The Nightshift

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Yesterday's thread on Chris Brown, along with a few other comments, convinced me that it really isn't possible to preserve the kind of conversation that I enjoy, when a moderator isn't around. This would be easier to take if I could write it off as random trolls coming into stir up trouble. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, the worst offenses have basically been perpetrated by regulars. So unless I'm here to exert a strong hand, expect that comments will be closed.


Part of the problem is the distance between me and some of you. I mean, I'm a liberal, but it isn't in my bones the way, say, fatherhood or story-telling is.  I wish Scott Brown had lost. I wish the Dems had held the House. But not like how I wish Nas had never hooked up with the Trackmasters. Or how I wish Fannie Lou Hamer could get her statue. Or how I wish more  people read Ragtime. I don't need for the Jackson Dems to be analogous to the Tea Party in order to find them interesting.

Oh well, I just finished giving a speech here in Edwardsville, Illinois. I'm running on four hours rest, and yet I can't get to sleep. I'm sorry for leaving you today. I've tried to offer some samples to tied you over. Feel free to comment on them. Also, feel free to listen to the Lionel Ritchie-less Commodores. I've been thinking about Ritchie a lot lately. I'm not sure his solo stuff is holding up. I can't remember the last time I heard "All Night Long" without a hint of irony from the DJ. 

Not that the Commodores fared much better. High yellas, pretty boys and jheri curls doth abound. Seriously, no green contacts guys? I am disappoint...

EDIT: It's interesting watching the upbeat nature of this video. It strikes me as a very necessary reaction to Marvin Gaye's devastating death. I felt the aftershocks, and I was, like, seven or eight. But for those in the music world, it must have been traumatizing. There must have been a real need to actually feel like it was going to be "alright on the nightshift." I don't think the Commodores had another hit after this. There must have been a large segment of black America who needed to hear this.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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