Some reading for the long weekend.

A holiday week, you say? I remember holidays, from the BeforeTimes, i.e., before I got a job. However, the work week barely stops for something as silly as “Independence Day,” always for me (who’s working the holiday?) and maybe for you (yeah, it’s me).

Why did we let work do this to us? And with that question, I could direct you to Barack Obama’s Netflix update on “Working,” but why bother?

Alan and I are watching “Blazing Saddles,” just for the hell of it, and it reminds me of the last time I saw it, I was in the “parents’ tent” at the Warped tour in Cleveland. The tent was smack in the middle of three stages, and the ambient cacophony in the parents’ tent was really something. Of course the subtitles were on, but most people weren’t watching, but knitting, reading or hand-lettering “Live, Laugh, Love” signs, although I may have made up that last one. I read whatever “Game of Thrones” novel I was on at the time and surfaced periodically to appreciate the classic scenes — the horse getting punched, Lili Von Shtupp, etc.

God, this movie is funny. Another one you’d be crucified for making today.

A couple long reads for the holiday weekend. You ready?

A fantastic New Yorker takedown of the submersible. If you have clicks to burn, burn them here, because it’s great.

One you’ve already heard about today, no doubt: A long Sally Jenkins saga of the friendship of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. It’s just beautiful, a story of how some relationships, some friendships, are deeper and clearer than anything between spouses.

Something shorter: Neil Steinberg’s lovely piece on the business that found itself at the center of last year’s mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill.

Two out of three of those pieces will renew your faith in humanity. Which is what the Fourth of July should be about, right?

Posted at 9:05 pm in Current events |

41 responses to “Some reading for the long weekend.”

  1. NancyF said on July 2, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    They were asking for trouble when they scandal-suffixed the company name. OceanGate? Really?

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  2. jcburns said on July 2, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    I kept looking away from the stream of reporting on the submersible (much of it published BEFORE they concluded that it imploded) just because…well, just because it kind of made me sick to read because contemplating that fate seemed so, so awful.

    I read the New Yorker piece. Good writing, but still…so, so awful.

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  3. Joe Kobiela said on July 2, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    I’m working the 4th, Fort Wayne to Frankfort Michigan to Toronto to Ypsilanti (clear customs) back to the fort.
    Hope yours is good.
    Pilot Joe

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  4. LAMary said on July 3, 2023 at 12:25 am

    Not working yet. At least in a paid position. I have a major closet sort out project planned. There’s an AIDs health organization that has thrift stores all over town called Out of the Closet and I need to purge some of the office type clothes and shoes and shit that the new job won’t require and I won’t miss but Out of the Closet might be able to turn into cash.
    It sounds like WW3 outside here. Illegal fireworks are in abundance this year. Let’s all hope that these jackasses don’t start any fires.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on July 3, 2023 at 2:21 am

    I had a 9:00 o’clock dinner at a local restaurant with my grandson’s little family, then stepped out the door and a massive series of loud exploding fireworks commenced for the time it took me to get to my van. This was right over the street and neighboring houses. I bet the residents loved that, that goddam noise and fire cascading from the sky.
    Personally, my credit card was maxed out in Los Angeles for a new Chevrolet car…no call of suspicious activity to me. I found out after my card was declined at a gasoline station. Of course my maximum wouldn’t buy the whole car, but they took all I had available.
    All OK, says Fraud Management. I shall never bank with this cc company again, however.
    What a clueless punk the UAL CEO appears to be after he escaped the massive concentration of bedraggled would-be tourists at Newark and just called in a private jet to Teterboro to whisk him to Denver. That flight would cost you or me way too much.
    3.2 hours minimum air time at about $4,500 to $5,800 per hour. At least $17,000. For him, free, of course. Privilege. Let the peons squirm on little cots or the hard filthy airport floors on $12 voucher pay. No hotel rooms anywhere near.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on July 3, 2023 at 2:33 am

    NYT always says I have used all my clicks but I never even try anymore ever, so here’s a story if you too can’t access The Times and need more background to Titan’s demise:

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  7. Robert said on July 3, 2023 at 8:20 am

    The Sally Jenkins piece on Evert and Navratilova in WAPO was indeed very touching.

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  8. alex said on July 3, 2023 at 8:41 am

    Just spent the weekend in Chicago in a meetup with old friends. We booked a hotel room downtown not realizing that Grant Park would be walled off and turned into a NASCAR racetrack for the weekend. That shitshow got rained out by one of the most forceful and sustained storms I’ve ever seen. We sloshed our way home yesterday afternoon under relentless driving rain on flooded expressways.

