Sousa by the canal

I took a morning mountain bike ride along irrigation canals, past fields of alfalfa and through orchards. The usual dogs raced along their fences barking outraged warnings, but most of the ride was peaceful. All that I could hear were bird songs, and my puffing on the uphills. Then, making a pavement transition from one canal system to the next, I passed a large old farm house festooned with bunting. From its open windows, at considerable volume, came "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The thrill … [Read more...]

New Picks

Please notice that all of the Doug's Picks entries in the right-hand column are new. What did Shelby Foote have to do with jazz? Nothing that I know of. (If you're new here, refer to "About" at the top of the right column. And...welcome aboard. Tell your friends to sign on, please.) … [Read more...]

That Old Midlife Crisis Blues

Attention midlife crisis fans: The venerable ArtsJournal blogger Terry Teachout (He's been doing this for two whole years) reflects in depth on the phenomenon and its ramifications in his July 4th entry. He starts with this paragraph. Like so many middle-aged men with a taste for poetry and a preoccupation with lost possibilities, I found myself thinking the other day of the first stanza of Dante's Divine Comedy, which can be translated in countless ways but comes most fully to the point in the … [Read more...]