Exit through the darkroom.

Having worked with a few headstrong photographers, I know they’re essential to telling a great story. At the same time the best ones have a way of going rogue. Many times I’ve sat back at my desk, looking over my notes and the pictures, thinking these don’t match.

I always blamed myself for failing to communicate strongly enough what the story was, but frankly, sometimes it changes as you report it. Let me put it this way: I’ve written some convoluted captions to explain why the person in the picture is beaming and blowing bubbles in a green meadow, but the story says she’s suicidally depressed about the depletion of the Oglala aquifer. (Or, y’know, whatever.)

Anyway, if I think about it, the photographer who has bugged me the most over the years is Richard Avedon. Love his celebrity portraits, love his fashion work, hated — HATED — his series set in the American West, where he took some pretty unconventional-looking people and stood them up in front of his famous seamless backdrop and turned them into freaks for his New York friends to groove on.

You may sense the depth of my feelings on this subject.

Mary Ellen Mark occupies a different place. I find many of her portraits as unsettling as Avedon’s, but without the note of mocking condescension. Although can anyone, especially a woman, look at the first photo in this series and not think, “Put down that camera and get that child to a responsible maternal figure, for God’s sake.”

Mark, who died this week, was probably best known for the “Street Wise” project, about homeless street kids in Seattle, which started as a photo feature for Life magazine — man, just writing those words feels impossibly nostalgic — and later became a documentary. It wasn’t easy to watch, listening to these kids talk about turning tricks and retrieving pizza out of dumpsters, even as you know the situations they left behind were even worse.

And then, of course, they grew up.

Photography is such an intimate medium, and it’s so easy to tip the viewer from a guest looking in through the fourth wall to a peeping tom. I think Susan Sontag may have touched on this subject a time or two.

So. Bloggage to get to.

Bob Schieffer says he’s worried about the decline of local journalism. That makes two of us:

Less than a third of all newspapers in the country assign a reporter — part time or full time — to cover statehouses, according to the Pew study. Almost nine in 10 (86 percent) of local TV stations have no part-time or full-time correspondent covering the statehouse.

I’m less concerned about TV, because most stations’ coverage of serious news has always been spotty and not the sort of thing you should rely on to be informed. Many manage to park two or three highly paid butts on a couch for an extended morning show of utter crap content, so cry me a river over that one. But on newspapers, he’s absolutely right. Fort Wayne once had a two-person Indy bureau — one for sports, one for the legislature. That dwindled to a freelancer, then a go-when-you-can staffer, then let-the-AP-handle-it. That’s no way to cover anything.

What the hell just happened in Nebraska? I’m still puzzled, although I think I get it: GOP corrections reform meets Democrats’ traditional opposition to capital punishment. Amazing.

Wednesday I was walking to lunch with my colleagues, and a large semi crossed our path, the side emblazoned, “Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour.” She plays at Ford Field on Saturday. That is one long setup. I’ve said many times I would rather see two guys play guitar in a smoky nightclub than go to your average stadium/arena show, and that stands. Tickets for “general admission standing” for her “B stage” — I expect that’s the one where she walks a plank into the audience and gives low-fives to the clamoring minions — are $200. Nosebleed is $50, most others well north of there. Yikes.

Oh, and Basset, I used Coastal for my last eyeglass purchase, but I knew what I wanted and what looks good on me. YMMV. Good luck.

Posted at 9:10 am in Current events, Popculch | 80 Comments
 

Late night dues.

Well, hell. I don’t always go out on weeknights, but when I do, I usually fail to blog before bedtime.

At least I got in before the night’s refreshments turned from three beers to four, because that would have meant missing the morning workout, guilt and a lousy Wednesday.

But here’s a lot of tasty linkage to get you through the middle of the week.

How do we solve a problem like Greece? What happens to a modern, westernized, democratic country when it goes bankrupt?

Yet another of what will surely be many, many pieces on how the GOP is reaching Hispanics. (Or, in this case, not.) Pro tip: Tell your people to stop hollering “what part of illegal don’t you understand?” on national TV.

I tried and tried to get to the original of this, but paywalls get two tries and then I give up: Wall Street Journal reader comments to a story about dunking in basketball. I remember when I used to work out at the YWCA in Fort Wayne, and the adults would play after the little kids’ games, when the hoops were lowered. They loved it, because they could dunk. It was hilarious.

