- A little background on the Godard v. Truffaut contretemps. I'm firmly Truffaut in this. Godard went off the rails.
- For those who often wonder about my neverending hatred for the New York Yankees, here's another clue via Joe Posnanski: Since 2002, against a pretty good Minnesota Twins team, the Yankees are 80-29.
- The birthdate of Pirates' great Robert Clemente was just a few days ago, and Sports Illustrated celebrated with a slideshow. Question, outside of Hollywood, what industry draws the most handsome men? It's probably the idolizing kid in me, but I go baseball: Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Robert Clemente, Tony Oliva, among others.
- This brought back my Jackie Chan love: Tony Zhou on how Jackie does action comedy—and where Hollywood fails.
- Another Zhou: The four quadrants in Nicholas Refn's “Drive.” Great analysis. Also ends with one of the best cinematic kisses of the 21st century.
- Good book? Kay Hymowitz reviews Richard Beck's “We Believe the Children,” about the scandal surrounding the McMartin preschool abuse scandal, for The New York Times. Makes you realize there are all kinds of abuse.
- Headline from The Guardian: “White supremacist convicted in plot to kill Obama with 'death ray' device.” According to the article, it was called “Hiroshima on a light switch.” He should have pled guilty by reason of massive stupidity.
- Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi goes inside the GOP clown car in Iowa and watches in horror as the other candidates (or “contestants”) try to out-Trump Trump, but Trump trumps all. Taibbi writes, “America is ceasing to be a nation, and turning into a giant television show.” It made me think of The Onion's famous post-9/11 headline, “A Shattered Nation Longs to Care About Stupid Bullshit Again.” The modern GOP has found a way to fuse the stupid bullshit with national politics. Will the last adult in the room please turn out the lights?
- If you read one of these pieces, read this one: Louis Menand on how Joan Didion went from a John Wayne-loving Goldwater supporter to someone who critiqued the great American self-deception.