Although weekends are the time to sleep in, I don’t do it often, and rarely on Saturdays. That’s because I like to go to the Eastern Market on Saturday morning, and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to find a parking place — is there any self-imposed headache of modern life more onerous than the endless search for parking? — and, well, other factors come into play.
This past Saturday, I decided to do a boxing class at 8, come home to shower, and then take Alan with me to the market. That doesn’t happen often, because he does believe in the weekend as a time for late sleeping. We got there around 11. It was ridiculously crowded, but I lucked into a decent parking spot, and at my favorite fruit stand I stood behind a woman who was buying blueberries, raspberries and shelled peas. She had exacting standards about how she wanted all these items wrapped and packed, but I didn’t stink-eye her until she paid with a credit card.
Yes, yes, Square makes it easy to pay with a card at a place like this, if the seller has the doohickey and a good cellular connection. BUT STILL. THIS IS A FARMERS’ MARKET, LADY. Jeez, bring cash. As she was finishing her purchase, the seller said, “This is the last week for peas.”
“What? Why?” she demanded to know. The seller said, with some hesitation, “Because it’s a spring vegetable? And it’s summer now?” This seemed to arrive as a foreign concept to her, this idea that when things are done growing, you’re done buying. But who can blame her? Peas are growing somewhere in the world right now, and for a price, you can get fresh ones on your table. But really, lady, get a clue.
This never happens at 7 a.m.
It was a good weekend. We’re dog-sitting, for this girl:
She’s a miniature schnauzer who belongs to some friends. We’ve known her since puppyhood, and she’s “a bit of a Hapsburg,” as our friend says, which you can read as: Neurotic. Won’t climb stairs, and when she comes here, has a very difficult time moving from rug to floor to rug; the first time she visited, she stood on the front doormat for 15 minutes, refusing to budge.
We all thought she was being a princess, but after half an hour of this in our house this time, it came to me all at once: “You’re blind, Layla. Or close to it.” It explains everything — why she tracks close to walls, why she walks right next to the sidewalk, but not on the sidewalk, all of it. She’s gotten progressively more comfortable through the weekend, but I still think she’s got a serious visual impairment, and sure enough, the breed is susceptible to several.
She wants to run around the house, and if you stand behind her and nudge her with your shin, she’ll scamper from the rug across that shiny hardwood floor, but you can tell it bothers her, that it requires a certain leap of faith. It probably looks like something dangerous.
That’s so often the problem with purebreds, isn’t it? This is why so many Jack Russell people fought so hard against AKC recognition, which only came in the last 15 years. Pedigrees fuck everything up.
We had a brief respite from the heat Saturday, then more of it today. I took a long bike ride for the first time in a while, and it tapped me out. My legs felt sore and I was famished, but fortunately, I’d put a nice rub on a tri-tip earlier, a cut of beef I only learned of recently. I hear it’s very big in California, but until Saturday I’d never seen it in any meat market here. But my butcher had two, so I bought one. Used a NYT recipe, plus their suggestion for the rub. Oh my GAWD was it good. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself, but left some for tomorrow’s lunch. Gaze upon its deliciousness:
Admittedly, an Instagram filter. But that’s pretty close.
Scant bloggage, but something: The term “government schools” was something I heard in Indiana for some time before we left, so I was puzzled that this NYT story on the phrase’s deployment in Kansas treated it as something new, but there you are. Good god, these people:
Kansas has for years been the stage for a messy school funding fight that has shaken the Legislature and reached the State Supreme Court. Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and his political allies threatened to defy the court on education spending and slashed income taxes in their effort to make the state a model of conservatism.
Somewhere along the way, the term “government schools” entered the lexicon in place of references to the public school system.
“Our local grade school is now the government school,” State Senator Forrest Knox wrote in an op-ed article last year, echoing conservative concerns that the government had inserted itself unnecessarily into education.
The intent was obvious to her, Ms. Massman said. “They are trying to rebrand public education,” she said.
Not to bring you down or anything. Here’s something more uplifting, a story I’d never heard until reading this 20-years-later update — about the day a black teenager saved a white racist from an ass-kicking or worse. A truly uplifting tale.
The week awaits! Fueled with red meat, I’m ready for it.
Ugh, what a week. Busy and brutal in equal measure, with a dose of boredom thrown in. A killer combination. But in the middle, there was this:
That’s me! A bright spot in the week, watching the sun set and the moon rise, on a two-hour tour. A two-hour tooouuuur. We saw a whole bunch of geese on a seawall:
And of course I took a selfie. It was pretty dark by this point, so hence the baseball-size grain-that-isn’t-grain, but here you go:
The Detroit River is beautiful, day and night.
I hope by this weekend I feel more or less normal again. We’ll see. In the meantime, a question for the room. How long has Scott Adams been such a twit? Of course you should always be suspicious of an opinion based on the anecdote of a commercial for dishwasher detergent, but what the hell?
I came across Adams the way everyone did, via “Dilbert,” which was hilarious and got to the essential truth of corporate employment years ahead of “The Office.” But as so often happens, you need to separate the art from the artist, because in this case the artist is spending his non-Dilberting time writing these weird blog posts about Donald Trump and men’s rights. It’s like when you discovered Miles Davis was a wife-beater.
Jesus, am I tired. Best wrap this up.
Since I started taking better care of myself, people will occasionally offer some helpful advice. Try blue-green algae, say, or take a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar every day, or whatever. I smile, I nod, and I keep doing what works: Exercise. For sure:
Although we don’t think of it this way, you can make a pretty good argument that exercise is as good as drugs for many conditions. A 2013 meta-analysis of meta-analyses (that’s how much data we have) combined and analyzed the results from 16 reviews of randomized controlled trials of drug and exercise interventions in reducing mortality. Collectively, these included 305 trials with almost 340,000 participants.
Finally, we missed much of fish fly season here in Grosse Pointe. But as you can see from this photo taken night before last, it’s still going on.
One subject I find endlessly fascinating is how mental illness — specific mental illness in individuals — dovetails with contemporary culture. Once upon a time, paranoid people believed they were literally bedeviled, by incubi and succubi. This gave way to space aliens, which yielded to internet-connected “targeted individuals.” (That’s a fascinating story I just linked; you should read.) Our local electrical utility has been installing so-called smart meters over the last few years, and a number of people have appeared at city council meetings, asking that the city refuse them, because if they’re installed, the utility will know which lights you have turned on, access to your electronic devices, etc., and they have no right to this information. STOP THE SURVEILLANCE STATE, etc.
For as long as I’ve been reading newspapers, people have been killing in the name of God — bombing abortion clinics, drowning their own children, or shooting their friends and family. We understand that when these people say God or Jesus or an angel told them to do these things, they’re nuts, because we understand that the Christian God is about love and understanding.
So when a man whom circumstantial evidence would suggest was a closeted homosexual kills 49 people in a gay bar, common sense would suggest his own shame and impulses had something to do with his motive. But if he pledges allegiance to an Islamic terror group instead, we decide this is Islamic terrorism, that he was “self-radicalized” – even though he showed no other evidence of religious dedication, like time at the mosque or even living by Islamic practices – and that this is part of a global plot that must be answered with an unprecedented policy overhaul.
And that’s crazy, if you ask me.
Maybe what we need now is more Muslim immigration, so we’d read more stories like this, about a Muslim trauma surgeon in Orlando, treating the victims of the massacre. Or like this, about ordinary Muslims in Detroit, who worry about the shitstorm these events bring down on their communities. Coincidentally, they have almost the same lead:
Dearborn Heights — One fearful thought gripped Bissan Harb when she learned about Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, the worst in modern American history: “Please don’t let it be a Muslim.”
ORLANDO, Fla. — When Dr. Joseph Ibrahim heard that the attack at the Pulse nightclub may have been linked to terrorism, he caught himself fearing any kind of link to his own Muslim, Middle-Eastern roots.
Please, he thought, don’t let Ibrahim appear anywhere in the gunman’s name.
And with that, I think it’s safe to say we’re 100 percent repatriated after our break. I even spent my first Saturday night home at a Jimmy Buffett concert. Yes, I did. And now that I’ve done it, I never have to do it again. A friend had review tickets, good ones, because he always writes about the pregame scene outside, which I could sum up in a hashtag: #drunkwhitepeople.
