Monday, November 24, 2003

You Know What You Never Hear Anymore? "Paparazzi"

One of the cameramen covering Michael Jackson's arrest had a heart attack and died in the middle of filming. I find this story a veritable fount of questions: 1) Why does the man's employer's statement that he was a "gentle man" not jibe with the fact that he apparently dropped dead while "racing down stone steps at the Santa Barbara jail," presumably to better capture the shocking human drama of a famous person walking out of a car and into a building, as Jackson was undoubtedley doing? 2) Why is this news? If a cameraman dropped dead while filming the ice-slicks on a snow day, would we be hearing about it? Does this man's parasitic relationship to Jackson render him worthy of our momentary attention? 3) Knowing that I have some obligation to feel bad for the poor fellow, who died while working, without much of a chance to put his soul in order, how do I repress the schadenfreude at seeing one of the yelping newsmutts, with their mindless devotion to sensation, brought so low? I feel just awful about the whole thing. Really, I do.

Stop giggling.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Assorted Rants, Or How the Mighty are Fallen

1. The Beatles. And the Boomer nostalgia machine strikes again. Every couple years or so they dust off songs we've bought, listened to, and recorded for 40 years, repackage them, and lay them on the altar of Our Long Lost Pop Innocence. Spare me. The Beatles were a good pop band with an honest dedication to crafting well-made pop songs, ones that shimmer with life even forty years down the road. That's all they were. Nuthin' wrong with that, but let's stop regurging up the same old slosh when there are thousands of bands trying to create something new that won't get heard because we keep wanting the same old slosh, served hot. For pity's sake, Let it Be.

2. JFK. See the first sentence of above. My birthday was yesterday, and every day after my birthday I have to put up with Camelot/Conspiracy fetishistas doing their merry best to make us feel gloomy before Thanksgiving. The man is dead. His son is dead. His presidency wasn't a golden age. The Kennedys aren't coming back to rescue us from our social anomie. They were a rich and pretty family that bought political power and used it to make asses of themselves. Their memory is not tragic. Lyndon Johnson was tragic; a shady backroom dealer with control issues who had no idea how to prosecute a war; a good-hearted man who hated bigotry and racism, who only wanted to lend the poor a helping hand, but left office in hatred and disgrace when he hit the wall of human power. Richard Nixon was tragic; an even shadier dealer who had no idea how to manage an economy; a farsighted-strategist who set in motion the dynamic that would end the Cold War twenty years later, who could not be forgiven by the cool kids because he was so earnestly uncool, and thus went over the edge of paranoia and went home in even bigger disgrace. John Kennedy is just dead. Deal.

3. Michael Jackson. Bleaaahhhhhh. Just Bleaaaaaahhhhhh. Who's to blame for this? What happened to that guy? How did he evolve from being the Golden Boy of Pop, the James Brown of his Generation with Beatles-like fan adoration, to that pasty pedophiliac Skeletor thing? I feel nausea, and not just at his face: at the machine that is now crushing him with all the glee with which they once deified him, and at us, because we buy it. Let him be carted off to prison if he so merits, but then let's shut up about him. If we should feel anything, we should be ashamed of ourselves, for devoting so much of our energy on someone who didn't need it or deserve it. Look at that face of his, if you can, and say to yourself: That is the face of a star.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Telegraph's Summation

Link via Andrew Sullivan:

A summary of that wisdom would go like this: (a) terrorism cannot be defeated in the long run, its perpetrators sooner or later have to be treated with, and their legitimate demands met in some form or other; (b) the Muslim world, and specifically the Arab portion of it, is culturally unsuited to freedom and democracy; (c) the Arab-Israeli dispute lies at the heart of the ills of the Middle East; (d) Israel is principally at fault in that conflict and must be pressured into making most concessions; (e) it is the EU that has played the lead role in bringing about the peace and prosperity of the Continent since 1945; (f) wongdoers on the international scene should be treated with via multilateral forums such as the UN and associated bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency; (g) endless discussion in such bodies is therapeutic in and of itself, and is invariably preferable to the use of force.

