Faith has its limits Wearing his hat "gangsta-style", Brian steals peoples souls as an undocumented brown female looks on.
Big Brain Brian at Hot Air seems to have little faith that Alexandra Pelosi may have actually heard some of his fellow Brides of Jesus use the phrase "Hell’s Box Office" to describe Home Box Office:
This experience is a lot like my own: Born and raised near Dallas. Southern Baptist since I was conscious. Never once in my life heard “Hell’s Box Office” before Alexandra Pelosi inflicted it on me in that clip. Not once.
Pelosi’s smear is similar to Andrew Sullivan’s “Christian Reconstructionists” nonsense. There might be 50 of those guys in the whole country, but Sullivan uses them to smear the other 20 to 50 million evangelicals even though we’ve never heard of them and those of us who have heard of them (through Sullivan’s rants) disagree with them. The Hell’s Box Office thing is probably the saying in one church where Pelosi happened to conduct her zoological research. It is certainly not a dominant meme in the hallowed halls of megachurches throughout these United States.
So basically, she’s full of it.
First off, on behalf of all non-believers, I want to apologize to the ever-delicate Brian for having the phrase Hell's Box Office "inflicted" upon his sanctified ears. I hope that it didn't cause both of his palms to spontaneously bleed or leave the mark of the beast anywhere near his nether regions. Secondly, I think it is sad that Brain is unwilling to accept that, yes, maybe some use that phrase, just not those in his own personal Jesus circle. Hey, if a dead guy can rise from the dead and roll away the stone, isn't it possible that a fellow fundy could coin a funny?
Stranger things have happened. Just read your bible...
First to bring you up to speed on Dawn in case you don't run with the abstinence crowd. Dawn....
"is Dawn Eden Goldstein, was born into a Reform Jewish household. She began writing about independent-label rock music under the abbreviated name Dawn Eden in 1985 for fanzines such as Jersey Beat and the Bob, eventually becoming a popular-music historian, writing for Mojo, Salon, New York Press, Billboard, among other magazines.
In October 1999, Eden, who was by then an agnostic, had what she describes in The Thrill of the Chaste as a “born-again experience” that transformed her into a “committed Christian.”
For those keeping score at home, Dawn Eden (and isn't Jean Auel kicking herself in the ass for not coming up with that one) was born a Reform Jew, who was reborn as an agnostic and then reborn again as a Christian and currently makes her living as a reborn virgin which leads us to believe that Dawn must carry around an emergency spare placenta in a zip-loc bag in her purse just in case another one of her moodswings hits her when she least expects it. But never mind that, Dawn is out flogging her book, Men Don't Want To Fuck Thirty-Year Olds...And That Is My Choice where she:
... gives practical advice about how women should relate to their parents (if yours are divorced, as Eden's are, you should resist the temptation to blame them for bad sexual choices you've made) and masturbation (avoid it—you'll just feel lonely afterward). But trading on familiar (and tired) gender stereotypes, she notes that men lose interest in women who pursue them.
Now is the time when I should say something like 'different strokes for different folks' but then I'd just feel lonely afterwards, so I'll just say that Dawn went to Yale this week to speak with what appears to be a crowd of hot nubile Yalie Abercrombie & Fitch models about keeping their Penises and NotPenises to themselves. But while she was at Yale, she discovered that students were being invited to learn things even when it was voluntary. I mean, What The Let's-just-cuddle is that all about?
Meanwhile, on the other side of New Haven, student groups at Yale were gearing up for Roe vs. Wade Week. According to the Yale Daily News, the event, presumably subsidized by student activity funds, does more than just promote abortion. The organizers plan to teach attendees — not just medical students, but anyone who shows up — how to perform the "simple procedure":
On Thursday, the Yale Medical Students for Choice will host workshop on manual vacuum aspiration for medical students, using a papaya as a uterine model. Manual vacuum aspiration is a surgical abortion method that uses a syringe to remove the fetus from a woman’s uterus. Merritt Evans MED ’09 said she thought it was important to have the workshop because the procedure can be used for a variety of different purposes — including miscarriage management and the treatment of a failed medical abortion or ectopic pregnancy — and is inconsistently taught in medical school.
While the workshop is targeted towards medical students, undergraduates are also invited to attend.
“The reason I wanted to include other people is that it is such a simple procedure, but the media attention around it … makes this an emotionally traumatic and a complicated thing,” Evans said. “It’s just to be like, ‘Here is what actually happens, here is what the medical procedure is like, this is what an aborted yolk sac looks like.’ It looks like a piece of cotton.”
It strikes me that Yale's traditional school songs are horribly outdated in light of the school's new mission. A $25 Amazon gift certificate to the commenter who composes the best rewrite of one of the school's anthems. Deadline is midnight tonight. [Update: I'm extending it to 8:30 a.m. EST Friday, January 25.] Remember, do it for God, for country, for Yale, and for all those liberal arts students at one of the country's finest Ivy League universities who are about to learn how to suction a live baby out of the womb.
You remember that saying: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Well, that's probably pretty inappropriate to mention here, so forget I brought it up.
Anyway, Dawn seems disappointed that the students at Yale (who are mere children, almost toddlers) might voluntarily spend time learning how to kill babies instead of coming to hear why she will not bestow her special gift upon them no matter how much they beg her, and wine and dine her, and tell her how much she looks like Annette Bening...only a little older.
Pre-Friday Random Ten And I tried so hard to resist When you held me in your handsome fist And reminded me of the night we kissed And of why I should be leaving
Let's get started cause there's other stuff a'comin':
We've Never Met - Neko Case and Her Boyfriends Knockin' On Heavens Door - Warren Zevon Shooting Star - Elliott Smith Sweetest Decline - Beth Orton My Boyfriend's Back - The Raveonettes $1000 Wedding- Gram Parsons Ballad of the Sun and the Moon - Alejandro Escovedo Convenient Parking - Sun Kil Moon Point and Shoot - Yo La Tengo Friday's Dust - Doves
Bonus #11: Marlene On the Wall - Suzanne Vega (Who I once had quite the crush on)
A friend at work with a taste for the new and obscure gave me a bunch of CD's to listen to tonight. Warning some links have sound files that come on right away.
Heartless Bastards - All This Time Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens The Little Ones - Sing Song Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson In Crime Band of Horses - Everything All The Time and lastly the Bon Savants - Post Rock Defends the Nation who are now my new favorite band with my favorite CD this year. Hard to put my finger on who they remind me of, and this may sound weird, but I alternately thought of Roxy Music and Morphine who also hailed from Boston.
