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The Military-Football Complex

The Military-Football Complex becomes more sinister every year. One should never be fooled into thinking the apogee of cynicism has been reached when the first Sunday in February rolls around…

Painful Paeans To America

Panic set in not for the obvious reasons: the blinding white stone of the Capitol dome, ramparts and columns resembling nothing so much as Albert Speer’s Hall of the People…

The Hoisting Of Russell Crowe

Every time Russell Crowe appeared on screen in Tom Hooper’s new film of Les Misérables all I could think was: Thank God The Gladiator wasn’t a musical. Imagine if Crowe’s…

Christmas’s Greatest Anti-Carol

An armchair psychologist might say it could only be a December baby born in the Great Depression who could have devised a song so devastatingly critical of the contradictions between…

A Bachian Christmas

Last year during the crux of pre-Christmas consumption, I ventured into the greatest musical basement east of the Village Vanguard: the classical CD section of Dussman’s Cultural Department Store in…

That Bond Sound

While the greatest musical dynasties ruled over vast empires of the imagination, their geographic domains were small. The Couperins held the organist post at the church of St. Gervais in…

From East Germany To The Electoral College

The American electoral system is a difficult thing to explain to Europeans with a long tradition of proportional representation. My first two-year stretch spent living in Berlin between 2003 and…

Musical Weapons Of Mass Destruction

The Romney “Believe in America” bus may have been on the road right until the end, but in the last weeks of the campaign it was clear from the laughable…

The Light Brothers

Born October 19th, 1862 Auguste Lumière—the elder of the two brothers, who later became the world’s first filmmakers—would have celebrated his 150th birthday last week. If one defines the cinema…

A Debate In Search Of A Soundtrack

The importance of music can only be truly gauged by its absence. A bride walking down the aisle in silence is an act that thunders more loudly than a hundred…

Der Super-Porno

Spotting an acquaintance in an airport can be unsettling. Should you say hello or disappear wordlessly down the concourse? It’s especially awkward when you spot that friend lurking among the…