We’ll do some links today since I can’t seem to get my latest Reader’s Notebook entry finished, nor come to any thoughts worth sharing on other subjects.

Guess I haven’t posted any links in a few weeks because the first is a few weeks old. Hell, it was old when I talked about it with friends in KC two weeks ago. My bad.

The intro to this piece made me laugh out loud, because it is very true. For many, many years each time I flew I would have some kind of KU/Lawrence/KC shirt on. I figured I should always be representing.

There’s almost an unwritten law of civic pride if you grew up or spent any significant time in metro Kansas City (which straddles Kansas and Missouri): “If one is traveling away from Kansas City, one must wear a T-shirt or other piece of clothing identifying oneself as a Kansas Citian.”

’Ted Lasso’ makes me homesick for Kansas City. I called his mom to ask why

I must admit I didn’t know much about Charlie Watts, other than how he looked, before his death. These are some fine little anecdotes that will shed some light on who he was.

14 Charlie Watts Stories That Prove He Was the Rolling Stones’ Rock

I missed Sunday’s six-hole playoff between Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay, but apparently it was must-see TV. A tense affair that seemed to feature some real bad blood between the two. When I first started paying attention to golf again three years ago, I was fascinated by DeChambeau. He seemed to be what I begged golfers to be for years: bring a different perspective to the game. Like many, though, I was eventually turned off by his needy behavior, by his total lack of self-awareness, and his whole “I’m the smartest guy in the room” act. An act that regularly was proven to not be so smart. It’s kind of amazing how quickly he has morphed into the most hated golfer in the game.

Nothing about the Bryson DeChambeau experience is easy these days

I was floored when I heard how much Amazon was spending both to acquire the rights to and make a new series based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Especially since they would be mining material that was far less known that his Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories. And then I read this piece, which makes it seem crazier.

What the Tolkien estate sold was the rights to the Second Age, but reportedly not the parts of those stories told in the books primarily about the First Age (the Silmarillion, etc.) At the same time, Amazon cannot contradict those stories either. Amazon’s series will have to be consistent with the Tolkien canon, while at the same time drawing on the vaguest, least detailed portion of it: genealogies, a few outlines of stories, and not much more.

I guess there’s an audience out there for this, especially given how huge Game of Thrones was. But seems like if you’re going to, likely, eventually, spend over a billion dollars on a project you should have more leeway in how you create the final product.

Tolkien and Amazon’s Fight for a Franchise

Speaking of Amazon…our home is as guilty as anyone for being sucked into making it our first, and often only, stop when shopping. Reading this piece, which details how difficult it can be to sell your good on Amazon and how equally tough it can be to not sell your stuff there, makes me want to use it as more of a starting point from which I branch out and eventually click buy on the site of the actual producer of whatever I’m buying.

As Demand For Bikes Surged, Amazon Got In The Way: A bike parts company ditched Amazon to support indie shops instead

What’s going on in Afghanistan is obviously an absolute mess, one that President Biden will pay the political price for despite his three predecessors being the ones who created it.

Phil Klay, who has written a lot about the wars we’ve been fighting for the past 20 years, provides some perspective.

9/11 unified America. It overcame partisan divides, bound us together, and gave us the sense of common purpose so lacking in today’s poisonous politics. And nothing that we have done as a nation since has been so catastrophically destructive as what we did when we were enraptured by the warm glow of victimization and felt like we could do anything, together.

American Purpose After the Fall of Kabul

Finally, Steven Hyden adds to his series of Best XX Songs by Group Y with a look at The Who. I’ve long said their top 5–10 songs stack up next to any other band’s. Especially when you hear them live. But they just don’t have the depth that other bands have. That’s probably why Hyden has gone through The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Pearl Jam, and Led Zeppelin before getting to The Who.

Unlike other lists, I’m not sure there can be any debate about what their best song is.

The Best Songs By The Who, Ranked