It's snowing... a lot... the mind wonders in the silence of the snow...
- It's a real shame that REM doesn't get more props. They really were a kick ass band in the 80s and into the 90s. I know, they haven't done much since the mid-90s, but they're musical library pretty much blows U2 out of the water. And this isn't a slam on U2, they do what they do perfectly (basically be rock stars and writing big sweeping songs that try to mean everything and thus either mean nothing or are a complete joke (see: "Pride", "Beautiful Day", or "Vertigo" for various examples). Then again, can you really blame U2? They started off as a sort of punk/rock band ("I Will Follow") then turned into something bigger than life (The Joshua Tree), then tried to change direction and get back to the music (even though everyone likes it, the still underrated Achtung Baby) and even tried new things in the late 90s (Pop and Zooropa). The got slammed for being different and trying something new (well maybe not slammed, but no one even mentions how kick ass "The Fly" or "Numb" is) so they went back to the Joshua Tree days and made All That You Can't Leave Behind. They made millions and officially became the biggest band in the world. But back to REM, it's amazing that U2 is about a million times bigger than them. I'll put any REM song up against any U2 song, head-to-head, and let you decide. Serious. I know they're sort of different bands then went down different roads (it's easy to argue that U2 sold out in the 80s while REM tried to keep it real but ended up selling out in the mid 90s only to pretty much end their musical careers), but "Radio Free Europe" and "I Will Follow" do sort of have the same vibe. Okay whatever, just listen to REM all their stuff from the 80s is pretty awesome.
(BTW, this is when we should note that we have met Bono... and it was at Sen. Ted Kennedy's house of all places. The strange and totally true things that happen when you live in DC. ANYWAYS, Bono is about five foot nine, wears those sunglasses, and his hair was long and I swore he had hair plugs. Now that he's shaved his head, he either still has his real hair or he has the greatest hair plugs of all time).
- SOME GOOD NEWS! Looks like North Korea may give up some of their nukes for some aid. Yay! If Condi Rice was a major player in this deal, then she'll get some of that tarnish off that bruised reputation, which is always a good thing.
- It's that time of the year... The Westminster Dog Show! Which means that pitches and catchers are reporting... right... about... now... thank Allah.
- Someone to watch on the international, social justice stage: Former Bishop Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez. He's a former bishop in Paraguay and appears to be running for President in the country next year. I don't know a ton about him, but the Vatican just suspended him in politics which is probably the right decision, but whatever). The Economist says that Mendez is "an admirer of Venezuela's socialist president, Hugo (the Vatican isn't big on people in the clergy participatingChávez, and of Bolivia's Evo Morales." Which as we've pointed out is a double edged sword. But Father Lugo says that he wants “a different country, of equality, without discrimination.” Of course I'm on board with messages like that. Freedom and justice for all. But as the Economist points out, "whether he is a democratic reformer or a demagogic populist remains to be seen." So like the Economist, we'll wait and see... and hold out hope that Father Lugo is the fomer.