Ryan Adams has talked about the night he cracked on stage when a concertgoer heckled him by calling for him to sing Bryan Adams’s Summer of ’69.
Writing in the New York Times, the singer-songwriter remembered the gig, at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in October 2002, when his acoustic performance was interrupted over and over again by one person, culminating in them shouting for Summer of ’69 during an a cappella performance of the song Bartering Lines with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
Chicago Boyz has put up a post about calumny, which is a word you don’t hear much these days but appears to have been in common use historically. According to the Webster’s, calumny is:
1: a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation
2: the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation
The Chicago Boyz post was brought to my attention by Samizdata commenter DOuglas2, who mentioned it in the context of the recent (but seemingly temporary) banning of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit from Twitter. I can think of numerous examples – the hounding of Tim Hunt being the one that immediately springs to mind – of calumny being alive and well in the modern world, assuming it ever went away.
I’ve known this word, and what it means, since I was about 20 purely because I was, and am, a fan of Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville. Act I Scene II provides probably the best description of calumny there is in an aria – La Calunnia– sung in bass. It’s worth a listen.