Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New York's Finest

 Image result for NYC cops on front page of wsj New York City policemen or storm troopers from a dystopian future? You decide.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fake News: A Cure For Wellness

In an effort to create buzz and stimulate attendance, 20th Century Fox admitted to having created fake news sites intended to promote the film A Cure For Wellness in early 2017, according to this story in the New York Times.

The tactic was apparently unsuccessful, however. 

A Cure for Wellness grossed $8.1 million in the United States and Canada and $18.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $26.5 million, against a production budget of $40 million.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hard Choices

For over 15 years, in the 1980s and 1990s, the image of the face of Lady Diana Spencer was seen everywhere. Even today, 20 years after her death, while her photos are no longer ubiquitous in supermarket check-out line magazine displays, they are still often seen and almost all westerners know who she was.
 Image result for princess diana

Her place, at least for the time being, as the woman whose photograph has been most reproduced in the media, has been taken by Mrs. Bill Clinton. It's a curious fact that the more recognizable a person might be, the more likely it is that their picture will appear in the print or on-line media. Everybody knew who Princess Di was and what she looked like but nevertheless her face peered at us everywhere.
 Image result for hillary clinton

Such is also the case with Mrs. Bill Clinton. We all know what she looks like but the media insists that we see her regularly anyway.

That brings us to the literary Mrs. Clinton and her 2014 memoir Hard Choices. The 635 page effort centers around her tenure as Secretary of State ending in 2013. If you think that Mrs. Clinton must have been very busy in the 16 months between her leaving the State Department and the publication of Hard Choices you would be right. But the brilliant Mrs. Clinton didn't lock herself in the attic during that time span to write and revise. Like many another politician with literary ambitions she had a little help, in this case considerable help. Clinton was assisted in writing the book by three aides credited in the Acknowledgements section as her "book team", two former State Department assistants, Dan Schwerin, speechwriter and Ethan Gelber, researcher, and Ted Widmer , a speechwriter in the Bill Clinton administration.

Shortly thereafter, Hard Choices, was released in an audio format. Sadly, Mrs. Clinton was otherwise occupied and unable to narrate her own memoir to adoring fans with failing eyesight or a desire to listen to her account while commuting by car or public transportation. Instead, the book was read by Kathleen Chalfant, a Tony nominee Broadway stage actress. In the case of a Mrs. Clinton literary effort, it truly does "take a village".

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Will The Tie Die?

Image result for michael lewis
Michael Lewis, best selling author, is often seen wearing a jacket but no tie.

More and more we're seeing powerful,fashionable American males dispensing with the cravat. Perhaps this is a change in fashion, maybe the lack of a tie and an open collar are signs that comfort has become more important than appearance. The closely controlled artificial environment that surrounds moderns might be a factor. In any event, we should applaud the slow disappearance of a silly and meaningless fashion accessory.

 Image result for famous man no tie
Prince Harry doesn't dig ties, either.

 Image result for harvey weinstein

Fashion maven Harvey Weinstein is often seen sans tie.

On the other hand, there are items of neckwear that do make sense, the kerchief, for instance.

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There's a long tradition, maybe as long as the necktie, of American outdoor workers wearing a neckerchief. A rag worn around the neck keeps the icy winds of the Great Plains from blowing down one's chest, It can be worn wrapped around the face to filter out dust or snow. It can be used as a washrag or dishtowel. In the days before paper towels and sanitary wipes, a kerchief could be used to clean up a surprise mess. With a small stick it can become a life-saving tourniquet. Scrap your one-dimensional tie and knot on a neckerchief.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Strangest Aspect of the Attack on Rand Paul

Image result for rand paul on lawn mower
Kentucky senator Rand Paul mowing his lawn.

Details have been slow to emerge on the suburban fracas between neighbors that left Kentucky libertarian senator Rand Paul with broken ribs and other less serious injuries.  There's been no definitive statement from the attacker, a next-door neighbor of 17 years, on the possible reasons for his aggressive behavior.

In the early years of the twenty-first century, physical confrontation is truly unusual, especially between members of what must be termed the upper class. That is not, however, as unusual as a sitting United States senator actually mowing his own lawn, or any lawn for that matter. You can be pretty sure that not many of the 100 other members of the world's most exclusive club personally mow their lawns. We're unlikely to see photographs of Barbara Feinstein, John McCain, Kamala Harris or Robert Menendez mowing a lawn.

The revelation that Senator Paul personally cares for his own grass must be considered a positive for Americans that wish to see their elected leaders operate on a more common level.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

If It's Bad For Putin and the Russians to Inflluence Elections. . . .

why is it OK for George Soros to dump millions on US elections? He is, after all, a Hungarian.