'Does everything have to be upscale?':
I was thinking the same thing.
... 'One of the dirtiest little secrets ...':
Reader No. 1 reveals even more about supersized suburban kitchens:
"This is one of the dirtiest little secrets of the Upper Middle Class today, an even dirtier secret than investing in high-end kitchens: instead of hiring a servant to do the cooking for you, the money is spent on restaurant dining and health club memberships. It's a win-win for Clarke Showrooms
and Ming Tsai
and Gold's Gym
. What an economic value chain!"Hub Blog's response
-- Not hiring servants? I knew it! ... I hope readers appreciate the great risks Reader No. 1 is taking in spilling these secrets. ... Thank goodness his children are beyond the age of "interviewing" for exclusive day-care slots. Retaliation can be brutal and swift.
'The blithe disregard ...': Eliot Cohen
, military historian and Iraq war supporter, knocks around all the right people as his soldier son heads off to the conflict. ... Read the last two paragraphs. No one is spared.
'Predominance of the 'quad dog' labrador':
Reacting to the 'upper-crust Anglophiles' post below, Reader No. 1 has a fascinating canine research proposal for aspiring sociologists and/or NYT reporters:
"1. I agree with your diagnosis on the labrador's popularity (function of perceived class status). Remembering my college days and the predominance of the 'quad dog' labrador, I propose somebody should do an historical study on the canine population of top American universities and track it against the AKC numbers. The NY Times could surely get many stories out of it.
"2. This previously unknown to me blog
has some interesting observations on the Great Room - 'spaces in which people could be alone together.'
"3. As the owner of an aircraft-carrier sized kitchen island and a built-in stainless steel refrigerator, I can say that (a) the panelling option has been around for awhile and (b) why anyone would choose that look is somewhat baffling to me. Matching the refrigerator to all the rest of the cabinetry tends to eliminate visual contrast, and makes the kitchen look more monolithic. Plus it's easier to get confused trying to find a popsicle or a cold beer.
"My sneaking suspicion is that many of these kitchens are never used, which is why it's OK for them to make them look like Edwardian drawing rooms by panelling over all of the appliances. The NYT could surely get a story out of this too..."Hub Blog's response
-- Good points. It should be added Reader No. 1, whose wife is an accomplished cook and caterer, needs a big kitchen and kitchen island. But for 98 percent of the others, I suspect it's all show ... And don't get me going on an Under the Tuscan Sun rant.Update
-- Definitely check out Grant McCracken's blog
mentioned above by Reader No. 1. McCracken's anthropologic analysis of 'Great Rooms' is quite fascinating, though I think he brushed up against another truth when he noted Americans seem to be 'reinstalling the great hall of the medieval home.' Replace the word 'home' with 'castle' and recall the discussion about Labs, and I think you have another layer of class motives. The description 'Great Room' itself speaks obnoxious volumes. ... FYI: Glad Grant notes the term 'Great Room' seems to have come into vogue about 10 years ago. Just about the time when I first started hearing it. I thought it would go away. It hasn't. Time to start mocking.
I'll be paying close attention to future John Ellis book recommendations
-- for 'Disney Wars'
is indeed one of the best business books I've read in a long, long time. No need for a plot summary. Just author James Stewart's epilogue observation on Michael Eisner:
"A familiar tragic character in Shakespeare -- Lear, Henry IV, Macbeth, Richard II, Richard III -- is the monarch whose power is such that he bends the truth itself to suit his will. Perhaps that accounts in some part for what is clearly Eisner's most glaring defect, the one quality more than any other that has caused him to leave behind a trail of deeply embittered former colleagues: his dishonesty."
'Popular mainly among upper-crust Anglophiles': Brendan
thinks the popularity of Labrador retrievers
may have something to do with the supersizing of the American home. Probably and partially true. But I also think the popularity of Labs has something to do with why Labs were originally "popular mainly among upper-crust Anglophiles who liked the idea of owning a dignified hunting dog." ... Somehow, we're all preppies now. Or preppy wannabes. Or preppy hybrids. Don't ask me how or why. But it's just so. ... If the correlation between the size of McMansions and dogs was absolute, we'd see Mastiffs, St. Bernards and Great Danes higher on the pooch list. But I suspect they're not gentlemanly farmer enough, so ...
... And don't get me going on supersized kitchen islands
(now available in multiple multi-level aircraft-carrier styles) and in-built stainless steel refrigerators
('An Impressive Design Statement, Without Standing out') and Great Rooms.
... Where the hell did "Great Rooms" come from? ... FYI: My spies in suburbia tell me that stainless steel refrigerators are most definitely out these days. In-built wood/fake-wood paneled refrigerators are in. ...
'We interrupt this former blog to ...':
Mark Jurkowitz has launched Media Log 2
over at the Phoenix, replacing Dan Kennedy's Media Log 1.
... Or is it 'Media Blog' as Mark refers to it in his debut post? Anyway, welcome to the blogosphere, Mark. ...Update
-- Hub Blog has decided not to go to Blogger Decon 4 like I did in the terrible spring of 2003
, when Hub Blog and the Phoenix
over blog turf and terminology.'Fuck Yeah!':
Sorry for the vulgar language. But this is one funny site.
... 'I already said Beefeaters, Ken. Keep up, man.' ... Via Andrew.
The perils of faking a moderate stance, Part II:
Reader No. 1 sends in this link
with the following comment: "I'm not familiar with James Lewis, but he addresses a big topic worth considerable reflection on an already big day."
... OK. It's a very chilling look at Iran and the Muslim bomb. But I'd add the following: Those who think they're thinking clearly on a day like today might try not
reaching back to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for blame while at the same time ignoring the twelve years of Ronald Reagan and George Bush I in between, all followed afterward by five years of George Bush II -- while criticizing the contemporary
European action on Iran. ... Not exactly "clear" thinking. ... Why does it always come back to Bill Clinton? Never mind. Already know.
The London bombings: Adam
has put up a site tracking Bostonians' reactions to the London bombings. ...Update
- 2:35 p.m.
-- Cool. They just put up big British and American flags, hanging side by side, in the newsroom of the Herald.The perils of faking a moderate stance: Geoff Arnold
quotes from someone who has done a lot of thinking about people not thinking: "Staking out a coherent, principled position is a lot of hard work. So is trying to understand and respond to the principles and arguments of your opponents. So why bother with all that?"
'Daddy, make the bad men go away!':
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill is also mystified by George Will's neglect
in giving our brave Minutemen their due credit:
"I'm outraged that George Will refers to the Battle of Brooklyn as 'the first great battle of the war' - outraged! Bunker Hill was key to the entire war in that the bloody slaughter inflicted on the British troops forever altered the fighting spirit of General Howe. He essentially, from that battle on, never really believed Americans could be defeated -- only co-opted by some kind of defeat. After Bunker Hill, he basically returned to England crying 'Daddy, make the bad men go away!'P.S.
-- If I recall, Will also wasn't sufficiently ecstatic about the Sox win last year. ...
'All other reforms will have limited impact':
If the solution to Africa's problems was a simple matter of foreign aid, Africa's problems would have been solved years and tens of billions of dollars ago. Fighting corruption in Africa
is far more important than boosting direct foreign aid. ... Alas, the battle against African corruption is an abstract, dirty, thankless task that doesn't appeal much to the feel-good sentiments expressed at rock concerts. ... Quick story: Hub Blog once chatted over lunch with an ex-government minister in Cameroon. He bemoaned the end of the Cold War. "Why?" I asked. The minister, who lived quite comfortably in semi-retirement, made it clear that the governing class loved the good old days of funding competition between the U.S. and Soviet Union. ...P.S.
-- Try out Alec Russell's 'Big Men, Little People'
and/or Robert Klitgaard's 'Tropical Gangsters'
if you're interested in learning more about the real Africa, not the fairy-tale Africa. Things have improved since both books were published. But not by much. ... Pay special attention to the comments by the ex-Peace Corps member on Amazon's 'Tropical Gangsters' page.Update
-- Reader No. 1 sends in links to two columns about Africa, one by Harvard's Niall Ferguson
and the other by James Glassman.
Ferguson asks a good question: "Will Live 8 put pressure on Robert Mugabe to step down?" ... I actually like some of Geldof's ideas. Not the doubling of aid. Gong! Done that. But I like the cancelling of debt (with debt being the legacy of past failed policies) and establishing more free-trade deals (with free trade pushing African countries toward Western/Asian economic models). ... BTW: I'm an optimist about Africa's future -- as long as it's not subjected to the same old '60s government aid policies.
