The New York Times has never been exactly hesitant to publish articles that look cluelessly down on the cultural life of U.S. cities with fewer than 8 million residents. So I'm not sure I'd blame nepotism alone for the A. G. Sulzberger clunker the paperpublished this week.
I enjoyed Charles McGrath's profile of Stephen Colbert.
McGrath's framework is that there used to be two Colberts, the man
himself and the blowhard-pundit character. Now there's a third: a real
live political actor. I think that's all about right. But I don't know why McGrath writes off Colbert's 2010 congressional testimony as part of the old paradigm.
It's rare for me to disagree with Mark Silk and rarer still for me to agree with Erick Erickson. But that's where I'm at when it comes to the politics of Rick Santorum's strong showing in Iowa on Tuesday.
There's a sort of dualism that comes up when political commentators talk
about conservative evangelicals: either they're powerful and
unflappable advocates for the couple of causes we've always associated
with them, or they don't really exist as a voting bloc at all.
Note to Eric Bolling, Dan Gainor and Andrea Tantaros:Tex Richman isn't a Muppet. He's a human character, played by Chris
Cooper. I know, it's hard to find time to fact-check when you're busy politicizing the Muppets.
The Harrow and the Harvest pushes Gillian Welch's winning formula further. On Mockingbird Time, the Jayhawks' sweet harmonies and gritty edges are finally back. There's a hefty dose of early Paul Simon on Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues. "Soul" is as good a word as any for Liz Janes's groovy little record Say Goodbye. Tom Waits's Bad As Me is accessible enough to convert some skeptics. And The Head and the Heart's self-titled debutis the feel-good record of the year.
Years ago I cringed when I saw that the Onion sells a t-shirt with the slogan, "I appreciate
the Muppets on a much deeper level than you." My friend John
and I had just been discussing the Muppets' sly use of metafictional