Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Cinch Review

A good sense of irony …

… is a rare commodity these days. I thought the irony—or even sarcasm—would be pretty obvious in my previous post, “Bill Kristol calls for Sarah Palin to jump into the Republican race for the presidential nomination,” and I thought including a picture of Chris Christie would kind of nail it, but I’ve come to understand that I was mistaken.

No, I don’t believe that Bill Kristol actually wants Sarah Palin to enter the race. (Did Jonathan Swift have these kinds of problems?)

The Cinch Review

Who Cares?

It just struck me that this is a great Christmas song, but strictly in the religious sense. It’s “Who Cares?” by George and Ira Gershwin. I was listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s immaculate version (from her unmatched collection of Gershwin tunes)but that’s not available on YouTube at the moment. Anita O’Day’s rather excellent rendition is, however, and that’s below. Continue reading Who Cares?

The Cinch Review

Have yourself a merry little Christmas card

A holy and merry Christmas to all who will be celebrating, and a very happy Chanukah to those observing that festival.

The small group of close relatives, friends and world leaders on my snail-mail-Christmas-card list received a custom made card this year featuring the photograph of our dog Billie below, and the Bible verses beneath it.

Dog at Christmas

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.”

Job, Chapter 12, verses 7 through 10 (English Standard Version).

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Sinéad O’Connor sings “Property of Jesus”

It’s on the enormous Amnesty International collection of Bob Dylan songs, titled Chimes of Freedom. Sinéad has never been one to do things halfway. This performance of “Property of Jesus” (which Bob Dylan recorded on his 1981 album Shot of Love) will put hairs your chest, or somewhere. But I have to say I do like it. Audio is available via YouTube below (and the photo is apparently of Sinéad and her new brand new husband. Best wishes and best of luck to both of ’em). (Update 12/27/11: Well, so much for that.) Continue reading Sinéad O’Connor sings “Property of Jesus”

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Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus sing Bob Dylan

The Amnesty International collection of eighty different cover versions of Bob Dylan songs, Chimes of Freedom, won’t be officially released until January 24th, but it has in effect hit the streets already. I haven’t gone out of my way personally to listen to much of it (all in due time) but I have heard two tracks: the artist known as Ke$ha singing “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” and the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana (i.e. Miley Cyrus) singing “You’re Gonna Make Lonesome When You Go.”

I can’t say that I’m very familiar with the body of musical work produced to date by these ladies, so in a way that’s good: I hear these performances strictly on their merits. They’re both interesting in their way. Continue reading Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus sing Bob Dylan

The Cinch Review

New York ban on church use of space in schools upheld

For some years now, a number of religious congregations in New York City that were short of worship space have taken advantage of unoccupied public school buildings, and paid a fee to use such space for their services. Other community groups and organizations do similar things. A win-win, you would think. However, the City of New York has long been suing to prevent churches—and only the churches, mind you—from utilizing public school space in this way. Something to do, I guess, with the terrible danger to innocent kids of merely knowing that the space they’re sitting in might have been occupied the evening before by a person who professes belief in God. Continue reading New York ban on church use of space in schools upheld