We’ll start off with Julia Glum’s piece for Newsweek, The Meaning of Memorial Day: Why Do We Celebrate the May Holiday? As Newsweek tweets, “Memorial Day is supposed to be about honoring our war dead, not hosting barbecues.” Glum writes, “Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, but it’s so much more than an excuse for a three-day weekend. It's a U.S. holiday with a lot of history and lasting significance.”
In a similar vein is To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning, Michael Rubinkam’s piece for The Associated Press. As AP tweets, “Not a ‘Happy’ Memorial Day - veterans, loved ones of fallen military members want more respect for holiday.” The piece quotes Carol Resh, a Gold Star mother, who says, “It’s not about the picnics. It’s about the men and women who have given their lives for this country. Every day is Memorial Day for us.” And, linking to her piece for Stars and Stripes, A Shared Grief: Gold Star Mothers find kinship amid the burden of their loss, Tara Copp notes, “I spent the last week with Gold Star Moms, talking about how they have been able to carry on in their sons' honor.”
Will Bunch of Philly.com writes, On Memorial Day, remember these 2 who died fighting today's hate. As Bunch tweets, of Ricky Best and Richard Collins III, “One was a 23-year Army vet, the other starting his career. They died in a war of hatred on U.S. soil.” “Important read by @Will_Bunch,” says Helen Ubinas.
In Friends recall only nurse killed by hostile fire in Vietnam, Dake Kang of The Associated Press tells the story of Sharon Lane, a 25-year-old Army nurse from Ohio who was killed instantly when a Soviet-built rocket struck the hospital at the Chu Lai base in Vietnam on June 8, 1969. Writes Kang, “Today, Lane is immortalized in books and statues, and she even helped inspire characters in a television show,” referring to the late 1980s drama “China Beach.”
Zack Sharf of IndieWire reports from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Sofia Coppola Makes History as the Second Female Filmmaker to Win Best Director. Coppola won the prize for her film “The Beguiled.” “About time!” says Kim Izzo. In the 70-year history of the festival, the only other woman to win Best Director was Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva, who claimed the prize in 1961 for “The Chronicle of Flaming Years.” The festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, went to ‘The Square,’ directed by Ruben Ostlund.
In other film news, we learned that A 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' Set Features Around $2 Million In Snacks, as reported by HuffPost’s Matthew Jacobs. Compare that snack budget with the total budget ($1.5 million) for this year’s Best Picture winner, “Moonlight.” “Dead men tell no tales, but they sure do eat,” Jacobs writes.
In 9 essential pieces of pop culture to catch up on this weekend, Vox offers up “some items you should really consider adding to your culture diet this weekend.” And if you’re thinking about getting your summer reading list in order, Gretchen Rubin says, “I loved this list of great books to read, from novelists who also sell books.” She’s referring to Summer Reading Recommendations, From 6 Novelists Who Own Bookstores, by Alexandra Alter of The New York Times, where you’ll find top picks from Emma Straub, Ann Patchett, Jonathan Lethem, Jeff Kinney, Louise Erdrich and Judy Blume. Need more? Then check out 24 Incredible Books To Add To Your Shelf This Summer, from HuffPost’s Maddie Crum and Claire Fallon, who have curated a range of titles, including “smart thrillers and sprawling family dramas.”
“Miserable air travel experience? You can trace it to the incentives in airline CEO contracts,” tweets The New York Times, linking to Route to Air Travel Discomfort Starts on Wall Street, by Nelson D. Schwartz. The piece reveals, as Schwartz tweets, “The truth behind long lines, packed planes and no legroom. How Wall Street is fueling air rage.” “Why did a man get dragged off a United flight? Wall Street has part of the answer,” says Patricia Cohen. Adds Sheelah Kolhatkar, “This piece explains a lot about what's wrong with the US economy.” And Lydia Polgreen says, “This is a good look at how Wall St makes flying miserable. But the underlying cause is monopoly power.”
“Fun story,” tweets Ann Killion. Says John Shea, “I caught up with Darren Baker - 15 years after his legendary batboy career - and here's his story,” referring to his new piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, The little batboy who could: Darren Baker, now 18, grows up.
Meanwhile, Matthew Glenesk of IndyStar tweets, “What’s become an annual @IndyStarSports tradition: The best of #Indy500 driver radio feeds. F ?s a plenty,” linking to Best of Indy 500 drivers' radio feeds. Notes Allison Carter, “Marco was a liiittle touchy on the radio today.” And Scott Horner asks, “What is this word '(expletive)' that keeps showing up in the #Indy500 driver-to-pit communication?”
Denis Johnson, author of the story collection “Jesus’ Son,” and Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, both died this weekend. In The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch writes, “What a Pair of Lungs!”: Denis Johnson’s Ecstatic American Voice. Says Tad Friend, “It's surprisingly difficult to pinpoint the genius of Denis Johnson. @PGourevitch does it beautifully.” Gregory D. Johnsen highlights: “.@PGourevitch once called up Denis Johnson on the phone and asked how long his novel took to write. Answer: 12 years.” For more, read Colin Dwyer’s piece for NPR, Denis Johnson, Author Of 'Jesus' Son' And 'Tree Of Smoke,' Dies At 67, and Remembering Denis Johnson, by Vulture’s Christian Lorentzen.
Meanwhile, Bill Friskics-Warren writes about Allman in The New York Times piece, Gregg Allman, Influential Force Behind the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69 (50,000+ shares), while Rolling Stone’s Richard Gehr pays tribute in Gregg Allman, Southern Rock Pioneer, Dead at 69 (63,000+ shares). For more on Allman, read Matthew Cooper’s piece for Newsweek exploring What that the late singer can teach us about race. Tweets Jeff Stein, “Gregg Allman: Southern Pride Without the Confederacy. A moving tribute by Matthew Cooper.”
Michelle Rafter refers you to Delia Efron’s new piece in The New York Times, After 54 Years, We Fell in Love. After Five Months, I Got Leukemia. “Please, please read this @DeliaEphron essay. You'll never forget it,” tweets Walter Shapiro. Lindsay Cohen says it’s “My favorite Saturday read: @DeliaEphron (of “Sleepless in Seattle” fame) on falling in love at 72.” Tweets Michele Norris, “A love story from @DeliaEphron Read. Share. Give thanks and be reminded that true love is life's greatest gift.”
After all that, if you’re still feeling like it’s not a Muck Rack Daily without at least one Trump story, then check out Andy Borowitz’s latest in The New Yorker, Trump Says He Does Not Know Jared Kushner Very Well (13,000+ shares).