I took the week off from Think Again in honor of our nation’s 236th birthday, but Robert Parmet did a nice review of The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama for the History News Network, here.
I see a talk I gave last year on Kabuki Democracy at the Kennedy school’s Shorenstein Center is up here.
One of my (many) pet peeves in the Internet age is the use of “we” when the “we” does not include me, or, indeed, most people I know. For instance, from Slate, “Why Do Hotels Turn Us Into Monsters?” with the subhed “What is it about hotels that makes us all go so bizarrely and baroquely berserk?”
Hotels do not turn me into anything other than what I was previously, much less a monster. I do not go “so bizarrely and baroquely berserk” in them, nor anywhere else, for that matter. The rest of the claims in this piece strike is odd, at best, as well. I see this a great deal.
I saw David Bromberg at Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett last week. It was a really wonderful show (and was broadcast live on Sirius). I had the blues and as you may know, there’s nothing better for the blues than the blues. Bromberg is one of the world’s great (and most underrated) blues guitarist and he had another guy with him—it was a four piece band—whom he insists plays better than he does. I don’t agree but I’m not the best judge. Anyway, the musical virtuosity was impressive and enjoyable without being ostentatious. The song selection was friendly—a few oldies and bluegrass excursions—but a really funky, somewhat reworked “Sharon” and an absolutely thrilling “I Will Not Be Your Fool.” Go see him if you can and hey, let’s hear it for paunchy old Jewish guys!
Now here’s Reed.
The Dark Money Rises
by Reed Richardson
Summer has long been the season of the sequel in the movie business. But these days, by the time a blockbuster finally reaches theaters (or, sometimes, even before), the studio behind it is already talking about the next, bigger and bolder installment in the series. And, increasingly, it looks like the pro-corporate conservative movement is taking its cues—marketing-wise, at least—from Hollywood.
In true, big-time movie fashion, hot on the heels of their latest Citizens United expansion, these forces rolled out a schlocky summertime trailer about what’s next. Contrasting soaring music and stock images of the D-Day invasion and Tea Party marchers against stark, black-and-white text, it vaguely teases at the Orwellian storyline to come and the momentous stakes involved. The First Amendment, they warn, is under attack by our very own president! (Perhaps COBRA is involved in this White House betrayal? We’ll have to wait till next year to find out, I guess.) But just know that brave Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is leading the charge against this outrage, helped out by some of these supposedly humble servants of the Constitution.