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mlaskin's Comments

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Christopher Hitchens' Cancer: Author Undergoing Chemotherapy For Esophageal Cancer

Christopher Hitchens' Cancer: Author Undergoing Chemotherapy For Esophageal Cancer

Commented Jun 30, 2010 at 21:52:18 in Media

“I have lost a brother and a father this cancer that, supposedly, does not run in families. But, acid reflux does and that appears to have been a factor with both - since neither smoked nor drank.

I love Hitchens for the solid depth of his thinking. He's a very large intellect who takes obn large issues of the human condition. I wish him only the best in his treatment. This is a tough one to beat, but perhaps he can. Best of luck....”

Mr Vegetarian NY on Jun 30, 2010 at 22:32:06

“Too much fat, grease, cheese, processed junk, and meat in the American diet and people are getting sick because of it. Eat a diet rich in vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and you'll be fine.”

laddieluv on Jun 30, 2010 at 22:23:45

“Beautifully said.

I, too, have lost my father and my husband to cancer. Not this variety. Brain cancer. Identical. My point? I understand the depth of the dread, grief. And I empathize.

That said, I so wish Christopher would have been able to quit smoking. I finally did after forty-three years. Cold turkey. Just celebrated my second year completely smoke free, living under incredibly stressful circumstances, I might add. 'Course, who doesn't.

I add my admiration for Christopher. Read him in VF. Watch him, etc. Admire so many of his philosophies.

My best thoughts go out.”
Al Gore's J-Date Profile

Al Gore's J-Date Profile

Commented Jun 4, 2010 at 14:52:27 in Comedy

“Hilarious, Annabelle. As a man married for almost 30 years, once the Gores split up it felt as if no one was safe! And from this pain of others....we find humor. I hope they are both well. I honestly do. And yet, you made me laugh - hard. Thanks.”

Gudrun on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:56:11

“I know what you mean. I have been married 32 years and I think we're solid. From the public side we saw of this couple, I thought they were solid too. The Gores were doing a radio show for a book they wrote about families a few years ago. The interviewer asked how many children they had. Tipper replied "three" (I think that's how many they have), and Al added immediately, "so far!" So cute that was. I bet they will remain good friends.”
Jeremy Piven's Play Replacement Using Prompter, Ex-Castmate Still Critical

Jeremy Piven's Play Replacement Using Prompter, Ex-Castmate Still Critical

Commented Dec 29, 2008 at 23:45:52 in Entertainment

“All points well taken - thanks for your response. I am originally from Minneapolis, and thus, have no real deep loyalty to either coast. I've lived in LA for many years, but have also worked in NYC, the regions, the UK, and Canada. It has been my observation that about 10% of entertainment (theatre, film, tv) coming out of either NYC or LA (or Minneapolis or Chicago) is great, and the other 90% is average to awful. No place has the corner in artistic integrity. I am stunned by Raul Esparza's comments, if they are true. I've worked with many people, as have you I am sure, that were not exactly walks in the park. But to repeatedly disparage a co-worker in public, no matter what you think, is inexcusable. It reveals arrogance, insecurity, jealousness, and above all narcissism. I also have to laugh at the fact that Piven's replacement, a wonderful actor, has had to go on with book in hand and not be 100% sure of his lines. No matter what the preparation time, that sounds like something only a TV star could get away with - not a man of the theatre. Call me crazy.....”
Jeremy Piven's Play Replacement Using Prompter, Ex-Castmate Still Critical

Jeremy Piven's Play Replacement Using Prompter, Ex-Castmate Still Critical

Commented Dec 29, 2008 at 19:58:59 in Entertainment

“I have not seen this production, but I do have 30 years of experience as an actor in theatre, tv, and film. The dirty little secret is that theatre actors are often very snobbish about their tv and film counterparts - born out of insecurity, jealousy, and simply not understanding the very different creative process. Some tv and film actors cannot transfer their magic to the stage. Some theatre actors do not translate their talents to film. Many in the theatre seem to feel that theatre is the "gold standard" and that if one is creatively great in that medium, he or she will be equally great on screen. No. No. No. Theatre has an accepted level of artifice that is agreed upon by audience and actor. Eight shows a week only serves to elevate the artificial nature of the stage - even in "realisitic" vehicles. Occasionally you get the Nathan Lane's of the world whose artificial theatricality is so well done and clever that he transcends mediums - however even the talented Nathan Lane has had limited success on film. I think the comments of Mr. Piven's co-workers are completely out of line, no matter what. As I stated, I have not seen the show, but there is a very tight "in" club in the New York theatre, and their backbiting ways have rarely been on more depressing display. Get a life, and stop glorifying yourselves. Get well Jeremy, and come back to LA”

