Monday, July 18, 2011

In which Rep. Sean Duffy is a bit player in a magazine story

Rep. Sean Duffy appears in this NYT Magazine profile of GOP whip Kevin McCarthy but I'm not sure how interesting it is to WI-7 folks. For instance it is not surprising that Duffy got leadership blessing to vote against defunding NPR. Here's something sort of interesting:
Sean Duffy spoke with McCarthy constantly throughout the campaign. So did a South Dakota farmer named Kristi Noem — though she received what she calls "good messaging advice" covertly, as Noem's entire campaign was based on her wholesale rejection of Beltway orthodoxy.
I suppose it shouldn't be shocking that Duffy got messaging advice during the campaign. But note the distinction there between Noem, who had to at least pretend that she wasn't communicating with party leaders, and Duffy who didn't. It does underline the point that Duffy is very much a team player, in-with-GOP-leadership kind of representative. I suppose your feelings about that will depend on your feelings about GOP leadership.

A more philosophical question is do you prefer for your representative to be someone who pretends to be independent but really isn't or someone who doesn't especially pretend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best singles of 2011 so far

I feel like this list is really incomplete, still. What am I missing, please?


15. "The Show Goes On," Lupe Fiasco
14. "Just a Kiss," Lady Antebellum
13. "Helplessness Blues," Fleet Foxes
12. "Blow," Ke$ha
11. "Getting Ready for Christmas Day," Paul Simon
10. "Born This Way," Lady Gaga
9. "Trouble on My Mind," Pusha-T feat. Tyler, the Creator
8. "Remind Me," Brad Paisley feat. Carrie Underwood
7. “E.T.,” Katy Perry
6. "Gucci Gucci," Kreayshawn
5. "I Hate Myself," Lil B
4. "Calgary," Bon Iver
3. "Rolling in the Deep," Adele
2. "Yonkers," Tyler the Creator
1. "Till the World Ends," Britney Spears. (See my review here. Extraordinary for its total hypnotic emptiness.)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Best music of 2011 so far

This week I listened to the Sound Opinions episode where they did their mid-year thing, so I guess why not, I can offer mine. This all can change a lot between now and December of course but just for fun.


10. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
Haven't really listened to it much yet but it seems pleasant enough. 

9. Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972
Epic ambient. 

8. Adele, 21

7. Brad Paisley, This is Country Music

6. Beyonce, 4

5. Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

4. Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What
What a nice surprise! Really sincere and pretty and catchy. Kind of laid back and genuine, comfortable in its own skin. 

3. Lil B, I'm Gay (I'm Happy)

2. Bon Iver, Bon Iver

1. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
Telling an English story, interpolating found melodies. Very slept-on album in my opinion, perhaps because critics all want a primal scream from Polly Jean all the time. But this is a pretty, complete sort of record, and I've been surprised by how many times I have gone back to it.


Radiohead, King of Limbs
I get that Radiohead is trying to get away from album-as-event, but this is pretty slight.

Tyler, the Creator, Goblin
I can see why Odd Future's punk/teenager rap thing seems interesting to a lot of people, and it was to me too for a couple of weeks. But really, this record is mostly bad and weirdly (or maybe, given its teenagerishness, not weirdly) self-serious. Yes, I know there are punchlines. That's not what I mean. Tyler has a good sound but he really needs to develop a sense of irony.

I am going to try to do singles tomorrow.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Anarchist by John Smolens

The Anarchist: A NovelThe Anarchist: A Novel by John Smolens

Pretty silly. I am sort of interested in the politics of the time (early 1900s) and thought it might be fun to read a novel about it. It was a little, small bit of fun, was all. Sort of a clumsy potboiler overall.

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