Monthly Archives: November 2014

‘You’re just a fool falling in love’

As outstanding as “B-Boys” and “Keep It Confidential” are, I love the chill this, the final track from 1983’s Nona, gives off: the syncopation of the bass and organ, the eerie bridge.

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Mark Strand – RIP

The best of the poets influenced by Wallace Stevens, Mark Strand’s work is distinguished by terse portraits of dimly lit rooms in which men sit, reviewing the passage of their lives. In a Paris Review chat in 1998, Strand confirmed … Continue reading

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‘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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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‘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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving

To my ears the best thank you song I’ve heard. Take care of each other tonight.

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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 … Continue reading

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‘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. … Continue reading

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‘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 … Continue reading

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‘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 … Continue reading

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The reproduction of police tactics in looting narratives

A city as stratified on racial lines as Miami reenforces received ideas about class and protest. At the height of the Elian Gonzalez embarrassment in spring 2000, callers to Cuban radio and, I regret to write, a few relatives reminded … Continue reading

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