The Poll turns 31

Why not vote in the 31st edition of our Poll? You might take a few moments to register your impressions and opinions about the music you heard in 2020, or vent, or tell dirty jokes. There’s no wrong way to do it. This form will be active on the site until midnight on January 23, […]

Listening Schedule 2020

These aren’t all great albums, necessarily, although some of them are terrific. They’re the albums that were significant to me and my friends: the ones that scored the year that was. We don’t believe in assessing a year in music until it’s over. Starting on Wednesday, we’ll listen carefully to two albums every day. These […]

The Chilean solution

There are many reasons you might be jealous of Chile: six hundred miles of coastline, mariscos and avocados, swell Mediterranean climate, a great pop scene in Santiago, etcetera. Me, I am jealous of Chileans because of what they managed to accomplish last week. By a landslide – more than three quarters of votes cast – Chile […]

A quick addition to the last post

I wasn’t going to write anything else about the election. I felt like that last post said all I needed to say. But as I’ve learned, sometimes, circumstances move faster than type; sometimes they’re faster than thought. As you know, the President has tested positive and is now in the hospital. Given the way he […]

From me to you

Chances are, you’re exhausted, too. You don’t want to talk about the election, or civil society, or anything of the sort. Airtight arguments haven’t gotten you anywhere, and those moral and emotional appeals haven’t done much, either. You know this is the state that powerful people want you in: too wiped out to put up […]

Just before the fall

Election Day is two months away. I don’t think we’re prepared for it. There are going to be arguments and hot air, there’ll be disbelief, there’ll be conspiracy theories, charges and counter-charges, accusations, psychological breakdowns, horror shows on the nightly news, psy-ops in broad daylight. Will there be violence? I sure hope not. But the […]

Hater you participate

I consider it a thing of monstrous arrogance to support a political candidate because he or she agrees with me. For starters, my judgment is compromised in dozens of ways. I take it for granted that I’m misinformed, and woefully ill-equipped to untangle the sort of knotty problems that leaders face. John McCain stands out […]

Seven score and four years ago

The Kentucky primary election is still too close to call.  A landslide of mail-in ballots are going to need to be counted, and that’s going to take time. Understandably, many voters were reluctant to head to the voting booths in the middle of a pandemic. But many weren’t, and the lines outside polling places became a story, […]

Can’t happen here

We started getting reports from China in early January. They were sketchy, but we knew something was going on. Then there were the cruise ships, at least one of which regularly docked in Bayonne. Close to home, quite literally, but the news didn’t clarify much. By late February, the doors to the Life Care Center […]

The Tulsa trap

About a month after the 2016 general election, George drove me home from practice. He was, as we all were, very worried about the consequences of the decisions that the country had made and the experiment in extreme laissez-faire that was about to commence. The American governing apparatus, he believed, was a machine too powerful […]