So, here's the challenge to all anti-war folk: How much of that do you agree with? If so, why? If not, what's your plan for defeating the enemy?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Sooooo...Gay Marriage...

The more I think about the subject, the more tedious it becomes, the more I don't want to be involved in the discussion, the more I would wish that all TV shows not about the weather and the stock market be banned. Mostly I object to being required to put my nose in other people's business. I honestly don't want to have to care about the gay couple down the street, or what they do when the lights are turned off. That's their business, and as long as they behave with civility and decorum, I don't see that I should have to get involved. They want tolerance, I am willing to grant it. They want friendship, I see no reason to withhold it.

But that's not enough. Now the gay activist community (this is of course a broad generalization. No two gays, or even gay activists, are the same. But there is an ideology that drives many, and it is that I choose to address) wants their gayness to be my business. And they want me to like it. And if I don't, I'm no different from Cotton Ed Smith. I must silence my opinions and smile. The gay activist community is required to do nothing. They get to keep their disdain for straight culture, their disdain for religion, their hypersensitivity. The parades stay.

If I'm being maudlin, it's because I don't like broad, sweeping societal change without good reason. And I still don't see the point to gay marriage. What stops two gays or lesbians now from spending the rest of their lives together, if they should wish to do so? The fact that the "breeders" don't clap their hands in approval? Who cares? The disposition of property? Surely a will and a good lawyer can accomplish as much. The extension of health benefits? More reasonable, but a function of our excessively regulated and hence excessivly expensive healthcare system. $200 a month I give to a health insurance company so they can not pay my medical bills when I need them paid. The whole blessed house of cards is a bureaucratic abyss. I can sympathize with gay couples who have an extra hoop to jump through, but are their really many gay couples with a stay-at-home member? Aren't they already covered?

To be fair, this whole thing may well end up being a tempest in a teapot. Extending the name of marriage to gay couples may well be the last piece in their puzzle of normality. And normality may be the thing that settles them down and allows them to re-integrate into society as full stalwart members, dedicated to its protection and continued existence rather than tearing its mores down one by one (my, what a sweeping mass of generalizations. I humbly beg patience again). In a few decades, we might hardly notice gay culture or gay people, because they really will be just like the majority.

It would be nice if such were so. I have never been one for demonizing gays qua gays, merely a "queer" culture that seems to want to do nothing but shock Mommy and Daddy. If gay marriage were to give homosexuals a reason to leave all that behind, it might well be worth the change, provided that we set up some hard legal principles that prevents the polyamorists and pedophiles from riding in on the slipstream.

This problem does need to be addressed, however many assurances Andrew Sullivan makes. Identity politics has done much for the gay community, and I am unconvinced that the same could not, within a few decades, empower other sexual minorities and thus undo the last of our taboos. Looked at rationally, there is no reason why any uncoerced sexual act should be considered wrong. Most of them do no immediate physical harm. Sure, a man who has two wives or a woman with a ten-year-old husband might be abusing them, but it need not necessarily be so. Desire is not abuse. The two come from parallel but different motivations.

What we have ended up doing in our society is divorcing the two purposes of sex, the unitive and the procreative (yes, Virginia, the act does exist in part so that the world can be peopled). More and more we have treated the latter as an irritating block to the former, far more important purpose. Sex has ceased to be the creative force that brings and affirms life and has become the pleasure-button we slam like so many descalped rats. I don't see that continuing on this path will do other than cheapen sex further, which cheapens life further, because sex is the source of life. As I wrote after Laurence v. Texas, this is not the fault of homosexuals exclusively or even primarily. Their rise to toleration is but a symptom of it. I would not wish to undo that same rise to toleration. I would rather wish we could stop using it as an excuse to further the proposition that nothing is more important than satisfying one's desires.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


I disappeared for four days because I was out of town. New York hasn't changed much. It is a world unto itself, a place of almost solar intensity from the mass of people crammed into such a little space. As to why I was there, I will simply say:

Ah, you are beautiful, my beloved,

ah, you are beautiful!

Your eyes are doves

behind your veil.

Your hair is like a flock of goats

streaming down the mountains of Gilead.

Your teeth are like a flock of ewes to be shorn,

which come up from the washing.

