Remembering a time when Springsteen wasn’t hip is like imagining a time when it was illegal to serve alcohol. The period from 1992 to the release of the ’95 greatest hits compilation found The Boss experimenting with The Earring, The Goatee, and The Flowered Shirts and, depressingly, The Untucked Dress Shirt. To buy Tunnel of… More Lost in the darkness of my love: Tunnel of Love
Bill Clinton’s signing of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act was one of the crumbs thrown at liberal supporters in 1994. Written to combat a wave of violence against abortion clinics, doctors, and women who use the clinics, it made it a federal crime to injure or scare those seeking care. But after… More And it’s going to get worse
After years of indifferent singles that failed to catch anyone’s attention (I wasn’t fond of guest appearances on Fantasia and Janet Jackson singles either), Missy Elliott realizes that her strength is in minimalism. We rewarded her — and Pharrell’s not bad rap to a lesser extent. A shame my colleagues weren’t smitten with the title… More Singles 11/27
As I posted today and earlier this week, Princeton students protesting the deification of Woodrow Wilson object to his discriminatory policies as president. Resegregating the federal government ended the sinecure on which middle class blacks had depended since the Gilded Age. Keep in mind: the Republican Party had been the dominant political force since 1860,… More The legacy of Wilsonism
The way in which we sentimentalize the most average experiences exemplifies what Marxists call false consciousness. Many complaints about Princetonians objecting to Woodrow Wilson tut-tut about what campus protest was really like, man. Corey Robin doesn’t believe it. To listen to the critics of these Princeton students, you would think that until these students came… More Those Stalinist students!
My family serves mushroom foie gras to accompany the venison and avoids heated arguments, but I know Syria, Barack Obama’s response, and other Democratic verities have come under scrutiny at other tables. Digby: The difference between these two phenomena is best illustrated by the massive whining and tantrums that result from any joking around about… More Happy Thanksgiving — for what it’s worth
America is a didactic country whose people always offer their personal experiences as a helpful lesson to the rest, hoping to hearten them and do them good–an intense sort of personal public relations project. there are times when I see this as idealism. There are other times when it looks to me like pure delirium.… More I said thank you sumbitches!
Vampire Weekend – Contra (2010) Wispy if not vaporous on first and even third listening, with synthesized beats that don’t complement the vocal tracks. But I learned to love the whole thing, smitten with the tales of love on the run and narratives fractured in part by sampled harmonies substituting for guitar parts and Ezra… More A few of my favorite things #14
Film writers speak in generalizations. This one feels earned: no actress in movie history wringed so many nuances from the smile than Setsuko Hara. Thank Yasujiro Ozu for recognizing its possibilities. The pained, embarrassed smile (Tokyo Story). The indulgent smile (Late Spring). The malicious smile, worn to death by the demands of family (Early Summer).… More Setsuko Hara – RIP
Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood A strange thing about The Outsiders: “Talladega” and “Cold One” sounded fine on the radio. Maybe it’s a post-CD age album after all, refuting the sticky recollections in Mr. Misunderstood‘s title track, on which Eric Church the adolescent Elvis CAH-STELL-LOH fan scowled at top forty listeners, thus earning the right… More Eric Church, Justin Bieber
Saoirse Ronan is the best reason to watch Brooklyn. As Eilis Lacey of Enniscorthy, Ireland, urged to seek opportunities in New York, Ronan projects a determination – a sense of knowing her own mind – different from the passivity of the young woman in Colm Tóibín’s 2009 novel. Raised in lower middle class gentility, she… More ‘Brooklyn’ — romance yay, assimilation nay
A couple days before Thanksgiving, remembering the mockery and hysteria with which the president’s sobriety before the forces of terrorist reaction has been greeted by the Beltway press, I thought it time to take stock. Charles Pierce: Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson described the issue of chattel slavery as the equivalent of holding a… More ‘The lost illusions of American exceptionalism’