Housecleaning.

I’m starting to think having my hard drive melt down — which it didn’t, but it’s more easily understandable than “corrupted firmware update that cannot be repaired without a wipe and reformat” — is the best thing that’s happened to me this year, and it’s not because I have a lightning-fast new machine to play with. I’m reintroducing my backed-up data to the new machine slowly, and with careful consideration of each byte. I’m leaving a lot behind, especially in my web browsing.

For every lost bookmark, I’m finding the freedom to turn my back on 10 more, the distractions that helped me turn too many days into a why-didn’t-I-get-more-done trainwreck. My “blogs” bookmark folder now holds 12 URLs (and yes, yours is one of them). News is even smaller; for all the proliferation of news sources in recent years, I’m finding fewer and fewer worth reading.

I’m undecided over my beloved Idiots folder, and am considering trashing the whole thing. It was dwindling with maturity, which is to say, the older I get, the less willing I am to read people who bug me, just for the scab-picking pleasure of it. On the other hand, as an occasional creative writer, I find the doors some people leave open in the centers of their foreheads to be absolutely fascinating. The oil spill has Rod Dreher, whose life seems ruled by equal parts fear and superciliousness, worrying like one of those dogs that will eat off its own leg rather than endure a little itching. As naked glimpses at neurosis go, it’s hard to top, but is it worth the trouble?

We’ll see. I am dropping Lileks, however. Boring. Bossy? Maybe. Sweet Juniper? He’s in for sure; anyone who keeps getting better, I want to be there for. But the charge in all of these is to set the bar high. (And rely on RSS for people on the bubble.)

If it keeps me from frittering away the rest of the summer getting pissed off at something some moron said, it’s worth every penny:

Someone is wrong on the internet.

How was your weekend? Mine was fine. Eastern Market early, riding the bike all over, and movie catch-up weekend, in which I took time to watch a few things piling up on the DVR and/or On Demand menus. Watched: “Frozen River,” “Cadillac Records,” “Lovely and Amazing.” Capsule reviews: Excellent, unwatchable, very fine. “Cadillac Records” received uneven reviews at the time, but were generally good, which only goes to show you…something about film critics. I was attracted by the cast; Adrien Brody is one of those actors who could make telephone-book reading interesting, or so I thought. He couldn’t save Leonard Chess, alas. Someone who’s seen it to the end, tell me: Are the Rolling Stones in any other scenes other than the one where they show up at Chess Records, tell Muddy Waters they named their band after one of his songs, and go jam a little? Alan Lomax blows through the first 10 minutes like a dust eddy, then blows out. People show up, announce their names and a few lines that might as well be subtitled, “I play a small but significant role in the popularization of southern blues in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, but sorry, I can’t stay onscreen very long, because Chuck Berry is right behind me.”

Here’s the problem with biopics: “Behind the Music” did it better, or shorter, anyway. Standard three-act screenplay structure makes every story too predictable. The early years, the meeting of the Significant Other/Manager/Collaborator, the meteoric rise, the betrayal/setback/fall, the epiphany, the comeback. I think projects like this are almost always overpraised, maybe because critics like the music. I certainly did, in “Cadillac Records.” Alan didn’t, but then, he’s got a hate-on for Beyoncé, who is referred to in our house as Bouncy. Once she shows up as Etta James, what had been just barely holding together simply fell apart.

“Frozen River,” now — that was something else. Excellent writing, excellent direction, both by the same person, Courtney Hunt. Absolutely nothing about it was anything you’d call “entertaining,” and yet, it was a great movie. Go figure. And God bless actors like Melissa Leo, who is unafraid to show her true face to the camera and is, against all odds, beautiful.

And “Lovely & Amazing,” now almost a decade old, was, like all of Nicole Holofcener’s work, great. I can’t wait to see what she does with Laura Lippman’s “Every Secret Thing.”

A little bloggage before I hop to Monday’s mania:

A lovely NYT piece about the artesian wells of central Indiana. A friend with a summer cottage in the U.P. gets his drinking water from a neighbor’s spring, and whenever I stayed with him, that was a weekly task — gathering a few gallon-size jugs and filling them. I wonder if it’s still flowing. Keeping commercial bottled-water interests out of Michigan has been an environmental crusade for some time now, in part to protect the aquifer, in part because bottled water is the stupidest fucking product since canned frosting.

The found poetry of Sarah Palin:

Great destiny, our destiny!
To be reached by—responsibly!
Developing our natural resources, this land,
Blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, and:
Oil and gas! It’s energy!