'I've seen enough of Mitt ...': Godfrey Sperling
has seen Mitt at two Washington functions and concluded he'd be a formbidable presidential candidate. Whatever Mitt's doing out of state, it seems to be working. ... Hub Blog can dimly remember a gadfly critic of Jimmy Carter traveling the country and warning voters in 1976 that the one-term governor was overrated. Carter went on to win. The gadfly went on to be vindicated. ... 'Became one of Boston's elite':
One of these days I really ought to try reading one of William Dean Howells
40 or so novels. But I'd do so only out of a sense of duty.
'Anyone travelling through the area ...':
Boo hoo. This is the second year in a row I won't be attending the Great Sudbury Fourth of July Parade.
... Stay back. Don't go close. The crowds will be overwhelming, the Sudbury Police warn. ...
'Clobbering Republicans': Mickey
brings up a political subject that I've dwelt on before: Why don't Democrats let Republicans appoint their anti-Roe types to the Surpeme Court and watch the ensuing political realignment unfold? ...Update
-- From Reader No. 1:
"You and Mickey raise a good point about why Liberal Democrats don't just let the Republicans nominate themselves off the cliff. Three suggestions:
"1- The national Liberal Democratic leadership is not, and has never been, especially democratic. Its political consciousness was formed in significant part during the 1960s by protest marches and sit-ins. The party has been dominated for decades by lawyers. ...
"2- A somewhat psychological analysis: the party has lost so many national political elections during its leaders' lifetimes that national liberal Democrats associate popular elections with political losses. If national Democratic leaders really thought they could get abortion legalized through state elections - and lead to a national 'realignment' - they'd call for those elections. But they don't really believe deep down they will
win those elections.
"3- Through the years, sexual freedoms are a core issue around which the otherwise fractious national Dems find some common cause. Look at the phenomenal solidarity behind President Clinton during his impeachment travails, not least from womens' rights groups.
Note that the explosion of sexual freedom also coincided with the formation of this generation's political awareness.
"Roe v. Wade permits national Dems to maintain their commitment to sexual freedoms without much unpleasant and diversionary debate that might lead to a realignment, but also further weaken the party."Hub Blog's reaction
-- He kind of lost me in in the sexual freedoms part. ... Still think Roe's overturning would A.) send voters to Dems B.) push some Repubs toward pro-abortion and C.) thus alienating anti-abortion types who now have such a huge say in the GOP ... At the very least it'd be fun to see who's right.Update II
-- In case I was thinking too much of the bluecheese burgers I'm going to eat this evening, Reader No. 1 spells out in more detail his sexual freedoms thoughts:
"Which part of the sexual freedoms discussion lost you? I am still waiting for a modern history of the Democratic party that directly addresses how the preoccupation with sexual issues has dominated the party over the past 40 years. Oddly, it remains a great unmentionable.
"Because the majority of Americans are, as William F Buckley put it on FIRING LINE 20+ years ago 'philosophically conservative and operationally liberal,' it's a huge advantage to the Republicans to have the present state of affairs on Roe v. Wade. So I agree with you that it would be fun to find out. But I am not holding my breath that the Dems will be so Machiavellian as to call the Repubs' bluff on this one so that we may find out -- for all the reasons cited in my earlier Email, but most particularly because deep down, the national Democratic leadership does not trust American voters. Until they do, they won't win national elections."Hub Blog's response
-- Now I get it and I guess we're in agreement. Republicans do have an advantage as long as Roe festers. FYI: Dems might not have to call Republicans' bluff. Bush might do it for them. ...
'Shades of power,' my take: John
has a good take on Boston magazine trying to shift the blame to the rest of us for its own Most Powerful People in Boston
foibles. ... Any power list that has only one black on it is pretty bad. Any power list that doesn't include anyone
from MIT is an absolute joke. ... FYI: Laura Raposa or Gayle Fee would be on my list no matter what. There's plenty of other room to squeeze in old Chuck. He could replace, oh, Tufts' Nancy Leaming
, that incredible power broker who, ah, like, got hipchecked off the stage right after the list came out. ...P.S.
-- The dearth of blacks and high-tech people in general on the list could have been easily rectified by the two-fer inclusion of James I. Cash Jr.
