Month: May 2009

Baseball: The Summer of 1960

Baseball: The Summer of 1960

“The Voice”: Mel Allen, 1913-1996

I’m a frus­trat­ed fan of the Wash­ing­ton Nation­als, as I was the old Wash­ing­ton Sen­a­tors. As a New York school­boy in the Fifties, I’d go up to Yan­kee Sta­di­um to root for the Sen­a­tors when they were in town, wear­ing my navy blue cap with the white block “W.” Big, scary Bronx voic­es would shout: “Hey, kid—the Wash­ing­ton section’s in the bleach­ers.”

The Sen­a­tors were peren­ni­al heart­break­ers, although in mid-1952 they were only three or four games out of first place and con­sid­ered to be pen­nant con­tenders.…

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Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

It’s the 50th anniver­sary of George Orwell’s pre­scient mas­ter­piece 1984, to which end The Sun­day Times pub­lished a review by Robert Har­ris on May 31st.

But in prais­ing  1984, Har­ris finds the need to take a whack at Churchill—which he does with sin­gu­lar inac­cu­ra­cy: “Giv­en that only five years pre­vi­ous­ly Churchill, Roo­sevelt and Stal­in had divid­ed up the world into ‘zones of influ­ence’ at the Teheran con­fer­ence, [Orwell’s] vision did not seem entire­ly fan­tas­tic.”

What is fan­tas­tic is where peo­ple get such notions. “Zones of influ­ence” came up not at Teheran but at the Moscow  (“Tol­stoy”) con­fer­ence between Churchill and Stal­in a year lat­er, with the Red Army now far advanced in east­ern Europe.…

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Bulldog Not: Say it isn’t So

Bulldog Not: Say it isn’t So

Churchill after the 1951 elec­tion, which returned him to Down­ing Street.

“The clas­sic British bull­dog, a sym­bol of defi­ance and pugnac­i­ty, may now dis­ap­pear. A shake-up of breed­ing  stan­dards by the Ken­nel Club has sig­nalled the end of the dog’s Churchillian jowl. Instead, the dog will  have a shrunk­en face, a sunken nose, longer legs and a lean­er body. The British Bull­dog Breed Coun­cil is threat­en­ing legal action against the Ken­nel Club. Chair­man Robin Sear­le said: ‘What you’ll get is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent dog, not a British bull­dog.’

I referred this one to long­time col­league, promi­nent motor­ing writer and bull­dog par­ti­san Gra­ham Rob­son, who writes:

As a long-time bull­dog own­er (you have met var­i­ous of my much-loved mutts) I am at once delight­ed and appalled by what is being pro­posed.…

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