Are you not entertained?

I’ve been niggardly in updating the songs-of-the-day in recent … um … months. I can fix this. Behold nine songs you should download/buy/stream/petition your radio station to play ASAP.

1.) The Go-Betweens, “Apology Accepted.” Perfectly overwrought ballardry from the Best Australian Band That Isn’t AC/DC. The beautiful melody aside, I’ve got a weakness for this last song from their best album because of the distorted guitar that drones like a sophomore’s alarm clark. It’s so out of place that it ups the song’s quality many times over.

2.) The Blasters, “So Long Baby Goodbye.” A forgotten rockabilly classic. Just TRY not to imitate Dave Alvin’s voice after you hear it.

3.) Erasure, “Solsbury Hill.” Slightly blasphemous cover of the Peter Gabriel standard that adds synth bleeps where once there were acoustic guitars.

4.) Dwight Twilley, “Why You Wanna Break My Heart.” Also known as the song that Tia Carrere played in Wayne’s World during her inadvertant winning of the slacker hero’s heart. Cornier than western Nebraska.

5.) Dusty Springfield, “In Private.” The best of her Pet Shop Boys-produced comeback singles. A vocal and melody that could melt lead.

6.) The Isley Brothers, “For The Love of You.” Hear it before Puff Daddy turns it into a tribute to his birthday party.

7.) The Turtles, “House on the Hill.” As hardcore and addictive as the sissy-rockers ever got. The chorus will tatoo itself into your brain, so be ready for that.

8.) Alice Cooper, “From the Inside.” A story of self-discovery and drug rehab, written and performed with Elton John’s band. I am completely serious.

9.) Tommy Keene, “Silent Town.” Honeyed guitar leads, a measured vocal, mysterious lyrics … another classic from Earth-2, where the music I like is as popular as Avril Lavigne’s tie collection.


Hitch vs. the Vatican, part XXIV

Go and read Christopher Hitchens’ acidic dismissal of the Vatican’s pro-Saddam activism. It’s concise and priceless:

One wonders what it would take for the Vatican to condemn Saddam’s regime. Baathism consecrates an entire country to the worship of a single human being. Its dictator has mosques named after himself. I’m not the expert on piety, but isn’t there something blasphemous about this from an Islamic as well as a Christian viewpoint? I suppose if Saddam came out for partial-birth abortions or the ordination of women or the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle he might be hit with a condemnation of some sort.

Still, I’m waiting for Hitch to take on the inherent neo-Marxism of these kinds of anti-war arguments. To the Marxists, every problem in the world, national and international, is the fault of the U.S. because it has the power. Understanding this argument, in all its silliness, can save you the time of listening to most of the protestors.


A visit to planet Kook

This is cute. Danny K. Boyle, a staffer who helped draft the impeachment resolution of George H.W. Bush in 1991 (What? You don’t remember?), is shilling his insane new articles of impeachment. The first article uses the word “totalitarian” four times. A sample from Article II:

In the conduct of the office of President of the United States, George Walker Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. U.S. soldiers in the Middle East are overwhelmingly poor White, Black, and Latino and their military service is based on the coercion of a system that has denied viable economic opportunities to these classes of citizens. Under the Constitution, all classes of citizens are guaranteed equal protection of the laws, and calling on the poor and minorities to fight a war for oil to preserve the lifestyles of the wealthy power elite of this country is a denial of the rights of these soldiers.

If you’re guessing that Boyle is a law professor, you’re right. A law professor wrote that clause. Never forget that.

The good people at Pacifica Radio let Boyle read his resolution over the air, as if it wasn’t completely moronic. To be fair, here’s a link to the 1991 resolution. Many of the articles are precursors to the current res – my favorite is Article IV, which slams Bush for “systematically eliminat[ing] every option for peaceful resolution of the Persian Gulf crisis.”

Be sure to listen to the Pacifica interview, wherein host Amy Goodman asks Boyle: “Can you impeach the vice president?” And keep in mind that these people think they’re smarter than George W. Bush.


Congratulations to James Justin Wilson

This summer, the fearsomely skilled editor of the Michigan Review will be standing athwart history in Washington, DC. I am waiting to hear back from the magazine’s New York offices to see if I’ll be one of Justin’s coworkers – but this is enough good news for one day. If you notice NR kicking substantially more ass in a few months, it’ll be Justin’s doing.


Horowitz back on track

I had given him up to the forces of far-right, Birchite insanity, but David Horowitz can still make an erudite, undebunkable point when he needs to. His lengthy letter to Salon today is essential reading for anyone who’s ever bought into the Alterman thesis.

The absurdity is Alterman’s comment that Matt Drudge rules the Internet. No one rules the Internet. The idea is laughable on its face, even more so coming from a pundit whose employer, Microsoft, is the digital Standard Oil of its day, with tentacles spreading liberal influence throughout the media universe. (For those who like hard statistics, MSNBC.com, where Alterman writes a media column, is rated 42 in traffic volume on the Web, while the Drudge Report is rated 346. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page — opinionjournal.com — is rated 3,583.) Drudge does not editorialize on his site but posts other media outlets’ news — a point Alterman seems to have overlooked. Moreover, Drudge’s sensational news items often skewer Republican hides.

This is irefutably true. I read something yesterday – it might have been in the Nation – that claimed that the Trent Lott scandal was followed through by left-wing bloggers, and that the right-wing only haltingly followed along when it looked like they could benefit from it. If you can find some cached Drudge pages, you can see how wrong this is.

Nation publisher and editorial director Victor Navasky is a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, left-wing syndicated columnist Robert Scheer is a professor at the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. I recently had lunch with the dean of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the same institution and he conceded that he could not identify a single member of his faculty who was not on the political left. My friend Christopher Hitchens, only recently departed from the Nation (and still a progressive at heart), is a professor at the New School and currently the I.F. Stone fellow at the Berkeley School of Journalism, whose dean is a well-known left-wing journalist (and sometime Nation contributor), Orville Schell. Other Nation writers with faculty posts include Adolph Reed (New School), columnist Patricia Williams (Columbia), Philip Klinkner (Hamilton), Jon Wiener (UC-Irvine) Stephen Cohen (Princeton), Eric Foner (Columbia), Michael Klare (professor of peace studies at the Five Colleges) — and that’s just off the top of my head. I don’t know of a single conservative magazine with such a university-subsidized editorial board and staff.

I beg – BEG – an Altermanite to rebut this.

The rest of the article is similarly solid.


Life after burnout

I’ve slept like a king these last few days, rousing only to send out resumes and clear up housing information for the Money internship. Stuff that must be done:

– one editing project
– one editing exam
– one 10-page Milton paper
– a to-come Urban Politics paper
– mailings to Chron donors and subscribers (in the midst of more cold and snow)
– finding an apartment for next year (see above)

The rest of my classwork has been happily inducted into the Hell Week Hall of Fame. Now, pardon me while I try to survie 10 more days.


Bookmark this guy

The Poor Man, ne Andrew Northrup, maintains one of the funniest weblogs I’ve ever read. A brilliant aside today, concerning Woody Harrelson and hemp activism:

Much like writing your own poetry, there is nothing wrong with it, as long as you have the common decency to be ashamed of it, and don’t try to inflict it on other people. Failing this, you may be excused if you do not film your travels around the country on a pot-powered bus, playing “Weekend at Bernie’s” with the putrid corpse of 1968.