The Wednesday Curator – 1/7/15

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

I’m wading through The Tragedy of the American Military by James Fallows for The Atlantic’s current issue. I expect Mr. Fallows’ thorough review of the sorry state of our interface with those we have hired to fight our battles will matter in the near future. I also expect it won’t matter nearly enough!

Mario Cuomo died on January 1, 2015. Here from the New York Times is Adam Nagourney’s excellent obituary. The other piece I read that really resonated was The legacy of Mario Cuomo’s 1984 ‘Tale of Two Cities’ speech by Andrei Cherny for Yahoo News.

We live in a world that no longer appreciates great men and women, unless they have been presidents, rock stars, or legends. I recall learning about Mario Cuomo by reading Forest Hills Diary:  The Crisis of Low-Income Housing in the mid-1970s. (Yes, I was a geek; thank G-d none of my geekiness left me with an urge to run for public office.) I realized, even as a teenager, that Mr. Cuomo was one smart, exceptional man. Watching him become a really big deal, and reading about him now, I know he was exceptional. Godspeed!

I can’t quite let go of The Rise and Fall of Charm in American Men by Benjamin Schwarz. Written for The Atlantic in May 2013, I first saw it several days ago. Worth a read, guys! Charm may not be everything, but a little bit can’t hurt.

For Slate, John Ore shared Why I’ve Given up Alcohol Every January for the Last Eight Years. I can relate, having given up alcohol for the first quarter of 2014. There was one family dinner with visitors from back East, a glass of wine with a Book Festival author-guest in March, and I did quit a week early in March so I could enjoy a trip to San Diego; otherwise, dry as the desert in late June. I caught sh*t just last night at trivia, for my mates still claim my quitting caused the loss of the 2014 first half season. Alas, I’m a fan of real tests associated with behavioral change, if only because they require focus and commitment.

Take a look at An Insider’s Guide to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco by Maggie Hoffman for, from December 22. Rest assured that, on my next trip to San Francisco, being gluten-free will be “on vacation” for a day or three.



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