1) I think this was the strangest sports headline I’ve ever seen: “No. 1 Kentucky overcomes slow start, tops Columbia.” I had to read it twice, blinkingly.
Colombia, the country? No, Columbia, the Ivy League university in New York City.
I sent the article to NR’s Fred Schwarz, a Columbia grad. He has suffered with the Lions for years. (I have suffered with the Detroit Lions, but that’s another story.) Fred went to Columbia at the same time as Barack Obama, I believe. Fred majored in chemistry (brain that he is). Obama majored in, what? Edward Said?
He learned all too well.
Anyway, our Rich Lowry had this to say, about the Kentucky-Columbia game: “UVA was on the losing end of one of these, in 1982.” Here is a write-up in Wikipedia:
The 1982 Virginia vs. Chaminade men’s basketball game was a college basketball game between the Virginia Cavaliers of the University of Virginia and the Chaminade Silverswords of Chaminade University of Honolulu. The contest was held on December 23, 1982, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Silverswords, then a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member, defeated the Cavaliers, who were the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) top-ranked team, 77–72. Chaminade’s victory over a Virginia team that included three-time national player of the year Ralph Sampson has been called college basketball’s “biggest upset” by multiple publications.
Whoa. On any given Sunday — or Saturday or whenever — can anything happen? Sure.
Cécile Chaminade, the composer, I had heard of. Her, I knew. Chaminade University, no.
By the way, the University of Michigan basketball team has suffered some losses lately: to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan University. At least the second school I had heard of. (Alma mater of Joe Sobran, by the way.)
2) A couple of days ago, I quoted Eric Owens of The Daily Caller — who called anthropology “the most pathetic college major that doesn’t end in the word ‘studies.’” I said I would mount a defense of anthropology — qualified defense — later.
I was thinking about “studies.” A few years ago, I taped an interview with Jeb Bush, who majored in Latin American studies. I said, “Isn’t that kind of a lefty major?” He said, “Well, isn’t anything ‘studies’ kind of lefty?”
I am paraphrasing. To see that interview, go here.
3) A few nights ago, I had an opportunity to talk with a veteran Democratic political consultant. I said, “What potential GOP presidential candidate do the Democrats most fear?” He said, “Jeb Bush.”
Bush is reviled by the Left, reviled by the Right (much of it). May not run. May not be nominatable. Anyway, plenty of guys to choose from, maybe even a gal or two . . .
4) Yesterday, I had a post on Fidel Castro, and his victory in China: He is the latest recipient of the PRC’s Confucius Peace Prize.
Some time before that, I had a post in which I mentioned an attack at the home of Guillermo Fariñas. An agent of the state broke in and stabbed four people, seriously injuring two of them. These two are members of the Ladies in White, the human-rights group.
Fariñas, a Cuban doctor, journalist, and dissident, won the Sakharov Prize in 2010. I’m talking about the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, given by the European Parliament. The Ladies in White won it in 2005.
Laura Pollán was the leader of the Ladies in White. She died in 2011, under mysterious circumstances. Oswaldo Payá, the democracy leader, won the Sakharov Prize in 2002. He died in 2012, almost certainly murdered by the regime. (He died in one of those car accidents that aren’t really accidents. Stalin used to order these, too.)
I’m getting to my point: The Cuban regime is utterly brazen, in its attacks and persecution. So is the Chinese regime. The PRC, with no repercussions whatsoever, imprisons a Nobel peace laureate: Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 winner. The Castros’ Cuba stabs and knocks off winners of the Sakharov Prize.
Think what these regimes can do to nobodies. To the anonymous.
Cuban and Chinese officials act like people who can get away with anything, including murder. They are absolutely right.
5) On to something better: Yuja Wang. The young Chinese pianist gave a recital in Carnegie Hall last night. My review is here. My original title was “Dresses like a stripper, plays like a goddess.” That is true. Both counts. We now have a different title. Regardless, Yuja is “very unique,” as they say these days. (Can we please have a new word for “unique,” seeing as “unique” doesn’t mean “unique” anymore?)