BACK IN THE DAYS OF AWESOME. I figured I�d wait until cubiclemate Sam left the office for lunch to launch a brief rebuttal. As one of his commenters pointed out, there is much more to rock criticism than parsing through lyrics. And what makes Neil Young�s Living With War magnificent is the album�s coarse and hard-driving edginess. Layered on top are some brilliant lyrics that astutely capture the mood of liberals in the spring of 2006.

Take for example, the lyrics to the track �Shock and Awe.� In the parlance of our Supreme Leader, I�d say this epitomizes zeitgeisty.

Back in the days of shock and awe / We came to liberate them all. History was the cruel judge of overconfidence/Back in the days of shock and awe. Back in the days of "mission accomplished" / Our chief was landing on the deck. The sun was setting on a golden photo op/Back in the days of "mission accomplished." Thousands of bodies in the ground/Brought home in a boxes to a trumpet's sound. No one sees them coming home that way /Thousands buried in the ground. Thousands of children scarred for life / Millions of tears for a soldier's wife. Both sides losing now/Heaven takes them in. Thousands of children scarred for life. We had a chance to change our mind/But somehow wisdom was hard to find. We went with what we knew and now we can't go back/But we had a chance to change our mind. (Emphasis added.)

Methinks someone needs to nominate Sam for a certain something of the day�

--Mark Leon Goldberg