Nation Annoyed About Having To Spend Long Weekend Away From Work
If cycling were like the World Series, Peter Sagan would be the overall winner! After all, the ever-impressive national champion of Slovakia has just taken four of seven stages this past week in Colorado. Naturally he remains victorious in his usual color of green, having once again proven his sprinting dominance.
After two years ago finishing third, then last year second, now– fittingly enough– Colorado’s native son takes first, just as he did at this year’s Tour of California. Tejay Van Garderen has won the 2013 USA Pro Challenge. Along with this we say goodbye on American soil to 2012 PC champion Christian Vande Velde, who’s heading into retirement after a few more races in Europe, hopefully competing alongside 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome who surprisingly abandoned the Pro Challenge on stage 7. Meanwhile, his long-range attack this week may not be the last one we see, as 41-year-old Jens Voigt is not retiring this season.
So comes and goes another remarkable chapter of professional bicycle racing, this one all the more special for taking place here in the U.S. Pedaling on now to the next, already underway in Spain!
With the reigning Tour de France champion having crossed the Atlantic to “challenge” this week’s defending titleholder, among all others, the USA Pro Challenge is off and hammering once again throughout Colorado. Just over a week now since the Tour of Utah closed shop, “America’s Race” wrapped day one with a stage win by Mr. Wheelie himself— sans green goatee and atypical (for him) altitude notwithstanding. However the next six days unfold, Phil Liggett will of course keep us in the know. Meanwhile, kudos to our favorite Peter!
…merely to be outdone by its replacement. So comes number nine, the next in a remarkable line of generations that have closely followed our own… uh, generations. The 2014 S-Class will be joining the Mercedes-Benz U.S. lineup just about any day now. Meanwhile, the insightfully wordy folks at Vanity Fair have done us the good deed of ranking all “S-carnations” for our careful review– including the brand-new ninth. Let’s just say that for the order in which they here fall, I do mostly concur– especially with number one!
In any case, here’s to seeing another “S-Car” come and… well, you know.
For better or not-so-better, any moment in political history occurs just once, without a retake, yielding an indelible result. Still, it’s often fascinating to consider alternate outcomes– both immediate and long-term– especially with the help of a deeply insightful book on the subject.
Suppose President-elect John F. Kennedy had been killed before his inauguration, as truly came close to happening one December morning. Say the gunman in the Ambassador Hotel on that June night had been tackled before hitting his target, allowing Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign to proceed. And even without an act of violence or death, consider how words alone could have gotten President Gerald Ford elected in his own right– and from there, who would have succeeded him.
Historians, academicians and philosophers often like to ponder the age-old question, “What if?” And for the rest of us who like to ask it as well, reporter/author Jeff Greenfield presents a captivating 400 pages to feed such an appetite, adding to numerous works of alternate history while showcasing an extensive and unique cast of characters. As fact launches into fiction, we the readers are invited to contemplate, through good and bad, how history might have been written. The entire “if, then” logic structure rings loudly, hypothetically enough. Let’s just say the film in my last post clearly would not have been made!
“Then Everything Changed” proves a fascinating and reflective read for anyone who appreciates how it really was, while craving a glimpse into how it could have occurred. “It” is far more than merely who holds office; the everyday media and social divergences are intertwined. I’m thrilled to have picked up this two-year-old book, in the end leaving me satisfied that some pieces of history happened as they did– while wishing others might have turned out differently. Ironically enough, some very memorable events that defined our reality still took place in Mr. Greenfield’s alternative scenario, just at different times among other players. Such compelling instances simply strike nerves with all the more impact on the reality vs. fantasy balance. And of course, in scenarios both real and imagined, Bugs Bunny always does beat Daffy Duck.
Ultimately, from tragedy, loss and failure to peace, victory and opportunity, with all that might have happened and the rest that never did, “Then Everything Changed” concludes with a final paragraph demonstrating the mark of a thoughtful and well-balanced author. That is, I laughed out loud. I bet you will too!
“The Nixon presidency is endlessly fascinating, and his taped conversations, even now, are shocking, revealing and addictive.” (7/31/13)
Two out of three’s not bad, so I contemplated in reaction to these words in The New York Times.
The “new” audio-visual elements are indeed revealing, launching any interested viewer onto a potentially addictive historical journey. Shocking, no. Still, despite its expected and obvious editorial slant coupled with some peculiar musical selections, “Our Nixon” is well worth the watch.
Then, what Ben Stein has to say seems well worth the read. After all, there’s of course more than one viewpoint to consider along the journey, whatever descriptive terms one might employ.