Sep 282014
 

I started a post last week that got much too long, and it occurred to me that it would make a good post series. Introducing Facts That Aren’t.

Facts That Aren’t posts will examine assertions that “everyone” “knows,” that in fact have extremely limited or highly qualified truth values. Generally these “facts” are propagated by people who benefit if you believe them—for political or commercial reasons, for example.

I’ve done a bit of this on BoWilliams.com before, but never systematically, with this sort of sustained intent. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to have a regular day of the week for the series, or I’ll just do them as they come. However I ultimately do it, the first entry will be tomorrow, and I’m jumping straight into the inferno. Please join me.

 Posted by at 6:08 pm
Sep 172014
 

Went to Monaco Pictures last night with Dad and clan BamaDan to catch Guardians of the Galaxy. (Fun film.) I hadn’t been to the north end of Bridge Street in some time. All of the structure for the new parking deck adjacent to Belk appears to be in place.

bsconcrete

Now given my longstanding affection for Madison Square Mall and my contempt of the (in my view, unnecessary) sadistically slow decay it is experiencing, I’m perhaps a bit predisposed to dislike the idea of closing the Madison Square Belk to open this one. And there is the fact that Bridge Street, being a particularly heinous example of a peoplequarium, had a lot of winning over to do with me in the first place. (It’s been open seven years; can you believe that?)

Still, I’d made my peace with the place, and mostly even on its terms. Yes, it looks like a shopping area at Walt Disney World. No, there’s not much in here I want to buy. But it’s a nice place to walk, the best place to see a movie in town, and it’s not too hard to find a pleasant meal either.

That said, this new construction is abominable. It’s a dissonant monstrosity. It feels as if Bridge Street is suddenly right next to the interstate—and I don’t mean conveniently located, I mean directly in the space surrounded by the exit ramp and the overpass. “East Germany with nicer cars,” Dan and I mused together, which prompted a few Gotcha! quotes. (Mmm, Linda Fiorentino. Meeoooowwwrrr.)

Bridge Street had charm. It was corporate and contrived, but it was done well enough to win you over, at least somewhat. Now, they might as well build a roof over the place and be done with it.

 Posted by at 7:59 am
Sep 082014
 

Amazon.com debuted its first smartphone a month and a half ago. The Fire phone is a robust piece of hardware running Amazon.com’s forked and highly modified Android operating system. It has cool features like Dynamic Perspective, Amazon.com’s near-instant video customer service Mayday, and of course very tight integration with the entire Amazon.com ecosystem. It bowed [...]

 Posted by at 7:25 pm
Sep 052014
 

My friend Carol recently expressed frustration that we’re all running around babbling about stars’ naughty bits and football team nicknames, and the ostensible leader of the free world is golfing and hobnobbing as it burns down. (That’s not exactly what she said, but I suspect she’d be fine with that account of her concern.) To be [...]

 Posted by at 11:35 am

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