The underappreciated Ringo Starr

You know this will be a good read when you spot Rain among the examples. But on the whole, it shows you don’t need to be Mike Mangini or Neil Peart to contribute to a unique sound.

Some bands thrive with someone who isn’t the most dazzling player but knows how to pick his spots. See Clayton, Adam (U2).

Beatles Songs Where Ringo Starr Doesn’t, You Know, Suck | Popdose.

Outsnobbing the “Office” snobs

Salon has a good roundup of the top 10 episodes of The Office, with a few tidbits I didn’t know.

Naturally, this prompted a bit of harrumphing from those who insist the UK version in its 14-episode glory was infinitely superior. That prompted this wonderful retort:

Letters: What was the best episode of “The Office”? – Salon.

Monday Morning Music: Billy Bragg, “English, Half English”

In honor of the Royal Wedding, here’s a track about the melting pot of English culture that I wish someone would record about the USA. Billy Bragg, adopting thick tongue-in-cheek English mannerisms, points out with a bit of wit and whimsy that England has already borrowed a lot of its culture from other parts of the world. Apologies if it’s not your cup of tea, but then again, tea is Chinese, innit?

When enablers drive someone to madness

A few years ago, Dilbert creator Scott Adams had a memorable exchange with actual scientists over “intelligent design.” Under normal circumstances, he might have found himself alone in the argument. But he had a blog with a loyal audience that was willing to back him up in pretty much anything. If Scott Adams said the world was flat, so be it.

Now, he has revealed that he defended himself in a controversy over insanely sexist comments by creating an anonymous alter ego that hailed him as a genius whose detractors were simply jealous of his success.

Dilbert creator’s ever-worsening P.R. crisis – Scott Adams – Salon.com.

Monday Morning Music: Aimee Mann, “31 Today”

I saw Aimee Mann last week, as did a few of my Facebook friends. This video is particularly appropriate because it shows the several sides she shows in concert, backing up her tuneful little paean to loserhood with outright goofiness, provided in this case by Morgan Murphy, who plays the Hanukkah fairy in her Christmas shows.

And it’s particularly appropriate for me because my concert ticket was a birthday present. I just turned 31. Plus 10.