True love waits … until after lunch, at least

Will signing a pledge keep teens abstinent? The BBC asked, and most people responded with a healthy dose of British skepticism.

The pledge might help induce some peer pressure, but one reader notes that realistic sex ed helps more. Hard to argue with that logic or the facts that back it up.

I’m back?

Hey, I’m on my home computer again. And just in time, because today I want to blog virtually everything in the Post. It’s as if they had spyware on my old hard drive and wrote everything in my head:

Alanis … engaged

This news certainly shakes my impression of her as someone who would spend her life — at least her 20s and 30s — in a spiritual and sexual journey that she would take in decidedly solo fashion.

But good for her. And if being happy means she writes more songs like her current Everything, great. She’s gone through a decade of experiments — some worthwhile, some not — and a bit of steadiness may suit her.

Kind of wondering, though, if she’ll ever sing You Oughta Know with the same venom.

Ike, schmike

Eisenhower had his moments as president. He foresaw the need for the interstate system, and he warned of the military-industrial complex.

But he was quite easily led astray on matters of reverence. This week, we’re paying for two of them.

The first is the “under God” phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, upheld on a technicality by a surprisingly gutless Supreme Court. (Great backgrounder by the Post’s excellent religion writer, Bill Broadway.) I’m not stating a political opinion when I say this is blatantly unconstitutional. It is, in the words of the founders, self-evident, even to ignorant Southern Christians like me.

The second, which I didn’t know until I started asking about the flag today, is that Ike is the one who decreed that flags fly at half-staff for 30 … count ’em, THIRTY … days when an ex-president dies. Isn’t that twice as long as we mourned for Sept. 11? (I couldn’t find confirmation in a brief search.)

So we have a nation that usurps the church’s role by demanding an acknowledgement from God, and we revere our presidents as kings. Why exactly did we fight that first war back in the 1770s?

God is not a politician

Regular readers know that I sometimes tweak the current White House occupant by using the record rain, record snow and hurricanes as evidence that his time in Washington is not divinely blessed, as he would claim.

So imagine my bewilderment when Ronald Reagan died and the weather forecasters immediately removed all hint of rain from the next week’s forecast. Ulp.

Thankfully for those of us who separate church and state, we had some typical summer thunderstorm activity, and it was actually kind of nasty today for his actual state funeral.

Best song parts

From Lex (via another blog): The 50 Coolest Song Parts. I had too many comments to leave in Lex’s Haloscan, so …

#49: The first 100 times I heard Been Caught Stealing, I thought I was listening to Ratt.

#40, La Grange: The reason I didn’t pursue music is that I realized that no matter how much I practiced or how much I drank, I’d never be able to play the drum parts in that song. (Note: I actually drink very, very little, which doesn’t help.)

#38, All Night Long: Are you kidding?

#36, You Can Call Me Al: Had no idea the bass line was a palindrome. Neat.

#32: More cowbell!

#27, Mexican Radio: I’ll always associate that song with high school chess club. Sadly, that was before geek was chic.

#26, The End: The intro gives me chills, especially after seeing Oliver Stone’s film.

#21, Under Pressure: Good, good choice. The British are the masters of being dramatic without being overwrought.

#16: “Hey you! Don’t watch that! Watch this!”

#15, Tom Sawyer: People give me such a hard time for being a Rush fan. But everyone likes this song.

#11: Hate to admit it, but I think the devil won.

#9: Yes, the Hot For Teacher drums are cool, but that’s a playable bass-drum line if you have relatively fast feet and a very reliable double pedal.

#8: Rock Lobster is the wrong song for the classic B-52s moment. All together now: “Tiiiiiiiiiin roof! (pause) RUS-ted!”

#6, The Immigrant Song: One of my favorite moments in Musician magazine history was the pair of photo captions ripping Whitesnake. “Plant: I come from the land of the ice and snow … Coverdale: I do too.”

#2, Won’t Get Fooled Again: That should be #1.

There are a couple I’d nominate:

  • Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees: Roughly three-quarters of the way through the song, the electric guitar finally kicks in, and the mournful lyrics hit an unrivaled primal-scream crescendo.
  • Stevie Wonder, Superstition: He wastes no time. The hi-hat and snare at the beginning tell you that he has something to SAY in this song, and the keyboards tell you to sit back and hear the word. No rapper has ever caught a listener’s attention so effectively.

I’ll need to come back to this …