According to a story on the BBC’s website today, Ry Cooder, the brilliant US slide guitarist and musicologist who assembled the legendary Cuban musicians for the Buena Vista Social Club record a few years ago, has been fined $100,000 by the US government under the – wait for it – “Trading With the Enemy” act. There has of course long been an embargo on US citizens having dealings with the Cubans, but this was temporarily lifted in Cooder’s case by Bill Clinton, who if he did nothing else at least recognised good music when he heard it. How totally impoverished must the soul of the current US administration be to fine Cooder at all, let alone under this law, at a time like this?
Elsewhere, Ananova reports that the politicians of Pennsylvania are wrangling over the “official state biscuit”. “The state Senate favours the chocolate chip cookie, but the House of Representatives wants the Nazareth sugar cookie,” reads the report. As a long-standing biscuit lover I deplore this abuse of biscuits in the so-called name of democracy. Only in America, as they say.