When Tennis Ruled the World, Cardiacs, Shawarma, and More

by Daniel A. Kaufman

An amazing documentary on the era in which “Tennis Ruled the World.”  Watching it explains everything about why the sport has become so dull and has lost so much of its public impact.


An almost inhuman one-man performance of Genesis songs.


A treasure-trove of papers for free download, by P.M.S. Hacker, one of the best living philosophers (and a Wittgensteinian).


Cardiacs: The best band you’ve never heard of…


…video of an astonishing rehersal


…and live footage of one of their most powerful songs.


Though several years old, Bret Easton Ellis’s “Generation Wuss” and “Charlie Sheen is Winning” remain incisive glimpses into contemporary culture.



About as authentic a chicken Shawarma you’re going to be able to make at home


15 thoughts on “When Tennis Ruled the World, Cardiacs, Shawarma, and More

Add yours

  1. Woah Dan, gotta disagree with you about this one. Tennis is dull now? We’re at the tail end of THE golden era of tennis, with perhaps the three best players, and definitely the top two of all time in Men’s tennis, and the best women’s player of all time. Wimbledon 2008 final Australian 2012 final, Fed def Djokovic French open semis 2011, three of the best matches of tall time. I love Borg-Mcenroe, but that looks like slo-mo tennis compared to this era!

    1. The (slightly) slower tennis is far better; the personalities and rivalries were far more compelling; the contrasting styles were much more interesting. Equipment plus excessive focus on fitness have largely ruined the game, a view that is born out by its diminished popularity in comparison with its golden age.

      I played the junior circuit when I was in High School as well as varsity, and was recruited to play in college. I have watched the development of the game from the 70’s until now, and this is my considered judgment. Obviously, at the end of the day, it’s a matter of taste. And yet, the significantly lower popularity and diminished public impact of the sport suggest that it’s a lot of other peoples’ considered judgment as well.

  2. Dan,

    This is funny. When you put up your first “From Around the Web” roundup, I almost commented on the hummus recipe since I also like the tahini heavy style. I was going to add a link to Tori Avey’s wonderful site and particularly her chicken shawarma recipe, but I see that you know all about it. Should have guessed that you would be on to such a good recipe.

    One thing I do differently from Avey is that instead of doing the initial cooking in the oven or on the grill, I put the marinaded (actually “dry rub” without the oil) chicken in a vacuum sous vide bag and cook it at 150F and then refrigerate it. The pieces bond together into a seasoned slab ready to be sliced thin for the final quick frying. This sous vide version comes out juicier than the oven or grill.

    The other thing I like to do is take the juices from the sous vide bag to cook with some rice or couscous and more of the shawarma seasoning. Then I fry the shawarma meat with extra olive oil and stir in a bit of the rice or couscous. The result is very rich and flavorful without having a puddle of olive oil running out of it.

    But I still have a link for you. I really like Kenji’s at Serious Eats recipe for tahini sauce:


    The garlic-blended-in-lemon-juice base is easy since you don’t peel the garlic and it’s versatile too–good for a yogurt sauce among others.

  3. Another article from Generation Whine complaining about Generation Wuss. He wants them to be self-critical, but his criticism of his own generation (pessimistic and ironic) sounds more like self flattery.

    But are Millennials not interested in self criticism? Have a look for “Millennial Love” by millennial vlogger Ryan HIga

    1. And it’s not as if he isn’t equally critical of everyone else. The Charlie Sheen piece shows that. It’s mostly Baby Boomers who receive the ire there. And I’ve always thought of the BBs as Gen X’s prime target, not the millennials.

  4. In any case I found the article somewhat strange.

    He feels that bullying is not “genuine” if it is not hands on, but it is hardly only Millennials who would disagree with that.

    And the charge to which the student pled guilty for his “harmless prank” appears to have been on the NJ statutes since 1982 and that can’t be blamed on Millennials.

  5. On the subject of tennis, I find that I am changing channels these days pretty quickly when a tennis match us on. I had put it down to my diminishing attention span But it could be that the tennis isn’t so entertaining as it used to be.

  6. I can’t express how much the culture of celebrity disgusts me (which I think is more important than the Gen X v. Millennials debate, although certainly involved in it). I am so tired of reading about fake celebrities that I don’t recognize and don’t care to know about, that I hardly read the news anymore.

    If one is a mass murder, don’t bother with an attorney – just a publicity agent who can get a twitter account and post a viral video. Indeed, don’t even bother actually killing anyone, just get hired for “Would Be Mass Murderer” reality game show (“which of our stars will finally pull the trigger?”)

    News headline: “Would Be Mass Murder star has bulimic episode while dating Kardashian – pukes in lap of lovable pseudo-mom.” And at bottom of column nine, page two: “Thousands die as tsunami strikes Singapore – Oprah escapes but moments earlier.” Page 3: “Trump tweets: ‘Oprah evades the tsunami – bad for American image, very self-centered!'” Later that week: “Oprah responds to Trump: ‘not interested in the negativity.’ Promises Tom Cruise to appear with positive message for tsunami victims.”

    Really, it’s come down to that. What we once considered parody news, from, say, the Harvard Lampoon, now just is the news. The post-modern could also be called ‘the parody modern.’

Leave a Reply

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: