blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Remember when 'leading from behind' was an insult? Right now, it would be a masterstroke. We have gone in a matter of not too many months from a golden moment of optimism about multilateralism to grappling with the dark frustrations of aimless muddlelateralism. Hope is now the thing we are trying scrape off the bottoms of our shoes while Europe, the Middle East, and our entire global ecosystem shudder from the after-effects of a world that seems to be lacking effective global institutions. Was it only in 2008 that George W. Bush, at the height of the financial crisis, invited the G-20 to get involved as the leading mechanism for coordinating an international response? Was it only months later that new President Barack Obama spoke of seeking multilateral solutions, of trying to create an international system that reflected the new global power structure? Wasn't it not too much after that when Libya was offered up as an example of a new model for how America and its allies would work together to get things done? Yet now, evidence is everywhere that the promise of those moments has been undone. Look at the still festering eurocrisis, at bleeding Syria, at the one-step-forward, two-steps-back pace of the Iranian nuclear negotiations, at the low hopes for material progress at the G-20 meeting in Los Cabos, and at the perplexing spectacle of Rio+20 that I am now attending, an event that is likely to be both one of the largest and least consequential in the history of the United Nations." (ForeignPolicy)


"For 42 million Americans — African-Americans — having slaves in the family tree is almost a given, but this fact wasn’t relevant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue until the current first family. Michelle Robinson Obama happens to descend from people once enslaved in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Kentucky. She can peer at American history from that far side of the looking glass. Her husband, with no slaves in the family, may not see America in quite the same way. After the president’s term began, one expected to hear more in the press and from the Obamas about blackness, whiteness and the nation’s never-ending debates about race and class. But Barack and Michelle Obama have not made theirs into a 'black' White House. An exception jumped up for two nights last winter, when the commander in chief, on camera, sang the opening lines of a Robert Johnson blues standard, 'Sweet Home Chicago,' and Al Green’s R&B ballad 'Let’s Stay Together' — the kind of songs that used to be called 'race music.' 'American Tapestry,' a fascinating account of the first lady’s family, corrects the omission of race from the Obama White House. No political memoir has ever looked or sounded like this one: the book spans several generations of Mrs. Obama’s people and reads like a panorama of black life ... Some of Mrs. Obama’s people lived as human property at Weymouth plantation, near Georgetown, S.C., owned by Ralph Izard, from an old family of rice planters. They became sharecroppers after the Civil War. A couple on her father’s side, Mary and Nelson Moten, with a young daughter named Cora, achieved that rarest of feats — they escaped slavery on the Underground Railroad. Living in Kentucky, not far from the town of Lexington, the Motens managed to make their way about 300 miles west during the Civil War and sneak across the Ohio River to Illinois. They settled in Pulaski County, north of the town of Cairo, and waited for the general emancipation. But the hero of the book is Melvinia, Mrs. Obama’s great-great-great-grandmother, who in 1852 was an enslaved 8-year-old girl living on a farm in Spartanburg, S.C., along with 20 other slaves. When her owner, David Patterson, died, Melvinia was appraised at $475, taken from her parents and shipped to another Patterson family property, south of Atlanta. And there, seven or eight years later, the child who had been snatched from her family was raped by, or consented to sex with, her owner or one of his relatives, and gave birth to a boy named Dolphus. Swarns digs out from Mrs. Obama’s background this cruel vignette, along with many others like it, and pushes them front and center. 'Mulatto’ forebears pop up all across Mrs. Obama’s family tree,' she writes. Melvinia’s life goes a long way toward explaining what Mrs. Obama means when she says, regarding her family’s tendency to speak softly about the past, 'A lot of times these stories get buried, because sometimes the pain of them makes it hard to want to remember.'" (NYTimes)


"Yesterday I took the d’s over to Groomingdale’s on 82nd Street and First Avenue for their first grooming in about two months. The shop is a three block walk from the apartment. Missy, age 10, aka Madame, pretty in pink on the left, hates it. As we turn down 82nd Street, she gets the picture and stops. Won’t move. I have to carry her. The little one in the middle is Byrone, age 8 – ever and always accommodating, no matter what. And Jenny, the eldest (she’s about 11) has very little eyesight but it’s restored to its best when the fur is cut around her eyes, so she’s focused.  JH took the picture just as they emerged from the doggy salon. Madame is so glad to get out of there that she’s almost walking on air as you can see. The trio doesn’t ordinarily wear any kind of accessories except for the the leashes, so as soon as we were out of the place off came the little pink bows from Madame’s ears, and the kerchiefs from around all their necks. I’m always amazed when I see pictures of myself with them how tiny they are. Because in real life, around the house, they are very big personalities." (NYSocialDiary)

"I admire Aaron Sorkin, but he gives me a headache. By the time his characters finish a monologue, I’m ready for a nap. Sorkin’s latest work, 'The Newsroom,' which debuts Sunday on HBO, is no exception. In the pilot’s opening scene, set at a J-school panel, cable newsman Will McAvoy delivers a breathless tirade that, while eloquent, lasts longer than most network sitcoms. In an homage to Paddy Chayefsky’s 'Network,' McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, explodes when the moderator goads him into answering a student question about why America is the greatest country on earth. It’s not, he says, and here’s why. Citing reams of statistics that someone in his line of work could not possibly know – another Sorkin trademark — McAvoy ends on a hopeful note. The speech will change the direction of his career from a bland ‘Jay Leno’ to a take-no-prisoners anchor of the Old School, like Murrow, Cronkite and Brinkley. Images of those very men are in 'Newsroom’s' opening montage, along with those of Dan Rather and legendary producer Don Hewitt. They are Sorkin’s heroes, he says. To that end, the underlying message of 'Newsroom' is that it’s not too late to create a civil, intelligent newscast they would have been proud of." (TVNewser)



"Bipartisan pressure is building on Mitt Romney to clearly spell out where the Republican Party stands on immigration. With less than five months to go before Election Day, Democratic and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are calling on Romney to take a leading role. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Republican lawmakers will wait on Romney. Romney will meet with Hispanic leaders on Thursday where he is expected to reveal his position on President Obama’s decision to halt deportations of some illegal immigrants who came to the United States at a young age, McConnell said. 'Both the president candidates, both the incumbent and the challenger are going to be addressing this issue Thursday at an important meeting …,' he said. 'Most of my members are interested in what Gov. Romney has to say about this issue and we’re going to withhold judgment, most of us, until that time.' Romney on Thursday is scheduled to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in Orlando, Fla. Obama will address the group on Friday." (TheHill)





No comments: