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Slacker Friday | The Nation

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Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Slacker Friday

I've got a new Think Again column called "Obama's Commie Past Exposed Yet Again," and it's here.

Here's what I did last night. How were things in your city?

Crosby, Stills and Nash:
"Woodstock"
"Marrakech Express"
"Almost Cut My Hair"

Bonnie Raitt with David Crosby and Graham Nash:
"Love Has No Pride"

Bonnie Raitt and Crosby, Stills and Nash:
"Midnight Rider"

Jackson Browne with Crosby, Stills and Nash:"The Pretender"

James Taylor with David Crosby and Graham Nash:"Mexico"

Crosby, Stills and Nash with James Taylor:
"Love the One You're With"

Crosby, Stills and Nash:
"Rock and Roll Woman"

Crosby, Stills and Nash with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and James Taylor:
"Teach Your Children"

Paul Simon:
"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
"You Can Call Me Al"

Dion DiMucci with Paul Simon:
"The Wanderer"

Paul Simon with David Crosby and Graham Nash:
"Here Comes the Sun"

Paul Simon:
"Late in the Evening"

Little Anthony and the Imperials:
"Two People in the World"

Simon and Garfunkel:"The Sounds of Silence"
"Mrs. Robinson""Not Fade Away"
"The Boxer""Bridge Over Troubled Water"
"Cecilia"

Stevie Wonder:"Blowin' in the Wind"
"Uptight (Everything's Alright)"
"I Was Made To Love You""For Once in My Life""Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours""Boogie On Reggae Woman"

Smokey Robinson with Stevie Wonder:
"The Tracks of My Tears"

John Legend with Stevie Wonder:"Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology)"

Stevie Wonder with John Legend:"The Way You Make Me Feel"

B.B. King with Stevie Wonder:"The Thrill Is Gone"

Stevie Wonder:"Living for the City"

Stevie Wonder and Sting:
"Higher Ground"/"Roxanne"

Stevie Wonder with Jeff Beck:
"Superstition"

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"10th Avenue Freeze-Out"

Sam Moore with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"Hold On I'm Comin'"
"Soul Man"

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with Tom Morello:
"The Ghost of Tom Joad"

John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"Fortunate Son"
"Proud Mary"
"Oh. Pretty Woman"

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"Jungleland"

Darlene Love with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:"A Fine, Fine Boy"
"Da Doo Ron Ron"

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with Tom Morello:
"London Calling""Badlands"

Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"You May Be Right"
"Only the Good Die Young"
"New York State of Mind"
"Born To Run"

Darlene Love, John Fogerty, Tom Morello, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Peter Wolf and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"

CHARLES PIERCE

NEWTON, MA.

Hey Doc:

"Here by the sea and sand/Nothing ever goes as planned."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "C'mon Cat" (Chainsaw DuPont) -- Not even 
the fact that Mary Landrieu is a bought-and-paid-for What-Grayson-Said of
 the insurance industry can keep me from loving New Orleans.

Short Takes:

Part The First: Don't make Ms. Jane angry. You wouldn't like her when 
she's ANGRY. Somebody smart is going to have to explain to me why "Go ahead and 
filibuster, you jackasses" is politically unfeasible in a country where 
two-thirds of the people want what's being delayed.

Part The Second: I like a lot of what he says, too, but, if Alan Grayson is going to work talk radio's locked-ward, he should probably stick with Art Bell's program. That said, this woman
 used to work for Enron, for pity's sake. Seems to be we're just haggling
 about the price.

Part The Third: As Interim Altercation Papist Correspondent, I'd like 
to point out to this rightist quota-hire that, if HE wants to be 
Peter The HERMIT, he's going to have to grow a better BEARD. Also, concerns about environmental destruction and the crippling effects
 of the poverty associated with Third World debt are "only tenuously 
connected to the Gospels," but atavistic theocratic loogie-hawking is just 
what, oh, St. MATTHEW had
 in mind? Doesn't. Know. Dick. Of course, he lacked support because His 
Eminence, Cardinal Nutsy Fagen was busy ELSEWHERE.

Part The Fourth: I was informed by E-card this week that, on November 
19, we will all celebrate the 50th anniversary of the greatest cartoon show 
there ever will BE. No doubt 
about it. I gotta get another hat.

Part The Fifth: Today's Seminar: DUMB or DUMBER?. Discuss. Also, young Matthew? If you get into it with Tina Fey, leave 
your dental records with someone first, OK?

Part The Penultimate: Some good words from la belle FRANCE. And, yes, I do expect to be 
referred to hereafter as "La Plume Feroce," especially by the ladies. Hubba
hubba!

Part The Ultimate: I heard this just in passing this week, but 
unemployment in Flint, Michigan has edged over 30 percent, and Detroit 
seems to be coming up hard on the rail. If you drive around this country, 
or if you travel it by rail, a lot of the most poignant places through
 which you will pass are the small- and medium-sized cities of the Midwest, 
with the empty, blank-staring factories. (A closed steel-mill is a ruin
 almost incomprehensibly vast.) Close your eyes, and you can hear the
 machines grinding, and the workers yapping about the Tigers or the Indians, 
or the Bears or the Packers. You can see the plant gates open, and the lunch pails swinging from dangling fingertips, and maybe the kids running 
excitedly up the sidewalk, anxious to carry the steel helmet or put on the 
tool-belt. A middle-class came out of those gates, every day, for 30 years, 
and a stronger country came out of that middle-class, and out of the GI
 Bill. Rolling by those places today is to wander through the lost archaeology of your own country, in real time.

Thirty percent unemployment is not a sustainable society. Deeper in
 those numbers you will find dramatic increases in domestic violence, in 
alcoholism and drug addiction, and an accelerated breeder reactor of 
failure and apathy, feeding on itself, the self-sustaining manufacture of a
 century of despair. People who cannot work cannot eat. People who cannot 
eat will not vote. Why? What is possibly in it for them? What in the name
 of god is their place in the glittering kabuki of what has become of our 
politics? They're not buying tables at the Correspondents Dinner. They're
 not buying anything advertised on the cable shows. They're not sending big 
checks to President Change-I-Am. They don't count, those 30 percent, not 
any more, and the empty mills rust, flake, and blow away in fragments in 
the winds that are turning colder.

We are on the precipice of something very dangerous right now.
 Thirty percent is not the stuff of a sustainable, credible political 
democracy, which I suppose is OK, since we don't have one any more, and
show no signs of being particularly upset about that self-evident fact. We 
saw that this week. The United States of America, which once fed its people 
and armed the world in order that it could save itself, is unequal in its 
self-government to the simple task of keeping its citizens healthy and
 alive. In the task of self-government, the unemployment rate is nearing 100
 percent.

The Mail

Name: NJ Progressive
Postal

Hometown: Newark, NJ

The government shut down occurred in 1995. I had a friend who worked
 at the National Gallery, who had set aside tickets for me and my significant other. But the government shut down was total: my friend was not allowed in his office to get the tickets for me. My husband
 and I stood in the cold (and it was a freakish cold snap for normally moderate Washington) to wait to see those wonderful paintings. Seeing 
The Geographer and the Allegory of Painting in person made me forget 
three hours of waiting in the cold.

Eric replies: Also, Sal would like you to know that I screwed up his review and only one song from "Tenor Madness" is included in the new Coltrane collection, reviewed yesterday.

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