Category Archives: Video

When Young Felt Old: Thoughts on “Heart of Gold”

I'm going to Portugal tonight for an actual vacation, so I thought I'd leave you with some music blogging.

Here's my favorite thing about Neil Young's "Heart of Gold:" Though the song's iconic refrain–keep me searching for a heart of gold, and I'm getting old–sounds, at first blush, like the lament of a middle-aged divorcĂ© or aging playboy, it was actually written when Young was just 26-years old. 

So we can add "Heart of Gold" to the file of beautiful, world-weary songs penned by folks in their mid-twenties. Here's what it sounded like when Young first debuted it on tour in 1971. (The music begins at 1:40)


My brilliant friend Ann Friedman recently linked to the Brooklyn soul singer Charles Bradley's cover of "Heart of Gold," and it really is fantastic. While Young's version is about a young man longing for real meaning in his personal life–perhaps for the first time–Bradley's interpretation is more straight-forward but just as deeply-felt, a bluesy recounting of a very long, sometimes futile, search for love. Enjoy.


Megan McArdle’s Head and My Head, Blogging on Education Politics

Megan McArdle and I filmed a long and juicy education Bloggingheads this afternoon, which you can check out here. I'll post two sections. First, my rather long disquisition on the troubling relationship between value-added teacher evaluation–which has been heavily promoted by the Obama administration and will soon be required in states including New York–and more standardized testing of kids. This is the topic of an upcoming feature story I'm working on.


Second, Megan and I struggle mightily to come to some common ground on the currently defunct D.C. Opportunity Scholarships, a voucher program that the Obama administration ended in 2009 and that House Republicans are now pushing to reinstate. And we debate the practical and ideological limits of "school choice."


Happy Thursday Night. Time for Some Old School Robyn

I loved this album in the 90s and was vaguely embarrassed about it. Who knew she'd be back and hip a decade into the new millenium? (Yes, Swedish people knew. I recognize that.) In any case, I like the new album and all, but you have to check out these old school fashions. The hoop earrings are for Kathleen. I dig the tall, tattooed chick and the girl with the short hair and studded belt. 

Congressional Republicans Kill Bill Fighting Child Marriage

Sad news out of Washington this week on women's rights: The House Republican leadership killed a bill intended to fight child marriage in the developing world, the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. 

The legislation passed the Senate unanimously, where it was cosponsored by Republican Olympia Snowe. In the House, however, just an hour before the vote, the GOP circulated a "whip alert" asking Republicans to vote against the bill. The alert claimed, "There are also concerns that funding will be directed to NGOs that promote and perform abortion and efforts to combat child marriage could be usurped as a way to overturn pro-life laws."

This is hooey. The Helms Amendment–the foreign policy corollary to the noxious Hyde Amendment, which bans federal Medicaid funding of abortion–already bans American foreign aid dollars from funding abortion. Nothing in the child marriage bill would have changed that. 

Sometimes you hear the argument that American feminists spend too much time fighting domestic anti-choice forces and not enough time focusing on the deplorable conditions women and girls live under in the developing world. 

This is a reminder that it's all the same fight, because American conservatives will always use the specter of abortion to kill attempts to empower women and girls, both at home and abroad.

Here's a great video from the UN Foundation's Girl Up project on the "girl effect"–how a girl's life changes if she can continue her education at age 12, instead of entering into a forced marriage.

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