Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Quick Hits

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick Hits

Barack Obama returned to Denver over the weekend, where he was greeted by a crowd of more than 100,000 people. According to Fox News (which was the only place I could find a photo quickly), even Obama was surprised by the reception. Unlike the McCain campaign, which has been caught inflating the numbers at its rallies, the Obama campaign initially estimated the crowd at 75,000, but they had to push their numbers upward. Estimates by local police confirmed that attendance. As far as can be determined from reports, the Decemberists didn't make an appearance here, either.

I asked this question to a group that often e-mails about politics, but I didn't get an answer, so I'll try it here to see what happens. It's been noted that Sarah Palin has turned out to be a drag on the McCain ticket. At the time that she was named his running mate, there were also stories that McCain would've preferred Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge but that they were effectively vetoed by the Christian right. Mitt Romney had his detractors, too. So was there anybody McCain could've chosen for his running mate who wouldn't have hurt him?

Changing the subject a bit, when I was over at Kevin Drum's blog at Mother Jones, I noticed a link to an interview from April with Dave Wakeling of the Beat. During the early '80s, the Beat were among the elite of the pop world. (In the U.S., they were known as the English Beat due to a trademark dispute, but I never bought into that and bought all my Beat recordings on import.) Here's what Dave had to say on the lasting appeal of ska:

It comes in a post-punk period, or a post-angst period, where people still might feel a sense of protest, but they're sick of feeling miserable about it. I suppose reggae has always been a hopeful way to protest, and just because the world's tragic doesn't mean it's not beautiful. And so it seems to follow like that. This fourth wave seems to be a little like that too. Like, we're still mad, but we want to party, and we want to be upbeat.

The whole interview is a fun read if you were ever a Beat aficionado--and if you weren't, now's a good time to become a convert.


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