I'm getting sick of seeing my previous blog as the most recent entry, as on soberer reflection it does sound a bit over the top. That's not to say it actually is over the top, as the people at the conference I described really are theofascists who imply that federal judges should be murdered and who forthrightly state that the separation of church and state is Satanic, all of which makes it alarming that they have such close ties to prominent Republican Congressional leaders starting with (but not limited to) Tom DeLay. Admittedly it is not clear who is using whom and to what degree. Certainly the Administration, despite its theocratic overtones, generally seems more interested in using the extreme evangelicals than in actually giving them what they want. In such a context, cynicism is certainly preferable to sincerity.
Given my discomfort about sounding too shrill, however, let's change gears completely for a music note. I recently got tickets to a Stephen Malkmus concert in NYC that is coming up next month, and I am looking forward to his new album that is due at about the same time. Malkmus, of course, was the leader of Pavement, whom one might call the Beatles of 90s independent/ alternative rock although not, obviously, in terms of sales or broader cultural influence.
Uberslacker/ironist/hero of college English majors though/as Malkmus is, I find his music consistently delightful. His first two solo albums, "Swedish Reggae" (as the first one was almost called until it became just "Stephen Malkmus") and "Pig Lib," although closer to being easy listening than Pavement's albums, do in my experience remain highly enjoyable after repeated play. Malkmus is also arguably the best independent/alternative lead guitarist other than Tom Verlaine. Very fluid and melodic, not stuck in blues or other cliches.
I suppose if my childhood had been worse I'd prefer Nirvana to Pavement. For some tastes Malkmus is just too sunny or glib or sarcastic without anger. But, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld and thus bring this entry closer to full circle, you go through adulthood with the childhood you had, not the childhood that would have been more AC (artistically correct). Perhaps I should blame my parents.