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It started, as so many of my choices do, with my Willy Wonker. It was 1994, and I had read an article in Premiere magazine saying that the Celebrity Center, the Scientology epicenter in Los Angeles, was a great place to meet women. Willy convinced me to go check it out. Touring the building, I didn’t find any eligible women at first, but I did meet Karen Hollander, president of the center, who said she was a fan of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” We ended up talking for over two hours. She told me why Scientology is so great. I told her that, when it comes to organized religion, anything a person does to reward, threaten and try to control people by using an unknown like the afterlife is dangerous. Nonetheless, Karen called me a few days later asking if I’d be interested in turning any of L. Ron Hubbard’s books into movies. Eventually, I had dinner with John Travolta, his wife Kelly Preston, Karen — about 10 Scientologists in all. John asked me, “So, J.D., what brought you to Scientology?” I told him. John smiled and replied, “We have tech that can help you handle that.” –“I penned the suckiest movie ever – sorry!” J.D. Shapiro, New York Post
Granted, Everyone Poops, but can’t we live without knowing what happened on El Gran Viaje del Senor Caca?
don’t think of this either: there is no difference between a foodie and a rutting boar;
the iPhone will destroy all that is good in your communist nation
Enthusiasm for Barack Obama in the US was initially huge, but it had a very domestic dynamic, it was a story about how America could elect a black person only 150 years after slavery, 40 after segregation ended. It meant – though this was a little too optimistic – that we were finally ready to put an end to the race question. That he would change policies, present a new face of America, bring an end to the Bush era and begin a new relationship between America and the world: these considerations mattered only to a small number of people. Here is the asymmetry between American and European expectations: Europeans believed there would be a radical improvement, a moral regeneration of US foreign policy; they are disappointed, or will be, because this isn’t going to happen. Americans’ expectations were partly fulfilled by Obama’s election itself. It was bound to be disappointing from there on: the first black man to be elected president of the United States was never going to be an out and out radical, a wild, courageous, path-breaking liberal or social democrat. Obama is none of these things. –“The Way Things Are and How They Might Be,” Tony Judt interviewed by Kristina Boži?, London Review of Books
The Republicans deserve a good spanking–and some of them, it seems, know where to get one;
body scanners are not nearly as interesting as one might hope; the dying words of a minor celebrity’s racist old aunt: “I don’t like [Obama], she said. “He’s arrogant.”
Make way for the ravaging grasshopper!
But don’t let the glamour fool you. Ebony has a tough side, too. She didn’t always wear flouncy ruffles and Yves St. Laurent shoes. When she had to, she’d pull on a pair of sturdy boots and hit the freedom trail, singing “We Shall Overcome.’’ During the civil rights movement, Ebony and its petite sister publication Jet, the pocket-sized weekly, marched along every step of the way. Moneta Sleet Jr., the first black man to win a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, worked for Ebony. He won the award for a photograph of Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, at the slain civil rights leader’s funeral in 1968….But now Ebony needs money, not memories. Word is she owes her printer millions. According to media reports, there’s a lien on her famous eleven-story headquarters in Chicago, overlooking Grant Park. The same park where some 200,000 people gathered to celebrate the realization of an Ebony reader’s wildest dreams: the election of a black president. –“An Icon Fades,” Don Terry, Columbia Journalism Review
The British resent being told they have a “special” relationship with the United States (note: not a joke about developmental delay);
this government traffics in despair (and makes a killing);
time is not money (yes it is)
More from TedRoss:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”