Bright Days Ahead

The most shocking development in the French infidelity drama Bright Days Ahead is the heroine Caroline’s decision to resume smoking. She announces it twice, to an indifferent husband (Patrick Chesnais) and to a slightly more surprised daughter, with the ardor of a person who gives not a fuck. Call it a unsubtle mea culpa, anContinue reading “Bright Days Ahead”

“How was I to know which way the story’d go?”

Discussing this eyeopening “live” performance of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” with friends on Facebook, I reminded them that Kenny Rogers had cajoled and shamed an American Music Awards audience in 1995 into joining him for a tenth-anniversary rendition of “We Are the World.” It was obvious that no other performance in Rogers’ long careerContinue reading ““How was I to know which way the story’d go?””

Singles 5/30

Keyshia Cole’s resigned “Next Time…” and Ledisi’s buoyant “I Blame You’ top this week’s list, with Kevin Gates growling from the cleaning products aisle in the supermarket as runner-up. But Wayne’s fierce turn on a Fucking Drake song surprised me like Lambert and Underwood (hell of a law firm, that) and their award show pyrotechnicContinue reading “Singles 5/30”

The politics of HIV

Catching HIV is one of the last worries on the mind of the young gay men I meet. The virus that can turn into full-fledged AIDS killed millions of men and made a generation of survivors wary of sexual contact. Now we learn that in Florida patients who need drugs pay higher co-pays: The AffordableContinue reading “The politics of HIV”

Reviewed: Kevin Gates, Röyksopp-Robyn

Kevin Gates – By Any Means The keeper is “Movie,” a quiet account about the birth of his child in which his iPhone reminds him of a new set of responsibilities he can’t avoid, keyed to a mournful synth and his lulling honey-thick rap-sing. Like Biggy and ODB and Young Jeezy, Kevin Gates has aContinue reading “Reviewed: Kevin Gates, Röyksopp-Robyn”

If there were no Barack Obama, Barack Obama would dream of him

Published two months ago but coming to my attention this evening, this David Bromwich dissection of Barack Hussein Obama’s conception of the presidency indulges in the speculative psychology that partisans can treat like a loaded weapon in the same room as a wounded animal, but I can’t argue with its tracing of the arc ofContinue reading “If there were no Barack Obama, Barack Obama would dream of him”

“We tolerate, in other words, that which we would rather avoid”

Suzanna Danuta Walters in The Chronicle Review warns against “rose-colored” triumph narratives about the acceptance of homosexuality. “Tolerance,” she reminds readers, used to mean “the ability to bear pain and hardship.” It doesn’t make sense to say that we tolerate something unless we think that it’s wrong in some way. To say you “tolerate” homosexualityContinue reading ““We tolerate, in other words, that which we would rather avoid””

Wayne LaPierre: his look is “the smooth and shiny black of the vulture’s feathers”

I like Charles Pierce’s conception of NRA scion Wayne LaPierre as a character in a Warren Zevon song or Conrad novel: Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the bad guys. Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the good guys because of the guns he’s already arranged toContinue reading “Wayne LaPierre: his look is “the smooth and shiny black of the vulture’s feathers””

There’s something wrong with paradise?

I haven’t admitted this yet, but here goes: I’m a Walt Disney World Resort junkie. Ever since a fluke stay at the once-and-future Polynesian Village Resort Hotel in summer ’87 I’ve kept up with the changing times. I know people obsessed like I’m not. If you’re one of them, and, if you’re like me, hoveringContinue reading “There’s something wrong with paradise?”

Where there’s a Will…

In which George Will wishes he lived in 1874, or rather, in Grover Cleveland’s America: Congress, defined by the Constitution’s Article I, is properly the first, the initiating branch of government. So, I will veto no bill merely because I disagree with the policy it implements. I will wield the veto power only on constitutionalContinue reading “Where there’s a Will…”