‘Inequality fuels economic policy’

Paul Krugman is wrong about Richard Nixon’s interest in the environment. It happened because he employed people who did care. As John Dean confirmed in last week’s Miami Book Fair International appearance, Nixon was clear on foreign policy and often incoherent on domestic (what he was clear about concerned approving CIA destabilization of Chile’s electedContinue reading “‘Inequality fuels economic policy’”

Singles 11/28

There isn’t one Bruno Mars single I could stomach before this week’s Mark Ronson collaboration, so I have a remedy: less falsetto, more chalk. As in, chalky vocals. The Brown-isms didn’t grate last week but you watch as this thing takes off on radio, and it will if last week’s SNL studio audience was anyContinue reading “Singles 11/28”

‘We’re better off apart’

I’ve written extensively about Tango in the Night; Marcello gets to it. Five weeks at #1 in England, three different times. Here’s a lovely and accurate evocation of two of its best songs as well as an accounting of influences and allusions: Little Lies” works chiefly because of Buckingham’s keen awareness of New Pop moresContinue reading “‘We’re better off apart’”

Out to get you: Citizenfour

Hours of explanation regarding how the National Security Administration spies on Americans with the collaboration of European allies. Nervous eye flickers as the Hong Kong hotel in which he’s hiding holds a fire drill. He has to plug the room phone he’d turned off (these new phones can record conversations) and call the front desk.Continue reading “Out to get you: Citizenfour”

How Good to Be Privileged, Part #2032

I concede that domestic tranquility is nice, and advice columns for coping with awful Limbaugh-listening relatives have become clickbait this time of year, but Michael Brendan Dougherty doesn’t get it: That’s a problem. Our politics are taking on a religious shape. Increasingly we allow politics to form our moral identity and self-conception. We surround ourselvesContinue reading “How Good to Be Privileged, Part #2032”

‘Test’: What is behind the curtain?

Test has the sparseness and uninhabited look of a movie for public television on AIDS filmed in the year in which it’s set—think Parting Glances. But its awareness of history is contemporary, its acuity strengthened by three decades of mourning. Written and directed by Chris Mason Johnson, Test concerns Frankie (Scott Marlowe), an understudy inContinue reading “‘Test’: What is behind the curtain?”

‘Hope is not magical. Hope is earned.’

Quoted in The Wars of Reconstruction: “When you would look over and see a man who had a large family, struggling hard up on a poor piece of land, you thought a great deal less of him than you did of your own master’s negro, didn’t you? Douglass tried to assure the president that hContinue reading “‘Hope is not magical. Hope is earned.’”

‘It gets to a point where we need to be able to protect ourselves.’

John Thrasher, soon to be Florida State University’s president, isn’t calling for guns on campus after last week’s ambush at the Strozier Library. It’s beyond personal, he said, in the pious tones of a newly converted zealot who sees differently because his empathy extends only to those in his circle. But good for him. However,Continue reading “‘It gets to a point where we need to be able to protect ourselves.’”

Michael Brown RIP

Many of my friends are lawyers, and what’s clear from conversations over the years is the ease with which prosecutors can get indictments from a grand jury even if he scribbles the request on a Kleenex. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch did not want one (Vox published a piece explaining the challenges thatContinue reading “Michael Brown RIP”