Haven't heard of him? Oh, he's just a director of some obscure companies called "Microsoft" and "General Electric," while serving as trustee for local institutions like "Massachusetts General Hospital," and "Newton-Wellesley Hospital," and "Babson College" and "Partners Healthcare," and some place called the "Boston Museum of Science." ...
'Begins to grind against his lap':
Hey, the Palace is now hosting a weekly 'teen dance.'
... Can't you just picture some clueless parent saying, 'Ah, how cute - a teen dance' while her 15-year-old son chomps on a stogie as 14-year-old Miffy gives him a slinky lap dance. ...
'He was aghast': George Will
also gets a kick
out of George Washington's reaction to our brave Minutemen besieging Boston 229 years ago. ... Our 'New Boston' motto: 'We're still obnoxious!'P.S.
-- What's up with Will describing the Battle of Brooklyn as 'the first great battle of the war'? Was Bunker Hill some sort of skirmish? Damn New Yorkers are trying to steal our thunder again. Well, we have Trumbull
and they have Crayola Crayon.
I rest my case. ...
Just finished 'Generation Kill'
and liked it even more than 'In the Company of Soldiers.'
It's the second book I've now read on the Iraq war -- and the second book in which you can only shake your head at the complete lack of planning for the post-war occupation. Like 'Band of Brothers,'
some of the most heartbreaking scenes occur during the occupation phase. ... Armchair General Savin Hill recently gave a big thumbs-up review for 'Generation Kill.'
Couldn't agree more:
"In addition to reportage of the tragic and horrible, it's also unintentionally mind-bendingly funny. Imagine being stuck in the back seat of your family's worst road trip. Mom and Dad fight the whole trip, your brothers won't stop harassing you, there's never a good place to go to the bathroom -- and everyone in every town you drive through is shooting at you with AKs and RPGs."
‘They really are taking over the city’:
The chain blog
has only recently discovered that Starbucks is a chain. … Next big trend discovery: Krispy Kreme
is a chain too. ...
'I established, I think, a small legacy':
Pedro did more than establish a 'small legacy'
while in Boston. He helped win us a championship and gave us seven intense years of pure pitching delight. ... I'd submit this article captures just about everything -- mostly good but some bad -- that one needs to know about Pedro. I miss the guy. So do the Sox. But only time and his shoulder will tell if it was the best long-term move to let him go. If he's pitching in 2007 like he is today, the verdict will be irrefutable. ...
'Once again struck gold'?:
A lot of big smiles in Waltham last night after the Celts drafted Gerald Green
on the 18th pick, followed by another high-fives pick of Providence's Ryan Gomes in the second round. Seeing I don't know the players, I can't judge the quality of the selections. But Danny Ainge, who I used to bash with utmost glee, is happy. So I'm happy. But I still think this team needs a big guy. I know that sounds like a typical remark of an armchair GM. Still the Celts don't bang the boards like they should. ... Reader No. 1 recently observed that the Celts need a dirty, elbow-throwing veteran brute like Paul Silas. Maybe that's Danny's next move. ... More reactions over at Bruce's site.
P.S. -- Whether or not Green and Gomes turn out OK, isn't it nice to follow a team in which draft night is fun, compared with 'huh?' reactions in years past?
P.S. P.S. -- By my count, five of 30 players
drafted in the first round were non-Americans. The NBA is truly international -- and getting more so. Two from France?
For 5 measly bucks? Part II: Jeff
defends charging only 5 bucks. ... He adds his writing for a job is like other professionals tryng to make a buck. Er, Jeff, you probably don't want to go too far down the jobs-comparison path.
'So what should the president say tonight?': John Kerry
makes some good points about what the president should say tonight about Iraq. But coming from Kerry, you have to wonder where the clarity was last fall and where it will be tomorrow. ...
Still peeved about the WMD argument, Carpundit
says of the president and Iraq: "I don't trust anything he says on the subject today. Do you?" ... Though I'm also one who fell for the WMD argument hook, line and sinker, I'll give the guy a chance. The stakes are too high in Iraq to fail. But if he brings up the bogus fly-trap/flypaper argument, I'll know he's pandering and he's lost me. ...
An outbreak of hate was confronted yesterday by an outpouring of love, grief and gratitude -- and the decent guys won. Stories here
... RIP, Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Piper.Update
-- Here's a good LA Times story
on events yesterday in Marblehead.
'The mayor's office, pressed and courted by developers':
Guess which city
they're talking about. ... No cheating. Now click.
