Saturday, June 27, 2009


Michael Jackson's death is still dominating the news sites and cycle. CNN's main headline this morning describes Jackson's body being moved to a mortuary. One can imagine that his funeral will be very large with many well known celebrities in attendance and thousands upon thousands of fans.

There is a story floating around about an assault in Florida set off by mention of Jackson's death. This was the only story of its kind reported nationally, I think, but there probably were hundreds of more similar incidents.

People often have more conviction about music and the arts than anything else. When we read music, art, or film reviews there is more passionate opinion expressed than if the world were coming to an end. Its also far more cleverly expressed, whereas political reviews with a few notable exceptions are somewhat dry. People hold their aesthetic notions in a place that is internally higher than just about anything else, even sex, religion, or politics. You can be an expert on pop culture and clueless on neocon culture. That is the way it is.

Entertainment is a huge deal. Personal artistic principles are an even bigger deal. It can get pretty smug out there real fast if the style doesn't jive. The attacks can get violent and intensely personal. Artists need thick skins to make a move because the venom can be paralyzing.

Its a cultural ritual. Jackson was eviscerated, dissected, inspected, approved, copied, and rejected. That's mortally fatiguing.

The climate bill passed Congress, now it goes onto the Senate. In the Senate it will be adjusted and rewritten. The idea of the bill in general is to reduce heat trapping gases. The idea is to try to stave off climate change. Some voted against the measure because it didn't go far enough, like Kucinich. Some voted against the measure because they are walking fruitcakes, like Michele Bachmann. The vote was close 219 to 212. That is a scary reality.

McClatcht: Historic climate bill passes House in a close vote
"This is a revolution. This is a moment in history," he said. "This is what the American people were calling for in the election in 2008, a fundamental change that breaks our dependence on foreign oil, creates job and reduces the pollution we put up in the atmosphere."

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