Friday, January 29, 2010

Let The Music Play

I recently attended a meeting at a local hotel and on the way out I picked up a copy of USA Today it is not a paper I normally would pay to read but a freebie is OK. Every week the paper list the Airplay Charts as compiled by Mediabase. A review of the most played music in the land. So let me put on my Ryan Seacrest too tight shirt, my Kasey Kasem hair and my Dick Clark face lift and review the top 20 of the top 40 singles. Here is my take on some of them

# 1 Bad Romance by Lady GaGa - I love this song as I have loved the rest of her songs. She could well become the next Madonna. The best is apparently she can really sing. The video is a feast for the eyes. Thank god my adderall allows me to focus through it's many vignettes

#2 Tik Tok by Ke$ha - Just her name should let one know she may be a one hit wonder but what a one hit. This stupid song is really catchy and easy to sing along with and who among us would not wanted to be that person she portrays in the video

#3 Replay by Lyaz - I am sure I have heard this but for the life of me I can't bring to mind so apparently it sucks.

#4 Sexy Chick by David Guetta & Akon -Guetta is the hottest DJ on the planet and everyone but Kate Bush & David Byrne is on this CD. This song is about a stupid horndogs reaction to a really hot girl in the hood. Akon wants to call her a whore but the record producers need to get airplay for this dance floor classic so it needs to get it airplay so they muzzle that word out. A call for misogynist rapper and his Euro trash fuck buddy is on line one.

#5 New York State of Mind by Jay Zee & Alicia Keys - I don't get Jay Zee and I am pretty sure it is not because I am a 50 year old white guy either. He has a crap voice and his lyrics say nothing, mean nothing and do not add anything to the culture. This gem is saved by Alicia Keys - trust me it would get no airplay without her. Comparing himself to Sinatra and being responsible for the success of New York sport teams, Please. His biggest hit is his marriage.

#6 Whatcha Say by Jason Derulo - Toe tapping, boy band drivel

#7 FireFlies by Owl City - This is really an insipid song about being an insomniac. If this can be a hit than this blog should win the Nobel next year.

#8 Do You Remember by Jay Sean - My only opinion of Mr. Sean is that he should never ever be seen in public with his shirt on. I know a few gay porn directors who would pay top dollar to put Jay Sean above the title

#9 3 by Britney Spears - The girl has great producers that crank out one hit after another. Who knew that whispering into a microphone could be so successful. Oh wait, Janet Jackson was a hit before Brit Brit

#10 Two is Better Than One by Boys Like Girls - Whimpy song by a group with a really lame name - do you think any of the members are worried about people questioning their sexuality?

#11 According to You by Orianthal - I have no idea - not sure I have heard this

#12 Hard by Rihanna & Jeezy - She is not getting better she is getting over exposed

#13 Fifteen by Taylor Swift - This child has a gift. Her Haiti performance was stunning and she will be around for a very long time. She will peak a few times before she enters the stratosphere that is owned by Dolly and Reba

#14 Down by Jay Sean and Lil Wayne - The first few moments of the extended play video are a shirtless wonderland and Lil Wayne is clearly a whore

#15 Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson - This child can do no wrong in my eyes. Not my favorite song of hers but she is great.

#16 Sweet Dreams by Beyonnce - Hot song, and the hottest child alive, watch the video

#17 Imma Be by Black Eyed Peas - This album has legs and will be a dance classic but the genius parts do not always add up to greatness - but I really love Fergie and Will I AM as people and artists. Not to mention that without the skanky white girl 457 people would have bought their CDs

#18 Telephone by Lady GaGa - see #1

#19 Paparazzi by Lady GaGa - see #1 and this video is a feast for the eyes

#20 Evacuate the Dance Floor by Cascada - More Euro Trash dance greatness

Not everything has to be about poliics and or the state of the nation

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It has been awhile since I posted and I have been wracking my brain to figure out why. Surely I have not run out of things to discuss, I have not become shy and I am not bored with it. So, what has caused this recent creative block?

