- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access the Harper’s archive
As teenagers grow up a bit and enter the job market, they quickly develop progressive economic ideas: perhaps a bit of “levelling” seems pretty good when you’re staring up the professional ladder from the bottom rung. Meanwhile, their youthful live-and-let-live social philosophy begins to fade.
In their late 20s, they start making real money. Economic progressivism goes out the window, preferably out the window of a building with a doorman. As the adult mind turns to more material matters, social views don’t change that much.
Finally, after the mid-40s, retirement looms. Our former teenagers check their collective 401(k)s and think, you know what, let’s all get checks from the government. Social views take a hard turn for the more restrictive. At the end of the journey, economic and social views are again in agreement—only this time on the other side of the philosophical line! –“The Democrats are Doomed, or How a ‘Big Tent’ Can Be Too Big,” Christian Rudder, OKTrends
Sports fans, on the whole, are Republicans;
basketball fans, most of the time, are not, but the smart money says “Moose” Lewis leans right;
red, blue, the only color that matters to a sports oligarch is green
The song, with its distinctive cowboy-style syncopation, was written in 1966 by popular Soviet composer Arkady Ostrovsky. It wasn’t always wordless. In the original version, the lyrics told the story of a man, Johnny, riding his horse across the American prairie to his sweetheart Mary, who knits socks as she awaits his return. But Khil and Ostrovsky eventually decided that the suggestive lyrics were too “naughty” to pass Soviet censors and opted instead for the wordless version. Today, the singer says he can no longer remember the lyrics that once might have caused such a stir. –“‘Mr. Trololo’ Reflects on his Internet Success,” Claire Bigg, Radio Free Europe
You got a problem with The Homosexual Ghost? “Only the worst” fantasy book covers;
forget not Big Bear, hip-hop’s reigning king of album covers;
the worst movie + the worst rapper + Deion Sanders = the worst music video
Hootie and the Blowfish were America’s favorite bar band, its favorite college band, its favorite cover band. Their new songs—”Let Her Cry,” “Only Wanna Be with You”—were familiar tunes with no significant regional markings, which people could sing along with or easily ignore. And at the center of it all was Hootie, a man whose hammy baritone has made him the greatest wedding singer of our time.
Hootie didn’t wear a cowboy hat to the County Music Association Awards on November 11, 2009. That was probably a good choice, since the last time he donned one, publicly at least, was in a surreal 2005 Burger King commercial, in which he serenaded a TenderCrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch sandwich to the tune of “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” That ad was the kind of easy parody of country music that would leave any serious fan of the genre doubtful of Hootie’s sincerity, or his sanity. Yet from the beginning of his genre-switch, Hootie has insisted that country is the last stop on his career trajectory. –“Hootie Populism: Darius Rucker is Country Music’s Newest Hit-Maker,” Ian Crouch, The Rumpus
More from Rafe Bartholomew:
Lucas Mann on hope and change in a minor-league-baseball city
Minimum number of baboons forced to smoke crack in a 1989 study testing the efficacy of cigarettes as a drug delivery device:
A reduction in distrust toward atheists was documented among pious Canadians who are reminded of the Vancouver police.
A Missouri cinema apologized for hiring an actor dressed in body armor and carrying a fake rifle to appear at a screening of Iron Man 3.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Winner of the 2012 Olivier Rebbot Award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books