Bruce Springsteen stands out almost without equals among the musicians who touch my soul. I rarely regret his outsized melodies, gritty voice, and emotionally explosive poetry that explore working class struggles and the general human condition with such passion and compassion. I am especially drawn to Springsteen's use of biblical and religious imagery in songs such as Adam Raised A Cain, from his album Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Let me start my commentary today with an anecdote: Eighteen year- old, Jane Doe, had just arrived at her residence hall at a university and was eagerly anticipating meeting her roommate and getting to know other first- year classmates.
In case you’re wondering, last night you may have seen the last ever men’s basketball game between Big East Conference foes Seton Hall and South Florida. It’s probably a good thing, since the game was absolutely awful.
The barrier between barbarism and civilization is gossamer-thin, a layer of taboos that separates mankind from its base nature. An impulse to ascend is most often pushed into the armory of descent.
Nowhere was this more apparent than the recent Grammy Awards for musical “excellence.” Here were the half literate providing referential status to the half talented. Most of what I heard is dissonance. It was as if music is faintly related to the sounds emerging from electrified instruments.
American politicians have been tumbling over each other promising they would support the government of Israel by all means necessary. But I wouldn’t vote for Netanyahu if I could and don’t want this country marching to his orders.
If we were to compare our nation’s growth to periods, like those of individuals, one might call America’s present period an apt match for – “The Terrible Teens!” There is a definite national attitude of adolescent willfulness displayed by too many individuals, who seem to be straining against the slightest semblance of restraint of any kind. One might describe the prevailing temper as one of national antipathy for any form of control.
Smoking is New York’s number one cause of cancer deaths. Yet in recent years, the state has taken its foot off the gas and slashed its investment in combating tobacco in half. That’s a mistake we’re starting to pay for.
Consider this: in 2009 smoking caused the cancer deaths of over 9,000 New Yorkers, 26 per day. That staggering number is more than one quarter of all cancer deaths in New York State. This is a public health catastrophe and reducing the carnage caused by smoking should be a top priority for Albany.
Back in the late 1960s and early 70s, a host of films-- which now are acknowledged classics-- literally changed the tenor of American filmmaking. And in retrospect, they serve as mirrors of their time. Films like THE GRADUATE and FIVE EASY PIECES, which helped establish Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson as major stars and which are as fresh and invigorating today as when first released, spotlight characters who are alone, confused, and alienated, and are drifting aimlessly through life.
Today's Siena poll brings some bad news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, finding his job approval rating has continued its downward trajectory and bottomed out at 54 percent - its lowest point since he took office in January 2011.
Things aren't completely cloudy for the governor, however. His favorability rating is better than two-to-one, ND well above that magic 50 percent mark.
Also, New Yorkers broadly support Cuomo's top legislative agenda items this year.