Finally, a sad story about a woman who fought the good fight in Detroit, and finally couldn’t fight anymore. A story that confirms the value of community policing, and of paying attention to small crimes before the people who commit them graduate to the bigger variety. Unfortunately, the city can’t even handle the big crime anymore. As I said: Sad.

Onward to a police-rounds tour via bicycle. Because my hair still looks good this morning, and needs a case of helmet head. Hope the week ahead is a good one for all.

Posted at 10:20 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

50 responses to “Housecleaning.”

  1. crinoidgirl said on June 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’ve pruned my daily reading down to this site here, detroitblog, and sweet juniper, and I was pointed at the last two by this site here. I ditched lileks and bossy a long time ago.

    As you said, that Detroit story is very sad. I used to work in Detroit in the 80s, and had several friends who lived in the city proper. Never hesitated to visit them, or drive and walk all over the place. Now, the place scares the bejeesus out of me.

  2. Jeff Borden said on June 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Man, that is one depressing story. My admiration for the woman in the story is boundless, but even a tough, brave, dedicated person finally has to face up to the facts and leave. I’m glad she was not hurt during all those travails.

    I know there are areas in Chicago just like this. When the horrible heat wave of 1995 hung over the city and killed 700 residents, many were elderly, poor black people so terrified of the gang bangers, thieves and thugs in the area that they refused to open their windows, turning their homes and apartments into furnaces. The street gangs rule some parts of the city and they’re always looking to grow their territories.

    Chicago tried to address the gang problems some years ago with anti-loitering legislation, which allowed cops to break up large groups of young men hanging around on street corners. The law was declared unconstitutional.

  3. Steph said on June 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I adore Nicole Holofcener. Had NO idea she was taking on Laura Lippman! That’s so exciting. Love “L&A” and am so looking forward to her new one this month.

  4. Sue said on June 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Went to the Port Washington Pirate Festival on Saturday before the scheduled rains came. I thought my husband was alone in this talk like a pirate stuff, but apparently pirate interest is a little sibling to all the civil war/revolutionary war re-enactment stuff.
    Gentlemen, I’m here to tell you: you know how you see those re-enactor gatherings and the women are all dressed like some version of Little House on the Prairie? And they all look like they’re going to work until they die in childbirth? Well, in the pirate world, the men look like regular guys who’ve dressed up like pirates. The women… oh, my, talk about being able to carry off a look. At least a third of the women who were dressed up as pirates or wenches or whatever at this festival would have given Keira Knightley a run for her money. High heeled black boots, bustiers/corset things, lots and lots of hair (wigs I assume). I kept pointing them out to my husband and bless him he kept pretending he wasn’t noticing them.

  5. Julie Robinson said on June 7, 2010 at 11:34 am

    We watched Amelia, which did not soar, and Leap Year, which was predictable but kinda cute. Lovely & Amazing just went on the Netflix queue. And because I’m also trying to cut back, I’ll leave it at that.

  6. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Sue – you have an intelligent husband, there!

    If y’all haven’t clicked the ‘found poetry’ link with regard to Sarah Palin yet, do go and see. The thing starts out funny and clever, and then – honestly – I think it actually illuminates something, although I’m not entirely sure what.

    At minimum, the emotional connection – or roots – that She Who has with certain voters, seems to be tied to this communication style.

    It is as if you could have the unique cadences and delivery of President Obama, but without any original thoughts or independent analysis. She truly does seem to the the opposite of President Obama in every way, other than her ability to speak to a crowd.

    EDIT: I love the cartoon!

  7. Randy said on June 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

    It’s not a daily read, but I recommend Sunset Gun. It’s a movie review site written by Kim Morgan. She knows a lot about film, but most importantly she expresses it really well in words. She got to fill in for Ebert once when he was not yet permanently off his show, if that tells you anything.

  8. Dorothy said on June 7, 2010 at 11:59 am

    We caught “State of Play” on HBO on Saturday night and were immediately absorbed. Liked it VERY much. I had auditions for the play I’m directing and turnouts were not what I expected. So few people came and now I’m scrambling to find some young guys. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I’ll have it cast.

  9. alex said on June 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Sue, the wenches detract from the authenticity at a pirate festival no matter what they’re wearing. Ahoy, matey: http://books.google.com/books?id=dP0EgSo3sjoC&dq=sodomy+and+the+pirate+tradition&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=2hgNTIaoBaL4MsKS8LUE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

    This is a book that’ll make you think of England, alright, and the story of the bucaneer with one of his butt cheeks shot off by a cannonball will have you rolling on the floor.