Last Thursday I was sitting in the stands of the Lafayette vs. Bucknell men’s basketball game. Lafayette got off to a very strong start and then all of the sudden they had blown a 23 - 9 lead just before half time. In the second half the Leopards struggled but they never gave up and in the end they squeaked a narrow victory. So, what does this have to do with my writers block? Lafayette never gave up, they could have gotten discouraged and given up but they did not. The fought the good fight and won the game. This hit me at the end of the game, I have allowed myself to get discouraged by what is going on in Washington and this has left me uninspired and lacking my usual natural instinct to fight back.

Getting discouraged about politics is really quite unlike me. I am by no means a cheerleader type or the perky, blue sky, glass full kind of guy. Believe me when I say my glass is always half empty. When it comes to politics I like to think that I am a realist. There are always ups and downs, there are always lurches to the right and to the left, there are always those who try to pull the nation to an extreme point of view but in the end the sensible center usually wins the day. And, that is where I usually find my self – The liberal sensible center. I believe in the great American experiment and that this great republic will always survive those who try to shake it from its center.

I have been on the losing side more times than I have been on the winning side. Candidates I have supported have been very successful and some have turned out to be disasters both before and after the election and yet I never allowed myself to get discouraged. When Jimmy Carter, Jeannette Reibman and Bob Freeman all lost in 1980 I was crushed and I cried a number of times over the following months but I did not allow myself to get discouraged. In 1984 I knew that Walter Mondale was going to lose but I threw myself into that race anyway, sure I was disappointed but I did not allow myself to get discouraged. In 1988 I received a letter from the Dukakis campaign asking for another contribution to retire his campaign debt, I returned the letter asking the campaign to the return the money I gave them earlier because they did not use it wisely, and yet I was not discouraged. Bob Freeman’s race in 1994 broke my heart and drove me out of active campaigning but even then I did not allow myself to get discouraged. I always believed that no matter who was elected this great nation would survive.

Our politics has become so polarized that I am not sure there is a way back to a more bipartisan approach to issues. I lay this clearly at the feet of the Republican Party.

I have never before seen a congressional party so focused in the destruction of a Presidency. In the past the sensible center of each party would find a way to pass legislation that would move this nation forward. Some Democrats supported the initiatives from Reagan and Bush and Republicans found their way to support the legislation proposed by Johnson and Clinton. I have never seen a party so determined to destroy a President as these current congressional Republicans. They look for ways to criticize things they supported in the past. They vote against his nominee to the Supreme Court even though they voted for her twice before. They oppose the nominee for Fed Chair even though they voted for him 6 years ago and supported him when he served in the Presidency of one of their own. They supported his policies that led this nation into its current economic state and they supported him when he found ways to ease the pain. Yet now that Obama supports him they are opposing him.

They go around saying there were no terrorist attacks while George Bush was President. I can’t comment further on this because the statement is so ridiculous that it does not deserve the dignity of a comment.

I wonder if the great civil rights legislation of the 1960s were introduced today by a Democratic President they would support it.

They cheat on their wives with wild abandon yet claim the moral high road when denying me the right to marry the person I have been monogamous with for 26 years.

They compare a gorilla that escaped from a zoo to the First Lady. They call the President a liar during a speech to the nation via a Joint Session of Congress. They spread lies about his birthright and infer that he is the bastard child of an African. They try to link him to terrorists by emphasizing his middle name. They have opposed his major pieces of legislation without offering options of their own and hope they can turn their votes into his Waterloo, they openly hope he fails.

For the 12 years of Reagan/Bush and the 8 years of Bush 2 they had no problems with increasing the rate of government spending. Deficits were higher during the Reagan/Bush/Bush years than during the years the Democrats held the presidency and yet now they care about the rate of government spending and the nation’s debt.
They were about to run the VA into the ground (until they were caught) and yet they question this Presidents commitment to the military.