... Some things never change.
'Thank God for IEDs': They are truly demented.
I only hope they don't show up. ...
The Unholy Alliance, Part II:
Quick, yes or no: If Fan Pier was owned by some working-class dope with a God-awful postwar vinyl-sided pillbox house on the waterfront, do you think his home would have been condemned by now? Quick answer: Yes or no. ... Not that Council President Flaherty
is right to ask for eminent domain against the billionaire Pritzker family, openly and pathetically citing the Supreme Court decision. But I think you get the picture of how eminent domain really works. ...FYI
has more on the issue (sub. req.). ...
For 5 measly bucks?:
An interesting and slightly depressing story about bloggers
who accept a little cash and freebie tickets etc. from corporations in exchange for mentioning products in blog posts. Local examples of bloggers who have failed to mention and/or "usually" mention an ad connection include Jeff Cutler
and Linnea Dates.
... Jeff is quoted in the Globe story as saying in his defense: "People should be trained to take what they read with a grain of salt." Gee, thanks, Jeff. How about bloggers being trained to be upfront with said readers? Huh, Jeff? ...
... Not to get on a high horse on this one. There isn't a journalist reading this right now who hasn't had, at one point, to write a puff piece about an advertiser or pull a punch about an advertiser -- or else they've heard of a colleague having to perform such a deed. It doesn't happen often. In fact instances of media outlets knowingly sticking their fingers in the eyes of advertisers far, far outnumber the puffy pulled punches, as helpless pull-their-hair-out ad directors know only too well. But it happens now and then. (Fortunately, it's never happened to me at the Herald. But in past jobs, well, ...) So think of that before criticizing bloggers too much. Still, the "they-did-it-too" argument sucks. Suggestion for bloggers: Don't go down the product-mention road. If you do, be upfront. And, for heaven's sake, try to get more than 5 measly bucks for risking your credibility.Update
have good posts on the issue. ... Re John's comments: Eight figures for a blog? I wouldn't hesitate. I've always loved
eminent domain. ... Get off that property, you obstructionist New London scumballs!Update II
says she did have a disclaimer pointing out she was paid (via UH
). I still don't like product mentions in posts. It's not exactly from-the-gut writing. But she did have a disclaimer. I also certainly don't begrudge her making a buck. ... Update to Update: I should have said 'disclosure' and not 'disclaimer.' Sooz links to the icon
that she said she had up. OK. But why not mention within the post itself that she got paid to pitch something? The answer is self-evident. Not to harp on the issue. It's her blog -- and her credibility.
'Until someone gets greased': Margery Eagan
(sub. req.) has more on the Unholy Alliance, while Jeff
talks to a New London family at the center of the controversial Supreme Court decision on eminent domain. ...
The Unholy Alliance:
Perhaps emboldened by the Supreme Court's day-old ruling on eminent domain, Mayor Menino is rattling his sword
at the owners of Fan Pier. ... Hey, I'm not happy about Fan Pier. The Priztkers are overestimated owners, in my opinion, in the same bush-league as Frank McCourt. Both have talked a lot -- and done nothing with their properties. But read Menino's remarks and think about the last word in the sentence: "It is about the city -- jobs, housing, and revenue." Revenue? Does he mean taxes? The problem with eminent domain for economic development -- and there are cases when it's justified -- is that it's morphed into a new way for governments to raise revenue. Have a couple non-blighted homes on a waterfront? Hey, plop a hotel and office complex there and call it 'economic development' -- and let both fat-cat developers and revenue-hungry governments collect the profit. ... Has there ever been a case of a government going to little guys and saying, 'We want to make you rich. We'll rezone your property -- and let you keep the profits.' But nope. The relationship between developers and pols is turning into an Unholy Alliance of out-of-control capitalists and socialists. This issue ain't going away. ... Here's a George Will column
on the subject and a particularly outrageous use of eminent domain
for a Stop and Shop parking lot.
'It's been a pleasure writing for you'
: Dan Kennedy
signs off over at Media Log. ... My sentiments are expressed perfectly by an anonymous commentator over at Dan's site: "Thanks for the great run, Dan. But seriously, how are you going to stay away? You want to blog... you NEED to blog..."
I'm fairly confident we'll be happily hearing more from Dan right here
. Of course Dan could quickly alienate readers during his summer off by posting weekday items like: 'Today I brought my DVD back to the rental store. I returned home and napped.' ... 'Today I went to the beach. I returned home and napped.'