That said, it was fun, although by the end I could fairly say I was sick of steel drums, the stupid talking coconut and especially the insistent pandering to the locals. By which I mean? The song – don’t ask me to name it, because I don’t know – about beautiful places. The accompanying video montage started with images of Buffettville, beaches and swaying palms and so on, but transitioned to the cool blue lakes and pine forests of Michigan, before ending with a giant map of Michigan, just in case the drunker members of the audience didn’t get it. “Just once,” I told my friend, “I want to see what happens when the crew loads the wrong video file, and the Texans get North Carolina, or vice versa.” There was also a Glenn Frey tribute – “Take it Easy,” totally defensible – that had some tacked-on images of Gordie Howe. Weak.
But it was an enjoyable evening. And for all the excess in the parking lot – we found one converted school bus with a rooftop deck and hot tub – I thought these folks had the right idea:
Just a man, his girlfriend, a cooler and a kiddie pool in the back of a pickup truck. Note their ages, too — both 21. And they were by no means the youngest people in the crowd. Give Buffett this: No one has figured out a way to brand-extend the American vacation experience like he has.
OK, have to hit the ground running tomorrow, so this will be it for the day. Many more pictures to come. Tanned, rested and ready for the week.
I forgot to tell you about the Movement festival. Not that I went. It was hot as Vulcan’s dick (to steal a witticism from Titus Pullo in “Rome”) all three days, expensive as hell, and nooooo thanks. I like techno/house music OK, but not well enough to pay a fortune and stand on the hot concrete of Hart Plaza with a bunch of Ecstasy enthusiasts. But I’ll say this: Those folks can party.
Seriously. The after- and pre-parties went basically around the clock. Kraftwerk showed up at the contemporary art museum and played a set at 4 a.m. one night. A friend reported one of his posse stayed in one bar until 11:30 a.m. Almost noon the day after the party started.
I just can’t conceive of this. I’m suspecting? Maybe some drugs were involved.
But me, I went to one. I guess it was a pre-party, but it started at 6 a.m., and most people there were absolutely not fresh out of bed, but rather, zombie-white, inked with tattoos of Detroit’s longitude and latitude or its Latin motto, having cocktails at daybreak and listening to the persistent, monotonous bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa house beat.
It was held here:
If you’re thinking that looks like a run-down hotel, why you’re right. And I don’t think any of the residents — and I believe they were mostly all residents, long-term residents, not conventional hotel guests — had any idea this was coming until they were awakened by bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa-bum-thumpa, looked out the window and saw 30 or 40 zombies dancing in their motor court.
“Look at this place,” my friend said, delighted with the scene. “I bet there are as-yet-undiscovered species of bedbugs in there. It would be like going up the Amazon and finding a new bird.”
Meanwhile, just picked this up on one of the Deadly Vipers’ Facebook pages, taken in the West Hollywood Airbnb we sprang for, to get them off of a succession of floors:
Looks like the girlies are having fun. Just a few more days, and Kate flies home. Can’t wait to see her.
No links today — workin’ too hard! — but you guys always find the best ones, anyway. Dance the day away, then.
So I stayed up late last night to finish one thing, and today got a reprieve – pushed back a week. Ah, well. Got my workout in late afternoon and just rolled with this particular non-punch. It’s almost a long weekend. Just enjoy it.
And it’s Movement weekend, i.e., the electronic-music festival that happens here every Memorial Day weekend. I told one of my nightowl friends I would attend the Movement afterparty of his choice. One option starts at 5 a.m., the other at 4:20 a.m. (ha ha). I intend to go to bed at 10, sleep a few hours, then rise at 3 to join the drugged-out masses at whatever sunrise show we end up at. I’m too old to stay up until 5 a.m. unless I have food poisoning or something.
I think stimulant drugs are coming back in a big way. Who the hell can stay up that late without them?
So I have to go to bed early tonight. Let’s keep this easy.
I’m not much for cat videos, but this is a great cat video.
