Here is your open thread for January 24, 2020.
Warren Zevon would’ve been a 73-year-old excitable boy today.
Enjoy every sandwich.
Today is the 72nd birthday of Elliott Abrams, who enthusiastically perjured himself and committed multiple other felonies as part of the Iran-Contra Affair. Don’t worry, though, Abrams was a Republican, so he was sentenced to a total of two years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $50 fine. (Really, a $50 fine.) All of that was swept away by a presidential pardon, after which he was given a high-salary seat-warming gig at the Ethics & Public Policy Center until a new Republican administration came to power and he was appointed “special assistant to the president and senior director for democracy, human rights, and international operations.” Because he thought the invasion of Iraq was a good idea, and because nothing matters, nothing at all, he’s still getting paid way more than you’ll ever make by about six different think tanks. Happy Birthday Mr. Abrams!
Nastassja Kinski turns 59 today. That picture of her with the snake is 38. (I don’t know how old the snake is now.)
Mary Lou Retton is now 52 years old and still only 4′ 9″.Neil Diamond is 79 years old today. You know all the words to a half-dozen songs he wrote, whether you want to or not.
Oral Roberts was born 102 years ago. He was one of the most famous preachers in America for much of the 20th century although, as a prosperity-gospel faith-healing charismatic, he never achieved the prestige of a more “mainstream” evangelical figure like Billy Graham.
If you’d asked me in 1991 or 2001 which of those two celebrity pastors was more influential in shaping American Christianity, I’d have said Graham and I’d have said it wasn’t even close. But I think I was wrong about that. White evangelicalism in America today looks a lot more like the religion of Oral Roberts than it does the religion of Billy Graham. (That’s the theme of my chapter in Evangelicals: Who They Have Been, Are Now, and Could Be.)
Finally, Kristen Schaal turns 42 today. She’s done many funny things, but may favorite is probably her work bringing to life Louise Belcher, capturing a mix of sociopathy and innocence that makes her seem more real than most of the children on TV.
Talk amongst yourselves.