Oh, look: one of the most ubiquitous peddlers of the Bush administration’s company line on cable and network channels has ties to a defense contractor. The NYT has the scoop on General Barry McCaffrey, who in his public apperances has always sounded like Mike Huckabee might after his bass guitar was locked in a cupboardContinue reading


The Visitor The enthusiasm with which this movie was received shouldn’t have surprised me; what did though was how reliable skeptics like Stephanie Zacharek and A.O. Scott willfully chose to forget the candy apple liberal sentiments that it espouses. In the first third, writer-director Thomas McCarthy (who played the Jayson Blair wannabe in “The Wire”‘sContinue reading “Etc”

There are worse things than spending a Saturday afternoon watching My Man Godfrey. Terrence Rafferty gives Carole Lombard her due. If I had my druthers, though, I’d ask him to spend more time on Hands Across the Table and To Be Or Not To Be. It occurred to me yesterday: Judd Apatow might be theContinue reading

Well, here’s something from it’s-news-to-me file: Jackson Browne and John McCain wrangling over the fair use of “Running On Empty” during the campaign: The first is a standard motion to dismiss, claiming that McCain’s use of the song was fair use. The campaign’s fair use reading is based on the application of the standard four-factorContinue reading

On his first (released) solo album since 1999, Q-Tip’s burr, halfway between a mumble and a giggle, is as compelling and fluent as ever. “Gettin‘ Up” is his sexiest love man jive since the underrated “Find A Way” and maybe “Electric Relaxation”; the Raphael Saadiq duet and “Dance On Glass” are the kind of hip-hopContinue reading

I watched Only Angels Have Wings last night — on videocassette. I still own a VCR. Beyond the fact that I don’t want to subject myself to the time and expense of replacing some favorites I’ve owned since the early nineties (Blockbuster’s used movie bin was a godsend), the medium’s unwieldiness has its own attraction.Continue reading

I’ve written nasty things about Carrie Brownstein’s NPR blog, but the former Sleater Kinney guitarist pens an affectionate tribute to the Go-Betweens. She admits that her writing on The Hot Rock “was inspired completely by their music.” Incisive bits of criticism on Robert Forster and the late Grant McLennan (he “sounded like the search partyContinue reading

Enough mothers behave like Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married to remind me of how Virginia Woolf might have rewritten the Shakespeare’s-sister bit in A Room of One’s Own: since mothers have to perform constantly, it’s really no stretch for a fiftysomething actress to accrue Oscar buzz for the effort. But Jonathan Demme and screenwriterContinue reading