Not that the column wasn’t all good, but thanks especially for the Joe & Ed clip! - I wasn’t familiar with them, although have found several of their songs that I had heard. I’ve downloaded an album that includes ‘Meetin’ and look forward to listening to more.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the Joe & Eddie version of There's a Meeting Here Tonight. Most of us children of the sixties were familiar with the Limelighters' version. These versions derive from Bob Gibson's (to use Roger McGuinn's term) sanitization of the old Methodist camp meeting song.

Expand full comment

and kareem, another great column but I will say too much print wasted on the GOP "debate". they are not worthy

Expand full comment

I so look forward to the day when my kids or grandkids will wonder when they hear about a group of bad racist cops beating up a citizen, that they wonder what race of citizen is doing the beating? it's a twisted example but right now 101% of us know and it would be so much better not to be so sure...

Expand full comment

My usual rants about wronged teachers and my own classroom experiences pale in comparison:

Muhammad al-Ghamdi, a 54-year-old retired Saudi teacher, was sentenced to death by the Saudi government for “following 5 tweets criticizing corruption and human rights violations,”

I'm sure DeSantis is giving the Saudi's a standing ovation, while trying to figure-out how to apply the death sentence to "disobedient" teachers in his dysfunctional swamp.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

~Thomas Jefferson~

Expand full comment

Joe and Eddie are fantastic! Just heard their rendition of “What’s That I Hear”? (Freedom’s Calling). I feel old energies awakening as I listen to these tunes sung exuberantly!!

Expand full comment

Wow! You tackle so much in this week’s submission. But first: Billions.

I was struck by so much synchronicity in your scene. Setting in upper Manhattan ( your hometown ) ; camera work ( perspective from each character appropriately reflecting reality); coaching a prosecutor by quoting your own valued coach and finally advice to keep fighting ( as your writing continues to do). Bravo.

Completely agree with your analysis of Republican debaters . I also appreciated Pence’s deeply held convictions but with consternation for his wrong headed views. Christie and Haley displayed the only visible intelligence and there does seem to be a short circuit between the brain ( if there is one) and face of DeSantis.

Great to see the women of Spanish soccer stand up to cultural machismo. They have won more than they may think for women athletes globally.

Loved the rooster!

Expand full comment

RE: Cops. I’m an older white guy, and can’t BEGIN to relate to what it’s like to be black and have to deal with police.

But I can tell you *I* don’t feel safe around cops. They’ve been trained into an “us vs. them” macho attitude, and I wouldn’t trust a single one of them with my welfare.

Expand full comment

You are correct when you state "But that’s not the point. He shouldn’t have kissed her at all, regardless of his emotional state. His entitlement to think he could is the problem."

Expand full comment

I didn’t watch the repugnican “debate”. I was certain that if I did I’d have thrown a brick through my rather-expensive TV.

What I found so depressing the next day was that when asked who would support a potentially convicted felon (trump) if he won the nomination, 6 of the 8 “candidates” raised their hands. The party of “law and order” has demonstrated they have no ethics or morality left. I suppose I should be glad they showed their hands, but somehow I just can’t.

Expand full comment


I've been enjoying your blog for a long time and have been consistently impressed by your insight, wisdom, and humanity. It has long struck me as unfair that someone who was so good at one form of human expression (basketball - my favorite sport) could be so good at another (writing and journalism) as well. Maybe unfair, but fortunate for those of us who have benefited from all your careers.

The Joe and Eddie song you posted prompted me to write. Fun and powerful, the kind of blend of folk, gospel, rock, and soul that was such a significant part of the Civil Rights movement early days. My two year old granddaughter was grinning and clapping along with Joe and Eddie.

I'm a few years younger than you but was formed by the historical turmoil of the 60s too. I was an activist making my living as a union carpenter and then, much to my and other's surprise, was elected to lead my traditionally conservative local union and then to be the head of the 24,000 member New England Carpenters Union until I retired six years ago. Since then, I've been a fellow at Harvard and just wrote my third book. Not as impressive as Abdul-Jabbar but we all try to have an impact one way or the other.

Keep up the good work and I'll keep reading.

Mark Erlich

Fellow, Center for Labor & a Just Economy, Harvard Law School

Retired Executive Secretary-Treasurer, New England Regional Council of Carpenters

Expand full comment

"This Week in International Mysogyny"----that made me laugh out loud. But also cringe. And goodness "Eve-teasing"? Yikes!

There are so many times that a story comes on about some level of aggression against women that makes me laugh knowingly while my husband and teen son show visible shock...then realize I'm laughing...and then display confusion. These are honorable men in my immediate circle. They would never consider acting like that against women. BUT it turns their heads around to realize I'm reacting to these horrible stories PERSONALLY.

Which is all to say, again, thank you for shining a light on real life.

Expand full comment

Thank you Kareem. Your analysis of the GOP debate is spot on.

Expand full comment

"Teacher" video: As a high school teacher for 9+ years, the reaction of the young skater is what we live for!

Music video: Joe and Eddie...now that's music!

I've had many days where I felt like the chicken in the last video! Thanks, Kareem.

Expand full comment

I had to watch the skateboarders several (many) times. It was fun to see the teacher just overwhelmed by the gratitude and enthusiasm of the child he simply ("I just held his hand")helped. Tears

Expand full comment

Another incisive and insightful newsletter -- thank you. Also: Thank you for introducing me to the musical talents of Joe and Eddie; I have no idea how I'd never come across them before, but thanks to you I'll now seek out more of their music. Thank you for your TV recommendations; as a big fan of "Leverage," I now want to watch these other Dean Devlin shows. And you've convinced me to return to OMITB, which I never completed the first season of. Speaking of watching things, this evening I introduced my 19-year-old daughter to "Airplane!" -- I'd forgotten you were in it! What a hoot, though of course she didn't understand half the references. You'll be pleased to know that in the last couple of weeks I've gotten two friends to subscribe to your substack. One of them, it turns out, is a HUGE lifelong fan of yours, so I'm especially thrilled to have brought her on board!

Expand full comment