  10. beb said on June 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Nancy’s link to the aricle about Black Flight in Detroit is about as true as can be. The city is verging into one vast “Projects” because the only people still lving here are those who can afford to flee.

    Bottld water *IS* the stupidest thing, but I disagree about canned frosting. Of course I don’t know of anyone who actually puts it on a cake!

  11. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Speaking of “Housecleaning” – how on earth the retirement of Helen Thomas merits “BREAKING NEWS” treatment, I don’t know; but it is time to clean house, a little bit

  12. Connie said on June 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Our Glen Lake cottage has an artesian well, a pipe that sticks up a couple of feet right at the shoreline. Clear, cold spring water, and very handy during the occasional power outage. I believe the whole lake is filled by underwater springs.

  13. coozledad said on June 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Our farm is on the Dan River aquifer, and the water is of a much higher quality than anyplace else I’ve lived. The problem is, there’s already a habitual boondoggler trying to buy up farms in the immediate area to expand his water bottling facility. I guess it makes more sense to support the dismantling of environmental regulations when one of your aims is to commodify potable water.

  14. basset said on June 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    my daily reads are here, reddit, fark, and b-roll.net, with occasional checks of flightlevel390, rurritable, and whatgoeson.

    a story about wells in Indiana with no mention of French Lick? surely not.

  15. adrianne said on June 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Nance, thanks for the link to my old colleague Hart Seely of the Syracuse Post-Standard, who also has published the found poetry of Bush’s defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld – it parses beautifully! – and the inspired blank verse of Yankee Yogi Berra.

  16. Deborah said on June 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I’d love to clean out my bookmarks on my Mac laptop but don’t know how. I figure it’s probably easy, but I can’t figure it out. Can anyone enlighten me?

    I use canned icing when I bake cakes, which is very, very rare for me. I love the taste of the chocolate canned icing. I also absolutely love Coop-whip. Sometimes you just gotta have chemicals.

  17. 4dbirds said on June 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Nancy, Daily Kos, Digby, and a couple of poker blogs are the only ones I have bookmarked. I had to cut back, my laundry was piling up.

  18. Bill said on June 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Deborah, click on bookmarks, then click on “show all bookmarks,” highlight one you want to delete and hit the delete key. There may be a way to highlight all you want to delete, but I juste delete them one by one.

  19. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Say, with regard to criminal corporate negligence/our ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf, here’s today’s (relatively) uplifting thought: only a quarter century after screwing up and killing between fifteen thousand and thirty thousand people, seven people at Union Carbide got convicted and sentenced to two years in jail. The head of the company at that time has been indicted, but he will likely never set foot into an Indian criminal court

    http://www.chem.info/News/2010/06/Safety-Seven-Convicted-over-Bhopal-Gas-Tragedy/

    Here’s an excerpt:

    Early on Dec. 3, 1984, a pesticide plant run by Union Carbide leaked about 40 tons of deadly methyl isocyanate gas into the air in the city of Bhopal in central India, quickly killing about 4,000 people. The lingering effects of the poison raised the death toll to about 15,000 over the next few years, according to government estimates.Local activists insist the real numbers are almost twice that, and say the company and government have failed to clean up toxic chemicals at the plant, which closed after the accident.

    BP’s ineffectual leadership looks positively inspired, by comparison, eh?

  20. Deborah said on June 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    That’s Cool-Whip not Coop-Whip. And Bill I can always see all of my bookmarks and when I highlight one I want to delete, it opens??

  21. nancy said on June 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Deborah, what browser are you using? If Safari, click on the little thing that looks like a book on the far-left side of the bookmarks bar, and edit from there. If Firefox, I think “manage bookmarks” in the pulldown menu will allow you to edit. And if IE, kick yourself for using the crappiest web browser on the planet.

  22. Deborah said on June 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    OK, now I get it on my work computer. Thanks, I can’t tell you how long I have wanted to know how to do this. I use Firefox at work and Safari at home. I will get to work on “housecleaning” when I get home.

