Here's Johnny - Radiohead and Trump
It is 9:44 a.m. on Tuesday and I'm struggling for a topic for this week's column. I hope Dear Readers will accept a collection of thoughts on a couple of subjects, rather than 600 to 800 words on one Big Idea. Hey, I'm pretty sure that even Shakespeare had to deal with the occasional bout of literary constipation. 'A Moon Shaped Pool' Professional music critics are nearly unanimous in their praise for the just-released and perhaps final album by the group one calls "the last important band left in the universe." Aside from the lack of a hyphen between the words "Moon" and "Shaped," Radiohead's ninth album is, in the opinion of this non-professional but darned earnest music reviewer, very nearly perfect. It may also be the best introduction possible to the band for folks with little taste for "rock music." The five-man group grew up in Oxford, England, and began to play together in their mid-to-late teens. To have remained together for nearly three decades is impressive; to have produced arguably the finest body of rock since that band from Liverpool called it quits is quite another. Radiohead's three-guitar attack from their first few records has long since been replaced by forays into electronica, minimalism and orchestral music. It's the latter that dominates "A Moon Shaped Pool," with the London Contemporary Orchestra under the direction of lead guitarist and acclaimed film score composer Jonny Greenwood. With their tendency towards minor keys and worried lyrics, Radiohead has been accused of making music for the soundtrack to the end of the world, or at least inspiration for bridge-jumpers. I beg to differ, though it's worth noting that the last song on the album, the long-gestating "True Love Waits," ends with what may be the saddest two words in the English language: "Don't leave." Give it a shot. I'll be happy to take your hand and walk you down from your bridge of choice. The party of Trump I was wrong: Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. Last fall, I assured a worried friend that there was no way The Donald would wind up in first place after all the delegates were counted. For months afterward, I continued to believe that the party of Lincoln could not possibly nominate a man whose platform consisted of: . Building a giant wall between us and Mexico and forcing that sovereign nation to pay for it; . Banning all Muslims from entering the country; . Regularly engaging in the sort of insults and name-calling heard on playgrounds; . Imposing huge tariffs on trade from nations like China, which experts say would not only lead to a trade war with that country but also depress the U.S. and world economies; . Filling speeches and interviews with vague rhetoric ranging from "Make America great again" to "Believe me!"; . In general, behaving like a braggart and schoolyard bully. Thanks to a massive Republican field of candidates, fears over the economy and terrorism and an increasingly celebrity-obsessed culture, Donald Trump is the last elephant standing. Republicans who know better will fall into line behind him, united by their hatred of Hillary Clinton (they may hate her even more than they hate President Obama) and their devotion to party over patriotism. I guess what I'm hinting at is that I'm not a fan of Mr. Trump. More important, I genuinely fear what he'll do, or try to do, with our nation. I hope, should he beat Clinton, to be proven wrong, because I didn't spend six years in the U.S. Navy to watch some demagogic punk get us into World War III. If you want to see one vision of a Trump presidency, go to Youtube and look for the music video, "Burn The Witch." It is a song about mob rule and scapegoats, features a driving orchestral score and stop-motion animation with more than a passing resemblance to a 1967 British children's show called "Trumpton." It's also the first single off the new album by Radiohead.