Racists discover the Internet

“Experts dispute the number of movement supporters but agree about its efforts to modernize. While the virulent racism of old can still be found online, the movement today also includes more button-down websites run by white nationalism think tanks with vanity publishing units. Most of the best-known organizations also claim to have disavowed the violence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan.”

Well, that’s nice.

 

Happy 10th, ‘Illinois’

It was recently pointed out to me that Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinois” is now 10 years old. Illinois came out just after I had graduated high school. I have never been to Illinois. I didn’t understand many of the references. But the lush arrangements, the depth of the lyrics and the vulnerability in Stevens’ delivery struck me and stuck with me, and have for a decade.

I’ve pointed this out before, but I’m acutely aware that all the music I loved in high school is now aging. I can remember the feeling of time fading away when I first heard Pearl Jam on the classic rock station, but I was never a Pearl Jam fan; it was just like seeing a Buzzfeed post about Tamagotchis; a moment of remembrance, nothing more. But now it’s happening with art I felt a connection with, that moved depressed teenage Myles.

Illinois, unlike some of the other music I was listening to 10 years ago, has deeepened for me over the years. Whereas in my first year of college I gravitated toward the raw hurt of Casimir Pulaski Day, a story about a seemingly random loss, now my favorite might be The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us. People have been arguing about the song for years on songmeanings.com. The prevailing theory seems to be that the narrator is a boy whose romantic feelings for his friend drives a wedge between them. Whatever the reason, it too, is a story of loss, not because of “cancer of the bone,” but because of love, and how that loss can linger.

Anyway, they’re all great songs, and they’ve all stood the test of time. I should note—I’m visiting Illinois later this month. Luckily, I’ve had my travel music picked out for a decade now.

And yes, I realize I haven’t written here for months. I’ll try harder.

Wide-ranging Menendez, Pascrell bill aims to protect school athletes

Roman Oben, Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation President Lisa Yue, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Sen. Bob Menendez and Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle listen to Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins during a press conference on the Safe Play Act, Sept. 8, 2014.

Roman Oben, Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation President Lisa Yue, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Sen. Bob Menendez and Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle listen to Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins during a press conference on the Safe Play Act, Sept. 8, 2014.

Covered a press conference on the SAFE PLAY act, which stands for a lot of words. It tackles concussions, cardiac arrest, heat-related illness and energy drinks. That’s a lot. There were some former NFL players there and current Eagles DB Malcolm Jenkins, whom I did not boo. Here’s the story: http://nj-ne.ws/BhcoY

A fan’s eye view: USA Basketball vs. Puerto Rico

Celebrities at the game ranked by crowd reaction, smallest to largest: Andy Murray, Carmelo Anthony, Rory McIlroy, J.R. Smith. Chris Smith is to the left. I like the Jets hat, but you still can't be on the Knicks.

Celebrities at the game ranked by crowd reaction, smallest to largest: Andy Murray, Carmelo Anthony, Rory McIlroy, J.R. Smith. Chris Smith is to the left. I like the Jets hat, but you still can’t be on the Knicks.

I went to Madison Square Garden (for the first time!) and saw USA Basketball crush Puerto Rico. I also took some pictures and wrote some words for Hardwood Paroxysm. The pictures are OK. The game was fun. Here’s more: http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2014/08/23/usa-vs-puerto-rico-fans-eye-view/