Mailbag

First of many. Thanks for the questions, which in some cases are edited for brevity.

Samantha from Winnipeg: Federer or Nadal? SWilliams or VWilliams? Thoughts on the Australian more generally? Gotta love the tennis time machine. Back. From. Near. Death. I’ll be pulling for Rafa, but he has to be the underdog given the relative toughness of his semi-final match. Would LOVE to be there for that one, not just because Melbourne’s weather is a tad nicer than Oly’s right now. Same for the women, I’ll be pulling for big sis, but FiveThirtyEight probably has Serena’s chances of winning at about 90-92%. SWilliams is The Establishment. VWilliams represents change. Do upsets come in threes, Brexit, Celebrity President, VWilliams? Two others thoughts. First, if you’re a parent intent on raising a female professional tennis player, make sure your daughter is going to be at least 183cm and 68 kilos. Besides being taller and heavier than in the past, the women are ripped. Gone are the finesse days, it’s all power all the time. One thing hasn’t changed, still the sexiest sport outside of beach vball. Can I write that?

Fransisco from Stockton, CA: Most outlandish or worrisome thing Trump’s said or done so far? Actually, I have to give this week’s outlandish award to Fox New’s Lou Dobbs who said, and I kid you not, “President Trump has accomplished more in five days than President Obama did in eight years.” Fair and balanced. What were you doing watching Fox News. Looking for Megyn Kelly. Can I write that?

Priya from Hyderabad: Any movie recommendations? Last movie I saw was LaLaLand. I’m with Anzi Ansari on that one.

Other art suggestions? I highly doubt that this will be coming to Hyderabad anytime soon, but thanks to Lance calling in sick, last night the Good Wife and I went to “My Name is Rachel Corrie” in semi-sketchy, totally funky, downtown Olympia.

I recommend the one-woman, ninety minute, no intermission play. I think of it as a three-parter: 1) the spoken words taken from her diary, emails, and other writings; 2) the multimedia backdrop and minimalist staging; and 3) her actions. The writings were the first drafts of a very young woman, as a result, the many lengthy monologues didn’t move me nearly as much as the multimedia backdrop coupled with her radical selflessness. As a young woman she said she remembered one rule from her second grade teacher, a rule she thought we should apply throughout the world, “Everyone has the right to feel safe.” At age 23, she traded all her safety in for a modicum of Palestinian safety during the Second Intifada. She didn’t make it to 24. In the post play convo, one person said she died without accomplishing anything. That person is woefully unaware of the numerous, positive ripple effects of her short-lived life, starting with the Rachel Corrie Foundation.

Don from Marion, Ohio doesn’t have a question, but comments on the previous “Fact or Fiction?” post. Osnos is NOT punking you – those doomsday shelters are for real. Two millennia ago, Paul instructed the early Christians in Phillipia to”be anxious in nothing”. Similarly, Stoics pursue tranquility or inner joy of which contentment and gratitude are essential ingredients. This reporting is an incredibly convincing counter example to conventional wisdom about wealth. Most people work from the assumption that more money is more better. Is it possible to read that whole story and not conclude that when it comes to wealth, somewhere in the seven, eight, nine figures, there’s a serious point of diminishing returns? How much is enough? Excellent work by Osnos, made me ALMOST feel sorry for worried centi-millionaires and billionaires. 

Erin from Brainerd, MN. Why do people email you their mailbag questions instead of just leaving a comment? Dunno.

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