My new “Think Again” column is called “Think Again: The Color of Hollywood Is Green.” It is a critique of a lazy an misguided argument about Hollywood’s liberalism by New York’s Jonathan Chait and it’s here.
Since I did not post last week, I need to note that last week’s “Think Again,” is called “Political Dysfunction Summer Reading” and it’s here.
My most recent Nation column is “Paul Ryan: The Man Who Wasn't There,” here.
There’s been a bunch of talk about “post-truth politics” in discussions of how the media should handle the lies of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and their surrogates and apologists, (like for instance CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen). Perhaps it’s petty of yours truly to point this out, that while I don't know if I coined it or not, but I did use The Post-Truth Presidency as the title of the conclusion/chapter on the Bush administration in my 2004 book, When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and its Consequences, (the first half of which was also my dissertation). John Dean gave the book a nice review in The Washington Monthly which used that term as the hed… Gary Hart’s crappy review in the New York Times Book Review used the same hed.
One of my obsessions in life is when journalists offer confidentiality to people who have no reason to need it. Howard Kurtz, who is increasingly a font of practices that should not be allowed in a first semester J-School class, writes “What America wants, a Hollywood insider familiar with the syndication market tells Kurtz, is a confidante, 'She’s got to come across as relevant to people who are sitting out there. They’re like girlfriends. Oprah was everybody’s girlfriend.'"
Just who was going to blow that guy away for his brave truth-telling had he given his name?
A few weeks ago a I mentioned a new series of Jazz “best-ofs” on Concord. They are not really “best ofs” which is a silly idea when it comes to jazz, but they do make convenient cds to keep around for dinner or drinks. I see the second round includes Monk, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Vin Guaraldi, Cannonball Adderly. More here, though you’ll have to search.
The newest old Dead release Dave’s Pick’s Vol. 3, is from the “Auditorium Theater”—a really stupid name for a beautiful place–in October 1971, which was right when Keith Godchaux jointed the band as Pigpen was almost done drinking himself to death. It’s a great setlist and the first two cds constitute the whole show, while the third disc culled from the previous night's show has yet another terrific Dark Star/St. Stephen going on with lots of songs in-between. It was recorded around the same time as the splendid Skull and Roses album and my guess is that it’s impossible not to like. Jerry is particularly good here, because he is just beginning to take over the band and working as hard as he ever did and my guess is, the absence of Pigpen, while sad, was a relief for all concerned.