All of them big with twins, none of them thin and barren.

Your lips are like a scarlet strand;

your mouth is lovely.

Your cheek is like a half-pomegranate

behind your veil.

You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,

you have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes,

with one bead of your necklace.

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride,

how much more delightful is your love than wine,

and the fragrance of your ointments

than all spices!

Your lips drip honey, my bride,

sweetmeants and milk are under your tongue;

And the fragrance of your garments

is the fragrance of Lebanon.

-Song of Songs 4:1-3, 9-11

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Tommorrow, and Tommorrow, and Tommorrow

Day by Day, the cartoon by Chris Muir (which I am linking in place of the now-defunct Brunching Shuttlecocks. How could you, Lore? How could you?), went after Tom Tommorrow today, and Tom's attitude toward's pro-war bloggers. Needless to say, Tom's argument is a cheap shot: "If you support the war so much, why don't you enlist?" It's also intellectually dishonest: what's being objected to isn't our (I don't consider myself exclusively a war-blogger, but I do support the war, and I've been called a chicken hawk before) lack of enlistment, but our support of the war.

But whatever, I cut Tom Tommorrow lots of slack, because he's a funny guy, and he inks a funny cartoon. I've long enjoyed "This Modern World" for what it is, a skillful use of satire. Tom gets that the best way to do satire is to take honest opinions and place them in an inappropriate context, or twist them just the tiniest bit, so that they land in the land of risibility. It's a simple technique, which is why it works. Sensible people appreciate this, and thus enjoy the satirist's art but don't try to put too much stock in the satirist as a source of wisdom. It's like getting your political philosophy from oh, Jon Stewart.

But back to today's Day by Day. The last panel quotes Tom in an interview with the Buffalo News. I will steal Muir's punchline and quote him:

I think that there are no good conservative cartoonists. Good humor is about the real underdog taking on the powerful. That's what satire is all about. Conservative humor is picking on people who have less than you. That's not satire, that's just mean.

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that Tom Tommorrow makes more than I do, and that his status as a syndicated cartoonist makes him more influential, or more powerful, than mine as a mere schoolteacher, and then I'm gonna say that Tom Tommorrow is an aliterate tube-monkey if he really believes what he said (I'm making fun of him, see?). How profound does your ignorance need to be if you think that conservative humor involves nothing more than saying "Hey there, Sambo, how's being POOR workin' out for you? Wanna dollar? Go fetch! Haw haw haw!" Can he cite one instance of a conservative humorist saying anything even remotely like that? Has he even read P.J. O'Rourke?

Earth to liberals: Conservatives do not make fun of poor people. Making fun of poor people is mean, and besides, poor people do a pretty damn good job of making fun of themselves (watch enough stand-up comics, and you'll see them start to jive and riff on their humble beginnings). Conservative humor is aimed directly at liberals, who are mostly not poor (poor people who vote Democrat do so because the Democrats promise them the spoils of victory. If the Democrats ran on their moral or foreign policy agenda and left the social programs off the table, they'd never win an election). Conservatives, rather than mock the poor, mock the people who think poverty would just vanish if we cared enough/threw enough money at it/stopped trying to gain wealth in the first place, rather than commerce being in a strong enough position to train and hire poor people to work their way out of poverty. They mock the people who only seem to care about the military when the military is getting shot at, never when it's time to prepare the military to get shot at (these are usually the same people who proclaim that the military will never have to get shot at again, and then blame the failure of this prediction on the fact that we have a military). In short, conservative humorists mock people who think like Tom Tommorrow. Maybe that's why he thinks they're so mean.

No Blood for Oil

Andrew Sullivan posted this piece of nastiness by Ted Rall. It actually made me angry. Note the deftness with which he seperates the "Iraqi resistance" from Saddam's regime, as though if they win another Baathist Sunni dictatorship isn't going to come to power. But here's the beauty:

Soon the American public will note that the anticipated five-year price tag of $500 billion, with a probable loss of some 4,000 lives and 10,000 wounded, is not a reasonable price to pay to get our 2.5 million barrels of oil flowing to the West each month. This net increase, of just 0.23 percent of total OPEC production, will not reduce U.S. gasoline prices.


