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Heavy Weather

In Upstate New York the long winter, even harsher than last, has been washed away by torrential rains. This morning at the Ithaca Falls the muddy floodwaters have risen to…

The Thematics of Spring Break

Ithaca, New York. — Patches of snow cling to the muddy earth in the city’s picturesque nineteenth-century cemetery just. In the nearby gorge the creek builds momentum ever hour as the…

The Bombing of Dresden, 70 Years Later

The Bombing of Dresden, 70 Years Later

A BBC Breakfast interview with 95-year-old Dresden firebombing survivor Victor Gregg aired last month in the UK on the 70th anniversary of the attacks. This ten-minute video should be required…

The Gusts of Globalization

Last month the novelist, screenwriter, and CounterPunch contributor Clancy Sigal, whose most recent book is the vital Hemingway Lives!, sent me the following vignette, a history lesson in the nearly…

The Unbearable Lightness of Superbowl Music

The Unbearable Lightness of Superbowl Music

A late-imperial malaise hung in the air over Glendale, Arizona on SuperBowl Sunday. It could not be chased away by all the bright artificial lights that shone down on the…

Scoring Pynchon

The baroque density of Thomas Pynchon’s novels for half-a-century has dissuaded filmmakers from trying to turn any of them into movies. Paul Thomas Anderson’s valiant—or perhaps just plain crazy—cinematic confrontation…

Drumming at the Apocalypse

Drumming at the Apocalypse

I didn’t vault happily into the New Year, but slunk into it by way of the cinema, on January 1st taking in a double bill whose two soundtracks offered huge…

Sultans of the Stick

Sultans of the Stick

One of the longest milliseconds I ever lived through came before the beginning of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem. The members of the Stanford Chorus crowded onto the risers…

Hymns Of The Pilgrim Conquest

Edward Winslow’s Good Newes from New-England published in 1624 in London begins its account in November of 1621. There is no word of the first Thanksgiving. That didn’t happen until…

Qat, Coffee & Qambus

One of the most widespread platitudes about music is that it is a universal language: thus the golden LP of the Voyager spacecraft launched in the 1970s and since last…

Handel’s Disaster Music

Last week’s 6.0 earthquake epicentered in California’s Napa Valley was taken by a few evangelical types as a warning sign from God against the endemic decadence of wine country, not…

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