On this Independence Day 2008, I note that war and conflict seem to fill my entertainment these days. I've been watching Ken Burns' lovingly done documentary The Civil War which brings back to mind Doris Kearns Goodwin's extensive Lincoln biography Team of Rivals. I've also just finished war correspondent Scott Anderson's Moonlight Hotel and moved on to The Man Who Tried to Save the World, both of which tell of internecine warfare.
Here's an interesting factoid to chew on: after the Civil War, Americans stopped saying "The United States are" and began to say "The United States is". Our country feels incredibly divided at times - and I'd guess most generations have felt that since there hasn't been a real uniting external cause since WWII - but that division doesn't extend so far anymore as to make the parts greater than the whole. And jokes about moving to Canada if x gets elected aside, I'm glad I live here. So, happy Independence Day, America.
Speaking of war-mongering, Bob Lefsetz got cranky and posted a music industry "enemies list". Gotta say, there's no better way to make 'em than by calling 'em out.
But then, people surprise you sometimes. For instance, blog comment threads normally devolve into "what do you mean, you like x band? They suck!". The readers of 17 dots - the emusic blog - have resisted the impulse and been discussing R.E.M., The National and their own music buying/listening habits in this post on the slow-building popularity of The National. Refreshing. Not as refreshing as my sangria, but no hangover either.
Finally I raise my proverbial glass to my friend Buzz who's moving out of DC. I met him one Saturday night my first summer in DC at the Marx Cafe. We started chatting over beer and discovered that we were both from Boston, we were both more than casual music fans, and we'd both spent much of that month watching the Tour de France as a break from baseball. The next afternoon he helped me finish the project that brought electricity into my hallway and we were friends. I couldn't have hoped to meet a more generous guy....happy trails and keep in touch, babe.