I decided to scrap that story, since on second read, it came across as pretty disjointed and sucky. Also it was only fun to write for the first half, when I didn’t know what was going to happen myself. But then as soon as I figured it out, writing became very tedious. You can practically feel the momentum take a nose-dive near the end. Eh… it’s good to remind myself every now and then why I shouldn’t become a writer :).
Went to a couple more shows this week. I realized that it must mean nothing to you when I just list names of artists I’ve seen. So I think from now on I’m going to try to give you a taste of what the music’s like, in the hope that you might find some of them appealing, too.
Thursday night was The Tragically Hip, at the ill-placed Fillmore. The Hip are incredibly popular in Canada but hardly known here (partly by their choice, I think). Anyway, they play kickass rock with literate and (often) obscure lyrics, and their live shows are highlighted by singer Gordon Downie’s insane ramblings and stage antics. Grace, Too is one of my all-time favorite live songs — it’s got a great beat and to hear and participate in the crowd singing along to every word (which, sadly, this live recording omits) is electrifying. At the Hundredth Meridian is a representative studio recording.
Saturday was Gillian Welch, also at the Fillmore. She and co-songwriter/singer/guitarist David Rawlings play what I can only describe as “Americana” (think O Brother Where Art Thou?): a mixture of beautiful ballads and primitive, almost sinister tunes. My First Lover is an example of this latter type of song. I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll gives a taste of their live harmonies.
I haven’t been writing about it much, but I’m kind of going nuts about the Red Sox. This year’s team is definitely the most likable I can recall. My high school friends and I were recently discussing our favorite sports teams, and I think my top five are:
- UConn basketball
- Boston Red Sox
- English national team (soccer)
- Newcastle United
- Sacramento Kings
Given UConn’s sweep in the spring, even if the the Red Sox just make it to the World Series, this would be my greatest sports year ever. Now, if only that would somehow help me with research…
I was thinking the other day about why so many Hollywood celebrities are liberal. An intuitive classification I had thought about earlier seemed to supply an answer.
One way to classify fiscal conservatives and liberals is to say that the former value efficiency/productivity above everything else (and thus any policies that encourage deadweight loss — like taxes or a minimum wage — are bad), and the latter feel that there there are metrics other than efficiency, like median standard of living, that are better indicators of a country’s success.
Another, more intuitive way to look at it is that conservatives feel like they’ve earned all the money they’ve accumulated, and so any government meddling in their money is akin to stealing, while liberals feel like they’ve been lucky to be given the resources and opportunities they’ve had that led them to make this money, and so taxes, etc. are a way to even the playing field — to pass the luck on, so to speak, to people who haven’t been born with or into it.
(For the record, to me there’s no question that I’ve been incredibly lucky to be where I am today.)
I was talking about this with Manu last night, and we feel that in either classification, both sides are quite defensible, given differing but reasonable sets of axioms. It seems that civil conservatism is much harder to defend.
Anyway, I think many Hollywood actors feel quite lucky to have become so successful — I think there are many more capable (and attractive) people than there are superstars, and perhaps this is what leads actors to feel a kind of obligation to society for allowing them to become as successful as they have. No doubt this is a gross simplification, but it sounds vaguely plausible :).