What's next? "Alex Ross Facts?"
When you look up "bad ass" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of Alex Ross.
Why is a classical-music critic and blogger now the definition of "bad ass?"
Let's look at the facts:
(1) He just won a MacArthur "Genius" Grant.
(2) He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
(3) His book, The Rest Is Noise, is insightful, intelligent, and readable. (And award-winning!)
(4) He is a columnist for the New Yorker.
(5) In the classical blogosphere, he is the only guy about whom no one has a cross word to say.
(6) He's clearly hyper-well-educated, without being pushy or weird about it.
Need I go on? Of course not. No, the only way Alex Ross could be more of a bad ass is if he saved a busload of widows, orphans, nuns, and a president whose popularity rating was above 40% (Reagan or F.D. Roosevelt, depending on your bent, for example) from the clutches of an evil supervillain, while simultaneously addressing the National Press Club and curing cancer. And, well, after the last year, don't be surprised if you see something like that on CNN. At this point, Mr. Ross has only feats of sheer superherodom let to conquer.
I'm being crass, infelicitous, and hyperbolic, but - let's face it - Alex Ross is pretty goll-darned cool by any objective measure. He's clearly earned his "Genius" Grant, as well as the thanks of anyone who cares about art-music literacy in the Republic today.