Today's Freeze-Dried CW Tomorrow: When Obama picked Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, I figured nobody else would run with the "comprehensive immigration reform" angle --i.e., that Sotomayor offers something to placate Hispanic lobbyists and politicians who aren't getting what they want on immigration (which is legalization of current illegals). The forward lean! I was wrong. The Consolation Prize Theory became Instant CW -- so much so that pro-legalization lobbyist Frank Sharry was forced to blog an unconvincing denial . ... 1:33 A.M.
Die Blingerdammerung -- Crouch & Battiata 1, Coates & McArdle 0: The argument against the suggestion that Obama Presidency would kill off certain aspects of hip-hop culture was always a little desperate. (How dare you clueless bourgeois people say that hip-hop will die? Everyone knows hip-hop's already on its last legs!) More evidence from the WSJ that Crouch & Battiata were on to something that Coates & McArdle were just too hip to acknowledge. ("Culture of Bling Clangs to Earth As the Recession Melts Rappers' Ice") ...
Update: Coates , Conor Clarke and reader J. note that the Journal piece on hip-hop jewelry mainly blames the recession for the decline in demand. Hey, that's what GM blames too! But GM has bigger problems. ... All we know for sure from the WSJ story is that hip hop artists have less money with which to buy bling. That could be because of the recession, or it could be because of the decline in the music industry in general ("Internet piracy cutting into musicians' record sales") or it could be a change in hip hop fashion--or it could be because hip hop specifically has been falling out of favor and the ascension of Obama is delivering the coup d' grace. If the latter were true we would be seeing stories like this one about now--but we won't read about hip-hop reviving with the economy. We'll see. I suspect Coates will have many more opportunities to be defensive and argue that it's all too complicated (so don't go speculating that, say, when Obama says "brothers should pull up their pants" it might actually result in some people--not only brothers--pulling up their pants). ... P.S.: I don't quite understand why Coates is so bothered by the possibility that Obama might usher in a cultural era in which hip hop loses its place, since Coates makes a big point of "the disgust that black youth themselves have expressed with the music." ... 1:32 A.M.
The Good Andrew Sullivan--religious, non-excitable--has nice things to say about Robert Wright's Evolution of God . ... 1:31 A.M.