Lancelot Links postsSaturday May 16, 2015
Saturday May 09, 2015
“Mom! Let's park in the Alligator parking lot!” Yes, we said that.
- Natalie Portman has been tapped to play U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a biopic about her fight for equal rights. SCOTUS rules 6-3 that it's excellent casting (Scalia, Thomas, Alito dissenting).
- Via Jim Walsh, all the Minnesota bands who played on David Letterman. It's memory-lane time, kids.
- Via Adam Wahlberg, Norm Macdonald's very funny and super heart-felt last appearance on Letterman.
- Fom Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post: Why Bill Simmons > ESPN.
- Jeff Wells talks up the new documentary, “Hitchcock/Truffaut”: “To me Hitchcock/Truffaut seems good and wise enough to seduce the novice as well as the sophisticated cineaste. It's a fully absorbing, excellent education. As you might expect, it made me want to read the book all over again.” I'm there.
- Great Guardian interview with Chris Rock, whose thoughts are always more interesting than his movies. Yes, including “Top Five,” Ben.
- Bryan Harper had a crazy 3-2-1 week: 3 homers one game, followed by 2 the next, followed by 1. And that last one was a walk-off.
- It was Paul McCartney's idea with the Beatles back in the '60s but Jimmy Fallon makes it happen with U2: they busk in a NYC subway.
- This is fun: a video look at one of my favorite bookstores in Seattle: Cinema Books run by Stephanie Ogle.
- Jeff Wells on why the French title for Michael Mann's 1981 movie “The Thief” is better than “The Thief.”
- Pres. Obama mentions a common FOX News theme (the poor are moochers and leechers; they are poor because they lack character) and FOX News goes “Who, us?” Actually, worse: They go on the attack. Because there's no defense on (or for) FOX News.
- The Guardian is doing a history of cities in 50 buildings. For the Twin Cities, it's Southdale shopping mall, the world's first indoor shopping mall, which we went to all the time when I was a kid. (We even tended to park in the Alligator parking lot, per the picture.) For Seattle? The first Starbucks. I'm 2 for 2.
- Via my sister: Seyward Darby has been anxious for loved ones since losing her boyfriend at the age of 20; then she was on Amtrak 188.
Friday May 01, 2015
- This is going to go viral soon, if it hasn't already: “Shit People Say to Women Directors.” Some of it, to be honest, is just a variation of what you hear in any cutthroat business. Men hear it, too, just in a different way. Sexism exists, but assholes are everywhere.
- Related: Jill LePore takes a look at the female superhero with two 10-year-old boys, then traces their look back to the work of George Petty in the '30s and '40s, who influenced, among others, Hugh Hefner.
- A Karl Rove/Lee Atwater road-trip buddy movie set in the early '70s? Making it biting, please.
- Bill Maher reaches back to “Romper Room” in order to school W. (Mr. Don't Bee) and the current, tough-talking chickenhawk GOP slate. Would that they could be schooled.
- Is Stephen Colbert's interview of Richard Gere at the Montclair Film Festival what we can expect from the Stephen Colbert who takes over “The Late Show” in September? Let's hope so.
- Old Onion article on the new Brewers manager: “Turns out Craig Counsell Was Actually Best Baseball Player Of Steroid Era.”
- Eddie Rosario, a 23-year-old Puerto Rican second baseman, five years in the Twins minor league system, finally made his Major League debut the other day, with his extended family in attendance at Target Field. What happened? This.
- Joe Posnanski polled his readers about various baseball issues and came away with the following: no DH in the NL (yes), Pete Rose should be renistated (good argument, JP), umpires should use technology for balls and strike (I'm with Costas on this), Bonds and Clemens for the HOF (sigh), do we cheer for A-Rod (if it hurts the Yankees, yes), and who might become the first unanimous HOFer (my man). Fun stuff.
- Posnanski also tells us about August 1967 when Willie Mays stopped being Willie Mays. And how he responded.
- Related: Alex Rodriguez has just passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. In the Times, William Rhoden writes how A Rod's achievement is making the Yankees look small.
- White House photographer Pete Souza picks one photo from each state Pres. Obama has visited. Some are beautiful, particularly Arizona, Alaska, California. Some are poignant, particularly Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri. Some are fun, particularly Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina. Washington state's is, well, appropriate.
- Related: 16,000,000 Obamacare Fans Can't Be Wrong.
Saturday April 11, 2015
- Now that Obamacare is a success, some Republicans are saying they never said the bad things they said about it. Paul Krugman responds and calls for (that once-upon-a-time GOP watchphrase) a little accountability.
- Joe Posnanski on why his hero Sandy Koufax isn't one of the four, or five, or seven greatest living baseball players.
- Posnanski also unintentionally belittles one of my childhood heroes, Cesar Tovar, in this piece of Carl Yastrzemski, his 36th-greatest baseball player of all time. You're forgiven, Joe. Mostly.
- Amy Schumer is getting out there: Here, it's a boy band telling its girl (Amy) she doesn't need to wear makeup. Or wait.
- Our of our SL editors got to interview Stephen Colbert's former Super PAC lawyer Trevor Potter for our DC issue. The result is magic.
