Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Star Wars channels The Hunger Games

Greetings from Albany!
By the time you read this, I may well be on my way home.

1. How Donald Trump Wasted His Spring Break (New Yorker)
There were signs that important establishment figures, such as Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, were accommodating themselves to his candidacy. Trump could have used G.O.P. hatred of Ted Cruz to woo Party regulars and Republicans in Congress. He could have delivered a series of policy speeches to prove that he has even an elementary understanding of major issues.
In March, there were two signs that Trump was attempting this sort of pivot…
[R]ather than use this sleepy period in the campaign to attempt to show that he has some command of the issues, Trump continued to grant long interviews that exposed a shocking lack of familiarity with even basic policy questions. In one, Trump managed to horrify the editorial board of the Washington Post with incoherent answers and “breezy willingness to ignore facts and evidence,” as well as with his casual sexism.
Interesting article.  It seems that no one can stop Trump but Trump, and yet that is exactly what is happening.  He can’t get out of his own way, to the point where most observers are now expecting the GOP to brutally disavow him at the convention later this year.
The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager.Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China...
Others include the daughter of Li Peng, who oversaw the brutal retaliation against Tiananmen Square protestors; and Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, the ex-politburo member jailed for life for corruption and power abuses
Since Monday, China’s censors have been blocking access to the unfolding revelations about its most senior political families. There are now reports of censors deleting hundreds of posts on the social networks Sina Weibo and Wechat, and some media organisations including CNN say parts of their websites have been blocked.
This is your weekly reminder of what a repressive regime looks like and how it’s different than what happens in America.  We might well have a scandal like this here at home, but if we did, you can at least feel pretty good about the reality that the press would cover it incessantly.
In this case, though, no Americans have been tied to this particular scandal.
What’s doubly ironic about the scandal for the Chinese, of course, is that the current regime has been on an anti-corruption crusade for the better part of the last decade.  Needless to say, getting caught in exactly the sort of corruption it’s been investigating so vigilantly is something of an embarrassment.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Wow.  I’m so impressed.  This looks terrific.
 -- Every Cool Detail We Spotted in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Gizmodo).  Because it’s never over until we’ve spent half an hour obsessing about it.  I’ll echo what the article points out, which is that this new Star Wars is obscenely faithful to the vision of the original trilogy.
 -- 'Rogue One' Could Connect To ‘The Force Awakens’ In Some Very Interesting Ways (Bustle).  This has been my theory all along.  That the existing Star Wars cannon shows us a very specific slice of the universe--the Skywalker slice.  We’re getting into some new territory here, some of which has presumably shown up previously in another form.  Abrams’s movie was so oblique in the way that it raised so many story questions that it’s tough--right now--to see how this film ties it all together.  But some of this is going to open up the Star Wars universe in ways that we cannot yet foresee.

4.  Cloak & Dagger TV Show
The show is going to be on Freeform, the cable network formerly known as ABC Family.
5.  Army Football: Spring Camp Updates
Army beat writer Sal Interdonato filed a few reports this week on the team’s progress through spring camp.
 -- Spring Practice Blog: April 4.  Has Interdonato’s take on Army’s current first and second team offenses.
 -- 2016 recruiting class: Army or Army Prep (updated).  This is interesting mostly because it shows the projected split between direct-admit candidates and prep schoolers.  This year’s recruiting class looks about as big as last year’s, but it appears to have a higher percentage of direct-admits.
 -- Quick Spring Practice Blog: April 6.  Typical practice report, but Interdonato shot the following video of #1 receiver Edgar Poe going against current #1 DB Brandon Jackson.

Man, Poe is tall.
 -- Spring Practice: Leadership.  This was my favorite article.  It’s much easier to follow the action on the field if you’re familiar with the players--as well as their strengths and weaknesses.  This is why I started following the team’s media coverage so closely when I became a season ticket holder.  
To quote the article, “Army should still be a young football team in 2016.”  But they do have some real team leaders, and I am cautiously optimistic to see how those guys and a year of solid experience will serve in the coming campaign.
That's all I've got.  Enjoy your weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment