If you love movies there is a different, and perhaps pleasingly preferable, way to spend Sunday evening other than watching the Academy Awards presentation.
The people have spoken.
From time to time, in the years just after his television show was taken away from him, you might see him in the lobby of a Las Vegas hotel or casino.
If you're a person who hates it when your supervisor looks over your shoulder at work, you may want to stop reading this column right now.
Memo to the hotshots running Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and all the other of-the-moment enterprises that are lighting up the headier reaches of the new economy:
No Googling allowed:
"He's so good," Phil Everly said.
It's the biggest stage in the world of college football.
You wonder what a visitor from outer space -- or a visitor from the future -- would make of it.
Seventy one years ago -- December 22, 1942 -- Congress got the United States out of what had turned into an unexpectedly embarrassing situation.
Attention, holiday shoppers: Put away your wallets and credit cards.
You've probably seen it hundreds of times over this long holiday weekend:
There is a phrase that has long been used in certain big-city political circles.
So that I could best understand the depth of his revulsion for the crime, the police investigator suggested that I pay a visit to the elevator where it allegedly took place.
"I think, when the moment finally comes, I'll probably have mixed feelings about it," Dick Cole said. "It will be like coming to the last page of a book you don't want to end. The book has been a good one, but you're sad that it's over."
Throwing the World Series.
Can your credit card buy you a second-hand memory?
Official Washington, still stuck in the government shutdown of its own making, seems exceedingly short on wisdom these days. But maybe it is looking in the wrong places for answers.
So, when can we expect our refund checks?
If a fellow is going to spend 55 years working in the same place, he would be wise to count his blessings that the place is Riverdale.
No one ever handed her anything.
If you're good enough at what you do, it is possible to live forever.
Chuck Berry was nowhere in the tavern, either in person or on record. But inside my head I was hearing his voice:
"De Soto, Holder of Twenty-nine World Records, builds a new aero-dynamic car at popular prices ... This year De Soto does the unexpected again ... introduces not one new car ... but two! ... We can't describe the new Airflow model. You will have to see it yourself to know how truly beautiful it is."
Baseball. The radio. Summer.
The answer to J. C. Penney's endless woes is right in front of its corporate eyes.
Occasionally, at odd hours, you may find that you have a Waffle House all to yourself.
Rejection -- even repeated rejection -- doesn't have to mean defeat.
The J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith tale is a great and irresistible publishing story -- but it's only the second-best I've ever heard.
Businesses exist to make a profit.
It goes on every day, in every county in the United States.
The cruise-line industry is a rough business.
How many years would you like to live?
"The Lone Ranger" is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the summer; it opens over the long Fourth of July weekend, and the promotional buildup is in high gear.
Now, this just may be the best entertainment news of the summer.
The names on the formal, state-government-erected memorial signs by the sides of Ohio highways are not famous to the outside world.
The date, in that long-gone American spring, was the same as today's: May 19.
The letter in the U.S. mail came as a surprise.
"We don't really care what the federal government wants to call us," Aran Rush was saying the other afternoon. "We know that we're a good place."
How much do you hate it when some meddling boss is leaning way-too-close over your shoulder, micro-checking and second-guessing every bit of work you do?
It's the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink.
We were in touch two weeks ago; Roger Ebert was my friend for more than 40 years, and toward the end of March he took it upon himself to send out one of my CNN columns to his more than 800,000 Twitter followers, and I thanked him for his graciousness and generosity, which were constant.
If you're standing in the rain at the bus stop tomorrow morning, trying to get to work, and if, in the downpour, you should notice that waiting patiently for the bus with you is Bill Gates. . . .
Whether you're a three-pack-a-day smoker who doesn't like being lectured to about the health risks, or you're a person who doesn't touch cigarettes and wouldn't smoke one if you were offered a Ferrari in exchange, picture this:
While the rest of the world last week was fixating on the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, waiting to see whether the smoke would be black or white, it wasn't the smoke that intrigued me.
You could see it in his eyes.
In American professional sports, you can name a team almost anything.
What should most worry the leaders of the federal government -- the president, the top officials in Congress, Democrats, Republicans, everyone who failed to find a way to avoid the forced budget cuts?
Here's a question for you:
"I was owned by Johnson Bell and born in New Orleans, in Louisiana."
"To report the state of the union."
Memo to Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean, Hunter Hayes, Mumford & Sons, Miguel, the Alabama Shakes and all the other young singers and bands who are nominated for Sunday night's Grammy Awards:
Mr. Harvey would be so proud today.
