The day got off to a grand start when the first thing that came up on TV was the ending of John Wayne’s “True Grit.” When the Coen Brothers did their (dark) remake starring Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, I wondered which version would survive as the definitive one. Sometimes remakes of classic films obliterate the originals, like “The Thing,” or “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.” Sometimes the original films are so obviously superior that the remake just vanishes. Sometimes it should vanish, but doesn’t, like the ugly “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” created by Tim Burton. Both “True Grit’s ” are excellent, but so far, at least, the Duke’s Oscar-willing performance has prevailed. Good.
1. From the “You can’t fool all of the people all the time, especially if you’re a callow, arrogant fool” files: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offended an audience made up predominantly of African Americans when she slipped into assumed regional slang to lecture them about the dignity of menial jobs for life
“I’m proud to be a bartender, ain’t nothing wrong with that!” Ocasio-Cortez proclaimed. [CORRECTION NOTE: Originally, the version of this statement I had was an Ebonics-fest that I got off of a tweet from an attendee. This was incorrect: thanks to Chris Marschner for the fact check.]
Actually, the real offense was her content, not her delivery. This is communist cant for the proles: don’t aspire to more than your hum-drum jobs, for you are serving the greater good (and your superior overlords). That’s not the American values system, or American culture, which encourages productive dissatisfaction, personal initiative, and determination to be better and do better.
2. I knew Harvard wouldn’t be able to duck the college admission scandal! Harvard has launched an “independent investigation” into a series of suspicious events that occurred in 2016. Wealthy businessman Jie “Jack” Zhaopaid inexplicably paid $989,500 for a home in the Boston suburbs that was valued at only $549,300. Seventeen months later he sold that home for $665,000, for a loss of $324,000. Continue reading