  23. coozledad said on June 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Brian: My wife worked for Union Carbide at RTP when they switched the burners off at Bhopal. The plant had a horrific record.There were reams of documented fuckups that were entirely avoidable. When I temped there during college, I heard some of the chemists discussing a Bhopal employee who was accidentally patched into a cylinder of phosgene instead of breathable air.
    When the news of Bhopal broke, one of my wife’s managers asked her “Hey, what’s a few thousand dead Indians?” The corporate culture of the place could best be discerned through the recommendations of the safety officer when it was time to button your lip. Several chemists were dumping solvents down the effluent valves and setting off alarms that indicated there was a risk of contamination of the local water table, so management shut the alarms off. There were a lot of decent people who worked there, but my overall impression of the Ag Chemical industry is it’s a criminal operation, run by psycopaths or end-times zealots, and the SOPs of institutional greed have steamrolled every shred of principle away.

  24. Scout said on June 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Nancy’s my first (and usually final to catch all the comments) read of the day. Others include Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic, Edroso, Wolcott, TBogg, Al Giordano and driftglass. I try to hit several others on a weekly basis, including the inimitable rurritable.

    This only happens on work days… I have more free time at the office than I ever do at home!

  25. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Cooz – amen, brother.

    As for bookmarks, I rely on the charity of others, really.

    I don’t have Laura Lippman bookmarked, because I click to her from here; ditto for Bossy, although I gave up on her sometime ago; same for rurri-cooz.

    Similarly, there are one or two sites I click to from Mitch Harper’s Fort Wayne Observed site.

    My actual bookmarks include a BBC Formula One site that I click every so often, and another that streams Fort Wayne police and fire (for when I play hearts or free cell or chess against the computer, before shutting down)

    I’ve got others, but I almost never click them. (If I changed my name, I suppose it would be to Johnny One-note)

  26. LAMary said on June 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Brian, you didn’t mean you gave up on rurri-cooz, did you? You meant you get to his site through here. I mean, cooz can totally see what you’re writing here. You wouldn’t say that right in front of him.

  27. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Mary – you’re right; I wrote a muddled sentence (and THAT ain’t breaking news, either), with regard to Rurri-cooz.

    If I HAD given up on rurri-cooz, I would have said nothing, and then dissembled, if asked. But instead, I click into his little corner of heaven every so often, from here.

    But I WOULD tell Bossy that her site leaves me cold, because I suspect that I’m not supposed to get it (sort of like we aren’t supposed to get HBO, because we don’t subscribe to it).

    I’d have to be into internet piracy (of a sort) to be a Bossy guy.

  28. apocalipstick said on June 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I think the opening shot of “Frozen River” is just great. Melissa Leo is one brave actress. The way the camera opens on her bare feet and then pans up to her face is just so right. I also appreciate one little detail the movie gets right. It’s the scene where Rae is working at the dollar store. So many actresses try to play working-class by scrubbing the makeup off their faces. Either Leo or Courtney Hunt, somebody, understands that women of that socio-economic class are more likely to wear too much makeup. That’s the sort of little touch, a grace note of sorts, that made me love this movie.

  29. beb said on June 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Brian Stouder asks “Speak­ing of “House­clean­ing” – how on earth the retire­ment of Helen Thomas mer­its “BREAKING NEWS” treat­ment,”

    She didn’t retire, she was forced to retire after saying that Israel was was an occupier and should retire to their original home lands. After ten Presidents Helen Thomas was sacrosanct and the goddess of White House reporters but her comments (the woman’s what – 90? – was rather more honest than people were willing to accept. At least in America where criticism of Israel is not permitted. Even after a terrorist raid on a ship in International water that kills eleven!

  30. Dexter said on June 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I loved Beyonce as Etta; it inspired me to watch all Etta YouTubes over and over.
    I thought she was great as Etta. I enjoyed “Cadillac Records”. No, the Stones didn’t re-appear, and yes, name-dropping and moving along were key components of that screenplay. It would have been better as a David Simon HBO series, but alas…it wasn’t.
    I will watch last night’s Treme again later on. That was a special episode.

    I used to drive seven miles to a pump handle in a tiny rural park to pump four gallon jugs of well water because it tasted so much better than the chlorinated city water. After a few years, it was closed due to bacteria. That water was sweet.

  31. Jean S said on June 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    my husband went to high school w/John Larsen (he who used to appear on NBC’s Dateline w/some regularity). John’s dad was a high muckity-muck at Union Carbide. Yep, we heard the “it was all their fault, not ours” explanation re: Bhopal.

    and rurri-cooz sounds like a new dog blend. Forget your labradoodle; where’s the rurricooz?

