Posts Tagged ‘SNL’

Letter From Claverack 01 02 2017 Welcome to a new year and a new era…

January 3, 2017

Not yet quite six o’clock in the evening, the sun is gone and floodlights are on the creek.  Soft jazz is on the Echo and I am winding down from some writing I did today along with emails and a couple of loads of laundry.  An ordinary day at the cottage, most of it cozied up with my laptop while watching Marcel, Lionel and Pierre’s sixteen-year old poodle sleep on the couch.  I’m dog sitting again while they are off in Boston.


New Year’s was surprisingly good.  My expectations were low and the reality great.  There was a feast at my friend Matthew Morse’s house with thirteen people, followed by going down the road to friends of his who have restored as their home a 19th Century roadhouse.  There is a balcony looking down into the tavern area and I was standing there looking down at a crowd that seemed like a hundred, sipping Moet Chandon as the New Year came in…

New Year’s Day was spent in recovery with a game of Clue over cocktails, followed by roast chicken.  Not bad.

Every time I peek into the state of the world, I want to slam the door and run into my bedroom with a cold bottle of vodka and a straw.

It sometimes feels like I have stepped into a Jean Cocteau film.

Hours after I exchanged e-mails with a friend who lives in Istanbul, working for Sony Pictures, there was a nightclub slaughter.  Responsibility for it has been claimed by IS.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killer a couple of dozen people.  This Sunday, I will light a candle for them at church, the people of Baghdad and Istanbul.  Turkey has been assaulted this month by a whole series of attacks.  Baghdad has never not been assaulted since we invaded.

Trump tweeted something New Year’s Eve that has lots of people outraged.  It seems impossible for me to follow his tweets though I have been told the cable news channels have been spending hours attempting to decipher them.

His press secretary has pleaded with people to stop mocking him.  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Alec Baldwin has stepped into a brand-new career on SNL and we are going to be living with it for Trump’s entire term in office.  He is just too juicy a target for satirists.  I wish I were a comedy writer.

Trump’s team is saying we should be focusing more on punishing Hillary Clinton than being concerned about Russian hacking.  Did I say something about being in a Cocteau film?  [And if you don’t know who Jean Cocteau is, Google him…]

US officials are saying Russia’s “fingerprints” are all over the hacking and Trump is saying he has inside information on the hacking which he will reveal tomorrow or Wednesday. Personally, I can’t wait.  But then I am still waiting for him to tell us how he will separate himself from his businesses.  That may be more difficult than handling the Russian hacking.

Then, of course, since I last wrote Carrie Fisher, “Princess Leia” from “Star Wars” died after a heart attack on a flight back from London, only to be followed across the River Styx by her mother, the legendary Debbie Reynolds, the following day.

Eras seem ending all around me and I am not happy…




Letter From New York 10 04 15 Short, sweet and on the road…

October 4, 2015

Flooding in Cannes. MIPCOM. SNL. Doctors Without Borders. Indianapolis. Making Christianity relevant. Lilly Endowment.

Not much more than an hour ago, I arrived in Indianapolis for the Lilly Website Consultation.  It is designed to help various Lilly Grantees to be more aware of trends happening out there on the wild internet, in an effort them to help him use technology to spread the Christian word.

My client, Odyssey, is one of the grant recipients and so they have asked me to be here along with their CEO, Nick Stuart, who over the last seven years has become a best friend.

There is not much time in the schedule to do much so I am working to get out a brief letter before I need to go to the first of the conference events.

There has been massive flooding in south of France; two months worth of rain fell in a single night.  Sixteen people perished and the beautiful city on the sea is a mess.  It is also the opening of MIPCOM, the huge fall television market.  Opening ceremonies have been cancelled, not out of respect for the dead but because it is logistically impossible.

Saturday Night Live had its 41st season opener last night with Miley Cyrus and Hillary Clinton.  Didn’t see it but the reviews were pretty good.

It was damp and chill when I left New York City this morning.  Here in Indianapolis, the sun is bright and cheery and the war in Syria seems a long way away, which it is physically but it shouldn’t be emotionally distant.  I stop, quickly, and say a prayer for everyone in Syria.

Russian airstrikes are increasing in intensity and in the amount of chaos they are sowing in that ravaged country.

In Kunduz, Afghanistan, Doctors Without Borders, are removing themselves after 19 people were killed in an airstrike at their hospital in the town.

And so it goes…

I’m off to the first conference event, this has been fast and short.

Have good Sunday afternoons and evenings.

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 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.