Recommended reading

Here are some recent blog posts and articles you might find interesting:

— Michael Tomasky has a nice reminiscence of his boss, and later colleague, Andrew Cockburn.

— Wow, Penn State has removed the statue of Joe Paterno; I really did not think they would do that. Meanwhile, the NCAA is reportedly about to announce what is being characterized as “unprecedented” penalties against both the football program and the school.

— The New York Times reports that “mastering tools and working with one’s hands” is fast becoming a thing of the past. The piece is cast as a lament, but I don’t know that this is some big tragedy; it’s simply an adaptation to different economic circumstances. Nevertheless, I’m sure that we will all be told that it is a Very Bad Thing, and that feminism, as always, is to blame.

— My friend, the eminent jazz critic John Litweiler (he wrote this biography of Ornette Coleman) on “Why I Am a Republican” (hint: he’s really not!).

— A Bronx car wash owner who committed wage theft by depriving his employees of their rightful earnings has been sentenced to jail for his crimes. Awesome! (H/T: Working In These Times).

— And finally, I’m with Tracy Clark-Flory concerning Fred Willard. Willard, the beloved character actor who was so memorable all in those Christopher Guest movies and the classic 70s TV show Fernwood Tonight, among other things, was arrested last week for masturbating in an adult theater. Clark-Flory writes, “What else do people do in adult theaters?” To which I add, exactly! I always assumed that was what they were for. Because of this unfortunate event, poor Fred was canned by PBS from a voiceover gig he’d landed. The whole thing is just ridiculous. The man is 76 years old and was harming no one. As my bf said when I mentioned this story to him (and be advised that, considering the tragic events of this weekend, what you are about to hear is in extremely poor taste, so consider yourself warned), “Hey, at least the only thing he shot in that theater was his wad!”

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee