Friday, January 06, 2006

Collaborations, kiss-offs and sad farewells

King’s always been a fiend for rock music -- he played for years in a band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, members of which included Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan and Dave Barry (and may still, for all I know) -- and in his liner notes for W.G. Walden’s soundtrack to the miniseries of The Stand, he professed a love for “blue jeans music,” a blue-collar, working-class, grassroots sound. I wouldn’t have thought of Mellencamp first -- Springsteen, maybe -- but the results should be pretty interesting.
In my junior high days, it was a hastily-scribbled note that you handed the girl before running off to shop class. Now your cell phone beeps and you learn you’re newly single. Until cell phones come with standard QWERTY keyboards (and some of them already do), writing text-messages is always going to be a pain in the ass. I don’t necessarily think that tapping out a 160-character text message automatically makes you an “emotional cripple;” it’s just a means to an end. But I’ve always been skeptical of instant messaging -- it’s a shortcut, no more or less, an easy alternative to an application of thought and effort -- and until the next slick new toy comes along, people will hide behind it as long as they can.
  • The West Virginia miners left goodbye notes to their loved ones.
Tom Toler identified the body of his youngest brother. And then he was handed a message from the dead man. In wobbly printing, written in ink on the back of an insurance application, 51-year-old miner Martin Toler Jr. said goodbye. For now. "(I'll) see them on the other side," the note said. "It wasn't bad. I just went to sleep. I love you."

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