Oh, but there's more:

If someone you know is considering taking a job with the Americans, tell him that he is engaging in treason and encourage him to seek honest work instead. If he refuses, you must kill him as a warning to other weak-minded individuals.

This, you see, is how the Iraqi people are to be freed from oppression. All occupation is oppression, you see. When we occupied Western Germany following World War 2, we were oppressing them. Ditto Japan. In fact, when our troops were massing in Britain prior to D-Day, we were, in effect, occupying them, and therefore oppressing them from their legitimate desire to follow the popular European habit of learning to say Ja, Herr Hauptmann, Ich Weiss wo die Juden sind!

He does this, of course, on Veteran's Day, so that he can make clear his contempt for all appreciation of military sacrifice and traditions of same. Which begs the question: what is Rall's purpose in writing this op-ed? He can't be trying to persuade anyone to his point of view, not with the evident delight with which he pokes fingers in sensitive areas. Rall's given up on the soldiers: "Nor can we disabuse them of the propaganda that an occupier isn't always an oppressor." What then, must he think of those of us who silently voted to send and keep the soldiers there? Beyond hope, obviously. We'll give in when the body count hits X + 1 American soldiers, and/or we realize that we're still paying $1.45 a gallon for gas. Only force may prevail against us.

I'm waiting to be told by one or another that Rall is writing satire, or something else not to be taken literally. Maybe so. But his cartoons suggest otherwise to me, and that makes me wonder: just what does Rall think need be done to remove the Bush "junta" from power? What if the foolish American people return him to power in 2005? What would Che do?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Because I Don't Have Enough to Do...

I've long had a dream of having a band or musical project of my own. Last night, I made it a reality. I went into the studio last night, and came out three hours later with the first single for A Giggle's Worth Records, "Who Forgot the Guns?" by my band, The Nerve (right now The Nerve is just me, but we hope to fix that). I was incredibly pleased with how it came out. The way it sounds on CD is exactly the way I wanted it to sound in my head. Aaron Altieri at Loop Studios was brilliant at producing the single.

Now I have to decide what to do with it. beckons.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

While We're On That Subject...

Brendan Miniter has the story I've been waiting for, that of our military successes in Iraq since the occupation began. Ever since the drip-drip-drip of daily U.S. casualties began in April, I've wondered why we fold at home aren't getting any info on what our boys are doing in response to the terrorist. Guerrillas depend on a public reputation for invincibility to change public opinion to their favor; they do this by attacking with force at the weakest points of the enemy's forces. As the news has come pouring in, I've begun to wonder whether this wasn't happening to us. Miniter's story suggests an entirely different picture: not just good news in the form of Iraq reconstructing and Iraqis becoming tolerant if not appreciative of American rule, but of our soldiers fighting the bad guys and killing them. Being as how knocking down the American public's confidence in the success of the mission is the Baathist's only hope of victory (just as it was Ho Chi Minh's), one has to wonder why the Pentagon isn't getting stories of our battlefield success out more?

I suspect that part of the problem is the reluctance of the military to start putting out that grim catspaw of the left, Vietnam's infamous "body count." No, we shouldn't exactly be celebrating the deaths of our fellow man, bloodthirsty fascist though he be. But niether should we give to the American public or the world at large the impression that our soldiers do nothing but walk around Fallujah with bulls-eyes on their chests while the guys shooting at them merely slink away into the crowd, laughing. If the nature of guerrilla warfare is partly political, so must be the response to it.

For Veteran's Day

Let us honor the fallen and the fighting on this day. Here is the ghost of last century's struggle:

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

And here, a moving piece from today's bloody headlines:Elegy for a Young Officer

Finally, Catholics remember today as the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, the Patron Saint of Soldiers (How's that for a happy coincidence? I wonder if Ludendorff and Haig planned it that way). Martin was an officer in Constantine's imperial bodyguard until his conversion and monastic career. The following prayer is attributed to him:

Lord, if your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet if you bid me continue to hold the battle line in defense of your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work you entrust to me. While you command, I will fight beneath your banner.

