“I’m proudest that I haven’t killed anybody”

In a letter to a colleague, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. remarked that his dissents in cases that limited the reach of the First Amendment merely upheld “the right of a donkey to drool.” If Matt Lauer’s knees can tremble whenever Ann Coulter appears on “The Today Show,” then its producers have the right to askContinue reading ““I’m proudest that I haven’t killed anybody””

Can’t find a better band

The day has come: I can fully endorse a Pearl Jam album. Insisting on hitting the ambivalent note whenever my friends discuss them was as predictable as the subsequent ordering of Goldschlager shots, and I apologize for neither. Until Jack Irons arrived I pegged them as a grooveless whirr, a righteous howl, the voice ofContinue reading “Can’t find a better band”

Taylor Swift to competition: Drop dead

In this week’s chart, Taylor Swift scores yet another triumph, but this week it was like FDR going up against Alf Landon in 1936 — he might as well have run unopposed. The rest of the sorry lot: Parachute, New Boyz ft. Ray J, Hockey, Leona Lewis, R. Kelly ft. Keri Hilson, Fuck Buttons, TreyContinue reading “Taylor Swift to competition: Drop dead”

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine story: coming out in middle school. An excerpt: Though most adolescents who come out do so in high school, sex researchers and counselors say that middle-school students are increasingly coming out to friends or family or to an adult in school. Just how they’re faring in a world thatContinue reading

Nothing can stop them now

A shame that, 1993’s So Tough excepted, Saint Etienne have never made more than one listenable album — and lord knows I’ve tried several. Smash The System, the only one of the (several) extant compilations  I own, is perfect, perfect, perfect; even without “Pale Movie” and “Who Do You Think You Are,” it makes theContinue reading “Nothing can stop them now”