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Nan Vernon: Manta Ray

Talk About Selling Out

A CapitolOne ad:

Life Doesn't Alert You About Your Credit Card--But Eno Can

And I thought I was pretty close to unshockable in such matters. 

BrianEnoYoung3Sure, I'll keep an eye on that credit card for you.

Of course Eno has changed a lot since the above pic (ca. 1972).


Brian Eno, in case you don't know his name--i.e. have little interest in the popular music of the past 50 years or so--is quite a brilliant fellow. Presumably the people at Capitol One are abysmally ignorant. 

I guess one can't claim copyright infringement on one's name, especially when the use of it has nothing whatever to do with one. But this is odd. I didn't bother finding out why Capitol One came up with those particular three letters for their service. 


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I was picturing "Music for Airports" playing from one of my devices if my account was accessed.

And you'd be very calm about it.

I recently watched an interview with Brian Ferry related to Roxy Music's induction into the Rock and Roll H.O.F. He was asked about the members' flamboyant styles of dress, make-up, etc., and how that was perceived at the time. I found his answer surprising. He said that all of them, which would have meant Eno too, were actually quite shy in real life, and that their public on-stage personae were really a way to get around their shyness. He said it was almost like they were playing characters on stage.

I can relate to this somewhat in that when I used to play music in public I had a certain shyness on stage which manifested as an aversion to eye contact with people in the audience. As a result I would often play with my glasses off, so the audience appeared blurry, or I'd wear sunglasses. I've since learned that this isn't all that uncommon. I read somewhere that this affected Natalie Merchant so much when she first started out that she would sing with her back to the audience.

Personally, I like my solution better. :-)

I'm sure the audience did. :-) I've heard similar stories about other performers, including almost crippling stage fright. I guess it's not that uncommon.

I went to see The Mountain Goats in Chicago a few weeks ago. It was a really good show. Absolutely worth getting back to the Midwest at three in the morning for

I probably wrote about hearing John Darnielle solo here a year or two or three ago. Most definitely worth it.

Chicago is not in the Midwest?

I assume "Eno" is "one" spelled backwards.

If their app spoke to me in Eno's voice I would be tempted to open an account with Capital One.

Aside from Brian Ena and all that, even before the whole Eno thing was announced Capital One has been sending alerts about "questionable" charges for years. For instance, sometimes they will send me an email asking if I really made that $24.37 purchase at the grocery chain where I have shopped at least once a week for 30 years. They never seem concerned when I get airplanes tickets, nor did they bat an eye when I spent $1500.00 to rent a house for my family to stay in when my daughter got married. They do however, sometimes stop $200 airbnb reservations (which I make fairly frequently) from going through.

So, I am wondering if Eno would make it worse or better.

I am finished ranting now.

I don't think we have that kind of problem but maybe I just never hear about it because my wife gets the alerts. I know she gets a text message pretty much instantly when I use the card, which has on occasion been a little annoying. "Oh, you went to the liquor store."

"one" spelled backwards--of course...duh...

I don't think my bank has ever sent an alert that was real. Several times I got an alert that my credit card was used in another state (and each time I told them my son was in school there). But I guess I shouldn't complain. It would probably be uncomfortable if my wife got an alert whenever I went to the liquor store :).

It was disconcerting at first. I don't think either of us notices it much anymore. But sometimes when I want to buy her a present I go to an ATM and get cash.

Did you write a piece on War and Peace after you finished reading it, Mac?

I don't think so. I'm not sure, but a quick search doesn't show anything but mentions in the comments.

Okay, I seemed to remember that you did, but I couldn't find anything either.

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