The Weekly Roundup: 1.15.2010

Kill Your Virtual Self
When I first heard about this an image of the suicide booth from Futurama flashed in my mind. Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is an online service that allows you to delete entire social media profiles and all activity associated with them with one quick registration and click. Personally, I think it's rather gimmicky and not very effective, albeit a fascinating development for the virtual world of the interwebs. The website markets virtual suicide with images of nooses made of network cables, and witty comments like, "We believe everyone should be able to commit suicide in social networks!" I know this service shouldn't be taken too seriously, but real suicide is a serious problem, and they are appropriating it's semiotics. Plus, information on the internet is disseminated so quickly and thoroughly, I doubt this service can be particularly good at what it claims. Personal things like photos and quotes posted on MySpace and Facebook are re-posted on blogs, which are re-posted on other blogs, which are re-posted on websites, and so on and so forth. Deleting the social media profile the content originated from does not delete the content. Since social media profiles can also be a ridiculously useful tool, how about we just exercise some self control, and only use them for good?

The Sociocultural Imperialism of Psychology
It's important to remember that even academic and scientific disciplines are products of the societies and cultures they originate from. Consequently, upholding one society version of a discipline over all others, particularly when that discipline frequently defines what is normal thinking and normal behavior, can be a form of cultural imperialism. This week the New York Times had a great article looking at some of the implications of the Americanization of mental illness. I firmly believe that America should be more conscientious of how far-reaching the consequences of its hegemony are.
The Americanization of Mental Illness by Ethan Watters

Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music
The Germans are doing a better job preserving and promoting American music history than we are! Bear Family Records, a label from Germany, has released Country & Western Hit Parade: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music, part two of an album project documenting popular country music from 1945 to 1955. I love sets like this. They're a comprehensive introduction to eras, genres, and labels. I'd also like to recommend the Sun Records 50th Anniversary Collection to anyone who's interested in early rock and roll. Anyway, the LA Times has a really good review of Country & Western Hit Parade: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music, if you're interested in real country music.
Country's hit parade: 'Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music by Robert Hilburn

Raphael Saadiq and Bob Boilen Have Stolen My Heart
NPR's All Songs Considered does this stunning series called Tiny Desk Concerts where they invite musicians to play short acoustic sets in the intimate setting of Bob Boilen's office. All the concerts are good, but the session with Raphael Saadiq may have made me swoon a little. His voice! His clothes! His fingerpicking! His smile! Oh my goodness, I think I've suddenly been transformed into one of those 1950s teenyboppers with a shrill scream and a penchant for fainting. PS: Bob Boilen, I want to be a female version of you when I grow up. Please hire me as an intern. Thanks!

Chad Pearson's Music Biz Tell-All
Chad Pearson worked for Tooth And Nail, started The Militia Group, and currently runs P Is For Panda, and when I worked at TMG I was in awe of him. Actually, I am still kind of in awe of him. From his beginnings in Papua New Guinea to the present day he has exemplified what the independent music business should be about: helping bands you love make music and a living. The Album Project is publishing a series of interviews with Chad Pearson where he talks about how he got started, the music business, and tells funny stories. There's nothing like your idols geeking out about their idols. Chad is to me what Brandon Ebel is to Chad. There's some sweetness. So far only chapters one and two have been published. Check it!
Behind The Business: Chapter 1
Behind The Business: Chapter 2

Teddy Pendergrass & Bobby Charles
This week both Teddy Pendergrass and Bobby Charles died, joining the ranks of the late and great. If you don't know, Teddy Pendergrass was a Philadelphia soul man, and a member of Melvin & The Blues Notes before launching a successful solo with songs like, I Don't Love You Anymore. Bobby Charles was a rock and roller from NOLA, who wrote songs for Fats Domino as well as his own hits like, Walkin' To New Orleans, before joining The Band. Here are two articles I liked from MOJO memorializing these talented musicians.
Soul Man Teddy Pendergrass Bows Out by Geoff Brown
RIP Bobby Charles: Americana Legend by Ross Bennett

Haiti Earthquake Relief Donations Via Text
The American Red Cross has set up this awesome way to donate easily and quickly to the relief fund for victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this week. You simply text "HAITI" to 90999, and the $10 donation is charged to your next phone bill. I've done it, and it is so fast and simple. They send you a confirmation text back, and all you have to do is reply with "YES". 100% of the donations are going directly to Haiti, and you know you that's trustworthy, since it's the Red Cross. This is one big mountain of YAY for generosity and technology! For more information on the program, and a breakdown of money raised by state, follow the link below. A little can add up to a lot. Please consider donating.
Your Mobile Giving by State: Basic info about this mobile giving program

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