Daily Archives: July 10, 2011

A few thoughts on the late Betty Ford. Jeter’s 3,000th sucks me back in. And “instant music gratification” may be a bad thing



Spent a little time Sunday reading about the remarkable life of Betty Ford, who died Friday.

I think you can make the argument that she led the most important and meaningful life of a First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt, which is sorta funny considering Betty Ford’s husband was President for such a short time.
But think about what this woman lived through: cancer, addiction to pills, rehab and then founding an incredibly important and breakthrough rehab center, Watergate, and many other setbacks.
Betty Ford was a remarkably brave woman. She was a pioneer in helping women confront the fear of cancer; she overcame her addictions in a very public way, and to the end she was a graceful example of how to live in public life.
She was also very pointedly political when she was in the spotlight in the 1970s, as a strong supporter of abortion legalization, and the ERA.
She deserves to be remembered as one of the most important women of the 20th century.

**I’ve said on here many times that I’m not much of a baseball fan anymore. But every once in a while, I get pulled back in. The last week, being back in New York and being subjugated to non-stop “Derek Jeter 3,000th hit” talk sparked my interest again.
Then Saturday, while at my Grandma’s 93rd birthday party, my uncle’s phone suddenly beeped and he shouted “Jeter did it!” So we huddled around his iPhone a few minutes later and watched the clip of the Yankee shortstop who helped make the late 1990s so awesome for us Yankee fans achieve a wonderful career milestone with a home run.
I admit it, I got excited watching that above clip. In this swampland of fallen baseball heroes the past 15 years, Jeter has always stood above the rest as a classy, honest guy who did his job extremely well every day.

**You ever have a conversation about something with a friend, and then the next day read an article about the exact phenomenon you were just discussing? Happened to me Sunday. A day after my friend Andrew and I lamented that his son will never know what it’s like to not have information immediately at his fingertips, I read this really nice piece by the gifted writer Te-Nehisi Coates, who I got turned on to through Andrew Sullivan’s blog. He talks about how all the mystery is gone now when it comes to music; you used to spend hours wondering what was the name of that song you just heard, and then having that “aha!” moment when you found out.
Now, we’re all about instant music gratification. And it’s somehow not as fun.
You know how many hours as a kid I spent trying to remember names of songs? Then again, think about all the other ways my brain could’ve been working then. I know my 6th grade math teacher, Mrs. Mealy, would’ve appreciated me spending more brain matter on algebra.