Ranking #3 hits, U.S. edition: 1965-1966

Through the 1970s the so-called “easy listening” playlists coughed up hits like Tom Jones’, but what fascinates me are the one-offs like Napoleon XIV and Shirley Ellis. Their hits aren’t terrible, just not worth playing more than once. “The Name Game” is a jump rope anthem, not much more, while “They’re Coming to Take MeContinue reading “Ranking #3 hits, U.S. edition: 1965-1966”

‘Republican House members do not care about trans kids’

They are ghouls: The Republican majority in the Florida Legislature on Wednesday unexpectedly rammed a ban on transgender athletes in women’s and girls’ sports through the legislative process amid an outcry from Democrats who called foul on the last-minute procedural moves used to get the issue passed in the final days of session. House andContinue reading “‘Republican House members do not care about trans kids’”

The changing role of libraries

Libraries aren’t my second home — they’re home. Thanks to COVID, these public spaces have shifted by necessity from how Robert Frost defined home as “the place where, when you have to go there,/They have to take you in” (we often get the chilling if awkward response: “I should have called it/Something you somehow haven’tContinue reading “The changing role of libraries”

Exploring British jazz scenes and gay blues: Miami Jewish Film Festival 2021

The curious have two days until the end of the Miami Jewish Film Festival. I wrote about two other screenings, one of which I had some involvement. The best part for the interested: you pay a donation of your choice instead of a flat admission fee to stream a movie.

Human imbecility at its purest

Counting on Florida (the state with the prettiest name!) to match or surpass the limits of human imbecility should be a spectator sport. A Miami-Dade private school has made clear it will not keep employees who have gotten jabbed and who preach the Gospel of Fauci-ism: Leila Centner, who co-founded the school with husband DavidContinue reading “Human imbecility at its purest”

Ranking #1 singles, U.S. edition: 1992-1993

My patrons know I value singers whose ability to sound like you or me or any person not graced with outstanding musical talent matches a song’s intelligence. Vanessa Williams taught me this lesson early, for Helen Reddy had long since faded into footnotes. Baited with a once-in-a-lifetime pairing of Phil Galdston, Wendy Waldman, and JonContinue reading “Ranking #1 singles, U.S. edition: 1992-1993”

The malignancy of George W. Bush

“A society that lets George W. Bush go anywhere without a shrieking Greek chorus to remind him of his body count isn’t good for much at all,” Sarah Jones writes. The wretched thing about the shrieking excrescence that rotted in the Oval Office between January 2017 and January 2020 is how living Republicans before BushContinue reading “The malignancy of George W. Bush”

Live blogging the Oscars 2020

11:06 p.m. “Please watch our film on a larger screen,” Frances McDormand advises audiences regarding Best Picture winner Nomadland — perhaps an oblique attempt to back away from criticism about Amazon’s conflicts of interest. 11:01 p.m. Hollywood needed COVID to perfect this mixture of cold calculation and sentimentality. “I’m Lin-Manuel Miranda, my first film memoryContinue reading “Live blogging the Oscars 2020”

Singles 4/24

We got to “RAPSTAR” just in time and “Peaches” too late. As the former replaces the latter at #1 in America without (yet) becoming as ubiquitous as Justin Bieber’s drivel, it’s time to take stock of the number of tunes about fame-fame-fickle-fame that don’t curdle into an insular cheerlessness. Possibly BTS have recorded a fewContinue reading “Singles 4/24”