Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Movie Mania! The Nifty Nineties

I got mighty close to either giving up on this film meme or just going the list route, for as my years went on, my film watching did not, and I feel more and more a fraud. (Honest, I really do feel bad about having strong opinions about things I don't know enough about. Not that that usually stops me.) So. Take all of this was a mighty grain of salt. Or a chunk of grainy B&W film. I probably know the films of 1939 better than those of 1999.

On top of that, all the cool kids are doing the top albums of your life already. So I've got enough meme-ing to do to last me the summer.


I could put this documentary in anywhere (well, any 7 years), but this seemed to be the edition to do it, Michael Apted's wonderful longitudinal project 35 Up. How wonderful humans are, how changeable. We actually do get acts. Who knows if we'll really get the post-life acts some hope for, but perhaps the funniest look at that is Albert Brooks' delightful Defending Your Life, if for nothing else than that it shows Meryl Streep at her most normal and angelic all at once. Plus Rip Torn cracks me up. Then there's Trust, the first of the brilliant two year run by Hal Hartley. One of the sneakiest love stories of all time, which is the way I like them, plus is there a more attractive young couple than Adrienne Shelley and Martin Donovan? Not to mention the film offers the best defense ever for television: "I had a bad day at work. I had to subvert my principles and kow-tow to an idiot. Television makes these daily sacrifices possible. Deadens the inner core of my being."


Sticking with Hartley, there's Simple Men, a story of a crook and his straight-arrow brother on the lam, of course finding women with whom to fall in love, while hoping to track down their estranged dad, the infamous anarchist shortstop. Let's not forget the dance number set to Sonic Youth. I'm also a sucker for the spot-on cynicism of The Player.

Weird year. I keep looking at the list of releases but come up with the same film over and over--Groundhog Day. If you've ever been to Puxsutawney, and fortunately I've only been through on the bus, you'd know this is comedy perched on the cusp of horror.

Ever a fan of fractured narrative, and a fan of the French New Wave, I have to tip my cap to Pulp Fiction, even if it led to too many bad wannabe films and meant we had to deal with Tarantino thinking he's important for decades. I loved the flat-out great story, actually hiding some class criticism, of Quiz Show, with its fine performances. Speaking of that, there's the ultimate femme fatale turn by Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction--either she's been the worst used actress in the last 15 years or it's all she had in her. Then there's Heavenly Creatures, which makes me really really scared of teenage girls.

Babe. C'mon you liked it too, admit it. It's an adorable talking pig! And two years from this that sweet farmer will be so mean in LA Confidential--people really do act! To see people seemingly not acting, there's the lovely love story Before Sunrise, only lovelier because of Julie Delpy. I know some people hate this one (one friend once wrote "I can go on my own boring dates, George, I don't need to watch them on film"), but it's lyrical to me. And ends with K. McCarty singing Daniel Johnston. I haven't seen it but once, but Jarmusch's Dead Man sure left an impression as another anti-Western Western (see earlier entries McCabe and Mrs. Wild Bunch). And, like everyone else, the narrative game that is The Usual Suspects was a blast for me, too.

I find myself falling back on the Coens over and over, so I guess I like them more than I thought. Fargo is Frances McDormand's most acclaimed if not best performance, but it sure centers the film. Then there's the Faulkner does Texas Lone Star--completely engrossing and not as heavy-handed as some John Sayles, whose films I always want to like more than I end up actually liking. They're too earnest or something. Actually, Sayles v the Coens is quite a pairing, as many think they're not earnest enough. Maybe Sayles should write them a script and see what happens. Oh, and I almost forgot Irma Vep, one of those films about film, but much much more.

Perhaps my favorite film of the past 15 years is The Sweet Hereafter. Totally harrowing, on some level, but the idea of community grief is fascinating, and the way it keeps almost but not quite getting to the bus accident, making you both want and not want to see it.... Great performances by everyone, but especially two people who make almost any film better, Sarah Polley and Ian Holm. No moment in film period, last 15 years or more, matches the flashback and the fierce look on the baby's face, the utter struggles we have trying to help each other in often the cruelest of ways. If you haven't seen this film, rent it at once.

Confession time--I have never seen The Big Lebowski or The Thin Red Line. Hey, where did everyone go? OK, now that I have either no readership or credibility (or both), I'll ask for a 1998 mulligan. And in the meantime Rushmore gets the nod for finding (allowing?) the sadness in Bill Murray.

I have to admit to a guilty pleasure here, as it's true, I'm terribly fond of Dick. It's not a great film, but as satirical romps go, it's hard to beat, no pun intended. While Kirsten Dunst makes her airhead just a bit smarter than the Nixon White House, the real joy is in all the non-impression versions of the "real" characters, from Dan Hedaya's Nixon to Woodstein being lampooned by Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch. Again, narrative games make Being John Malkovich a joy, plus who wouldn't want Catherine Keener in his head? As for some more gravitas, there's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, with Forrest Whitaker's best performance.

I'm glad I kept looking at lists for this year as I almost put O Brother Where Art Thou? as the default--a fine film that proved Clooney could carry a picture and that T Bone Burnett's soundtrack could, too. But in the unrequited love sweepstakes nothing matches Kar Wai Wong's In the Mood for Love (released internationally in 2000 and the U.S. in 2001, so sure I'm cheating but it is a film about infidelity after all). As Slant Magazine says, the film is "ravishing beyond mortal words."

To see my previous flick picks hit the magic links: 1963-70, 1971-80, 1981-90.

