Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Cinch Review

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

There is never a bad time to hear the song What A Friend We Have In Jesus, is there? Alright; I’m speaking as a Christian (although I wonder if at least some who confess no formal creed might admit to feeling similarly). But whenever I hear this song, no matter how corny or how thrilling the particular version might be, it lifts me up on some indefinable level and genuinely comforts something deep inside, whether you want to characterize that something as a Jungian inner child or a deep and dark weeping soul. It’s a song that gets to the heart of the matter.

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Continue reading What A Friend We Have In Jesus

The Cinch Review

Lou Reed – New York

Review of Lou Reed: New YorkFormer mayor of New York City Ed Koch must have been feelin’ pretty groovy when the 59th St. Bridge was renamed in honor of Hizzoner. Koch is a big, likeable personality and a quintessential New Yorker without any doubt. Yet, it’s a little bit funny, this renaming of a bridge for him. Were the Koch years (1977 – 1989) such great ones for the city of New York, honestly? There were 2,246 murders in New York City in 1989 – the final year of Koch’s third and final term as mayor. By comparison, in 2009, there were 778 (the source I’m referencing doesn’t have figures for 2010 yet). Crime isn’t everything, but in New York City, it’s a helluva lot. The insecurity that rising crime gave to the city, from the mid-1960s on, fostered a sense of decay and futility, which fed itself and led to more crime. It ate at the city economically and spiritually; how could it not? It wasn’t all Koch’s fault, by any means, but he had three terms to make a dent in it. He didn’t. The annual murder rate remained well over 2,000 during the term of Koch’s successor, David Dinkins, but then started dropping dramatically under Rudolph Giuliani and his revamped policing strategies, beginning in 1994. Continue reading Lou Reed – New York

The Cinch Review

The Loudness War “is over”

Is the music industry’s Loudness War actually over? It would be very good news. I noticed a lot of traffic on my old post about the problems with Bob Dylan’s 21st century CDs a few days ago. It turns out that March 25th was “Dynamic Range Day” — a day set by audio activists to bring attention to the Loudness War (wherein much modern music is deliberately mastered too loud at the end of the production process — destroying the natural gulf between the quieter and louder part of a recording — in the perverse and evil belief that this will help the music sell better). Continue reading The Loudness War “is over”

The Cinch Review

Daily Mail Deserves Raspberry for Bob Dylan “Story”

The story in the Daily Mail contains undated photographs of Bob Dylan, said to be taken recently outside of a synagogue in Los Angeles, California. Fine: Dylan visited a synagogue. Those interested in the subject are aware that Bob makes observances of this kind, and good for him. However, the bulk of the story seems without source or evidence, and is really just a cheap violation of Dylan’s privacy. Continue reading Daily Mail Deserves Raspberry for Bob Dylan “Story”

The Cinch Review

“Too Many” Psychics in Salem, Massachusetts

You’d think someone would have seen this coming.

In 2007, the city of Salem, Massachusetts (infamous for the witch trials of 1692, and, since about 1693, the most profitable place for witches to put out a shingle) lifted a cap on the number of psychics allowed to do business within the city environs, and now that number has risen to somewhere around 70. Long-time Salem psychic Barbara Szafranski is one of those who are miffed, and Continue reading “Too Many” Psychics in Salem, Massachusetts

The Cinch Review

Increasingly lethal times for Christians

In Western Ethiopia, about fifty churches and dozens of houses belonging to Christians have been burned by Buddhist activists Muslim mobs, displacing thousands of people.

“The violence against Christians in Ethiopia is alarming because Ethiopian Muslims and Christians used to live together peacefully. Besides, it’s extremely disconcerting that in Ethiopia, where Christians are the majority, they are also the victims of persecution,” Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager of Africa and South Asia, told

This is just the latest in a never-ending and bitter litany of attacks on Christians by militant Muslims in so many different areas of what’s sometimes called the “developing world.” Interesting developments indeed. Continue reading Increasingly lethal times for Christians

The Cinch Review

MySpace getting roomier; soon to be renamed OpenSpace

The MySpace networking/media sharing/something-or-other web-based outfit is reported to have lost 10 million users between January and February of this year. I sympathize; I’d hate that to happen to THE CINCH REVIEW. (Fortunately our numbers are continuing to trend strong here.) A story in the U.K. Telegraph includes this factoid:

News Corporation bought MySpace for $580m (£373m) in 2008. The asset was briefly valued at $12bn when News Corp attempted to merge it with Yahoo in 2007.

This is a little bit of a tired old hobby-horse for me — although not necessarily in print before now — but: When the hell are people going to learn not to place such absurd value on these ephemeral internet entities? Continue reading MySpace getting roomier; soon to be renamed OpenSpace

The Cinch Review

Pete Seeger merits sanction for anti-Israel BDS campaign

Pete Seeger wrong on Israel BDSPete Seeger was wrong on Adolf Hitler, wrong on Joseph Stalin (for over 60 years) and — yes! — wrong on Bob Dylan going electric at Newport. Yet, he gets cut a great deal of slack even by those who don’t share his ideology. He mentored a lot of individuals who later grew out of his party-playbook worldview (and you know what party I’m talking about). (Lest I be accused of innuendo: the Communist party.) He is given so much slack, and, in his old age, so many salutes and tributes even from those who have disagreed with him on substantive issues because he is seen to project a deep-seated concern for his fellow-man, even if that has sometimes led him to certain errors; errors along the lines of persistently shilling for a dictator responsible for the deaths of millions. Pete Seeger also has the ability to put over a folk song in a way that many find endearing. Continue reading Pete Seeger merits sanction for anti-Israel BDS campaign

The Cinch Review

President Robert Gates speaks on Middle East

Robert Gates, who just visited Egypt and from there stopped in Israel, has made a number of pointed but quite well thought-out statements regarding the current unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East. With regard to Syria, where dozens of demonstrators have been killed by Bashar Assad’s security forces, Gates said: Continue reading President Robert Gates speaks on Middle East