“It meant more to our father to deal with a setback and try to bounce back than to watch how we handled our successes. Show what you are made of, he would say. Graduating from Wake Forest means all of you have experienced success already. And some of you — and now I’m talking to anyone who’s been dumped, not gotten the job you really wanted, or received those horrible rejection letters from grad school — you know the sting of losing. Or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of.”
Not many could have their firing on the front page of newspapers and still show their face the next week to deliver a commencement address. So for that reason alone, I admire Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, who was canned last week and spoke this morning at Wake Forest’s graduation. Regardless of what you think about Abramson’s firing and whose “side” you believe — Abramson was reportedly considered “pushy,” including about her pay and pension; the Times brass emailed staff saying she was was laid off because she wasn’t a good manager — the woman’s thoughts on resilience are worth listening to. [YouTube via Mashable]
It’s not that I don’t think a human being who is accused of something does not have the right to respond or defend himself But the possibility that Woody Allen may use the New York Times op-ed page to respond to the sexual abuse allegations published on Sunday by his daughter Dylan Farrow is veering into “He Said/She Said” realm that should make us all feel uncomfortable. Keep reading »
This past Saturday, Bernice Gordon turned 100 years old, and to celebrate, she did what she does every day: she created a crossword puzzle. Gordon has been writing crosswords for nearly six decades, with her grids appearing regularly in The New York Times and other newspapers, magazines, and books since the 1950s. She’s something of a legend in the puzzle-making community, but today her status was cemented in the history books: with the publication of her most recent puzzle, she became the first and only centenarian to have a puzzle byline in the Times. Gordon doesn’t plan to retire from wordplay anytime soon. “[Crosswords] make my life,” she told the Portland Press Herald. “I couldn’t live without them.” [Huffington Post]
I didn’t expect a can-usually-be-counted-on-for-fluff article about marriage in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times to be so damn depressing. But I suppose that’s a conclusion to be expected when one starts wondering, what’s the point of it all? Keep reading »
This week, HBO screened a documentary film, “Valentine Road,” about the 2008 murder of a 14-year-old boy, Lawrence King, by a classmate in Oxnard, California. King had been exploring his gender identity by wearing makeup and heels to school; he had told friends that he was gay and had asked 14-year-old Brandon McInerney to be his Valentine in front of other classmates. McInerney, who had a girlfriend, shot King in head during class in their middle school computer lab.
Heartbreaking. Inexcusable. And yet the New York Times’ film review by Neil Genzlinger actually dared to ask:
Was Mr. McInerney the one who was bullied, by Mr. King’s flaunting of his identity (including wearing makeup and heeled boots to school)?
Keep reading »