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    Thing Tank

    Miraculous meetings, disastrous interviews, vague Oscar memories, and more

    Seth Perlman/Associated Press/file


    Want to curb gun violence? Sure, common-sense gun-control measures as effectively adopted and enforced in every other civilized country might sound reasonable; but a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine (led by Harvard Medical School professor Anupam Jena) suggests that laws and guns aren’t nearly as effective as gruelingly weird panel discussions. Turns out that during NRA conventions, while tens of thousands of members of “America's longest-standing civil rights organization” fondle Sig Sauers and admire the spread of now-vintage “Hillary for Prison” shirts, there is a 20 percent drop in reported gun injuries. Who’d have imagined that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a lanyard? 


    Former Trump aide and that kid you couldn’t stand in high school Sam Nunberg delivered a string of extraordinary performances across the cable news circuit this past Monday, loudly refusing to comply with a subpoena from special counsel Bob Mueller (i.e. printing out a bunch of e-mails) and daring Mueller to jail him. The interviews swerved across several lanes at high speeds, prompting one interviewer to question his sobriety, and leading his own colleagues to wonder what triggered Nunberg’s sudden upgrade to Disaster Plus status.



    Elsewhere in unforgettable performances, how about those Oscars, huh? You look lost. The Academy Awards, remember? Big fancy awards show with the gowns and the speeches? Ahh, there we go. I didn’t watch them either. Or maybe I did? The whole thing is like a really long, dull dream that crumbles into powder when you try to recall it. I do have a foggy memory of Sufjan Stevens wearing a dragon tuxedo — or was it Adam Rippon in a harness tuxedo (different dream?) — and Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish descending from on high like actual goddesses. See what I mean? Weird dream. Or, technically, a waking nightmare if you were one of the show’s producers: This year’s ceremony was the longest-running Oscar telecast in a decade and the lowest rated in history. With popularity levels like that, don’t be surprised if you start hearing early buzz about “President Oscar.”


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    Not to put too fine a point on it, but Russ Solomon, the legendary founder of Tower Records, passed away at the age of 92 after suffering a heart attack while watching the Oscars. As his wife was in the kitchen refilling his whiskey, the “swashbuckling visionary” offered his last words in service of trashing a celebrity outfit. My kind of dude. Asked about his plans for the afterlife, Solomon announced his intention to launch a cloud-based service. Don’t look at me like that. Rest in peace, Russ. (And don’t sweat the alarm when you leave, it goes off for everybody.)


    Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @MBrodeur.