  32. Another Connie said on June 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I cut my daily links down from about 40 a couple year ago (when I had a job/boss who didn’t care how much time I wasted on the internet) to 5–and Nancy gets checked every day. The additional characteristic about Mr. Dreher that you didn’t mention (he also gets a daily check, like a car crash) is that he’s not very bright.

    And I have that same XKCD panel taped over my computer, to remind me to stop at night.

  33. Holly said on June 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Connie– I love Glen Lake. The first time I went to Glen Lake was on my Honeymoon in 1980. We started going back when my oldest was 4 or 5. He is now 27. Have not missed a year. We stay on Little Glen. We spent a lot of time in cabins on Day Forest. I think that area is amazing and if I ever won the lottery or had a rich relative that left me money I would buy on the lake and retire. I introduced my sister Sue to the cabin and they love it too. They always have an open invitation to come see us in August when we go. I think that we have gotten for our kids everything that The Totem Shop has ever sold.

  34. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Don’t know about Glen Lake, but our girls were very impressed by “the cabin” at Lake Delton at the Wisconsin Dells; and Lake Delton wasn’t even there at the time!

    Chloe (who will be 6 years old tomorrow) still remarks wistfully about going “back to the cabin” (it was pretty cozy)

  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hey, y’all — gotta check out http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/ regularly.

  36. Holly said on June 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Brian– If you went to Glen Lake you would never go to any other lake again. It is in Michigan. Long drive from Chicago but I look forward to going every year. Take your girls, they would love it. I’m sure Connie and Sue will agree.

  37. coozledad said on June 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Beb: it’s probably time to inaugurate “Balfour Declaration II” and establish a homeland for Palestinians where they will be free to pursue an experiment in agrarian socialism. My picks are, in order of historical appropriateness 1.Florida 2. Oklahoma 3. The Mandan regions of the Missouri-Mississippi basin 4. White South Dakota.
    The resulting displaced fat white people in cowboy hats will be able to find work clearing oil off beaches in the new tar sands of Louisiana and Mississippi. Extra cash for processed manatee skins!

    Bibi Netanyahu is (and I’ve said this elsewhere) the perennial inflatable fucktoy of the fundamentalist American right. He is where he is because of the legions of Baptist waddlers infected with apocalepsy. He’s an agent provocateur in the mold of Lenin, or as some of the old Russian Communists came to believe, Stalin.

  38. brian stouder said on June 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Beb – if the subject is the Israeli military’s strike on those aid ships, then I share your anger; that certainly looked to me like a clumsy, violent act of piracy and provocation.

    If the subject is Helen Thomas, we WOULD agree if her remarks really amounted to “say­ing that Israel was an occu­pier and should retire to their orig­i­nal home lands.”

    But she specifically did NOT say that “Israel” should retire to her original lands.

    Here is what she said (emphasis added):

    http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/06/07/us/20100608-THOMAS.html

    To every president since John F. Kennedy, Helen Thomas, 89, a White House correspondent, was known for posing questions in the kind of tough and provocative manner that could make press secretaries gasp and her colleagues cringe. Ms. Thomas said she would retire, following an uproar over her recent remarks that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home to Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.”

    Here’s wishing Helen Thomas a long, pleasant retirement. Pleanty of cranky anti-semitism of her sort is available without her having to come to work and spout it.

  39. Judybusy said on June 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Cooz, finally, a solution to the morass in the Middle East. On a more serious note, what is your source for your allegations about Netanyahu? I’d be interested in learning more…..

  40. coozledad said on June 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    judybusy: Here’s a start.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/07/24/playing_the_jesus_card
    My own perception of the links between Bibi and the American right came from listening to Rush Limbaugh in an effort to understand my co-workers at the post office. Rush and Bibi were always dining together. That means Bibi is at best a third rater- the kind of act that opens for Bo Donadlson and the Heywoods.
    I also know that Fundies have no use for Jews beyond some tortuous plebe snake handler metaphor. This is no mystery.

  41. Connie said on June 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Holly, I have been going to Glen Lake since I was a kid, and was a young teenager when my father bought the first place there. Our place is like 6 houses east of the Dairy Bar, look for the Land of Oz sign. House is across the street from the Lake frontage, it’s just a little old place, part of which is log cabin under the siding.

    My oldest memories are pre-National Park, when the scenic drive was a privately owned business, and the dune climb and campground were part of a state park. I remember the old red dune buggies with the big tires, and my grandmother tying her hair up just right in a scarf before we rode them. The Dairy Bar had a gas pump, and the same teenagers that scooped the ice cream pumped the gas.

