Can we do this? Joe Biden vs Donald Trump

10:31 p.m. A mistake to do this. I can’t. I’d rather read Rita Dove and Jose Saramago. But the president just admitted he wants Judge Amy Coney Barrett to “settle disputes.” 10:18 p.m. I can’t think of a single GOP president since Reagan who knows how to mention forests without mentioning kindling, the health benefitsContinue reading “Can we do this? Joe Biden vs Donald Trump”

Ranking Prince’s album closers 1978-2000

Not as well in toto as I expected. Maybe on a less sunny day I’d condemn “The Sacrifice of Victor” or save “Temptation,” both an example of different kinds of messes Prince Rogers Nelson made when overdubbing meant interment like what happens to the drunk in “The Cask of Amontillado.” I feel cheated, though: “SometimesContinue reading “Ranking Prince’s album closers 1978-2000”

‘You’re exchanging votes for lives’: on the altering of CDC data

If the Joe Biden campaign paid me for advice, I’d order them to forget focusing on Donald Trump’s character, buffoonery, and hypocrisy. Letting more than 200,000 die from COVID for the sake of good PR — that’s it. He and the Dauphin didn’t care if people in Democratic states died. He had no interest inContinue reading “‘You’re exchanging votes for lives’: on the altering of CDC data”

Songs peaking at #2, UK edition: 1969-70

I’m relieved the UK also endured a wave of murder ballads from men whose mutton chops were less terrifying than their vibratos. A ringer for Tom Jones singing, who knows, Shel Silverstein, Tony Christie puts supper club conviction into “I Did What I Did for Maria” without once convincing this listener that he had theContinue reading “Songs peaking at #2, UK edition: 1969-70”

Ranking the ‘We Are the World’ singers

(AP Photo) “I’m sick of Anglophiles dissing ‘We Are the World’ when ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ as a collection of vocal performances is a well-intentioned shambles, I wrote earlier this month after ranking the former. “WATW makes its suspicious, creepy universalism signify more than the drinks-after-cricket male whiteness of DTKIC.”

Songs peaking at #9, UK edition: 1993-1995

These are solid top tens, to which I have attachments. For example, “Jump They Say” gets little credit for wiping my preconceived notions about David Bowie’s capabilities between 1984 and 1993. Reliant on lite house beats, trumpet and his own sax solo, and chillingly sung verses, Bowie’s first top ten since 1985 reminded listeners, especiallyContinue reading “Songs peaking at #9, UK edition: 1993-1995”

Florida: Ron DeSantis wants to kill us

Grading papers and trying to write on Friday afternoon after a distracted morning, I came to a screeching halt on learning about the Trumpian Lickspittle’s latest salvo to demonstrate his unyielding fealty to the White House’s current occupant. By now the world has learned how Governor Ron DeSantis has “opened up” Florida (the state withContinue reading “Florida: Ron DeSantis wants to kill us”

Songs peaking at #8, UK edition: 1988-1991

Alert readers will know once I get to this period I run up against solid to excellent house/pop house tracks adducing the UK’s commitment to dance and dancing. This craze swept up Stone Roses and the last of the Madchester train jumpers Blur, whose “There’s No Other Way” remains one of their more charming singles.Continue reading “Songs peaking at #8, UK edition: 1988-1991”

Why ‘Trump will steal the election!!’ has not spooked me

MSNBC thrives on stories like these, and juxtaposed against the terrifying scenario described by The Atlantic‘s Barton Gellman, we can conclude that the United States looks ready to transform itself into Pinochet’s Chile.