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Wow, talk about coasting. In his NYT online column, Stanley Fish has tackled weighty topics like censorship and Islam (and often gotten it miserably wrong). Now he’s cranking out stuff that’d be perfect for an Andy Rooney segment. Or a few extra verses of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”

Steven Wells of Philadelphia Weekly died not long ago, as I mentioned. Here’s a very fitting — that is, surpassingly weird — video tribute.

Steven Wells Tribute Film from Roger Sargent on Vimeo.

For the first time since 1950, the Yankees and the Phillies — New York and Philadelphia — will face off in the World Series. My two cities. For that reason, I’m declaring some version of neutrality and just planning to take in the intensity of it all.

I’m pretty far from a sports guy, but postseason baseball brings me back to my youth, when I was a such a near-fanatic that I learned how to keep scorecards. The Yankees were it for me back then — Reggie Jackson and the ’77 World Series is a memory I’ll always cherish. Ditto all the regular season games at Yankee Stadium I attended with my dad. But during my time in Philadelphia I saw the Phillies play three times — twice against the Mets, so the rivalry with New York isn’t new to me. “Root, root, root for the home team” took on a suddenly confusing ring.
I feel attached to Philadelphia for countless reasons, but one is the memory of walking my two dogs around the quiet Center City streets where we used to live. To me, their souls still hover there, in Schuykill River Park just as much as in Riverside Park. So I’m rooting for both — it’s the only option.

Once again, my sister has put up a beautiful tribute page — this one in memory of our Margot. All October profits from nawtydog.com go to the ASPCA.

Less than a month after the passing of our greyhound Angus, I am sick with grief to report the passing of his life companion Margot, our sweet yellow mutt, whose mounting depression in the last few weeks turned out to be something extremely serious. We’ll never know what it was exactly — probably an aggressive cancer that had been lurking, but then mercilessly destroyed her over the course of just 72 hours. She was only about seven years old. Ultimately, she lost the will to live. The dog we put down yesterday was not our baby; she was just a shell. And there is some peace in the thought that she and Angus are together again.

But we wake up now to the reality that both our beautiful dogs have been taken from us.

My sister has put up a beautiful tribute page to our late greyhound, Angus, and she’s devoting her September profits to the organization from whence he came, We Adopt Greyhounds. Go check it out.

Yesterday we said goodbye to our greyhound, Angus, lost to bone cancer at age 12. In his prime he was nearly 90 pounds of muscle, with tattoos in his ears revealing his birth month/year and order in the litter. A mass-produced, throwaway animal became one of the centers of our universe and a joy for nine of the 10 years my wife and I have known each other.

When he saw another greyhound in the park, Angus would strike a handsome pose from far away, then prance over excitedly for a sniff. He looked like a king at those moments.

Somehow Angus’s little sister, Margot, our little lab mix, will get through the loss. She’s been skipping meals for weeks. It’s a known fact that dogs can smell cancer. That, plus changes in Angus’s behavior, clued her in a while ago that something was deeply wrong.
We take comfort in remembering Angus’s long and happy life. Many unsuccessful racing dogs are almost literally thrown out with the trash or sold for experiments. But they are incredibly loving, low-maintenance house pets, and thanks to a plethora of rescue organizations around the country the situation is improving. If you’re in the market, Google “greyhound rescue” and look into it. These dogs need homes.

One of the more interesting aspects of this whole Libya-Scotland affair is thoroughly buried:

The Foreign Office said Friday that it was reconsidering plans for the Duke of York to attend the 40th anniversary celebrations in Tripoli….
A member of Britain’s royal family was planning to attend a commemoration of Qaddafi’s 1969 seizure of power in a coup, four decades of absolute rule and a long period of state-sponsored terrorism? How’s that for a little glimpse of Europe’s oil-hungry, baldly amoral Libya policy. The prisoner release is a sideshow.

Didn’t see this coming. Nat Hentoff, dean of American jazz commentators and civil libertarians, my fellow Jazz Times contributor, buys into the “death panels” nonsense. How sad. He’s better than that. I thought.

By Jim Morin, via Gene (click image for clearer focus):

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