Category Archives: Books

The Daily Show (The Book)

An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, The Correspondents, Staff and Guests

By Chris Smith and Jon Stewart

This is the story of how a marginal show on basic cable became a major force in show business and politics. Like Tom Shales’ book about Saturday Night Live, reading the book is a lot like watching a documentary with a lot of talking heads. It is comprehensive and still funny.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Live From New York

The Complete,Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by its Stars, Writers, and Guests

By James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

This the story of how Lorne Michaels built an empire. He took a time slot Johnny Carson did not want and eventually controlled the The Tonight Show, The Late Show and Saturday Night Live. Reading the book is a lot like watching a documentary with a lot of talking heads. It is comprehensive over forty years. What appears to be improvisation is in fact a carefully scripted formula from a well oiled machine.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Lights Out

Lights Out

By Ted Koppel

Koppel explains how vulnerable the American power grid is to cyber attack. Much of the equipment is customized or no longer made in this country. It would be months and possibly years to replace damaged equipment. It could not be moved on our crumbling infrastructure. Millions of people might die in the disruption. The solution is to prepare or build a society that does not depend on the grid. This means batteries and solar panels everywhere.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mindhunter

Mindhunter

By  John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

John Douglas was one of the last of J. Edgar Hoover’s G-Men who hunted serial killers. At the FBI, he developed profiles on people like Ted Bundy. Apparently Douglas predicted that Bundy would live in Seattle, be in the legal profession, a registered Republican and drive or collect Volkwagen vehicles. Every page of this book seems to have a horror story.  How do we prevent this? Douglas, a hardboiled cop and conservative, thinks society creates them and can prevent them.

“Bill Tafoya, the special agent who served as our ‘futurist’ at Quantico, advocated a minimum of a ten-year commitment of money and resources on the magnitude of what we sent into the Persian Gulf. He calls for a wide-scale reinstatement of Project Head Start, one of the most effective long term, anticrime programs in history. He doesn’t think more police are the answer, but he would bring in “an army of social workers” to provide assistance for battered women, homeless families with children, to find good foster homes. And he would back it all up with tax incentive programs.”

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

Jan 6, 2017 Dirk Gently

I enjoyed Douglas Adams book The Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe. He also wrote two Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency books. They were odd but the BBC TV series is off the charts. These are shaggy dog stories so shaggy that I’m not sure there is a dog underneath it all. The characters keep saying everything is connected but they sure take their time showing it. Not recommended if you are using cold medication.

Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 4, 2017 The New Yorker

On Dec. 4, 2017 The New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino wrote “Killing It” about what is wrong with millennials. The odds are stacked against them. “The type of millennial that much of the media flocks to – white, rich, thoughtlessly entitle – is largely unrepresentative of what is, in fact, a diverse an often downwardly mobile group. (Millennials are the first generation to have a fifty-fifty chance of being financially better off than their parents.) Many millennials grew up poor, went to crummy schools, an have been shuttled toward for-profit colleges and minimum wage jobs, if not the prison system.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.

Aug. 7, 2017 The New Yorker

Aug. 7, 2017 The New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote “Bad Ratings” about cable companies outrageous price increases and terrible customer service. The major companies are AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon. They are effectively monopolies controlling the speed and access to the Internet. Ajit Pai, formerly of Verizon was appointed FCC Chairman by Donald Trump. He wants to  end Net Neutrality, an important First Amendment right that would give complete censorship control to these companies.

Benjamin Wallace Wells wrote “The Dream Deferred” about Bernie Sanders continuing his campaigns for healthcare, education, housing, and fair wages.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jul. 10, 2017 The New Yorker

On Jul. 10, 2017 The New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote “Uber And Out” about harassment and hostile work environments at Uber and other companies. Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor think Uber has not changed its culture. They lost half a million customers.

Lawrence Wright wrote “The Future Is Texas” about a few conservative politicians are trying keep control of the state against a rising tide of other groups.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 15, 2017 The New Yorker

On May 15, 2017 The New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolkatkar wrote “Stickler Status” about the thankless job of compliance officers in financial institutions. It is a bad career choice. Even if they do everything right they could still wind up in jail.

Nicola Twilley wrote “Sight Unseen” about sensory substitution technology that allows people to see with their tongue.

Nathan Heller wrote “The Gig Is Up” about the sharing economy and companies like Uber. One worker named Seth said “These are jobs that don’t lead to anything.” Safety nets are needed to protect workers between gigs.

Adam Gopnik wrote “We Could Have All Been Canadians” about what the world would have been like without the American Revolution.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 8, 2017 The New Yorker

May 8, 2017 The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos wrote “Endgames” about removing President Trump from office using theTwenty-fifth Amendment. It is a little vague but can be done if he is judged to be mentally unfit. “He is the first president with no prior experience in government or the military, the first to retain ownership of a business empire, and the oldest person ever to assume the Presidency.”

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved,

Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker

On Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Shop Till They Drop” about fake news purveyors using social media to drive boycotts. Companies need to think twice about becoming involved with or being identifying with divisive politics. “Trump’s victory has created a political realm in which tens of millions of people feel that if you’re not with them you are against them. That’s a curse for companies that aim for a mass market, America’s traditional strength.”

Kelefa Sanneh wrote “Secret Admirers” about Trump doing what many traditional conservatives want and ignoring the people who voted for him.

Ian Frazier wrote “High-Rise Greens” about new hydroponic technologies to grow more food in cities.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.