It's 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is kind of "zero hour" for me to figure out the final order of topics for The Nose, our weekly culture roundtable. Maybe I can straighten out my own thinking and give you a window on our process in the same big gulp.
About a year ago I needed, for reasons not worth delving into, to learn "People Will Say We're In Love." If you're going to study a song -- maybe play it 20 times over a couple of days until the lyrics and changes are second nature -- you better pick a version you like. So I sampled a few dozen covers on iTunes and wound up picking a jazz singer -- previously unknown to me -- named Rachael Price. Rachael just swung it, and she had a low, throaty edge that I liked.
It's 5:30 pm on Thursday, and I have so many tabs open on my browser I think Chrome could just implode, taking us all with it. This is not unusual as we get ready for The Nose, a weekly cultural roundtable. We look for a certain kind of "talkable" item, and finding them can be tough.
It's never a good thing when civil rights litigator Gloria Allred shows up in your town for the second time in two weeks to file her second legal action against you. It's even worse when Allred says she's using your response to the first legal action as part of the basis of the second one.
Maybe it’s unfair to tar them all with the same brush, but much is being made of the way New York City Democrats turned their backs on a quartet of politicians who had sex scandals sticking to them like toiler paper to a shoe. We’re talking about this right now, as we get ready for this week’s Nose, a Friday cultural roundtable.
On The Colin McEnroe Show we have a (possibly misguided) notion that we can find at least a little bit of humor in subjects that most public radio shows would treat with utter seriousness. Not everyone agrees, and a certain percent of my negative email is from people who cannot believe that we have injected levity into something deserving only sober contemplation.
Last week our culture panel, The Nose, tackled Bradley Manning's declaration that he is a woman named Chelsea. Many interesting points were made, but all three of my panelists favored the notion of everybody -- press included -- honoring Manning's request to refer to him from now on as said woman and as "she." In situations like that, I'll often lean the other way, just to make sure the issue really gets discussed. And in this case, I had substantive questions anyway.