On Mermaid Avenue (1998), Billy Bragg and Wilco wrote and recorded music for some of the 3,000 tuneless lyrics Woody Guthrie left behind. The stunning result was so much more than a reverent, Pete-Seeger-and-friends tribute album could ever be: the great Guthrie expanded in our cultural imagination and introduced to a new generation.
When I saw the MoJo headline "Why Your Supermarket Only Sells 5 Kinds of Apples," I expected an informative piece about industrial agriculture's disincentive for biodiversity and the various problems this causes. I've read that article before, but for whatever reason I clicked anyway.
I once wrote that the Felice Brothers have one capable lead singer at best: while Ian Felice sings more expressively than his brother James, it’s not a pretty sound. But I was overlooking the Catskills folk-rockers’ third brother, Simone.
So I've discontinued the sidebar link blogging, which was a bit of a pre-Twitter relic. But I'll still post semi-regular roundups of links, with a shift toward doing what Twitter's not always so good at: giving a taste of the actual writing.
The two parties are miles apart on how to cut the deficit and national debt: Republicans want to slash spending even more. Democrats want to raise revenue.
And then there are the other Democrats — the ones who reject the entire premise of the current high-stakes fiscal fight. There’s no short-term deficit problem, they say, and there isn’t even an urgent debt crisis that requires immediate attention.
When I filed my taxes earlier this month, I paid my use tax to the State of Illinois. A lot of people don't pay use tax, and enforcement is almost nonexistent. But there it was on the form I had to sign, and it was all of 50 bucks or something, so I paid it.
Those of us who live in a state with a sales tax are required to pay tax on online purchases.
When I’m buying food, I generally prioritize quality and ethical sourcing over thrift. When it comes to clothes, I more often do the opposite: I wait for great deals, I don’t get fancy, and I try not to think about where my clothes come from. I’m not sure why my approach is so different.
Yesterday I heard the NPR news desk transition from its top story, Boston, to the latest from West, Texas. Here's how they did it: "Let's check in on another major story that dominated our attention last week."
What I hope we don’t see, when the next race or a parade or festival looms up in front of us, are layers of extra stops and searches and checkpoints, wider and wider rings of closed streets, the kind of portable metal detectors that journalists remember unfondly from political conventions, more of the concrete barriers that Washingtonians have become accustomed to around our public buildings … more of everything that organized officialdom does to reassure us, and itself, that soft targets can somehow be eliminated entirely, and that everything anyone can think of is being done to keep the unthinkable at bay.
I'm the web editor in these here parts, and my morning routine includes checking a variety of sources for hits on the phrase "Christian century." This works better for us than it does for Time but worse than it does for Timothy McSweneey's Quarterly Concern: most of the links are indeed about us, but not all of them.
These great graphs from the Washington Post compare these five plans to one another and to current policy. Note than on the first metric, the ever-popular question of budget deficits, all five dip lower than current projections in just a couple years.
I'm away this week at the joint gathering of the Associated Church Press and the Religious Communicators Council. Lots of useful lectures and workshops, lots of colleagues to catch up with; not a lot of time to blog. So my lack of posting is likely to continue through the week. (Also, the more or less daily Century "digest" posts are trending toward "less" while I'm away.)