This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

How the Internet covered the West Bank Fire

Posted by: James Lileks under Newspapers, Outstate Updated: January 2, 2014 - 12:29 PM

The ZITE app scrapes the web and assembles stories automatically - like Flipbook, without the sense that the pages never end and you’ll never read it all. You can scan articles, decide you want to read them later, shoot them to a read-it-later service, then ignore them until you delete them later. Anyway, the Minneapolis subhead was full of stores about the West Bank fire; here are a few.

Downtown? I don’t consider the West Bank to be “downtown,” but maybe that’s just me. The highway is like a moat, or the Miss - it defines downtown, contains it. Decades ago when the streets behind Cedar Square West (oh, all right, Riverside Plaza) connected with downtown, it might be considered the outskirts, but now? Looks odd. But then there’s this:

A “Minnesota” building. Well, better than “North American,” I suppose. From the Daily Mail in Northernmost Europe:

Now it's a house. Finally, the Free Republic:

Hint, hint, I guess. And it's not a complex. It's an old apartment building. The Complex is the thing behind it.

UPDATE In case anyone’s wondering about the Shia LaBeouf plagiarism tale, there’s this:

(Photo from his twitter feed, here.)

He hired a skywriter to say he was sorry. Too bad the object of the apology lives in another town. It’s almost as if it was meant for the public at large.

Bleeding Cool says they interviewed him, and the conversation is a masterpiece of pretentious drivel.

Richard Johnston: Tweeting with the voice of others. Is this art?

Shia LaBeouf: What does an artist do – they just point and say look at this.

RJ: No, that’s what a critic does.

This may be my favorite part - the interviewer asks if people who create things - like, oh, an illustrated novel - should be paid for their labors. Says LaBeouf:

“Authorship is censorship Should God sue me if I paint a river? Should we give people the death sentence for parking violations-You’ll not only have less parking violations but less DRIVERS.”

The interviewer gently notes that “God’s rights to rivers have entered into public domain now,” and says that you should pay your driving fines and refrain from parking on other people’s lawns, or stealing other people’s cars. In other words, he’s maneuvering the subject towards the subject of appropriating Daniel Clowes’ work. Here’s LaBeouf’s bold statement:

The word law is against my principles.
The problem begins with the legal fact that authorship is inextricably
bound up in the idea of ownership and the idea of language as
Intellectual property. Language and ideas flow freely between people
Despite the law. It’s not plagiarism in the digital age – it’s repurposing.
Copyright law has to give up on its obsession with "the copy"

The article’s update informs us that the last sentence is actually a quote from Lawrence Lessig. Follow it here, as people dig through the quotes to see if he said anything original. 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE INTERNET The New York Times had a long piece about the eternal search for non-sugar sweeteners. The first comment is by someone who should well a bell in public so you can avoid her.

Hahaha - wow! What a long-winded (but interesting in scan-mode) article on the exhaustive efforts by the poor beleaguered beverage companies to come up with a people-approved sweetener for diet soda and other manufactured drinks. Whew - just imagine what would happen if they (and other frivolous product manufacturers) put their efforts toward World Peace.... or Renewable Energy... or such.

Somehow I doubt that strife on earth could be eliminated if we refocused our efforts to develop non-caloric food additives.  

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