and for many others. If you find him trite - well, this isn't post for you. His discussion of the new MOMA partway down the page is great. The postings on his tour in South America are excellent. Did any of you naysayers dig deep enough to read about the concert he gave to the astronauts when visiting NASA? Good stuff.

Direct links to some of the more interesting posts might have pleased the masses. A haircut is a bad introduction.
posted by painquale at 7:56 PM on November 29, 2004


Europe is manicured. The whole continent, except for some semi-inaccessible places in the alps, northern Scotland or Scandinavia, has been groomed and tended by the hand of man. It's a vast millennial project, requiring the cooperation of scores of nations and peoples speaking different languages and with different cultures.

America has nothing like it- except maybe the aptly named New England. America still has, lurking around the edges in tattered remnants, bits of wildness and danger. Even in places where that wildness is illusory it exists as a living memory- people internalize it's existence and act as if it is still there, and behave accordingly.

Maybe that's why lots of North Americans feel the world has to be tamed and brought under control while Europeans, having achieved that control ages ago, feel a duty to cultivate, nurture and manage.

Even in their social worlds Europeans find adventure in their neighbors, in other people- while Americans feel a need to search for it "out there."

I didn't really have a sense of our precarious coexistence with nature until I took a short, very puny, trip to the Australian outback...
posted by Lanark at 3:02 PM on November 30, 2004

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