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Current Wisdom

The sad breakup of a truly promising rock ensemble occasioned because some idiot forgot to flush the toilet is remembered in the imperishable prose of Mr. James Montgomery, rock critic and skateboard aficionado:

My Chemical Romance broke up Friday night, ending a career that spanned a dozen years and produced some of the most visceral, dramatic rock and roll in recent memory.

There are, of course, the tangible things they leave behind—four studio albums, all of which are excellent (and none of which sound the same), a pair of live records, palettes of pancake makeup and racks of elaborate costumes, and a reel of music videos so epic it should probably be preserved for all perpetuity—and, while impressive, none of those things truly do My Chemical Romance justice. Because they were a band built around intangibles, they were about ideas and actions, hopes and dreams. They eternally existed at the intersection of creativity and conflict. It’s the reason they were a great band, and why they’ll certainly be missed. They wanted to change the world, to kill rock and roll, then resuscitate it, to use art as a weapon. Maybe they accomplished those things, maybe they didn’t, but that’s largely beside the point: My Chemical Romance were the rare band that dared to dream big, unapologetically so.
March 23, 2013


Joe Klein, that nice young boy over at Time, hints with utmost subtlety that our president is ready to move on to his “next big thing,” perhaps the expropriation of the hated top 1 percent or, as part of his health care reform, euthanasia for the very aged, say, those over 60:

I am, currently, mystified by Obama. He’s won his second term. He’s liberated. He can play golf with Tiger Woods. But where’s the bold policy equivalent of a round with Tiger? His aides say he has to focus on the issues of the moment—sequester, immigration reform, gun control. Of course he does. But there is also a need to start the conversation about the next big thing.
March 18, 2013

The Nation

The dark obsessions of historian Eric Alterman are revealed as he traduces two blameless patriots, one reputed to be an Eagle Scout and the other a tireless assistor to little old ladies crossing the street:

As in the case of Charles Murray, whose racist arguments were later revealed to be based on neo-Nazi sources, [Elliott] Abrams’s career of lying to Congress, undermining democracies, helping to rationalize and cover up mass murder, and impugning the reputations of those who sought to tell the truth about these horrific acts has failed to dissuade respectable institutions like the Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University, and any number of temples and synagogues from treating him as if he had been a perfectly decent and honorable public servant. What does it say about our most influential and important institutions that this lifelong embarrassment to American democracy can be embraced as one of their own?
April 1, 2013

The Progressive

The United States military gives Pfc. Bradley Manning his own private accommodations and the silly old editor of The Prog takes offense. What is to be done?:

I salute Private First Class Bradley Manning.

I salute him for withstanding the hideous mistreatment he has faced in the 1,000 days he’s been confined, often in solitary, sometimes naked, enduring sleep and sensory deprivation.

I salute him for being a soldier of conscience who was outraged by what he saw in Iraq, especially by the video of the Apache helicopter attack on two Reuters journalists and that van that came to assist them.

I salute… [blah, blah, blah].
April 2013

New York Times

Columnist Charles M. Blow, known to readers of this column as Charles M. Blowhard, points to the lowly estate of that political party that has gained control of the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, the majority of governors’ mansions (30), and the majority of state legislatures (Republicans 27, Democrats 17), all at the expense of the Democratic Party. Play it again, Charles:

The Republican Party is experiencing an existential crisis, born of its own misguided incongruity with modern American culture and its insistence on choosing intransigence in a dynamic age of fundamental change. Instead of turning away from obsolescence, it is charging headlong into it, becoming more strident and pushing away more voters whom it could otherwise win.
March 23, 2013

The Easterner

(Official gazette of Eastern Washington University)

The vigorous life of the mind as lived at Eastern Washington University and Car Wash, out there on the West Coast in the eastern perimeter of the great Northwest, where the buffalo used to roam but now they have been replaced by asexuals, wandering hermaphrodites, and homing pigeons:

Asexuality can describe many different lifestyles, but the culture has one common thread. Their sexual preference is not you.

In 2005, Angela Tucker was searching for a unique topic to create her first independent documentary. That May Salon published an article describing the life story of asexual San Franciscan David Jay. Tucker was immediately inspired….

Asexuality is not to be confused with belonging to the third gender. Third gender is a gender category in which members are neither male or [sic] female. Those of the third gender have created pronouns to refer to themselves with [sic]. Fira Ballew, an event attendee, chooses “jhe” in place of “he/her” and “jhur” in place of “him/her.”

Ballew, an EWU interdisciplinary studies senior and aromantic [sic] asexual, said that jhe is happy to have the film available as a method of exposing jhur subculture to those who do not understand it. Jhe felt the film showed a lot of attacks on asexuality “It felt like a punch in the gut to hear those” [sic], said Ballew.
February 27, 2013

Washington Post

The melancholy revelations of one Miss Donna Freitas about that faraway Halloween night at old Georgetown U. when she pulled all the stops, went hog wild, even donned fishnets, wore no deodorant, and still could not arouse a single kiss, even from an itinerant homeless person of either sex:

When I was an undergraduate at Georgetown University in the early 1990s, my roommate and I dressed up like prostitutes for Halloween. We bought fishnets, wore our tightest, sexiest clothes and sauntered out like were the hottest girls alive.

I remember that night fondly, even though my feminist sensibilities cringe a little now. For me, the costume was a form of sexual experimentation. I chose to dress sexier than I ever had and to stretch the boundaries of what I considered acceptable. And back then, I didn’t know anyone else who had done it.
March 31, 2013

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