Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘wretchedly uncool

Biofuels, Krugman, Counting Crows, Bruce

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* In addition to all the other things that are terrible about biofuels, including the fact that they use more oil to make than they actually save, it turns out they contribute to greenhouse gases even more than conventional fuels, too. Now that Iowa’s voted, can’t we just bury this idea? Via MeFi.

* Given that the CBS News delegate count now has Obama taking the lead over Clinton, even counting superdelegates, and the Intrade prediction market gives him a nearly 70% chance to win the nomination, isn’t it time for Paul Krugman to start figuring out how he’s ever going to stand down? This weekend’s column was easily the most egregious I’ve seen yet, explicitly comparing Obama to Nixon and Bush on the grounds of I-don’t-know-what-exactly. Check out “Hate Springs Eternal”:

Why, then, is there so much venom out there?

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. We’ve already had that from the Bush administration — remember Operation Flight Suit? We really don’t want to go there again.

And it gets worse:

But most of all, progressives should realize that Nixonland is not the country we want to be. Racism, misogyny and character assassination are all ways of distracting voters from the issues, and people who care about the issues have a shared interest in making the politics of hatred unacceptable.

Has there ever been a more singular misreading of the dynamics at play in an election, ever?

Is Krugman still going to be tilting at this windmill when Obama is president?

* Nick Beaudrot has called the Democratic nomination for Obama. You can all go back to your homes.

* Finally, I jotted down a little bit more about the new Counting Crows album late last night in the comments of the eight live tracks post. In a nushell, the album seems to suffer from a few related problems: first, many of the songs are not that good, and second those that are good are usually highly referential or explicit sequels to earlier, better songs. Worse, hopes that Adam Duritz’s narcissism has abided have once again been dashed—if anything he appears more narcissistic than ever, still writing about the same twenty-year-old breakup and dropping any pretense that these songs are about anything but his own desire to have a public LiveJournal. More than once in the live set he’s incapable of sustaining the illusion that these are characters rather than himself through even thirty seconds of audience banter; at one point he goes so far as to talk about how one of his “characters” felt just after writing “Accidentally in Love.”

None of this bodes especially well for longtime Counting Crows devotees like myself. I remarked to a Longtime Associate last night that, as far as he and I go, Adam Duritz seems to represent our worst selves in just about every way that Bruce Springsteen represents our best. I really think that’s true, and as we’ve gotten older we both seem to have left a lot of the Duritz stuff behind us. I’m nostalgic for a lot of their old songs because I have a lot of memories attached to them, but there’s not much room inside me for more of the same.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

More Counting Crows

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If last night’s Counting Crows downloads weren’t enough for you, JJerm from the sadly defunked Rock Static mails in a post at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends with eight songs from the new album, all live from Philadelphia last week.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 10, 2008 at 5:04 pm

New Counting Crows Single

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All my friends and lovers can assure you that I love and hate Adam Duritz like I love and hate myself. The release of August and Everything After was revelatory for me as a lonely and unhappy seventh grader, and it was more or less the unchallenged soundtrack for my life until almost the end of high school. It’s not hard for me to track my life against subsequent Counting Crows releases, each one characterizing both a different period of my life and a different delicate balance of optimism and self-loathing. They’re all committed to memory, even the songs hardly anyone listened to.

This is pretty much the thing that most clearly marks me as wretchedly uncool, but there’s just no escaping it.

I only bring it up because there’s a new Counting Crows single out this week, along with another pair of free songs from the upcoming new album. News of a new Counting Crows album always feels me with dread, as for a long time the band has been inching closer and closer to just releasing 13 tracks of Adam Duritz weeping into the microphone. In the five and a half years since the last album came out, their biggest hit has been the absolutely terrible “Accidentally in Love” from the Shrek II soundtrack, which doesn’t fill me with confidence either.

Still, although it dances as Duritz so often does right on the edge of self-parody, this song may actually hit that Counting-Crows sweet-spot deep inside my lame, lame heart. I’ll only know for sure after I’ve listened to it a few hundred more times.