We may have discussed the Jonathan Weisman case a while ago — can’t recall, too lazy to search. but it was egregious enough to prompt a piece coming this Sunday, and god, it’s so ugly. Key phrase, after explaining the blizzard of anti-Semitic shit that dropped on his head after daring to tweet an anti-Trump op-ed:
And still, we have heard nothing from Mr. Trump, no denunciation, no broad renouncing of racist, anti-Semitic support, no expressions of sympathy for its victims. The Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday released what can only be described as equivocation as an art form: “We abhor any abuse of journalists, commentators and writers, whether it be from Sanders, Clinton or Trump supporters. There is no room for any of this in any campaign.”
Sheldon Adelson, perhaps the most prolific Jewish donor to Republican causes, has not only endorsed Mr. Trump but is also encouraging Jews to rally round him.
Unbelievable. And Trump has a Jewish-convert daughter.
OK, sorry for the thin content this week, but I’m working hard and exhausted. And now we’re at the real beginning of summer. Huzzah. It’s been a long time coming.
We’ve been having a little problem with the water here in Michigan; maybe you’ve heard.
When the Flint story began to break big, I asked Alan to check our water service line, and he did, reporting back: Lead. OK, no need to panic. The whole country is full of lead or lead-welded infrastructure, and it’s not necessarily an E-ticket to brain damage. When the dangers of lead were first grasped, we didn’t instantly dig them all up, we started adding anti-corrosive agents to municipal water systems. Over time — this is among the 10,000 fun facts about water treatment that every state resident has learned in the last six months or so — this builds up a layer of protective coating on your pipes, so no more lead leaching into your water.
(In fact, one of the problems with Flint now is, the residents are so leery of running their water for any reason that even though the city is now buying treated, finished water from Detroit again, they aren’t running enough through their home pipes to allow them to heal, so to speak. But I digress.)
So, theoretically, because we’ve been drinking treated water from Detroit since we’ve lived here, we should be fine. I didn’t rush to have our water tested, figuring the labs would be inundated with samples from Flint, where they legitimately have reason for concern. I didn’t want to take up lab time because I feel nervous.
Then elevated lead levels were found in a few isolated spots in the local public schools, and I overheard one of the janitors talking to the lifeguard at the pool, saying, “Well, what did they expect? They took the samples at the end of Easter vacation. That water had been sitting in the pipes for days.” Personally? What I expect would be no or hardly any lead in my water. So that was worrisome. And as more emails are released from various government entities, a culture of gaming the testing samples is becoming evident; there’s a protocol that allows outlier readings to be thrown out, or averaged, or something, so that the reaction when a bad sample turns up isn’t oh no lead rush to fix it, but quick get a bunch more samples, so we can throw that one out.
Enough time has passed that the Flint samples must have eased off at the state lab; time for Nance’s peace of mind. It’ll cost $26, assuming I filled out the form properly – it seems very to-the-trade, and how do you like that tiny envelope?
I’ll keep you posted on the extent of our brain damage.
What a weekend. Spring is here, and we set off for the local Junior League’s Decorator Show House. It was our family doctor’s father’s house, who I gather was something of an eccentric (when he got tired of keeping up the landscaping, he brought in goats, and ignored all official attempts to evict them), and a pack rat. After his death, the family spent months just clearing the place out. Late one New Year’s Eve, we got a text message inviting us there for one final, impromptu throwdown, and we went. It’s a spectacular house, and even with its ’70s shag carpet and years of neglect, it was clear the good bones were still there. Paul, our doctor, showed us the secret room where the booze was hidden during Prohibition (you could see the bottle marks on the floor), and the basement dry dock — yes, it has a canal leading to a boathouse that can be pumped out and boats hoisted for storage and repair, a feature that I’m sure got its share of action during the ’20s, too.
Every lakefront house in Grosse Pointe has some sort of Prohibition story attached to it, many of them b.s., but this is one whose stories I believe.
Anyway, the decorating was uneven, as most show houses are, but there were a lot of nice touches. The best were the ones where they let those good bones show through. Some moneybags will own it now, and it will nevermore host goats, I imagine. How often do you visit a house with its own lock, and not the kind on the doors?
So, then, a bit of bloggage?
