Letter From New York 06 11 15 Past wrongs righted and other things…

Outside it is warm and a bit humid and the sun shines down on Manhattan. According to weather reports we were to have bad thunderstorms right now but they haven’t evidenced themselves. This may be the second time this week that we have missed the thunderstorm bullet.

I woke up this morning with a very unhappy stomach. Something I had eaten definitely had not agreed with me. So I spent the morning in the apartment, reading a book and staying close to home. Not sure that I would make a 1:00 meeting that I didn’t want to delay, I fretted through the morning but began to feel better around 11 and managed to get to it.

Having had nothing to eat today, I am rather famished but am holding off on eating anything until later. Everything felt fine except my stomach, which was growling back at me for whatever I had done.

Reading one of Lindsay Davis’ Roman mystery novels kept me distracted. I love her way of bringing ancient Rome to life and the feeling she gives of being there.

Having left my laptop at the office, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do except answer a few emails from my iPhone.

Christopher Lee, a great British actor, famous for his villainous roles, including Dracula and Fu Manchu but also as evil wizard Saruman in “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” died in London a few days ago. He was also Count Dooku in two of the “Star Wars” prequels. He was one of Hollywood’s go-to bad guys.

Perhaps because I have been thinking about mortality I read an article in the New York Times Magazine about British writer Jenny Diski’s work as she approaches the end of her life from lung cancer. She writes and lives with a wry wit, and is carrying that through to the end. I am going to now look for some of her work. The Times called her one of the most brilliant essayists alive; fame, though, has eluded her.

As a young child I was fascinated by Greek myths and ancient Egyptian history. I told people that I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up. While I have made several trips to Greece, I have never been to Egypt. The Egyptian Tourist Industry, slowly reviving from the violence of the last few years, suffered new blows this week. There have been two attacks on tourist areas, one at Luxor and one at Giza. Doesn’t look like I will be going this year.

Twenty-one years ago, I chaired a Committee for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. We produced the Superhighway Summit with a keynote by Vice President Gore. One of the panelists that day was Rupert Murdoch. He ran Fox then and he does today, though this was the day it was announced he would step down to be succeeded by his son, James. Eras end.

In the “crime doesn’t pay” category the winner today is Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security chief. He’s been sentenced to life in prison for having taken bribes, the latest Communist official to fall to the corruption crackdown in that country.

In the “not good to be naughty” category, four Western tourists have been arrested in Malaysia for taking nude shots of themselves on Mt. Kinabalu shortly before a major earthquake that killed sixteen. They are being blamed for causing it, as Kinabalu is sacred to many tribes. Six others are being sought as they, too, apparently exposed themselves on the mountain and helped the quake come along.

Making up for past wrongs, Spain past a law allowing Sephardic Jews to apply for citizenship, five centuries after they were expelled from the country by Ferdinand and Isabella, the monarchs who gave Christopher Columbus his funding. They ordered Muslims and Jews to convert or leave. Many left. Those who choose to apply do not have to give up citizenship of their current country.

The light is still a soft gold and it looks like thunderstorms will not pelt us today. I am off to a Producer’s Guild meeting and then, if my stomach feels sufficiently sorted, off for some food.

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