Monday Memo

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This guy nails the problem(s) with the White House Correspondents Dinner, a/k/a the Nerd Prom, although I sympathize slightly with attendees who are asked point blank to name their favorite White House Correspondent. A cool answer would have been to go vintage: “The ’74 Dan Rather.” From the current crop, Don Gonyea is always a nice answer. Mark Knoller is a super-wonky answer. And then there’s the  Cheshire Cat.

On our Monday show, The Scramble, we’ve decided to bag that nerd prom and cover a different one.  Maybe a little less nerdy. We’re talking about Kantchella. We’re talking about Nietzschepalooza. We’re talking about Lockestock. We’re talking about Frommaroo. We’re talking about the 62-philosopher smackdown. Here’s our guest for today on that one.

By 9 p.m. John Cage had given way to pounding disco classics from the 1970s in the embassy’s bookstore, Albertine. Over at the Ukrainian Institute, the coffee machine broke down. On the plus side, free charcuterie from D’Artagnan appeared. Speaking in the Ukrainian Institute’s concert hall, Susan Schneider, of the University of Connecticut, speculated about the nature of alien consciousness and cast doubt on whether extraterrestrial beings might be as interested in communicating with us as we are with them. “You don’t spend time reading a book to your goldfish,” she said.

Also on our show today, when it comes to crime and punishment you might thing that the following two things would result in increased punishment (a) a cynical, as opposed to idealistic, motive (b) the betrayal of a position of great trust. You would be wrong, at least when it comes to Gen. David Petraeus. It turns out that the more important you are, the lighter your punishment, even if your crime involved a direct violation of what made you important in the first place.

Looking down the week toward the Nose, we’re already getting interested in the PEN controversy over Charlie Hebdo. And we’re wondering if we can connect it — at least at the level of walk-outs — with the Adam Sandler controversy.  Here’s Garry Trudeau, over the weekend, on Hebdo:



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