May blessings come to our soldiers this day, and victory hereafter.

It Isn't All Fury in the Arab World

At least one Arab writer, a self-described "liberal" blames the Arabs themselves for their situation. He condemns the Arab media for one-sided rabble-rousing, posits Israel as a model of democracy, and says that the U.S. will succeed in Iraq as it succeeded in Japan and Germany. Watch the terrorists put this guy on their hit list, if they haven't already. Watch "liberals" in the U.S. and Europe not care.

Monday, November 10, 2003

What is this, Touch?

Watched football with the old man yesterday, and came to a dispiriting conclusion: No one in the NFL knows how to tackle anymore. When I was in youth football, they taught me that the way to bring someone down was to hit him hard accross the waist and legs. This way, you shift his center of gravity and undo his forward momentum. I watched two games yesterday, and everyone was trying to tackle by grabbing the ball-carrier by the shoulders. This does not work. It was frustrating to watch offenses pile up yards that should have been stopped at first contact. It isn't that the running backs or receivers are getting stronger and faster, it's that tackling isn't getting done. No wonder these guys celebrate for two minutes after knocking someone down.

Friday, November 07, 2003

New Link!

An old college chum, the super-liberal Matt Viglione, has just started his blog, Le Tocsin (I'd tell you what that means, but it's been years since I left behind college-level French for grade-school-level German and I don't want to be accused of rendering things in "demi-francais"). He's just starting, but already he has a pleasing rant about the French and the EU. Of course, he's as liberal as I am conservative, but I support a vicious sense of humor, no matter who it serves.

One More Thing Re: Confederate Flags

If I was in charge of the NAACP down in South Carolina, here's what I'd do:

1. Buy up as much private land as possible near any state landmark that flies the Confederate flag.

2. Construct a large statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman on said land (But Sherman marched through Georgia, you say? Yes, he did. But Sherman's boys regarded So. Carolina as the state "to blame" for the war, because they were the first to secede, and so they ripped that state up in the spring of 1865 with double the fury that they had loosed on Georgia the previous fall).

3. When offended white folk come round, simply state that the statues reminds black South Carolinians of their history and heritage, and their desire to celebrate the man who loosed them from bondage. If someone suggests that President Lincoln was that man, smile politely and say that the Emancipation Proclamation was all very good, but it was the Union Army that freed the slaves, wherever they went, and since Sherman's army was the first Union troops to do more than land on the beaches of South Carolina so that rebels could shoot them, he is therefore the chief agent of emancipation for South Carolina's black population. This is a state issue, see?

4. Guard the statues from vandals. Failing that, be sure to wipe off the rotten eggs and wads of filth from the statues each morning.

5. Wait for the offended white folk to get the point. If they never do, at least you'll have something to look at that doesn't remind you of the bad old days.

Solar Power from the Moon?

The Director of the Institute for Space Systems Operations at the University of Houston thinks so. It sounds great on paper, but I'm somehow skeptical (make your own joke here). I think obviously we need a bunch of other scientists to jump in and say whether it'll work or not, then we need to factor costs, then we need to deal with the international agreements regarding the moon, and then we'd need to divvy up power harvesting rights and whatnot. Then we'd need to build the things (will we need to make another moon rocket? can a space shuttle even land on the moon?).

But if it can work, it might be a worthwhile project for the U.S. Government, the United Nations, and the world.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Bush Sums it Up

At the Ronald Reagan Building today:

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty...

Do we get what we're fighting for yet? Now, if you're feeling hesitant about whether this War can succeed, ask yourself...what choice do we have?

I'm a Good Old Rebel

The mess with Howard Dean provides me with a perfect microcosm of exactly what's wrong with the substance of American political discussion, and how it has degenerated into a stupid game of symbol-waving and "gotcha" playing.

All Howard Dean was trying to say was that he wanted average Joes in the South to vote for him. He never expressed affinity for the Confederate flag or what it stood for. Even Al Sharpton concedes that. Dean was using the term as a descriptor, not as a rally point.

I know that. You know that. I know you know, and vice versa. Everybody knows. So why do we care about this?

