Lancelot Links postsTuesday August 26, 2014
Wednesday August 20, 2014
McConaughey as Det. Rust Cohle. “What do you think the average IQ of the Emmy voter is, huh?”
- Jay Leno at the Emmys: “And the winner is ... Modern Family!” Patricia: “Oh, for god's sake.” My feeling, too. And I love me some “Breaking Bad” but Matthew McConaughey was on another plane with “True Detective.” Nathaniel Rogers suggests some Emmy fixes, regardless of your rooting interests.
- A friend of a friend, under the nom de Twit “One Observation a Day,” offered up just that for 365 straight days. The year's done and here are the results.
- From Digital Music News, how the music industry has changed in one gif. The change refers to the thing we buy (vinyl, CD, download), not the music that's on the thing.
- I wrote my last movie review for The Seattle Times, on “Coach Carter,” in January 2005—I was moving to Minnneapolis—but I returned to their pages last Friday with a short review of “When the Game Stands Tall.” What do these movies have in common? Besides being about coaches and sports? They were both directed by Thomas Carter, Heywood on “The White Shadow,” and he didn't directed any feature films in between. Odd serendipity, no? Plus they're both not good.
- Have you been following Grantland's “Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member”? Have you been casting your votes? I have, nerd that I am. I really thought it would be Carvey vs. Myers in the “Lorne's Return” era (1986-1994) but it turned out to be Farley vs. Hartman. Here are my assumptions going forward: Murphy vs. Farley in the first 20 year bracket, Ferrell vs. Wiig in the second. The championship will be Murphy vs. Ferrell. Ferrell will win. And more cowbell will be heard throughout the land. But I've always been bad at prognositications.
- Why are the big-payroll teams losing so much this year? (Dodgers/Angels excepted.) Joe Posnanski thinks it ties to PEDs or their lack. He thinks it relates to what PEDs allowed players to do ... which they don't do anymore. M's fans take note. Spells doom, shortly. As I warned.
- You often hear things like “John Oliver explained that better than any journalist ever has!” But how often do you hear it from the Columbia Journalism Review?
- From the Onion: Judge orders pretty white girl will be tried as 300-lb. black man. Parody, but spot on. Father: “This is America: Nobody deserves to be treated as a black man!”
- The passing of a family friend. Rest in peace, Mark Saunders.
Tuesday August 12, 2014
- From McSweeney's: Classic movies changed to not be sexist. I think my favorite is “Gone with the Wind.” Maybe “Rear Window.”
- My colleague Sean Axmaker is leading a discussion at SIFF in November on Orson Welles' classic, “Touch of Evil.” Should be good. My thoughts on the film.
- Beginning in January, Major League Baseball has a new commissioner: Rob Manfred. Tyler Kepner wants to be more impressed.
- Did Billy Beane make a mistake trading Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester on July 31? John Branch looks at the A's subsequent dive.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfuss hocks her Emmy .. to Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Love the supporting vs. lead/ comedy vs. drama discussions. But my favorite is JLD's look at 2:14 to 2:18. “It's sort of refreshing .... when they don't.” She's so, so good.
- A big biography of Bill Cosby, written by former Newsweek editor and FOP (Friend of Patricia) Mark Whitaker, is being published this fall. An excerpt.
- How the chief of police of Jonesboro, Ark., harassed a newspaper reporter out of her job.
- Guess what? That police chief didn't make friends in Americus, Ga., either.
- I'm no fan of Gov. Rick Perry but I get the feeling it's Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum who will be saying “Oops” over the indictment. On the other hand, according to the WSJ law blog, McCrum is admired by friends and colleagues.
- If you need to get caught up on Ferguson, the New York Times has provided a handy timeline.
- More from Jelani Cobb on Ferguson.
- And here's the private autopsy on Michael Brown: six shots, two to the head, none apparently at skirmish range.
- The editor in chief of RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz, with a straightforward, personal account of understanding white privilege.
- I'm sure you heard the white, female CNN anchor who said of the cops at the Ferguson protests, “Why not perhaps use water cannons? At least it’s not going to have the same kind of effect [as tear gas].” What I like is the double-take of the black male anchor sitting next to her. Give the guy credit. He remains professional even as he can't help but be stunned by how little she knows of recent American history.
- Finally, Open Carry Texas is back, and this time they're black! The Huey P. Newton Gun Club is marching through South Dallas to protest the police killings. No word yet from the NRA on this development.
Birmingham, Ala., 1963. “Not the same kind of effect.”
Thursday August 07, 2014
Kurosawa's fav Hitch
- In his memoir, “A Good Life,” Ben Bradlee recounts showing up for college baseball, hitting the dirt when the first pitch was coming straight for his head, then hearing the ump call it a strike. “That,” he writes, “was my introduction to the curve ball.” Alexei Ramirez? Meet Seattle's Yoervis Medina.
- Great foul ball moment.
- Do you have friends who think Adam Dunn is a Hall of Famer? You do? Ditch them immediately! Or have them read Joe Posnanski's latest.
- Artful Dodger Come Home? The Guardian reports on a cat that likes to ride the bus. Cue Replacements song. Or Jonathan Richman.
- A school lunch from 1943. 15 cents. I'm hungry already.
- Via Film Stage, here's a list of Akira Kurosawa's 100 favorite films. Chronologically. It starts with “Broken Blossoms” in 1919 and ends with “Han-Bi” in 1997. It's an eclectic, personal list. He limits himself to one film per director and his choices are .... interesting. His one John Ford film is “My Darling Clementine,” his one Hitchcock “The Birds,” his Scorsese “The King of Comedy,” his Kubrick “Barry Lyndon.” I don't think I've seen half the movies on it.
