Author Archives: Clare Malone
Assessing my political beliefs is a simple enough task. I am a liberal and a Democrat. I believe in healthcare for the needy, in the critical need for compassionate government and true to my rust belt roots, I believe in the importance of unions. I also believe in gay rights, in the decriminalization of marijuana, the importance of sex education and making birth control available. I am a feminist, and will accept all the bra-burning connotations that come along with that.
Contemporary airlines have done everything they can to convince squirrelly passengers that riding in their jolly contraptions is virtually the same as traveling in a car. Southwest Airlines, with its uniformly perky staff, brightly colored planes and incessant “ding!”-ing has become an industry leader, largely thanks to the company’s ability to make truculent travelers feel at ease. Nevertheless, on March 6th, the F.A.A. levied a record-breaking $10.2 million fine on the airline for its failure to ground planes that had not been properly inspected and certified as up to code. And no khaki-clad, coddling flight attendant or cute cobalt-blue plane could change that.
Everyone our age remembers (and maybe even occasionally watches) the 90s classic “The Sandlot.” It had all the elements of a cinematic triumph: the backdrop of 1960s America, James Earl Jones and baseball. Plus, you had to admire Squint’s cajones when he made out with va-va-voom lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn after fake-drowning. The movie brimmed with great moments, but the 4th of July scene is by far the best in the movie, a perfect pictorial encapsulation of summer-time bliss, in which the whole squad gazes in wonderment at fireworks splayed across the sky as Ray Charles’ bluesy rendition of “America the Beautiful” swells in the background. The only thing that could have made the scene more quintessentially “American summer” is if all the boys, inspired by patriotic pyrotechnics, had decided to hop in a Chevy and drive off down the highway to where the setting sun meets the waving sea of wheat.
Sunday mornings are sacred. Whether you welcome the week with mass, mimosas or Meet the Press, those first few waking hours are universally recognized to be a precious time, and barring nuclear disaster or a major sporting event, one’s routine should not be disturbed. Last weekend, throwing caution and luxuriously slow-brewed cups of coffee to the wind, I determined that my civic duty to the voters of Montgomery County, Maryland was greater than my ritualistic weekly reading of Date Lab in the Sunday Post.
I have been told that January 22nd is the most depressing day of the year. Sunlight is scarce, Christmas bills are filling mailboxes and people are coming to the realization that their three weeks of New Years-inspired jogging and Pilates will not actually help them land a model, a professional football player or even a promotion. Forget April, Mr. Eliot; January appears to be the cruelest month.
The Duchess of Windsor nearly hit the nail on the head when she said, “a woman can’t be too rich or too thin.” Nor, apparently, can she be too muscular. It was surely beyond old Wally’s wildest gold-digging, man-eating imagination to think that a lady would ever seek to cultivate impressive bicep bulges beneath the fluttering sleeves of her newest atelier-made frock. But Janice Dickinson, that interminable pioneer of all things artificial, spoke out last week on behalf of the ladies who lunch … and juice.
“I love school. I’m a huge nerd. I love and accept that about myself,” Valerie Sorenson confided across her kitchen table. “I’m not doing this for the grades specifically. Whatever. I just want to know it.”
This Sunday, on my nine-hour sojourn back to school, Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan helped prove what I had long suspected: there is no such thing as a “friendly game.”
The Detroit Lions’ PR department would like you to think that their organization survived a brutal northeastern winter, crippling disease and crop failure with the help of a kind Indian named Squanto, and then celebrated their salvation with feasting and merriment and maybe some football. After sixty-seven years of Thanksgiving Day football, the Lions are integral to our modern tradition entwining the pigskin and the Pilgrims.
Through the joint efforts of middle-school social studies teachers and Mel Gibson’s nuanced filmmaking, the ancient Mayan blood sport Pok-A-Tok has become infamous as the most brutal athletic pursuit in history. Modern day rugby, found right here on Georgetown’s campus, however, may just give the fellows from Chichen Itza a run for their money.