The Wednesday Curator – 3/23/2016

March 22, 2016

President Barack Obama and his family spent Malia and Sasha’s last spring break in the White House in Cuba. Truly incredible, both that an American president went to Cuba, and that presidents from Kennedy to W allowed a small group of South Miamians to control American foreign policy for five decades. And the best piece I’ve read about the trip and the new order? David Graham’s What Does Obama’s Picture in Front of a Che Mural Mean?, written for The Atlantic on March 21.

George Will wrote Do Republicans really think Donald Trump will make a good Supreme Court choice? for the Washington Post last Friday. Mr. Will’s piece is lucid and pretty devastating, coming from him. (Remember George Will? He’s been a conservative columnist for more than 40 years.) Best line: “… there is no reason to doubt that [Donald Trump) would bring to the selection of justices what he brings to all matters — arrogance leavened by frivolousness.”

A Week on the Trail with the “Disgusting Reporters” Covering Donald Trump was written by Seth Stevenson for Slate, a few days ago. It’s a first-hand report on the reporters who cover Donald Trump. Mr. Stevenson’s piece brings to mind Adlai Stevenson. In 1956 a woman told Governor Stevenson, then trying—and failing, again—to be get elected to the presidency, he had the vote of every thinking American. “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” This time around, there will be more than enough people to send this man back where he belongs … but only if they show up in November.

From the animal desk we have two get stories. First, from Sao Paulo—good news from Brazil, for real—here’s Love! Shelter dogs Serve as Ball Boys at Brazil Open Event. The video is great, the dogs—I don’t know whether they were all boys or not—were terrific, and the event promoted rescue animals. Lots of fun.

I caught Fresh Air on Monday, between offices. Dave Davies was interviewing Petrine Day Mitchum, author of Hollywood Hoofbeats: The Fascinating Story of Horses in Movies and Television. Ms. Mitchum was delightful and interesting. Best of all, though, was the story of Jimmy Stewart and Pie in The Far Country. Here’s the link to the interview, with Jimmy Stewart at about 16:40. Totally charming!

Pete Wells has written yet another wonderful restaurant review for the New York Times, this one covering Lowlife. What makes the review so wonderful is Mr. Wells’ way of addressing pomposity. Like:

I have never seen a restaurant clear dirty dishes the way Lowlife does. Two servers would flank the table. Each would reach in and remove a single knife at the same moment. Then one spoon each, again in synchrony. Then two forks would rise and disappear. Finally, two plates, now free of silverware, would be taken away, solemnly and ceremoniously, as if they had died fighting for their country. A bugler should have stood by, softly playing taps.


Servers often talked with an affected tone that undermined the friendliness their smiles projected. One spoke about the coming meal as “the experience.” Dishes were “introduced,” as in, “Now I’d like to introduce you to your third course of the evening, our chicken.” Pleased to meet you, chicken. What do you say we make a run for the door?

Actually chicken and I don’t do well together—it likes me less than I like it, but for the fried variety at my neighborhood bar—but I believe I could hang out with the yakitori variety from Lowlife:


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