Here's another homage to the old Larry King USA TODAY columns.
1. Isn't it a perfect epitomy of the age we live in when the old euphemism "the f-word" has been replaced by the new euphemism "the f-bomb"?
2. Yes, I downloaded the new Radiohead album IN RAINBOWS and found it to be the most listenable and accessible since Thom Yorke spent most of a decade in the wilderness of experimentation. But I wonder sometimes about the way Radiohead and its management have trained the rock press to applaud everything the band does as sheer unadulterated genius. And, given the recent exodus of veteran artists from traditional record labels to controlling their own careers (it's probably considered irrelevant to have a memory of John Prine doing exactly this over two decades ago), it's kind of amusing to see Radiohead treated as if they're the first band to think of such a radical notion.
3. Tim Rutten, in Saturday's LOS ANGELES TIMES, paused in the middle of an article about Ann Coulter's anti-Semitism (another in her periodic "everyone should convert to Christianity" rants which began after 9/11) to mention the current belief system that offensive speech must be silenced. Unfortunately, the Left and Right won't let go of this notion. And don't get me started about certain members of the Los Angeles poetry community--where the bar for "offensiveness" tends to be set according to whether or not you're talking about someone universally regarded as "popular."
4. Having been to San Francisco last week, it's quite sobering to observe the gentrification going on in the poorer neighborhoods (just like neighboring city Oakland and my city Los Angeles) where mayor Gavin Newsom is hot to lock up homeless people for "quality of life" violations (meaning "get them out of the eyelines of the affluent and the tourists") and even hotter to build more housing for the Priveleged Classes at the expense of the less well-off. At this rate, maybe Alcatraz could be razed to build luxury condos for those who like the idea of island living and safe isolation from the little people--becoming the equivalent of BLADE RUNNER's Off-World Colonies.