An amazing piece of writing from Andy Ferguson. He visited the Nixon Library to read not just the books the president had read but also his marginalia. And it so happens that Henry Kissinger stopped by at the same time.
This story, of a chimp who saw the sky for the first time in her life – previously caged in a lab – got a lot of coverage. I had been meaning to post it. Here is the same story with an added compilation of animals seeing outdoors for the first time. (What we do to them is horrifying.) Get out your Kleenex, though.
If there is one thing I love, it is stories about animals making it clear they are none too pleased with us. I’ve collected a few:
Keep it up, animals. We deserve a lot worse.
Last week saw the 18th (!!!) anniversary of the London bombings. I remember that day well – I was about to leave for Israel for ten days and wondered if my trip would be affected (it wasn’t). I also remember having a long discussion with my oldest brother about Ken Livingstone’s speech that day. On the surface, it sounded appropriate, but there was one paragraph that we both found revealing:
I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old.
Given Livingstone’s ideology, one couldn’t help but feel that had the attack indeed been aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers, at the rich and the powerful, he would not have minded as much. (There were reports that his staff celebrated 9/11.) It reminded me a bit of what I wrote here, about the envy that seems to consume so many of us, making us forget empathy and take delight in certain people’s suffering.
So good – he started out as a folk singer, but the satirist was strong in this fellow. Delightful and, for me, a good description of lasting love.
And a bonus clip of Arkin and Carol Burnett.
I’ll get the other stuff out of the way – I have a new post at Substack. And now, about Alan Arkin. He passed last week – oh, what a wonderful actor and oh, so funny. He starred in two of my favourite films, both among the funniest produced: The In-Laws and The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming. Enjoy this, the best scene – and there are many from which to choose – from the latter. Significant Other and I launch into it on a regular basis.