Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Week     [news you can peruse]

Am listening to Brian Lehrer (WNYC-FM online) interviewing two online journalists -- one being Susan Kaskie, international editor at The Week (which I'd never seen or heard of till now): a world news weekly. Reminds me of the World Press Review (a monthly) I used to subscribe to back in the '80s. It includes (in translation) topical news and local opinion as covered (and opined) in a range of international publications. Other guy in the discussion is Jefferson Morley, who writes World Opinion Roundup at

Lehrer notes Kaskie is fluent in many languages. She was remarking about coverage of Condoleezza Rice's Lebanon visit in the Arabic press -- the pervasive opinion (repeated, it seems, with the surety of an obvious truism) that the Secretary of State, an unmarried woman sans children ergo lacks warmth and compassion. Lehrer compared this to macho innuendo from the Venezuelan Chavez (something about boasting he'd show Rice what a real man is like). Meanwhile, I noted (per the Post's gossip corner of the Style Section, perused at Starbuck's yesterday) that Condie has made the grade for Vanity Fair's best-dressed list this year.

The thing I like about Rice is her seriousness as a pianist. Despite generally deploring her politics, I must admit the idea of her poss. presidential bid has points of cultural interest (in the passing thought category, mind you) -- I guess this is mainly the wow factor. Will she run against Hillary? Time will tell.

Well good for (the ubiquitous and estimable) Yoyo.

I'd not noticed the photo caption when reading the NYTimes article back in April.

"When Yo-Yo Ma received a National Medal of the Arts in 2002, he requested that Condoleezza Rice accompany him."

As remarked (en passant) in coverage of Rice's recent Kuala Lampur performance of Brahms, her name is an (American) alteration of con dolcezza (the Italian musical directive to play "with sweetness"; -- an etymology the Arabic press might have missed; but I suppose an Italian would be apt to miss it too: the jump between con dolcezza and Condoleezza is akin to that between playing chess and saying cheese).

Meanwhile, frightening stuff:

Cost of the Iraq War


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