    Feels great to be home. The racket of fireworks notwithstanding.

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  9. Jeff Gill said on July 3, 2023 at 8:47 am

    Gannett is so frustrating because I actually am currently a subscriber to THREE of their papers, but because of how they must have their IP address tracking & firewall set up, if I go to follow a link to the South Succotash Times and it’s a Gannett property, I’ll get “You have used up all three of your views . . .” when I’ve never looked at a paper in that state, let alone that outlet.

    NYTimes, I don’t know.

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  10. ROGirl said on July 3, 2023 at 9:31 am

    Both the WP and NYer articles are well worth the reads. Blazing Saddles was shocking and hilarious when it came out, and it still is. Too bad Richard Pryor didn’t play the sheriff; he was a writer on the movie, but was apparently too much of a risk for the studio.

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  11. basset said on July 3, 2023 at 9:54 am

    Busy through the holiday, but not with paying work… arranging and organizing my new backyard shed, finally will have some workbench space. Emptying out a bedroom in advance of new carpet Wednesday, and waiting for a friend’s new Bernese Mountain Dog pup to arrive from a breeder in the Fort. Pics of this little guy are just amazing, you oughta see the paws on him.

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  12. basset said on July 3, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Wouldn’t think there’s be any reason to mention Aunt Bea and Daytona in the same post, but here ya go:

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  13. Deborah said on July 3, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Hot and dry in northern NM during the days but still getting down into the 50s at night.

    LAMary, we too have the loud fireworks at night, which makes me nervous, why they let that happen around here is nuts. Some people were complaining on a local online forum about it and some other people got up in arms that all we gringos want to do is take away Hispanic traditions. I had no idea that fireworks were a hispanic tradition. Are they?

    Alex, I read that some areas in and around Chicago got 7″ of rain yesterday. I guess it washed out the smoke?

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  14. alex said on July 3, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Deborah, the air was pretty clear by Friday night already, at least compared to what it was. Traffic was a complete mess with NASCAR, though, and then the weather on top of it all turned it into Hell on Earth.

    Heading to Lake Ontario in a few days and hoping we’ll be dealing with neither rain nor smoke.

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  15. Joe Kobiela said on July 3, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Must have been a different race but the one I watched yesterday they were saying it was in Chicago and it sure looked like Chicago and Chicagos previous mayor signed a 3yr deal with nascar so if they don’t run the next two years I think Chi town owes nascar a boatload of money and it has been advertised heavily the last six months so I’m not sure how you wouldn’t have known it was happening. All in all a good race, first time driver from New Zealand won, last time a first time driver won was 60 yrs ago. Not sure if any of the F1 fans in here watched it but it was pretty cool seeing them Street racing.
    Pilot Joe

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  16. Jeff Borden said on July 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    As a fan of weird old movies, I’ve seen Tod Browning’s “Freaks” on the big screen and own a DVD of this interesting and disturbing film. Yesterday, the NYT had a fascinating story about how the movie–set in a traveling circus and starring people with real disabilities– is a positive touchstone for others with physical issues. They admire the camaraderie of the sideshow freaks–an injury to one is an injury to all– and how all of them just get on with living their lives as best they can. I never thought I’d see “Freaks” described as uplifting.

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  17. Cheez Whiz said on July 3, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    Making Blazing Saddles would get you crucified today is a common take, but “crucified” by who? A bunch of bra-burning tree huggers light in their loafers offended by the implied n-word, gay stereotyping, and group farting? That’s the boot heel on your neck? It would be wildly “contoversial” meaning professional opinion-havers would all rush to explain what it “really” is about. Movie studios eat that up, there’d be a franchise of “A Blazing Saddles story” prequels before the movie got to HBO. The only person who suffered from being labeled “politically incorrect” was Bill Maher, and only because that was the title of his show that got cancelled for his “ya gotta hand it to the terrorists” joke.

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  18. Heather said on July 3, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Nobody I know in Chicago wanted the NASCAR race, which has essentially shut down the entire lakefront–which is where the entire city spends the summer, basically. And over the 4th of July too. It would be hard to come up with a more boneheaded idea for this city. And the rain made it a total washout, literally.

    My favorite tweet about the event: “the nascar drivers averaging 74 mph right now…I think any Chicago driver in a nissan altima with the bumper hanging off could win this right now tbh.”

    That Neil Steinberg article–I grew up in HP and have fond memories of Ross Cosmetics, hanging out there with my friends in junior high to buy makeup. Good to know it’s still there and going strong.

