Just this side of insane: Last night, the purported historian Alexis Coe appeared with Brian Williams. She jumped right into her favorite topic, discussing the "thigh men" who have written biographies of George Washington while allegedly zeroing in on his exciting thighs.
(At present, no tape is available. And no, we're not making up.)
Coe's new book seems almost insane; happily, Brian was lapping it up. To our eye and ear, Coe seems like the avatar of a movement we might call "second-wave Dowdism." We may possess sufficient bad judgment to cover the topic next week.
Watching Brian enjoy Coe's d*ck jokes, we thought back to a wonderfully comical interview he performed in June 1999. Governor Bush had emerged from Texas to initiate his White House campaign. Brian was having a very hard time hiding his admiration.
On the comical occasion in question, Brian was about to interview Steve Forbes, one of Bush's opponents for the GOP nomination. But omigod! Governor Bush emerged from a plane and walked across the tarmac to a camera location, where he spoke with Brian!
Candidate Forbes would have to wait! When Brian was able to collect himself, poor Forbes was subjected to this torrent of gushing in the form of a question:
WILLIAMS (6/28/99): And Mr. Forbes, let's start with the mechanics of what we just saw play out here on live television.Seriously though, that's what he said, although it didn't quite parse. Brian had been blown away by the governor's physical appearance. Plus, that jacket slung over his shoulder!
What you just saw was a very much at-ease governor of a big state in this country, jacket slung over his shoulder, going on over to a camera position and doing what some find absolutely impossible without paper in front of them and a briefing within five minutes of the appearance.
Is that appearance—and we're talking, you know, as much physical appearance as anything, making no judgments or comparisons—the people say has made the difference with this person-on-person contact?
By that fall, Brian was going on and on, night after night, complaining about Candidate Gore's deeply troubling wardrobe. According to Brian, it was obvious that Gore was wearing polo shirts to appeal to female voters. Brian kept this bullshit up for several weeks before regaining control.
(He continued complaining about Gore's clothes on into the new year. Gore's obvious psychological problems were also part of the play list.)
Last night, Brian let his inner fatuous out for the first time in years. Coe seems to be Dowd-beyond-Dowd, and Brian was lapping it up.
Brian is secretly just a bit strange. We had almost forgotten.
Also nearly insane: On page A3 of this morning's Times, readers were offered a detailed analysis of the way they can fight climate change through their choice of alcoholic beverages.
This too was just this side of insane. The "Here to Help" feature was an edited version of this even longer longer essay. In hard copy, the edited version started out like this:
Here to HelpSeriously though, does anybody actually think that individuals can affect climate change by regulating the shipping distance of the wine they drink? That said, manifest craziness on this level is a regular part of the New York Times. The sheer insanity of this piece made Williams and Coe seem look giants.
THE FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL AND CLIMATE CHANGE
If you did dry January this year, you probably reduced your carbon footprint without knowing it. That’s because alcohol production and distribution can be quite energy intensive. So, what if you want to reduce your environmental footprint but you’re not quite ready to hop on the wagon and stay there?
Broadly speaking, liquor tends to be more environmentally sustainable per unit. “The more concentrated they are, the less impact they have,” Alissa Kendall, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis, said of alcoholic beverages.
Drinkers typically get more mileage out of a bottle of spirits than wine or beer. That’s especially true if you drink to get a buzz. Simply put: Liquor is quicker.
For beer, the world’s most consumed alcoholic beverage, refrigeration is a big part of the emissions equation. A 2008 study by the New Belgium Brewing Company, based in Fort Collins, Colo., found that the greenhouse gas emissions from one six-pack were about the same as driving a car nearly eight miles. The largest share of those emissions came from refrigeration.
Shipping distance can also be an important consideration when choosing climate-friendly wine...
Anthropologically speaking, how did the race ever get this far? Inquiring minds want to know.