    As to the Totem Pole, everyone’s kid needs a rubber spear. My husband bought our kid so many inappropriate things there in years past. My least favorite was the bell for the three year old, and there is actually a whip down the basement too. In recent years my thing about the Totem is that they sell Seafoam, my favorite hard to find candy.

    Sue and I have had this conversation several times, I take it she is your sister. And in my gravatar photo I am watching the sunset from the top of the dune by the scenic drive Overlook. Empire Beach is my other favorite place for watching sunsets.

  42. Dexter said on June 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Again I must type these words: being an anti-Zionist does not mean one is an anti-Semite.
    Anti-Semitism is an ugly accusation; it could even include racial Anti-Semitism, which is what was in place during the Holocaust.
    Calling Helen Thomas an Anti-Semite is ridiculous. For one thing, what she said pales in comparison to the stance some (most, even)Hasidic Jews take—they mourn Zionism. I am no expert as I only know the basics of this story, but many, many Jews are steadfastly against Zionisn, and are appalled by the settler state of modern Israel.

    My little incident of having a bicycle stolen on Plum Street right beside Tiger Stadium certainly means little compared to the story that Nance linked, but it was very much like my friend Greg’s stay in Brooklyn, New York. He stayed as long as he could stand it…even bought a police lock and a thick steel door for his apartment all to no avail…”they” came in through the transom.
    He had to walk from the subway station to his home after work at midnight and the crime in general was so bad (mid 1970s) that he bought a gun.
    Sure enough, he was mugged while buying a Times , was able to get his pistol out, threatening to shoot, and he survived. He told me it took every bit, every little iota of discipline not to fire that .38. He says now that that incident was what pushed him over the top. His dad was so glad he was leaving that Brooklyn neighborhood near Eastern Parkway that he bought Greg a house in northern Connecticut, where he lives to this day.

  43. Denice B. said on June 8, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I was born in Detroit in 1955 and have lived in the city proper all of my years. It’s like watching an ice sculpture melt until it is nothing recognizable. There are times I remember growing up in the 60’s and the city where we lived was pristine. The neighbors cared, schools were good and the streets were safe. The riots that scared the city were on the other side of town. And they changed everything. People started moving in droves, and nothing was stopping it. And it continues to this day. Sad- but all the more when I remember how it was.

  44. moe99 said on June 8, 2010 at 2:03 am

    How about if turn Detroit over to the Jews in Israel? Solves two problems. (only slightly tongue in cheek here)

  45. ROgirl said on June 8, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Helen really stepped in it. At least she had the grace to apologize, but what she said was indefensible and anti-Semitic. From what I’ve been reading, she has voiced similar opinions before, just not in front of a video camera.

  46. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2010 at 8:11 am

    It’s sad that Helen Thomas is leaving this way; she has been a valuable burr under the saddle to so many presidents. Her parents were from Lebanon, which may help to explain her feelings. We all have un-PC thoughts but most of us don’t get caught saying them on an open mike.

  47. brian stouder said on June 8, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Agreed, Julie. And let me just say – there are a few people I work with who are given to “un-PC” pronouncements, and these always make me cringe. Thinking back on it, when I was a kiddo (say – up ’til I was 30, more or less), I may well have sounded that way, blithely making pronouncements about this and that and the other thing. By the way, there is an old friend of NN.c (Dr P from the old days at the Lincoln Museum) who could and would, when provoked, deliver a well-reasoned lecture on the meaningless nature of the term “PC”. Anymore, I try and adhere to PC discussion where the P stands for Parental; that is – if I couldn’t say it to the young folks, then it is probably unacceptable in a social or professional setting.

  48. Holly said on June 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Connie–My husband and I went to Glen Lake during the winter about 4 years ago. We just wanted to see what it was like. Not much open. We went out to Western Ave Grill for dinner. Very cozy in the winter. It was strange to be walking down the middle of M22 with no cars ready to run you over. Boone Docks was almost empty. I still love it there. Well, I need to go to work at the old folks home. We are having Tropical Week. I need to make a batch of Margaritas for our party today. Have a great day.

  49. DEdelstein said on June 14, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Unforgivable. Cadillac Records is one of the few films to get the era right. And yes, it is DRAMA, which means in the end you don’t quite know what to think.

  50. BOSSY said on August 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Geesh, hope Bossy wasn’t dumped! But, yeah, know what you mean. Bossy doesn’t have a reader.