Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine is to sequential narrative what Oscar Wilde was to verse tragedies. Since Gummo he has shown no talent for the most basic storytelling; with Spring Breakers he no longer pretends he has an interest, thank god. Using an enhanced color palette, flash forwards, repetition, and mantras (“SPRING BREAK, BITCHES!”), Korine creates an eroticizedContinue reading “Spring Breakers”

Singles 3/29

“Justice Thomas dissents,” I wrote in the comments section after Vampire Weekend’s leaked track left the rest of the Jukeboxers unimpressed. I joined majorities for easy-pick Lambert, a terrific dance track, and Earl Sweatshirt’s chance to make Frank Ocean look like the headline he is. In 1983, an Agnetha solo track would have garnered headlines;Continue reading “Singles 3/29”

Best of 2013 – First Quarter

It’s not too early to mention ten albums I’ve liked this first quarter, in no order of preference. Several terrific country records, a fine synth pop symphony recorded by two sisters as rewarding as the Roches’ Speak, two as-good-as-we-expected albums by veterans, and no R&B or hip-hop, although my singles list redresses the phenomenon. TeganContinue reading “Best of 2013 – First Quarter”

The state with the prettiest name #487

Why my state rocks: The House K-12 Education Subcommittee voted 10-3 in support of a controversial bill that would give principals the power to choose certain teachers and school employees who would carry concealed weapons on campus. The schools would have a choice of either arming a school employee or hiring a separate safety officer,Continue reading “The state with the prettiest name #487”

State/fed tension

Hmm, Students of Windsor and Hollingsworth have always recognized a basic tension between the theories of gay-rights advocates in the cases. The challenge to DOMA is undergirded by a sense that marriage is a matter for state rather than federal regulation. The challenge to Proposition 8 is a direct challenge to just such a decisionContinue reading “State/fed tension”

Gettin’ hitched

As Margaret Talbot’s (firewalled) article on transgender surgery pointed out, homosexual rights don’t end with marriage. It isn’t even a beginning. For more than twenty years, Human Rights Campaign ingratiated itself with Democratic elites. Gay marriage looked like the easiest of neoliberal triumphs. As opposition to it, as George Will has repeatedly remarked, literally diesContinue reading “Gettin’ hitched”

What’s a flagpole?

Compiling the delightful things Antonin Scalia has written or said about homosexuals since Romer v. Evans in 1996, Adam Serwer shows the frivolousness of the justice’s arguments. The most useful advice: homosexuals aren’t trying hard enough to couple with the opposite sex. “It doesn’t say you can’t have—you can’t have any sexual intimacy. It saysContinue reading “What’s a flagpole?”

Wire’s Change Becomes Us

Since 2008’s Object 47, singer-guitarist-producer Colin Newman has applied dollops of maple glaze to the band’s driving chords, and on Red Barked Tree Wire’s aggression had been so sweetened that on quasi-pastoral numbers like the title track it sounded even more menacing. From album title joke to song title jokes (“Eels Sang”? “Stealth of aContinue reading “Wire’s Change Becomes Us”

Anthony Kennedy Watch

Slate’s Emily Bazelon breaks down the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases that the Supreme Court will hear tomorrow and Wednesday: The California case could be trickier for Kennedy, since it pits a voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, against the argument that the Constitutions provision of equal protection under the law extends to gay couplesContinue reading “Anthony Kennedy Watch”

Like Someone in Love

Abbas Kiarostami can frame actors. In what I’ll call the prologue of Like Someone in Love, he shoots a trio of bar patrons sitting and drinking as a voice, irritated but in control, drifts over them. But the speaker, Aikiko (Rin Takanashi), doesn’t appear until a couple of minutes later, and she’s not in theContinue reading “Like Someone in Love”