The politics of feeling good

Kevin Baker’s article on the horrors of a Rudy Giuilani presidency is the best I’ve read in months: pungent, well-researched, and original. He rightly sees the continuity between the Big Business flirtations during the Clinton years and the marginalization of progressive forces in this country. Walter Karp might have agreed with this: The old powerContinue reading “The politics of feeling good”

neon bright vs neon white

There’s a Bluffer’s Guide to post-Thriller Michael Jackson waiting to be written; hell, I may write it myself. Much is made of the symbolism of Nirvana’s Nevermind knocking Dangerous off the top of the Billboard album chart in January 1992; but like all symbolic acts it crumbles under closer scrutiny. Dangerous is as paranoid andContinue reading “neon bright vs neon white”

I take great pleasure in baiting my friends into thinking I’m a flaming conservative. Credit my natural contrarianism; also an innate distrust of feel-goodism, which even the most humane liberalism can’t keep from curdling into something sinister. I won’t dismiss my Cuban-American upbringing either, or the inherent paradox in the exile community’s traditional embrace ofContinue reading

Alberto Gonzalez, the protagonist in a self-written narrative in which a man of Mexican descent overcomes “adversity” to join the ranks of A. Mitchell Palmer, John Mitchell, and Ed Meese as bullet-headed hacks in thrall to a President who’s less an Executive than a scion, is finally given the blessing by his master to workContinue reading

Boys will be boys, pt. I

I haven’t seen Superbad yet, but this putatively no-contest John Hughes-vs-Judd-Apatow debate got complicated quickly, and there’s several points to consider: (1) Films about the deceptively placid, ostensibly platonic relationships between men are rare. Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd’s affection in Knocked Up is so powerful and instantaneous that marriage is seen as a necessaryContinue reading “Boys will be boys, pt. I”

Daryl Hall: "I love the fact that record companies are all going down"

A lively Daryl Hall interview in, of all places, Pitchfork. He tells Clive Davis to go fuck himself, laments the standards-strewn road down which Rod Stewart walks in the autumn of his career, sympathizes with Kelly Clarkson, and talks warmly of his collaboration with Robert Fripp, Sacred Songs. I adore Hall, but he and interviewerContinue reading “Daryl Hall: "I love the fact that record companies are all going down"”