Weekend Hard Copy:
In the Times
8 July 2013

Frank Bruni likens Cardinal Dolan to a corporate executive “steering an oil company through a spill.” We agree, but insist that it cuts both ways: large corporations are that bad.

Brian McFadden’s strip this week, “Journalism Summer Camp,” is as overdue as good camping weather; better late than never. (This link may stale quickly, which is why we’ve highlighted the strip’s title.)

¶ Will American’s survive the Cold War? Young people don’t remember it, of course, but that’s not the problem; Cold War thinking wormed its way into our patriotic DNA, worse than an autoimmune-deficiency disease. In any case, everyone else seems to have gotten over it, especially those old frenemies Russia and China.

¶ Ever since The Sportswriter (at least), Richard Ford has struggled to inscribe the decency and honor of the suburban dream. In our view, it is unworthy of his talent, and his affectionate recollection of his father’s imaginary house-hunting betrays this.

But through the car window, his imagination’s private screen, he could see himself most vividly — standing in his yard, trimming his young trees, watering new grass, building certain things, relaxing in a lawn chair on a freshly mowed palette of green, arriving home from his job at dusk, the house lights blazing, my mother and me in attendance, sitting down to dinner in a room with a real picture window that showed an aqua sky, then later drifting to sleep tired, and waking refreshed and eager, backing down a sloped driveway on his journey to work, whistling a tune, a sweet, rare magic in his head. The song of the suburbs.

The life of Reilly, indeed.

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