Saturday, January 02, 2010

Good word

"Tom Carson got [Gina] Arnold's goat when he pointed out, in the wake of 1986's putatively progressive Lifes Rich Pageant, what seems undeniable -- that R.E.M.'s 'tendentious appeals to a cloudily glorious past' and 'wishful confusion of cultural might-have-beens with historical truth' were 'the emotional syntax of Reaganism, pure and simple.' Not that R.E.M. were Reaganites, of course (you knew that, right?) -- just that they didn't escape Reaganism's cultural climate. Fans of both band and pol shared the habit of closing their rapidly moving eyes and wishing stuff would go away, not to mention a disdain for the moral weaklings on the other side of the fence."

-- Robert Christgau

Friday, January 01, 2010


Something struck me last night as I watched Hannah Montana: The Movie, a Walt Disney Pictures picture. There are two scenes involving carnival rides. On the one hand that seems very Disney, since Disney is all about rides. On the other hand, Walt Disney conceived his theme parks as an orderly, controlled alternative to old-style amusement parks and their carnival rides.