Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Night Live’

Letter From New York 02 15 16 It’s our nuts…

February 16, 2016

Columbia County  Ben Franklin  Pandora  Antonin Scalia  Obama  Mitch McConnell  Oil Prices  Saturday Night Live  Cruz  Rubio  Trump

Outside, a light snow is falling and I am sequestered in the cottage, where I have been all day.  It’s very chill though tomorrow we are supposed to hit the low fifties.  We are all rolling our eyes about this winter which seems unlike any winter I have experienced since I’ve been up in Columbia County.  For the most part, it’s been like a long, chill fall and not like winter.

There is a fire in the Franklin Stove though I have the door closed.  I am not after aesthetics tonight, I am after heat.  There has been a chill to the cottage all day and I am seeking to counter it with the stove, which could almost heat the house when I keep it stocked with logs and the door closed.  Good old Ben Franklin; a fount of inventions…

Jazz is playing on Pandora.  I am getting better so I am no longer feeling the need for silence.  It is the first day I haven’t spoken to my sister since this began.  I’m healing but am still so tired; I sleep a deep sleep every night and usually for nine to eleven hours.  Ah, “sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care…”  My sleeve has been raveled and needs knitting up…

Several friends have called today to check on the state of my health and after I have assured them I am on the mend, our talk seems to go to politics and all express a dismay at the political world we are living in.  Scalia is dead and McConnell has sworn to delay an appointment until we have a new President.  And, frankly, I rolled my eyes at that.  Somehow, it seems the Republicans think of Obama as an eight year constitutional crisis and I don’t understand that. 

I haven’t always agreed with him and I don’t think he is a constitutional crisis personified.   I have never understood what seems a pathological hatred for the man by Republicans.

After a discussion of Scalia, we immediately go to Trump who has caused the campaign for the Republican nomination to resemble a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. 

And yet it’s all very real.  And the vitriol between the Republicans is so unseemly.  I am appalled.  But they are taking it very seriously.  And that’s more than a little frightening…  Cruz, Rubio, Trump are espousing the politics of fear and hatred from what I see.  Where is hope?  Belief in the future? 

The rest of the world is ticking on.  The Australians have uncovered a ring of drug smugglers using bras to carry meth.  The WHO is working to figure out Zika. Ehud Olmert, a former Israeli Prime Minister, is off to prison while proclaiming his innocence.  Gas is under $2.00 a gallon in most places. 

The world is nuts.  When hasn’t it been?  It is just this is our nuts and we have to deal with it.

Letter From New York 02 15 15 During the blistering cold…

February 15, 2015

Outside the sun is shining down brilliantly; a bright white light is cast down on the mounds of snow outside my windows. It looks warm and inviting. It is not. The temperature is minus nine, wind chill factor, and will continue to go lower as the day progresses. It is the most brutally cold winter I remember since I have been here and I have commented to many a friend: it’s Minnesota cold.

At times, I have wanted to depart and head to the tropics until it breaks. I dress in layers and my feet are always cold, despite wool socks and boots. But that is the way of this winter. Cold and coldly beautiful, it seems to be one for the record books.

This morning, I rose and went down to Christ Church in Hudson with some friends and then moved on to the Red Dot for brunch. When I left the church, my car was momentarily obscured by the blowing snow. It is that kind of day. While I was out, the driveway was plowed and the walk shoveled, for which I am grateful. Tomorrow I will head down to New York City so I can be in place for an early meeting on Tuesday.

While I organize my week, Denmark is struggling to recover from a young man, freshly out of prison, who killed two and wounded five. It was a bit of a copycat event, modeled after the Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris. The supposed target in the first killing was a cartoonist, Lars Vik, who had satirized the Prophet Mohammed back in 2007 and has been under police protection ever since. The second victim was a young Jewish man who was acting as a volunteer security person at a Danish synagogue for a Bat Mitzvah.

In another act of brutality, the Libyan cohorts of ISIS have released a video purportedly showing the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians. They were singled out for their religion.