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A Lamarck You Made

This Friday would mark the 263rd birthday of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who believed in evolution before evolution was cool (offer may not apply in many southern U.S. states--please consult local religious-political cranks before redeeming your coupon). Before he was a naturalist he soldiered, even showing great physical courage on the battlefield in the Pomeranian War. Having no fear of little teeth, he punted many of the furry, snarling enemy, only to have one of his comrades playfully lift him by the head, which led to an inflammation in the lymphatic glands of his neck. (I wish I was making this up.) (At least the second part.) If only Corporal Klinger knew Lamarck's story, but think of all the cross-dressing laff riot mayhem we would have been denied. Although Darwin gets all the big press (how it must please yahoos that don't believe in evolution anyway that the Frenchman who first developed the theory isn't honored for it), scientists wrote a mash note to Lamarck by naming both a subspecies of honeybee and a blue jellyfish after him, in honor of his stinging personality. Just ask the Pomeranians.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wanna Bet We'll Long for this Level of Dirty Ad in October?

McCain's ads are so ripe it's as if they were not meant to push a candidate but instead were designed to be texts for a Stanley Fish class. Take a gander at this:

OK, done retching? Here are some of the possible messages:

1) Don't trust a politician who can draw a crowd.
2) Politicians shouldn't be celebrities (unless they have starred in movies with chimps or Brigitte Nielsen).
3) Three syllable names can be chanted. Politicians shouldn't have three syllable names.
4) Lots of Germans bad; Germans at the Fudge Haus good, especially with Lindsey Graham at your side (insert your own fudge in the closet joke here).

5) Only blond ditsy young women are celebrities.
6) Correction: and there's a youngish black guy who is one too!
7) There's a youngish black guy after our young blond women.
8) Hey, lookie here! A big black column! (Paging Mr. Freud.)
9) Now that column is rising into the frame! Is this a McCain ad 2008 or a Dole ad 2008?
10) Gas prices are soaring because we aren't drilling offshore.
11) Perhaps Obama is so popular with foreigners as they're offshore too.
12) Aw, that Obama probably won't drill for oil offshore because we won't get any of it in the 8 years he could be president. How selfish is that?
13) The only way to reduce our foreign oil dependency is to drill offshore. (We couldn't, after all, suggest there's alternative energy.)
14) Here's pre-9/11 thinking for you: New Taxes is pronounced Osama Bin Laden in Republican.
15) You know how to avoid raising taxes no matter the deficit? Fund the war that never should have happened completely off-budget. That's financial genius.
16) I'm John McCain and I'll approve of anything.
17) Or, perhaps John McCain is really Noah Cross: "See, Mr. Gitts, most people never have to face the fact that, at the right time and the right place, they're capable of... anything! "
18) No matter, for as the old-timers would say, "That's mighty white of you, John McCain."

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Monday, July 28, 2008

He Fills His Head with Culture, He Gives Himself an Ulcer

Ah, the 1980s. As we continue our jaunt through the films of my life (see 1963-70 here and 1971-80 here) we enter the decade of my greatest film consumption. I saw plenty in college, but in grad school I upped that a serious notch as I was co-director of the student-run Bijou at the University of Iowa for three years. We screened approximately 60 films a semester, classics but also obscure older films, art films, some things the theater chain in town was too dumb to screen, so we made a killing (Stop Making Sense, thank you for keeping us in the black for a good year). I cannot begin to say how wonderful and important all those nights were to me. My guess is 3/4 of the films making all these lists first were enjoyed during that period.


So after that big build up, we start with a weakish year, after all Chariots of Fire, which is best known now for people making fun of its slow-mo set to Vangelis, won the Best Picture Oscar. (And Raiders and Stripes are fun, but best picture of a year? Just can't do it.) Therefore I'll go and get all weird and pick Pennies from Heaven. I'm sort of a sucker for musicals, and even moreso when the musical is an anti-musical musical. But the tunes are delicious, Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Walken are great, and it's relatively depressing. Just my kind of film. As a close runner-up, let's go with Evil Dead, even if the second film is probably better. Still this gave Sam Raimi his start, and it leads with Bruce Campbell's chin. Perhaps the best cheapest-made film of all-time? (All apologies to George Romero, Robert Rodriguez, and John Sayles.)


OK, the decade is building kind of slowly. I promise it's not just because I went to school in Baltimore that I still adore Diner. But think of that cast, and how none of them topped their performances here, least of all Ellen Barkin, woman among boys. But what wonderful camaraderie. I'm also going to go out on a limb and pick Night of the Shooting Stars, which I haven't seen in years but still remember fondly, a terrific tale of Italy at the end of WWII that is poetic and powerful. Whatever happened to the Taviani Brothers?

And so I stay with foreign films but turn to Japan's great Shohei Imamura and his film Ballad of Narayama. Another film I haven't seen in years, and having lost both parents relatively recently, it would probably devastate me--a big part of the film is a man taking his mother on his back up a mountain where tradition has it the elderly must go to die. But there's so much more to this clear-eyed film, the kind of thing Hollywood could never pull off without over-weening piety or heavy-handed mawkishness.


I like things dry, I have to admit, so Stranger than Paradise, with its failing to move camera, totally floored me in 1984. Still there's much humor--"I am da vinner," the chop-sockey film we only see by how it plays on the movie-goers faces, the way Florida looks like Cleveland, the TV dinner "this is how we eat in America" bit--and much cool, from the black and white photography to that enduring emblem of hip John Lurie. Jarmusch has made a lot of fine films, but the first is still the best. And then there's Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, which I loved even more as I first saw it at the Biograph in Chicago, John Dillinger's last theater. It's a myth of much of what the U.S. is about, and love is always in the way, and the cast full of folks who can overdo don't (DeNiro, James Woods). The rest of you can have The Godfather and II, just leave me this one. Both of these films I wrote about in my non-fiction prose MA thesis, too, so I've completely thought them into myself, as it were.


