Subject: Upward Spiral
Re: "Sports Nut: Olbermann Über Alles"
From: Keith Olbermann
Date: Tue Feb 27 9:57 a.m. PT
While I appreciate Bryan Curtis' kind words about my writing sideline, I must protest his conclusion that my television "on-air duties have been cut back." ... There's something illogical about concluding that somebody who goes from hosting one of the endless supply of talking-head political programs to hosting the telecasts of the World Series is in the "death spiral" of his television career.
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Subject: Lack of Danger Threatens Future
Re: " Culturebox: Black Like Me"
From: Helene Edwards
Date: Wed Feb 28 3:28 p.m. PT
In Girlfriends ... black women are chary of black men who [aren't] dangerous [enough]. If there's one personality feature that could be considered essential and ubiquitous in the world of white business success, isn't it appearing unthreatening to colleagues and clients? But if, for black men, being unthreatening means being unable to get laid, then don't we have our answer about the stodgy pace of black progress?
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Subject: The Sociology of Batman
Re: "Culturebox: Monkeybone Lives"
From: Alvin Schwartz
Date: Tue Feb 27 9:39 a.m. PT
I wrote Batman comics for many years in the '40s and '50s, and did most of the newspaper strip during its three-year run (1943-46) ... I found it easier to write by seeing Bruce [Wayne] so filled with inexpressible rage that his ability to function normally and keep his cool would have been compromised without the splitting off of that cripplingly angry aspect of his personality into the vengeful figure of the Dark Knight. Bob Kane, who was no sociologist and not even the greatest of artists, first managed to catch the spirit of the Batman cartoon out of a blessed ineptitude that caught the sharp contrast between light and dark as represented in the Wayne character.
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Subject: How Prudie Pulls Them In
Re: "Dear Prudence: All Play No Work"
Date: Thu Mar 1 8:12 a.m. PT
Slate needs Prudie. She lures innocent, unsuspecting readers with her tempting teases and topics that prey on the darker recesses of their psyches. Lovely intellectual types searching for an article on the Breakdown of America's Infrastructure, the Future of Social Security, the Truth behind Political Payola, find themselves curiously drawn towards topics like Candy Thieves With Dirty Hands, Lap-Dancing Mistress Won't Go All the Way, Gay Employee Wants To Wear Diamond Engagement Ring at Work Yet Not Discuss the Wedding, etc. From there, it's only a short drop into her Fray ...
David Plotz dressed as Bill Gates was the visual treat of the week—posters liked David so much that his wife had to come into "The Fray" to calm them down. And Zeitguy charmed us by saying it was "exactly this kind of article that keeps me coming back to Slate day after day"—click here to read the article and then the Fray Notes at the end.
We were mesmerized by a post from Jon that ended with this surely unique sentence: "Attractive young women did throw themselves disproportionately at my gay, oboist, [identical] twin brother." You are invited to work out what the topic could possibly have been before clicking here to check. In the same area, Tony Adragna and Michael Murray slugged it out on genes in a great debate. If you want to find out more about Tony (we admit it, he fascinates us; see Fray Notes here), you will find a question posed and answered in this thread.
Recent "Diary" items have had major writer participation in The Fray: Trey Gowdy (the circuit solicitor and former prosecutor) and publisher Geoff Shandler both came into their Frays to answer many posters' questions—Trey even said it was addictive. And Jon Cohen joined in "The Book Club" on his book on AIDS, then came into The Fray too.
A good week for the crack Fray team, who decided to invent the multiple-post-summarizer and were able to distill hundreds of Fray posts on The Sopranos down to this one: "Sopranos spoiler, shame shame shame. Why would you do that?" Read more at the end of the article —but, please, only if you've seen the season premiere now.