Holidays of Exclusion

It is important to belong. You often belong to others. Sometimes you’re forced, for a moment or two, to belong only to yourself. We appreciate the self-defending, but that’s usually a private affair. Public belonging is an important part of the rituals of society. There’s nothing worse than being invited to a party, or a celebration, that ends up not including you. Jews are left out of Christmas. Christians are left out of Chanukah. Formal national and religious celebrations are both inclusionary and exclusionary — all by dreary design. The list of official holidays in the USA is getting to the point of unfortunate ridiculousness, rendering all events meaningless in the mess.

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The Rome Review

A little more than a year ago, I started reading some rumors online that one of my favorite musicians, Jack White, was collaborating with some musicians on an ambitious studio album that would ultimately be called Rome. The name evoked intrigue — what could that possibly mean? I didn’t hear anything more about it and all I knew was that the other major player in the story, Danger Mouse, had been involved in some pretty intense music projects in the past — the Broken Bells being just one of them. It was therefore with just a hint of trepidation that I approached the album.

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