Have you looked at his face? The strain. The white circles around the eyes. He just doesn’t look like a well man. Yes, his keeling over dead sometime in the next six months would be a deus ex machina solution. But God looks kindly upon America. Or did.
Not to get overly personal and mean, which smacks of Trumpism. I don’t wish the man dead, just not living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The toughest challenge, facing him, is not to become like him. Because we lose that game, since he’s better at being him than we are.
“When fighting monsters,” as my favorite Nietszche quote goes, “take care not to become a monster.”
A daffy fashion piece by Robin Givhan, about Elizabeth Warren’s sleeves. Headline: Elizabeth Warren is sending you a subliminal message with her sleeves. For real.
The week ahead will be a bear, but I think I’m ready. I better be. You too?
We went out Saturday night, and in the manner of Olds, were inside with the latchstring pulled before 10:30 p.m. I could have probably gone later, but it would have required another food/alcohol game plan, and the couch is so, so inviting at that hour.
Anyway, being without cable but with broadband, I found the president’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner with little trouble, and had it playing on my phone as I drifted in and out of consciousness. When we were out earlier, one of my friends said, “I read that the Key & Peele guys write his jokes,” like that was a terrible thing. I responded that of course Obama has a joke writer, like virtually every comedian. Besides, the joke on the page is only half of the miracle; the rest is in the delivery, and that’s all his. And, as has been noted a million times before, Obama has spectacular timing and delivery skills.
You can read the whole speech transcript here, if you like. You’ve probably already read the best zingers:
Anyway, here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans. That’s right. That’s right.
…And yet somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high I was trying to decide on my major.
…Sitting at the same table I see Mike Bloomberg. Mike, a combative, controversial New York billionaire is leading the GOP primary and it is not you. That has to sting a little bit. Although it’s not an entirely fair comparison between you and the Donald. After all Mike was a big city mayor. He knows policy in depth. And he’s actually worth the amount of money that he says he is.
What an election season. For example, we’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders. Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or, to put in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.
You can find your own favorites. The last Facebook message I got was from a friend who heard Larry Wilmore’s speech, which ended with this bit, which actually played in a key of pride and nostalgia —
Thank you for being a good sport, Mr. President, but all jokes aside, let me just say how much it means for me to be here tonight. I’ve always joked that I voted for the president because he’s black. And people say, “Well, do you agree with his policies?” And I always said, “I agree with the policy that he’s black.” I said, “As long as he keeps being black, I’m good.” They’d say, “What about Iraq?” “Is he still black?”
But behind that joke is a humble appreciation for the historical implications for what your presidency means.
When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback. Now think about that. A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team — and now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world.
Words alone do me no justice. …Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—-. You did it.
Only he didn’t say n-dash-dash. He said, “my nigga,” and I guess parts of the mediasphere lost their shit. Feh. The world, she changes every day.
A good weekend in our neck of the woods. The theme was sweat: First in Saturday’s workout, then in Sunday’s schvitz, the last until September. In between our friends who recently honeymooned in Napa held Taco Night, and we marveled at their embryonic wine cellar and stories of spectacular dining experiences. Face it, Napa is just grownup yuppie Disneyland. All the pleasures — food, wine, million-thread-count sheets.
The schvitz was pretty great, too. The proprietor turned on the bubbles in the jacuzzi, which are some SERIOUS DAMN BUBBLES. I think my back actually got numb. Everyone in the spa was topless, and I was reminded of one of the funnier lines from “Sex and the City,” when Miranda, at the Playboy Mansion, rounds a corner in the grotto to find a similar sight. “Look,” she says. “Tit soup.”
Bloggage! I know you’re all Princed out, but I chuckled over this Roy take on a National Review Prince column, so what the hell, you should enjoy, too.
And Neil Steinberg disposed of Chris Christie nicely here. By “nicely,” I mean, “with a stiletto.”
…Christie showed up at the Republican debates, delivered his prepackaged zingers and hit his cues. And when it was over he was among the first former opponents to embrace Donald Trump.
As a reward, Trump lets him join the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album cover melange of models and GOP mercenaries who have drifted over to his banner and are allowed to stand behind him at speeches.