They had style, they had grace Rita Hayworth gave good face
As Steve pointed out, the New York Sun (for the love of God! someone please read me!) turned to a Ms. Samantha von Sperling to rate/review/henpeck Hillary Clinton's video:
"The power watch is a good move for her," a stylist who has worked with ambassadors and royal families, Samantha von Sperling, said. "In general, women don't wear watches on television, but when you're running for president, you better know what time it is."
While Mrs. Clinton is well dressed in the video, she needs to work on her posture, according to Ms. von Sperling. By crossing an arm over her body on the sofa, Mrs. Clinton appears defensive, or like she is hiding something. "Its very irresponsible of her publicist or the camera man not to point it out," Ms. von Sperling said.
Based upon the stellar collection of SlimJim of the Month Club A-listers who have stepped forward so far, there is going to be a heap of cash that will be spent on anything besides Republicans come 2008.
I suggest investing in Chalupa and Mr. Pibb futures.
In all of the years that I have been following politics, I don't know if I have ever seen a politician speak so straightforwardly about anything as Chuck Hagel did today. Given the choice between him and, say, a parsing weasel like Joe Biden, I'd have to take Hagel.
..and I stole the video from Digby because I think it's one of those rare moments in American history that needs to be seen by everyone, particularly the "gumptionless" done-nothing parrots of the party line.
WASHINGTON - A former New York policeman died in a Manhattan hospital, just as his 21-year-old son prepared to appear at the State of the Union speech to symbolize the desperate health problems of some Sept. 11 workers.
Cesar Borja, 52, had been in intensive care, breathing through a tube, at Mount Sinai Medical Center, awaiting a lung transplant.
His son, college student Ceasar Borja Jr., was invited by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, to attend President George W. Bush’s speech as a reminder to the president of workers who were stricken with a host of illnesses after exposure to toxic World Trade Center debris.
You may now begin the countdown leading up to the first wingnut to say that Hillary Clinton had Cesar Borja smothered last night because his timely death will help her campaign to become the boss of us all President. I'm guessing that Insight magazine will have an exclusive regarding a sighting of Bill Clinton leaving Mount Sinai Medical Center with a large pillow under his arm and then boarding a private jet (owned by George Soros) and heading off to the Mena airport where Bill will be seen trading high quality New York cocaine for more rape slaves to add to his Harlem harem.
Oh, and Hillary is a lesbian...and Michael Moore is fat.
HAGEL: [F]inally, begrudgingly, [the White House] sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region.
GQ: It wasn’t specific to Iraq?
HAGEL: Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. Is central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions
Frightening to think that their global reach exceeds their competence....
George W. Bush wanted to be Harry Truman (patron saint of embattled presidents) in his State of the Union speech, but he may have reminded voters of Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. You know the famous scene: the giddy pilot in a cowboy hat hops aboard his own payload to Armageddon.
Still left in Howard's quiver, Will Munny from Unforgiven (the part of Little Bill is played by the late Saddam Hussein):
Little Bill Daggett: You'd be William Munny out of Missouri. Killer of women and children. Will Munny: That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned
Bang! Roll credits as the squinty-eyed cowpoke rides through the corpse-filled streets and into the Crawford sunset...
Kudos It would be downright churlish of me if I failed to give credit to those wonderful guys at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for turning on each other like starving rottweilers covered in chicken gravy at the first sign of trouble. I have said before, and I'll say it again: conservatives are the kind of people who immediately start contemplating cannibalism when their boat breaks down five feet from shore.
Don't get around much anymore Well, that was certainly an interesting collection of films nominated today for best picture, and I have seen...none of them. In fact, the only films that I saw this year that showed up in the nominations were Little Children (four misbegotten scenes away from being an extraordinary movie), The Devil Wears Prada (I wish Meryl Streep had been nominated in the supporting category), The Prestige (eh, okay). The only other film that I saw that should have been in there somewhere was Friends With Money, if only to acknowledge Frances McDormand (who never fails to make something out of nothing) and Simon McBurney who took what could have been a cheap gag role and made it warm and fuzzy and memorable.
It's always interesting to look at the selection of best picture nominees each year and try to see what it says about us culturally. Sometimes good things like 1974 when The Godfather Part II, Chinatown, The Conversation, Lenny, and The Towering Inferno were the nominees, and the quality of the first three more than made up for the last two, particularly in a year that also offered A Woman Under the Influence , Day for Night, Harry and Tonto, and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Then there was 1978 with nominees The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Heaven Can Wait, Midnight Express, An Unmarried Woman, and the un-nominated, but should have been, Interiors.
Then there were the "That's the best you've got?" years:
1985: Out of Africa, The Color Purple, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Prizzi's Honor, Witness.
1989: Driving Miss Daisy, Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, My Left Foot. (I do have a soft spot for My Left Foot, if only for Brenda Fricker and Daniel Day-Lewis, the best actor not working enough).
Worst year ever? Try 1990: Dances with Wolves, Awakenings, Ghost, The Godfather, Part III, GoodFellas. When Goodfellas and Godfather III are the best you've got, perhaps it's time to sit out a year. Okay, I'll that year credit for The Grifters.
None of those are horrible films; we can save that for "winners" like Braveheart or Rocky (which is Marty for the ADD crowd), or On Golden Pond, but some of them tend to make you scratch your head if not smack your forehead.
Of course I'm only going back to the beginning of the seventies* when I came of age, so to speak, and started to hang out nightly in the art houses watching films like El Topo, Vanishing Point, Electra Glide in Blue and recycled imports like Last Year at Marienbad , pretending like I knew what the hell was going on while all the time looking for clues. Of course, these days I don't hit the theaters much anymore due to a wicked brew of age, time spent doing other things (hello? blogging!), and a general misanthropic outlook that makes me despise anyone who sits within four seats of me and can't behave in accordance with my somewhat stringent requirements, (i.e. shut the hell up, turn off your phone, and try to pay attention you slack-jawed dolt). Other than that, I'm delightful.
Anyway, look for yourself here to see what was going on when you were, as Pauline Kael put it, losing it at the movies. Your mileage may vary and I'm sure you'll let us know how much in the comments.
*True story: I was taking a film class in college during this period and one of the producers of The Last Detail came by the class accompanied by budding star Randy Quaid who had just been nominated for his role in the film. Someone in the class asked Quaid what he was working on next, and he said that he was in talks for a film about a returning Vietnam vet based on a book called First Blood. Yeah, that First Blood.
The rest is history. Bad history....
Added: 1975. Good year- Cuckoos Nest, Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, Shampoo, Adele H, Hester Street, and Farewell, My Lovely. Very nice.
