Arts & Culture
This essay is adapted from Mark's book, A Song For The Season:
I'm not, generally, a big fan of "black history" or "gay history" or most other forms of identity-group history. There is plain old history, which encompasses all of us however peripherally in its whims and cruelties, and, when one tries to narrow the focus to correct longstanding "marginalizations", one too often winds up not with scholarship but with smiley-face boosterism. All that said, let me make an exception to my general antipathy and mark February's "African-American History Month" festivities by noting a songwriter who, in his own way, is a part of both African and American history.
Andy Razaf was born Andreamenentania Razafinkeriefo, the great nephew of Queen Ranavalona III of Madagascar...
Michael (Transformers) Bay has now made two feature films about real-life military attacks on US sovereign territory - in 2001 Pearl Harbor, which was enough to have you rooting for the Japs, and now 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Happily, the latter does not have much in common with the former, save for a reprise of what evidently Mr Bay regards as his signature - a rocket falling from the skies to its target, but shot from the rocket's point of view. If you object that a rocket is ...
I was very saddened to hear of the death of Professor Robert M Carter, one of my co-authors on Climate Change: The Facts. Bob had a heart attack at his home in Queensland and never recovered consciousness. He was an indispensable voice in the battle for climate sanity...
Islamophobia, deluded parochialism, and the setting sun
Composers and lyricists tell the stories behind some of the great standards Sinatra sang...
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