Arash Markazi sums up how a lot of us feel:
I know the terrible thing that happened to Brian Stow on opening day, I know what’s happening on the field, I know what’s not happening in the stands. And I know what’s happening in the courtroom. I know all this but I still go to the games because reality has always found a way of suspending itself when I’m at the stadium. I still have the same feeling entering the parking lot off Sunset Boulevard I did when I was a child with my father…
…Feelings such as that are deep-rooted. I’ve loved the Dodgers for as long as I can remember. It’s a fandom that was passed on to me by my father, and I’m not about to throw it away now over a time period I hope to tell my kids about when I take them to Dodger Stadium some day. That’s why I can’t allow McCourt to change my feelings about the Dodgers and why I refuse to let him chase me away from a place that has given me so much joy over the years.
There is nothing complicated or conflicted about my feelings for McCourt. I don’t like him, what he’s done. It doesn’t take me very long to come to this conclusion and move on with my life. The truth is I don’t even think about him when I’m at Dodger Stadium. Even when I’m sitting in an almost-empty section of the stadium. He is the furthest thing from my mind as I watch the game with a Dodger Dog in my hands and Vin Scully in my ears. Maybe I’m clinging to memories that will never be recaptured and setting myself up for more heartbreak but I can’t help it.
The Dodgers and Dodger Stadium still represent something special to me, something more important than court cases, divorce settlements and losing streaks. Judging from the empty seats around me, this puts me in the minority. But I can live with that. I’ve lived with this team all my life.
In light of the Weiner scandal, Jeffrey Goldberg comments on Jewish women:
I’m not going near the question of what Jewish women do or don’t do in bed, but suffice it to say that Jewish women are terribly, and contradictorily, stereotyped by society, and, often, by Jewish men themselves. Either they’re dark, hot-blooded sluts (a common Wasps fantasy, by the way — some of my best friends are Wasps with Jewish women-fixations) or they are, as Weiner would have it, the frozen chosen. The truth, of course, is that all women are different, but I’ve noticed a couple of things over the years: 1) A great number of Jewish women possess an irresistible combination of sexiness, intelligence, ambition, and a deep capacity for love; and 2) Many Jewish men, the less manly-men, in particular, are intimidated by these superstar Jewish women…
…I know this sounds as if I’m advertising for a Jewish woman, but, thanks to the great philo-Semite Malcolm Gladwell, I found the best one, thank you very much.
Seeing as he and I both managed to overcome our ethnic predisposition to being intimidated by strong Jewesses (in other words, I get where he’s coming from, I guess), it sounds to me like he’s bragging. (“Congressman Weiner represents a cliché stereotype, but check me out. I can handle the Jewish ladies.”)
(cross posted to my upgrd.com blog)
A part of me wants to write a long post analyzing the problems with CNNMoney's "Best Frequent Flyer Programs." I'm really tempted to go point-by-point in order to illustrate just how stupid their rankings are. Their criteria are inconsistent, their explanations for why certain programs are best ignore the fact that other airlines offer similar (or even better) perks, and they totally ignore the fact that the programs available from domestic-only* discount carriers don't allow for international and premium-class redemption.
But truth be told, I'm actually thankful for articles like CNNMoney's. For those of us who actually want to get the most out of our miles -- namely international premium-class awards -- it's probably better if people blow their miles on crappy domestic coach tickets. Sure... it breaks my heart that poor saps who don't know better are blowing valuable miles on tickets they probably could buy out-of-pocket when they could be using the same amount (or just a bit more) to fly in luxury to exotic locales. But with a limited quantity of high-value redemption opportunities, I'm just as happy to have less competition for the seats. Every business traveler who insists on flying Southwest (even though he could get better elite benefits and could use the miles to take better vacations if he flew United or American or whatever) is one less person I have to compete with for an upgrade, one less person to snap up that first class seat to Europe before me, one less person in the elite line at the airport.
(And I'll venture a guess that if everyone used frequent flyer programs to their full potential, those programs would stop being so lucrative for the airlines and great redemption opportunities would get rarer.)