I've admired Wes Clark for a long time. But his comments to Ariana Huffington about wealthy Jews pushing the country toward war with Iran strike me as nutty and disturbing. Either I seriously misjudged the man, or his comments were misquoted or taken wildly out of context.
Matthew Yglesias, however, thinks Clark's comments are perfectly spot-on. Indeed, he says they're not just correct but obviously so. As he writes, "Everything Clark said, in short, is true. What's more, everybody knows it's true."
Well, I don't know it's true. Moreover, I find Yglesias's defense of the proposition that it's obviously true, and his further contention that criticism of Clark's comments amounts to Israel hawks stifling debate, to be wildly unconvincing.
Benny Morris is one of Israel's most distinugished (sic) historians and he has been one of its most troublesome. It was he who truly opened up the question of the wave of Arab refugees during the Independence War. And, of course, he has been a writer and essayist for TNR. (See here, here, and here, and especially here).
Like many of us, Morris has been racked by the nuclear noise out of Iran and also by the oh-so-calm folk who do not see in Dr. Ahmadinejad's dreams a real nightmare. Well, Morris has put his fears into words, the most desolating words I have read in a very long time. It was published in The New York Sun, and I trust that you will now read it here.
I sense the dark hand of George Lakoff in all of this.
You remember George Lakoff, don’t you? Lakoff was the mastermind academic who officiously volunteered to help the Democrats remake America’s political terminology. I’m not sure any of the following can be laid at Lakoff’s feet, but his game was garden variety exercises in Orwellian stuff like referring to reckless government expenditures as “investments” or a troop surge as an “escalation” or surrender as “redeployment.”
But this time, they’ve gone too far. Yesterday on ABC News, Dianne Sawyer did a glowing puff piece on the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi may dress like she owns stock in Chanel, but worry not – according to Sawyer she’s “galvanized steel with a smile.” At one point in the interview, Pelosi talked about the Congressional Medal of Honor that was posthumously awarded to Jason Dunham last week. Here’s how Pelosi described Dunham’s heroism:
“I just had the privilege of meeting with the family of the young man who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He jumped on a hand grenade and saved the lives of his other young people in his unit.”
I know the Democrats have developed as one of their pet Lakoffian tics the habit of describing our warriors as defenseless children. Thus, when Pelosi refers to Dunham as a “young man” and the men he saved as “other young people,” she’s merely falling into a bad habit.
But it’s a real bad habit; a truly offensive one. This is a matter of more than just mere semantics. Jason Dunham was a Marine. So, too, were the men he saved. They see themselves as warriors, and that’s what they are. The term “young people” is meant to demean them, and in Dunham’s case denies him the dignity that he has so completely earned.
Corporal Jason L. Dunham was 22 years old when he left us. He came from the small town of Scio (sigh-oh) population 1900. It’s the kind of town where everyone knows your name... where values and respect still mean something. It was here, along a winding country road filled with rolling-meadows, and a swift moving creek, that Jason L. Dunham was brought into this world.
As you turn into the Dunham’s long driveway that leads to their house, the breeze catches a yellow ribbon tied to the mailbox and the story begins to unfold. The further you drive; two flags adorn the front porch, an American flag and the United States Marine Corps flag. And both seem to play the same quiet song, and yet both stand tall for this fallen young man. There is a final reminder that Jason Dunham is no longer with us… a blue star in the front window has been replaced by a gold star, symbolizing the Dunham family loss.
For the Two-Year Anniversary, I think you give rubberstamps or... Hey Joe, where you going with that tongue in your mouth
Tomorrow night is the State of the Union address and, as is my custom, I will avoid it like Chippendales Presents: Jonah! (you had to click on it, didn't you?). The way I look at it, why give up forty minutes of Korean game shows or Gay, Straight, or Taken? to watch a man mumble through someone else's words, many of which are spelled out phonetically for him on the teleprompter (nu-cu-lar and Ah-mad-in-jah-blah-blah). No, I think I'll pass.
After six years of striding onto the House floor like a conqueror, President Bush will arrive for Tuesday night's State of the Union Speech deeply unpopular and politically crippled.
The most vivid symbol of the new order of things will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi literally looking over his shoulder.
Which can only mean that the Heatherbitches of the media and the right will expend an extraordinary amount of time panning through every inch of video and every screenshot looking for something, anything, that Pelosi does (a raised eyebrow here, a brief pursing of the lips there, an enormous yawn and glance at her watch followed by rolling her eyes and making a jerk-off motion with her fist) to criticize her with, at last proving that the Pelosi Reign of Godless Socialism and Forced Abortions was the darkest period in our nation's history. Or at least since those three days before we found Jennifer Wilbanks safe and sound.
Newsbusters (Home of The Flower Kerners) is all nipply that the lefty blogs (AKA traitors) don't seem to have anything to say about the steel cage not-so-much match between Mike Stark and Dan Riehl on Reliable Sources. On the other hand, the righty blogs (AKA non-traitorous Muricans) were on it like a chihuahua on a liver snap. Noel Sheppard writes:
Yet, conservative blogs have been all over this. Besides NewsBusters, Hot Air, Little Green Footballs, Riehl World View, and Sister Toldjah have already written postings on the subjects. What does that tell us?
It tells us that conservative blogs are written by sad little people clutching at a little scrap of nothingness in an effort to fill up their empty pathetic lives with delusions of fleeting victory no matter how small, pathetic and inconsequential, hoping against hope that that it will carry them through another yet another day of disappointments, broken promises, and shattered dreams of what might have been...
Oh wait. I bet Noel was posing a rhetorical question.
Bill Quick (he's the guy who named the "blogosphere"!...I shall remember him on Fathers Day) had this to say about Mark Steyn on "oppo research" that some think makes Barrack "Barry" Obama the Madrassahian Candidiate:
And if Hillary thinks everyone’s going to pursue stories about some long-agomadrassah, she has a sweetly touching faith in the American media.
And if Mark Steyn doesn’t think this tale has potential legs that are deadly-dangerous to Obama’s candidacy, he has a touching faith in the haplessness of modern political attack memes.
In the first place, the release of the oppo-info was artfully done: it was leaked, not to Mother Jones or even TNR, but to Insight magazine, an outlet claiming no allegiance to either party, but viewed on the left, no doubt, as a redoubt of fascism.
Published by News World Communications like its sister publication The Washington Times, Insight provides its subscribers an intelligence briefing on the Washington behind the lights and cameras. Insight features exclusive articles by top Washington reporters from some of the world's most serious news organizations.