Christie, though, is noteworthy for that expression, that stunned, miserable stare that often comes over his face. I think of that woman trapped in the hive in “Aliens,” who croaks “Kill me.”
Finally, last week I mentioned not keeping up with internet culture so much anymore. One individual I did notice from my keeping-up days, though, was Jeff Jarvis, who was one of those post-9/11 guys, the purported Democratic peacenik who went whole-hog for the warblogs, and later became convinced blogs were oh-so-much-better than boring old ink-on-paper stuff, etc. (It’s more complicated than that, but I don’t have time.) Lately he’s reinvented himself as an eminently parody-able journalism futurist, and a parody Twitter account — @profjeffjarvis — has been parodying him for a while. The other day, Esquire’s website ran a piece by the spoofer, which made the original recipe very, very mad. Gawker took him down nicely.
Busy week ahead. I am not tanned, but I am rested and ready. Bring it on.
After a couple years of shooting Kate and the band, I’m sort of out of angles, but I never claimed to be a photographer. So it was nice to get this snap from one of Alan’s colleagues, whom we met at this show Saturday night. Guess what? She’s a photo editor, so she’s got the eye:
How was your weekend? I’ve reached Peak Prince, I think. Neil Steinberg argues that every celebrity doesn’t need to get the Full Diana (a phrase I wish I’d turned, alas), although I think he forgets what the Full Diana was. We’re here at, what? Four days after Prince assumed room temperature? He’s already been cremated and funeral’d, and inevitably the world will move on, by Wednesday at the latest. I seem to recall the Full Diana going for at least three weeks. The Full Reagan was about 10 days. The world needs content for all the content providers, so it’s to be expected.
But the fine weather continued, if a little chillier this weekend. Sunny, though, and by Sunday even fine for shirtsleeves. Did some grillin’, did some chillin’, spent a little time looking over the comments and marveling at you people. FYI, Danny, my friends visited Bistro Jeanty in Napa on your recommendation and said it was fantastic, and they’ll probably be back in the next couple of days. They even sent a photo:
Marrow, mmmm. Perfect food for carnivores.
And LAMary, I am now using “tired and emotional” as my new synonym for “drunk,” a la Princess Margaret.
So today I am a happy girl. Tomorrow I might not, but for now, let us wallow. A little bloggage for y’all? Sure.
An essay appropriately titled, “The End of Empathy,” right here:
My brother’s 32nd birthday is today. It’s an especially emotional day for his family because he’s not alive for it. He died of a heroin overdose last February.
This year is even harder than the last. I started weeping at midnight and eventually cried myself to sleep. Today’s symptoms include explosions of sporadic sobbing and an insurmountable feeling of emptiness. My mom posted a gut-wrenching comment on my brother’s Facebook page about the unfairness of it all. Her baby should be here, not gone. “Where is the God that is making us all so sad?” she asked.
In response, someone — a stranger/(I assume) another human being — commented with one word: “Junkie.”
Let’s give this whole thing some context: this one word was posted in response to a comment posted by my mother on the Facebook page of her only son on his would-be birthday had he not died at thirty years old of a heroin overdose less than two years ago.
Maybe you saw the photo that appeared over the weekend, of little Prince George being introduced to the Obamas when they visited the U.K. The pic is heart-meltingly sweet, with little George in his jammies and robe and Obama in the deep-squat, meet-kids-eye-to-eye pose he does so well. I made the mistake of reading the comments on one news site where I saw it, and I won’t be making that mistake again. Talk about a lack of empathy.
Generally I leave keeping up with the wingnuts on the right to Roy, but I follow a few myself. I couldn’t help but notice that Rod Dreher, whose middle name is very likely Hysteria, has been on a roll lately about transsexuals in bathrooms, just simmering with OMG and THIS IS CRAZY and so forth. I can understand his argument, not being utterly bereft of empathy myself, but on Friday he had a particularly screechy post sandwiched between two tributes to Prince, and I just got pissed, because it reminded me of one of the best things Lance Mannion ever wrote, about Kelsey Grammer and his Conservative Republican act:
Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher.
…Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.
And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?
