Showing posts from February, 2024

Squawk Box: The Frasier... Reboot? Return?/The Crown

Frasier is back. When I heard about it, I was somewhat skeptical of the idea. After all, Frasier had been on the already for umpteen seasons. In terms of sitcoms, it belongs somewhere in the pantheon of all the all-time greats. Kelsey Grammar has been playing the character for even longer- first showing up in the 3rd season of Cheers (1984-1985) when I would have been about 1. I'm now 40 and apparently, he just can't quit this character. It's not as if he's dropped off the face of the earth since Frasier ended either. He picked up a Golden Globe for his role in Boss (which I've admittedly never seen, but previews made him look rather excellent as a villain) and his IMDB shows he has been busy enough , but now... Frasier has apparently re-entered the building with ten new episodes of a reboot? Return? Revival? On Paramount Plus. But, I loved the original run of the show, so I knew that I was, at the very least, going to check out the new Frasier to see what he&#

Bookshot #174: City of Fortune

I have always been fascinated with Venice. Whether it was watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as a kid or losing myself in the Times Atlas of European History that haunted the bookcases of my parents, I've always been curious about the place. Watching history go by in that Atlas, it seemed that Venice was its own Republic for centuries. It had Crete, Cyprus, islands up and down the Aegean, and then, suddenly, it was gone, extinguished by Napoleon. What was the place? How did it work? There were Doges and an electoral college? Happily, for me, Roget Crowley came along with City of Fortune and scratched that itch and then some. Venice, as a concept, seems a bit ridiculous on the face of it. How did a city build, not on the shoreline of a swampy brackish lagoon, but on the lagoon itself- manage to survive, thrive and create a powerful empire that dominated European trade for a good stretch of time until was eventually swamped by the rising Ottoman Empire? What impressed me mo

The Future of AEAs: What I Said, Responses I Got

In general, I don't see the point of bothering my elected representatives. Too often, it seems like people with money, moving behind the scenes have already made the decisions and we just get to taste the medicine whether we've been asking for it or not. It also doesn't help that I live in the bluest county in Iowa, where things like 'public money for public schools' and 'let's not defund the AEAs' are widely accepted policy positions for the local reps. I could write a whole series of posts unpacking my general cynicism about politics, my visceral dislike of performative activism, and my general sense of despair at the people in charge ever listening to regular, real-life people ever again, but I won't do that here. The Governor's AEA 'Reform' Bill-- which, if it contains a clearly defined pathway to improving the student outcomes she's suddenly so concerned about, has yet to be either revealed or explained to me-- got me off the ben