Our friends at RealClearPolitics have plucked an intriguing column by Steven Stark from the pages of the Boston Phoenix and posted it as “Who says Freddy’s dead?” It’s a column that postulates a McCain loss in Florida as the predicate for a brokered convention. Stark works in some relevant political history and even (in the title of his column) an allusion to pop culture. Although the Wes Craven film (“Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”) might be cited in response to the question posed in the column’s title, I think the correct answer should be the late, great Curtis Mayfield.
Mayfield wrote the soundtrack for the 1972 film “Superfly,” directed by Gordon Parks. In doing so, he pulled off the feat of producing a soundtrack that outgrossed the film for which it was written. “Freddie’s Dead” is Mayfield’s still timely blast of indignation over the waste of life wrought by the drug culture depicted in the film: “This could be such a beautiful world.”
UPDATE: Reader Stephen Bier writes to comment on Steven Stark:
Appreciated your citing Steve Stark’s recent column on Fred Thompson. I took a legal writing course with Stark in law school and he was terrific. Although a liberal democrat (as was I at the time), Stark loved to talk about politics in class which turned more into a communications type course than simply writing. He was a huge fan of Reagan’s political skills, once noting that his voice was so good you could enjoy listening to him “read the phone book.” He would even play excerpts of speeches in class, for example, he gave different examples of how politicians deal with scandal/adversity. We also learned how to give a toast. Not the standard law school fare, but lots of fun.
I always thought his analysis in the Boston Phoenix was interesting. He is principled and doesn