Published on: April 29, 2011
Thank goodness for “Morning Joe.”
All week, so much media attention has been focused on today’s Royal Wedding in London, with almost everybody taking the nuptials - and surrounding hoopla - way too seriously. The “Today Show,” which is almost unbearable to watch, had stories about jelly molds and such that seemed designed to give Jon Stewart something to mock.
But on “Morning Joe,” they used their weeklong visit to London as an opportunity to compare the politics and cultures of the US and UK, to talk about the two nation’s economies, and actually focus on legitimate news stories, all the while including some wedding news and poking gentle fun at the proceedings.
Joe Scarborough actually said at one point that at a time of economic austerity and budget cuts in the UK, it hardly seemed like the right time to be celebrating excess. And truer words may not have been spoken in the mainstream media this week.
All reasons that “Morning Joe” - with its willingness to spend extended period of times engaged in interesting and often serious conversations - continues to be the best morning show on television.
So I know this really isn’t funny, but I have to admit it made me laugh.
There was a story the other day saying that the bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease have been found in the famed grotto of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
And all I could think to myself is that this could hardly be the worst bacteria floating around in what I gather is a gigantic hot tub. And that Legionnaires' disease probably isn’t the worst thing you could catch there.
Got a request for my recipe for Lamb and Artichoke Stew...and so here it is. (Adapted, to be fair, from a similar recipe in my aging copy of The Frugal Gourmet
1/2 stick of butter
2-3 pounds of boneless lamb, cubed
3 large yellow onions
3 cloves of garlic
6 ounces of tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
3 cans of artichoke hearts, drained.
In a large pot, melt the butter.
Saute the lamb until browned. Remove from the pot.
Chop and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add Emeril’s Essence to taste.
Add the meat back into the pot.
Add the tomato paste and white wine.
Stir. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, or until lamb is tender.
Cover. Simmer for another 90 minutes.
Serve over rice pilaf or egg noodles. Enjoy.
There was a column in Forbes
the other day that caught me eye, and with which I agree - that “an ever-growing, almost pervasive anti-male sentiment” has taken hold in society. The writer, Leslie Knight, suggests that feminism has, to some degree, evolved into a kind of institutionalized “misandry” maintaining that men are incapable of compassion, wisdom and appropriate behavior.
The best thing about this story is that I’ve learned a new word - “misandry.” I knew what “misanthropy” was, but “misandry” - defined as the hatred of men and boys - is anew one for me.
The column goes beyond the fact that men have fared worse during the recession than women; it suggests that men, unfairly, are being portrayed poorly in the popular media, in shows like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.”
“We've had 40 years of male bashing,” Knight writes. “Why has it continued? Maybe it is time to stop. The feminist movement was about ending sexism and stereotypes. It was not about creating a new form of sexism.”
This is a fair observation. We guys may in some ways be clueless, but I don’t think we’re dolts, and generally not mean-spirited. And certainly not deserving of contempt or hatred.
But thanks for the nod.
That said, I loved this joke passed along to me by Mrs. Content Guy. (Language advisory. This joke uses a word not often used on MNB.)The American Psychological Society is out with a new study. Ten percent of women think their asses are too big. Five percent of women think their asses are too small. And the other eighty-five percent say they don;t care - their asses are just fine, they love him, and are glad they married him.
On the other hand, there are those guys who give the rest of us a bad name.
Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post
writes this morning about Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is facing a trial for bad behavior that only Charlie Sheen would find to be acceptable. Berlusconi, however, seems not to have lost his sense of humor, and is quoted as recently saying:
“According to a survey, when asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women said ‘yes’ while the other 70 percent replied ‘What, again?’”
Last weekend, I caught up with a movie on DVD that I’d missed when it was in theaters - Fair Game
, which is a terrific thriller about the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative during the Bush administration. Well-directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity
) and nicely acted by Naomi Watts (as Plame) and Sean Penn (as her husband, Joseph Wilson), Fair Game
has a political point of view but never loses its narrative power; some won’t like it because of the politics, but Fair Game
is first and foremost a really good story, well told.
I also had a chance to revisit Good Night, And Good Luck
, the excellent George Clooney-directed movie about Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin). My daughter is doing a paper about the McCarthy era, and I’ve been showing her movies about that time period, trying to explain the feelings of fear and paranoia that pervaded the culture and politics of the time. For her, it is hard to imagine that one person could stand up and make completely unsubstantiated charges about other people and alleged foreign conspiracies and gain the attention of the nation and the media. Though on reflection, maybe the hardest thing for her to imagine is that at the time, television was black-and-white.
The next movie we’ll watch: The Front
My wine of the week: the 2009 Dornier Cocoa Hill Chenin Blanc 2009, which is bright and crisp and perfect as the weather gets a little warmer.BTW...this happens to be one of the April selections from the MNB Wine of the Month Club. For more information, about this new MNB offering CLICK HERE.
That’s it for this week. have a good weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.