Saturday, May 26, 2018
The Capitals’ captain is scoring goals, making plays, and killing off lazy ideas about his career.
May 24, 2018
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, left, poses with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and the Prince of Wales trophy after the Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 during Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey playoff series Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)
The goal Alex Ovechkin scored 62 seconds into Game 7 against the Lightning was the same goal he’s scored hundreds of times. Of all the ways this generation’s best scorer has beaten goaltenders over the last 13 years, no method has been more common than Ovechkin opening up in or above the left faceoff circle, getting a pass from across the ice, and viciously one-timing it past some poor goalie who barely had a chance.
Ovechkin has always had a rep as a shooter first. He does shoot a ton, but this playoff run should lay plain how much more he is than that.
These playoffs should eliminate one other fiction about Ovechkin, too.
Friday, May 25, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
By Carmel Dagan
May 22, 2018
Clint Walker, who starred in the television Western “Cheyenne” and had a key supporting role in the WWII film “The Dirty Dozen,” died on Monday in Northern California, according to the New York Times. He was 90.
For seven seasons from 1955-61, he played Cheyenne Bodie, a rambunctious wanderer in the post-Civil War West, on the ABC series “Cheyenne.” (He also guested as the character on “Maverick.”)
The actor’s seriocomic confrontation with star Lee Marvin was one of the highlights of the classic 1967 war picture “The Dirty Dozen.”
After “Cheyenne” ended, Walker made some guest appearances on TV — “77 Sunset Strip,” “Kraft Suspense Theatre” and “The Lucy Show,” in an episode called “Lucy and Clint Walker.”
But the actor became more interested in movies both theatrical and for TV. In 1964, he had a supporting role in the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy “Send Me No Flowers.” His acting was not distinguished, but he did participate in a memorable sight gag in which the enormous man popped out of an exceptionally small car.
Impressively, Frank Sinatra, directing the thought-provoking WWII film “None but the Brave” (1965), cast Walker in the lead as a Marine captain who, along with his men (including one played by Sinatra), reaches a detente of mutual benefit with the Japanese troops, led by a lieutenant played by Tatsuya Mihasi, who have come to inhabit the same Pacific island.
He next starred in bear-vs.-man adventure Western “Night of the Grizzy,” but a more interesting choice, perhaps, was “Maya,” in which Walker played a hunter in India whose son, played by Jay North, flees into the jungle after a quarrel with his father, who must seek far and wide for the teen.
Walker in 1967 joined the all-star cast of WWII classic “The Dirty Dozen.” The actor played one of the 12 miscreants rescued/recruited from military prisons for a particularly hazardous mission. Lee Marvin was a big man, but Walker was far bigger, and in their famous scene together, Marvin’s character enjoins Walker’s Samson Posey to take a swing at him; a reluctant Posey, essentially a gentle soul (except when pushed) says, “I don’t want to hurt you, Major.”
Major Reisman, provoking him, responds: “You’re not gonna hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you.”
To use him as an example of how the Dozen need to learn self-defense, Marvin’s Reismam gives Walker’s Posey his knife and starts pushing him, starts to enrage Posey.
So Posey, pushed to the limit, thrusts the knife at Marvin, who grabs it and flips Posey to the ground, subduing him.
In the 1969 Western “More Dead Than Alive,” Walker was first credited, above Vincent Price and Anne Francis. The New York Times paid him a half-baked compliment: “There is something winning about his taciturn earnestness as an actor, although real emotion seldom breaks through.”
The Times was more impressed with his performance in the comedy Western “Sam Whiskey,” the Burt Reynolds-Angie Dickinson vehicle in which Walker was third billed.
He followed that film with a much zanier comedy Western, “The Great Train Robbery,” also with Zero Mostel and Kim Novak, and began a transition to TV movies thereafter, aside from an execrable 1972 feature called “Villa,” starring Telly Savalas as the Mexican bandit.
Walker starred in the 1971 ABC Western movie “Yuma,” among his other TV work. In 1974, he gave series TV another stab, starring as an Alaskan state patrolman in “Kolchak,” but its run was brief.
He made more TV movies with names like “Killdozer” and “Snowbeast.”
Walker starred with Kim Cattrall in 1977’s “Deadly Harvest,” about a famine plaguing the entire world.
The actor reprised the role of Cheyenne Bodie for an episode of “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” in 1995 and retired after voicing Nick Nitro for the movie “Small Soldiers” in 1998.
Walker was also a singer. He sang a number of tunes on a 1957 episode of “Cheyenne,” issued a Christmas album in 1959, performed on an episode of “The Jack Benny Program” in 1963 and sang in the film “Night of the Grizzly.”
Though often taken for a Southerner, Norman Eugene Walker was born in Hartford, Illinois and left school at the end of WWII to enlist in the Merchant Marine.
His first credited feature role was the Sardinian captain in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” (1956). Walker’s first feature starring roles came in the Westerns “Fort Dobbs,” “Yellowstone Kelly” and “Gold of the Seven Saints” (1958, 1959, 1961, all directed by Gordon Douglas).
The handsome, blue-eyed actor was a beefy 6-foot-6; the terms “mountain of a man” or “man-mountain” were often used to describe him. Walker won a Golden Boot Award in 1997 and a Star on the Walk of Fame decades earlier, in 1960.
He was married three times. He is survived by third wife, Susan Cavallari, and a daughter, Valerie, by his first wife, Verna Garver. His twin sister died in 2000.
