Morning Reading, Sat-Sun, December 12, 2020
If I do see Paul McCartney in the street, I think I know what I will say to him, actually, presuming I can get the words out. I will say thank you. I might even tell him that I love him.
Walking into the open air of the 86th-floor observation deck, the city seems to breathe together. Up in the rarefied aerie of the 102nd floor observatory, new floor-to-ceiling windows reveal the panorama of the possibilities below.
“I’m a true believer that people, they don’t really know their limits,” Mr. Bourla said in an interview. “And usually, they have the tendency to underestimate what they can produce.”
Imagine if the U.S. announced a new war against automobile casualties, and we watched California ban all transmission technology, leading to millions of confused and angry homebound residents, while North Dakota took out all its traffic lights, leading to a redoubled epidemic of car deaths. That’s essentially what we have today—a clueless seesaw between overly restrictive and overly accommodating policies. The laboratories of democracy have become specialists in reactive ad-hocracy, as hospitalizations spike to an all-time high.
The Supreme Court repudiation of President Trump’s desperate bid for a second term not only shredded his effort to overturn the will of voters: It also was a blunt rebuke to Republican leaders in Congress and the states who were willing to damage American democracy by embracing a partisan power grab over a free and fair election.
Trump’s effort to convince people that the results of the election should be tossed appears to be crystallizing around the idea that so many people believing there was fraud is reason enough. And to get them to believe that, he and his allies are feeding them a steady diet of garbage wrapped in terminology cribbed from the glossaries of college textbooks.
Through all of this, museums staged some incredible exhibitions. Many were cut short, in some cases just days after opening, but they deserve to be remembered. Years of work, lifetimes of expertise and incredible feats of teamwork and logistics go into organizing great art exhibitions. Here were some — though by no means all — of the shows that stood out.
All photographers want to get a great shot, but Avedon went a step beyond: he wanted to get the definitive shot, and he often did. Think of his Marilyn Monroe, looking off-camera and lost, as if her dog had just died.
Don’t expect the faithful to give up trying. One of the biggest selling points for cast-iron pans is that they last forever. The debate over them will, too.