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January 31, 2008

Song of the Day #865

Song of the Day: What Goes Around Comes Around, words and music by birthday boy Justin Timberlake, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, and Nate Hills, is from the fine album "FutureSex/LoveSounds." Listen to a full-length clip of this #1 pop hit at YouTube and a dance remix too. And check out the video with Scarlett Johannson and Shawn Hatosy. The original track features a nice groove and eclectic instrumentation, and Justin does a great job performing it in concert (yes, I saw him, and he was outstanding). Happy Birthday, Mr. Timberlake. And look out for his Pepsi commercial on Super Bowl Sunday.

January 30, 2008

Rudy Giuliani: A Preliminary Autopsy

If you are at all susceptible to the politics bug, it is very hard to innoculate oneself in the middle of one of the most dizzying political seasons in recent memory.

But some things are predictable. A very, very long time ago, when former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had launched his GOP campaign for the Presidency, it seemed that he would be invincible. I have long argued, however, that the conservative "coalition" within the Republican Party had suffered a huge crack-up, undermined by its most virulent strains (of the neo- and, especially, theo- variety).

In this context, "[i]t bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee," as GOP consultant Nelson Warfield observes.

With Rudy's crushing defeat in the Florida primary (and his imminent endorsement of John McCain), Giuliani's campaign is now history.

Now, let me be clear about a few things: I'm not one of those libertarians who utterly despises "Ghouliani." True, he could be an awful political opportunist (Joe Biden's statement rings true: "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11"). He was petty and authoritarian, and he pissed me off a few hundred times while he was "America's Mayor." But for New Yorkers who lived through an era bookended by John Lindsay and David Dinkins, Rudy did a few things that led even the New York Times to endorse him in 1997 for a second term (so much for their inherent bias against him).

That said, his acceptance of the Bush administration's reckless policies assured that I could never cast my vote for a Giuliani presidency.

So much more 2008 political theater to come... stay tuned.

Cross-referenced at L&P.

January 25, 2008

Song of the Day #864

Song of the Day: Meditation features the Portuguese lyrics of Newton Mendonca, the English lyrics of Norman Gimbel, and the luscious music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, who was born on this date in 1927. This is one of my all-time favorite melodies from one of my all-time favorite composers. Listen to audio clips from Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, guitarist Charlie Byrd, Nancy Ames (with guitarist Laurindo Almeida), Frank Sinatra with Jobim, and Jobim himself.

January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger, 1979-2008

Shocking news from New York City today: The young actor, Heath Ledger, was found dead in his SoHo apartment in Manhattan, in an apparent prescription drug overdose.

He's due to be seen as the Joker in the upcoming Batman flick, "The Dark Knight," a film I was really looking forward to seeing. A resident of Brooklyn for a while with Michelle Williams and their baby daughter, Ledger is perhaps best remembered for his Oscar-nominated heartbreaking role in "Brokeback Mountain."

Ledger was only 28 years old. How very sad.

January 20, 2008

Go Giants!

Okay, okay, so they play in Joisey. But they still wear that NY on their helmuts, and the New York Giants are going to the Super Bowl. WTF!?! I can't believe it that Little Manning is taking his team to Arizona.

Wow.

To face those unbeaten New England Patriots. Ugh.

Well, for the second year in a row, a Manning makes the Super Bowl, and Eli tries to follow his brother Peyton to victory. Well, at least the temperatures will be higher than the ones the Giants had to deal with in Lambeau Field, against the Green Bay Packers. A nice 23-20 sudden death overtime victory for Big Blue. Congratulations!

January 18, 2008

IESS Entry on "Objectivism"

I've authored an entry on Ayn Rand's philosophy, "Objectivism," which appears in the new International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, a 9-volume, 4000-page work published by Macmillan Reference USA, edited by William A. Darity, Jr. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008). The article can be found in Volume 6: Oaxaca, Ronald - Quotas, Trade, pp. 6-8, but the people at Gale / Cengage Learning have been kind enough to give me permission to post the PDF of the article on my home site.

You can access the essay as a PDF document here.

INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

Cross-posted at L&P.

January 16, 2008

American Idol 2008 Begins

"American Idol" began last night with a 2-hour premiere ... at an advantage in the TV ratings game, because the Writers' Strike has kept so many shows off the air.

It was a typical "AI" beginning: some good talent, some nightmares, lots of fun, as always. Looking forward to an entertaining season ...

January 09, 2008

The Real Girl from Ipanema

It was one of my favorite songs, and now there's a nice article telling us about the real "Girl from Ipanema." Check out "'Ipanema' & The Sands of Time," by Dominick A. Merle from this past Sunday's New York Daily News.

January 06, 2008

Song of the Day #863

Song of the Day: I'll Fall with Your Knife, a paean to commitment and to 'keeping the faith' against all odds, features the music and lyrics of Peter Murphy and Paul Statham. The song has been heard in several venues, including as the opening and closing theme of the 1997 teen movie, "The Trojan War" (where Tom Hiel delivers his own rendition as well). Take a look also at two YouTube moments: a "Samurai X" anime video and a glimpse of a live Peter Murphy concert appearance from May 2000. And check out audio clips from Peter's "Cascade," "Wild Birds: 1985-1995: The Best of the Beggars Banquet Years," and, my favorite rendition, from "aLive Just for Love." Happy Birthday, sweetie!

January 01, 2008

Song of the Day #862

Song of the Day: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, music and lyrics by Edward Pola and George Wyle, captures the wonder of the season perfectly. Listen to audio clips by Toni Braxton and Rosemary Clooney, and my two most favorite versions: the exuberant, joyous renditions by Andy Williams (and check out a shrift remix of that track too) and Johnny Mathis. And so ends our tribute to holiday songs, which began 12 days ago. A very happy, healthy, prosperous, and successful New Year to all my readers!