Monthly Archives: September 2003


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Hoboken is the kind of place where, on a Friday night, if you walk down Washington Street, you are bombarded with the mating rituals of early 20-somethings who are drunk. Girls who all look alike (like all the girls on “The Bachelor”) strutting down the street in their regulation-black, all shrieking on their cell phones, saying things like, “Well, we waited for you at the Black Bear where ARE you?” In grating voices, where everything, even statements of fact, come out as questions.” –Sheila O’Malley, reflecting on Hoboken then and now on the occasion of Kazan’s death.

PLAYOFFS!: This post is not

PLAYOFFS!: This post is not about Jim Mora, although I must register my disappointment that Mora was not mentioned on tonight’s telecast of the game between his two former teams- nor was a montage of Mora press conference meltdowns shown on SportsCenter.
But I digress. The 2003 Major League Baseball playoffs begin on Tuesday, and the first game is the opener of the Twins-Yankees David and Goliath matchup at Yankee Stadium, followed by Braves-Cubs that night, and Red Sox-A’s and Giants-Marlins the following day.
I will of course root for the Twins ’til the end, though I am also very excited about the possible advancement of both the Red Sox and the Cubs. In Boston-Oakland, someone has to be the first “sabermetric team” to win a playoff series, and I very much hope the Cubs crush the loathsome Atlanta Braves like a bug. Indeed, a World Series between Boston and Chicago would be, to quote “Back to the Future,” a paradox- one of those things that can destroy the universe. And even if the Twins lose, we’ll either be treated to another Yankees-A’s clash, or (perhaps best of all) a repeat of ’99’s great Yankees-Sox ALCS.
I am both rooting for and predicting first-round playoff victories by the Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants, and with the exception of Giants-Marlins, all four will go the full five games.
That’s all I’ve got to say for now, except- how ’bout those Minnesota Vikings? 4-0!

ELIA KAZAN, 1909-2003: One of

ELIA KAZAN, 1909-2003: One of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century is dead, as Elia Kazan passed away Sunday at the age of 94.
Kazan won two Acadamy Awards each (for Picture and Director), for “Gentlemen’s Agreement” (1947) and “On the Waterfront” (1954), and his other classic films included “East of Eden,” and “Splendor in the Grass.” Kazan was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar in 1999, which was highly controversial because in 1952, the formerly Communist director had gone before the House Un-American Activities Committee and named names of several of his former colleagues.
I went on record at the time as saying that I didn’t feel the congressional testimony of nearly a half-century before should’ve precluded Kazan from receiving an award that recognized his work, and I still feel that way now. Kazan was a repentent former Communist who had seen the error of his ways, and saw it fit to expose those who he felt had betrayed his country. And had he not named those names- names that HUAC already had- Kazan’s career likely would’ve ended on the spot, and the world never would have been exposed to several of his films, including ‘Waterfront.’
Kazan’s death is the third in as many days (after those of Robert Palmer and George Plimpton) that upsets me exponentially more than that of Edward Said. In Plimpton’s case, I made sure to check each obit to see if it mentioned Plimpton’s role in the famous Sidd Finch hoax; shame on them if they didn’t.


CELEBRITY DEATHS COME IN 27s: Is it just me, or has 2003 been one of the biggest years of all time for celebrity passings? Mr. Rogers, Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, Strom Thurmond, Nell Carter, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Miss Elizabeth, David Brinkley, Gregory Peck, Leon Uris, Hume Cronyn, Buddy Hackett, Barry White, Idi Amin, John Schlesinger, Charles Bronson, Leni Riefenstahl, John Ritter, Johnny Cash, Gordon Jump, Said, Plimpton, Palmer, Kazan, and (best of all) Uday and Quesay Hussein. And there’s three months to go.
Now perhaps, as each of us gets older and more aware of the world, it just seems like more people we’ve heard of have died. But even so, 2003’s just been one big celebrity death-o-rama.


BURN YOUR SIDDUR AWARD NOMINEE: “…we chose Clinton and got an undermining of liberal thinking by the person who supposedly represented that thinking.’ This subversion laid the foundation for Dubya. By electing a Democrat like Clark or Dean, who are really ‘moderate Republicans,’ Lerner says, we may be ‘creating someone even worse than Bush.'”-Lefty rabbi and Tikkun Magazine editor Michael Lerner, quoted by Richard Goldstein, in (where else?) the Village Voice. Howard Dean is a “moderate Republican”? In Lerner’s world, who’s a liberal Democrat, Hugo Chavez?