i repeat, gran torino is an incredible movie. incredible in the sense of like incroyable, je le vois mais je ne crois pas, how can this be, i am glad that i didn’t see gran torino when it came out. i who am barely able to put things together in my head find it bafflesome beyond all baffling that it exists.
obviously if you haven’t seen gran torino make tracks to see it at
100% incroyable, except for the song Clint Eastwood sings over the closing credits, which is 15,000% incroyable.
the commencement speaker is buzzed only slightly though. he had a gin and tonic, handed to him by the gracious scot that the college president married last year. now the scot winks at him from the first row, fanning his face with the commencement program. it’s hot. there are maybe 1500 assembled. the speaker is hot too but he can’t tell between if it’s the heat or his nerves. the gin did nothing to put them down. what if he screws it all up? but he looks again at the sunburning scottish husband of the college president, and draws out a single sheet coated with fine black words, good words, wise words, and atop it all is printed the title of the speaker’s talk: “some jokes about My Boners” and he goes forward and up
My college did a big graduation ceremony, after which everyone went back to their individual dorms for smaller diploma ceremonies. These secondary shindigs included remarks from the local dorm despot. Some of my classmates had kind things to say about the wise souls who oversaw their habitat, but in Q we largely did not, because we regarded our man as a sort of alcoholic absentee landlord.
The time came, and Mr. S. took the podium to deliver his remarks. The point that he wanted to drive home concerned scotch whiskey: about the lifetime of ecstasy that we could discover through the proper investigation into single malt scotches, and his sincere hope that we would all have the courage to discover the joy that was our birthright as future scotch-drinkers.
Then he reached behind the podium, produced a tumblr with a solid two fingers of the stuff in it, and drained it in a gulp.
My parents have a photo of me accepting my diploma. I look like I’m in a hurry. Mr S leers at the camera like a cartoon pirate.
This seems like a pretty good and clear example of a double standard, putting aside any broader and more speculative commentary about the implications of Abramson’s termination. It is nearly identical to a story often repeated in praising tones about Apple’s Tim Cook:
Cook’s no-nonsense approach to management and solving problems was made immediately evident upon coming to Apple. When in a meeting discussing a problem in China, Tim Cook noted that the problem was “really bad” and that someone should be in China fixing it. Thirty minutes later, Cook then famously looked over at Apple’s operations manager, Sabih Khan, and asked “Why are you still here?” Khan was on the next flight to China.
This anecdote appears in every hagiography of Cook’s time at Apple, never with negative implications, always as evidence of decisiveness, attention to detail, high standards. People love it! Of course, a flight to China is a lot more onerous —did Khan have a family?— than a trip to a computer to change a photo. While I personally can make no real evidence-based argument that Abramson’s departure, pay, or treatment is the result of sexism in its entirety, I can say this: the coverage of her time at the NYT in many cases reeks of it.