There is only Trump: Joint session #1

10:08. Paul Ryan laughed when Trump dismissed the imminence of “trivial” battles, the Democratic side of the House walked out one nanosecond after Trump said “Thank you,” and Jason Chaffetz said “It’s an honor” as he begged Trump to shake his hand. A few minutes earlier, he used Ryan Owens’ widow as a prop toContinue reading “There is only Trump: Joint session #1”

‘Before the Revolution’ still startles as study of lust and politics

Although based on Stendhal, the spirit of new cinema animates Before the Revolution: Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1964 film is about and for les soixante-dix-huitièmes, who, besotted with Godard and the New Wave, experimented with a radicalism that led to the pandemic of student protest four years hence.

Everybody, get in line! The best of Talking Heads

It’s a testament to how well Talking Heads sold Robert Rauschenberg, two bassists, Fela Kuti, Jonathan Demme, big suits, loving the heartland, and condescending to the heartland that by the time I became a fan in the era of David Byrne’s Rei Momo and 1992’s double disc Sand in the Vaseline listeners treated them likeContinue reading “Everybody, get in line! The best of Talking Heads”

Miss bad media karma: The best of Britney Spears

Here’s to one of the most consistent record makers of the last fifteen years. As I wrote in 2011, “Britney Spears is the polymorphic essence of every disco dolly who’s so post-feminist/post-sexual/post-woman that to wonder whether she’s used or being used by the purported objects of lust she’s dancing/fucking is beside the point.” Her recombinantContinue reading “Miss bad media karma: The best of Britney Spears”

What the press briefing ban means

Furious at truthful coverage, the White House barred the NYT, CNN, L.A. Times, Buzzfeed, and Politico from a press briefing. Along with the three traditional networks and The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News, the three others media outlets allowed are — wait for it — Breitbart News, the One America News Network andContinue reading “What the press briefing ban means”

Australian adaptation of ‘The Wild Ducks’ doesn’t take flight

The Daughter begins with a duck and ends as as bomb. This adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s theater warhorse The Wild Ducks looks promising: modern Australian setting, international casting. But accepting American Paul Schneider as Sam Neill’s son is only one of the challenges that writer-director Simon Stone can’t deal with. Its running time doesn’t allowContinue reading “Australian adaptation of ‘The Wild Ducks’ doesn’t take flight”

Be good to me: The best of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

By no means exhaustive, this post compiles the tracks on a private Spotify playlist. One of the many reasons why Todd Burns should be remembered alongside Jackson and Jefferson is running a magazine called Stylus that a decade ago ran a week’s worth of pieces on Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as part of inductingContinue reading “Be good to me: The best of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis”

‘Thank you to your respective bosses’

  Hands up if you’re surprised that freshly confirmed EPA chief Scott Pruitt had the Koch brothers in essence write his energy policy as attorney general of Oklahoma: The emails show that his office corresponded with those companies in efforts to weaken federal environmental regulations — the same rules he will now oversee. “Please findContinue reading “‘Thank you to your respective bosses’”

Troubadours and soothsayers: Jens Lekman and David Bowie

Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now A decade ago, this Swede released Night Falls Over Kortedala, an album of singer-songwriter would-be pop whose romantic fables began and ended with jokes, usually at the expense of the Pagliacci singing them. Bona Drag-era Morrissey was the closest analog, given Jens Lekman’s weakness for adverbs andContinue reading “Troubadours and soothsayers: Jens Lekman and David Bowie”