For the record: Don Featherstone.
Frances Kroll Ring has died at the age of 99. The significance of this is that she was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s personal secretary at the end of his life, while he was working on “The Last Tycoon”.
Ackquille Pollard is a rising young rapper under the name Bobby Shmurda. Mr. Pollard’s rap career has been temporarily sidetracked:
Mr. Pollard was arrested for what city prosecutors said was his role as the “driving force” and “organizing figure” behind the street gang known as GS9, an offshoot of the Crips. In one incident just a month before he was signed, prosecutors said, Mr. Pollard shot at his brother, shattering glass at a Brooklyn barbershop. He faces up to 25 years in prison for conspiracy, reckless endangerment and gun possession; others charged, including Mr. Pollard’s childhood friends, face more serious accusations, including second-degree murder.
Mr. Pollard is being held on $2 million bail. And he’s upset that his record label hasn’t bailed him out.
But as rap has become more corporate, that kind of aid is unusual. Matthew Middleton, Mr. Pollard’s entertainment lawyer, said that while Epic is not obligated to cover bail or legal fees for Mr. Pollard, the artist expected more support, financial and emotional, especially after the label’s spirited pursuit of the rapper made them business partners.
“These companies for years have capitalized and made millions and millions of dollars from kids in the inner city portraying their plight to the rest of the world,” Mr. Middleton said. “To take advantage of that and exploit it from a business standpoint and then turn your back is disingenuous, to say the least.”
Obit watch: Herman Rosenblat. Mr. Rosenblat was a Holocaust survivor who wrote a memoir of his experiences. In that memoir, he told a story about a girl who threw an apple over the fence to him while he was in a concentration camp; later, after he moved to the United States, he met the girl again and married her.
This was, of course, a great story. Mr. Rosenblat made “Oprah” twice, got a book deal, and there were plans to turn his story into a movie.
And sadly, it turned out that Mr. Rosenblat completely invented the story about the girl and the apple. The book was never published and the movie was never made.
There is an Indian actor named Amitabh Bachchan. He’s apparently not well known in the United States, but he’s hugely popular in India. “He has appeared in more than 150 Bollywood films and served as a longtime host of the country’s wildly popular version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'” according to the LAT. He also had a small part in the 2013 “Gatsby”.
And because of that small part, a group of Sikhs in the United States are claiming Mr. Bachchan is subject to US jurisdiction.
The group has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. making the improbable argument that Bachchan’s work with a U.S. film company gives American courts the ability to hold him responsible for the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in India three decades ago. The group alleges that the actor, now 72, made statements that incited a violent mob.
The suit hinges on the Alien Tort Statute, which in recent years has become the center of a debate over whether American courts can and should be the arbiter of human rights abuses committed elsewhere in the world by non-U.S. citizens. The 1789 law, which was passed by the first Congress and initially used in cases of piracy and stolen goods, states that federal courts shall have jurisdiction over wrongs “committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”
It seems unlikely this will work, at least according to the LAT: the Supreme Court has restricted the ability of plaintiffs to pursue claims under the Alien Tort Statute, and they are also likely to have issues accomplishing service on the defendant.
One Wisconsin suit was dismissed after it became clear the process server hired by the group mistakenly served another Sikh man with a long white beard and turban, not the chief minister of the state of Punjab. Hospital security and Secret Service agents proved a hurdle in serving another Indian politician at a New York cancer treatment facility. A case against Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister at the time of the suit, was thrown out after the U.S. State Department stepped in to declare to the court that Singh was entitled to immunity as a head of state.
…I give you a very silly quiz from the WP:
I have never seen an episode of “Girls” (since I refuse to have cable). However, I still got a perfect score on the quiz. Which says something: either about my knowledge of Gatsby or about how silly this quiz actually is, I do not know.
Oh, what the heck, I’ll throw this one in, too:
I sent this to Lawrence with the suggestion that it might be worse than Bello De Soto’s website: Lawrence doesn’t think so, and I’m still trying to make up my mind.
There are so many things that push it towards legendary badness for me: the chicken walking around on the live Twitter feed (why?), the auto-play Chinese karaoke (ditto?), the spinning chat avatars, gratuitous abuse of the blink tag…
On the other hand, it hasn’t actually crashed any browser I’ve tried it on so far. On the gripping hand, it is an actually up and (apparently) functional website, as opposed to an archive of one…
We were trying to come up with a clever introduction to the return of Tuesday Morning Quarterback (and, thus, the TMQ Watch) but we couldn’t. On the other hand, we were also suffering from a bad case of 70s nostalgia (brought about by many things, but exacerbated by the death of Bert Lance). So we thought we’d throw some vintage music your way before cracking open this week’s TMQ after the jump. Oddly enough, it turns out to be fitting for reasons we’ll see later on…
Yes, I finally went to see it. Yes, I even sprang for the 3-D version. I run a full service blog here.
tl,dr: Wait for it on cable.
and Ms. Mulligan:
I’m glad I went: it was, after all, a nice afternoon out at a nice theater. But I can’t recommend purchasing a ticket until The Great Gatsby comes to cable or the discount theater nearest you.
