As somebody who could not watch a second of Jay Leno, ever, I was charmed by Jimmy Fallon’s first show Monday night.
I’m a total Letterman fan, attuned to his twitchy moods, his dark history, his world view, his infatuations – Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett. But Fallon can be an outlet during reruns, commercials, stupid pet tricks.
I love that Fallon is young (39), agile and musical. I love the brothers in the shades in his band (The Roots) and hope they get more of a chance to play whole riffs than Letterman allows Paul’s talented band to do, on air.
My one question about the Fallon show is the presence of his announcer pal Steve Higgins. As an old guy, I kept saying, “Why is Steve Allen standing there? Is he a ghost who materializes from the walls of the ancient studio?”
I also love the Spike Lee intro for Fallon – need to catch more of the references – and love the ‘30’s set, so New York, so Rockefeller Plaza. Two shows from The Greatest City in the World, as Letterman’s announcer used to call it.
Welcome to Big Town. It may be time to learn how to download TV shows.
"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)