Friday January 22, 2016
- Beautiful obit of Negro Leaguer/Major Leaguer Monte Irvin by Joe Posnanski. I had no idea he was considered that good. Or that he wasn't in his prime when he made the Major Leagues. Books need to be written; movies need to be made.
- Before Pres. Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday, we experienced another Iranian Hostage Crisis—the very thing that brought down Pres. Carter and led to Ronald Reagan and the triumph of know-nothing conservatism. So GOP candidates made the most of it. And what happened? It resolved peacefully within 24 hours. So this big “fuck you” goes out to Mssrs. Rubio, Cruz, Trump and Scarborough.
- A “satirical” site wrote a piece about author and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, right-wing websites picked it up as fact, it spread, and there went some part of his reputation and peace of mind. “For a few days,” he writes on his blog, “the digital intimidation veered out into the real world. Some people called my house late one night and woke up and threatened my daughters, who are 7 and 12.” One wonders if courts will eventually (or perpetually?) have to decide what is satire, since satire is protected speech, and a lot of these sites seem to be taking advantage of that. No one wants judges deciding what's funny, but talk about a gray area.
- In honor of MLK Day, Rick Perlstein gives his Facebook followers an excerpt of his next book: the lead-up to the Bakke anti-affirmative action decision in 1976.
- Again on Facebook, Joe Henry has a great tribute to Glenn Frey. “Joe: Five thousand or fifty ... what do we care? We play for who comes.” Amen.
- Nate Silver, who nailed the 2008 and 2012 elections, suggests that unless things change big time, current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump starts out with yuuuuge negatives among independent and even Republican voters. Currently, the leader of the GOP field in terms of net favorability ratings are: Ted Cruz (!) among Republicans; Ben Carson and Marco Rubio among indies; John Kasich among Dems.
- Great piece by Kathryn Schulz on what the Netflix 10-part series “Making a Murderer” gets right and wrong. And she does what I love doing: Using a famous line from the work to critique the work.
- The Post's Dana Milbank juxtaposes Jesus' Sermon on the Mount with the gospel of Donald Trump. Funny stuff. Sad stuff.
- The Ziegfeld Theater is NYC is closing. I don't think I've ever been there, and I live 3,000 miles away, but it's still a drag. It's being replaced by “a high-end space for corporate events.” Yay team.
- My friend Andy is reviving his blog “The Lost Salt Atlas,” and he's got his own Lancelot Links. Glad people are still doing this. Glad we're not just leaving it up to social media.
- Most of the feelings I have for the #OscarsSoWhite campaign have been negative. There's an issue there but it's an industry-wide issue, and tagging the Oscars in this instance is like tagging the Baseball Hall of Fame in the mid-1960s for having only one black member. So props to Charlotte Rampling for standing up to it. On another level, you know who I kind of feel sorry for? Michael Shannon and Paul Dano. They gave great performances in 2015 (“99 Homes” and “Love & Mercy,” respectively), didn't get nom'ed, and no one's said shit. Because they would be “part of the problem” if they had. Once it comes to that, I'm sorry, but I can't be part of your revolution.