I hate being backed into a corner.
One of the reasons I wanted to do “Week of Gatsby” was so I could link to the classic Andy Kaufman routine from “Saturday Night Live”. I didn’t think that would be the problem it turned into.
That clip is not available, in any form, on the Internet, as far as I can tell. NBC Universal, as the copyright holders, seems to aggressively go after anyone who posts SNL clips on YouTube (as is their right, of course).
That clip is also not available, as far as I can determine, in Hulu’s library of SNL clips.
You can watch the entire episode with Kaufman (season 3, episode 13, with Art Garfunkel and Stephen Bishop) on Hulu – if you pay $8 a month for Hulu Plus (or sign up for a free trial). Otherwise, you’re out of luck. I say: to heck with that.
The text of Kaufman’s routine is available from the SNL Transcripts site, but reading the text of a Kaufman routine is like dancing about architecture.
This, however, might make the effort worthwhile: from a Cornell website, the “New Student Reading Project”, some notes on Gatsby. Chapter 7, “Performing Gatsby“, is rather interesting, especially for the comments by some of Kaufman’s contemporaries on his routine.
(Also: a young Sam Waterson? This I’ve got to see. Was the man ever “young”?)
Following up on a previous entry: it is legal to download Gatsby in every country except for seven. The United States is one of those seven.
If you happen to live in a country other than those seven – say, for example, Australia – it is perfectly legal for you to download Gatsby from the local version of Project Gutenberg.
Also, I wanted to link to this week’s episode of “The Ihnatko Almanac”: (Edited to add: Fixed. Thanks, Lawrence.) Andy Ihnatko touches on Baz Luhrmann and Gatsby, though his primary topic is one we brought up the other day: Sebastian Faulks continuing the Wodehouse Jeeves novels.
(I also wanted to link this because if you listen to the first couple of minutes, you’ll hear a name you might recognize.)
(Important safety tip: be careful who you page, and who you send feedback to. They just might read your name on the air. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)
Why isn’t “The Great Gatsby” in the public domain? F. Scott Fizgerald has been dead for nearly 73 years, after all.
This is 19 Zillicoa Street in Asheville, North Carolina:
This building is Homewood. Homewood was part of Highland Hospital, and was the home of Dr. Robert S. Carroll and his wife, Grace Potter Carroll. Dr. Carroll ran the hospital, and his wife taught music lessons. (Nina Simone was one of her students.)
In 1939, Dr. Carroll turned management of the hospital over to Duke University’s Neuropsychiatric Department. It was while Duke was managing the hospital that the final act of a great American tragedy took place.
On the night of March 10, 1948, a fire broke out at Highland. Various reports say the fire started in the kitchen and moved upwards through the dumbwaiter shaft. The fire escapes were made out of wood and also caught fire. By the time it was extinguished, nine women were dead.
One of the women who died was Zelda Fitzgerald, the widow of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Zelda had a troubled life. I’m not an expert, but the consensus opinion I’ve seen is that she probably suffered from some form of bi-polar disorder, and medicated herself in an attempt to deal with it. She was in and out of Highland between 1936 and her death.
This is the closest thing I could find to an obituary for Zelda Fitzgerald. (Local cache if that doesn’t come up.) I hope wherever she is, she found the peace that evaded her in life.
(Information about Highland Hospital drawn from the NPS page.)
Real estate people like Gatsby.
There are the Gatsby condominiums on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Fitzgerald apartment building on the other side of Central Park. There is a Gatsby Lane carved out of a subdivision in Montgomery, Ala., where Mr. Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, was raised. And there is a 50-year-old company created by the real estate titan Peter Sharp and his longtime partner, Norman Peck, that still exists today.
That company, by the way, is “East Egg”.
In other news, have you driven a Gatsby lately?
(Nice looking cars, but not $34.5K worth of nice looking in my opinion. Assuming these people are still building cars, which I admit is a questionable assumption.)
In honor of the forthcoming movie, I am declaring this week the “Week of Gatsby” on WCD. Mostly for my own personal amusement.
Today’s entry: The Great Gastby for NES, a browser based game in which you wander around Gatsby’s party, throwing your hat at various targets and searching for the titular character.
(Yes, I am planning to see the movie. Yes, in 3D. “Argo” was the last thing I saw in a theater, and I figure I could use the diversion. Even if it is a pile of crap.)
(And, yes, as it happens, I do like the book. A short defense of it is here.)