Here's a year where quantity totally trumps a single knock-out quality production, and aren't we much for the better for that? Scorsese isn't necessarily known for his light touch (right Illeana Douglas?)* but he mined dark comedic gold with After Hours, a yuppie-eyed view of a cashless downtown NYC. I haven't seen it in years, but David Hare's writing and the ever-watchable Vanessa Redgrave made the small English film Wetherby a wonder. The Coca-Cola Kid, of all things, stars Eric Roberts, but also stars Great Scacchi, who in her day was as luminescent as any star ever. Plus she seemed to like doing nude scenes--her roll in bed dressed as Santa with Roberts with feathers everywhere...well, Dusan Makavejev knows sexy. Equally sexy, at times, but also silly, but also an ode to food, so how can I not love it, Tampopo is something I really need to rent again. In fact, this 1985 foursome would be a lot of fun to re-live some weekend.


I'm stuck still naming films I wrote about in the thesis, but what films. Blue Velvet is a deep disturbing dream about film itself (that severed ear fell through cinematic history all the way from Dali and Bunuel), and what it means to get to see what we thought we wanted to see only to find out we're wrong. Something Wild is somewhat similar, as Jeff Daniels wants a thrill and gets way more than he bargained for with Melanie Griffith, who then gets way more than she bargained for with Ray Liotta. Plus the Feelies play the high school reunion--I'd go back to one of mine if that could happen.


Raising Arizona. It's just incredibly funny, especially the first 15 minutes (before the opening credits even roll?), an ever-tightening montage of love and crime and a whacked out M. Emmet Walsh. All sorts of brilliant performances, not just by Hunter and Cage, but John Goodman, too. The Coens at their zaniest.


There might not be a more beautiful first 30 minutes of a movie than that of Wings of Desire, but you have to be ready for it, awake and willing, an accomplice in the angel's work where listening has to be enough. It's easy to believe Bruno Ganz as an angel. And who better as a fallen angel than Peter Falk? There's even bonus Nick Cave. For a very different film there's The Thin Blue Line, which wins a man justice but makes us puzzle over whether truth is ever true. A formalist's dream, a hypnotic Philip Glass score. Errol Morris makes films like no one else.


A trio, as each of these films is a bit short of greatness, the first from trying too hard, the second from not trying enough, the third for showing its age. Do the Right Thing is a powderkeg about a powderkeg, which isn't easy to do. Exactly what is the power getting fought if taking down Sal's Pizzeria is the "best" one can do? Drugstore Cowboy captures drugginess without getting dopey about it. Heathers has that final act problem--the more Slater becomes crazy the less interesting he is--but it's got attitude and the perfect delivery woman in Winona Ryder.


I close the decade with a film far too little seen. Charles Burnett's To Sleep with Anger has all the wonderful weirdness I like in a movie from its man-on-fire credit sequence on. Danny Glover can do a billion Lethal Weapons if that lets him act, stupendously, magnetically, cruelly, in no-budget films like this one. (Be sure to find the finally released Killer of Sheep, too, while you do your Burnett research.)

*The scene where DeNiro bites her face in Cape Fear is the most horrible thing I've ever seen on film, worse than Straw Dog's bear trap, The Foruth Man's metal rod through the eye, you name it. What was Scorsese thinking?


Some Wins Are More Equal than Others

Baseball quote of the day, courtesy of what's left of the LA Times:

"If those guys stay hot, those are the guys that are going to play," Torre said. "We're at a time of the year when wins are important for us."

Uh, Joe? Those games in April, they counted too. Something tells me he needs something stronger than that green tea. (On the other hand, he does know Czechoslovakia isn't a single country anymore.)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Will You Get a Lick at That

Originally uploaded by ~timbo~

No one was quite sure whether it was fair to Ted Kaczynski to call the Unatonguer a copy cat criminal.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained. Do note they'd love to have everyone play this week before RFB goes on a short hiatus, so jump in, the photos are fine!


Starin' at the Star Inn

Originally uploaded by luciferscage

The Exotic Dancers Live Football Sundays really, as they say, took off. Although the games were often slowed by a surfeit of illegal backfield in motion penalties.


Mustachoied Mountebank

Originally uploaded by Luke Stephenson

Some people would do anything to end up on the next Decemberists' album cover.

(Alternately, Teddy Roosevelt plays tennis: Serve softly but carry a big racket.)


Friday, July 25, 2008

Might Be Going on a Trip This Weekend

You can get some too--absinthe made right here in the good Old U.S. of A. See Caddell & Williams. Of course the Mezcal is from Mexico, minus the worm. (That's in the wood in the other bottle.)

I hope I'll be able to make a report about one of these potent potables. Or I might just end up tore down a la Rimbaud.


Beach Boy

For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie in better times, which will be future times soon! He seems to be doing pretty well recovering from his surgery for his infection and the vet is happy. And Mookie seems spirited, especially if Nigel is in the room to boss around.


