Robbed by a Fountain Pen
Friday, February 21, 2003
The Critiquees Are In.
The results of the First Annual Blogcritics.org Music Awards, or Critiquees ("Cri-tee-kees") are up.
Album of the Year:
Monday, February 17, 2003
Victory of the Loud Little Handful.
by Mark Twain
The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war. The pulpit will - warily and cautiously - object... at first. The great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it."
Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded, but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and lose popularity.
Before long, you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men...
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger" (1910).
(I first saw this piece in Sojourners; this text is from Common Dreams.)
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Critiquees (cont.) Best Jazz.
And the final category for the Blogcritics Critiquees Awards:
Best Jazz Album.
1. Brad Mehldau - Largo
I couldn't decide which order to list these three, so it's basically a tie. Ask me tomorrow and get a different answer.
Monday, February 10, 2003
A Couple Trillion Dollars Here, A Couple There ...
... and pretty soon you're talking about real money. I've been too busy to post much the past week or two, but that doesn't mean I've gotten over "President" Bush's astonishingly irresponsible budget plans. You can count on the media to move on to other things, so I thought I'd start a series of budget posts just so we don't forget what's at stake. I'll start with the big ones:
"We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations." President Bush, 2003 State of the Union Address
In fact, according to the President's own budget, the $5.6 trillion surplus projected less than two years ago would become a $2.1 trillion deficit for the same ten-year period -- an $8 trillion change in just two years.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
Presenting ... the Critiquees.
The first annual Blogcritics Awards - also known as the Critiquees ("Cri-tee-kees") - are coming up! Blogcritics is the "sinister cabal of superior bloggers on music, books, film, popular culture, and technology." On February 16, Blogcritics will announce the Critiquees, which will consist of both a poll of the Blogcritics ourselves and also a Readers' Poll. To learn how to cast your vote (you get up to five per category), click here.
I'll to provide mini-reviews for each of my votes over the next couple of weeks. For now, my votes:
Album of the year.
1. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Best rock album.
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Best country/Americana album.
Neko Case - Blacklisted
Best R&B album.
Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up on Me
Best new artist.
Songwriter of the year.
Best soundtrack album.
Badly Drawn Boy - About a Boy
Best re-issue or compilation [box sets, re-mastered, or bonuses].
Jimmie Rodgers - Classic Sides 1927-1933
Song of the year.
None Of Us Are Free - Solomon Burke with the Blind Boys of Alabama
Best jazz album & Best electronic album.
I need to give jazz and electronic some more thought. I don't think I'll have votes for final two Blogcritics categories - World Music and "Album that sucks most vigorously."
Get a Job.
Data point of the week:
In the 22 months since the recession began in March 2001, the economy has lost almost two million jobs, or 1.5 percent of total employment.
On Bill Clinton's watch, the economy added an average of 2.86 million jobs per year.