What is inequality? A simple comic lays it out pretty well.

For the next three days, the power elite of Michigan will be gathered at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for the Detroit Chamber’s annual policy conference. Of course they’ll be shadowed by the media, who are given the run of the place, including the free-flowing booze stations. This leads to a parade of social-media over-the-topness that’s enough to make your stomach turn. Fortunately, someone has foreseen the need for mockery.

We need Cooz to wake up and tell us more about the GOP’s attempted coup at the University of North Carolina.

That is all, I guess. A lovely day in progress where I am. Hope it’s good where you are, too.

Posted at 9:26 am in Current events | 30 Comments
 

What a lovely day!

So here I am on Memorial Day, staring at a Facebook post that wishes all a “happy” one. Sigh. Every generation that goes by in which it is no longer common to have service members at all levels of society, in most families, and these things are going to keep happening.

For the record: Veterans Day is when we honor all veterans. Memorial Day is when we honor dead ones. It used to be those killed in action, but has expanded to mean those who served and died later — fine with me, as the more we learn about PTSD, the more it seems that even those who came home more or less in one piece may later be considered a casualty of the wars they fought in.

Neither occasion, Veterans or Memorial, strikes me as a happy one. War is hell. You may have read that somewhere.

But as the years pile up between us and our closest serving family member, the more the day just means another long weekend, the official start of summer, a day for barbecues and backyard sprawling, and I suppose that’s fine, too. Free country and all.

My sole connection with the martial was taking Kate to see “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Holy shit, but I could feel my hair being blown back by that one. Of all the genres available at the local cineplex, sci-fi and action are the ones most likely to leave me cold. CGI has taken much of the fun out of watching stunts, and the scripts for dreck like the “Taken” franchise leave me cold. I like my action stories to have at least one foot in reality if they’re set in our world, but Mad Max takes place in an apocalyptic future that makes its own kind of sense. Quite a bit of sense, actually; the imagery was so firehose-like I found myself groping for a remote to stop the action and just examine some of the frames, but no deal — that thing started at a gallop and never really let up. There were nods to the original, sly observations about the present, and on a dark future to come.

Did I mention we saw it in 3-D? Mind-blowing. And then there was this guy. Oh, and these guys. And about a million other guys. Fun fact: The five young women who represent the booty (sorry) at the center of the story include Elvis’ granddaughter and Lenny Kravitz’ daughter.

Other than that, it was a typical weekend with a little extra added on. Cookin’, shoppin’, eatin’, drinkin’. Droppin’ Gs everywhere. You?

I did do something new on Friday, to kick off the weekend — tried a boxing workout at a new place nearby. LOVED IT. But my bad knee HATED IT, which means I now have to figure out a way to float like a butterfly while not actually doing so. The stinging like a bee was easier, and the next day I felt it in my arms in places I didn’t know existed, always the sign of a good workout. It’s a little scary, how good punching feels. I shuffled a mental slideshow of my enemies list on the heavy bag, and did some serious virtual nose-bloodying. Another fun fact: Nearly everyone who works out at this place is female. True, it’s a boxing fitness space and not actual, hit-someone boxing training, but still — you’d think it’d be one place you’d see more men than at a yoga class. Maybe Mad Max is on to something: You want a fierce warrior, pick someone with XX chromosomes.

This weekend also passed without any of us stopping at the Movement electronic music festival at Hart Plaza. Ticket prices this year? $75 for one day, $150 for all three. To watch some guy or guys stand on a stage in front of an Apple laptop? I wish I were kidding.

I don’t think for a minute Jeb Bush is faltering as badly as Charles Pierce thinks he is, but he makes some good points here: He’s whiffing on some very slow pitches.

And as it was a holiday weekend and I mostly stayed away from the internet, that’s what I have today. Short week ahead! Let’s enjoy it.

Posted at 12:31 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' | 33 Comments
 

Clams on the side.

