The bleating of a besieged minority

The loco weed that Governor Mike Pence and the GOP-controlled state legislature of Indiana is the latest and perhaps last gasp of the anti-homo movement. It knows it has lost and probably will lose when SCOTUS hears Obergefell v. Hodges in April. These state legislature are all the religious right has got. Which is whyContinue reading “The bleating of a besieged minority”

Eminem as ‘pop fixture’

Internet-based criticism was in its Pre-Cambrian phase, but I still read a formidable number of essays, rebuttals, columns, and dismissals of every kind on The Real Slim Shady in 2000. “My Name Is” having passed me by in 1999 (don’t ask), I was prepared to love “The Real Slim Shady” the rest of my life.Continue reading “Eminem as ‘pop fixture’”

The long obituary for the compact disc

For as long as CDs have been around I’ve read these stories. Before CDs it was vinyl (no one much liked cassettes). Starbucks has joined the planned obsolescence of the CD: The CD, never a much-loved object, is inching toward critical endangerment. At the end of this month, Starbucks plans to stop selling CDs fromContinue reading “The long obituary for the compact disc”

Elizabeth Warren for Senate ’16

Elizabeth Warren is wonderful, and at the moment I don’t want her anywhere but in the Senate. To run for president means soliciting money from the people whom she’s opposed; it means thinking like them. Little by little her distinction would vanish. It’s worth remembering that far from being a radical Warren wants an efficient,Continue reading “Elizabeth Warren for Senate ’16”

The virtues of doggedness

One of my favorite media appearances by Christopher Hitchens in the five years before his death was on the Hugh Hewitt show, to which I won’t link in accordance with the rule that one doesn’t invite vampires into one’s home. He made a passing reference to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, the “Mormon mediocrity.”Continue reading “The virtues of doggedness”

Singles 2010-2014

When I compiled my favorite albums from 2010-2014 last week, I wouldn’t have known that women would dominate this list of my favorite singles released during the same period. I tried as usual to avoid singles whose albums made last week’s list unless these songs generated their own unstoppable momentum. My biggest surprise: the degreeContinue reading “Singles 2010-2014”

Call this. Do it now. Tell them their money is no good here any more’

With Harry Reid retiring, Elizabeth Warren should consider how rudely she’s talking: Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said. Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan,Continue reading “Call this. Do it now. Tell them their money is no good here any more’”

Singles 3/27

Because I loathed his last couple of singles and love “Want to Want Me,” explanations are required. Even when the absurd falsetto grates, the arrangement doesn’t: the background ooh-ooh-oohs, fuzz guitars, the way the rhythm crunches at unexpected moments. My other surprise was not turning off anything with The Weeknd’s name in the credits; maybeContinue reading “Singles 3/27”

Big red

Typical of the cowardice undergirding its creation, the Indiana bill affirming the “religious freedom” of proprietors was signed in private (although the governor’s office leaked a helpful photo, seen above), Governor Mike Pence and mentions not a word about homosexuals (look the weasel language; like “right to work,” “religious freedom” means the opposite of whatContinue reading “Big red”

The horror, the horror: It Follows

From Vampyr to Halloween and Friday the 13th, horror films have trafficked in the disgust of the sexuality of young women, as if the filmmakers wanted to punish them for taking boyfriends to lovers lanes. Mediating this disgust are shots of jiggling breasts and asses; male filmmakers like a little lust with their contempt. ItContinue reading “The horror, the horror: It Follows”

‘Were you in the yard with your wife and children?’

One of the better responses to Ted Cruz’s 9-11-inspired affection for the values of country: But I’m hard-pressed to think of any rockers, classic or otherwise, who were disrespectful in the aftermath of 9/11. Certainly it wasn’t Bruce Springsteen or Paul McCartney or Neil Young or Fleetwood Mac or literally dozens of other rock andContinue reading “‘Were you in the yard with your wife and children?’”