Friday Random Ten

Drive-By Truckers "That Man I Shot" Brighter than Creation's Dark
The Shins "Pam Berry" Wincing the Night Away
King Crimson "Inner Garden I" Thrak
Pere Ubu "Caligari's Mirror" Datapanik in the Year Zero: 1978-1979
Sonny Rollins "Duke of Iron" Silver City: A Celebration of 25 Years
Peter Gabriel "Lazarus Raised" Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ
Waco Brothers "White Lightning" Cowboy in Flames
Glenn Gould "Partita IV in D Major, BWV 828: VII. Gigue" Partitas Nos. 3 and 4
The Breeders "Cannonball" Last Splash
Booker T. & the MGs "Jelly Bread" The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968

Yo La Tengo "Let's Be Still" Summer Sun

And iTunes plays a little joke, for after popping 5 of the first 10 songs at two-and-a-half-minutes or less, it pulls a plus ten minute cut for a bonus. It also shows its range. Special props for a driving anti-Iraq War song to start, a post-punk classic from Kim Deal and the gang, and the always welcome instrumental stylings of Booker Jones and his gang.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not What I Meant Atoll

Friday is the 62nd anniversary of the modern bikini swimsuit, which made its first appearance at a Paris fashion show. Alas, it wasn't invited, couldn't hold its liquor, and was asked to leave. But it was a G-string bikini, and in exiting left its mark, and not just on the white upholstery [spelling corrected]. The rest is history, much of which I'll make up. The Bikini was named after the famous nuclear test site, which just happened to mean bi-, as in two, and -kini, a term in the Atollian language meaning "a male Atoller is drooling." The Bikini Atoll is in Micronesia, which means small clothing. Language is sometimes wonderful, particularly after a few mai tais.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Movies for a Disco Decade, You Punks

I started this meme the other day, the best film for each year of my life as decided by me. No refunds or exchanges. So here we go with the 1970s....


In our previous entry I worried over the split between the film that meant something to me then and what I feel now is the best film from that year. Most films didn't mean much to me in the '60s cause I was too young to know any better (although I probably should have put down The Happiest Millionaire for 1967 since I remember seeing it in Radio City Music Hall, one of my earliest memories, or maybe I just remember it as I wrote a poem about seeing it, not that my poetry was ever memorable). 1971 does suggest a now/then split, however. For I certainly vividly recall Duel, back when Spielberg couldn't be pretentious as they didn't give him the money and it was merely a TV movie. But boy it packed the thrills, and Dennis Weaver was McCloud, too. Years later I would see McCabe and Mrs. Miller, fall in love with Julie Christie, totally rethink the Western, realize Altman was teaching me a new way to watch, and listen to, a film. Wonderful use of Leonard Cohen, too.


Last time I pointed out this might be the best year for film in my life--certainly the best year up to this point. Nine-year-old me missed most of it, getting "adult" seeing Poseidon Adventure as my first PG film (but I was blase as somehow they let me take out the novel from the public library, and that was even steamier). And my favorite film during that year was definitely What's Up Doc? as I had no idea something called Bringing Up Baby existed and was getting ripped off, however lovingly. That one can say Ryan O'Neal is a better Cary Grant than Streisand is a Katherine Hepburn is damning with feint chin dimples. Still, Madeline Kahn--film never did provide her the plum role she so deserved.

But '72 was the Year of the Marlon as Brando excelled in The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris. And I'm not just buttering him up here. For self-determined intensity, Brando might have been outdone by Klaus Kinski, whose driven performance in that allegory of imperialism Aguirre, the Wrath of God draws everything into it like whirlpools on the Amazon.

And then there's perhaps the most psychologically searing film ever, Bergman's Cries and Whispers. Forget fading to black, scenes fade to red, and the bitter vicissitudes of family never got committed to celluloid more painfully. The death watch scene, and that wheezing. The wine glass scene. Now that's a horror film.


The sound you hear is thousands of piano teacher screaming. For The Sting has made Scott Joplin popular and everyone wants to learn "The Entertainer" (I think I can still pick its beginning out, myself). At 10 I wanted to be Paul Newman, not Redford, which suggests much about my young psyche. At the least I wanted to grow up and be a con man. Look what happened--now I'm in marketing. I won't vouch for the film as much today, but it certainly rides on a terrific supporting cast, from Robert Shaw to Harold Gould. And running with the con man theme, the other best film of this year is/was Paper Moon. Telling that films set in the 1930s were so popular, and that even as I kid I could get swept up in that. Or perhaps it was just my nascent love for old movies getting redirected into something possible for a pre-teen two years before even Beta tapes and 11 before AMC.


Please turn up the speakers on your computer while I broadcast a very low range rumble, for this is the year of Sensurround and Earthquake. In New Jersey the perils of LA seemed quite remote, so to watch it crumble upon Charlton Heston was mostly a romp, except when Joe DePirri got surprised by one rumble and tossed his giant popcorn all over our row at his brother's birthday party. Everything was a disaster that year, as it also offered the sublimely all-star studded ridiculousness of The Towering Inferno (OJ saves the cat--good thing he wasn't married to it). But of course now I know I was watching the wrong Los Angeles film, and should have stuck with my 1930s obsession. Forget it, George, it's Chinatown. (Doubt it would have made sense when I was 11.) Remember when Nicholson didn't just do Nicholson shtick? If you don't, watch this again. And my god, nothing is more scary than John Huston as Noah Cross.