JhNyc on Dec 29, 2008 at 22:41:25

“I've spent the same 30 years working exclusively in New York theatre, and Raul Esparza does not speak for the community. He has diminished himself with these recent comments. If we are honest, though, there are a lot of "backbiting ways" on both coasts. It is likely just more noticable here because we are a much smaller pond. (Oh, and even Nathan Lane had a less than spectacular outing in David Mamet's recent play, November, which preceded Speed The Plow at the Barrymore Theatre). Peace from NYC...”
huffingtonpost entry

To Studs: With Love and Memories

Commented Nov 2, 2008 at 01:46:56 in Media

“I had the privilege of appearing in the 1988 classic film by John Sayles, EIGHT MEN OUT. Studs had a very nice supporting role and was wonderful in it. I spent some time with Studs, and he treated me (and everyone) as if they were old and dear friends and compatriots in this passionate adventure we were all engaged in. His fervent passion for everything was a joy to be around. One night I was having a drink with him, and it hit me very hard that I was drinking with and engaged in superb conversation with the great Studs Terkel. I took that moment in, and never forgot it. I had that rare feeling that I was in the presence of greatness. What pleasure and a privilege. I never forgot that drink (alright.....many drinks!) Or Studs. Just wanted to share that memory. - Michael Laskin”
Smart Cars Have A Year-Long US Waiting List?

Smart Cars Have A Year-Long US Waiting List?

Commented Aug 19, 2008 at 00:42:38 in Business

“Hate to burst your bubble. Just check out ANY quality ratings in the auto industry. Mercedes is near the bottom on all of them. I have owned one and they are wonderful cars to drive. I've also owned many VW's and Audis. I was german car snob. But no longer. But by nearly every measure Mercedes has quality problems throughout all their lines. The Japanese cars, although not as fantastic to drive (with the exception of the new Infinitis - which are terrific) are simply miles beyond the European and American cars in quality. Quality is not defined by how perfectly they seem when they are new. Quality is defined by the service issues that arise over the life of the car. The sometimes boring Toyotas and Hondas are generally bulletproof. That's my real-world experience.”
Smart Cars Have A Year-Long US Waiting List?

Smart Cars Have A Year-Long US Waiting List?

Commented Aug 18, 2008 at 19:43:14 in Business

“I drive a Prius, which gets around 50mpg on the highway and 45 in town. It can seat up to five people, and is completely competitive on the road, size-wise, speed-wise, etc. The problem with the Smart Car is that it is built by Mercedes, which has one of the poorest quality reputations in the auto world. Next to Land Rover, they are worst. I have a friend who is a Lemon Law attorney, and most of his cases are for Mercedes products. Once you get over the "cute" factor of the Smart Car and really look at it, you'd be much better of getting a Prius, a Civic Hybrid, or another smaller gas-only car like a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. The Smart Car, for all of it's totally compromised size, should get MUCH better mileage than it does. I guarantee you that if Honda or Toyota built a car of this size, they would get 60 - 70 mpg, PLUS you'd get unassailable quality. This is the I-Phone of cars - and not much bigger than one either.”

obiter on Aug 18, 2008 at 20:44:51

“"The problem with the Smart Car is that it is built by Mercedes, which has one of the poorest quality reputations in the auto world."

As a Benz driver and Merc enthusiast, can I just say that I've never heard such blasphemy in my life!
The 3 pointed star is synonymous with quality. Although the M Class SUV's have had many problems - but they were built in the US and not at the Stuttgart plant, so go figure.”

RoseMerry on Aug 18, 2008 at 20:39:17

“I KNOW! I was shocked when I heard they only get 40 or so mpg.”
huffingtonpost entry

Democrats Are Standing Up to the President -- Will They Finally Stand Up to the NRA?

Commented Apr 17, 2007 at 13:46:14 in Politics

“Thank you for talking about the "elephant in the room." I am so weary of the wall-to-wall coverage that repeatedly tells us every bloody detail about this massacre, how he was a "loner," about how they're all praying and hoping for healing, and then does a retrospective of the long history of campus shootings in America - as if any of this really matters. What truly matters is that we are all held hostage to the NRA and their insane obsession with arming America. Until we can summon the political will to disarm our nation, we will never be the shining beacon of hope that we used to imagine we were. Much of the civilised world looks at us and sadly laughs at how misguided we've become”
huffingtonpost entry

The Founders Fumbled

Commented Jan 31, 2007 at 13:32:18 in Home

“Really perceptive piece - you synthesized a lot of loose threads into a very persuasive piece of thinking. You are correct that we treat the Constitution like some infallible sacred text. These are precarious times, and we need a lot more clarity on the fundamentals of all these issues. We cannot just assume that we are living in a functioning democracy anymore. When less than half of our citizens vote, and when the ones that do vote are often poorly informed about the real issues, it gives one pause. And when our elected leaders ignore the will of the people, arrest and torture innocent people all over the world, and help create and foster this culture of greed, it is a sad stateof affairs. I have no answers, but this piece of writing puts so much of it all together - thank you.”