The political pundits are leading the way this week with coverage on a wide variety of topics, and the TV writers are on hand to look at the past and present of what's good on TV. We learn about frivolous lawsuits and the questionable origins of certain injuries in the Sports section, and are once again reminded of why we can't look away from the train wreck that is Michael Jackson's career. In between, you'll find the usual excellent music reviews, gaming news, and cultural commentary.
Let me remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Richard Marcus gives a reflective and constructive look at this self-titled CD in
CD Review: PovertyNeck Hillbillies – PovertyNeck Hillbillies. Read to find out how this band captured the feel of live music in the studio.
In CD Review: Dashboard Confessional – Dusk and Summer, Rebecca Wright gives
an insightful and detailed review, looking at all aspects of the band as well as the music contained herein.
Paul Roy not only looks at the concert he attended, but the changing face of the concert crowd in his Concert Review: Toto Live At The Loudoun Summer Music Fest.
From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:
Cameron Graham gives us a well written, balanced, and critical review of the new CD, Help Us Help You, by The Chief Smiles. Even the band had to comment.
Growing up can be hard to do particularly when you face the ferocity and passion of your teenage years. Steve Carlson's review of My Republic by Good Riddance shows that even your music grows up…but is it a good thing?
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
A fine week that made picking particularly difficult, but I eventually settled on these two, in no particular order:
Nik Dirga offers a treat – a sneak preview of the new adventures of Alice (from Wonderland), Wendy (from Peter Pan), and Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz). These are definitely not, he says, children's stories, but Lost Girls reminds us that "sex can be art".
Dan Treager offers what is not so much a review as an appreciation of James O'Barr's graphic novel The Crow, of which he's just bought his seventh copy. In doing so, he provides a personal, moving, and beautifully constructed account of why it means so much to him.
From TV Editor Jackie:
Forget Cosby! Sterfish took an intriguing look at the most underrated black sitcoms and finds a gem or two along the way.
El Bicho took us for a delightful romp with F Troop. He reminded me why that show was a childhood favorite and the trip down memory lane brought a smile to my face.
Sherry Lipp found she may not care for network scheduling, but television shows on DVD can fit any schedule. Now I have to buy some DVDs!
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
Aaron Fleming (and Duke De Mondo) — The Mondo Mugwump Letters: Battlefield Earth – A Saga of the Year 3000
Penurious Orwell, dead as the ball-bag o’ Ghandi through eyes all dutch-tilt screech and blue/green hue and a-tussle with intergalactic pseudo-religious metaphorical fangledang, brain-splurged extravagant Rasta-reject follicular grandeur, knee-deep in prospectoring retrogression – a slab o’ sweetest sin yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
Mayank 'Austen' Singh spirits the reader away in the ethereal and entrancing A Young Man in India Hallucinates on Jerusalem.
From Executive Producer Eric Berlin:
Here's why I'm picking Eric Olsen's Michael Jackson's Dilemma: Fighting "Bogus Claims" In Court May Lead to Disastrous Revelations: I don't really care what's going on with Wacko Jacko, but reading EO's MJ coverage makes me care. It's fun, interesting, compelling, and with just the right touches of scorn sprinkled with empathy for a beautiful career gone to rust.
From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:
The Media-Military Relationship by Sean Aqui. Informative, insightful, a bit of a book review and a bit of original analysis on a relevant topic.
Hollywood to America: You Must Watch Our Smut by John Bambenek. Impassioned and with an inflammatory and misleading title, but it does bring attention to an important issue that's worthy of debate.
From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:
In Defense of Heterodoxy by Pete Blackwell is an excellent discussion of the importance of thinking for oneself rather than simply reacting based on ideology.
Bush Says chances of Shooting Down N. Korea Missile "Reasonable" by Pete Blackwell. Solid evidence that the odds of the U.S. being able to shoot down a Korean missile is questionable at best.
Let Tom DeLay Leave for the Sake of Democracy by Sean Aqui. Interesting argument about why keeping DeLay's name on the ballot is bad for Democracy.
The UN on Human Rights: Still an Embarassment by Dave Nalle is a blistering attack on what should be one of the most powerful forces for good in the world…but has been dominated by the very people it was established to confront.
Where's the Response to North Korean's Missile Launch? by Dr. Politico. Powerful questions about the administration's response to N. Korea (and Iran) that deserve answers.
From Blogcritic Mayank 'Austen' Singh:
I would like to pick for this week's selection Jonathan Scanlan's piece, A Critique of Patriotic Discourses. I do not agree with the writer as such but I think his selective observations were smart and shrewd.
From Blogcritic Howard Dratch:
I meandered through a lot of articles particularly trying voices I don't know well. I was especially struck by Pete Blackwell's In Defense Of Heterodoxy.
From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:
Sal Marinello's performance enhanced on his coverage of two pitchers, Kerry Wood and Eric Gagne, and their mysterious injuries this year.
Justene Adamec totes a great article on a frivolous lawsuit regarding an L.A. Angels free giveaway where only the women free gifts. However, Justene receives nothing for an editor's pick, but only because she is a woman.
David Barbour really made me think. That's the sign of a good article questioning my own conclusions. He (gasp!) defends Isiah Thomas and posits that he could be an OK coach. Key word: could.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
PSP Ads Are Beyond Idiotic by Igniq. Sony ran an ad in the Netherlands for their new white PSP. American bloggers play the race card; the NAACP, Leland Yee, and other civil rights group jumps all over Sony for the "racially insensitive" ad. Sony, just today, pulled the ad.
PS2 Review: The Bible Game (EU) by Andrew Ogier. Taking religion out of the picture, does this game deliver a solid trivia experience? The survey says…
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
Howard Dratch touches on a topic that should be of importance to all of us – the Air Force is conducting research on blogs. Is this another large breach of our civil rights or a necessary tool in the war on terror?
Take those white ear buds out for a minute and pay attention. The possibility of a talking iPod is explored by Phillip Winn, who also shares a timeline of the evolution of one of the most popular personal tech items of all time.