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Category Archives: Music

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Is nothing sacred? Is nothing outside the reach of Hollywood’s smarmy glitz brigade? Does someone really think the best way to advance a thoughtful, serious, transformational campaign is with a star-studded, warmed-over Rock-the-Vote music video? Seriously? To call in the help of last week’s People Magazine rehab poster children. They’ll give this Kid Obama credibility. Really? An authentic, tough-minded and inspiring candidate emerges on the scene and we immediately think: Get me David Geffen. And that Black Eyed Pea dude–– with a name out of a Dr. Seuss book. And find out if Scarlet Johansen can sing (she clearly can’t act). See if we can get Dylan. No. Dylan’s kid. We’re going for the youth vote. The youth angle. Hope. Change. That’s youth-oriented, right? The kids will eat this stuff up. We’ll package this Obama kid like…you know…the next big thing. We’ll make Hope hip. Hope is hip. I like it! It is all so Wag the Dog.

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The results are in. He wins Washington. He wins Nebraska. He wins Louisiana. And he may win an MTV Video Music Award. But the more he wins, the more he just keeps the Democratic race neck and neck. And at this point, it is still looking like it is Hillary Clinton by a nose. But then again, it can still be Obama. Yes, it can.

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It’s kinda funny. A school teacher in Connecticut calls the cops when she hears the janitor doing karaoke over the school PA system. The custodian was doing his heartfelt rendition of “Welcome to the Jungle.” Among the lyrics is the poignant phrase: “you’re in the jungle baby, you’re gonna die.” It was these words that rattled the teacher. Little wonder. These days, the Blackboard Jungle is a pretty scary place. Teachers are routinely blown away by troubled youth. Teachers are held at gunpoint by a government that wants no child left behind. Teachers in low-performing schools are held hostage by standardized tests that ultimately and mercilessly determine where they stand as a teacher. And the biggest gun held to their heads is the one that demands school teachers to inspire our callow youth to achieve the sort of lofty goals that lax parenting, overextended two-income households and poverty-stricken single moms fail to. The cultural cannon is blasting away at the school teacher. And no one stops to think that academic excellence never has rested in their hands. Kids learn to love books when they see parents’ noses wedged in a novel. Kids learn to work hard in school when Mom requires them to work hard at home. Kids keep their beaks out of the nose candy when Dads model contentment, godliness and love. The classroom can only do so much. And parents have to do a whole lot more. That has always been the case. After all, it’s a jungle, baby.

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Remember the Dark Ages? Back when superstitious folks would pay small fortunes to possess a sliver of the Holy Cross. A chunk of the Holy Sepulchre. A bit of the Holy Grail. Well, it would appear that those glory days of borrowed glory are back with a vengeance. For it seems that former Beatle John Lennon––if not bigger than Jesus––is at least, as relicly-challenged. Yesterday, for the handsome sum of $48,000, some lucky individual gained the proud possession of a lock of Lennon’s legendary moptop. A dead Beatle’s dead hair. Forty-eight big ones. Cheap at half the price. Relics, I think, will always have their allure. Recently, my wife and I attended the estate sale of well-beloved, recently-deceased Baptist minister. The ornately appointed parsonage was full of rickety card tables covered with chipped china, tarnished silver, and discarded jewelry. Everything was wildly over-priced, yet selling like hot cakes. For with every sale, people were requiring the story. “Oh, that was the Criswells’ very first candelabra.” Really! Their very first? ” Isn’t it lovely?” Why, yes it is. And this? “Her first mink coat.” Myyyy! Yes, relics, it seems, are here to stay. For nobodies like us have always been willing to pay just about anything for a piece of somebodies like them.