My local fish market had a cooking class last night, and I jumped in at the last minute. The theme? Grilling. The temperature? Mid-50s. We ate grilled shrimp and grilled scallops, grilled clams and grilled tuna and grilled swordfish. There were some pickled vegetables and, to top everything off, a nice fish taco, made with grilled cod. Didn’t learn too much new, but got some new flavor ideas. My cooking has been blah lately, mainly because I feed an indifferent teenager and a husband whose arrival in the evenings can range from 7 to 9 p.m., or even later, and I’m not feelin’ it, cooking-wise. There is a strong temptation to stock the fridge with cold cuts and tell the world to learn to make sandwiches.

This will help. The weekend temperatures might even get over 70! Woo.

Let’s skip to the bloggage, then. Because the weekend is something I kinda need right now.

I run hot and cold on Jezebel, but with the fallout from the UVA false-rape disaster still falling, someone there needs to take some deep breaths before publishing stuff like this, a supportive (and anonymous) piece by a friend of the girl who dragged her mattress, her RAPE MATTRESS in case you didn’t read any of the twelve million stories about it, around Columbia University, culminating with dragging it across the stage at graduation this week. Here is her gripping tale of sexual assault, by the same man who allegedly assaulted mattress girl:

The incident happened my junior year at Columbia, when Paul followed me upstairs at a party, came into a room with me uninvited, closed the door behind us, and grabbed me. I politely said, “Hey, no, come on, let’s go back downstairs.” He didn’t listen. He held me close to him as I said no, and continued to pull me against him. I pushed him off and left the room quickly. I told a few friends and my boyfriend at the time how creepy and weird it was. I tried to find excuses for his behavior. I did a decent job of pushing it out of my mind.

Look. I am not condoning this behavior, but if I were, oh, say… a woman I knew in Fort Wayne who had a man climb through a window she left open on the hottest night of a hot summer, a man who held a knife to her throat and forced her to perform oral sex? If I were that woman, and read Anonymous’ story of being forcibly hugged, I would laugh bitterly in her face. Not that rape and assault has to be a game of one-upmanship, not at all. But the encounter she describes is something virtually every woman I know experienced at least once by the age of 19, and no one called it assault.

Something else published in Jezebel this week: My hot, consensual introduction to the rape fantasy romance novel.

What a confusing world we live in.

You want assault? I’ll show you (alleged) assault, quiverfull-style.

Time to hang things up for the weekend. Maybe some photo posts in the next few days? I’ll keep you posted. Ha.

Posted at 12:37 am in Popculch | 58 Comments
 

What do you press?

You know what you need this morning. A heapin’ helpin’ of butt-kickin’ FLOTUS.

I can do all those moves except…that plyometric bench-jumping — hate that one. Not much of a rope-skipper. I bench, but not that much. Maybe I should, so I could have the Obama Guns of Awesomeness. And if I tried a roundhouse kick like that, the next movement in the sequence would be the Abdominal Crunches While Clutching Pain-Screaming Knee.

I’m going to miss the Obamas. Can you imagine a partner in the current crop of POTUS wannabes who would do this? Or this? Hardly.

A long last few days, but ahead us lies the sweet sweet weekend. Boat’s in the water, graduation is bearing down on us and the light in the evenings goes on and on. If only it would stop being so fucking cold. I keep washing my fleece pullover, promising it’s about to go into the closet until the cool days of fall. But the cold days of fall WON’T GIVE THE HELL UP.

I keep looking at a little stew pot of notes I made on accents we heard on our brief trip south, but can’t make anything of it. We stopped for lunch in Tennessee, after a long haul of not-stopping since somewhere in Ohio. That takes you past the Ma’am Line, i.e., the place where a woman of 26 is called “ma’am” by clerks and fast-food servers. We didn’t stop for fast food, but at some non-chain country-style place where I could order an item called Pulled Pork Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and did.

Some women were talking at the next table. It was a going-away lunch for someone who was retiring, and she expressed some anxiety about what was next. Her table mate told her to pray on it.

“He will nivver lead you as-try,” she said. I recalled my friend’s grandmother, who hailed from the tidewater Virginia region. She would have added some syllables: “He will ne-vuh lead you as-tray-uh.” And people think all southerners sound the same.

