The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

An Experiment That Failed

  Teach your children well, Their father’s hell did slowly go by . . . Will the people who sold us all that Sixties “peace and love” business ever admit that the road we’re traveling does not lead to Utopia? Is there nothing that can cause them to look back and say to themselves, “Y’know, […]

R.I.P., Little Richard

  “A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom!” Arguably the most exciting words in the history of music, the opening lyrics of “Tutti Frutti” announced the arrival of a bright-burning star who, in a period of two years, created the sound of rock-and-roll. You could say Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley had […]

Your Low-Rent Friends Are Dead

  Glenn Reynolds continues piling up the obscure Steely Dan references, and spotting them is becoming easy: If you see any phrase on Instapundit that doesn’t make sense, Google it, because it’s probably a Steely Dan reference. As for example when, in reference to Joe Biden’s doomed campaign, he drops in a lyric from “Kid […]

The Things That Pass for Knowledge

  This morning, I woke up and checked Instapundit and found an item about the wrongness of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s COVID-19 prediction — “Missed it by that much,” as Maxwell Smart would say — that included this: “The weekends at the Covid didn’t turn out like you planned.” This is an allusion to a Steely […]

Trump Country

  In 2016, Donald Trump got 84% of the vote in Johnson County, Kentucky. And you may ask, “Why does this matter?” Because there’s a tiny community in Johnson County called Butcher Hollow, which is the birthplace of Loretta Lynn, the First Lady of Country Music. If you start looking up the hometowns of Grand […]

‘All the Leaves Are Brown …’

  One thing I’ve tried to do with my kids is what I call “cultural education.” Like, there’s no reason children should grow up without an awareness of rock-and-roll classics, and I’ve had many rewarding experiences like the time I heard my youngest son, born in 2000, in the shower singing along to his Spotify […]

Chad Allan & the Expressions

Chad Allan and his groovy band, circa 1964. My mind works in mysterious ways and I’ve forgotten why I started the research that led me down a rabbit hole into an obscure tale from Canadian musical history. In 1958, a singer named Allan Kowbel formed a band in Winnipeg originally called Allan and the Silvertones. […]

‘The Last Song Nearly Killed Me’

  On this date in 1963, the Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me, an event memorialized by the poet Philip Larkin: Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban And the Beatles’ first LP. The story of how that LP was recorded […]

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