September 19, 2018

Song of the Day #1640

Song of the Day: Summertime Magic, words and music by Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson, was recorded by Childish Gambino (actual name: Donald Glover) for his 2018 EP "Summer Pack." Check out this slow summer jam, along with several remixes by FalconDap, Raspo, and P.A.F.F. [YouTube links].

September 18, 2018

Song of the Day #1639

Song of the Day: Stranger in My House, words and music by Shep Crawford and Shae Jones, was recorded by Tamia, who took the song to the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Song chart in 2001. The song was featured on the artist's second studio album, "A Nu Day" and became a Top Ten hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B/Hip Hop Singles charts. Check out the original ballad album version, and then its titanic transformation into a dance classic with remixes by Thunderpuss, Maurice, and Hex Hector [YouTube links].

September 17, 2018

Song of the Day #1638

Song of the Day: Surviving: A Family in Crisis ("Main Theme") [YouTube link], composed by the late, great James Horner, is heard sparingly over the opening credits and in variations throughout this painful, heartbreaking 1985 television movie on teenage suicide [YouTube link to film]. The film, which was later released in edited form on VHS as "Tragedy" (it remains unreleased on DVD), features a stellar cast that included Ellen Burstyn, Marsha Mason, Paul Sorvino, and a young River Phoenix. It centers on the tragic dual suicide of teenage characters, played by Zach Galligan and Molly Ringwald. Horner's score provides the perfect backdrop for this haunting film, which was originally shown on ABC. Tonight, television honors its best at the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on the NBC network.

September 16, 2018

Song of the Day #1637

Song of the Day: Levels features the words and music of a host of writers, including the songwriting team known as The Monsters and the Strangerz. The 2015 song appears only on "Nick Jonas X2," the reissue of his second eponymous album, "Nick Jonas" (2014). With this song hitting #1 on the Hot Dance Club Chart, today's birthday boy Jonas actually matched Madonna in career #1 dance tracks the year this was released (2015) due in part to remixes by Alex Ghenea, Steven Redant, and Jump Smokers [YouTube links]. Check out the original funk-laden video single as well.

September 15, 2018

Song of the Day #1636

Song of the Day: Too Late, words and music by Bob Carter and Junior Giscombe, is featured on Junior's first album, "Ji", which spawned the 1982 mega-hit, "Mama Used to Say." Both of these songs were Top 10 R&B hits. This artist was one of the first British R&B singers from the U.K. to climb the U.S. charts. Check out the original 12" extended mix [YouTube links].

September 14, 2018

Song of the Day #1635

Song of the Day: My, My, My features the words and music of James Alan Ghaleb, Oscar Gorres, Brett McLaughlin, and Troye Sivan, on whose 2018 album "Bloom" this #1 Hot Dance Club song appears. Check out the single video version, and live performances on SNL, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", and "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 5th. Then check out a series of dance remixes: the Throttle Remix, Hot Chip Remix, U-Go Boy Remix, and the Cliak Remix. We're taking this year's Annual Summer Dance Party right through the last day of summer, so stay tuned for the next eight days!

September 13, 2018

Total Freedom: New Kindle Edition Now Available!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my book, Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism is finally available in a Kindle edition at Amazon.com [link to Amazon Kindle edition]. This means that it now joins the e-book universe along with the first and second books of my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy": Marx, Hayek, and Utopia and Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, second edition.

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If you ask me, the new e-book is a little pricey, but that should come down, as it did with Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, and it does have options for those who have previously purchased the hardcover or paperback editions through Amazon.com.

So my trilogy, which was conceived in the twentieth century and completed at the dawn of the twenty-first century, has finally entered the twenty-first century in toto.

September 11, 2018

WTC Remembrance: Anthony Schirripa, Architect

Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001, which so deeply affected our lives as New Yorkers, as well as the lives of those who were killed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. My annual series returns this year with the recollections of architect Anthony Schirripa, who was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when terror struck on September 11, 2001---a late summer Tuesday morning, much like today.

As a preface to this year’s installment, I wanted to state, first, that I have never used this series as a place to discuss the historical, political, cultural, or economic preconditions and effects of the causal chain of events that led to the attacks on September 11, 2001. I have spent much room elsewhere on Notablog discussing these issues (see here, for example) and pointing to the provocative work of others on this subject (such as my friends and colleagues Roderick T. Long and Irfan Khawaja.) Ultimately, however, any end to the longest war in U.S. history cannot be disconnected from the profound significance of memory. As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk once wrote: "The beginning of the end of war lies in Remembrance."

For eighteen years now, this series has been an exercise in remembrance. And as long as I am here, I will continue to add installments to this series to keep alive the memories of those individuals whose lives were forever altered by the events of this tragic day.

One aspect of this exercise in remembrance was reflected in remarks I made on a recent Facebook thread, prompted by a 2015 book review essay by Robert Kirchner, "A Paradise Built in Hell" that my pal, Ryan Neugebauer, shared on FB. The article highlights the role of mutual aid as a response in times of crisis. I testified to the importance of such mutual aid on that horrible day in my home town: "Nothing proves this point more than what I saw and experienced in the city of my birth on 9/11. So much for 'rude New Yorkers.' Nothing could be further from the truth." I expanded on my point:

... I do have to say that as a native and life-long resident of New York City, who was here on September 11, 2001, the "communal disaster reflex" never truly diminished, certainly not in relationship to those who continue to feel the effects of the nightmarish events they experienced. Let's not forget that over 1,400 first-responders have died from all sorts of weird cancers and diseases in the wake of their voluntary work at a toxic Ground Zero, and the community outreach and assistance that has been provided to survivors remains strong.
This will be the seventeenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, which I will mark with my own annual essay on 9/11. But this Tuesday, thousands will gather at Ground Zero, at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and participate in the annual reading of the names of those who were murdered in 2001.
I think that since that day, I have seen a change in the culture of this city. It's a palpable response to anything that even hints at another terrorist attack, whether it's a water main break or some nutjob riding an SUV down the bike path of the West Side Highway. Let nobody doubt the resiliency of this town, where people of remarkably diverse backgrounds, still "have each other's backs" in crisis. That has been the one "silver lining" that remained from the clouds that darkened our skies on that horrible day.