The ‘Let's Give Terrorists Operational Experience’ doctrine:
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill also isn’t impressed with the flytrap/flypaper theory. Oops. ‘Doctrine.’ From the General:
"The ‘Flytrap’ theory might as well be called the ‘Let's Give Terrorists Operational Experience’ argument. I guess those people didn’t see this week's WSJ article about how in Europe they are now seeing more Iraq Jihadists returning to Europe? From the Wall Street Journal: ‘Last week Spanish police broke up a network that allegedly sent radical Isalmic volunteers to fight in Iraq and brought veterans of that war back to Europe to create new terror cells.’-WSJ, 6/20”FYI
-- I read the same article, but can’t find an accessible link on the subscriber WSJ.FYI II
–- I don’t know why Hub Blog’s font lettering just GOT REALLY BIG. Totally by accident. Trust me to foul up anything – not that I mind the big lettering. Kind of like it. Maybe it'll just go away.
'I still hate the crank':
Hilareous comments over at Beth's site
about the Holley-Shaughnessy mini-brouhaha. ... Via Universal Hub.
'Abysmal national TV ratings':
The poor NBA TV ratings
aren't just about the quality of play. This is baseball season. The NBA should have finished up at least a month ago. March Madness was three months ago. ...
Stabilization vs. Fly-trap, Part II:
Now here's a good Austin Bay column
) that concentrates on what's been accomplished in Iraq (i.e. stabilization). Notice no mention of the Fly-trap nonsense
, a desperate rationale periodically pulled out of the argumentative drawer when things aren't going well in Iraq. ...Update - 9:40 p.m. --
Oh no. The 'flypaper' strategy is getting a new airing
(via, sadly, Instapundit
) and is now called a 'doctrine.' You see, Iraq was always envisioned as a 'playground' in which we'd shoot 'em up while at the same time trying to build a stable democracy. Yeah, that was the plan. Oops. 'Doctrine.' ...
No other way to describe their thoughts, words and deeds.
'Nothing like a doormat (or two)':
Hey, Hub Blog likes doormats.
It was a fun Father's Day game to attend. ... Clement rocked.
... To bring up the heresy issue again (Wrigley vs. Fenway), I must say Fenway is looking snappy these days. Yesterday was my first game there since 2003. The outdoor cafes, the Yawkey Way bustle, the new park seats, all improvements on recent improvements. I still give the nod to Wrigley, but the Sox are doing a fine job with the park and area. It keeps getting better each year.
'Sweating with the enemy':
Never mind how the headline establishes how the story is framed
at the start, i.e. the "enemy." How about the ending? Turns out the Titanic, earth-shattering, WWII-like, life-or-death "dilemma" over whether the heroic upper-middle class protagonist should be working out at Curves really doesn't matter that much to her. ... It was the long
cover story of the Globe Magazine today. ...
So I don't get accused of a being too anti-Globe (and I am a Heraldite), how about running a far more worthy magazine cover story about a mother who is asked -- out of the blue -- by her her 16-year-old son whether he should join the Army?
Now there's a "dilemma." Joan's moving piece was about 700 words. The "Sweating with the enemy" piece was God-knows-how-long beyond worth mentioning. ... Curves vs. War. Which do you think is more important?
'Well, that was then':
More on Gov. Somersaults.
-- Radio Blogger
has more from our 'very effective governor of the Bay State' who was away from his duties again yesterday, in California, attending a Flag Day dinner, calling into the Hugh Hewitt Show, commenting on Dick Durbin's outrageous comparison of U.S. treatment of prisoners to Nazis. Mitt thinks the comments are an 'outrage.' Thank you. Very effective. For a presidential candidate. In Orange County. Who's effectively given up governing in his home state.'One-stop shopping for ...': Dan
have already pointed out Joel Brown's new Hub Arts
blog. I'd just add that it's one of the more impressive blogger debuts I've seen in a while. Chris has some good suggestions for Joel and points to an arts site (with other links) I hadn't noticed before, Modern Kicks.
Silly me. ...
'It all began about 11:30 a.m. ...':
Bostonians generally love old-fashioned armored-car-heist stories.
