I distinctly remember being sick of “More Than a Feeling” in high school. Why did we have to listen to a 20 year-old song every day? Even if we refused the possibility that any music recorded in the last two decades could be worth playing on the radio, I wondered, why play this one? It’s rhythmless and shrill; the chorus is weak, and the refrain compares the most abstract concept imaginable to…nothing. Hearing “More Than a Feeling” virtually every day on KGGO, at that time the only rock station in Des Moines, felt like a warning from an older generation that they would never relinquish culture, even if that meant culture had to stop. I imagined a man with a cigar at the radio station, angrily asking why we needed new music when “More Than a Feeling” was right here. Eventually these people would lay off, though. Surely, once “More Than a Feeling” was 40 years old, I would no longer hear it in car washes and burger joints. How little I knew. “More Than a Feeling” turned 40 last year, and it was the fifth-most played song across 25 classic rock radio stations in June.
On the morning of the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, no less a soothsayer than Nate Silver believes this election is a dead heat. His FiveThirtyEight forecasting blog gives Clinton about a 52 percent chance to win the presidency, compared to Trump’s forty-eight. Let us pause here for a moment and consider how crazy that is. Trump has no experience in elected office, spent most of his time in the public eye as a punchline, and launched his campaign with a flurry of gaffes and lies that has become a blizzard since. A rational electorate should not like him. But he is running against a candidate who embodies the Democratic Party, and that brand is in danger of becoming toxic.
If you’re like me—and god help you if you are—you still kind of can’t believe that Mitt Romney won last week’s debate. Clearly he did, if “winning the debate” means “making people like him way better based on what they saw.” Nate Silver, scrupulous author of the FiveThirtyEight polling blog, says there is “some evidence” to suggest that Romney surged as much as six points after his wide-eyed frenzy in Denver. For those of us who insist that “winning the debate” should mean “making convincing arguments supported by evidence,” this news is incredible. He lied his ass off. The American people are smarter than that. And yet, if you believe the incredibly credible Silver, Romney continues to “rocket forward” in predictions.