Open wide and say Jaws. Damn it for starting the summer blockbuster idea that Lucas would run with (you won't see any of those films on my list, thank you very much), but what a thrill ride. I'm also completely enamored, still, with Love and Death, especially as it's sort of for me what MP and the Holy Grail is for others, a trove of lines to recite at any provocation. Maybe it's because I'm 50% Ukrainian, which at 12 I thought was Russian (of course it was all Soviet no-goodnik, lefty in training me didn't know). Maybe it's because I'm 100% silly, and the idea of scythe-wielding Death dancing to Prokofiev is too delicious. And there's this priceless exchange, which at that age was probably just getting a firm grip on my imagination:

Countess Alexandrovna: You are the greatest lover I've ever had.
Boris: Well, I practice a lot when I'm alone.


I have to hail Taxi Driver, of course, but I have a soft spot for hokum that overpowers its own corniness (come to think of it, that might be the goal of my entire life), and there's absolutely nothing half-baked about Network, which was satire 32 years ago and more or less a documentary now. All those great performances--Holden, Dunaway, Beatty, Duvall, Straight, and of course Peter Finch. For some of its greatness, go here. 1977 can wait. And I do know Nashville came out this year--it's a close runner-up.


The year Annie Hall broke. I actually like Manhattan more, but what a film this is. Again, my humor has to be at least 92% Woody Allen derived (5% the first year of SNL especially Steve Martin guest appearances, 2% Monty Python, 1% my parents' divorce, which I turned into a laff riot). Which means Amy better never suggest we adopt any South Koreans. (shudder)


Not to get all artsy on you, but the images of Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven pop into my head in the same way the lines of Woody Allen do. Of course that's the argument against the film--it's all pretty pictures--but I think it's after something basic and Biblical as envisioned by Edward Hopper. Not to mention trying to find a good still from it now on line was hard. Maybe that means people just haven't posted the good stuff. Or maybe it means it works only as a movie, and if nothing else it captures time and the seasons better than most films.


Manhattan. In which NYC is even prettier than the young Mariel Hemingway. Plus NYC never got a boob job. Close second has to be All that Jazz, a film I wrote about back when Roy Scheider died.


And the decade closes much more strongly in film than it did in politics. If I may I want to pick a trifecta. First there's Melvin and Howard, Jonathan Demme before he got pretentious. A true American story, capturing our flirts with success and fame and flirting. Then there's Atlantic City, a mix of a bit of everything done somehow right--old time polish from Burt Lancaster, edgy sexuality from Susan Sarandon, some old world new wave from Louis Malle, and poetry from John Guare. Plus the edge of America past the edge of decay.

Last and far from least the longest film on this entire lifetime list, I see England, I see France, I see Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz. OK, that was the silliest intro to a very un-silly film, one more or less humorless, a recipe that might seem deadly for something over 900 minutes long. But the world in the film is so real you get totally swept into it. I got to see this in 1984 or so over a weekend in Baltimore and the experience is still precious to me (one reason years later Best of Youth would also be so rewarding). Build me a world to go live in.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Drilling for Dummies

The thing I least miss about teaching writing is responding to student papers. It was real work, trying not to just "correct" a paper and instead use it as a site of learning, which is just a fancy way to say as a way to get the students to think about alternatives or understand why a certain usage was improper or an attempt at logic seemed fuzzy.

Today I thank the rhetorical lord I never had Congressperson Michele Bachmann in one of my classes for I would have no doubt been fired for trying to beat some sense into her.

TBogg took this on, but I need to, too, as it infuriates me so--why is it that citizens vote for stupid people? Evil people, people I don't agree with--fine. But let the idiots do things they were meant to do, like test if a socket is working with a fork or deny evolution while winning a Darwin Award.

Bachmann wrote this brilliant treatise at NRO, so admittedly she doesn't have much editorial guidance, as these people shine on the work of dolts like Jonah Goldberg (author of Liberal Doody-heads: The Secret History of People I Don't Like, Who I Will Lump with People You Don't Like), too. But any piece that attempts to convince you by announcing "Like I knew it would, the American Energy Tour unveiled the truth," makes it clear she had her tiny little mind made up before spending an entire weekend looking at Alaska from a plane and thereby using her PhDs in Geology and Animal Science to determine we should be drilling in ANWR. Talk about evidence--she even has photos from a great height that show us no caribou! How safe it must be!

Then there's the size issue. We won't even go into environmentalists' (excuse me, "the environmentalist left"--as opposed to the "trash the fucking country right," I guess?) claims that the 2000 acre figure denies all the auxiliary infrastructure it would take to actually get the oil. Sure 2000 acres isn't much in Alaska, but the NRDC writes "the 12-lane-wide New Jersey Turnpike, which stretches more than 100 miles across the state, covers only 1,773 acres." So basically ANWR can be Elizabeth NJ when the oil companies get done with it.

But no line of writing will match this one this year:

We know that nine months out of the year this area is hidden under snow and ice and three months out of the year the area is covered in complete darkness.

Just think, that's a mere nine months less than the period darkness floats between Bachmann's ears.


Everything Is Free Now

But now is only this week. So if you're into baseball and never got into Baseball Prospectus, head over there to see what they have to offer. Trust me, it's far from just stat geeks, because if that's all they did, my brain would explode simply thinking about their URL. We're talking some great writers--check out Christina Kahrl on the passing of Jerome Holtzman or Steve Goldman on a previous, lengthier-nosed Yankee catcher--two entries just posted today. Check out the jokes, like Joe Sheehan writing, "It won’t work out this way, but a rotation consisting of Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Hong-Chih Kuo, Derek Lowe, and Hiroki Kuroda would be harder to hit than a 78-year-old nun." Check out the chats, one of the few places where even the readers step up and ask smart questions.

