Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What I’m reading/thinking lately

Those are two more noteworthy sources of input or entertainment, but in terms of stuff I’ve been thinking just as I process stuff, here’s part of a recent email to a few girlfriends (bear with me if you’re outside the church; this gets a little bit spiritual):

  • Earlier this year, I came across a really great 5-part sermon series from my old pastor in Phoenix, called “The Towering Reality of the Father’s Love” (parts 3-5 online here, but email me if you want all five mp3s). One of the things that struck me most was his distinction between the objective reality of God’s love, vs. our subjective experience of it. As I was thinking through some stuff last night, this question kept coming up: Am I living out of my recent pain and letting that define how I relate to people, or out of the objective reality of God’s love?

  • The other thing that’s dawned on me is a recent shift in my outlook. For most of my life I tied purpose to the marriage I hoped would happen, which led to a ceaseless string of crushes that had almost no gap in between. Lately, though, I find myself in perhaps my longest sojourn through romantic wilderness, with no guy to buoy my hopes or anchor affection. Always before, this would have launched a spiral into despair as I judged God’s “goodness” by present circumstance and its seeming implications for my future.

  • This time, though, I’m learning to anchor my hope in the reality of God’s character, to trust that if marriage is part of the best He could have in store for me, I need not judge His goodness by the presence or absence of “prospects” among the guys around. In other words, I can endure what once seemed like the worst — a persistent man drought — and still find water for my soul in the ever-present love of God. Most importantly, I can have a hopeful outlook on the future not because of the “materials” at hand, but the goodness of the God who made a whole world out of nothing, and loved us enough to die so He could maintain justice while showing kindness to the “ungrateful and wicked.”

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Will fees kill the radio sites?

Although it is an unprecedented addition, savvy readers might notice a first-ever ad on the blog today. That’s because, without a major intervention, internet radio stations will have to cease operations, when a new ruling takes effect May 15 that retroactively introduces royalty rates so high it will put them out of business (and as I understand, these rates are higher than those paid by other media and traditional radio).

I don’t know about you, but that would be a tragic end to one of the best things I’ve found on the internet. It’s maybe been two years since I first discovered my favorite station, MVY, which broadcasts from Martha’s Vineyard. Since then they’ve introduced me to countless new acts and great songs, not to mention “The Blues at Eight,” a fabulous hour of blues that’s on five nights a week. Since MVY has a Massachusetts dial signal in addition to their internet stream, and covers a lot of new artists and great festivals, I took seriously their concern about the impact of this ruling on stations like theirs.

Despite this threat to one of the most encouraging trends in radio I’ve seen in recent years, there is some hope. Two representatives recently introduced H.R. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act. To learn more, visit, or just call your representatives and ask them to support the bill. I’ve never actually taken such a step before, but internet radio’s filled my living room with too many hours of joy to sit by and watch it end.

Having been challenged by a musician friend that the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision is merely a crackdown on stations failing to appropriately remunerate artists, I wanted to add a little more background:

On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio’s royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!

Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters’ demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio. Surviving webcasters will need sweetheart licenses that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist.
Read more at, or check out coverage on how the ruling affects NPR, and the basic provisions of the Internet Radio Equality Act.