Author Archives: Mark Willis

What I’m Reading – January 22, 2017

Minoru Niizuma, Yoko Ono and others at the Chambers Street loft, 1962. Gelatin silver or digital print, printed 2016, 8 x 10 in. Collection of Yoko Ono, New York. © Yoko Ono Left to right: Toshi Ichiyanagi, Toshiro Mayuzumi, Yoko … Continue reading






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Celebrating Our Cultural Legacy: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2009 White House Debut

Today is Barack Obama’s last full day in the White House. If that saddens you as it saddens me, here is a consolation. Lin-Manuel Miranda performed a nascent version of “Alexander Hamilton” at a White House poetry jam in 2009. It’s a national treasure, part of a rich cultural legacy hosted by the Obama White House. The WhiteHouse.gov clip belongs to the public domain. I hope the barbarian billionaire populists who take over tomorrow do not purge it from the Internet.






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The Presser Was A Snoozer, But The Pee Party Gushes On

John Locke might disapprove, but Rabelais would howl with laughter. On SNL’s Jan. 14 cold open, President-elect Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) holds his first press conference since getting elected. And Maureen O’Conner explains the origin of all the Donald Trump pee jokes this week in The Sheer Perfection of Donald Trump’s Golden Shower in | New York magazine.






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What I’m Reading – January 8, 2017

Trump Finds That Attack-Dog Strategy Has Its Limits – The New York Times 010617 Glenn Thrush: As a political underdog and now as president-elect, Donald J. Trump has employed the same brutal but effective go-to move when he’s tweeted or … Continue reading






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Lou Bourgeois: A Charming Man Celebrates a Century

Lou Bourgeois was born 100 years ago today in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. As he celebrates the day simply with his loving daughter Maggie, JoAnn and I will mark the occasion by saying it is an honor to know him as a friend. He is the most charming man I’ve ever known: an engaging raconteur, a vivid yet self-effacing storyteller, a keen and genuinely curious listener, a passionate lover of music and books. He’s been a thoughtful reader of this website since its inception. And he’s the only person on the planet who still refers to me as “Young Mark.” When I grow up, I want to be just like him!






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