Catching up —

NY Times’ Bob Herbert on the depressing state of education in America. If the kids’ parents don’t take education seriously, I’m not sure how McCain/Obama/Hilary may inspire people to take it seriously.

Slate’s Troy Patterson on such a sad look at CBS News. For a news division that was once venerable, this degradation is just really sad. Can’t you age gracefully, like ABC or NBC?

Literary Brooklyn profiled in the New York Observer

New York Observer has an interview with Prof. Doug Muzzio, longtime NYC political scientist; Muzzio raises interesting questions for the Bloomberg administration – what is a legacy?

A.O. Scott reviews “Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay”; yeah, it’s still a stupid stoner movie, Scott concedes, but he still seems a little moved that there’s a pair of APA’s trying to do a slight shift of status quo, just by starring in a silly movie.

Slate’s Dana Stevens doesn’t seem to be leaning toward similar benefit of a doubt toward the Harold and Kumar sequel, stating:

This may be the worst sin of Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay: It betrays the spirit of the stoner comedy, which has traditionally been subversive—when it wasn’t detailing the love affair between two marginally functional young men and their stash of sweet, sweet herb. […] Toking up is all the better with that one friend who really gets you—and that friendship, in turn, is burnished by the weed-fueled adventures you share. Cho and Penn’s giggly chemistry in the first movie was a celebration of that sacred bond. But not only are Kumar and Harold hardly ever high this time around; they’re scarcely on speaking terms. [….]

Time’s Richard Corliss ties the Harold and Kumar sequel with a smaller film on the issue of Guantanamo, and he strikes a more serious note on the issue of Harold and Kumar’s movie theme… probably more than the stoner dudes probably deserve…

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick watched and commented on the recent Boston Legal episode where Alan and Denny (Denny Crane!) argue the death penalty case before the US Supreme Court. I watched only the first two minutes, before I had to avert my eyes. Seeing Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) trying to flirt (with the look of his eyes) with Justice Ginsberg (or an actress playing her anyway) before he started to suffer from some flatulence… well, I was kind of sickened by the scene. The pseudo Chief Justice Roberts looked a little too like him. Hmm.

Speaking of Ch. J. Roberts: he was in town, presiding a moot court at Columbia Law. NY Times’ Adam Liptak describes the concept of moot court in entertaining layman’s terms and how this particular competition with Roberts’ involvement went:

[Ch. J. Roberts] talked a bit about the art of appellate argument, of which he is an acknowledged master, and he gave some hints about his judicial philosophy, which he presented as cautious and practical.

Moot court is a funny institution, part debate club and part “American Idol.” Students are assigned a case, often loosely based on a real one, and they pretend to be appellate lawyers, writing briefs and making arguments. The best advocate wins.

This weekend, Alma Mater is observing the 40th Anniversary of the 1968 takeover(s). Articles are all over the place about the past, and how it’s comparable to the present (Alma Mater then and now; 1968 society then, and 2008 society now…) Among other articles or posts, this post on NY Times’ City Room blog has a fascinating look at the 1968 takeover of CU, by a reporter who had been there. Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News had his recollection of his senior year of 1968, and how it’s comparable to Alma Mater’s – umm – current difficulties of expansion.

And, lately, I’ve been into the (Lil) Green Patch Application on Facebook – cute!