Then subscribe--you'll be smarter and happier.

No, I don't get any money for click-throughs, I just think their site is 1971 Tom Seaver terrific.


Monday, July 21, 2008

It Was a Very Good Film, When I Was 0-7

So there's this meme going around and I caught it cause I'm promiscuous like that, especially when the arts are involved and what's more to complete the project would be a huge time suck when the rest of my life has too many demands already. I learned about it over at Ben's place: you're supposed to name the best film for every year since you've been born. Now, since I'm older than Thomas Alva Edison (Ole Alvy, we called him), that's a lot of films, and it seems weird to pimp for my buds Auggie and Lou Lumiere.... (bet those 11 words have never shared such close space before).

Seriously, this is an odd and mostly silly project. For what does "best" film mean, anyway? And should it be the best for you then when the year actually happened, which of course makes the early years particularly difficult unless you were monstrously precocious. So here's what I came up with, and it's totally subjective, and yes, I'm a snob, and yes it's what I could do as quickly as possible while still spending entirely too much time on it. So much so I'm going to break it up into decades. Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous 1960s....


The Zapruder Film. OK, just kidding, nothing like a little assassination humor to kick things off in a merry vein. (It is an incredible documentary, though.) Charade (Stanley Donen). Sure, it's really Hitch-lite, but by 1963 Hitch needed some lightening (his film that year was The Birds, which has an eerie power, but best of the year?). Plus Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn make such a lovely couple. Plus there's the lines started by her, "You know what's wrong with you?" "No, what?" "Nothing." Plus it's great who the bad guy is. Hud gets to be runner-up, for James Wong Howe's shimmery b&w photography if nothing else, not that Paul Newman and a shimmery herself Patricia Neal are nothing else.


Dr. Strangelove. If I need to explain, you haven't seen the film recently. Actually, now it seems less funny, more prescient. The other day I was re-reading through David Thomson, who I generally like if not always agree with, and he's cold to the the too-cold for him Kubrick. Even to Strangelove (as Sellers is too cold for him, too). But then I realized his real problem--in his George C. Scott blurb, he doesn't mention Buck Turgidson. For a film critic, this is like not noticing a B-52 has crossed your defense perimeter. Screw Patton, this was Scott's best performance.


This is the first year I have to cheat a bit, and move up a few weeks a film actually released in mid-December 1964. Otherwise 1965 sucks, as I almost chose Mickey One out of perversity (if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean). So, instead it's The TAMI Show. TAMI stands for Teen Age Music International, and it's one of the first rock concert films, with a wildly diverse group of perfomers. Gerry and the Pacemakers, playing like they need them. Glimpses of Terri Garr as a young go-go dancer. James Brown at the height of his get-down. And a frightened Mick Jagger, as he has to go on after Brown.


Maculine/Feminine. So much good Godard that still seems so much of the 1960s and so much completely timeless. Funny, bitter (feminin ends up just fin at the end), brittle, and bright. If that generation was the "Children of Marx and Coca-Cola" what are kids now? (Probably not able to enjoy a film this clever.)


Bonnie and Clyde. I know, the consensus pick, but after you've seen a naked Faye Dunaway at a window saying, "Boy, what you doing with my momma's car," and that's just the first 3 minutes, you'd be hooked too. One of the films that tried its best to work out the 1960s violence the 1960s couldn't work out of, so it set it in a different decade. It also let the bad guys be the good guys. Think about this film and think that Sound of Music was just two years prior. Try not to think about which film won a best picture Oscar.


You think I'm going to say 2001, but it's Kubrick gone mysto-mushy, great moments for which you need to be on drugs to connect the dots, some in invisible ink. So instead I'll default to a film that meant much to me years later, Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. It's a solid enough version, but of course it's solid enough Shakespeare, too--there's a reason it's the entry drug into the world of the Bard. But Zeff (rhymes with Hef?) decided how nice it would be to cast actual teens in the starring roles. Therefore, Olivia Hussey.

I can't begin to say how shocked our high school freshman year English class teacher was when Olivia unveiled her Husseys, however briefly. Especially since our teacher was a nun. You'd think she would have known, given the film had been out for well over a decade at that point. Not that we complained.

Can't be anything but The Wild Bunch. Peckinpah captured the west at its worst, codes gone screwy, and probably did make violence more cathartic than it needed to be. Still, as the credits show, for just as Holden says "If anybody moves, kill him," we get the credit Directed by Sam Peckinpah. If we want our violence, he will question how much we can withstand our desires.

Since you don't count by saying, "0-1-2-3," 0 is part of what ends not what begins. I'm going to go truly artsy here and say The Conformist. I need to see it again--it's been over 2 decades--but it's the kind of complex that cinema rarely seems to even want to try to be anymore. It's got action, and politics. And Bertolucci has to be in this list some place, no? Given (preview of coming attractions) 1972 could be 5 films, we'll be sure he gets a spot here.

I'll be back tomorrow to see if we can avoid the malaise of the 1970s.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sometimes Befores and Afters Worry Me

Originally uploaded by petr.vyleta

I shall call your nipples sunny and your chest clear to partly hairy.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


This Joke's All Wet

Originally uploaded by kingfal

The new "Swim/Don't Swim" signals get posted on the Eastern Seaboard.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Little Walter "Can't Hold Out Much Longer" His Best
Guster "Dear Valentine" Ganging Up on the Sun
Los Campesinos! "Drop It Doe Eyes" Hold On Now, Youngster
Tom Verlaine "Peace Piece" Songs and Other Things
XTC "Stupidly Happy" Wasp Star (Apple Venus, Pt. 2)
Victoria Williams "Junk" Water to Drink
Graham Parker "Green Monkeys" Human Soul
The Flamin' Groovies "I'll Cry Alone" Groovies' Greatest Grooves
Sonic Youth "Sympathy for the Strawberry" Murray Street
Alejandro Escovedo "Across the River" A Man Under the Influence

Graham Parker & the Rumour "Mercury Poisoning" Passion Is No Ordinary Word--The Graham Parker Anthology

This list gets epitomized by managing to pull my least favorite cut from this year's best album Hold On Now, Youngster. And then it's the studio version of "Mercury Poisoning," not the driving, cutting live one. Oh well.


I'm with the Bandage

For Dog Blog Friday: If you're going to have to get all wrapped up, be sure they do it in a natty green color. And that they put a little pink heart on top.

So Mooks is doing ok, and the wound is supposedly healing well. In fact, it's nowhere near as deep as the damage to our wallets.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flight of the Stumblebum

Friday is the 70th anniversary of the flight of Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan a pilot who flew from Brooklyn to Long Beach only to end up in Ireland (see his nickname for explanation). Oddly enough, his luggage did make it to Long Beach. Some argue Corrigan also traveled through time as well as space, for his provisions were only two chocolate bars, two boxes of fig bars, and a quart of water, thereby predicting coach air travel in 2008. Luckily, although the flight took 28 hours, and Corrigan took the quart of water, there was never a line for the lavatory. Even luckier for the middle of the country, he was flying over the Atlantic. Talk about your acid rain. Corrigan's bad sense of direction was matched by his good sense in business, as there's even a film about him, in which he stars (he's credited as "Box of Figs #2"). The man even endorsed wrong-way products, like a watch that ran backwards and a talking politician doll that only spoke the truth.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Drove My Chevy to the Gas Station but the Station Was Dry

I'm not really sure the All-Star Game is over as I went into a fugue state somewhere around Dan Uggla's twelfth error, despite relishing thinking that Bud Selig must believe hell is the All-Star Game and extra innings.

But I do have to say this--why bother making a hybrid Chevy Tahoe? Is it for people who order a Vente latte half-skim? For people who don't know that Lake Tahoe isn't filled with gasoline for them to use on a hulking SUV that at "up to 50% better city fuel economy over the non-hybrid Tahoe" (according to Chevy's website) isn't much different than feeling righteous you used just a .22 and not a blunderbuss to nail that pesky mosquito on the wall?

And on a separate note, thanks, Yankee fans, for turning even the National League v. the American League into Boston v. New York, as, after all, those are the only two cities with baseball teams (just ask Fox). You know, Papelbon was pitching for the team you were supposed to be rooting for (although even as an NL fan, when Chipper Jones strikes out, my Brave-hating cockles get a bit toasty, so perhaps I'm just a hypocrite).

And on the third hand (I had four hands yesterday, so at least I'm winnowing), do note who blew the NL's original 3-2 lead: our good friend Billy "Woopsie" Wagner. Here's hoping he got that out of his system.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

In the Man v. Nature Playoffs, the Home Court Tends to Matter

Originally uploaded by mike_harre

The incredible Grizzly Bear Cam provided never before seen, if generally gruesome, footage. Here we see the calm before the maw.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


He Can Engineer a Victory

Originally uploaded by Through The Eye of I

Two of John McCain's supporters illustrate their cadidate's love for the latest technology during the Virgil, Texas Celebration of Special-Ness.


Do These Dumbbells Make Me Look Dumb?

Originally uploaded by jukka_78

Luckily this is the photo right before Werner dropped his drawers.


On Dog Years, Dog Fish Head, and a Dog's Chest

On one hand, this was a terrific weekend, going down to Escondido for my father-in-law's 70th birthday party. A wonderful time, with him surrounded by his neighbors, family, and friends, hosting them to a terrific smoke-a-cue of pulled pork and brisket and chicken and 3 kegs (Apline Pale Ale, Alpine Mandarin, and Green Flash Hop Head Red). He threw quite a party.

On the other hand, my fantasy team has been nose-diving, even as the Mets get better, which, given I "own" Wright, Reyes, and Santana, you'd think would be good for me. (Note to Mike: since I own Reyes, I would have to give him away if you married him. I would, proudly). Alas, no one on my team pitches well right now. So I've dropped for 3rd to 4th, with 5th place closing in. The top 4 teams go to the play-offs. I have to get cracking, but when that means deciding whether it's worth rolling the dice on a mostly done Randy "Ugly Man" Johnson, you know it's going to be a long second half.

On the other hand, there was a terrific dinner the night prior to the party at Stone World Bistro and Gardens, which just gets better and better, finally living up to the brilliant beer. The site has always been amazing, an indoor-outdoor space with a stream through the indoor part, fire pits outside, the edge-of-the-dessert night air of Escondido keeping it all lovely. The food now matches the scenery, especially the Pancetta and Clams with clams sustainably farmed from Carlsbad Aquafarms. So tasty these briny little devils are, on their own and in the tomato-based but not too rich sauce (with grilled tomato chunks for extra tomato depth) that's laced with plenty of pancetta chunks, giving that pork bonus that lifts so many meals. Of course the beer was great, too, for the Bistro not only carries a wide range of Stone brews but another 24 taps of the best of the craft movement. This night I got to have the just released 12th Anniversary Stone Ale, which, due to the hops shortage, isn't hopping mad this year. Nope, it's a Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. And I'd like to have it for breakfast for the next few months. The chocolate is pronounced and ever-changing, sweet on the nose and first sip, growing bitter like a good real chocolate on the finish that lasts and holds. A lovely beer (and I've got a growler in my fridge, too!). Then I had Dog Fish Head's Palo Santo Marron, aged in a special Paragayuan wood (guess its name?) that leaves it full of mouth-bursting vanillas and roasty malts. A very singular, very strong beer. I finished with an old fave, Port Brewing's Hop 15, as a double IPA washes all other sins away.