This year's installment in my annual WTC Remembrance series tells the story of Anthony Schirripa and gives us a glimpse of the nature of that mutual aid in action. I want to thank Tony, as he is known to his friends, for giving of his time to my project.

For those who have not read previous entries in the series, here is a convenient index:

2001: As It Happened . . .

2002: New York, New York

2003: Remembering the World Trade Center: A Tribute

2004: My Friend Ray

2005: Patrick Burke, Educator

2006: Cousin Scott

2007: Charlie: To Build and Rebuild

2008: Eddie Mecner, Firefighter

2009: Lenny: Losses and Loves

2010: Tim Drinan, Student

2011: Ten Years Later

2012: A Memorial for the Ages: A Pictorial

2013: My Friend Matthew: A 9/11 Baby of a Different Stripe

2014: A Museum for the Ages: A Pictorial

2015: A New One World Trade Center Rises From the Ashes: A Pictorial (This essay has been translated into Portuguese by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos.)

2016: Fifteen Years Ago: Through the Looking Glass of a Video Time Machine (This essay has been translated into Portuguese by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos.)

2017: Sue Mayham: Not Business as Usual (This essay has been translated into Portuguese by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos. It has also been translated into Russian by Timur Kadirov.)

2018: Anthony Schirripa, Architect

Never forget.

September 09, 2018

WTC Remembrance: A Personal Photo

We are nearing the seventeenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On that day, I will post another installment to my annual series of remembrance.

Looking through some old photos, however, I have always had a special fondness, for obvious reasons, for this pic from 1999.

It was actually in March of 1999, with some pretty fierce March winds, and I was 40 stories up, on top of the roof of 22 Cortlandt Street, when photographer Don Hamerman took this photo for a story on Rand scholarship for The Chronicle of Higher Education, which focused attention on my work and the work of others in academia. It is a photo framed by Twin Towers that I will always cherish.

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Check out the photos here and here as well.

September 08, 2018

Song of the Day #1634

Song of the Day: I'm Not Gonna Let You, words and music by Marston Freeman and Colonel Abrams, was a #1 1986 Dance Club hit, from a #1 Dance Club album, which was the artist's self-titled debut recording that included yesterday's "Trapped" as well. Check out the original 12" extended mix [YouTube link].

September 07, 2018

Song of the Day #1633

Song of the Day: Trapped, words and music by Marston Freeman and Colonel Abrams, topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart on this date in September 1985. Abrams, who died tragically in 2016 at the age of 67, was one of the luminaries of the "house music" trends of the 1980s. Check out the single version of his signature tune and the extended remix. This is the first of two entries for a Colonel Abrams weekend!

September 06, 2018

Song of the Day #1632

Song of the Day: Sharky's Machine ("Love Theme"), words and music by Cliff Crofford, John Durrill, Snuff Garrett, and Bobby Troup, appears on the wonderful jazz soundtrack to this action-packed 1981 thriller directed by and starring Burt Reynolds (in the title role). Reynolds passed away today at the age of 82. The song is delivered in Sassy fashion by Sarah Vaughan. Check out the Divine One on YouTube. RIP, Burt.

Sports and 9/11: 2001 Mets Visit Memorial Museum

Next Tuesday, September 11, 2018, I will publish my annual essay in remembrance of the horrific events of that day in 2001.

Today, however, many members of the 2001 New York Mets team visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to view a new exhibit, "Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11." Among the events commemorated at the museum was the first baseball game played in New York City after the terrorist attacks. It was at Shea Stadium, old home of the New York Mets, in which Mike Piazza put the Mets ahead for good to win the game 3-2 over the Atlanta Braves [YouTube link]. Hall of Fame Catcher Piazza recalls the events [YouTube link], as the Mets were down 2-1, when he hit what was ultimately the game-winning home run. In one blast of the bat, even this New York Yankees fan found a reason to cheer.

As it turned out, the New York Yankees gave New Yorkers something to smile about in the postseason too---even if briefly---as they fought their way into the 2001 World Series [YouTube link], winning three iconic games in New York City, before ultimately losing the Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks in seven unforgettable games.

Still, one can't look back on the events of September 11, 2001 without recognizing the role of sports and its capacity to lift the spirits of a broken-hearted town.

September 04, 2018

Song of the Day #1631

Song of the Day: Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) features the words and music of Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Terius "The Dream" Nash, Thaddis Harrell, and Beyonce Knowles, who was born on this date in 1981. The song, from the artist's 2008 album, "I Am ... Sasha Fierce," went to #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club chart, spent 7 weeks atop the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and 4 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to win Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song, becoming one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Its black-and-white video won the MTV-VMA Video of the Year, as well as the awards for Best Choreography and Best Editing (that was the year that Kanye West swiped a VMA from Taylor Swift to give it to Beyonce for Best Female Video). It also won Video of the Year honors from BET and the MTV Europe Music Awards, among others. Check out the original video single, the Dave Aude Remix, and several hilarious paradoies: the first by Joe Jonas, another by Charlie Puth, but by far, the best was an absolutely insane SNL skit [Vimeo link], featuring Beyonce with Justin Timberlake, Adam Samberg, Bobby Moynihan, Darryl Hammond, and host Paul Rudd.

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