Some bloggage for y’all? Sure:

This was the most interesting thing I read in last Sunday’s NYT — a profile of a couple from Flint who are now the highest-earning in publishing. They write “street lit,” ie., some pretty unreadable stuff that nevertheless sells like crazy:

Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

A confession: Years ago, I stumbled across an amateur porn site and spent an hour paging through the photos, looking at the home decorating details and items on the bookshelves. So of course I am a sucker to know what was on Osama bin Laden’s bookshelves when the SEALS pulled his card. No novels, alas, and at least one volume of the Bob Woodward oeuvre. Bummer.

Tom and Lorenzo’s final Mad Style was a great and fitting tribute to the series, and you should read it.

Today is Thursday. How’d that happen?

Posted at 12:30 am in Popculch | 46 Comments
 

Honors.

Yeesh, another late one. Senior Honors Night down to the high school. We heard some names over and over, our child’s name once, but hey — she got a cord to wear around her shoulders at commencement, a medal around her neck, and she was made late to the Tame Impala show I’d given her permission to attend. The students sat on stage, and as the names piled up and the five-second claps stretched to two hours, I could see her dying up there. Oh, well. Tame Impala is lame, anyway.

Anyway, highlights: Most of these kids I hadn’t given a second thought to since grade school, when the Girl Scout troops were still intact, and Kate would occasionally tell a story from the classroom over dinner. And so I watched one girl walk and thought of the time I was driving a field trip, and heard her small voice in the back seat, saying, “My mom goes to a doctor who gives her shots in her face so she’ll be pretty.”

I thought, in 15 years, someone from this class who isn’t on the stage will be richer than all of you. Someone who is on the stage will be taking heavy meds for serious mental illness. Someone sitting here is going away and won’t go to a single reunion. Someone hates everybody else. Someone secretly loves somebody else.

What can I say? It was an astonishingly boring evening.

Tomorrow I have to get up early and head to Dearborn. I was there today, in fact. I saw no sign of sharia law. In fact, it was delightful, as it almost always is. Every time I go there, I’m plied with the most delicious hummus in the land, and fresh — really fresh — pita bread. You can win me over with a lot less.

As I was out of pocket all day, I didn’t get much bloggage material. I continue to be fascinated/astounded by the biker-shootout story:

On Sunday, witnesses described seeing a mass shootout that involved dozens of of guns being fired inside the restaurant and in the parking lot along Interstate 35, according to CBS affiliate KWTX. The station reported that panicked patrons and employees sought refuge from the mayhem in the restaurant freezer.

Hours later, authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies — including local and state police, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — were still trying to secure the area and survey the large crime scene, which was littered with more than 100 weapons.

“In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in,” Swanton said, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. “There is blood everywhere. We will probably approach the number of 100 weapons.”

Unbelievable, except all too believable.

Still sifting through “Mad Men” mop-ups, but right now — off to bed.

Posted at 12:28 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 74 Comments
 

Another milestone, marked by food.

The Derringers had an anniversary Friday — 22 years. Someday we’ll have to come up with a new idea for celebrating other than the usual, i.e., going out to dinner. Maybe we should play miniature golf, or volunteer at a homeless shelter, or do improv on open-mic night. I think our first anniversary we went to Hartley’s in Fort Wayne. There must have been many others in 22 years, but I don’t remember most of them.

This year’s was Republic, here in Detroit, a small-plates place — is there any other variety of new-hot-now restaurant, these days? — with a certain modernist take on things, which is to say there were items like pickled shallots on cheese thingies, and marrow fritters and beef-tallow fries with salt (which you’d expect) but also sugar (which you probably wouldn’t) and lamb sausage with pea smash. At least, I think the waitress said smash, but I couldn’t be sure, because it was very loud in there.

Can you tell I’m growing tired of loud restaurants? The food was very good, the drinks ditto, but I’m sort of done with loud. In the course of our marriage, we’ve gone from an entree that protein/starch/green to marrow fritters.

Anyway, 22 years. I’ll have another!

Alas, we didn’t see the new Mad Max movie yet. It was a beautiful weekend packed with activities, and it didn’t seem right to spend a few hours or even an evening indoors, watching a post-apocalytic story unfold. Maybe next weekend. But! The yard is shaped up and off to a good start, the laundry is done, the groceries bought for another week. Apocalypse whenever.

