Rights and wrongs

By now, you’ve probably seen the interactive world map through which Johns Hopkins is charting the spread of COVID-19. It’s part video game UI, part stock report, and all alarming. The Hopkins tally reinforces something that’s been widely reported: the number of deaths in Italy now exceeds those in China, even though twice as many […]

On Zoom

I’ve never used Zoom before tonight. I’m not sure I ever want to do it again. But for forty-five minutes or so, I got to see my sister and her children, my brother-in-law, a pair of sibling cousins of mine who were central to my youth and remain important to me, my mother, and three […]

Five day count

We woke up to the news that the University will remain online-only for the rest of the semester. We knew this was coming, but it’s still dispiriting. The original plan, which was sent last Wednesday, was to reconvene classes on March 30. That seemed optimistic to us, a real long-shot, but as long as it […]

Slightly past the ides

I’ve put this off long enough. Everything I’ve done for a long time has been governed by superstition, so I must believe that journals bring bad luck. But I wish I’d kept a daily record in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers, and along with that collapse, the loss of the sense […]

About 2019: Singles

The Song That Shook The World At the risk of stating the obvious, 7 is by no means a good set. Then again, it’s not like the principals were trying to make one. If you were in Lil Nas X’s position, you probably wouldn’t sweat the details, either: you’d figure the sell-by date was coming at […]

Critics Poll 27 — Results

Dateline 1991. Playing in the background: “Can I Kick It?”, the first Tribe song I ever heard. So polite, so laid-back and crowd-participatory, so jazzy and skilled, so confident, so redolent of the new New York we were trying to create. Here was my first encounter with a friendly character we’d all come to know […]

Trembling Blue Stars — Alive To Every Smile

Act:¬†Trembling Blue Stars Title: Alive To Every Smile Year: 2001 Format: Ten song LP. From: London. That’s rainy suburban London, mind you — the London where the architecture is monotonously pretty, and a double-decker bus splashes muddy water all over your trousers. Genre/style: There’s good reason to call Trembling Blue Stars a tweepop band, and […]