Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Lessons from a Turkish grandmother … the Churchill we thought we knew … the release of all Pentagon Papers … Anna Nicole Smith and her doomed life … what not to say to the editor that fired you …

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism.

1. My ‘Confession’
By Fang Lizhi | The New York Review of Books | June 2011
“From reading Henry Kissinger’s new book On China,1 I have learned that Mr. Kissinger met with Deng Xiaoping at least eleven times—more than with any other Chinese leader—and that the topic of one of their chats was whether Fang Lizhi would confess and repent.”

2. Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new
By Jessi Arrington | TED Talks | June 2011
“Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TED but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It’s a meditation on conscious consumption — wrapped in a rainbow of color and creativity.”

3. Chile’s Puyehue Volcano: A slideshow
Time | June 6
“After laying dormant for nearly half a century, the Puyehue volcano in southern Chile erupted on Saturday, shooting a column of ash and gas six miles into the sky and prompting the evacuation of more than 3,500 residents. … Here’s some of the best images photographers captured in the past 24 hours.”

4. “I Would Have Loved To Piss on Your Shoes”
By Jack Shafer | Slate | June 6
“In honor of every journalist who flipped the boss off on the way out the door, I’ve collected a few of their best kiss-off notes and gestures from the recent past. If, after reading, you don’t turn in your badge and burn every bridge and causeway behind you and fill with sewage every tunnel and viaduct that connects you to your former place of employment, I’ve failed in my mission.”

5. After 40 Years, the Complete Pentagon Papers
By Michael Cooper and Sam Roberts | The New York Times | June 7
“It may be a first in the annals of government secrecy: Declassifying documents to mark the anniversary of their leak to the press. But that is what will happen Monday, when the federal government plans to finally release the secret government study of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers 40 years after it was first published by The New York Times.”

6. Paw Paw & Lady Love
By Dan. P. Lee | New York Magazine | June 5
“Has the Supreme Court ever heard such a peculiarly American story as that of Anna Nicole Smith? And they didn’t know the half of it.”

7. Film directors are embracing TV
By Nicole Sperling and Melissa Maerz | Los Angeles Times | June 5
“Let the major movie studios have their superheroes and pirates. Cable TV has become more innovative, and top moviemakers such as Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann and Gus Van Sant are taking advantage.”

8. The Forgotten Churchill
By George Watson | The American Scholar | June 6
“The man who stared down Hitler also helped create the modern welfare state.”

9. Marriage Lessons from My Turkish Grandmother
By Sevil Delin | Granta | June 7
“The stories my grandmother, my anneanne, told me when I was a child are anything but children’s stories. They are folktales that have a common theme – the triumph of wily wives over evil husbands (jealous, repressive skinflints) through crafty subterfuge.”

10. Clever Girl
By Tessa Hadley | The New Yorker: Fiction | June 6
“My stepfather wasn’t a big man, not much taller than my mother. He was lithe and light on his feet, handsome, with velvety dark brows, a sensual mouth, and jet-black hair in a crewcut as thick and soft as the pelt of an animal (not that I ever touched it, though sometimes, out of curiosity, I wanted to).”


My soundtrack for today included:
1. MANDINGA (Live) Buena Vista Social Club
2. A LA LOMA DE BELEN El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
4. DOS GARDENIAS Ibrahim Ferrer
5. PATRIA QUERIDA Los Guaracheros De Oriente
6. SON FO Africando All Stars
7. LA LIBELULA Mariana Montalvo
8. GUAJIRA LINDA Celina Gonzalez
9. BOOM BOOM BOOM The Iguanas
10. LA ULTIMA COPA Felipe Rodriguez

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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