Tag Archives: Hosni Mubarak

It’s July 4th in Egypt. The most apologetic thief ever. And an NBA player tries to sell his own jersey as a store employee

There’s a great line in my favorite movie “Field of Dreams,” spoken by Moonlight Graham. He says “we just don’t realize the most significant moments in our lives as they’re happening to us.”
I thought about that Friday while watching CNN, and seeing the faces of the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square. This was their Independence Day; for the rest of their lives every single Egyptian will remember where they were on Feb. 11, 2011, and how incredible it felt.
It’s really remarkable to watch a nation’s leadership topple; it only took about three weeks for a dictator who’s been in power for three decades to crumble.
Look at the faces in that picture. Look at the joy felt by a people who never have known freedom. That this could happen in the Middle East must hearten the Iranians, and everyone else who dreams of throwing off the shackles off totalitarianism.
How lucky we are to be alive to see the world change in such a major way.

This struck me as the saddest thing I’d seen in a while. A Seattle convenience store is robbed, and the thief seems about as apologetic about it as you can imagine. It’s painful watching him do this. Look, I’m not in any way condoning what he did. I’m just saying, this is what some people in our world, circa 2011, have come to:

**A young NBA player on the Knicks named Landry Fields did something awesome. He went to work at a New York-area  Modell’s Sporting Goods store and tried to sell his jersey to customers. It, eh, didn’t go quite so well: But I totally applaud him for his good humor.

Moved by the protests in Egypt. A random JonBenet Ramsey thought. And Bryant and Katie discover the Internet

So like many of you, I’m sure, I watched and read a bit about the incredible protests going on in Egypt the last several days.
And what struck me is that this is different from the brave and bloody Iranian protests back in 2009, in that it didn’t follow a fraudulent election.
What most interests me about this event in Egypt, this tremendous display of courage and passion and anger by so many millions of oppressed people, is this: Why now?
What was it, finally that mobilized so many, to demand change, now? Protests have been going in Egypt for years, but nothing on this scale.
So what was it? What was the tipping point that made so many decide “enough was enough?” Was it the fall of Tunisia’s government? Was it simply too many people, hungry and unemployed and unwilling to sit idly by as democracy came to other places but not there?
I hope the Egyptian protesters are successful, and a tyrant like Mubarak is brought down. I hope this doesn’t end like the Iranian protests did, with thousands bloodied in the streets, and their dictator still in power.
Whatever the final spark was, it may lead to historic, wonderful change in a part of the world that needs as many democracies as it can get.

**This was brought to my attention on Twitter by two people who have SO much in common: Alyssa Milano and Roger Ebert (She’s a former child star turned sexpot actress, he’s a movie critic with a new prosthetic jaw! Please welcome to the podium…)
It’s a “Today” show clip from 1994, as Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel first hear about something called the Internet. Pretty funny:

**So I was reading a story Sunday from last week’s New York Times Book Review, and it mentioned JonBenet Ramsey.
So it got me curious as to how old the little girl murdered in 1996, by a criminal still not caught, would be today.
And it turns out she’d turn 21 this year. That fact stunned me. Can’t believe it’s been that long.
And like the death of any 6-year-old, it remains an unspeakable tragedy.

The WikiLeaks scandal doesn’t move me. And an incredible Billy Joel interview

So the entire media world seems to be going crazy over this newest WikiLeaks scandal, involving thousands of leaked diplomatic cables that were top-secret.
Thanks to someone who’s leaking this stuff, we’re supposed to believe, thanks to a hysterical press corps, that national security has been threatened, diplomacy ruined, and the entire world may come crashing down.
Please. Been reading about the WikiLeaks disclosure for a little while tonight, and it sounds to me like much ado about very little.
We have learned, for example, that the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called Iranian officials “big, fat liars,” and that the U.S. has tried to persuade Pakistan to give America some of its nuclear weapons.
There is other stuff in there, unflattering stuff about world leaders, but I mean really, everyone knows that people talk behind each other’s back. That’s what makes the world go round: gossip.
I just don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe I’m missing the boat here. Or maybe, once again, my friends in the media are making this out to be a way bigger deal than it really is.

**It’s fairly required that if you grew up on Long Island in the 1980s, you’re a Billy Joel fan. So of course I was, and still am, a huge fan.
Billy was one of us, just a working-class schlub from the Island who wrote songs on the piano that became the soundtrack to many of our lives. I saw him in concert once, back when I was in high school around 1991 or so, and it was freaking incredible.
Anyway, Billy’s songs have always meant so much to me, from the beautiful “She’s Always a Woman” and “And So it Goes” (a wildly underrated Joel classic) to “Piano Man” and “Summer Highland Falls.”

Howard Stern? I’m so not a fan. But last week Howard had Billy on his satellite radio show for 90 minutes, and it was an incredible interview. Stern came off as just a regular guy, asking questions, and it was fabulous. Billy talked about how he wrote certain songs, how lyrics “muck up” beautiful music, and of his days banging Elle McPherson, and then Christie Brinkley (it was a rough life for Mr. Joel).

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, here’s Part 1. All six parts are on YouTube, if you’re interested. It’s truly a fantastic conversation.