Insight also features commentary by renowned pundits such as Wesley Pruden, Mark Steyn, John O’Sullivan, Michael Barone, Rich Lowry, John Leo and others.
I guess Rich "We're Winning" Lowry is the liberal that pulls it to the center...
I’m not unsympathetic to the premise of Ron Rosenbaum’s argument — that, compared to the happy-face banality of John Edwards’ and Barack Obama’s public personas, there’s something rather appealing about Hillary Clinton’s naked viciousness. And, indeed, after Elizabeth Edwards remarked that Hillary’s life was less “joyful” than hers, it was hard not to warm to a woman so determined to confirm her joylessness that she’s prepared to have genial Mrs Edwards kneecapped in a dark alley and forced into an abject apology.
My problem begins when Rosenbaum expands the proposition to argue that, in a field of Democrat wimps, Hill’s the one to back to stick it to the jihadists. I yield to no-one in my respect for the Clintons’ ruthless brutal demolition of Newt, and that guy who succeeded Newt for 20 minutes, and Gennifer and Kathleen and all the rest. But there’s no evidence to suggest either Clinton has any interest in applying these techniques to tougher adversaries beyond these shores. There’s a world of difference between the politics of personal destruction and the geostrategic kind. Beating up breast-cancer survivors is no indication you’ll do the same to Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il.
I guess Elizabeth Edwards is lucky that Hillary didn't have her killed and her nude body left in a park for Mark Steyn, SVU to investigate(Hillary in the library with a Louisville Slugger). On the other hand, if incivility to cancer survivors disqualifies one for the Presidency, I guess that Newt Gingrich had better keep his seat warm on the bench.
Charges: For a brief, shining moment in ‘06, it looked like the nation might finally be rid of this sniveling sitzpinkler, but Joe Lieberman just keeps coming back, like herpes. Now Lieberman is an unknown quantity and subsequently the most powerful vote in the Senate. Routinely scolds Democrats for "undermining" the president, whose balls have resided inLieberman’s mouth since 9/11.
Exhibit A: "Our troops believe they can win,and that’s important."
Sentence: Malfunctioning Connecticut-manufactured artillery shells coat Lieberman with white phosphorus at next Iraq photo op.
Way too low for Joe...
Ooooooo. This is good:
19. Steven Milloy
Charges: It’s a pretty fucked up world in which a falsified memoir of drug addiction can spark widespread outrage, but a lawyer and registered lobbyist posing as a science expert can take money from Exxon Mobil and Phillip Morris to spread blatant lies without repercussion. Milloy, writing under the ironically accurate title of "junk science expert" for foxnews.com and at his own website, junkscience.com, is in the business of dismissing any and all alarming scientific studies about, well, anything—global warming, secondhand smoke, livestock diseases, pollution, insecticides, guns—employing statistical sleight of hand and relying on the ignorance of his readers. Like fictional "climate expert" Michael Crichton, Milloy warns us against evil "environmental extremists" who deliberately trick us into fearing global warming just to increase their funding. The theory seems a little shaky, considering that there’s a lot more to be made lying for oil, tobacco and chemical firms like Milloy.
Exhibit A: Three days after 9/11, Milloy took the opportunity to argue that the buildings collapsed because of asbestos regulation.
After the Cold War it was said that Conservatives would turn inward upon their fellow citizens for enemies because, if they're not hating on someone, their whole reason for existence (other than breeding babies for Jeebus) goes in the crapper. And so they went after the gays and the Mexicans and Hollywood stars and college professors and pretty much anyone else who didn't look like them in the mirror (i.e. socially awkward, deservedly unpopular, hygienically suspect, virgin not by choice). But then 9/11 came along and the Islamofacistifarians were the enemies du jour and battle was declared and if they wouldn't come to us, by God, we would go to them and invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert the few survivors to Christianity. And by 'we' I don't mean Conservatives would do that fighting stuff; they were needed at home to provide essential services like becoming "citizen journalists" responsible for blowing smoke up each other's chairborne asses.
But, as you may have heard, the Victor Davis One Hour Martinizing Hanson War for The Future of WestCiv has not gone so well and the Talk Loudly and Let Someone Else Wield the Big Stick crowd is starting to wonder who we can beat if we can't dominate a bunch of mudhut-dwelling rag-headed camel humpers. So, on the homefront they have chosen an enemy and wisely chosen within their weightclass: the homeless, the poor, the streetbound mentally ill.
Here we see that Rachel Moran, who seems to think that she is totally teh hot , is out drinking and cruising with her yuppie friends for homeless guys to beat up. Rachel even offers herself up as bait (please see: hygienically, suspect above)
And then there is Mike Adams (That's DR. Mike Adams to you, Sparky!) practicing his mad rhetorical skillz on possibly addicted, possibly mentally ill homeless guys, guaranteeing him a victory in the World Series of Snap!.
Next up, Dr. Mike enters the Special Olympics hoping to kick some 'tard ass....
The biological devolution of wingnuttery proudly marches backward towards the primeval broth from which they arose (last Tuesday morning, about 9-ish), as men without women (and also access to good porn) are reduced to freeze-framing Hillary Clinton videos like David Hemmings poring over his photos in Blow-Up, vainly seeking a clue as to why they are lonely and sad and dismissed by polite society.
As anyone with any common sense would tell you, it's quite obvious that Hillary's video was shot on a sound stage in Nevada.
It's Friday night in the SB and we're getting ready to leave the stunning and foxyfine mrs tboggs Swinging Batchelorette SexPad A-Go-Go to take in the night life on State Street...until about 9pm when it kind of shuts down. Here's Van the Man and The Band:
...and since it's early, here's Ollabelle featuring Amy Helm, daughter of the Band's Levon Helm:
Tina the Tipsy Spider and the Not So Very Good, Kind Of Boring, Cold Sweat and Dry Heave-inducing Twelve Steps of Sobriety
Possibly no one is more excited than I am that Jenna Bush (she's the blond one who falls over in bars) is going to write a book:
You can soon add the title of author to first daughter Jenna Bush's résumé.
Whispers learns that the 25-year-old blond twin of Barbara Bush is shopping a book proposal to major publishers in New York City. We're told that the project is vague and that she's initially gauging publishers' interest. The White House wouldn't comment, but others suggested that the former grade school teacher is interested in writing a children's book or tale about her experiences
I appreciate that she is offering to be flexible enough to write either a children's book or one about her experiences (a distaff version of Under the Volcano, or possibly an updated Looking For Mr. Goodbar comes to mind), but far too often these "experience" books by the children of our ruling betters tend to fall flat on their flyleafs; witness the failure of Mary Cheney's Now It's My Turn which contained so few hot lesbian passages that even her own mother , a woman well acquainted with meaningful glances, tentative probing fingers, and the sweet sweet nectar of an overflowing honeypot...couldn't be bothered to read it. Therefore, since Jenna isn't locked into any particular genre, may I suggest a cookbook, because everyone loves cookbooks and they make swell Christmas or batchelorette gifts.
