So I was at my daughter’s choir’s Christmas concert last night and it was just as you’d expect a small-town high school concert to be. My only complaint was that the choir director gave 15 minute introductions to five-minute songs. But with state and federal budget cuts looming I chalked it up (mostly) to art teachers constantly reinforcing the importance of their marginalized positions. Of course, she was also really pretentious and that’s a problem;

Mean girls

Every now and again Yahoo! (a company that is likely overstocked with exclamation points) runs a celebrity fashion column it calls omg! where it bashes clothing choices famous people make. They didn’t invent the genre and are probably not even the worst offenders, but some of the comments are a little, well, catty. I’ve never gotten the whole bashing-the-celebrity-outfit story though it’s been a part of entertainment coverage probably as long as there’s been entertainment

Drop the gun

Pete Seger doesn’t remember all the words to his songs, but he remembers all the meanings. When he came out to Carnegie Hall the other night it was truly awe-inspiring. (I know. I hate the phrase too, but don’t blame the phrase blame that hacks who use it without warrant.) Here is why Pete Seger is awe-inspiring: He’ll be 90 years old in a couple of months – his grandson sang and played with him

Lennon continues to rest in peace

So, in case you missed the big news, the Vatican recently forgave John Lennon for claiming that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Lennon made the claim during an interview in the mid-60s, likely because “more popular than fuck” hadn’t been coined yet. Here you have a bunch of 20-somethings who had almost redefined “craze,” were stoned much of the time and were on the verge of becoming held hostage to their own success.

Taking Hostages

Unlike the banking crisis, where most of us only kind of believe that it’s necessary to pay gamblers to keep gambling, the thought of the American auto industry grinding to a halt comes with a little trepidation and a whole ton of Schadenfreude. On some level it’s nice to see that after nearly 100 years of total and utter worker, environmental, and intellectual (via ads) exploitation, the Big Three are getting their just desserts. Maybe.

Ignorance, racism, and the insular

My cousin relates a story thus:When I was in school, we had this kid from Brooklyn who, like me, had come from a pretty much all white background. He was asking about a fellow student and couldn’t remember his name. So he says, in full Brooklyn guinea, “What’s that guy’s name, the kid who sits behind you? You know, the guy with the glasses? He wears his hair real short?”Finally when he realizes he can’t

The grand conspiracy

Yahoo changed their mail function not too long ago so that subscribers (participants?) could get instant messages without opening their instant messenger function. The list of why this is a problem is longer than I have the time or interest for, but the shortest and most important version is that unless you change your defaults, you are constantly spammed. “Spammed” spell checks, how cool is that? Now, while I totally endorse spam messages that say,

Ridin’ Dirty

My 7-year-old is not going to a birthday party this weekend and I’m not certain how to feel about it. One of her long-time friend’s father was recently arraigned on drug charges. He’s out on more than $12,000 bail for manufacture with intent to distribute. Ouch. The problem is, with the demonization of marijuana and the propensity of the authorities to jack up the charges so they get higher conviction rates, it’s hard to tell

Train Wreck

I’m not a television snob. OK, I kind of am. The problem, aside from the pat story lines, the questionable acting, and the mile-wide-inch-deep messages, is really the ads. I have no patience for commercials. My girlfriend Kelly chided me for watching the awful Brit-coms on PBS without complaint. My response was simple: No commercials, plus the possibility of seeing 
“Fawlty Towers,” equals ignoring the embarrassingly bad ribaldry of “Are You Being Served?” But the

Biscuits, Gravy and Rock ’n’ Roll

I got promoted; kind of.My boss answered the phone and after yes-ing and no-ing a couple of times placed the caller on hold.“You’re the entertainment reporter,” he said.So now a strange woman keeps sending me CDs to review and I have half a mind to do it. The only thing that held me back at first was the fact that I’m not a music critic. I’m also really not an expert on the brand of

Objectively speaking, people are stupid

No doubt you’re aware of the media bias ruining our democracy. Likely you’ve heard about it from media reports on the politicians, those who benefit the most from news outlets’ loss of the public trust. I think it was Reagan’s idea, God Bless Him.Of course it’s not true; not completely true anyway. In fact, the constant striving for objectivity is the real problem with most news. If you want to hear the current president’s linguistic