Friday, June 24, 2005:

Sweet Marijuana (Brown)?

Julia Lee -- Lotus Blossom (Sweet Marijuana)
Barney Bigard -- Sweet Marijuana Brown
Two vintage smoky jazz tunes today, a bit of pro and con like the faceoffs on a bad news show. Julia Lee wants you to know that marijuana can sooth her with its caress and help her in her distress; Barney Bigard warns that Sweet Marijuan Brown is frantic, directionless, and dangerous. I haven't known many people to get anything much like "frantic" from smoking out, and I can't help wondering if Bigard's getting his information from Reefer Madness. Lee at least is honest enough to admit she's indulging in fantasies when she talks about how she'll get her man back if she smokes enough.

... The U.S. Supreme Court decided yesterday that it's okay to seize private property for other private enterprise provided that the private enterprise (in this case, a strip mall) is for the "public good." Now, personally I consider strip malls for the public bad, just like SUVs and open sewers, but the Supreme Court seems to believe in trickle-down (was that ever anything more than a weak attempt at robber baron self-justification?)

It's a poor decision as I see it, but I wonder if it could be used for archivists and librarians to declare "eminent domain" on abandoned intellectual property. It's troublesome and counterproductive to have songs and films and books about which can't be re-used in some way originally intended by the Constitution (that is, in the progress of the arts and sciences--in commentary, in scholarship, in archiving) because the rights holders can't be found. At least in this case, you wouldn't be kicking a family out of its house; the work has been abandoned; there's no paper trail to contact the rightsholders (or compensate them!); and so the seizure would be victimless.
[] Barney Bigard -- 1944-1945 ( review)
[] Julia Lee -- Kansas City's First Lady of the Blues

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