September 8, 2016
It looks more and more as if Donald Trump's reality show isn't going to be renewed for another season. I'm not talking about Celebrity Apprentice , the NBC show Trump turned into a classic of the reality genre; that show is now in the strong hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The show that's in trouble is the horrifying yet irresistible one we've all been watching since June 2015. Trump's campaign is the apotheosis of reality television's hostile takeover of the U.S. political system, in which the winner is often the one who generates the most shock and who commands the most attention.
August 14, 2016 |
Kinks with the virtual reality version of the Rio Olympics have been driving tech lovers crazy. Thursday night, this early adopter lit into Comcast techies with his frustrations, as they showed off VR clips loaded onto Samsung Gear VR goggles to visitors at a Comcast Center Olympics celebration. Twice we heard the response, "It's not our fault; it's an NBC Sports problem. " Kind of ironic, since NBC is a Comcast division. Comcast senior technical fellow Mark Francisco and colleagues agreed to take on the complaints quickly with the NBC powers that be. And by the next morning, one serious wrong was righted with a fresh update of the NBC Sports VR app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone.
July 30, 2016 |
In the end, it was hardly Days of Rage. After protesters breached security fences, blocked entrances, and stood, hundreds strong, outside the Wells Fargo Center each night of the Democratic National Convention , police and delegates braced for another evening of raucous demonstrations as Hillary Clinton prepared to take the stage Thursday. A crowd of upwards of 500 did, indeed, swell again outside the convention site Thursday night, and chanted "Feel the Bern" near the security fences.
July 29, 2016 |
On Thursday afternoon, after the Eagles completed their first full-squad workout of training camp, a reporter wondered aloud to Sam Bradford whether Doug Pederson's offense might provide for a bit more flexibility in pass protection, perhaps in the form of a running back or tight end staying home to assist against a blitz or a particularly dangerous defensive end. At times, the reporter suggested, it appeared Chip Kelly's disregard for such considerations enabled...
July 27, 2016
IN A speech Monday night before the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Kenney offered delegates a brief history lesson about Philadelphia. Not about the good part - the cradle of liberty, home to the Declaration of Independence, the modern birthplace of democracy, etc. He talked about the bad part, the Philadelphia of the 1840s when it was the center of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. Citizens were up in arms - literally up in arms - about the arrival of foreign trash on American soil.
July 23, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 A candidacy based on fantasy, not reality Donald Trump has been coronated by the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan. Republican leaders, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio and House Speaker Paul Ryan - all of whom have expressed grave doubts about Trump's fitness to occupy the world's most important office - have contorted themselves like pretzels to back him. This spectacle would be comical if it were not so tragic.
July 15, 2016
ISSUE | SHOOTINGS President is 'out of touch' At the Dallas memorial service for the five slain police officers Tuesday, President Obama said that as a nation, "we are not as divided as we seem" ("Obama: Don't despair," Wednesday). It is interesting if not confusing that he said this after one of the most vicious assaults against police in modern U.S. history. Hopefully, it was just optimism on his part and not a realistic assessment. If it was a realistic assessment, he seems hopelessly out of touch with reality.
July 9, 2016 |
Welcome to America's newest, most entertaining reality-TV show. It's called NBA Free Agency, and it doesn't need a Kardashian, a Real Housewife, or a deserted island (unless we're talking about Brooklyn and the Nets roster) to do boffo ratings and grab the viewing public by its lapels. There's so much action and excitement, and so much of the action is meaningless mind candy. Aside from Kevin Durant's leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors, the thrill of seeing all these players changing teams and signing gonzo contracts has little to do with how those signings will affect the balance of power among the league's 30 teams.
July 1, 2016 |
EVERY MAN lives two lives: the one that was, and the one that will be remembered. With Buddy Ryan, the dichotomy between the two is beguiling to consider, particularly for those of us who remain ardent fans of his sport in this kinder, gentler era of professional football. In a way, it is a dichotomy similar to the one that exists within the ghost of each game we watch. There is Sunday as we remember it: the wins and losses, the strategic decisions, the remarkable way that physical talent expresses itself in finite space and time.
June 22, 2016
A political crisis is usually preceded by an intellectual and moral crisis. Dominant ideas that once seemed to hang together lose their hold when they are exposed as contradictory and incoherent. Similarly, moral claims made on behalf of a worldview can, gradually or suddenly, come to be seen as empty. Demoralization comes before defeat. This is what happened in the Soviet Union. A corrupt and dictatorial system fell for many reasons, but its demise became inevitable when even those with an interest in mouthing the old slogans and defending the old ideology came to realize that almost everyone around them thought they were extolling bunk.