Lancelot Links postsWednesday August 03, 2016
Saturday July 16, 2016
- The Young Han Solo auditions on Conan. Jeff Goldblum is my favorite. Jeff Goldblum is frequently my favorite.
- Griffey on his dash home on Edgar's double. If you have to ask, “What dash? Which double?,” you're obviously not from Seattle.
- Another former M making good: Steve Rudman culls some interesting stats from Ichiro's near 3,000 hits.
- John Oliver kills it on the Republican National Convention. Specifically, he talks about feelings. People feel less safe (they're not). People feel the economy is getting worse (it's not). Someone cue Morris Albert.
- Jon Chait makes the case for Tim Kaine. “Qualification for office, and the opposition's complete lack thereof, also happen to be the main issues over which the election is being contested. Or have we forgotten that already?”
- Maybe my favorite piece in a long while: Dan Savage savages voting for Jill Stein for president, and wonders why the Green Party (of all parties) doesn't do grassroots.
- David Remnick on the Trump-Ailes axis: one benefits from the B.S. the other built. On Ailes: “At each stage of his career, he has helped amplify the reactionary memes of the moment: Willie Horton, Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Benghazi, 'the war on Christmas.'”
- Jim Ruttenberg and Emily Steel's dig into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News. It ain't pretty.
- I agree with this assessment of the Yankees' trade deadline moves: “...on the day the Yankees admitted defeat in 2016, it felt triumphant.” They restocked their farm system. They're poised for 2018 and beyond. Crap.
Tuesday June 14, 2016
- Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez, 53, takes batting practice, and proves he's still Senor Octobre.
- Rachel Axler's satire of glossy magazine profiles of Hollywood stars (female) is great, but it's killer when you read the specific Vanity Fair feature on Margot Robbie that it's sending up.
- Former “Fox and Friends” co-star Gretchen Carlson sues Fox chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Not to get all Molly Bloom about this, but: Yes, yes, yes!!
- You get the feeling she could've sued him for ageism, too.
- The best thing about the new “Maya & Marty” Show on network TV is the return of Short's Jiminy Glick. His interview with Jerry Seinfeld is one of his best.
- “The Boys of '36,” a doc based on Daniel Brown's book, “The Boys in the Boat,” begins airing on PBS on August 2. Mark your calendars.
- Via Media Matters: What the media should know about GOP VP candidate Mike Pence. Turns out he's the usual Koch-Bros.-backed, NRA-supported, anti-unionist who cuts taxes for the wealthy and caps minimum wage and employee benefits for the rest of us. Oh, and a climate-science denier, too. But that goes with “Koch-Bros.-backed.”
- A few days ago, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat wrote a piece on how former King County Executive Ron Sims, an African American, has been pulled over eight times by the cops for no apparent reason. “I didn't get into a lot of the details because I figured most readers already accepted that Driving While Black was a thing,” he writes. “Oh man, was I ever wrong about that.”
- Best piece in the aftermath of Castille/Sterling/five Dallas cops is by Evan Osnos: “The Silence and Violence of the NRA.”
- Must-read of the week: Last week's New York Times Magazine cover story on how a fallible $2 drug field test is sending innocent people to prison. Tidbit for the pro-torture, pro-“24” crowd: Innocent people tend to plead guilty more quickly than the guilty.
Lancelot Links Goes to the 2016 Tonys
Tuesday June 07, 2016
“Immigrants: We get the job done.”
- Lin-Manuel Miranda's first acceptance speech (for best score) was the highlight of the 70th Tony Awards for me.
- Here's that opening “Hamilton” parody for James Corden. Anthony Ramos killed it, but then he had the best line. Also like Corden's “No! Just you wait...” to the cast, RE: the Tonys.
- The ratings were up 35% from last year and posted the best overall numbers for the Tonys since 2001. What happened in 2001? “The Producers.” But back then, remember, YouTube hadn't been invented yet. So if you wanted to watch the Tonys you had to sit and watch the Tonys. You couldn't wait for it (wait for it).
- James Surowiecki on how scalpers set a true market value for “Hamilton,” allowing producers to double the most expensive seats; also a GOP Texas congressman attempts to undo Dodd-Frank. Of course.
- Adam Gopnik on what Hamilton and Burr checked out of the New York Society Library. “Slipping back out onto the noise of East Seventy-ninth Street, three tentative conclusions suggest themselves: art alone makes old things new; the more you read, the less you know for certain; and self-government, of every kind, is hard.”
- Gopnik also wrote about “Hamilton” back in February: “'Hamilton' is the Obama-era musical. At the simplest presentational level, it shows previously marginalized people taking on the responsibility and burden of American history.”
- Oh, and that opening number to the Tonys I love so much that Neil Patrick Harris did a few years back? The “Now we're bigger” thing? Apparently Lin-Manuel Miranda helped write it.
- John Oliver on the Orlando shooting: “That terrorist dipshit is vastly outnumbered.”
- Jiayang Fan's New Yorker piece on Chinese racism and that racist Qiaobi detergent ad begins well (great opening graf) but gets bogged down in handwringing and vague finger-pointing. The last graf begins, “Learning to live in a pluralistic world requires...” Too bad.
