Elvis, Samuel Johnson, Slavery, Rikers Island, David Tang


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The King Returns To Vegas

Stanley Booth | Esquire | 16th April 2015

A classic from February 1968. The great Stanley Booth recounts Presley's elevation from teenage hoodlum to national hero by way of army service. "His annual income is about five million dollars. And yet, not too many years ago, he was living in a Federal low-rent housing project, working as a truck driver, movie usher, sometimes forced to sell his blood at ten dollars a pint. Elvis Presley, a Great American Success Story" (6,200 words)

Generous Minds

Tyler Cowen | New Rambler | 27th April 2015

Samuel Johnson's mid-18C essays in The Rambler reviewed as if they were the work of a modern blogger: "In Johnson’s schema, most of all we want to feel good about ourselves, and we will overlook inconvenient information if need be. That is why so many things in the world go wrong. We don’t want to know how badly we are doing, how imperfect our reputation is, and how far we are from truly valuable achievement" (1,840 words)

The Villain Of Tennessee

Betsy Phillips | Narratively | 27th April 2015

By his death in 1846 Isaac Franklin was the richest man in the South, perhaps in all the United States, with an estate worth "$24 billion in today’s money". He lived and worked in Nashville, where he built a highway and a race-track, endowed a university and a museum. So why does no sign or a statue in the city celebrate him now? Because his business was the slave trade, and even among slavers he was a byword for depravity (3,800 words)

The Breaking Of Beauty

Chris Arnade | Guardian | 16th April 2015

As compelling an argument as you could possibly imagine for winding down the war on drugs and pardoning most of its victims. A young woman who drifted into prostitution in New York goes home to Oklahoma in an attempt to rebuild her life — only to find herself hauled back to New York and thrown into Rikers Island jail, charged with a year-old drug offence which may take another year to work its way through the courts (3,100 words)

At Home: Lucy Kellaway And David Tang

David Tang & Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 25th April 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Lucy Kellaway and Sir David Tang visit one another's London houses and and snipe at one another's taste. The luxury-loving Tang, who overloads every surface and stuffs every cupboard, mocks Kellaway's preference for plain and simple: "Just think of the anticlimax of opening a large drawer only to find, as I did in your set of drawers next to your bed, just a few rolled up bundles of your husband’s monochromatic underpants" (1,820 words)

Video of the day: Vampyre Of Time And Memory

What to expect: If you can imagine a gentle indie-rock song performed by a box of paper handkerchiefs, that's roughly what's happening here (3'34")

Thought for the day

An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains
Henri Frederic Amiel (http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0002XS&topic_id=1&topic=)

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