So sure... Southwest, Virgin America, and Jetblue have excellent FF programs. Sign up now. Fly those airlines exclusively. Enjoy your "A-list" status and your free coach flights from Oakland to Boise.
* Yes, I know that some of the "domestic-only" discount carriers fly to a handful of locations in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean. Whatever.
Amy Pohler at Harvard’s graduation:
As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own…You’re all here today because someone gave you strength. Helped you. Held you in the palm of their hand. God, Allah, Buddha, Gaga—whomever you pray to.
Doug Mataconis on Scott Walker’s move to end a program that allows gay couples hospital visitation rights (or, to be more specific, his attempt to stop defending the laws of his state and the rights of his citizens in court against extremist anti-gay hate groups):
I really have to wonder what kind of person would seek to prevent two people who are in a relationship from making whatever arrangements they want to allow the other to visit them in the hospital, and what right the state has to tell hospitals that they cannot honor those requests.
Is the GOP hatred for gays so pervasive that they could really be this cold and heartless?
Yup. Apparently, it is.
Or as Jed Lewison puts it:
Gee, gay-bashing is just so fiscal conservative, isn’t it?
From Dahlia Lithwick’s excellent
d’var torah article, “The Fifth Passover Question: Who’s going to lead the Seder?”
Passover is really the only Jewish holiday in which most households tap some layperson to be professional clergy for a night, and—as my friend Lisa observed yesterday—it’s thus apt that this holiday celebrates one of the most reluctant leaders in all of biblical history. Here is poor Moses, begging to be relieved of the responsibility of Sherpa-ing his people from one dusty place to another—pleading unfitness, a speech impediment, and the absence of meaningful leadership qualities. And here we all are, thousands of years later, pleading unfitness, performance anxiety, and the absence of meaningful leadership qualities.
Stop me if this is starting to sound familiar.
Maybe the real lesson of Passover is that nobody—in any generation—feels fit to lead a bunch of other people, but they do it anyway, because in the end somebody has to. Maybe it’s not just the story of the Exodus we are passing down from generation to generation, but the trick of leading, when all you ever wanted to do was follow.
...since before it was cool to be a Mac guy:
This is what we believe.
Technology alone is not enough.
Faster, thinner, lighter...
Those are all good things.
But when technology gets out of the way,
Everything becomes more delightful,
That's when you leap forward.
That's when you end up with something...
That's an even better manifesto than this one.
Update: There's more.
If you ask a parent,
They might call it intuitive.
If you ask a musician,
They might call it inspiring.
To a doctor,
To a CEO,
To a teacher,
It's the future.
If you ask a child,
She might call it magic.
And if you asked us...
We'd say it's just getting started.
With no outs in the top of the 6th inning of Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, Duke Snider — who’d hit four home runs in the previous six games — laid down a sac bunt to move PeeWee Reese to second. After Snider reached on an error, the next batter, Roy Campanella, laid down another bunt to move Reese to third.
So the record books say that Gil Hodges had both the Dodgers’ RBI in that game. But maybe they should also note that the Dodgers’ second run came as a result of the MVP (Campy) and the runner-up in MVP voting (the Duke) bunting over a runner who Hodges drove in with a sac fly. Can you imagine such a thing in today’s game?
Let me put a fine point on it. For his career, Duke Snider had 11 HR, 26 RBI, and 21 runs in 36 World Series games. (He’s the fourth best in WS history.) This was the final game of a season in which he had 42 HR, 136 RBI, 126 runs, and an OPS of 1.046. And this is the guy you want bunting with no outs in the sixth?
Darn straight. RIP, Duke.
(By the way: There are seven members of that team in the Hall of Fame. Or eight if you’re like me and you count the radio announcer.)
A recent article on Foward.com highlights a demographic study by Leonard Saxe that offers some new insights on the national Jewish population and might even contradict some of the generally-accepted-as-gospel research on the matter. In the Forward article, Saxe talks about the sticky problem of “identification”:
Instead of writing some fancy introduction, I’m going to just start by telling you that the thesis of this blog post is that the entire concept of the “December dilemma” is a myth. I’m going to explain why, and then I’m going to suggest what we (the Jewish community, and perhaps more specifically, those of us who serve in
leadership roles in the Jewish community) should do about it.
