- - Thursday, October 28, 2010

True fandom

“Texas Rangers fan Boris Briskin makes movie legend Ferris Bueller look like a dithering amateur when it comes to doing one’s own thing. A native of Plano, Texas who presumably grew up watching the likes of Nolan Ryan, Ivan Rodriguez and Dean Palmer, Briskin moved away 10 years ago and went to college. He got a law degree and, later, a job clerking at a firm in Southern California.

“Well, when the Rangers were on the verge of making the World Series and Briskin couldn’t get vacation time to come back home and watch them clinch the AL pennant in person, he faced a dilemma. So, naturally, he quit his job. Just like that. To watch the Rangers. Talk about seizing the day! That’s seizing a fortnight. …

“Some might find it short-sighted and immature to quit a job to watch baseball — especially in these times — but I’m with Boris. Fortunately, I don’t have to quit my job to watch the World Series. Granted, this isn’t fooling your parents into thinking you’re sick, playing hooky from school, going for a joyride in a sweet car and taking in a few innings of a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. … Regardless, I think he’s a righteous dude.”

David Brown, writing on “Bueller? Displaced Rangers fan quits law job to watch World Series,” on Oct. 27 at the Yahoo blog Big League Stew

Rubicon crossed

“In staging this conflict between two styles of storytelling, ‘Rubicon’ became a definitive spy story for our moment. The Will Travers plot repeated the old cliches of post-Watergate paranoia: a corrupt, all-powerful group of rich white men secretly run history from behind the scenes. In the secondary Kateb plot, we see how the official intelligence community is actually made up of flawed, limited human beings, who always remain two steps behind the enemies they are trying to fight. This is emphatically a post-9/11 vision, in which it is not the government’s power that frightens, but its impotence.

“In the end, Rubicon backed away from this provocative and honest view by tying Kateb to the same conspirators who were persecuting Will, a shadowy mega-corporation called Atlas Macdowell. You could see this development coming, but it still seemed to betray the interest in realism that increasingly had come to be Rubicon’s strongest suit. It will be interesting to see how Bromell and the show’s writers can manage this delicate balance in the show’s next season — if there is one.

Adam Kirsch, writing on “Why ‘Rubicon’ Is the Perfect Spy Show for the Obama Era” on Oct. 27 at the New Republic

Not-so-hot

“The [Annie] Leibovitz story, however, is more than a tale of a photographer who got absorbed into the high-spending world of the people she portrays. It is a reflection of something unexpected — that, despite all her celebrity and talent, Leibovitz lacks earning power as an artist.

“If she could sell her prints in galleries or at auction for as much as former fashion and society photographers such as Herb Ritts, Bettina Rheims and Richard Avedon … her financial worries would ease. So far, she has not. The most that one of her photographs has fetched at public auction, according to Artnet, the online auction house, is 31,200. …

“‘To be honest, the market for her work has never been particularly strong,’ says Josh Holdeman, director of photography for Christie’s in New York. ‘A lot of her photographs have been on the cover of magazines but there hasn’t been any deep collecting base for her work.’”

John Gapper, writing on “How Annie got shot” on Oct. 22 at the Financial Times magazine