- Also from us: An oral history of Alabama's African-American bar on the 60th anniversary of Montgomery. Included? Rosa Parks' attorney, Fred Gray, who is still practicing at 84. Most astonishing revelation for me? That until the late 1960s, the state of Alabama used to pay for African-American students to study law in another state with the hope that: 1) they wouldn't sue the University of Alabama, which was segregated; and 2) they would stay wherever they went. But many, including Gray, returned.
- This was the week the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether there is a federal constituational right to same sex marriage. Adam Liptak reports it looks like another 5-4 nailbiter. But which way?
- “Never before has a bona fide American smash hit exceeded its own domestic gross in a foreign territory.” So which smash hit in which foreign territory? If you read this blog more often, you'd know.
- Long read of the week: Ariel Levy, “The Price of a Life,” in The New Yorker. Basically, what happens after the Innocence Project gets an innocent person out of prison after decades behind bars?
Wednesday April 01, 2015
The worst statue in the world. Is it Steve Buscemi? Jerry O'Connell? Both?
- Via Adam Wahlberg, the worst statue in the world.
- Via Uncle Vinny: SNL does a great takeoff on the awful internal Scientology “We are the World” videos that Alex Gibney's recent must-see doc, “Going Clear,” showed us. Funny stuff. Also sad.
- Another recommendation from that show: Michael Keaton's opening monologue, in which castmembers serenade the “Birdman” star into playing Batman and/or Beetlejuice one more time.
- From “The Twlight Zone” to Mark Rothko to “Bye Bye Birdie” to “Born Free” and “Dark Shadows”: the '60s pop-cultural references of “Mad Men.”
- Related, and via my first cousin once removed, Zoe, about her favorite “Mad Men” character: The Complete Quips of Roger Sterling. I remember laughing at the “God opens a door” line but the “Napoleon/Beef Wellington” line is so, so good.
- I'm generally not a fan of College Humor (not to mention college humor), but this bit on Superman and Batman teaming up made me laugh. A lot.
- Gail Collins follows up her quiz on GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz with a quiz on GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul, but this one isn't interactive and it's less comprehensive. Just four questions. I missed two of them. The rest of the column charts the devolution of Paul from libertarian to, you know, UGC (Usual GOP Crap).
- Writer extraordinaire and FOE (Friend of Erik) Josh Karp has a new book out, “Orson Welles's Last Movie,” which gets a great review here. The reviewer is basically saying: Welles Schmelles, this Karp guy is genius. You can buy it here.
- Via Brenda Biernat: Another FOE, Jason Lamb, hosts “Movies in Black and White,” a series looking at race in film. This April 30, at Central Cinema in Seattle, he doesn't mean to cause you any trouble, he doesn't mean to cause you any pain. He only wants to see you watching Prince's “Purple Rain.”
- Is it better to lose outright or keep coming back again and again ... and then lose? The Yankees did the latter against the Red Sox last night. Down 3-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, Chase Headley went deep to tie it. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the 16th, Mark Teixeira went deep to tie it. Down 5-4 in the 18th, Carlos Beltran doubled (helped by some sloppy fielding from Hanley Ramirez) to plate Brian McCann with one out, but the Yankees couldn't bring him in to win it. Then down 6-5 in the 19th, Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single and it seemed like we might back where we started from. But with one out, the BoSox infield turned a nifty double play to end it at 2:13 a.m. One wonders if any Yankees fans (not to mention any Yankees) were cheesed at Headley for keeping it going in the first place. Here's your box score. Here's the NY Times report. I love this line from Billy Witz: “The game dragged on so long that Mark Teixeira, who was 34 when it began, had turned 35 by the time it was over.” Welcome to 2015 baseball.
All previous entries
- Gail Collins gives us The Ted Cruz Pop Quiz. I got 8 out of 9.
- The GOP, progenitor of the phrase “class warfare,” suddenly cares about income inequality? John Cassidy puts on his Deep Throat mask and urges us to follow the money.
- Putting together two of my favorite guys—David Simon of “The Wire” and Barack Obama of the White House—would, you'd think, be a slamdunk for me. But the conversation between the two isn't as interesting as I'd hoped. Maybe because they agree with each other too much? Maybe because I agree with both of them too much? But I like: “It's draconian and it doesn't work,” from Simon on the drug wars. I like Simon's story about the real Omar, Donnie Andrews. I like Pres. Obama talking about humanizing both drug dealers and cops—particularly against (and he doesn't say this) our tendency to demonize others. But I would've liked a conversation less about the drug trade than the central theme of “The Wire,” which was “the numbers game,” and its appearance in police departments, schools, newspapers, and politics; and the ways the numbers game is not benefiting society.
- Extra credit: The title of Simon's website, “The Audacity of Despair” is a takeoff, obviously, on Obama's book, “The Audacity of Hope.” Maybe they should've duked it out over which was in fact more audacious. Or talked over the advantages of each. Why each is necessary. Where each gets us.
- How change happens: Joe Posnanski on the hard-earned generosity of spirit of 1940s Dodgers backup catcher Bobby Bragan.
- Why did it take so long for Eddie Mathews to make the Hall of Fame in the 1970s? Was it his disposition? His lack of MVPs? Being overlooked as the teammate of Henry Aaron? Did the BBWAA just not like white people? Joey Pos investigates.
- David Schoenfield on the most underrated player in baseball today. (Psst: He plays for the Mariners.)
- Long read of the week: Seymour Hersh's Letter from My Lai. Horrifying and uplifting, both.