So with that totally transparent introduction, you can click if you’re interested in reading more.
People seem to get all up-in-arms when they perceive that peace-loving, moderate Muslims don’t do enough to condemn the acts of violent extremists with whom they happen to share (kind-of) a religion. When anyone tries to point out that the vast majority of Muslims abhor of violence, and that violent radicals are choosing to emphasize only those parts of the Quran which justify their hatred (and that extremists commit heinous acts in the name of other religions, too), the response is that if Muslim moderates want people to see them as peaceful, then they should stand up and condemn their violent co-religionists. The problem is, peace-loving Muslims condemn violence all the time. Maybe we’re not listening. Or maybe we just bury their statements ten paragraphs down.
From the AP’s story about Farooque Ahmed, the guy who tried to help some undercover FBI agents plant a “bomb” in the DC subway:
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Ahmed arrived in the U.S. in 1993 and became a citizen in 2005, officials said. He worshipped at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, which is known for its mainstream Islamic congregation. Leaders there have decried violence and were quick to call for Ahmed’s prosecution. He was not a member of the society, said board member Robert Marro.
He worshiped at the mosque. He never stuck around long enough for the regulars to get to know him. And when they found out that he’d been arrested for plotting violence, the members of the mosque said he wasn’t a member, spoke out against violence and called for him to be punished. In other words, they said, “He’s not one of us, and we despise what he stands for.”
That’s condemnation if I’ve ever heard it.
1. I’ve flown over 200,000 miles (domestic) on airplanes in the last two years. Not once have I been scared because of “people who are in Muslim garb” or people who “are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims.” The only people who scare me on airplanes are the ones who are overly nervous, overtly anxious, or rude and obnoxious. It seems to me, based on my experience, that none of these behaviors are exclusive to a particular religion, ethnicity, race, or creed.
2. It’s clear that the most of the people who loudly bashed NPR in the wake of Williams’ firing weren’t particularly fond of public radio (that bastion of the elitist liberal media) to begin with. What’s ironic is that NPR (and the rest of public radio) is actually the only mainstream media outlet that seems to have refused to be overtaken by blow-hard punditry, sensationalism, or both.
3. NPR was right to fire Williams, and they shouldn’t hesitate to tell it like it is: He wasn’t fired because the rules of “political correctness” deemed his comments on O’Reilly’s show to be offensive. He got fired because real journalists (and “news-analysts”) have to be fair and unbiased. That means they can’t behave like loudmouth pundits. End of story. Williams can spout off saying that he got fired for “telling the truth” or “speaking his mind.” But that’s only half the story. He got fired because he wanted to get paid for being a journalist, but then he also wanted to go on O’Reilly and spew whatever “truth” he wanted. You can’t have both, buddy.
4. This week, I made a donation to my local public radio station. You should too.
My friend Ira recently got me riled up. On his blog, he posted about a “Mindset List” recently published by Hillel.
In case you’re unfamiliar: Beloit College, a liberal-arts school in southern Wisconsin, puts out this thing every year called the Mindset List. A few humanities or social sciences professors sit around and list a whole bunch of cultural references that, while familiar to adults, are not familiar to 18 year-old freshman.
“Professors will teach by referring to cultural information for purposes of analogy or illustration,” Beloit College humanities professor Tom McBride, one of two who developed the list, told the AP a few years ago. “But the kind of information they’re using may simply not be relevant to 18-year-old minds.”
This year, Hillel joined in on the fun by releasing a “Jewish Mindset List” of their own. Theirs is titled, “What Are Jewish First-Year Students Thinking?” and it’s introduced with the line, “Here, then, are the Jewish ideas that are kicking around in the minds of today’s first-year students.”
The entire concept of a “mindset” list is stupid. Here are four reasons why: