Monthly Archives: December 2013

Making one rich tone of your voices: 2013 in review

Averse to reflection in public, I won’t waste my readers’ time because in 2013 I learned what having readers meant. This blog got the highest number of visits ever — by some distance. I read more books than ever. I … Continue reading

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Buhloone Mindstate: “Much soul on the down-low tip”

To commemorate its twentieth birthday, Oliver Wang celebrates Buhloone Mindstate, De La Soul’s excellent third album: “We went to Japan and experienced hip-hop that we could not understand one bit, but felt a flow, felt something that made us feel … Continue reading

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“The Darkling Thrush”

Thomas Hardy wrote the best NYE poem: I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-grey, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all … Continue reading

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Dull, duller, Dulles: John Foster and Allen Dulles

In Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, the last vestiges of the nexus between Christian messianism and imperialism emerge, triumphant. Thanks to the patronage of Dwight Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers — Secretary … Continue reading

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“This is already a mass extinction event. The question is, how far is it going to go?”

These developments make long-term planning easier, I must say: “The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet,” climate scientist James Hansen has said. “There are potential irreversible effects of melting the Arctic sea ice. If it begins … Continue reading

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INXS – Kiss the Dirt

I love this period of INXS. Those Kick singles are hollow. Happy Sunday.

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“The state now owes me $1,400 for eight weeks of unemployment.”

I’m glad to see websites through which millions of people get essential services work: Florida’s ongoing claims for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in six years from mid-October to early December. The average of 20,000 fewer weekly claims … Continue reading

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The life of a schnook: The Wolf of Wall Street

Thinking about the work of Martin Scorsese while watching The Wolf of Wall Street, I wondered what was a worse fate: Henry Hill wearing a terricloth bathrobe to pick up the paper and returning to a pasta dinner made of … Continue reading

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“An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday.”

Happy new year! WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A … Continue reading

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It’s Time: an Elvis Costello poll and ballot

At twenty, opacity was its own reward. Steeped in Eliot and Elvis Costello, impervious to hints about my true sexuality, I valued dense music and lyrics that refused to yield to interpretation. The Elvis Costello of Spike and Mighty Like … Continue reading

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U2’s War: “It…felt like being hit on the head with a rolled-up copy of the Christian Science Monitor for forty-two minutes.”

I don’t care much for War, and Marcello explains why: So U2 felt moved to prove they were Men. The cover star of War – Peter Rowen, who had also been the cover star of Boy some twenty-nine months earlier … Continue reading

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Palin: “Keep in mind that I come from a big Irish Catholic family on my mother’s side.”

National Review’s Kathryn-Jean Lopez interviews Sarah Palin. I will not link to it: LOPEZ: You don’t seem as enamored of Pope Francis as, say, Time magazine is, which just made him their “Person of the Year.” What’s your beef? In … Continue reading

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