- My friend Jason has started a semi-annual screening series in Portland examining the issue of race in movies. It starts this fall and is called “Movies in Black & White.” You can follow the discussion on Twitter. Or show up in person.
- Prof. Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School has been tracking voter fraud allegations for years—not just prosecutions—and has found, since 2000, in all elections in the U.S., approximately 31 cases. Out of an estimated billion votes cast. And how many people are being turned away at the polls because of new voter ID laws? Thousands. Most of whom, one assumes, particularly based on the 31/1,000,000,000 number, are legitimate voters. The kind of fraud that voter ID laws are supposed to stop, he says, is very rare because it's extremely inefficient. Read about his findings in The Washington Post.
- Amy Davidson on the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
- Roane County Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr. has upheld Tennessee's gay marriage ban. Some people just like to be on the wrong side of history. Or the wrong side of Ted Olson and David Boies.
- The New York Times Public Editor is back from vacation and finally weighs in the Perlstein/Shirley contretemps. Verdict? Oops. I particularly like Jeffrey Toobin's line. Actually I particularly like the notion that the Times may be revisiting its policy on he said/she said journalism—particularly if it's of the “Opinions differ on the shape of the planet” variety.
Sunday August 03, 2014
- In 1965, the Beatles played in the home of the Twins: Met Stadium in Bloomington, Minn. This past week, nearly 50 years ago today, one of them, Paul Somethingorother, returned to play in the home of the Twins: Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. Jim Walsh celebrates.
- Walsh, the Studs Terkel of Minneapolis, also walks around the stadium and talks to folks. He snaps the smiles.
- Speaking of: Did you know Ron Howard is directing a documentary about the Beatles' touring years? Roughly 1960-1966. I'm there.
- 30 authors on movie adaptations of their work. I like Burgess' line on “A Clockwork Orange” and of course Vidal's on “Myra Breckenridge. Annie's Proulx's comment is touching. Most are as you expect: good films are praised, bad films are trashed. Although no author (Burgess, Nabokov, King) seems to like Stanley Kubrick's translations.
- For more than a decade, Rick Perlstein has been writing a comprehensive history of the rise of right-wing conservatism in the United States (Goldwater to Reagan, basically), and now, as the third edition, ”The Invisible Bridge: the Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,“ is being published, he's being attacked by a few of those conservatives, who don't want a liberal like him anywhere near Reagan. Slate's Dave Wiegel breaks down the controversy. Would that my accusations of whomever I didn't like could make headlines.
- Paul Krugman also pushes back—not only against those conservatives, but against his own paper, the New York Times, which did it's usual he said/she said reporting on the matter. What did Krugman call it? ”'Opinions differ on shape of the planet' reporting." Brilliant.
- And here's the lawyer for Perlstein and Simon & Schuster, Elizabeth A. McNamara, responding to Shipley's lawyer.
- Sorry, Seattle: There will be more 8 p.m. parking meters. I hate these things. Not for the money but the inconvenience. But also for the money.
- Remember: the story isn't Ezequiel Carrera's great catch with the bases loaded in the Tiger-Yankees game earlier this week; it's Derek Jeter's reaction to the great catch. Because Jeter.
A whole lotta shaking goin' on.
All previous entries
- Dig if you will the picture: Scenes from “Purple Rain” then and now, via the Current in Minneapolis.
- This is great: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on the value of reading literature, in general, and Proust in particular, in The New York Review of Books.
- Ken Levine, former comedy writer on “Cheers,” as well as (I believe) “The Tony Randall Show,” as well as (I'm pretty sure) a year as the Mariners color announcer, writes about “The comedy writing rule of 2s.”
- My friend Jim Walsh gives us 12 reasons he loved “Boyhood.” I'm particularly down with No. 7.
- In “Boyhood,” the father, played by Ethan Hawke, gives his son, played by Ellar Coltrane, a CD he compiled of post-Beatles Beatles songs: John, George, Ringo, Wings. Apparently it was a concept that started with Hawke, rather than writer-director Richard Linklater, but I particularly dug it because *I* always wanted to do it. That's how you get a new Beatles album, I always thought: Put the solo releases of the Beatles in one album. Apparently Hawke thought the same. Here's the playlist. The letter's not bad, either.
- Speaking of: Last month, Nathan Heller gave us a nice profile on Richard Linklater in The New Yorker. I finally got around to it. So should you.
- The Devault-Graves Agency in Memphis is publishing the first J.D. Salinger book in 50 years. Well, “book.” It's three of Salinger's early stories: two written before WWII, one during. My thoughts on them here.
- You know that famous shot of Sophia Loren eyeing Jayne Mansfield's boobs in a low-cut dress? It wasn't boob envy. There are other, better photos from that evening. Sophia is at turns stunned, disbelieving, amused. My favorite is the last: Sophia cracking up. Because ... what else do you do?
- Remember “End of Watch” from 2012 starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena? It made my top 10 list that year. No. 2, to be exact. Well, its writer-director, David Ayer, after a brief dalliance with Schwarzenegger, is back with a World War II movie starring Brad Pitt. Fingers crossed.
- Jeff Bridges throws out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. In classic “Dude” fashion, he bowls it.
- Long read of the week: Evan Osnos' excellent New Yorker profile, “The Evolution of Joe Biden.” Will the vice president run for president in 2016? Despite a life-long urge to hold the position, not to mention a fear of retirement, not to mention all that hasn't been done, you get the feeling ... no. He's probably a better man for it, too.