Michael Hastings – “My Decade of bin Laden” (2011)

May 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm (Life & Politics, Reviews & Articles)

Some thoughts to ponder in the days after bin Laden’s death. This comes from Rolling Stone, May 8, 2011…

Osama bin Laden’s actions, and our reactions to them, have defined my adult life. I was in New York City on September 11th, 2001, a senior in college. After the towers collapsed, I walked 95 blocks to get as close to Ground Zero as possible, so I could see first-hand the destruction that would define our future. By the time I got to Baghdad four years later, very few Americans believed that the people we were fighting in Iraq posed a threat to the United States. Even the military press didn’t bother lying about it anymore, referring to our enemies as “insurgents” rather than “terrorists.” A woman I loved was killed in Baghdad in January 2007 — Al Qaeda in Iraq took credit for it — and my younger brother fought for 15 months as an infantry platoon leader, earning a Bronze Star. Other friends, both American and Iraqi, suffered their own losses: homes, limbs, loved ones. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti – “Allen Ginsberg Dying” (1997)

May 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm (Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

Allen Ginsburg is dying
It's all in the papers
It's on the evening news
A great poet is dying
But his voice
	   won't die
His voice is on the land
In Lower Manhattan
in his own bed
he is dying
There is nothing 
to do about it
He is dying the death that everyone dies
He is dying the death of a poet
He has a telephone in his hand
and he calls everyone
from his bed in Lower Manhattan

Read the rest of this entry »

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Scott Walker – “The Drift” (2006)

May 12, 2011 at 9:43 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A review of this deeply disturbing and challenging record by 60s legend Scott Walker, taken from the Pitchfork Media website and written by Dominique Leone, May 9, 2006…

Forty years into his recording career, Scott Walker is still making music that he wants to make; like all great artists, he’s making music that only he can make — and hoping (or not) that other people catch onto something, anything in the big, dark, dense vacuum of The Drift. Walker beats the noise-mongers in New York, the conservatory-schooled theater kids, the gallery poseurs, the reclusive art-pop geniuses, all the perennially stylish genre tourists, celebrity revolutionaries, and outmoded underground icons. He, despite little more than a cult status in his native (and long since abandoned) country, has emerged a visionary, maker of some of the most texturally complex, viscerally emotional, and downright horrific music this side of anyone at all.

But then, the composer of The Drift, Walker’s first new studio record since 1995’s devastating Tilt, didn’t appear from out of nowhere. Rather, the Ohio-born artist (born Scott Noel Engel) staked a claim to the musical territory somewhere between orchestral pop and psychological soliloquy from his earliest solo records. After garnering major success in the UK as one-third of the pop act the Walker Brothers (none of whom were actually related, or Read the rest of this entry »

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