The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Click on "Watch on Youtube" to see the memorable 2007 Super Bowl halftime show in the purple rain. (Here's what I blogged at the time.) Culturally appropriating three songs in a row by white bands (Creedence, Dylan, Foo Fighters) was a subversive gesture by a man who believed that American music together was bigger and... Read More
Here's my new movie review in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there. And from Walk Hard [NSFW]:
I'm a big fan of the cognitive utility of the old phrase: "The exception that proves the rule." But then I'm kind of an exception in that regard, since anytime I mention I like that, I get deluged with logical and etymological objections. I merely mean that an exception that is famous for being exceptional suggests... Read More
From the New York Times:I've actually heard the song "Thrift Shop
Here are the thoughts of two Spanish brothers on the kind of music they play in the famous Ibiza disco they own:Elderly Tourette's Syndrome helps make family gatherings full of interest. Anyway, I'm struck that it's older peo
Neil Young has an autobiography out, which I haven't read. I reviewed a massive biography of the rock star a decade ago for the first issue of The American Conservative (happy 10th anniversary), so I'll just repeat my diagnosis of the self-confident singer:The biographer I read was still shaking his head over how Young had... Read More
David Brooks returns from following Bruce Springsteen's tour around Europe, where 50,000 Spaniards sang along to songs about New Jersey's industrial wastelands, and writes: Probably not the main reason, but it's still an interesting point. There is a real hunger among fans for a band to be from somewhere, even if they hadn't actually gotten... Read More
My new Taki's Magazine column covers a lot of ground:Read the whole thing there. My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
Richard Wagner's four opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung was even more influential in the later 1800s and early 1900s than J.R.R. Tolkien's three volume The Lord of the Rings and its tremendous film adaptation were a century later. But, Tolkien always pooh-poohed Wagner's influence on him: “Both rings are round and there the resemblance... Read More
Back in January, I wrote in Taki's Magazine in Goodbye, Mr. Chimps:The Daily Beast reports this excerpt from a new sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a male masseuse ag
Here's a map of rock bands in the metal genre per capita:
John Blake writes on CNN:I'm an old codger so my views should be taken with a grain of salt, but African-American music in the 21st Century definitely seems a lot worse overall than in most decades of the 20th Century. In contrast, electric guitar rock sounds about as good as ever, it just sounds the... Read More
1980s rock music is rather looked down upon these days, but it seemed pretty good at the time and seems not too bad in retrospect. Here's a reader's poll from electric guitar maker Gibsons of 1980s songs. (There's no requirement that they feature electric guitars, but, given the site, not surprisingly, they almost all do). One... Read More
Ever since Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, nice Westerners aren't supposed to incorporate Middle Eastern motifs in their artworks, because that's racist. Or Orientalist, it's all about the same thing in the post-modern academic killjoy mind. Here, for example, is Rick Ayres, brother of Bill Ayres and recipient of a million clams from the Gates... Read More
The great thing about the invention of brain scans is that they allow journalists to write articles about anicient topics as if they are news. And that's a good thing! There are a lot of important and interesting subjects that aren't "new," that aren't "growing" or "soaring" or "increasing" or all the other words that headline-writers... Read More
From the LA Times, a story that cracked me up not because of the politics but because of trying to imagine the puzzlement of the Chinese audience over why they had paid all this money for tickets to see this guy.During the height of Dylan's popularity in the 1960s, China was entirely closed off to
In response to questions about why East Asian parents are so enthusiastic for their children to be able to play Western classical music, I'm going to quote Amy Chua and the Chinese film director Chen Kaige of Farewell, My Concubine and Together.Chua writes in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother:Chua is particularly proud that she... Read More
The following is from a Huffington Post blog from 2008, but it's still pretty interesting. The author is entertainment industry lawyer Jackie Fuchs. After graduating summa cum laude from UCLA, she went to Harvard Law School at the same time as Barack Obama. Previously, however, as a teenager under the name Jackie Fox, she had... Read More
Here's a nice bit from novelist Michael Chabon's review of a compilation album from the American early 1970s power pop band Big Star, whose singer Alex Chilton died recently. "Power pop" is a term coined by Pete Townshend of the Who in 1967 to denote their early Beatles-influenced hit singles like Can't Explain and The... Read More
Malcolm McLaren, the amusing and sticky-fingered (self-)promoter / idea man behind the Sex Pistols, has died at age 64.I always liked best Malcolm's own 1983 minor hit single Buffalo Gals, which pointed out explicitly what I'd been saying since about 1979: rapping sounds an awful lot like that most uncool of all musical forms: square... Read More
Here's the beginning of my new Taki's Magazine column:What does it take to be a genius? Europeans of the Romantic Era tended to ascribe the accomplishments of the great to an inborn spark. In contrast, in this age in which voracious competitiveness must rationalize itself in politically correct terms, American self-help books, such as Malcolm... Read More
In the NY Times, film critic Manohla Dargis is all worked up over Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first women to win the Best Director Oscar: a triumph for feminism!Dargis is smart enough that she seems vaguely uneasy over the fact that it's a little more complicated than that. (For example, women are on-screen for no... Read More
From the NY Times:Yeah, it appeals to jerks and losers -- e.g., Sid Vicious's 1978 post-Sex Pistols cover version of "My Way" (video here, and here's Gary Oldman's version from Sid and Nancy).By the way, Wikipedia asserts: "In the Philippines it was believed that Vicious' version was inspired by deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, where... Read More
Commenter Jody sends me his Magnum Opus (or, as he would type it: commenter jody sends me his magnum opus).steve, been working on this for a long time. not the email itself of course, but the ideas inside. the release of the new call of duty video game encouraged me to send it to you.... Read More