They supported the civil trial of the shoe bomber (a terrorist attack that occurred during the Bush years) and now they do not support a civil trial for the underwear bomber.
There has always been hypocrisy in politics but the Republicans have taken their hubris to a level unsurpassed in American history. This current crop of Republican leaders has brought this nations politics to an all time low.

If we have survived people like Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney in the past why am I so discouraged about the future? The Democrats are no better and when there is a Republican President they will decide to get revenge for all the trials and tribulations of this Democratic President thus continuing the downward spiral.

I'm Back!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Chicest Person On The Planet

''The chicest man on the planet today is the new president of Afghanistan, whose look is very elegant and very proud,'' So said American fashion/style guru Tom Ford in January, 2002 about Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

At the time all the worlds hope rested in the stylish shoulders of Mr. Karzai and I for one hoped that I could have pulled off one of his hats. Well, Mr. Karzai's star has faded both politically and now even his look is getting a little tired. I wonder who the elegant Mr. Ford would pick this year?

Since I have not come across any new comments from the stylish Houston native, I am going to make my choice for the chicest person on the planet. Most fashion/style icons either come from the worlds runways or the worlds film business. My choice is not Cate Blanchett nor George Clooney nor the fabulous Mrs. Tom Brady (Giselle). No smart readers the chicest person on the planet last year comes from Washington DC by way of Chicago. No, not him - her.

First Lady Michelle Obama is quickly becoming a fashion and life style icon. What she wore on inauguration day was far and away the hottest First Lady look since Jackie. Every time Michelle goes out in public she looks completely pulled together yet comfortable, she looks natural & simple but always sophisticated and tasteful. When she is planting in the garden she looks looks ready to work but not sloppy, when she is talking to school children she looks approachable but not like a school librarian. And, those arms. When have we had a First Lady that so many women want to dress like? Many women can dress like her because she wears so much off the rack clothing that any woman can buy in any mall in American. With that piece of arm candy she is frequently photographed with she has become the total American style package. Michelle Obamas main rival in the hot First Lady competition is a former super model / pop star and our First Lady came out on top when they last met. Viva Michelle!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best Non Fiction

Best Non Fiction

The best book I read this year was True Compass by Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy. I know when EMK died a few months ago I addressed my affection for all things Teddy ad nauseum. Is there anything else I can add to those postings? No.

I scooped the book up as soon as I saw it. Normally I would complete a memoir of this size in a few days or less, but I dragged this out, it has taken me months to read. Why? I don't want it to end, I know how it ends and it will make me sad all over again. For example I got up early last week so I could watch the Senate health care vote. As the final vote was announced I tweeted that Sen. Ted was looking down from heaven and would be very proud of his colleagues. I had tears in my eyes. Silly I know, but this is the effect Teddy's death had on me. It did not help that he died on my 50th birthday.

True Compass is truly written by Ted, you can hear his voice telling the story of his life. He is frank and honest. He admits his failings and shares credit for his successes with others. He is very respectful when he addresses the people he has hurt during his life. He takes responsibility and does not exploit those episodes to generate book sales. He does not dwell on the negative and does his best to find the good in the many episodes of pain that was his life.

Imagine the weight he carried on those burly Irish shoulders. He was the youngest child of a great American family and he had to carry that legacy on. He had to be a surrogate father for his brothers children. He had to carry with him all the dreams that people tied to his older brothers. He watched his marriage crumble, he lived with memory that he was responsible for a young woman's death, he guided two of his children through their own battles with cancer and he had to comfort the entire nation as one after another of his siblings died before him. Of the nine Kennedy children only Jean survives.

It has been fascinating to read his memories of all the people he met and events he witnessed

OK, I have to end this because my eyes are welling up again. If want to relive the last 50 years of American politics and culture read True Compass - you will be better and smarter for it.