L-R: Hosea, Carla, and Stefan.
I wasn't going to watch the finale because Fabio is gone, and I live for Fabio. But I am a fan of TV in general, and especially of Top Chef, so I watched it anyways.
My heart wasn't involved at first. But then Hosea gave Stefan the alligator, and my emotions started boiling over (did you get the subtle cooking reference there?). I started to remember what a whiny little baby Hosea is, and how creepy Carla is (she was good for some laughs earlier on, but the whole "putting love into the food" thing went a little overboard). And then I realized that Stefan is, in fact, sexy (even though I'm not usually into the whole baldie thing) I believe that being attractive should be part of a Top Chef's job. And then when Carla started crying and Stefan said “don’t cry, Carla” I realized that to top it all off, he has a heart. And of course Fabio was rooting for Stefan, so how could I want anyone else to win?
I'm feeling a swelling sense of granddaughterly pride in Senator John McCain today. I think we can all agree that this was downright adorbs:
@SenJohnMcCain is running his Twitter himself now — something the technologically-savvy @BarackObama never did. In fact, @BarackObama's Twitter is now defunct, to the disappointment of his 332,598 forsaken-feeling Tweeple.
After avoiding this disease like pretty girls avoided me throughout middle school and high school, the unthinkable happened: I caught the psychotic epidemic that strikes the nation every year and reduces all those infected to hysteric school girls for two nights a week—American Idol. It’s true, ladies and gentlemen, and it is for this reason that I shoved the slow-moving lady with the Trader Joe’s bags out of my way so I could squeeze into the spot she meant to occupy in the uptown 3 train. If you are reading this, Slow-Moving-Trader-Joe’s-Bag-Carrying-Lady I would like for you to know: never again make the mistake of walking that slowly with your recently bought groceries in front of someone when they have to get home and watch American Idol.
Much to my chagrin, however, I turned on my television to sadly realize that instead of Simon, Paula, Randy and that New-Judge-That-No-One-Ever-Remembers-Her-Name, I was about to watch President Barack Obama talk about important things that matter. How intrusive. How un-American. So I did the next best thing to paying attention to him; I live blogged about his “historic” first address to Congress. These are the highlights:
In Sunday’s New York Times, two men who have had “heated debates” on gay marriage conducted the latest peace talk in the culture wars. David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rausch propose a compromise on gay marriage, saying the federal government should recognize civil unions while allowing a religious-conscience exemption. “When a reasonable accommodation on a tough issue seems possible,” they say, “both sides should have the courage to explore it.”
The Wall Street Journal wondered recently if culture wars are “going the way of the fights over the oil embargo or the Soviet missile gap,” Bluntly, no one cares as much as the activists—especially now, when economic survival seems more pressing. Organizations like Third Way, an evangelical think-thank, propose “a governing agenda to end the culture wars” that reduces abortion, gives employment protections to gay people, denounces torture and reforms immigration. Even a majority of young evangelicals support civil unions.
“When it comes to culture, Obama doesn’t have a public agenda; he has a public anti-agenda. He wants to remove culture from the political debate,” Peter Beinart, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in The Daily Beast. Also in Sunday’s New York Times, consistently thoughtful Slate columnist William Saletan advises Obama on this effort to negotiate the culture wars: “He’ll have to tell two truths that the left and the right don’t want to hear: that morality has to be practical, and that practicality requires morals.”
There’s more to this than prioritizing economic survival or wanting hope and change. For Christians, many of whom are deeply invested in “culture war” issues, there may be times when compromise is not just the second best but the best—the most Christian—way to think about policy.
When we wrestle with morality in the public square, we are talking about public policy, not private morality.
I always try to get through those long, erudite articles about the state of the economy but get bogged down in terminology: collateralized debt obligation, hedge fund, frozen credit markets, credit default swaps. This 11-minute video by Jonathan Jarvis (via ANIMAL New York) explains the whole "fia$co" succinctly, in terms even I can kind of understand.
Click here for Part 2 so you can see everything completely blow up at the end. Fun.
Trade Deadline Is Passed…
And Shaq and Lebron aren’t teammates, Amare is still a Sun, and Vince is still stuck in Jersey. The biggest news from the deadline: Rafer Alston goes from Houston to Orlando to replace the void left by Jameer Nelson’s injury. Can you say anti-climatic? The Bulls also sent Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Tim Thomas and other insignificant persons. The Shaun Marion and Jermaine O’Neal swap made the biggest news so far, but neither of their teams are in serious playoff contention so we can’t really pretend to care.
Warm, fuzzy, story of the week
Ken Griffey is back in Seattle. I’m glad for him and the desperate Seattle sports fans. After the last couple of years, memories are the only things keeping them alive. Now they can go down to their basements, sort through the dusty boxes of Olerud, Martinez, and Rodriguez jerseys, brush that Griffey throwback off, and they’re back in business. But seriously, Griffey showed a lot of class on his part going to Seattle instead of Atlanta. It’s nice to see some players are still loyal to their organizations.
(More after the jump.)
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