Seized by some peculiar muse (clearly one with a sense of humor), I have undertaken to learn the cello in middle age.
Fifteen years ago, after special prosecutor Ken Starr questioned President Bill Clinton about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky, Starr—overcome with a “sense of gloom”—shambled into his Virginia home, collapsed into bed, and asked himself, “How could a sensible and sane government come to this?”
<P>While watching the Grammy awards last Sunday, it occurred to me that American culture has been defined by music ever since the end of World War II. After the Germans and Japanese surrendered in 1945, millions of GI's returned home to marry and begin families. The big-band era of good-time music accompanied that, and romantic singers like Frank Sinatra ruled the day.
In the days since the second Obama inauguration, I've been thinking about Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce. No, not the great lip-synching controversy, but the choice of popular entertainment for a solemn national rite.
Indulging once again would appear to some a questionable act, especially after he had spent all that time running around and attempting to get a particular guy reelected who I wanted gone from politics in the best way.
In the Christmas edition of the De Pasquale’s Dozen I wanted to highlight the new Christmas EP (available here) by lead singer and guitarist of The Smithereens, Pat DiNizio and libertarian activist and jazz soloist, Christian Josi.
After his YouTube video went mega-viral, the South Korean rapper named PSY received an invitation to sing and dance at a White House Christmas party. But it was quickly learned that in 2004, he had rapped lyrics wishing for the death and torture of American troops in Iraq, along with their families. PSY quickly issued a humble apology to the American people, and the White House reaffirmed that PSY’s show would go on. Was this the right thing to do?