Flashbacks: bidding adieu to Dawson’s Creek, the losingest team in basketball, a visit to an “anti-terrorist” driving school, and the most controversial course in Boston

5 years ago
May 02, 2003| Joyce Millman bade adieu to the WB’s Dawson’s Creek.

“An era is about to end as one of TV’s most influential series says goodbye. And no, I’m not talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This Wednesday...on the WB, Dawson’s Creek will have its series finale, after six seasons of tortured love geometry, high-school (and college) angst, smart-ass dialogue, and bad film-school pretensions. In any universe (not just the Buffyverse), Buffy — which ends its run May 20 — is the superior show. But though Buffy may have saved the world (a lot) over the past seven seasons (the first five on the WB, the last two on UPN), it was Dawson who won the battle for the soul of the WB — assuming a network that made its reputation on a cartoon frog and a seemingly endless supply of pretty young actors and actresses has a soul.” Read Full Article

20 years ago
May 06, 1988| Ric Kahn gave a glimpse into the Washington Generals, the losingest team in basketball.
“’s not like wrestling, where the outcome is predetermined, the odds are triple-stacked in the Globetrotters’ favor. As [owner/coach ‘Red’ Klotz] Klotz explains it, there are two parts to every Globetrotter-General contest: the game and the show. When it’s showtime — dancing, dribbling, and double dunks — the Generals play the straight part. They know the riffs by heart, after first practicing the routines with the Trotters and then having the bits nightly branded onto their brains...When it’s game time, says Klotz, his guys (and gal) play to W-I-N. ‘They play hard every game.’ Trouble is, with the Trotters getting so many gimme points during showtime, the Generals are always playing come-from-behind. But when the victories dribble in — and the Gens just about have to play a perfect, no-turnovers game to win — it feels as sweet as getting a high-five from heaven.”

30 years ago
May 02, 1978| Michael Matza attended Somerville resident Tony Scotti’s ‘anti-terrorist’ driving school for chauffeurs and bodyguards.
“On the morning we arrive, Scotti is lecturing in the small, wooden, racetrack box office that serves as his classroom...Although the students are eager to get on with the strategic-driving phase of the day’s lesson (bootleggers, J-turns, off-road recoveries), Scotti is intent on emphasizing the value of ‘route planning,’ the practice of constantly altering the path between home and office to avoid becoming predictable...‘They estimate that Aldo Moro was under surveillance in Italy for 35 to 40 days. His driver changed his route daily. But no matter which route he took, he would arrive at church at precisely 7:45 every morning. The same time every day,’ Scotti emphasizes, shaking his head at the simplicity of the error. ‘It proves one thing. You can be religious; just don’t do it on time.’ ” Read Full Article

35 years ago
May 01, 1973| Sid Blumenthal examined a religious argument personified in a Boston classroom.                               

“The most controversial course in the Boston area is offered at Tufts University’s Experimental College. It does not deal with abortion, amnesty, busing, or IQ scores and heredity. The course is entitled ‘Zionism Reconsidered’ and is taught by Marty Blatt, a recent Tufts Graduate.

“...[H]is course, which includes readings from Theodore Herzl, Hannah Arendt, and Jean-Paul Sartre, has been greeted by the traditional Jewish organizations and the Jewish Defense League with intense hostility.

“The JDL termed ‘Zionism Reconsidered’ an ‘anti-Jewish outrage.’ They place Marty Blatt in an anti-Semitic pantheon somewhere between Herman Goering and Albert Speer. ‘Not since Germany in the days of Hitler,’ a JDL statement read, ‘has any university dared to offer a course presenting a one-sided view of any national movement.’

“On March 13, the JDL decided to take action. They gathered their forces, about a dozen members, and barged into the Tufts’ classroom singing Israeli national songs. One of their number announced that the course was concluded, henceforth and forever. The JDLers refused to speak directly with Blatt. ‘We are not here to debate with an anti-Zionist,’ a leaflet that was distributed said, ‘any more than we would discuss with a Nazi whether Jews should be exterminated, and if so, how many.’ ”


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