I'm thinking something along the lines of: The Olive, The Lime, and The Cherry: The Salad At The End Of The Bar.
No royalties required, just mention me in the dedication....
Talking the talk for those who won't walk the walk
I'm glad to see that help is on the way for the 101st Fighting Keyboarders who have come to realize that their well-thumbed copy of The Art of War won't get them into VFW Post 394's Beer N' Shots Night, nor will it win the day in these post-9/11 Battle For Future of (White) Mankind days. As we learned last night, not having any any military experience post-9/11 can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to being accepted as an authoritative voice on all things bang-bang! p-chow!p-chow! dukadukadukadukaduka! booosh! medic, I'm hit!
That's why Austin Bay has created a perfect gift for the many, the not-much-to-be-proud-of, the sedentary house-bound virgins of the Warbloggeristan, Embrace the Suck ( and for anyone who has ever read Bay's The Wrong Side of Brightness , the man clearly knows what he is talking about when it comes to suck):
What’s a blow-through? Have you ever met a road toad? Ever use a blue canoe?Want to know how to use mysterious acronyms like FIGMO, FAG and FIDO? These and many other indispensable terms are defined in Austin Bay’s Pocket Guide to Milspeak, a collection of current troop slang, military acronyms and other expressions derived from the Iraq War theater. Read this salty little volumeand we guarantee that you’ll be swearing like a soldier in no time.
Col. Austin Bay: Iraq war vet, renowned blogger, syndicated columnist, novelist, radio commentator. No writer is more respected on military matters.
(Pause here for uncontrollable laughter, hyperventilation, wiping tears from eyes, big deep sigh... continue)
Now Col. Bay has turned his talents toward creating this first dictionary of “Milspeak”--the soldier's argot that is rich in irony, brutally efficient in conveying the immediacy and dangers of warfare, and can be a shorthand way for separating combat soldiers from fobbits.* The perfect gift for the soldier, sailor, marine or airman in your life—or for the Beltway Clerk** who yearns to sound like one. Also includes a select glossary of Pentagonese drawn from theofficial Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
Now, for a mere $4, and after weeks of hard study including, but not limited to, highlighting terms and practicing in front of the mirror, members of the 101st can finally leave the house and saunter into any bar in America and hold court; "Yeah, I was in the suck. I was on an ADVON in the Anbar and my XO sent me forward to scout the Ali Babas and the ACM's. That was some bad juju, man. Barkeep!...Another Zima, and keep 'em coming."
Next week, practicing your "Don't fuck with me, man, because I'm ready to blow..." stare as taught by one of the Santorum boys.
This would be the Chuck Hagel who served in the infantry in Vietnam. And that would be the Mary Katherine Ham who served you your lemonade at Hot Dog On A Stick at the the Mall at Peachtree Center. Honestly, what is MSNBC thinking inviting the accomplishment-free "Managing Editor" of Townhall to talk about anything other than NASCAR or pig racing.
Yes. There is a difference between NASCAR and pig racing.....
As most of you are already aware, the lovely and brilliant Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake underwent surgery for breast cancer today and so far, so good. I consider Jane a friend of mine and I'll be the first to admit that I don't cultivate many friends because I'm unnaturally shy and private by nature (no! really!). But Jane is a special case because she's a wonderful person, warm and passionate and funny. I like those qualities in a person.
Several weeks ago we were exchanging emails and she mentioned the recurrence of her cancer, along with a few other details about what was going on in her life. All private matters, not for public discussion. And it was about that time that Gerard Vanderleun ( Editor-in-Chief of Pajamas Media) wrote possibly the only post he will ever be remembered for, an attack on Jane that contained this brilliant quote that I'm sure Vanderleun thought was tres droll:
That's par for the course since Jane's been in a perpetual state of peeve since she caught a dose of BDS and it metastasized into the implants.
Of course it was well known at the time that he wrote that that Jane had written about her bouts with breast cancer previously, but that didn't seem to matter to Vanderleun who, through his editing of critical comments on his blog and failure to apologize, seems to think he's a real hoot. What Vanderleun didn't know at the time was that Jane was going through this all over again, and, as much as I would like to be charitable, I can't imagine that he cares to this day.
What bothered me when reading and posting on it at the time was that I wasn't at liberty to call him on it, knowing what I did about Jane's condition. It wasn't just that his comment was stupid and misogynistic; it was ugly, about as ugly as it gets. And that is because Gerard Vanderleun is an ugly man with an ugly soul and to this day he doesn't even deserve the benefit of the doubt because he didn't know what was going on.
Dafydd at Big Lizards (The Ugliest Blog on Earth) finds that the four generals who spoke today at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against increasing our troop strength in Iraq are lacking because not one of them has "any military experience post-9/11" which is when, as we all remember, EVERYTHING CHANGED including common sense and all military tactics dating back to The Great Stick/ Pointy Rock War. Therefore they don't know shit about nothin', unlike, say Dafydd who, you may remember, won the battle of Doom #2: Hell on Earth and served with distinction in Balance of Power for Star Trek Next Generation in 1994.
Oh sure, laugh if you will, but there have been no Ferengi bandit attacks on America since 1994, for which America has yet to thank Dafydd by at least buying him a hoagie or something.
Heavy Soul - The Black Keys Headmix - Passenger (Outernationalist mix) Si Je Tavais Ecoute - Les Nubians 10th and Crenshaw - Fatboy Slim Woodstock - Joni Mitchell Buena - Morphine And Here We Test Our Powers of Observation - The Bad Plus Close Your Eyes - Bebel Gilberto Me and A Gun - Tori Amos Smells Like Teen Spirit - The Bad Plus
The software that I used to download pictures to the blog has been ungraded by Google to a new version with all kinds of neat features and stuff. Needless to say, it doesn't work properly (script errors, etc.) and is a real pain in the ass.
Here are some old pictures to pass the time until I can sort this whole thing out
I kind of like that Beckham puppy picture. A shape of things to come...
