What we lost when we lost Merrick Garland

Thomas Geoghegan ponders what we lost when Clinton lost the election, didn’t flip the Senate, and couldn’t get Merrick Garland confirmed: By a five to four vote, gerrymandering of congressional districts would have been struck down. Even more than “money in politics,” gerrymandering decides who controls the House of Representatives. A center-left Court might haveContinue reading “What we lost when we lost Merrick Garland”

WWI story ‘Frantz’ blooms beneath the queer gaze

As a camera object Pierre Niney is extraordinary, a china vase with an effete mildness. In Frantz, the star of Yves Saint Laurent plays a French veteran of the Great War who visits the family of the dead German soldier he’d befriended. What he meant to the unfortuante Frantz Hoffmeister and what happens when he interactsContinue reading “WWI story ‘Frantz’ blooms beneath the queer gaze”

Singles 3/31

I heard vibes on that Mountain Goats track but didn’t note the woodwinds, the song’s loveliest section. I was wrong. I couldn’t get the blurb corrected in time so I’ll leave it as it is until the change gets processed. “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds” is a typically well-observed John Darnielle track, asContinue reading “Singles 3/31”

A certain time, a certain place: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tango in the Night’

A few years ago I found this story about the recording of Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac’s fifth with Lindsey Buckingham and first with Stevie Nicks as a triggered Fairlight sample. Press around the album centered on Buckingham’s exit after the band announced its world tour, replaced by the hapless Billy Burnette and RickContinue reading “A certain time, a certain place: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tango in the Night’”

But Trump is not a typical Republican!

I know homosexuals who thought Donald Trump would a fairer than normal president when it came to LGBT rights. Remember this story? ““He will be the most gay-friendly Republican nominee for president ever,” cooed Gregory T. Angelo of the Log Cabin Republicans, the most lickspittle organization in American politics. Here’s the boom: Trump rescinded theContinue reading “But Trump is not a typical Republican!”

Took my icy freeze and thawed the cold: The best of Maxwell

After a tentative first album that approximated the sprawl of mid-seventies prog R&B, Maxwell has finessed his approach such that every album since 2001 has shown a litheness and lightness for which only Sade exists as a referent. I’m confident that 2016’s “Lake by the Ocean” is his best track, capturing in one track hisContinue reading “Took my icy freeze and thawed the cold: The best of Maxwell”

Best films of 1940

1. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch) 2. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks) 3. The Letter (William Wyler) 4. Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock) 5. The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin) 6. The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford) 7. Contraband (Michael Powell) 8. The Bank Dick (Edward F. Cline) 9. The Great McGinty (Preston Sturges) 10. TheContinue reading “Best films of 1940”

Now we’re full of energy: the best of Kraftwerk

“Radio-activity/is in the air for you and me” is a jingle that if he had a cerebral cortex unscarred by petrodollars Scott Pruitt would license for PSAs endorsing offshore drilling and polluting streams. Immobile emotionalists regarded initially with suspicion by Americans who think guitars aren’t electronic instruments, Kraftwerk became cool referents in 1977 and haven’tContinue reading “Now we’re full of energy: the best of Kraftwerk”

Bathroom bill costing North Carolina billions

Businesses weren’t opening in North Carolina because of the availabiility of transgender bathrooms, but they certainly don’t wany part of a discriminatory policy – and it’s costing the state billions: Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion inContinue reading “Bathroom bill costing North Carolina billions”