Dennis Dutton's Arts & Letters Daily has a heap o' links, and Ross Douthat has a good column.Let's party like it's 1989 with songs about the Berlin Wall:David Bowie: Heroes, 1977: Video / Lyrics (and here's a terrific live version video, supposedly from a show in Berlin in 2002; it doesn't have as much of... Read More
A few years ago, I tried out Pandora, the "Music Genome Project" for Internet radio. You tell them a song you like, and they stream over the Internet to you other songs that share similar musical elements, as rated by their staff of professional musicians for about 250 factors. It's not a recommendation system where... Read More
One reader commented upon my review of Disgrace, the film adaptation of J.M. Coetzee's Nobel-winning novel with John Malkovich as a South African literature professor and aging Don Juan who retires in disgrace to the countryside to write an opera about the Italian adventures of Lord Byron, author of Don Juan:So, let me recount a... Read More
My Wednesday column on Taki's Magazine is up. It's a reflection on the permanent features of country music that you notice from an HBD-aware perspective:Having listened to country music on and (mostly) off since Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” four decades ago, I checked in on Billboard’s Top 30 Country chart to see if... Read More
... the many articles over the last 20 years like this new one in Slate are pretty unintentionally funny:I particularly like the picture of Kanye West trying to look tough.My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
The Washington Post reports: A few days ago, What Would Tyler Durden Do had a Kornbluthian suggestion about what to do with the lucky winners:My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
It's not widely remembered today, but Fred Astaire was a sizable singing star in his day, who introduced such standards as "Night and Day," "Cheek to Cheek," "The Way You Look Tonight," "They Can't Take that Away from Me," "Something's Gotta Give," and even that noir classic "One for My Baby." Although he had a... Read More
Over in Taki's Magazine, I write:Read the whole thing there and comment on it here.My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
From AOL News:A Swedish couple's decision to keep their toddler's gender a secret is stirring debate, especially now that the parents are expecting a second child."Pop" is 2 ½ years old, but so far only those who change the child's diapers know whether the youngster is a boy or a girl,, an English-language site... Read More
... was Donny Osmond of the Osmonds, who was a regular on network television from age five.The Mormon Osmond Brothers had a Jackson 5 sound-alike #1 hit with "One Bad Apple" released when Donny was 12 going on 13 in late 1970. (An older Osmond, Merrill, does the lead singing, but little Donny's soprano kicks... Read More
Here's something I wrote about Michael Jackson in 2005: We're the same age, and his troubles reminded me than when we were eleven and I was still in my he-man-girl-hating phase (I invited girls to my 6th and 7th birthday parties, but for the next four or five years after that couldn't recall what madness... Read More
My weekly culture column is up at Taki's Magazine:You can read it there and comment on it here.My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
This handsome 135 page paperback by R.J. Stove, A Student's Guide to Music History, listing on Amazon for only $8.00, is a near perfect introduction or brush-up for anyone interested in Western classical music. Performing miracles of concision, it provides sprightly portraits of several score of the top composers. You can read the book straight... Read More
NYT op-ed columnist David Brooks, I have been told on reliable authority, is a regular reader of my stuff. The one time he mentioned me by name, back in 2004, he was subjected to so much sputtering rage from the kommisars that he hasn't dared since. In his recent career change toward Malcolm Gladwell-style political... Read More
At, Agnostic has created a spreadsheet of Western classical composers ranked in two manners:- Their popularity with the classical music-buying public (as determined by the number of recordings of their music offered for sale by leads with 13,540, followed by Bach and Beethoven, and then there's a big leap down to Schubert, Brahms,... Read More
Martin Regnen wonders why musicians tend to be skinny:I got talked into playing a last-minute sub gig yesterday which much to my surprise turned out to be a battle of the bands. That turned out to be an opportunity to do some amateur anthropological fieldwork. A dozen bands were competing, and I haven't seen that... Read More
A baroque-era harpsichord piece was playing on the car radio tonight, and I got to thinking how nicely the harpsichord, with its calm clockwork-like sound (due to its inability to change volume), symbolizes the spirit of the age of reason, so reminiscent of Newton's clockwork universe, which was such a popular image in the 18th... Read More
The intensity of anti-Mormon feeling displayed during the defeat of Mitt Romney must have come as a shock to Mormons. They put up the most competent-looking Presidential candidate, and he gets kicked around. In a very recent poll, 32% said they wouldn't vote for a Mormon for President, compared to only 4% who wouldn't vote... Read More
I'm looking out my window and two airplanes are flying by, towing advertising banners. The first one says, "Alvin!!!!!!!!!!" and the second one says, "Get Munk'd, Dec. 14."I presume they are referring to some sort of upcoming movie about Alvin and the Chipmunks, a 1958 novelty song project by Ross Bagdasarian, in which he sped... Read More
It's odd how certain lines from songs stick in the heads of lots of people. One of the stranger famous lines is from Bob Marley's 1975 hit "No Woman, No Cry," especially in its amblingly monumental live version:Trenchtown is a slum neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica whose most distinctive feature was an open sewer trench. The... Read More
A recurrent topic of mine is "Kids These Days: What's the Deal with Their Music?" Unlike the previous generation, my complaint is that popular music has barely changed in 25 years. Rap music is still the same old same old; the LA "New Rock" radio station KROQ sounds almost exactly the same as when I... Read More
Here's something I never thought of before. Although Jamaica was an English colony, the "one-drop rule" works the opposite way there than it does here -- some white blood makes you white. (I suppose this was because Jamaica was a Spanish colony until 1655, and kept the Latin perspective on racial classification.) So, the most... Read More
A reader who teaches history in a public high school with mostly American-born, English-speaking Latino students writes: My students in the back of the class are constantly sticking their iPods in their ears and blaring their music so loud that everybody else can hear it. What I'm amazed by, however, is that when I have... Read More
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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