... Malden? Wait. 'Charlestown natives'
are mentioned. Now that makes more sense. So approaches to Malden are where future roadblocks will be automatically thrown up as well. Mark that down. Important detail. ... A blogger was reporting on the robbery attempt approximately 1 hour, 3 minutes
after the deed. Impressive.
'Speed, Style, and Beauty':
Critics of the MFA's Ralph Lauren classic car exhibit
are nuts. Hub Blog attended the exhibit last night and had a blast. My favorite: the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe. It was so strangely ugly, it was beautiful. ... But where was the Chevy Cobalt? (That's a personal joke between Carpundit and moi. Let's see if he takes the bait.) ...
... In the MFA gift shop, they were playing the mesmerizing 9-minute 'C'était un Rendezvous'
DVD over and over again. Everyone watching had a dumbfounded smile on their face. I hadn't seen or heard of the cult film before. Now I know why it's a cult film. 'We now know the truth':
OK, the Downing Street Memo is now entering the Hub Blog Fascination With Arugments Zone. ... So antiwar activists say they've uncovered the 'truth'
about the administration's intent to go to war in Iraq via the memo. How about the known fact that administration members were talking about war with Iraq hours after 9/11? How about the known fact that war plans were being drawn up in late 2001? How about the President's very public 'Axis of Evil' speech before Congress in early 2002? How about the heavy pounding of the war drums throughout 2002 -- a pounding that was so loud and ham-handed that the German election of August 2002 turned on the issue of war in Iraq? The list goes on and on. The memo is old news, lefties. Old news. ...
Bottom line: The administration was intent on war and everyone knew it at the time -- even though the administration now oddly defends itself by citing Colin Powell's now discredited WMD report to the UN in early 2003. What's up with that? Other bottom line: both sides are trying to win arguments that have absolutely nothing to do with the 'truth.'
... Speaking of the German election, here's Der Spiegel's recent recap
of Herr Schroeder's 'political masterstroke' of using the impending war and anti-Americanism in the August 2002 German elections. What did Schroeder and the German voters know nearly three years ago that antiwar activists are only now grasping? ... Hub Blog has long contended that the 2002 German election is Exhibit A in the case against the Bush administration's bungled pre-war diplomatic efforts. Without Herr Schroeder in office, there was no way France's Chirac would have led the pre-war antiwar charge alone. Without French and German pressure, Turkey probably would have allowed U.S. troops to invade from the north. With troops invading from the north, we probably would have had enough troops to crush any upstart insurgency. The U.S. is now paying the price for the administration's prewar contempt for allies and world opinion. ...Update
-- Great story by the Monitor's Dan Murphy
, future film star, on his role in a film about the Iraq war.
'Modern Marvels: The Cape Cod Canal':
The History Channel
ran a good 'Modern Marvels'
show last night on the building of the Cape Cod Canal. I had no idea how daunting and controversial the project was at the time. Author Robert Farson
was quoted in the documentary. ... Here's another book
on the Canal. ... FYI: The show repeats on June 25 at 4 p.m. Use the History Channel's search engine and type 'canal' to find more on the episode. I couldn't find a permanent link.'Statue panned every witch way':
The Salem 'Bewitched' statue
is actually worse than feared. It's nothing more than a silly corporate commercial. ... But read till the end of the article and see what a certain historian considers 'serious' treatment of witch history in Salem. The invasion of Panama? When push comes to shove, the ideological high-brow can always be counted on to out-silly the silly. ...Update
-- Speaking of high-brow silliness.
... Is it low-brow to wish the cable had snapped?'Unpoliced conversation':
The Archbishop of Canterbury
is worried about 'unpoliced conversation' over the web. Compared to 'policed conversation,' Reverend? But, curiously, Williams' main thoughts on the new medium are contained only in the lede. The rest of the article is about the sins of the traditional media. ... 'The left gets a memo': Michael Kinsley
, in an op-ed reprinted in the CSM
, says he's not buying into the fuss over the Downing Street Memo. But he's impressed with the left's 'promotional infrastructure' that's pushing the issue. ... To repeat a previous point on the memo: old news.
