There are essentially two paths to success in the music world. The first entails repeating a winning formula until audiences tire of it. The second requires breaking new ground in hopes that innovation will catch listeners' attention. The latter path is more challenging but, for some bands, is also more rewarding.
In "I Want to Conquer the World," veteran punk-rockers Bad Religion ask "is your fecundity a trammel or a treasure?" In my penultimate column, I shall attempt to answer this question with regard to producing written works.
Writing ultimately affords each of us a rope.
I came to the College in Fall 2001 knowing, more or less, that I could write and seeking a degree that affirmed as much. In a few short weeks, I shall be receiving that degree. If this was the sum of my college experiences, I'd be satisfied. However, it turns out that I've gained quite a bit more.
Those zany left wing polemicists say the darndest things. Just as Noam Chomsky once famously declared that Richard Nixon was "the last liberal president," Michael Moore wrote that Bill Clinton was "a good Republican president."
Both claims contain a surprising amount of validity.
Some people believe that comedy and craft go hand in hand. There is a notion that comedy requires thought, timing and precision. I, on the other hand, am of the opinion that if you keep your eyes open long enough, something funny will simply come along.
This latter approach netted me a wealth of laughs as I stumbled across the Web site of The College of New Jersey Republicans.
Life is full of unexpected turns. For instance, I had considered writing about the Schiavo case this week, but it occurred to me that the Republican leadership's crass and hollow attempts to violate Florida law, threaten the separation of powers, conjure up phony medical "evidence," exploit the Schindlers' pain for their political gain and smear Michael Schiavo at all costs was so egregious and blatantly stomach-turning that it required no further elaboration on my part.
About the only thing more insufferable than a tyrant is a well-intentioned fool. It pains me to see people who have noble goals (and the skills needed to reach them) shoot themselves in the feet by relying on faulty mechanics.
This pain has been felt very acutely these past four years for obvious reasons, but I digress.
It's been over a month since famed playwright Arthur Miller passed away and his eye for social commentary is already missed. A witch hunt, not unlike the one portrayed in "The Crucible," is taking place under our very noses.
Politics isn't a matter of making friends, but rather picking which enemies you can stomach the least.
Case in point: I've come to detest much of the modern radical feminist lobby. Many of its members claim victimization at every turn and constant carping about "the patriarchal hegemony" is often little more than convenient cover for gratuitous male-bashing.
As acerbic comedian Lewis Black famously noted, we are faced today with two dominant forces in politics: the "party of bad ideas" and the "party of no ideas." Competition between the two - especially with regard to the recent Social Security debate - has not brought out the best in each, but rather the worst.
"The first casualty when war comes is truth." These words were famously coined by Hiram Johnson, a progressive Republican, more than 80 years ago. They have since been restated as "the first casualty of war is truth" and used by Democrats, Socialists and all others who oppose combat.
We are a society that loves apostasy (the act of leaving one's faith or party). When Denzel Washington stopped playing do-gooders and took up the mantle of corrupt cop Alonzo Harris in "Training Day," he won an Oscar.
When Georgia Democrat Zell Miller, a one-time client of Paul Begala and James Carville, spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of President Bush, conservatives cheered.
We have a saying around these parts: if you are going to come late, don't come at all. After months of standing behind a Republican-controlled Congress that has given us record deficits, President Bush has finally expressed his desire to cut spending. While this is a step in the right direction, it can only be described as too little, too late.
During a conversation a few months back, a friend sent me a link to a Washington Times editorial in an effort to prove me wrong with "solid facts."
I was alarmed by this and not just because the Washington Times is a patently dishonest, ideologically-driven excuse for a publication.