D'Souza lives here in San Diego in Fairbanks Ranch, one of our more exclusive gated communities:
Since Dartmouth, the conservative fray has been quite remunerative for D'Souza. Six years ago, he and his wife bought their home in Fairbanks Ranch. The nearly 8000-square-foot house has six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, and a four-car garage, where they keep their maroon 1992 Jaguar XJS. A circular drive fronts the French country stone house. The cathedral-like front room, with its full-length mirrors and tapestries, has an 18th-century French decor of (veneered) golden maple burl furniture. The slick floors echo like a museum as one walks through. In his office, there's wall-to-wall leopard-print carpet; floor-to-ceiling bookcases are stocked with titles in history, politics, and philosophy. The view out back features a bright blue pool and the arboretum-like landscape.
Today, at his desk, D'Souza is comfortably dressed in preppy garb. Plain shirt (with the polo player insignia), plain pants, tasseled loafers. At one point, his wife Dixie breezes in. She is blonde, petite, California-tanned, and effervescent about her husband. She's wearing a stylish pink plastic-leather rain jacket. We exchange pleasantries, and she's gone before I can respond to her evident delight in marriage. The D'Souzas met in 1988 at the Reagan White House, where he was a policy advisor and Dixie was an intern. She had read his articles and heard that he, too, worked there, so, D'Souza recalls, "She decided I would be a good contact. She figured I was some 60-year-old guy. She came into my office -- I was on the phone -- and she thought I was the intern. She thought, 'Who is this arrogant intern with his feet up on the desk in his boss's office?' " A mutual love of things conservative ensued; a long courtship resulted in a wedding in 1992. Dixie went to work for Texaco, writing summaries of government hearings. She quit after their daughter was born, though now, with more time, she researches news stories, usually on popular culture, for her husband. D'Souza says that moving to San Diego from Washington in 1999 fulfilled their mutual desire to get out of the capital. "In Washington, you are what you do. It's good if you're single, but it's not kind to family life."
A leopard-print carpet? That is what a friend of mine calls "the triumph of money over taste".
Uh, let's not get ahead of ourselves there Sparky. In light of his boffo performance on Stephen Colbert's show, I think that Dinesh D’Souza may want to reconsider this offer:
D’Souza: Hey, I’d love to go one-on-one with Bill (Maher), who is a very sick man but also witty and smart. I think he’s one of the few guys on the cultural Left who has the guts to actually debate these issues. That’s more than I can say about some of these academic reviewers who are very muscular when they are launching attacks from their offices, but they never want to debate you, and on the rare occasions when this does happen, it’s like one hand clapping.
I guess that is one way of describing being on the receiving end of a bitch slapping. Kids these days with their newfangled hip-hop expressions... Bonus revelation! K-lo disabuses Dinesh of any notion that she is just like the mad fundamentalist mullahs of the Middle East:
Lopez: Why shouldn’t I be offended by the suggestion that because I oppose abortion and gay marriage, I can easily ally myself with the mullahs in Iran? They would also kill a woman for fornication — I may be pro-abstinence but I stop way before sharia law!
So, really, comparing her with them is like comparing apples and oranges, or dates and the dateless as the case may be.
Either way, baby-killing homo-sluts should count their blessings, unless of course they're also atheists , in which case I'll have to check in with K-Lo and see how far she's willing to push the tolerance envelope.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says federal judges are unqualified to make rulings affecting national security policy, ramping up his criticism of how they handle terrorism cases.
In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Gonzales says judges generally should defer to the will of the president and Congress when deciding national security cases. He also raps jurists who “apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences.”
The text of the speech, scheduled for delivery at the American Enterprise Institute, was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. It outlines, in part, what qualities the Bush administration looks for when selecting candidates for the federal bench.
“We want to determine whether he understands the inherent limits that make an unelected judiciary inferior to Congress or the president in making policy judgments,” Gonzales says in the prepared speech. “That, for example, a judge will never be in the best position to know what is in the national security interests of our country.”
I assume that AG Gonzales will not make a peep in say, 2009, when President Clinton/Obama/Biden/Edwards/Kucinich/Taylor Hicks has George W. Bush, Dick Cheney (if he's still alive), Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Yoo, David Addington, and Gonzales his own bad self, arrested and imprisoned without trial for crimes against the state and humanity.
Abu Ghraib continues to be a major public relations disaster, and is continually used to smear our good troops in the field every day by the left in the West and by the terrorist propagandists around the world. Abu Ghraib is one of many points upon which many on the left have made alliance with the terrorists, as they both use it to run a PR pincer attack against the US military. The fact that the military cleaned up the Abu Ghraib mess, and the fact that the terrorists themselves do worse things every day as part of their mainline strategy, doesn’t deter the left/terrorists in their continual Abu Ghraib-based attacks. Continuing to use Abu Ghraib by pundits in the west is unserious and reflects a basic ignorance of the fight; either that, or an alliance with the enemy.
And here I thought Abu Ghraib was an example of lack of control and a denial of responsibility by superior officers, none of whom were called to account in any serious way. It was also indicative of the contempt that certain members of the military felt toward a people that were supposed to be freeing from the rape rooms and torture chambers of Saddam Hussein.
I guess that's one way of saying that the mess was "cleaned up".
We officially lost the war and our moral standing with regard to the invasion when Abu Ghraib was revealed and to this day only the "unserious" remain ignorant of that fact.
Yes, I am fully aware that Michael Kelly died in Iraq back when it was still a fledgling quagmire, but I thought four years after he wrote this, it would be instructive to revisit a column from one of the leading "centrists" of the era who assured us that those guys in the White House knew what they were doing and, had Kelly lived, might be making the same excuses as noted below.
Before getting the column, keep this in mind from the linked Peggy Noonan column:
She said, "He was brave. And he was a warrior. He would take on anything if he believed it was right."
You mean he was willing to pay a price for where he stood? I asked.
"Yes. He refused to be part of the conventional wisdom. He was never part of the pack." She paused. "That's what drove people crazy, that they couldn't classify him. But he was willing not to be liked."
Good thing, as a life of honesty is a life of controversy, and Kelly seemed constitutionally an honest man.
He showed that in many ways. Certainly in his columns on the coming war, and in his support for invasion. Certainly too in his work during the Clinton era, when he was a reporter for the New York Times and then the young editor of The New Republic. At the Times he was the author of the first and still definitive Hillary Clinton take-down, the brilliant "Saint Hillary," a Sunday magazine cover story. Do you remember it, with Mrs. Clinton posed all in white, ethereal and serene? Her people must have been sure it would be a Timesian puff. It was instead a hard-eyed look of the intersection of vanity and liberalism. No one denied it was brilliantly reported and written with sly spirit, but it was controversial in high end journalistic circles because it did not exactly reflect the reporting of a liberal mind at work.