It sometimes feels like we are returning to the Middle Ages, when all sorts of heinous acts were justified in the name of religion. Certainly, those who claim allegiance to ISIS seem to be parading medieval characteristics of brutal killing for the sake of religion, not unlike the Christian Crusaders who rampaged through land after land in the late 11th Century, slaughtering Jews after they had paid Bishops for their safety. Eastern Orthodox Christians were also not immune from the wrath of the Crusaders. It was not a pretty time for Christianity and it has only been in the last few centuries that we have begun behaving civilly with each other. Perhaps someday the various branches of Islam will learn to live with each other and with us in a civil manner. But it is certainly not today.

In Ukraine the truce called for last night has slowed but not quelled the violence. Around the city of Debaltseve, a vital rail hub, there is still the sound of shelling. Other areas are seeing relief.

In Nigeria, a sixteen-year-old suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded bus station, killing mostly children who were selling goods at the station. No one has yet claimed responsibility but it has the earmarks of Boko Haram. How does one get a sixteen-year-old girl to blow herself up?

Moving away from the violence wracking our world, there are rumors that Apple is considering building an electric car. I find this interesting – and not entirely improbable.

While I think I have it difficult with my blistering cold, I am not as unlucky as Boston, which has been hit with more snow and with brutal cold.

As I write this, the sun is beginning to set. Tonight on NBC there will be a 40th Anniversary Celebration of Saturday Night Live. A group of us are gathering to watch the event. It will be quite an event, probably a little raw and ragged at the edges, as the weekly show often is, and also probably full of magic moments, as the show regularly is.

Letter From New York May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

Or, as it seems to me…

When I woke this morning, it was a pristine morning at the cottage, the light still early morning gray; the verdant green of the trees coloring the cool morning, the world still damp from a light overnight rain. Staring out into the wild yard of mine, a deer wandered into my view, lazily nibbling at foliage, making its way slowly, gracefully down toward the creek. It was a clean, pure moment.

As I sipped my morning coffee, NPR was giving the latest details on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, telling the world that the amount of oil pouring into the Gulf was likely up to ten times as much as previously announced. Tar balls are beginning to show up on land. Governor Crist of Florida considers this to be a monumental disaster; Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi is calmer, apparently more confident than Governor Crist that the containment efforts will be successful. Meanwhile, workers in the Gulf fishing industry have begun to be laid off…

As the oil slick spreads and as efforts to contain it continue, and as I sipped more coffee while watching the creek flow past, the world is also looking to Washington where President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan, Solicitor General, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to the nomination until I had a conversation with a colleague who was once a Washington insider, a member of the Carter Administration, a cable lobbyist and an avid follower of what’s happening in Washington today. He was relieved that the right had not ywr questioned Ms. Kagan’s sexuality. Which happened the following day, apparently because she had played softball. It was, I believe, a conservative blogger who posited this. It was taken up then by some conservative newspapers, showcasing a photo of Ms. Kagan playing the suspect sport. ABC News/Washington Post immediately conducted a poll that indicated 71% of Americans didn’t think sexuality should be considered as a factor in choosing someone for the Supreme Court, an indication, to me, of social progress. However, Ms. Kagan and her friends and supporters have said that she was not gay.

All in all, it seemed a shabby trick and a stretch. Softball = lesbianism. Hmmmm….

While oil has flowed in the Gulf and Ms. Kagan has had her sexuality questioned, the American public found itself united in laughter in watching Betty White host Saturday Night Live, propelling it to its highest ratings since the political campaign of 2008. She is, as she pointed out frequently, 88 ½ years old. If you missed this iconic figure keep up with the youngsters, you can catch it on http://www.hulu.com. She deserved her standing ovation at the end of the show and was reported to have left the after party at 3:30 in the morning only because she had a 6:30 a.m. flight to catch. Bravo to Betty!

Kudos were flying to Betty White while investigators scrambled to find out why the Dow plummeted a 1000 points in seconds a week ago last Thursday. Some stocks fell near to zero before things started sorting themselves out. It seems someone typed in a billion instead of a million and chaos ensued. Don’t they have a “Are you sure?” button in their program? I can’t close out of my browser without being asked if I am sure I really want to do that. I would hope a trader would have as much.

Apparently not. So the beat goes on. And it’s not been a pretty week this past week or so, even if alleviated by the presence of Betty White on SNL. It’s been grim though sometimes in watching the news you miss that. There was an incisive report on ABC about Teri Hatcher’s new website, aimed at “chicks.” It saddened me that we paid that much attention to “chicks” while the world was in such need of healing – on so many levels.