Worst Songs Ever: Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open”

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open””

Worst Songs ever: The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs ever: The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling””

Online dating and performance

It began with AOL chatrooms. Lacking the courage to hit a gay bar alone, I sought the anonymity of polyphony. Anyone who remembers those late Clinton year online chat interfaces knows what I mean by that last noun: as many as fifteen people, flitting in and out of the room like a frightened nursery teacherContinue reading “Online dating and performance”

Worst Songs Ever: The Who’s “You Better You Bet”

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: The Who’s “You Better You Bet””

‘The Shape of Water’ kept afloat by too many familiar elements

Adept at treating fables as if they were real and daily life as if it were a fable, Guillermo del Toro goes all the way into romantic lunacy with The Shape of Water. The director of The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth shows how a mute named Eliza (Sally Hawkins) and an aquatic creature who mayContinue reading “‘The Shape of Water’ kept afloat by too many familiar elements”

Hail fellow well read: The books of 2017

Through hurricanes, conferences, grading, writing, and blogging, I managed to read the following books in 2017, many of which were unfamiliar to me. Some modern classics disappointed me (Such a Long Journey), others impressed me (Salvage the Bones). The best historical biography I read was Noah Feldman’s tome on James Madison, which explains the developmentContinue reading “Hail fellow well read: The books of 2017”

The effect of repealing the individual mandate

A year ago I said to my friend Mari, “We’re in for it now” enough times that she wanted to kick my teeth in. It’s December 2017, and we’re in it: tax bill signed, GOP congressmen calling for investigations into Robert Mueller’s own investigation and Uranium One, GOP and Donald Trump sewn together so tightlyContinue reading “The effect of repealing the individual mandate”

Worst Songs Ever: Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Britney Spears’ “Gimme More””

What happened to Poe and Finn? Burning questions about ‘The Last Jedi’

My crew and I left the theater late yesterday afternoon disappointed with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Star Wars universe fans court disappoint like Democrats do despair. No movie can measure up to the perfect Wookiepedia in their minds. At least a half hour too long, The Last Jedi is dependent on the goodContinue reading “What happened to Poe and Finn? Burning questions about ‘The Last Jedi’”

Worst Songs Ever: Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On”

Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” PEAK CHART POSITION: #1 in June 1990. Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections.Continue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On””

The best Christmas movies

The usual caveat: this list is incomplete, representing what I’d watch today. But see Catherine Deneuve? She knows how to greet the affection, angst, dysfunction, moments of pleasure, and warmth that Christmas presents to us. Part of my holiday routine, watching A Christmas Tale is the sort of experience in which a viewer would beContinue reading “The best Christmas movies”

Singles 12/22

And so we come to the end of another remarkable year with Amnesty Week. My winner was “Matter of Time,” into which the late Sharon Jones poured her vitality. Other highlights included a lovely bit of Argentinean rock, Jillian Jacqueline’s encapsulation of queer longing, and good ol’ Alison Moyet. Click on links for full reviews.Continue reading “Singles 12/22”