Charlie Pierces nails the fascinating parallels of outlook and language from Chuck Berry and Jimmy Breslin. Both miraculous, both mixed bags.
Ace obit that includes lots of information new to me. I knew nothing about his personal life other than his political activism and he fell off my sightlines after the ’80s. His bizarre cause of death could be taken from a comic he drew. Snappy Sammy Smoot was one of the unforgettable clueless characters or Holy Innocent or what have you. His hair trip was a graphic triumph. And the obit ends with a quip from Williamson that is about the most rat-on exhortation from the ’60s demonstrations.
Guess Williamson and Jay Lynch had to leave about the same time so they could start up Celestial Bijou Funnies. Bet it’s better than ever.
Very sharp review by Laura Miller on a book that celebrates the movie. I would add the bitter irony that Harvard Square, where Casablanca was reborn as a fetish object, has all but vanished during the same time period the film started to dim. That is what causes me the most pangs of lost romance.
An important piece by Farhad Manjoo. The stupid tabloid mentality of too many news outlets now plays right into a tyrant’s agenda.
Here’s a key passage:
Unlike old-school media, today’s media works according to social feedback loops. Every story that shows any signs of life on Facebook or Twitter is copied endlessly by every outlet, becoming unavoidable.
On a horrid December week many years ago when John Lennon was assassinated, The Real Paper in Cambridge made a journalistic misjudgement as off-base as any I’ve ever encountered. The reasoning went: “Everybody is going to feature John Lennon. Let’s do Christmas instead.” The depth of the mistake is evident in picking a trivial automatic subject over a profoundly necessary one. Likewise, we now lack any focus on what’s important: “Trump’s popular. Cover Trump. Trump’s popular. Cover Trump.”
It’s been pretty clear in other countries that the actions, not the blithering blabber of the current tyrant, is what needs to be covered. What is the source and nature of all this rising savagery about “immigrants”?
If you didn’t hope for good-looks promotion in the early days of the Santana rise, it was not evident in a high school where “spic” features were poison.