'Bobbie's first blog entry':
Milton's Bobbie Regan writes her first blog entry
(via her dad) about her trip to Senegal. ... Bar none, Senegal is my favorite African country and Dakar my favorite African city. I often tell people the fastest and easiest way to visit Africa, on your own, is to fly direct to Morocco via New York. Visit Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabat or Fez (the trains are excellent -- and Marrakesh should be a mandatory stop) and then take Royal Moroccan Airlines to Dakar. From there you can take a ferry to Gambia (the sliver of a country in the middle of Senegal -- see map with blog entry) of Roots
fame. Morocco, Senegal and Gambia are all tourist friendly. They don't have the big game parks. But those are sort of fake anyway. The real treat is just being in Africa. ... Have the time of your life, Bobbie!
Stabilization vs. Fly-trap: Tom Friedman
is on target again today about Iraq: "It is very hard for moderate, unifying, national leaders to emerge in a cauldron of violence." ...
Compare that with Austin Bay's
recently dusted off 'Fly-trap' rationale of the continuing violence (not to be confused with the temporarily set-aside democratic stabilization argument): "The global war (Osama) so desired is being waged on his home turf, not in Manhattan, not in Los Angeles. Change has been brought to his world." ... Perhaps realizing the inherent contradiction between stabilization and Fly-trap, Austin adds at the very end: "QUICK UPDATE: You can have both liberation and 'fatal attraction' – and in fact we do. The Middle East is the real battlefield– and that’s where the fatal attractor is located. Liberation (liberty, freedom, democracy) is the long haul answer, for liberty breaks the cycle of tyranny and terror. In fact, a democratic Iraqi government is part of the 'fatal attraction.'" ...
... The connection between 9/11 and Saddam... No, wait, WMD ... Scratch that, it's about democracy. ... Er, it's about Fly-traps. ... Back to democray. ... No, it's Fly-traps. ...
The only decent rationale I've heard lately about Iraq came from Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, who said we probably had to throw a wrench into the Middle East not knowing what the hell to expect.
'I don't want to go home': Sox fans' invasion of Chicago
, as seen through the eyes of the media there. ... Hope they play 'My Kind of Town' when the Cubs play at Fenway. ... Theo vainly tries to catch up with Nomar.
'Hurry though, they're almost all out of 20th century':
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, on a secret scouting mission for the invasion of Canada, lets spill another secret while on a R&R break:
"Summer in Bar Harbor, and again, my secret is safe -- no one goes to Maine in early June and apparently word has not gotten out. An incredibly wet May has made the early June bloom look much like high summer - full, lush rhododendron flowers, lupins blooming like mad, etc. Some impressionist snapshots:
" * Built in 1928, the Criterion Theater movie house has literally not changed since it was built. In gloriously faded, impossibly musty and genuine Art Deco surroundings I shovel popcorn, slurp Coke and watch the Republic fall to Darth Vader. The late show is crowded by early June standards - nearly 20 people in the cavernous interior. Someone chooses to sit in my row, five seats away. I resist the urge to pelt him with unpopped kernels.
" * While sitting by myself in the theater on another night I make a mental note never to watch The Shining alone in that theater.
" * I teach a bartender how to properly make a Dark and Stormy: tall glass, ice, two-thirds ginger beer; invert a spoon, and slowly allow the Gosling's Black Seal to drape itself over the ice (so it floats on top of the ginger beer) - and garnish with lime. Never drink it with a straw - drink the dark rum straight off the top. Found myself increasingly talking like a pirate as the night wore on.
" * On another day I hike to a boulder hundreds of feet above Jordan Pond where I can see pine and birch forrests below, glacial deposited boulders strewn around me, the crystal clear pond. This was followed by lunch on the lawn of Jordan Pond of hot lobster bisque, cold curried chicken salad and the eggy goodness of a popover butchered with huge lashings of butter and strawberry preserves. It was a noble death.
" * At the Rite Aid, there's a soda fountain. Yes, a real one. Before you die, you have to have the root beer float there, with the root beer made from their own syrup concoction. Hurry though, they're almost all out of 20th century."
'It's Chirac, stupid':
I slap my anti-French forehead and wonder, 'Why didn't I think of that?'
Sensible piece, as always, from the Economist. ...'It's time for changes. Soon.': Theo ain't happy.
... Then again, neither is George.
... Incredibly, the Sox are still only 3.5 games back. Or were.
'An incredible experience,' Part II: John
has more photos from China and a smart post on China's future.
... He's also stunned to learn that Deep Throat was unveiled
while away. Do you think we should tell him Mayor Menino resigned and Carl Yastrzemski was named acting mayor? Shhh. He'll find out.