Like Philip Larkin’s poetry, there are Mary Tyler Moore Show references for nearly everything in this life, I swear. I post this with no disrespect to the glorious Raquel Welch – in fact, the contrary. She was an icon and I would bet she loved this reference. Check out the 2 minute mark, or, better yet, watch the whole episode.
This book is bloody marvellous. That is all.
Whatever your preferred organizations to help might be, please do give to them. There are horrors on this planet each day, of course, but the sheer numbers here and the painful images are quite something altogether. I do have a personal connection to Turkey, however small, and I will always feel a pang when things like this happen in a place I called home. A couple of my students from those days have been in touch with me – a reminder that when we teach kids, we make connections that last and (for better or for worse) we leave a bit of us with them. I am lucky, because my students seem to remember me fondly. (Not sure I deserve that!) It means so much to me, though.
A great piece on why institutions have all gone woke – it’s from Richard Hanania’s newsletter. (I have at least one sibling who insists to me that the left have not won the culture wars – honestly, I don’t know what planet this otherwise observant person is on!) FYI, the article is from last year but still on the ball. One of the joys of interrupted sleep is that I find cool things while scrolling in the wee small hours.
A good piece here about Ken Burns’ series on the Holocaust. It’s an engrossing, compelling and thorough (and thoroughly depressing, given the subject matter) series in many ways, and of a high quality that we expect from Burns. But it is oh, so, political. Which trivializes its topic, in a very real and unnecessary manner:
Just as important, The U.S. and the Holocaust concludes by noting the passage of more liberal immigration laws in the 1960s and then showing a montage, including protests about the collapse of security at America’s southern border; former President Donald Trump’s demand that a border wall be built; the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia; the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting; and finally, the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. We hear warnings from talking heads that America’s thin veneer of civilization could, like Germany’s, collapse more quickly than we think—a not-so-subtle nod in the direction of the contemporary Democratic Party’s pose as the defenders of democracy against their Republican opponents.
So ham-handed. I have no objection on pointing out how few Jews the United States allowed in – Canada was even worse. We should all know this and be ashamed. It’s the partisanship and the attempt to link what happened then with current headlines that bothers me. Bari Weiss very firmly – and diplomatically – challenges Burns at her podcast/interview here. I like the way she is making him uncomfortable about his misuse of history. But she is too gentle when he insists he is not being political in his selected montage of American bigotry and antisemitism (all Republicans). What she could have asked was, “Ok, if that is the case, then why not include, in your montage, one of Ilhan Omar’s many antisemitic comments?” Regardless, her interview with him is excellent and not only for the moments in which she lets him know she is not impressed.