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  19. Dave said on July 3, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Jeff Gill, I’m always hesitant to tell someone that this might work because I don’t want to come across the wrong way but you do know that when you bring up a Gannett e-newspaper site, on the right, there’s a place to click for Universal. Universal brings up all the newspapers in the U. S. by state and you can look at any of them. This eliminates being told that you’re out of clicks.

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  20. Icarus said on July 3, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    it might take a few weeks for the “smoke to clear”* but I bet the Taylor Swift concert did much more for the city than the NASCAR quagmire.

    * see what I did there

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  21. Jim said on July 3, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    A few weeks ago I watched, in order, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Animal House. Laughed like a maniac.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on July 3, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Chicagoans already leave town for the air show, now it sounds like they’ll have two weekends to vamoose. Sounds miserable.

    Orlando has an Out of the Closet thrift store too, with a pharmacy and testing lab attached which is free or low-cost. It has a very different vibe than any other thrift store I’ve been to.

    We went to the new Raiders of the Lost Ark movie this afternoon, which was fun, but I would have been okay waiting for home video. We started rewatching the originals; #1 is great and #2 is a real stinker.

    We’re having a party tomorrow starting at 11 and lasting until the fireworks on our little lake. Only when I called it a party I was told it’s not a party, it’s a hang. I’m not sure there’s a difference? It seems like a lot of hours. Our daughter’s idea of entertaining is to invite everyone she knows, buy some drinks and chips, and open the doors. Mom & Dad have other ideas, like more food and cleaning the house ahead of time. I guess we don’t know how to hang.

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  23. David C said on July 3, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    A hang sounds simpler to start but more exhausting to finish.

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  24. Joe Kobiela said on July 3, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    If everyone leaves town for the air show I wonder where all those people come from? Same with the race.
    Just got back from the latest Raiders movie it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Also just rewatched the first two, would rate them in this order. Raiders, then last crusade, 2, 4, and 5 are interchangeable.
    Pilot Joe

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  25. Dorothy said on July 3, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    We plan to see the new Wes Anderson movie tomorrow. And hopefully we can see the new Indiana Jones movie next week when we’re at the shore (Outer Banks). I can’t recall ever seeing movies 3 & 4 in the franchise of Indiana Jones and I hated how much Kate Capshaw screamed in #2. I could barely stand watching it just once.

    I loved the WaPo article about Evert and Navratilova. Really, really well done.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on July 3, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    It’s super racist, misogynistic, needlessly violent, and also irritating. The Capshaw character is a dumb shrew. This time the female character is every bit as strong as Indy and wears pants for the whole movie. We debated if she’s supposed to inherit the franchise and I suppose the jury is out. I read it hasn’t done as well as expected, and there were only two others in the theater with us. Now granted, it’s a Monday, but didn’t a lot of people have the day off?

    Afterwards we found a place called Paris Baguette, which is apparently a franchise and verrrrry good. We had yummy sammies and even yummier pastries.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on July 3, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    Saw Astroid city last week.
    Quirky, wife and I enjoyed it and will probably watch it again on demand when it comes out, I’m needing a couple of viewings to catch everything in it.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. Deborah said on July 3, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    Not looking forward to tonight and tomorrow night with the fireworks, the noise is less upsetting than worrying about fires. Our neighbors set off those rockets that I worry could land on our roof and smolder.

    Now that we’re spending ours summers in NM I’m so glad I’m not in Chicago for the air and water show, living on the lakeshore is not fun while that is going on. Our poor cats hated it, spent days under the bed. Locals leave and tourists come into town for it, they can have it.

    The south side of our condo building has a narrow patch that we have been trying for 11 years now to turn into a drought resistant garden. But after our neighbors to the south unfortunately cut down all of their trees because they didn’t like cleaning up around them we’ve been struggling to keep our plants from frying because their trees provided nice dappled shade. Now the sun to the south hits the south side of the two story stucco building and reflects back on the poor yard. It was 102° out there this afternoon, the regular temp was officially 85° around town. Right now it’s taking more water than it should, which is a shame and actually a crime in the high desert.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on July 4, 2023 at 1:04 am

    Wes Anderson films don’t connect with me at all. The only ones I liked a lot were “Rushmore” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.
    My friends went crazy over “The Royal Tenenbaums” but I just saw a disconnected mess. “Bottle Rocket”, again, my friends went nuts over it, praising it…to me it was just a bunch of dumb shit and dumb shit characters.
    I consider Anderson a lightweight director, but I apparently am in the minority.

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  30. beb said on July 4, 2023 at 3:07 am

    Remember “coolzedad” a Nan regular a long while back? I came across a post from him today (Mon) on a thread from His comments were brief, coherent and on the order that all Republicans are crooks. So, yeah, I’d say that was him.

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  31. beb said on July 4, 2023 at 4:52 am

    When people say Blazing Saddles could not be made today I think it true because the major studios have become very risk adverse. The would want to know what audience it would be playing for, would want to blunt all the pointed lines about race relations and generally water it down. The same would be true about The Producers but studios were more open to new ideas then, and afterwards I think Brooks have a blank check to make what he wanted. Richard Pryor, I guess had a drug problem which made him risky but also I think he would have performed as an edgier, angry Sheriff Bart. Cleavon Little brought in a more urbane performace which I think helped a lot.

    When I watch Airplane or any of the Police Squad stories I feel like they could not be made today. The writers went after everybody but to the studios it would be one compaint after another.

    Belle Isle finally got rid of the racing. It was a terrible idea from the start since it took like 4 weeks to set up and at least another two weeks to tear down, all in some of the best weekends to go to the (now) State Park. I guess the racing went to downtown Detroit. That had to be a mess. Everybody in Chicago has my sympathy for putting up with that race.

    Our daughter does not loud noises of any kind least of all fireworks. So she’s decided to spend the 4th with her boyfriend in Milwaukee. I don’t blame her, the last couple of years people in the neighborhood have been setting off either M-80s or quarter-sticks of dynamite. It feels like the house is jumping off it’s foundation.

    Speilberg should have stopped with Last Crusade. How can you top Harrison Ford AND Sean Connery. The acting was perfect, the ages of the two were perfect and how do you top the holy grail? Never saw the 4th, hich seems just as well, and wasn’t interested before I heard it involved time travel — WTF! Now I’m convinced not to see it.

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  32. LAMary said on July 4, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Kate Capshaw was Mrs. Steven Spielberg when she screamed through that movie. This might explain why.

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  33. LAMary said on July 4, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Kate Capshaw was Mrs. Steven Spielberg when she screamed through that movie.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on July 4, 2023 at 11:13 am

    They weren’t married until 91 movie came out in I think 84. They met on the set but weren’t married, Spielberg was married to Amy Irving at that time.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Julie Robinson said on July 4, 2023 at 11:31 am

    Okay, since beb has already brought it up…SPOILER ALERT…there is indeed time travel in the new Indy movie. As the plane nears a hole in the clouds, I felt compelled to whisper to my ever-patient spouse, “They’re getting ready to make the jump to hyperspace!”

    Just saw an obit for a doc in my OB-GYN group from back when I was having my babies. He was only ten years older than I am. Gulp.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on July 4, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Awaking to news of more mass shootings –in Philadelphia and Fort Worth this time but stay tuned since it’s still early– I will once again make my never to be granted wish for the Fourth of July: “I wish we were the country we could be, instead of the one we’ve settled for.”

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  37. LAMary said on July 4, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Joe, that doesn’t mean the screaming wasn’t related to her relationship with Spielberg. Maybe he found it irresistible. Maybe there was some off set screaming going on. Who knows.

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  38. basset said on July 4, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Never could get interested in Blazing Saddles, not even enough to watch it all the way through.

    And NASCAR was a lot more interesting back when they started with actual cars you could buy and modified them, which they quit doing quite a few years back… now they are all the same body and chassis as specified by NASCAR with different engines and stickers on the body to tell you what they allegedly are. Pretty much like Indy cars, they also run a spec car with a couple different engine choices.

    Meanwhile and unrelated, I’m curious about what happened to that young man in Houston who’d been missing for eight years and suddenly showed up, non-verbal and apparently suffering from physical abuse.

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  39. Joe Kobiela said on July 4, 2023 at 3:18 pm

    LA Mary,
    Very true.
    Currently waiting on passengers in Frankfort mich up by Travers city, should be a nice trip to Toronto. Nice breeze and learn skies

    Pilot Joe

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  40. tajalli said on July 4, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Joe, will you have or have you ever had a chance to see fireworks from above? I saw Hale-Bopp, as a passenger, on a red eye to the East Coast and it was spectacular. Plus the webs of electric lights for the cities.

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  41. Robert said on July 4, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Just saw “Asteroid City”. We loved it, but definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. So much going on in the movie, it needs repeated viewing (hello, cable!)

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