By the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, one or more professional football players will be hailed for their valor, for their guts, for their devotion to their teammates.
As the buildup to next Sunday's Super Bowl intensifies, a simple question for your consideration:
There will be a good deal of public singing these next few days, during the parties, celebrations and services surrounding the inauguration, and at the inaugural ceremonies themselves.
Let's say that you're the Federal Aviation Administration.
This is the week, every year, when you come across special displays in bookstores.
At dinnertime the other evening I walked into a seafood restaurant in a small strip mall off U.S. 41 in southwestern Florida.
If, say, Justin Bieber were to offhandedly announce that he will never record another song; if Kristen Stewart were to proclaim that she is finished acting forever; if LeBron James were to declare that he has played his last game of basketball. ...
The debate over whether the hand-to-hand-combat excesses of Black Friday represent a grotesque over-commercialization of the holiday season has lost its meaning.
In a country as splintered as the United States has become, can there be any such thing as a national pastime?
They're not just constant characters on a television screen, these candidates who every four years seek the presidency. They're not present only to give us something to talk about for months on end.
How annoying and frustrating have calls from telemarketers, and robocalls pitching useless and sometimes fraudulent services, become?
Pat Nixon had taken Mamie Eisenhower out to lunch. This was in the summer of 1973; the wife of one president and the widow of another talked quietly in the dining room of the United States Senate.
Over the years, it seems that just about every format imaginable has been used for debates between presidential candidates.
When a group halfway around the world, without setting foot on American soil, can claim responsibility for preventing a man in Wichita, Kansas, or a woman in Shreveport, Louisiana, from gaining online access to his or her own money in the local bank, it would seem to be a pretty big deal. Something to worry about.
Who can ever forget the electrifying series of presidential debates in which Lyndon B. Johnson, outlining his Great Society program, went head-to-head in 1964 with Republican nominee Barry Goldwater, who boldly stood his ground on rock-solid, small-government ideals?
We just knew they were going to be huge stars, internationally famous, wealthy beyond imagining.
"Excuse me," the woman called. "Is the president still speaking?"
There is a phrase that has long been used in discussing nuclear warfare:
As rooms go, it's quite nice.
Have you been flying much this summer?
During the Olympic Games in London, which will end with Sunday's closing ceremony, there have been many memorable moments:
Outside, there was an old black dog next to a tree. The dog kept barking.
For all the cheers, roars and ovations in all the Olympic stadiums and arenas over all the years, perhaps the most significant Olympic sound heard in the last quarter-century was a yawn.
It is the implicit bargain every moviegoer makes.
What must it be like to step to the plate for your first appearance as a major-league baseball player and knock a grand-slam home run into the far reaches of the seats in Yankee Stadium?
The startling thing, in the long run, is not that the power went out and stayed out in so many parts of the United States during the week just ended.
If the furnace in your basement stopped working, and you hired a company to repair it, what would you do if several of the workers came upstairs, told you they couldn't figure out how to get the furnace started, and then began pointing fingers at each other and saying:
All eyes are on London this summer. The Olympic Games begin next month; earlier this month, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee provided glorious pictures and joyous sounds to the watching world.
In a bookstore, I saw a woman taking photograph after photograph of newly released titles that were arranged on a shelf. She was using her phone to take the pictures.
It is such a cruel disease, one that can sneak up on a person and catch him unawares.
So there he was, sitting on the queen's bed, wearing a soiled T-shirt and jeans, holding a broken ashtray and bleeding from a cut on his hand:
Memorial Day weekend has, over the years, turned in large part into something it was not originally intended to be:
A very nice married couple from Canada struck up a conversation in a restaurant where we were having dinner. At one point the husband said that, earlier in his life, he had played with some buddies in a rock band.
For well over a century the world has come to call on Garden City, Kansas, every day of the year.
When the White House, back in March, made the unexpected announcement that this month's G-8 summit, long planned to take place in Chicago, was being moved to Camp David, the reasons given were bland:
If you're watching the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs this weekend, take a good look at the players' jerseys.
In a long line at an airport security checkpoint, the man in front of me wearily reached into his travel cases and began to unload his electronic gear into the gray plastic bin.
May we spend a few minutes discussing a major part of American life where there has been a shocking lack of diversity?
A few years ago a group of us were having dinner at a steakhouse, and among the people at the table were the terrific sports columnist Mike Downey and his wife, Gail Martin. The manager of the place came over to say hello; introductions were made.