Wrapup: I’ve got a new “Think Again” column on healthcare reportingcalled “Why Not the Best?” here.
On the Beast, I did this post on the Democrats and their fear of 1994,here.
Alter-reviews: Paul McCartney at Citi Field:
I was among the fortunate many to see Paul McCartney open up Citi Fieldfor concerts last Friday. It was largely pleasurable, though notintensely so. Here’s the thing about Paul. His live shows add nothingto the studio recordings; they are note-for note recreations of thestudio versions of both his Beatle songs and his solo work. He evensings the nonsense at the end of “Hey Jude” exactly the same way he didthirty years ago on the record. It’s fun to hear Beatles songs inconcert but it’s almost as much fun to hear them at home. And Paul’slater work, well, forgive me, but I don’t get it. I am a (rare) fan ofthe early solo work, at least McCartney, Band on the Run and Venus and Mars, with bits and pieces of some of the rest. For me the nicest surprise of the show were the five songs from Band on the Run. (Aside: It’s amazing how good the Beatles all were solo, in the very beginning.They broke up quite near their respective peaks.) But one has to endureso much schlock to see McCartney. I’ve never met the man, but he playssuch a doofus on stage, that I can only bear it once every ten or soyears. As I said, I was glad I did it. Are there any better songs than”Drive My Car”–the opener, or “Day Tripper,” etc.? Is there a bettersingalong song than “Sergeant Pepper?” And Billy Joel came out for “ISaw Her Standing There” which (together with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” “DoYa Love Me,” and “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love,”) gets my vote for themost perfect two minutes of rock ‘n’ roll ever recorded. So it was worththe time and effort; but just once a decade.
If I had more time, I’d go on and on about what a great guy FrankMcCourt was. He was certainly the greatest storyteller I’ve ever met andfun and decent, and generous, etc, but everybody else has already saidthat about him and most of them knew him far better than I. I dorecommend downloading Terri Gross’s podcast interview with him fromFresh Air. I never met Walter Cronkite, so I’ve nothing to add beyondthe general lamentation of how far we’ve fallen from the example hetried to set. Here’s Pierce.