1. Well, my Sopranos predictions didn’t come true, but I wasn’t too far off on most points. I loved the fade-out ending, which is of course the classic The Lady or the Tiger ending as originated by short story writer Frank R. Stockton. The tense final episode also gave us another “Yeets” (Yeats) recitation by the fitful and hilarious young A. J. Soprano, and we were also treated to a few verses of Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” before A. J.’s CD player melted and his S.U.V. blew up.
Overall, this finale was worthy of the best moments of the series. And Paulie had the best line in the whole show: “Dey can take 2007 and give it back ta da Indians”.
2. So, who the hell had the scoop on the Clark Institute’s attempts to strike a revealing book from the Met’s bookshop? Well, I’m glad the Metropolitan Museum of Art bookstore is now stocking The Clarks of Cooperstown by Nicholas Fox Weber, and I think it’s great how an organization’s attempt at silencing an art historian backfired so publicly in this case.
Which is why I have to say that Ron Hogan totally misses the point when he defends the Met’s bookshop’s original decision not to stock the book . Ron says:
I’m not inclined to see a bookstore’s refusal to stock an individual title as an act of censorship. I have a very narrow view of what constitutes a genuine First Amendment violation, and a bookstore’s seeing fit not to stock a given book just doesn’t meet my standard.
I agree with Ron that this is not a case of censorship or constitutional rights, and as far as I know nobody has suggested threatening the Met bookshop with criminal charges or litigation. But any book lover will be offended at the idea of a wealthy family estate or endowed organization placing pressure on a store not to sell or promote a highly reputatable (published by Knopf, in this case) non-fiction book. And I don’t know why Ron, a book lover, doesn’t think readers and customers have a right to be offended by this, and to make a lot of noise when it happens.
It’s not a legal issue, Ron, but it is an ethical issue. Anyway, the protest was successful, and wasn’t it nice to see blogs and newspapers working together to blow up a story?
3. A San Francisco revery by Ed Champion. San Francisco has got to be a hard city to leave.
4. An interview with the irrepressible Grace Paley
Fade to black.