Notes and riffs

A couple items as I continue to catch up:

  • Matt Tiabbi well-summarizes the Michael Jackson trial in the latest Rolling Stone. His conclusion:
    This case is the ultimate sizzling shit pile of American society: It is what our culture of gross celebrity worship looks like when it comes out the other end. A pop star gone sideways under the lights, maggots nibbling at his fortune, hourly underpants updates on cable, industry insiders trading phone numbers over drinks, and boy orgasms. And people like me writing about it all. We’re the worst America has to offer — and we’re all here.

  • Now this is cool: Astronomers have finally obtained the first photograph of a planet beyond our solar system.
  • William Grimes of the NY Times asks, We All Have a Life. Must We All Write About It?
  • My Seattle trip caused me to miss the Steve Earle concert this week and, of course nary a word in the Argus about it. I’m told and have read, though, that there were a few audience members who got on Earle about his politics. Clueless is an understatement if these people didn’t know where he stood on Bush, Iraq, etc. The Revolution Starts Now is among a couple candidates for my 2004 album of the year. I speculate it won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album because most people think protest/political music is automatically folk music.
  • Both Tom Daschle and Russell Means make an appearance in a lengthy article by French author Bernard-Henri Lévy in the new Atlantic . Writing in connection with the bicentennial of the birth of Alexis de Tocqueville, Lévy visits the Lower Brule and Pine Ridge reservations and neither Means nor Daschle comes off well, with Means even being portrayed as part of the problem Native American causes face.
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