Signs and signals

I can’t quite accept Fred Kaplan’s otherwise well-calibrated writhing over President Obama’s decision to commit more ground troops to Afghanistan because he makes the following claim: Another problem with withdrawing is that it would signal, correctly or not, a huge victory for anti-American forces generally. If we left Afghanistan to the Taliban (and, by extension,… More Signs and signals

Singles 11-29-09

The last new batch of the year before we roll out best-ofs. Most of these personally disappointed me. Swift was due for a fall, fine, but I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Adam Lambert would reveal so quickly his origins as a wish fulfillment of Rob Sheffield’s if he’d been asked to produce “American… More Singles 11-29-09

Swagga like fox

  I never understood why so many women thought  George Clooney was this awesome fuckpuppy. He coiffed and arranged himself so that you missed his inclination towards pudginess and the blandness of his face. As Mr. Fox in the Wes Anderson film, though, Clooney gets the makeover of his life. Wearing a double-breasted corduroy jacket,… More Swagga like fox

Punch-drunk fun

I liked Leslie Mann the instant I heard her gingery voice snap at Paul Rudd in Knocked Up. Her chin and eyes are proof positive that some blessed people come equipped with bullshit detectors. Those eyes and that chin are not made to giggle adoringly in medium shots or close-up, yet that’s exactly what Judd… More Punch-drunk fun

“The landscape for the consumer in America has fundamentally changed”

For a detailed, depressing examination of how credit card companies get away with what Martin Luther would have called usury, watch this Frontline episode, which aired last night. Listening to Timothy Geithner and Christopher Dodd – the latter of whom talks and looks so much like a stereotypical senator that Claude Rains would have played… More “The landscape for the consumer in America has fundamentally changed”

Stop the presses: old geezer shouts at cloud

  The Tom Petty I like recorded his best music between 1988 and 1992 in the so-called Wilburys Period, during which he released signature song “Free Fallin’” ( incredibly, his second American top ten if you discount the Stevie Nicks collaboration “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”) and recorded an album with the Traveling Wilburys that… More Stop the presses: old geezer shouts at cloud

Nota bene

The anecdotal love song — aphoristic and mushy in equal measures — as recorded by the likes of Luna needs an overhaul. Someone show me the new Romantica and Penthouse.


As we approach the end of the year, we review fewer singles. The last batch, I presume:   Lady Gaga – Dancer in the Dark (8) DJ  Khaled ft. Usher, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Drake – Fed Up (4) Roisin Murphy – Orally Fixated (8)

Sarah Palin: Anything for cheap applause

In the most recent Newsweek, Christopher Hitchens returns to what he does: penning lucid, vicious denunciations. If you think Sarah Palin inspires too many easy titters, please remember that “her” memoir Going Rogue currently sits atop Amazon’s bestseller list and for whose sake she’s submitting to abject promotional interviews. I do feel sorry for Oprah… More Sarah Palin: Anything for cheap applause