Karaoke, Hollywood, Jon Bon Jovi, Buckminster Fuller, Alt-Right

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Sing To Me

Alexandra Molotkow | Real Life | 1st November 2016

The history and practice of karaoke. “In the late 1960s Daisuke Inoue was working as a club keyboardist in Kobe, accompanying drinkers who wanted to belt out a song. The head of a steel company asked Inoue to join him at a hot springs resort. Inoue declined, but recorded a backing tape tailored to the client’s erratic singing style. It was a success. Intuiting a demand, Inoue built a jukebox-like device fitted with a microphone and leased an initial batch to bars across the city” (2,700 words)

Living The Life

Andrew O'Hagan | London Review Of Books | 6th October 2016

The life of a Hollywood agent. “What is a good agent? Before we go into detail I’d say that the basic thing is to answer the phone. A good agent is a person with bargaining skill. A brilliant agent is a person with information. A brilliant agent will have an arsenal unknown to the client, and unknown to anyone. This agent will not manage expectations: he will produce, direct and dress expectations, he will bring the client to achieve things that nobody expected, especially the client” (3,500 words)

Jon Bon Jovi

Kate Mossman | New Statesman | 1st November 2016

Splendid interview. Never a dull moment, especially when discussing the break-up with Richie Sambora: “Yeah. I swear on my career, and on my children, there was no fight. He has [he waves an imaginary bottle] issues and he can’t deal with them. There’s obligations. You’re not 20. You have to show up. Get help, OK? I’m here to help. You don’t want the help? I can’t force anybody to make lifestyle choices. The s**t that I had to go through on that last tour. I have earned this grey hair” (3,600 words)

Buck To The Future

Samanth Subramanian | Aeon | 25th October 2016

Buckminster Fuller’s grasp of technology was very hit and miss; but his faith in technology was exemplary, and made him a major influence on baby-boomer culture. He believed that Nature was “clearly intent on making humans successful”, and the job of humans was to develop the means to fulfil Nature’s wishes. He also believed that technology would correct imperfections in the human character — an optimism which has since almost disappeared from view, and surely merits reviving (3,000 words)

The Dapper White Nationalist

Josh Parkinson | Mother Jones | 27th October 2016

Profile of Richard Spencer, American alt-right ideologist working to rehabilitate white supremacism. After years on the fringes of politics he is riding into the mainstream on Donald Trump’s coat-tails. “Trump brought us from zero to one. We were talking to ourselves, talking to our own ideas. Now we are connected with a campaign, connected with attacking liberals. If you want to shift the Overton window, you need that far-right flank. Clearly, we are working with Trump in this way” (5,200 words)

Video of the day: Five Minutes On Beethoven

What to expect:

Daniel Barenboim talks about, and plays, the last movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 7 (4’45”)

Thought for the day

The secret of success in life is known only to those who have not succeeded
John Churton Collins

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