Clint Walker Interview -http://www.cowboysindians.com/2015/08/clint-walker/
May 22, 2018
Bernard Lewis. Credit: Agence Opale-Alamy
When Edmund Burke died, he asked that his grave be hidden, so that his enemies wouldn’t disinter him and defile his leftovers. Bernard Lewis, who has died just short of his 102nd birthday, might have been advised to make a similar request.
Lewis was the English-speaking world’s most eminent modern scholar of the Middle East. His prose, while it didn’t exactly leap off the page, drew on decades of archival research and a deep grounding in historical method. His analysis was measured, and his conclusions were thoughtful. He said that the Arabs were the authors of their own misery, and that the ‘return of Islam’ meant that unhappy Islamists were going to share their misery with the rest of the world. No doubt his death is being quietly celebrated in departments of Middle Eastern Studies the world over.
Lewis was an Orientalist before Edward Said made that a term of abuse. Said was not a scholar of the Middle East, but a polemicist from the Middle East. He was also an intellectual impostor. Ever sinceOrientalism came out in 1978, proper historians have concluded that it would be a masterpiece, if only it were true. The only people who take Edward Said’s books seriously are, in no particular order of irrelevance, academic poseurs, chippy lefties, and the legions of chippy academic lefty poseurs churned out by the departments of Middle Eastern Studies.
Unfortunately, Said’s fellow-travelers were in the process of taking over the academic humanities at the time Orientalism came out. The result was that the study of Islam and the Middle East, once one of the jewels in the crown of Western scholarship, became a stage for salon Maoism and callow anti-Westernism. Said became a sort of intellectual pet for guilty white Americans, and Lewis and the traditional, which is to say, professional Orientalists, were driven from Middle Eastern Studies, many of them to regroup in a ghetto called Jewish Studies. All very entertaining if intellectual perversion or academic careerism or avenging the Arab nation’s humbling by the treacherous Zionists is your thing, but also fundamentally false, and not really related to historical reality, either.
Lewis had a close relationship to political reality. Too close, in Said’s estimate. If you were to put Said on the couch—late-Ottoman, preferably with French stylings—you might conclude that his central thesis in Orientalism was an assault on Lewis, the daddy of the field. Veiled, of course, but full-frontal. Said claimed that classic Orientalist historiography was nothing more than the intellectual armor of European colonialism. Lewis had got his field experience among the Arabs in the French and British colonies of the Middle East, and had served in British military intelligence in Cairo during the war. After moving to American in the 1970s, Lewis criticized the Soviet Union. He was a Zionist Jew too.
So, who was right, Ed the Arab or Bernie the Jew? In 1979, while Bernie warned that Ayatollah Khomeini was up to no good, Ed was complaining in The Nation about the ‘depressing and misleading’ image of ‘Islam’ in the Western media: ‘What emerges is that Ayatollah Khomeini, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani and Palestinian terrorists are the best-known figures in the foreground, while the background is populated by shadowy (though extremely frightening) notions about jihad, slavery, subordination of women and irrational violence combined with extreme licentiousness.’
Call me a Zionist, but haven’t subsequent events tended to confirm that image? The only change is that the Palestinian terrorists, instead of being secular leftists like Ed, are now religious lunatics. Bernie also warned that ‘the return of Islam’, which Ed said was a ‘fiction’ of the Western academic-media complex, was actually happening, and that all that resentment was all going to blow up in the West’s face like an exploding waistcoat. Full marks, Bernie, and thank you for that handy phrase, ‘clash of civilisations’.
But Bernie also had his failings, and some of them closely resemble Ed’s. Ed never let the truth get in the way of his politics, and Bernie might have let his politics get in the way of the truth. In 1950, having realized that he wouldn’t be able to work in Arab archives because he was Jewish, Lewis found himself in the right place at the right time. When Turkey opened the Imperial Ottoman archives to researchers, Lewis was first through the door. In 2001, he was in the wrong place at the right time. After 9/11 he became an influential adviser to the Bush administration. They would have invaded Iraq anyway, but Lewis’ imprimatur added a certain intellectual weight to the invasion. Certainly, he didn’t tell the Bush administration that democratizing Iraq was a bad idea.
Lewis was a superb historian, probably the last in the line of the Western Orientalists. He educated millions through his books, rather than indoctrinating dozens through his lectures. He got the big questions right, and correctly foresaw the moral and political breakdown of the Islamic world. But when it came to the invasion of Iraq, his professional opinion was wrong. It could have been worse. Most of the time, historians don’t even predict the past correctly.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
By David French
May 22, 2018
Rarely in my life have I read a more hostile or vicious takedown of a public figure than last week’s New York Times profile of Canadian author and psychologist Jordan Peterson. Rarely have I witnessed a more bizarre and bad-faith interview of a public figure than journalist Cathy Newman’s January interrogation of Peterson on Britain’s Channel 4 News. Few public figures inspire more vitriol and mockery on Twitter than, you guessed it, Jordan Peterson. And never before have I seen vitriol so out of proportion to the “threat” of the man’s underlying message.
I don’t claim to be an expert on everything the man’s said, but I read and reviewed his most recent book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos, and I’ve watched many of his most popular YouTube videos — and the contrast between the actual content of his message and the rage and mockery it elicits never fails to surprise me. Have we really reached the point where the basic argument that men and women are different, or that free men and women will often make different choices in large part because they are different, or that religion and ancient traditions can inform and guide our lives today, are now so toxic that their advocates must and should face a relentless campaign to drive them from the public square?