I hate the Confederate flag. I don't disapprove of it, I don't express concern at it's multicultural message. I hate it. My familiy's from Pennsylvania; I have two ancestors who fought in blue during the Civil War (Yes, the CIVIL WAR, not the "War Between the States," not the "War of Northern Agression," the Civil War. You don't get to name it, because YOU LOST. Dig?), and I know plenty about the roots of that conflict. Don't whine to me that Jeff Davis was just about to free the slaves (He was only even considering it because the Confederate Army was desperate for manpower in the spring of 1865, and he never quite got around to it, because U.S. Grant, who by the way could have whupped Stonewall Jackson any day of the week and twice on Sunday, when that fundamentalist looney would be sitting on his duff eating lemons, saved him the trouble). Don't cry to me about how horrible and illegal President Lincoln's actions were (have you ever known a state to permit a portion of it to break away without a fight? What do you think this is, a playpen?).
Especially don't throw all that grandiose state's right's rhetoric in my face, as though none of you chuckleheads had even heard of slavery before Lincoln was elected (then what did you secede for? Tarriffs?). If the principle of state's rights has been eroded well past anything the Founders might have intended, and I think it has, then it's well past time that Southrons admitted their share of culpability in that erosion. To wit: one of the reasons the Federal Government has aggrandized itself and broken down state's rights piece by piece was because you lot used the principle of state's rights as a shield for something else. It wasn't the only reason, and you're not the only ones to blame (nor are you the only racists 'round these United States, nor are you primarily racists now). But you didn't help, because no one bought it.

Given as that's my opinion, you can probably describe for yourselves my reactions when I see Confederate flags. As far as I'm concerned, you might as well start singing about how you'da wished you killed three million yankees instead of what you got. But the important thing is that it's my reaction. I know that the person who puts a rebel flag on their window is not necessarily saying "I hate niggers and yankees." Most of the time he's trying to say, "I'm from the South, and I'm proud," or sometimes "I'm a bad-ass Hell-raiser." So most of the time I let it slide. I do wish that they'd find another symbol, but it's really none of my business what folks in Georgia fly from their homes and pickups. The people I've met on the few occasions I've been South have been honest, plain-dealing Americans. We need more of 'em, truth be told. And Howard Dean wants more of them in the Democratic party.

Instead, he's being mocked. In the "youth debate" on MTV a few nights ago (Voting is sooooo kewl!!!!), Dean got pinned down to admitting that the confederate flag is a racist symbol. So now Al Sharpton gets to condemn him for wanting racists in his party, and John Edwards can pee on him for calling Southerners racists. See that? Because of a single image Dean used, the Loud Unqualified Candidtate and the I'm-the-New-Clinton-Look-at-me-Look-at-Me candidate get to make themselves look better based on things that Howard Dean didn't say and doesn't think. I'm not a fan of Howard Dean, and I won't be voting for him should he win the nomination, but we owe it to our republic to listen to what our candidates are saying, and not how what they're saying makes us feel. So we should treat Dean, Kerry, Gephardt, and the rest of the Nine Walkers (yes, even Sharpton). We might, if we're feeling crazy, decide to treat the President that way, too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


The results of TTLB Ecosystem are in, and I'm a Wiggly Worm. Skeptical, meanwhile, has moved up to a Rodent. This is a just punishment for wishing to better him, but bitter is this defeat, my brothers. I must remain resolved.


The vast majority of those who write negative customer reviews of New Rock bands on Amazon would do well to simply write "I AM NOT TRENDY" and spare us the left-field diatribes ("If you like this I feel sorry for you. This is such utter crap...etc."). We could then safely ignore them, and they might get a chance to engage in some self-analysis, and then try listening to the music.

Most people don't do this, as Lester Bangs noted long ago. Most people listen to image. They judge bands based on appearance, name (I even do this. I cannot like Blink-182, because their name is dumb. I can't relate to it), and reputation, deciding from these whether they want to make an investment in the music. They'll stick to a genre like the guy who orders the same thing every time he goes to a Chinese restaurant. It's safe.

I've intended this as a intro to review the new Strokes album, but I haven't the time. Parent-Teacher conferences loom.