- The whole Qiaobi controversy reminded me of “Darkie” toothpaste from Taiwan, whose named changed to “Dakkie” when I lived there in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and then, apparently, “Darlie.” Researching, I came across George McKibbons' article on the history on “Darkie.” More than I ever knew.
- How do the movies differ from other art forms? Nora Desmond had the answer, and Vimeo has the video: “Every Face Tells a Story.” But I like dialogue, too.
- Slow Jamming the News with Pres. Obama. There will never be a cooler leader of the free world. I like the band cracking up behind him on “You know me.”
- Billy Crystal's eulogy at Muhammad Ali's funeral was as pretty as Ali was. Particularly love the anecdote about Cossell's funeral.
- Silent film trope: A history of women being tied to RR tracks. Except: 1) it rarely happened, and 2) when it did, it wasn't women.
- A Vulture Q&A with Louis C.K., who gets better with age.
- David Remnick lets loose on Donald Trump. Gloves are coming off all over the place.
- Speaking of: If this helps Liev Schreiber reprise his role as Marty Baron, I'm all for it.
- What's the matter with Twitter, part I, via The New York Times (it's the virulent racists).
- What's the matter with Twitter, part II, via Vanity Fair (it's the left-wing outrage machine).
Tuesday May 24, 2016
- Who's on the cover of the Rolling Stone? My man Lin-Manuel Miranda. Good article, too.
- The Q&A is even better. Quote about Trump's wall that bears repeating: “It's such a malignant form of a very common American electoral disease, which is, 'Point at the newest people here and say they're the reason you're broke.' That's as old as time itself. That's 'Irish Need Not Apply.'”
- Oh yeah. Looks like Lin will also be in the Mary Poppins sequel. Feed the birds, bro.
- And talk about worlds colliding: One of my favorite writers on my favorite musical.
- Ken Griffey Jr. talks about the best play he ever made. I remember this one; I saw it on TV.
- Speaking of: June 2 is a big day for the Mariners: 1) day we signed Junior in '87; 2) day he retired in 2010; 3) Randy's no-no in '90; and, this year, the biggest comeback in M's history.
- Documentarian Robert B. Weide responds to Ronan Farrow's demand for journalistic accountability w/Woody Allen by asking some pretty tough, straightforward questions of Ronan Farrow.
- Can't believe this story isn't bigger: At Trump University, sales people were encouraged to separate people from their money. Think of it as academic subprime mortgage loans. One confidential instruction read, “Let them know you've found an answer to their problems.” *Cough*
- At least John Oliver is on it.
- Must read of the week: Frank Rich on the parallels between Trump now and Reagan in the spring of 1980. Before everything went to hell.
Lancelot Links Gets Bun Cha in Hanoi
All previous entries
- My president. Obama wins hearts and minds in Hanoi with bun cha—at a restaurant we maybe visited, or certainly passed by, during our visit in 2010. Next up? Cha ca la vong. Or human rights.
- Is the mainstream media helping Donald Trump? Feeding him questions that lead toward more reasonable ground? The Washington Post ponders this. The Scarborough example is particularly damning.
- Related: George Packer's “Talk of the Town” piece is the best thing I've read on the Trump nomination.
- Related: Adam Gopnik lets loose with a terse, angry piece: The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump. “One by one, people who had not merely resisted him before but called him by his proper name—who, until a month ago, were determined to oppose a man they rightly described as a con artist and a pathological liar—are suddenly getting on board.”
- Related: Stephen Colbert on the 2000 dangers of Ralph Nader.
- Related: John Oliver takes down the various idiocies of our primary process. Washington, my state, doesn't come off well. I wondered why I filled out that ballot two months after the caucus.
- Related: The Daily Kos on the 11 reasons Bernie lost fair and square. It's 11 reasons his supporters will howl to the heavens about. Often with CAPS.
- Missed this the first time around: Samantha Bee on the five Seattle City Councilwoman who voted against another publicly funded stadium in downtown Seattle (for a basketball team this time), and who had the usual online misogynistic abuse heaped upon them as a result. Bee makes comedy (edged with anger) out of it. The intros/nicknames are my favorite.
- Why were the Astros called “Houston” on so many 1960s-era baseball cards? Why did the '68 and '69 cards often use the same photo? What does any of this have to do with the hiring of Marvin Miller to head up the then-toothless Major League Baseball Players Association? It's all right here.
- Team #GiveElsaAGirlfriend or Team #CharmingPrinceForElsa? I think the latter's been done before.
- David Schoenfield's “Five things we learned Sunday” about MLB. Loved #4. Could do without #1.
- ESPN's 30-for-30, a great source of sports documentaries, takes on the hapless Cleveland team—er, teams. No championships there in any major sport since '64. Joe Posnanski, himself from Cleveland, laments.
- Someone took Bartolo Colon's homerun, the first and only in the 20-year career by the suddenly beloved, rotund pitcher, and turned it into the final homerun in “The Natural.” Something about his homerun trot, in slow-mo, reminds me of that old Steven Wright joke: “Put some Minute Rice in the microwave; went back in time.”
- James O'Keefe stings himself, via Jane Mayer. Couldn't happen to a nastier guy.
- I always loved Morley Safer, an even-tempered true journalist with a twinkle in his eye. Rest in peace.