Two things -- one trivial, one somewhat important -- have me feeling reflective this week. The first is the news that the Beastie Boys are set to release a new album next week. It is fully 25 years since the Beastie Boys came out with their first album, Licensed To Ill. In those heady days when people still cared about such things, I remember the record dividing opinion on the campus of the liberal arts college I attended. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) was a pretty staunch critic of the album's approach to women, for example.
Thankfully, the Beastie Boys have evolved quite a bit from those early years. As long-time readers of this blog know, I occasionally like to ruminate on the careers of my favorite artists. (See for example this post on the Feelies or this post on the Ramones.) Love 'em or hate 'em (and my wife still hates them), you have to give the Beastie Boys credit for their ability to change and grow while still somehow remaining true to their original values. As the Center for Court Innovation comes up to its 15th anniversary, I hope the same can be said of this institution.
Speaking of my wife, yesterday she learned that she has been granted tenure by the New School. This is the culmination of a professional odyssey that has lasted almost as long as the Beastie Boys' recording career and has included teaching gigs at a half dozen different universities. Joy, gratitude and relief are the dominant emotions in my house at the moment.