Category: Commentary

ABBA Reconsidered

Growing up in the 70’s, I heard my fair share of pop music, mostly as I dawdled over a bowl of cereal while our local AM radio station spun tunes in between news updates and weather forecasts. WIMA programmed an adult contemporary playlist that was as digestible at the breakfast table as it was suitable […]

Read More

Best Picture

What do Brad Pitt, Viola Davis, John Goodman and Jessica Chastain have in common? Each of them appears in two of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture of 2011 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Four of the films include French settings or characters, three of them use World Wars I […]

Read More

That’s Entertainment

The PTL Club: One of the funniest shows ever? Mark certainly thought so. John Cleese tells a story about the early days of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, when the fledgling series was difficult to catch due to its erratic broadcast schedule. A friend of his from Newcastle managed to tune in one night and laughed […]

Read More

Ding!

Encamped at opposite poles of the English-speaking world are extremists whose habits annoy the general population. At one end are those who are either profoundly ignorant of correct usage or completely indifferent to it. Tell one of them that he just misused the possessive your in place of the contraction you’re, and he may clap […]

Read More

Between The Lines

If the mixture of articles selected for inclusion in this weekend’s USA Today meaningfully reflects a diverse population’s collective interests, then ours is a nation of strange priorities. The current issue runs an unusually hefty 54 pages, thanks to a special section highlighting Super Bowl XLVI. The 14-page supplement, longer than any one of the […]

Read More

Wherefore Endorphins?

Creativity is an enticingly rewarding yet elusive pursuit. It seems to spring into existence like a strange and wondrous flowering plant, popping up in our gardens now and then regardless of whether or not we attempt to cultivate it. Those of us who appreciate the blooming presence of creative inspiration do all that we can […]

Read More

Pulling The Plug

The news came while I was at work, courtesy of a text message from my wife. It was not unexpected. We had been discussing the issue for months, but it took a surprising amount of courage to see our decision through to its implementation. Staring at my phone, I sighed with the knowledge that what […]

Read More

One More Endless Summer

Ready to “Do It Again”? Beach Boys Wilson, Marks, Johnston, Jardine and Love Christmas has apparently come early for music lovers in the form of last week’s announcement that all of the surviving Beach Boys intend to reunite for a 50-city world tour next summer in recognition of the legendary band’s 50th anniversary. That would […]

Read More

I Wanted My MTV

When was the last time you could honestly describe a 600-page nonfiction book as a thoroughly absorbing page-turner? Such length is usually the province of academic works requiring an investment of patience and concentration from the reader. Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum’s I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution (Dutton, […]

Read More