With the South Carolina primary imminent and Super Tuesday the occasion to shut off the remaining money spigots to the worst performing candidates, it makes sense to review the season. 2020 hasn’t been more nightmarish than 2016 or 2004 — we have fewer opportunities to tune out.
Monthly Archives: February 2020
Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1985
WatWat In 1985 the High Eighties begin — no one can deny the beards-and-bellbottoms era has ended after even a just-visiting listen to “All I Need” and “Say You, Say Me.” Both sport mixes so cavernous I can bury the Empire State Building and have space left to build a Starbucks, and the singing isContinue reading “Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1985”
I hope to write something soon about the recent Criterion release of Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue, a kooky if not daft piece of macho filmmaking that set France afire in 1986 and actually got an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Language Film.
“The one choice you don’t get to make is your very identity’
“The Forbidden Castle,” I said. On the sleeve a blond androgyne in an 1982 idea of what a medieval pauper wore. A bearded king. YOU’RE THE STAR OF THE STORY, I read atop. CHOOSE FROM 27 POSSIBLE ENDINGS. The B. Dalton books in Dadeland Mall had a shelful of these white half-foot-long paperbacks. I becameContinue reading ““The one choice you don’t get to make is your very identity’”
Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1984
The greatest pop year in twenty barely affected what our parents listened to, which is bullshit: my mom loved Duran Duran, Billy Ocean, Phil Collins, and Daryl Hall and John Oates. Insofar as an A/C listener existed in 1984, it was her mom and a fiction about that audience.
Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1983
The best ballad of the late twentieth century ruled for several weeks on 1983’s adult contemporary chart, peaked at #5 R&B, but stopping at #17 on the pop chart. I don’t mean “Baby, Come to Me,” precise comma placement notwithstanding. Rapt, deceptively light, “All This Love” remains the best single DeBarge released during the group’sContinue reading “Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1983”
In praise of Willa Cather
In his newsletter (available by subscription, sorry), Robert Christgau shares a lovely few paragraphs on rereading My Antonia and Willa Cather’s canonicity: You may think it’s a stretch to put her up against the early-modernist triumvirate for the simple reason that she wasn’t a modernist at all. But it’s always a distortion to gauge anContinue reading “In praise of Willa Cather”
Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1982
During the last year before MTV permanently changed pop, I see Air Supply, Neil Diamond, the last gasps of John Denver and Kenny Rogers, and Juice Newton addressing a Carter-era consensus about to break down. The A/C chart would replace one softness for another. One weirdness for another too. Can you think of a, say,Continue reading “Ranking the #1 adult contemporary hits of 1982”
On educational systems — Bernie Sanders and Fidel Castro’s
In the last few days I’ve watched South Florida Democrats, politicians and plebes, howl with despair over Senator Bernie Sanders’ defenses of the Cuban educational system on 60 Minutes. Here are the disavowals by my House representative and the rep in my neighboring district:
Ways of seeing: ‘Varda by Agnès’ honors breadth of great filmmaker
By the time of her death of cancer at ninety, Agnès Varda had become among cinephiles a Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Betty White: a touchstone beloved for her accomplishments, which were formidable, as much as for keeping up with a new generation of film audiences. 2017’s Oscar-nominated Faces Places signaled her new cultural ascendancy. ButContinue reading “Ways of seeing: ‘Varda by Agnès’ honors breadth of great filmmaker”
It’s simple: vote for whom you believe would be the best President.
People are more comfortable discussing what they believe is possible than what they actually believe in, but the former is most always the latter in disguise anyway.
The dullest week of 2020 could only muster a middling endorsement of Waxahatchee. Lil Wayne’s best album in years has more idiosyncratic material. Billie Eilish singing and co-writing a James Bond theme represents a clash of sensibilities that doesn’t generate the necessary frisson. And son on. Click on links for full reviews.