Kelly went to The New Republic, where he was no doubt hired for his independence and brilliance and then rather obviously canned for his independence and brilliance, in that case for showing disgust with Bill Clinton and Al Gore. He landed at National Journal and got a weekly column at the Washington Post.
He summed up his final judgment on Bill Clinton in a column a few years later, when he responded to another journalist's assertion that Bill Clinton was "unique." Yes, said Kelly. "What comes across as the most important source of Clinton's uniqueness as president is the nearly unbelievable degree of his essential unfitness to be president -- his profound immaturity, his pathological selfishness, his cynicism, above all his relentless corruption."
Now back to Kelly on the Bush White House Gang, 11/13/2002:
Our Democratic story so far: George W. Bush is a usurper of power, an incompetent frat-boy fool and a radical extremist (or the incompetent frat-boy-fool pawn of the radical extremists who control him and his White House). In domestic governance, the fool-extremist Bush administration embraces anti-environmental, corporatist, plutocratic policies that must, if properly exposed, meet with mainstream rejection. In foreign policy, the administration is at once inept and menacing: a know-nothing president led by a cabal of neo-imperialists into an unwanted war, the prospect of which has alienated the world and the reality of which will be a corpse-rich quagmire (quagmire! quagmire! quagmire!).
It follows that the mistake Democrats made -- the mistake that cost them last week's elections -- is only not to have pointed all this out enough. They weren't liberal enough, loud enough or angry enough. Thus, the party's core voters stayed home this year, and thus the debacle.
The Democrats' only problem here is that pretty much all of this is wrong.
Bush is not a stupid or incompetent president. In the ways that matter, he is smart and very competent. He possesses the first requirement of greatness in a president -- not the only, but the first -- a clear understanding of what he wants to achieve and the determination to achieve it, seemingly regardless of the risk of personal failure. He presides over an administration that is unusually intelligent -- and also cunning -- unusually experienced, unusually disciplined and unusually bold.
Regardless of what Peggy Noonan's imaginary friend may have said about Kelly refusing to be "part of the conventional wisdom", this was the coventional wisdom of the time and Kelly swallowed it hook, line, and sinker only to regurgitate it back up for his readers.
One may safely say that Michael Kelly was an uncommonly brave man who had the courage of his convictions that would eventually lead him to cover a war in Iraq where he would lose his life. But as a judge of people and a prognosticator of things to come, he could not have been more wrong.
Now, of course, I supported the war, so I can be expected to say something like what I am about to say. My only excuse is that I have been thinking hard about this, trying to pick out what went wrong, and I think that I am willing to admit where I was wrong. I was wrong to impute too much confidence to my ability to interpret Saddam Hussein's actions; I was wrong to not foresee how humiliating Iraqis would find being liberated by the westerners who have been tramping around their country, breaking things for their own reasons and with little regard for the Iraqi people, for several hundred years. I was wrong to impute excessive competence to the government--and not just the Bush administration, but to any government occupation.
This has not convinced me of the brilliance of the doves, because precisely none of the ones that I argued with predicted that things would go wrong in the way they did. If you get the right result, with the wrong mechanism, do you get credit for being right, or being lucky? In some way, they got it just as wrong as I did: nothing that they predicted came to pass. It's just that independantly, things they didn't predict made the invasion not work. If I say we shouldn't go to dinner downtown because we're going to be robbed, and we don't get robbed but we do get food poisoning, was I "right"? Only in some trivial sense. Food poisoning and robbery are completely unrelated, so my belief that we would regret going to dinner was validated only by random chance. Yet, the incident will probably increase my confidence in my prediction abilities, even though my prediction was 100% wrong.
You see, the devil is in the details. Galt (McArdle) was wrong about well, everything. On the other hand, you and I were right about where this was headed but we failed to dot our i's and cross our t's meaning that we were just as wrong as Megan even though we were right.
On his first day at his new job*, Jeff Goldstein plays the race card:
TODAY, HOWEVER, we recognize that there is no such thing as “black blood” or “white blood,” and so in order to account for our perceivable differences—in order, that is, to continue the project of racial identification—race theorists have sought to turn the essentialist project of racial identification into the anti-essentialist project of racial construction. In short, the “racial” has become the “cultural,” and the “cultural” has become the supposedly anti-essentialist foundation for group identity.
THE QUESTION, then, is this: if “race” is now “culture,” and “culture” is an anti-essentialistic social construct, how can we account for our “differences”? Clearly, pigmentation is not full proof; after all, many of those who think of themselves as black don’t “look black,” just as many of those who think of themselves as white may not “look white” (historically, this failure of perception to secure racial identity manifests itself in this country in the 19th and early-20th-century phenomenon of “passing"). Which would suggest that the answer, if it is the aim to continue the project of racial identity, must rest elsewhere—with the constructionist’s notion of culture.
Yeah, that's great. But we actually stock the Lou Rawls CD's in 'easy listening' because he's, y'know, 'easy listening'. Look, why don't you go price tag the new Nelly Furtado, okay?
*(Okay. Jeff didn't really get a job. But sometimes I like to leave the reality-based community and take a walk on the wild side.)
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday called for the withdrawal of 20,000 troops from Iraq by year's end as the first step in a proposal that would significantly reduce U.S. military forces in the region over the next 15 months.
Kerry offered a middle ground between those advocating an immediate drawdown of the more than 150,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and the Bush administration, which has declined to set a timetable for a decreased U.S. military presence.
"The way forward in Iraq is not to pull out precipitously or merely promise to stay 'as long as it takes,' " Kerry said during an address at Georgetown University. "We must instead simultaneously pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces."
Kerry portrayed his proposed pullout of forces as the best remedy for the ongoing violence, not as a recognition that the insurgency cannot be defeated. Citing such voices as former Nixon administration defense secretary Melvin R. Laird, he argued that "our military presence in vast and visible numbers has become part of the problem, not the solution."
As part of his call for a political solution to the Iraq conflict, Kerry proposed a conference of nations led by the United States, Britain, Turkey, Russia and other NATO allies to forge a compromise between the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions in Iraq. He also called on Bush to appoint an envoy to help "maximize our diplomacy in Iraq and the region."
As a "Democrat(ic) Strategist" you'd think she would be up on these things.
Saddam Hussein’s half brother and the former chief of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court were both hanged before dawn Monday, but the half-brother's head was severed by the noose — leading to outrage from Sunnis who claim the body was mutilated.
Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam’s half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, once head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the executions, saying those attending the hangings included a prosecutor, a judge and a physician.
He also said Ibrahim’s head was severed from his body during his hanging.
