Growing up: Vince Staples and Miguel

Vince Staples – Summertime ’06 “I ain’t never ran from nothin’ but the police,” he boasts on “Norf Norf,” to the accompaniment of sonar bleeps that I swear I’ve heard on a Spring Heel Jack record. This 21-year-old occasional Odd Future mate has a high, strident voice, a vestige of a harrowing adolescence he wantsContinue reading “Growing up: Vince Staples and Miguel”

‘Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her’

An avid reader of a coffee table children’s Bible my grandmother had bought me in third grade, I was aware of Solomon’s seven hundred wives, Lot’s daughters drunken date rape of their father, the priests of Baal’s throats getting sliced by the river for worshiping this graven image, and, most cruelly, Yahweh prohibiting beloved MosesContinue reading “‘Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her’”

Fighting them by joining them: What Happened, Miss Simone?

When she finally appears onstage after seconds of enthusiastic audience applause, she has a glazed look, as if she had just awakened from a mummified state. The expression deepens. Does she know where she is? Does she know who she is? In closeup the head is as solid and massive as a marble statue’s. TeachersContinue reading “Fighting them by joining them: What Happened, Miss Simone?”

Options available!

The column I’ve been waiting for. Rebecca Traister: But the other thing that’s so revolutionary about fighting for marriage to be about love and companionship – and not about a strictly gendered economic or social power construct – is that it acknowledges human connections that are also available to millions of people outside of marriageContinue reading “Options available!”

Madonna and the problem with ‘aging gracefully’

I liked Rebel Heart. I wish “Unapologetic Bitch” had been a #1 hit; it’s better than “Justify My Love,” but because her cultural moment looks as dowdy as baggy jeans no one will acknowledge it. Getting hits is hard for everyone, chart watchers will say. But because she’s the icon to whom pop stars stillContinue reading “Madonna and the problem with ‘aging gracefully’”

The smell of defeat

What reaction looks like. Michael Poterma: I’m not saying merely that if Bork hadn’t been rejected, President Reagan wouldn’t have appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote today’s opinion: I think that if Bork had been on the Court, that platform would have given him an outsized opportunity to influence America’s cultural and constitutional discussion –Continue reading “The smell of defeat”

The ‘cynically manufactured and meritless argument’ of the King v. Burwell plaintiffs

Reading John Roberts’ majority opinion on the bus this morning, I was struck by the glee with which he skewers Antonin Scalia for the associate justice’s willingness to ignore statutory intent for the sake of his politics. This is called cynicism. Linda Greenhouse caught it too: Who said that we “must do our best, bearingContinue reading “The ‘cynically manufactured and meritless argument’ of the King v. Burwell plaintiffs”

John Roberts: he ain’t goin’ nowhere

With the Affordable Care Act ruling, a big one regarding disparate impact in Fair Housing Act cases, and a likely affirmation of a right to marry gay coming next week, Anthony Kennedy is gunning for most hated man in the conservative blogosphere. But don’t mistake the Chief’s intentions: But it is of a piece withContinue reading “John Roberts: he ain’t goin’ nowhere”