Besides, you never know when you’ll be caught in the crossfire of a multi-gang-plus-police shootout, and be one of nine cooling corpses. AMERICA.

I expect all of you want to talk about “Mad Men,” anyway, so do so. I’m off to a work week that will proceed at a gallop. Good thing the yard’s in good shape, because I don’t think we will be by Wednesday

Posted at 12:10 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol', Television | 36 Comments
 

Sleepless nights, Part 7 zillion.

Sorry for the no-show Thursday. Had a late Wednesday meeting with my posse, which is a fancy way of saying I went out for the evening with two guys who never need to worry about getting up early in the morning after a weeknight evening of tippling, at least not until they get a decade older. I was home by 10, anyway, but slept badly, which I guess a BLT and three Rolling Rocks will do. But I got up at 6 anyway, and swam my laps, and basically felt like crap all day.

Although I do enjoy swimming. Anyone else here a lap swimmer? The line passing by, lap after lap, the splashy turn at the end, the endless failure to master the frog kick. That’s my experience, anyway, although I’m fairly good at the dolphin kick. Lousy butterfly, though. And that’s about as exciting as swimming for exercise gets.

I did pedal two miles down the road to check out a new boxing gym for the ladies. (Closed.) Rode home, ran into one of Kate’s friend’s dad, and we had a little chat. These first warm days are like coming out of hibernation.

And Friday is Bike to Work Day. I’m-a try to do it, but all will depend on what the weather is doing in the morning. Forty percent chance of showers.

Have I bored the crap out of you yet? Let’s skip to the bloggage, then:

Remove all hanging ropes, razors, sleeping pills (send those to me) and other tools of suicide before you click through this slide show on the human effect on our fragile planet. Mesmerizing pictures that will make you want to die like one of those plastic-stuffed birds.

The train conductor sped up before the crash? Please don’t tell me we have another one on our hands.

I think I first saw a Mad Max movie with our own Jeff Borden. I cannot WAIT to see the latest one. But Jeff is many miles away. He will be there in spirit.

Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 87 Comments
 

You’re going out in that?

If it’s prom season, it must be time for the annual what’s-with-these-girls-and-their-hoochie-mama-dresses story, here in the New York Times and here on Gothamist, which has the distinct advantage of an array of photos showing a range of hoochie-mama dresses so we can all judge them.

Frankly, they’re pretty hoochie, but I think we all know that’s the trend. Right, Bey? Kim? Jenny? Or, to summon a role model closer to high-school age, Mylie. Can’t forget Rihanna, the OG of the naked dress.

So you can’t blame girls for wanting to dress like the famous ladies, and given that most of them don’t have Donatella Versace on speed-dial, they have to find these styles at far lower price points, which means they’re even hoochier than usual.

All I have to say is this: Thank GOD my daughter has no interest in going to the prom. Not that she’d be caught dead in these ghastly frocks; she’s way too modest.

Of course, the story is about whether schools should be imposing vague dress codes for prom, then deciding, after the money’s been spent on dresses and alterations, that a particular specimen won’t fly. Here’s the guideline for Kate’s prom: “The dress code will be strictly enforced: formal attire, NO TWO PIECES DRESSES, no plunging neck lines, sides or backs, if we deem too low etc you will be given a t-shirt to wear over your dress. Please feel free to bring a picture if you have concerns, PLEASE be sure to tell your guest this information, no exceptions.”

I was mystified by the no-two-pieces (sic) rule, until I figured it out: That’s how you show off your belly.

So, I’m watching Celebrity Jeopardy right now, thinking what I always do: Man, celebrities iz dumb. When an NFL player (Aaron Rodgers) is the runaway winner, you know…something, anyway.

Bloggage: Too stubborn to buy health insurance, he’s now going blind. Who should save his eyesight? WHO SHOULD SAVE YOUR EYESIGHT, DUMMY?

A lawsuit follows the Rolling Stone false rape story. One of many, I expect.

Now I think I’m gonna shoe-shop online. I don’t need shoes, but hey — everybody can window-shop at Zappo’s.

Be good, and happy Wednesday.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch | 65 Comments
 

Abandon all effort.

