To say I didn’t have much exposure to the news during our Paris trip is an understatement. We had only sporadic internet access, only the International Herald Tribune and Guardian for newspapers, and but three English cable channels- CNN International, Sky News, and BBC World. The latter two, unfortunately, seemed concerned exclusively with that missing girl in Portugal, showing that the other side of the Atlantic is just as concerned with superficial missing-white-girl stories as we are here.
Anyway, some scattered thoughts on a few things that have happened in the last ten days or so.
– I see Paul Wolfowitz won the resignation sweepstakes. Ehud Olmert, Alberto Gonzales, and Charlie Manuel all kept their jobs, somehow, in the meantime.
– So no more Rosie O’Donnell on “The View,” huh? Good thing she’s still on Fox News more than the president.
– No, I was not on the TB guy’s flight from France. He came back at least a week before I did. But thanks so much for the concern, everyone.
– Matthew Yglesias’ takedown of Bob Shrum’s new book– great stuff. Why in the world would anyone read a book by Shrum with any title other than “How to Lose an Election”?
– “The Sopranos”- harrowing episode. Although I thought I’d have two to watch when I got back. Like I said- it’s all gloom and doom, and I love it. And “Entourage” was priceless too- much like the Ari-between-two-shuls bit, I’m surprised it took them this long to give us “Yair Marx,” the billionaire investor who may work for the Mossad, Hezbollah, or both.
– I’m sure this benefit, for a Cincinnati-area AIDS charity, is going to be a wonderful event, and it’s for a great cause. But why in the world would they give it this name?
– David Brooks’ column on the rise of the “quasi-religious” was the smartest thing I’ve seen written about religion in quite some time, as the term really does apply to myself and most of the people I know. We’re a force, I tell you!
– I’m less concerned about Lindsay Lohan’s alcoholism, drug addiction, car accidents, or loss of her acting talent than I am with the fact that she’s slowly, over the last four years, turned orange. She must go to the same tanning salon as Hulk Hogan.
– I’m very sad that Bat-girl, one of the very best, is giving up her Twins blog. It says a lot, though, that many of the players were fans of it.
– The NBA lottery was won by… Portland and Seattle? Huh? The league must LOVE that, almost as much as Bill Simmons. Though I praise Bill not only for avoiding suicide, but for knocking Glen Taylor and Kevin McHale as “the NBA’s version of Bush/Rumsfield.” That’s ridiculous. At least Bush and Rumsfeld won one war. The Wolves continued their unblemished record of never, a single time, moving up in the lottery.
– Why wasn’t I invited to this party?
– Jeff Buckley died ten years ago today. Absolutely shocking. If you don’t own the “Grace” album, get on iTunes and buy it right now. Seriously.
– And finally, my favorite story of the entire week. It involved a riot in a gay pride parade in Moscow, with a surprise guest:
Religious orthodox protesters and skinheads hurled eggs and stones – injuring Mr Tatchell in the eye. They also attacked Richard Fairbrass, the gay singer from the pop group Right Said Fred.
The items of note from that, in order from how little they surprise me to how much they do:
1. The frontman of Right Said Fred (of “I’m Too Sexy” fame) is gay.
2. He’s hanging out in Moscow.
3. Much like “Hootie,” “Milli,” and “Vanilli,” “Right Said Fred” is an actual group, and not a solo artist whose first name is “Fred.”
4. The singer from Right Said Fred is enough of a figure of consequence in the gay community that he’s a main attraction at a gay pride parade in a major world capital. I guess Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, and Clay Aiken all said no.