Bravo, Frank Rich: No president possesses that magic wand, but Obama’s inaction on gay civil rights is striking. So is his utterly uncharacteristic inarticulateness. The Justice Department brief defending DOMA has spoken louder for this president than any of his own words on the subject. Chrisler noted that he has given major speeches on race,Continue reading

As the President and the House crow about a cap and trade bill so diluted that business leaders get to smack their lips over its “sweeteners” (by the way, isn’t there something…weird about the notion of trading “energy credits”?), the White signals its intentions to draft an executive order that would keep some detainees jailedContinue reading

You are not alone, so leave me alone

The Michael Jackson Phenomenon was such that I could tolerate him on my parents’ turntable and sheer radio ubiquity between 1983 and 1984 (and again in 1987-1988) without being much of a fan. He was something pleasant you didn’t think much about, like making a Christmas list. During school Halloween costume contests in those years,Continue reading “You are not alone, so leave me alone”

As if the Academy of Motion Picture Farts and Biases needed another reason to promote a longer show: it expands the number of Best Picture nominees from five to ten. Academy President Sid Ganis cites 1939 as the annus mirabilis; yet, glancing at the list, Dark Victory, All This, and Heaven Too, Our Town, andContinue reading

I’ve said it many times: the Richard Nixon White House tapes are the gift that keeps on giving. Charlie Savage’s story offers more goodies: “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.” This exchange betweenContinue reading

Peggy Noonan is a fool, but as a draftsman and apologizer for power she understands how to create Special Moments. What’s happening in Iran now, she insists, is not one of them. For an American president to tempt another international crisis by openly supporting the protesters in Iran this week (emphasis mine: who knows whatContinue reading

Get up, get out, into something new: The Rolling Stones’ Mall Rat Years

“The Mall-Rat Years” is Rob Sheffield’s apt description of Ye Olde Rolling Stones between 1978’s Some Girls and 1983’s Undercover — the period when the death of disco as a commercial force signaled a return to AOR verities (I would have included Mick Jagger’s 1985 solo album She’s The Boss; I didn’t have MTV butContinue reading “Get up, get out, into something new: The Rolling Stones’ Mall Rat Years”

Since I loved Sonic Nurse and Rather Ripped more than the rest of their catalogue going back to Daydream Nation, I was ready to embrace The Eternal (in anticipation I relistened to Murray Street for the first time in four years and realized I’d underrated it). They’d entered their most artistically febrile period, with enoughContinue reading