“In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution,” al-Dabbagh told reporters.
Hangmen gauge the length of rope needed to snap the neck of the condemned but not to create enough force to sever the head.
Saleem al-Jibouri, a senior Sunni Arab lawmaker, said Ibrahim's body might have been weakened by the cancer he was suffering.
Two high profile hangings - two colossal screw-ups sure to inflame tensions. Someone needs to tell them that creating an administration that looks and acts and stumbles around like unattended children, making it a mirror image of ours, is not necessarily an improvement over the previous management nor is it a democracy.
In a world where the line between reality and TV becomes blurred or, if not blurred, a little smeary-looking at times
Matt Drudge seems to have lost it, using a big screaming headline to warn us that:
IS FOX SET TO BLOW THE NUKES ON '24'?
24 being a TV show. Matt is promoting a Fox TV show complete with another one of his fake Fox sources who are incapable of saying anything unless it is followed by an excplamation point ("Coffee!? Sure!" "I have to go to the bathroom!" "Rupert Murdoch is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life!")
As Washington continues to raise concerns about terror threats on The Homeland -- a recent CIA report outlined a scenerio of possible "series of explosions using 'low charge' nuclear weapons" -- Hollywood and FOX-TV are set to up the ante with the new season of 24!
Few outside of the 24 set know the exact details of the new season unfolding, but studio sources claim producers are pushing hard to take it radioactive this time -- and keep it there.
"Time to wake the country up!" a top FOX source told the DRUDGE REPORT over the weekend. "I do not think there has ever been TV done like this, the viewer is going to be completely riveted."
The source claims executives are prepared for any fallout from local municipalities that may be on the receiving end of plot turns and twists. How many cities 24 puts on 'nuke alert' is unclear.
FOX has set a highly-controversial espisode of 24 to air Monday night, opposite NBC's GOLDEN GLOBES.
In 2002, White House officials questioned the timing and release of PARAMOUNT's action movie SUM OF ALL FEARS -- a movie which depicts a nuclear bomb unleashed on an American sporting event!
In related news, coming hard on the heels of Apple's unveiling of the iPhone, a local cable channel ran an episode of Gilligan's Island today where the Professor showed Gilligan and the Skipper how to make a radio out of coconuts!
It continues to amaze me how the Right so often bucks up admittedly fine, talented and intelligent young men as the would be sages of their age by giving their words such notoriety, when they are so lacking in deeds other than writing - read experience and genuine maturity. And I am not calling Rod Dreher a poseur within the context of his Conservatism, I am calling him that within the context of someone who pretended to have the strength, vision, experience, insight and wisdom to support a difficult war.
Is this President a mortal human capable of making a misjudgment? Is Donald Rumsfeld? Sure! Again, so what? Aren't we all likely to err, most especially when situations are so complex and dynamic as within a troubled Middle-eastern nation during time of war?
What is it you expected from the beginning? That we'd have this thing done in two hours, so you could run to the fridge and grab a coke? That's not a failing of President Bush, Mr. Dreher, it's a failure in the depth of your thought.
3000 dead American soldiers in Iraq, hundreds of thousands dead, the entire infrastructure of a country destroyed, religious civil war, impending collapse....It's all Rod Dreher's fault.
To paraphrase Eddie Izzard: Rod must get up very early in the morning.
Ten minutes into the first quarter and Chicago's Rex Grossman has already thrown seven interceptions, hit into three double plays, and received a yellow card for 'dissent'. Yet he is still playing better than A-Rod did in the playoffs...
Having said all that, I am very conflicted by the Chargers. Love the players, hate the owner.
There are times when I'm between books (just finished Mr. Sammler's Planet, getting ready to start Warlock) when I feel the need to switch to decaf, as it were, and read something easy and breezy. That's when I reach for film review collections where I can either have my opinions confirmed (yea, me!) or learn that I was way off the mark and I should be ashamed of myself (I suck and I'm stupid).
Saturday night, unwilling to sit still and watch Click (a rare outbreak of good taste and principles on my part) at the invitation of the lovely and talented Casey and her boyfriend, I turned to Anthony Lane's Nobody's Perfect not because he's a great film critic, he's not, it's just that he's so damn fun. Here you go for Sunday Morning:
After a couple of false starts, the film gets going in 1942, when Krasner presents herself at the apartment that Pollock shares with his brother and sister-in-law. It's an obvious point of takeoff; he wasn't floundering, but his drinking had run amok, and it was Krasner who made the effort to dry him out and set him on the true path. From here, we leap and lurch to the staging posts of his remaining fourteen years. We get Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan in a fright wig) stomping up to his studio; she offers him first a contract and then her body - something of a coup since it wasn't just anyone who got a contract with Peggy Guggenheim. We get reconstructions of the stills and documentary films that Hans Namuth took of the artist at work - an exposure so intimate that Pollock fled back to the comfort of the bottle. And we get Ruth Kligman (Jennifer Connelly), who becme Pollock's squeeze in the final months; when you first see her, leaning over the side of his car in a summer dress, it does feel like a relief - the hint of an idyll after years of cyclonic marriage. Never mind the Pollocks, here's the sex kitten.
At regular intervals, the painter is seen hanging out with other painters; Willem de Kooning, for instance, is played by Val Kilmer, which suggests that casting too, can be a form of abstract experssionism...
On Pearl Harbor
The last Michael Bay film, Armageddon, was a handy guide to what you should do when an asteroid bumps into your planet. At the time, most critics scorned the picture as deafening and dumb; in retrospect, it feels like a mature, even witty, exercise in self-reference, considering that the effect of watching a Michael Bay film is indistinguishable from having a large, pointy lump of rock drop on your head.
The Saint (again with the Kilmer):
There is a scene in the middle of The Saint that may in time be viewed as a critical moment in American movies. The Saint (Val Kilmer) and his young, beautiful, poetry-reading, world-changing-scientist sidekick Emma (Elizabeth Shue) - in short, his girl - are rushing through watery tunnels in the bowels of modern Moscow. Our man is in a fix: the exits are blocked, and there are Russian-mafia goons coming up behind. Salvation arrives in the shape of a young, dark, beautiful, beret-wearing, gun-toting Russian art dealer who appears from the shadows, ushers him and Emma into a secret chamber, and tries to sell them some icons. When this attempt fails, she offers to lead them underground to the sanctuary of the American embassy, pausing only to deliver an outrageous product placement for our hero's waterproof watch. As the action unfolded, I sat there with my jaw resting lightly on the floor, and I thought, This is it. This is what we have been heading for all these years. Here is a film that makes no sense at all.