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Of Christians & Cretins

Sacrificing sanity for the cause of knowledge, I’m in the midst of my own private Steve Bannon documentary film festival. I’ll report on my findings in this space later this…

Mortal Embarrassments Amid the Gods of Tinseltown

Mortal Embarrassments Amid the Gods of Tinseltown

One observes the liturgy of the Academy Awards for the gaffs and grandiosity. From the heavens above Hollywood, these miraculous moments fall like tiny healing drops of holy water.  Everyone…

Founding Father of American Song

Less than a month before the first presidential election of December 1788, Francis Hopkinson published his Seven Songs for the Harpsichord or Forte Piano, dedicating the set “To His Excellency George Washington,…

White Supremacy & Music Theory

For several years my grandparents lived in a small house on the same property on Bainbridge Island as my nuclear family—nuclear in more than one sense, since our home was…

SuperBowl Hits & Histrionics

SuperBowl Hits & Histrionics

Who says America doesn’t have a natural aristocracy? From young Bar(r)on von Trump to Lady Gaga, this country has produced legions of men, women, ADD teens, and hypoallergenic designer dogs,…

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Inauguration

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Inauguration

The funniest thing about presidential inaugural ceremonies is that anyone takes them seriously at all.  This latest edition reached new heights—and depths—of comic excellence. To his credit, Barack Obama had…

The Ironies Of ‘La La Land’

The Ironies Of ‘La La Land’

Irony is the not-so-new normal. Somewhere back in the swirling dry-ice mists of history, round about the time of the one-and-only Clinton Administration, this venerable figure-of-speech stretched its wings and…

Jesu: Bach’s Timeless Broth

For many it remains an open question whether the tricentenary of one of J. S. Bach’s most famous tunes—or, to be more precise, the work that eventually spawned that tune—should…

Brahms & The Tears of Britain’s Oppressed

London — ‘Tis the season to think about the next season. Before letting the wave of Christmas gifts crash of over their heads and/or into the digital stockings, and before…

Dirges for the Living Dead

Dirges for the Living Dead

At any political funeral, especially one as sorrowful and grandiose as Hillary’s ongoing obsequies, there will inevitably be abundant tears and cathartic sighs, long faces and stiff upper lips, doleful…

Ceremonial Bugles: The Latest Insult To Veterans

Ceremonial Bugles: The Latest Insult To Veterans

Another Memorial Day has come and gone in Ithaca’s ramshackle nineteenth-century civic graveyard that sprawls over some twenty hillside acres between the flats of downtown and the campus of Cornell…

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