The school year is waning here. As I’ve mentioned here before, the sole political achievement of one of my former legislators (term limits!) was to ram through a bill forbidding Michigan school districts from starting until after Labor Day. The idea was to give the tourism industry one last chance to squeeze a few dimes out of the summer, and in theory I don’t really think school should start in August, but it’s still a stupid law. (Although it always makes for a pleasant interlude to visit Cedar Point, the amusement park. It’s only about a quarter full, and everyone is wearing Michigan T-shirts.)

What it means for kids like Kate, who take advanced-placement classes, is that the tests are held in mid-May to accommodate the southern U.S. districts that will dismiss for the year in a few days. So what do kids up here do for the last three weeks of the year?

Not much. In one of her AP classes, they watched “Wall-E” last week.

Of course, this is just fine with the kids, although Kate would just as soon be shut of the whole damn place. She hasn’t liked high school pretty much from the beginning. I hope she likes college better.

So today we were promised overcast skies and rain, but it didn’t arrive until I was getting off the bus. I crossed the street in the downpour and, with two blocks to go, knew I’d be soaked by the time I got there. I ducked under the first street awning, a title company, thinking, “Right now I need just one person in the world to cut me a break.” And guess what happened? A Realtor and a client were saying their goodbyes under the awning, and the space was tight enough that I felt the need to announce I wasn’t going in, just waiting out the shower. The Realtor said, “I’ll take you home,” and she did, in a nice Cadillac. Then she announced my house was going to be worth its weight in gold, yes gold I say, in another three years.

You have to be an optimist to be a Realtor, but that was something I needed to hear.

The day also included a lunch. A lunch with a long wait for all to arrive, and then another long wait for the food, and I was ravenous enough to be borderline hangry, and my eyeline was on a TV turned to HLN, CNN’s dumber sibling. The show was something called “The Daily Share,” and even with the sound off I could see exactly what it was: A TV version of your Facebook feed, assuming that like everyone else, you have a few idiots in your network. So: Stupid viral video, a kid someone tried to smuggle onto a plane in a suitcase, another viral video, a nod to Serious News with the Sy Hersh/OBL thing, some Kardashian crap, and so on. The world’s dumbest newspaper, on TV, with anchors who bring to the table all the intelligence and insight of morning radio hosts, and I’m not talking NPR. Field reports were with aggregators — yes, the Daily Mail — via Skype, so the picture was pixelated and crappy and no one cared.

In other words, the future of news in Idiot Nation. I sat there with my smart, experienced colleagues thinking I’d better keep this job, because this is the alternative.

So yeah, it was sort of a Monday.

Bloggage? I want to catch up with “Veep.”

I used to be more of a pedant about the language, but I’m trying to become more flexible in my dotage. Gene Weingarten offers some cautionary tales of those who cannot let go, i.e., grammar and language rules of yesteryear:

“ ‘She married a man named Brown,’ is incorrect. … A woman, when she weds, is married to a man, but the clergyman or magistrate marries her.” — Josephine Turck Baker, 1899

“Moon here means month, so it is incorrect to say, ‘a week’s honeymoon.’ ” — Ambrose Bierce, 1909

“There is no such word as ‘balding.’ Why not ‘baldish’?” — Theodore Bernstein, 1958

I read Ruben Navarette’s column about Mark Halperin’s interview with Ted Cruz and could scarcely believe it happened. Evidently it did:

He told Cruz that people are curious about his “identity.” Then, the host asked a series of questions intended to establish his guest’s Hispanic bona fides. What kind of Cuban food did Cruz like to eat growing up? And what sort of Cuban music does Cruz listen to even now?

I’ve known Ted for more than a decade and I could tell he was uncomfortable. But he played along, listing various kinds of Cuban food and saying that his musical taste veers more toward country.

I kept waiting for Halperin to ask Cruz to play the conga drums like Desi Arnaz while dancing salsa and sipping cafe con leche — all to prove the Republican is really Cuban.

It gets worse, too.

Finally, an OID story with the sort of headline you can’t help but love: Police report: Naked Sen. Smith confronted ex before shooting. Her car, that is. He shot her car, 10 times, with a shotgun Rifle. BECAUSE, THAT’S WHY.

I know just how he felt. Some cars just won’t die.

Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 12:18 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' | 57 Comments