Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Feb 5th 2011 2:55AM Fiction anticipates truth: this was presaged in a New Yorker cartoon in which a man with a crocodile on his desk asked his secretary to call his cell phone as he felt for vibrations. See contest #244, June 14, 2010....
Nov 26th 2010 1:03AM Thanks for introducing me to some great songs! With a couple of exceptions, these are terrific. There's no accounting for taste, even in a so-called critic.
Nov 25th 2010 11:52PM The "mixed leaf" wreath that you mention from Pottery Barn is (1) made of synthetic leaves and (2) no longer available. Please do your homework before publishing.
Mar 21st 2010 11:16AM Most of these comments are bigoted, alluding surrepetitiously to Rachel's religion (that she's "self-loathing" for eating pork,) sexual orientation (she's openly gay, and why should that be cause for ridicule?) and politics (she's liberal because she's got a Ph.D. in Poly Sci and knows history better than most of you know who the last 3 presidents were.) Rachel is the most intelligent person in the media today. Her interviews, her commentary, her repartee are the most informed of any you'll find on the aptly named boob tube. And if all you can find wrong with this woman is that she kindly carried some food on a train for a friend, my friend YOU need to stop hacking on the trivial and get a life. My guess would be that Rachel's got some great BBQ'd ribs from D.C. If anyone can find that in Manhattan, let me know.
Jan 29th 2010 1:25AM First, my own background. I'm a white Jewish 60ish woman who was raised in the South, the Midwest, the North, and the West. I've never been anywhere where there was no prejudice. I have heard every kind of ethnic, religious, racial and regional slur hurled by every possible group against every other group. A member of one Northern European nationality claims that members of another Northern European nationality are illiterate. A black woman calls a white man "an old hairy ape" because he's more hirsute than the men she's used to (curiously, I have heard whites say the same about blacks, but with less evidence ;) .) Manhattanites look down their noses at "bridge and tunnel" people. Northern Californians think Southern Californians are "plastic." Muslims view non-Muslims as "infidels." A WASP once called me a "heathen" (causing my jaw to drop, as my people had monotheism a few millennia before his.) A Northern Chinese person says Southern Chinese have round faces and "talk choppy." Bostonians who themselves opposed busing call Southerners "bigots." Among my own people, the Orthodox look askance at the Reform, and vice-versa. And nowadays we've become so crude that hardly a comment goes by without attaching "bastard" or "f'ing" to the Other. At the very least, one must call someone who disagrees with you Stupid. Check out the posts here....
Chris Matthews, bless him, is a smart and sweet guy whom I first began to watch during the primaries in 2008. He so obviously has his heart in the right place, and his foot so often in his mouth. He talks (or shouts, actually) first, and thinks second - which is partly why he's so much fun to watch. Yes, he does irritatingly interrupt people; and what talking head doesn't? That he was raised, as an ethnic Irish Philadelphian, to think blacks inferior is apparent; and it's just as apparent that to a large degree he's had that prejudice overturned by reality; the reality of Barack Obama, the reality of his fellow commentator, Eugene Robinson, the reality of so many blacks who in spite of huge barriers have become "twice as good." So it was somewhat shocking to hear, a year after Obama - whom Matthews clearly rooted for - became President, that Matthews is just now having a "post-racial" moment. Is Matthews actually saying that he "forgot" Obama was black because his speech was so stirring? Is he saying that a black man should not have been able to muster the brilliance, the passion, the COMpassion, and the eloquence to give so memorable and meaningful a SOTU address? Based on what he's said before, I seriously doubt that Matthews believes that.
Let me propose an alternative theory: that Matthews is reacting to a subtle change in Obama's presence. When he was first elected, Obama was flush with victory but still had to tiptoe around at times, and part of that reticence may have been due to his acute awareness that he was being watched as The First Black President. Even though he isn't an "African-American" in the same way as most African-Americans, i.e. he is not the descendant of American slaves, but of free Africans on one side and Euro-American whites on the other, he is regarded as an African-American and has - if you read his autobiographies, "Dreams from my Father" and "The Audacity of Hope" - come to identify with African-Americans who ARE the product of slavery. Yet having been OUR President for a year, Mathews is saying, ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zEtTPjb-p8&feature=related) that Obama, more confident in his role, has gotten past "the old tribalism, the old ethnicities" and fully identifies with ALL Americans. He speaks not as a Black Man or a Democrat or a Hawaiian or a Chicagoan, but as the President of all Americans. He's saying that Obama's State of the Union address exemplifies our President's ability to empathize with Americans of all stripes, all backgrounds, all belief systems, and all socioeconomic levels; and that all those Americans view him as The President, not just Candidate Obama. Obama envisions bringing the parties together around common cause, unlike his predecessor, whose idea of bipartisanship was "my way or the highway." What Matthews meant, I think, was not merely that Obama himself transcends labels, but that he just might be able - for an hour at least, and hopefully lastingly - to help us transcend our own.