Rufus Wainwright

I love politics, and I have a sense of humor, but comedic takes on politics usually leave me cold. If there’s an exception, it’s the work of the Scottish director Armando Ianucci. His 2007 film In the Loop, while full of absurdity, captured the spirit of decision-making leading up to the Iraq War, in both the U.S. and the U.K., as effectively as any journalistic account.

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The vice president was not at Rufus Wainwright’s house, I know. Yet the sweet little scene that Joe Biden described on Meet the Press, of infectious warmth in a family with same-sex parents, sounded almost as if it had been taken from the lyrics of the latest Wainwright album, Out of the Game.

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Stardom isn’t normal. It’s familiar, even commonplace—ever-present not only in the realm of actors, singers, and other pop entertainers, but also in the overlapping circles of athletes, politicians, tech “visionaries,” and ambiguously skilled celebrities-as-celebrities whom Americans love to ogle, aggrandize, belittle, and resent. The impulse to idolize is as old as the gods, of course. Jesus was a superstar some time before Andrew Lloyd Webber came around.

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