I’m back from Indianapolis. Let’s go:
- So Wednesday was the 30th anniversary of President Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech. I’ve heard about this speech before as a turning point in his presidency, so I went ahead and read the full text. To sum it up in a phrase, I don’t understand why this speech was so hated upon — it seems to me to be right on the money.
I haven’t watched the video — though I posted it below, so I should probably get on that — so a lot is missing in terms of the substance vs. delivery view. But in reading it, it’s striking for sure how much of the national debate is stuck exactly where it was in 1979. Here’s President Carter talking about energy independence, new forms of energy, and the corrupting influence of consumerism. Last I checked, it’s 2009 and we’re still talking about every one of those things. The historical verdict seems to be that conservatives’ favorite punching bag scored a lot of points immediately after the speech, but then fired most of his Cabinet and made himself look yet again like an ineffective leader. The guy was definitely lacking in a lot of his Presidency, but I think the speech hateration — “unprecedented disaster”? — is off the mark.
- This NY Times opinion piece is Tom Wolfe at his most annoying — exclamation! points! lots of emdashes … with ellipses! — but I think somewhere in there he made a good point about the philosophical aspects of the space program that don’t get touted.
- I’m noticing that there’s all Rust Belt downtowns have a part that always conforms to the same standard. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee — you will always find a part of downtown that has a well-trafficked bus stop with the usual cast of characters, a run-down Dunkin Donuts, a parking garage and a near-total lack of office workers in the business-casual sense. (In Detroit, this encompasses everything within the city limits.) All of these elements will inevitably be present. This should probably get a name, so visitors know to look for it. Brownbagville? The Dunkin District?
For real, that could be anywhere between Minnesota and Upstate New York.
- To all my NU readaz: did you know Le Peep is a franchise? I had no idea of this until I ate at one in Indianapolis this morning. Maybe I could have learned this if Le Peep were open other than 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. (I would like to thank Paul for that joke from the year 1999.)
- Anybody ever dealt with Apple service before? My iPod is pissed at me and I need to know how helpful I can expect them to be. Thanks, yo.