People like Dreher, they want all their culture. They want plays and orchestras and great food and interesting novels and museums and all the rest of it, but they don’t want to acknowledge that many, even most, of the people who produce such things and run the institutions that encourage them, are mostly filthy liberals who don’t care if a transsexual woman might still be packing a penis into the ladies room. Confine them to their authentically real communities of Fritters, Ala., for a few months and they’d go stir crazy, but they’d never acknowledge that Prince, who may have been a Jehovah’s Witness but also danced in his undies and gave Tipper Gore fits, might be one of the Other.
OK, it is now time to top off the weekend with “Game of Thrones.” Later, folks. Let’s have ourselves a week, shall we?
Thank you for all your kind thoughts about our probable success in the SPJ-Detroit contest, but it wasn’t quite so grand. We have always entered the Online category, ‘cuz that’s what we are, and always done well, because there aren’t very many online-only publications in Michigan. Which is fine, but you want your wins to be significant. So this year we entered the largest print category, up against the big dailies.
And we won three awards. But the one that had my name on it (along with, y’know, three others, and the unseen name of our editor, who made it immeasurably better) was a first place.
That was the college-drinking project, fyi.
So it was a good night. I had three glasses of wine and regretted it yesterday, because I am old and can no longer handle liquor. (Next stop: The grave.) Either that, or I didn’t have enough to eat, a strong possibility as I try to go Clean again. It was still a fun night. One of Alan’s staffers won Young Journalist of the Year, so a good time was had on both sides of the Nall-Derringer Co-Prosperity Sphere.
May I just say? While you guys were carrying the load here over the last 48 hours, I was highly amused by Danny’s comment on the Tinder date, a very only-in-California story. And I was moved and heartened by MichaelG’s travel to Europe. Sail on, sailor.
Perhaps weighed down by trying to process a mere 12 ounces of wine, Wednesday was a snoozer. Fortunately, the bloggage is not. Somehow I got on the Wayne County prosecutor’s press-release mailing list, and every so often it delivers a gem:
An American Airlines co-pilot, John Francis Maguire, 50 (DOB 9/30/65), of Pennsylvania has been charged with the misdemeanor charge of :Aircraft – Operating Under the Influence. On March 26, 2016, at approximately 6:45 a.m. at Detroit Metropolitan Airport it is alleged that Maguire in the cockpit of an American Airlines plane and was under the influence of alcohol when he was detained and then arrested. He was later released by authorities on the same day.
Maguire will be arraigned and have a pre-trial hearing on May 11, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in 34th District Court.
Prosecutor Worthy said, “Although we do not often hear of pilots being allegedly intoxicated, the laws apply to everyone – whether one is on the roads or airways.”
There’s nothing worse than drunken white girls, especially when they run in packs:
It’s a Friday night in Provincetown, in late August, and the mise-en-scène of this delicate ecosystem, plopped atop a sandbar in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is being threatened by a new and unfamiliar scourge. They are called, simply, The Bachelorettes.
Provincetown is, of course, as gay as …a very gay thing.
Determined to find some bachelorettes who will let me spend the night bar-hopping around Provincetown with them, I go to MacMillan Pier on Saturday morning to await the first boat from Boston. Immediately, I encounter a sextuplet of blondes wearing team bride tank tops. Maid of honor Stacey will not shake my hand. I ask if I can hang with them tonight.
“I don’t think so,” Stacey says. “Girls only.”
I am completely befuddled. “In Provincetown?” I ask. She is standing only feet away from a gaggle of bearded men sipping Muscle Milk and talking about Beyoncé.
“Sorry,” Stacey says in a smug, dense way.
I’m told they do that here, too, but I haven’t been invited to a bachelorette party in decades.
Finally, while I know there are a great many charter-school foes in this readership (coff-Brian-coff), after a few years of reading and reporting on them, I think the whole movement was best summed up by a charter expert who told me, “I’ve been in charters so good they make me want to give up a tenured professorship and go teach in them. And there are some that are just terrible.”
Here’s one in Detroit that Bridge wrote about. Guess which kind it is?
Now I’m going to swallow a melatonin and try to make up for the sin of drinking on a Tuesday night.