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November 09, 2008


Michael Smolinsky

Barack is cool, for sure, and I think it made him appealing in the end. McCain seemed to be lurching left and right throughout the campaign, while Barack kept his composure.

Good to have you back. I've been checking for a while and wondering what happened.


Thanks, Mike. It's nice to be back, assuming I am and this isn't a one-off, as they say. It's been a busy but fun summer -- getting married and immersing myself in Civil War reading for work. Now I'm back to the Bix book. Really I am. I'm going to finish it this time. Really. I'm not just saying that.


Mike Smolinsky

Admit it, B, you've been spending all of your time reenacting the Civil War.

A Fan

Please keep writing and posting. As an Irish girl whose also from Iowa, your observations and stories transport me home. I'm so glad I stumbled on your blog.


hybridity is an American purity -- I LOVE that thought, as a patriotic cosmopolitan (see Kwame Anthony Appiah's book Cosmopolitanism, if you haven't already) who loves America because it are the world.

Jazz Music

Barak is indeed very charimatic and has had to work hard to earn our trust. Not to mention his coolness. He likes jazz!

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About the Banner

  • The banner image is a detail from Grant Wood’s “Young Corn.” Now owned by the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Community School District, it was painted in 1931: the same year Bix Beiderbecke died and a year after Wood painted “American Gothic.”

So Sayeth Snoop

  • “But I somehow, some way, keep coming up with funky-ass shit, like, every single day.”

So Sayeth Merle

  • “We don’t make a party out of lovin’.”

So Sayeth Aldous

  • “Nobody can make a habit of self-exhibition, nobody can exploit his personality for the sake of exercising a kind of hypnotic power over others, and remain untouched by the process.”

So Sayeth Van

  • “Gonna put on my hot pants and promenade down funky broadway ’til the cows come home.”

So Sayeth Bob

  • Oh, my name it ain’t nothin’. / My age it means less. / The country I come from / is called the Midwest.

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