Oh, I see that Lana Del Rey has a new album out. Maybe reading a review will make a nice change of pace from the usu—

Watching fires ravage L.A. and Donald Trump ravage the U.S., Del Rey has shifted her kitschy patriotic fixation, dropping her flag-draped persona and making peace with a more complex, dystopian reality. “L.A. is in flames, it’s getting hot” she drones on The Greatest. “I’m facing the greatest / The greatest loss of them all.” Apt words for a planet facing a climate apocalypse.

Hmm. Well, OK, that was probably just an outlier. I’m sure th

Call her Doris Doomsday: “The culture is lit/And if this is it/I had a ball,” she resolves with ecstasy and fire, a lightning rod of humor, sadness, and perception; flip jadedness and abiding love. Fanning the flames of a culture ablaze, Lana sings each word like a prayer, finessed with conviction and smoke, chaos and control. “The greatest” is a galaxy-brain moment in the pantheon of pop, and it belongs to a generation fully aware we are at risk of being distracted into oblivion, Juuling towards early death while watching Earth burn.

Sigh. I’m all for treating popular culture as worthy of critical attention, but it’s really tiring to see so many hack writers making their own histrionic prose the center of attention, eager to connect each new movie and album to The Present Moment and its Immense Significance. Thank goodness for streaming, so that I can actually, you know, hear what the music sounds like without having to take yet another indistinguishable 800 words of TRUMP CLIMATE YEEARRGH along with it.