On the last hand, well, if you've been counting you know I'm up to four, but it was a sort of Shiva kind of weekend, lots of ups and downs and you never know if it's the creator or destroyer guiding things. Mookie got a weird infection right behind his weird fat bump (he has this lipoma that isn't cancerous) on his chest. The lump ended up with fluid in it one time before and it wasn't anything major, so when it changed appearnace at first we just wanted to wait to get him back to his vet here in Santa Barbara who knows his whole complicated medical history. But by Sunday he looked bad, the bump looked worse, and we were all at the emergency vet. Much later in the day he has his procedure and now has a mass of sutures and a mess on his chest waiting to heal. It leaves him looking like this:

Well, Blogger sucks and won't let me post the picture, which would have broken the internets' collective greyhound-loving heart. Trust me.

So, for a bit posts might be odd, late, not at all. There's plenty of work to be done, a tthe real job, the half job, and the freelance job, and a sick dog to tend to (oh, the key upshot is he should be fine, but you hate messing with the health of a 10 year old greyhound). But I'll keep you posted.

If Blogger lets me.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Tom Waits "First Kiss" Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards
Old School Freight Train "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" Pickin' on Wilco
The Pretenders "Talk of the Town" The Singles
New Order "Bizarre Love Triangle" Married to the Mob sdtrk
John Wesley Harding "A Cosy Promotional Chat:Viv Stanshall Free Associates with John Wesley Harding" God Made Me Do It ep
Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the U.K." Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
Friction "Dear Richard" Datapanik in the Year Zero
David Bowie "Shake It" Let's Dance
The Decemberists "Shankhill Butchers" The Crane Wife
Glenn Gould "Partita II in C minor IV, Sarabande" Partitas

747s "Rainkiss" Zampano

We get caught in a bit of a time warp and end with a song I didn't even know I had--I Googled the 747s and that still doesn't help. Still, some true classics. Hope you all know who Viv Stanshall is.


Nigel Wade In

For Dog Blog Friday: You never know what might wash up at the beach.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Taking Candidates to School

You might have noticed that in all the heat of the presidential campaign so far, the candidates have rarely asked the Bushian question, "Is our children learning?" Luckily, some people are trying to learn what the candidates have to say about education, and a quick summary of that is in Education Week this week (subscription required). Here's one key passage:

But in at least one area, the differences between Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are clear: education spending.

Sen. McCain pledged in a speech last month “to make government in Washington more efficient” and to “freeze discretionary spending until we have completed top-to-bottom reviews of all federal programs to weed out failing ones.”

Sen. Obama, meanwhile, has proposed about $18 billion annually in new federal education spending, including programs aimed at expanding early-childhood education and bolstering teacher training.

Now, if you ask me, if we were going to "complete top-to-bottom reviews of all federal programs to weed out failing ones,” the Iraq War would be first to go. But what do I know--if you check McCain's economic, well you can't call it a plan as he didn't offer any concrete numbers, McCain's economic sketch, let's say (or perhaps we should call it an answer about economics a beauty pageant contestant might give?), we have to win the war in Iraq to fix the economy. Just think how much money we could save with a war in Iran, too!

But I digress. Meanwhile, the right wing think tankers are lining up to back whatever McCain says, as the Republicans pay their bills, of course. Here's a lackey for the Heritage Foundation from that same Ed Week article:

Dan Lips, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, based in Washington, said that federal education spending has risen by more than 40 percent since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind law more than six years ago, and that the boost hasn’t led to a significant increase in student achievement.

He noted that federal appropriations account for just 9 percent of all K-12 education spending nationally, and he suggested that states and local governments would be better positioned to finance and implement many education programs.

“Federal funding comes with strings,” Mr. Lips said. “I think people should recognize that there isn’t simply a pot of additional funding buried under Capitol Hill that could be used to improve schools.”

Alas, Lips' ideas aren't a logic lock. First, he's fudging the bit about federal education spending increasing. Sen. Kennedy, one of NCLB's original sponsors, had this to say about the most recent Bush budget in February:

President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget provides no increase in overall education funding – freezing funding at $59.2 billion in discretionary education funding.

President Bush’s paltry proposed increases in funding for the Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act and a $300 million voucher program are more than offset by the elimination of 48 programs ($3.3 billion), including Perkins career and technical education, Tech Prep, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (campus-based aid), LEAP, Education Technology State grants, Even Start, Smaller Learning Communities, Arts in Education, School Counseling, and Special Olympics Education Program. He also proposes significant cuts to numerous other programs including Safe and Drug-Free Schools State grants, Teacher Quality State grants, and funds for Teaching American History.

Indeed the NEA, which obviously has a stake in this discussion but let's hope most people realize it wants better schools, too, has a handy PDF based on Department of Education stats that points out just how many millions each state is behind in promised funds under NCLB. Glad to see California leads the way at $9.2 billion for the years 2002-2008. So that shoots a hole in Lips' claim that "states and local governments would be better positioned to finance and implement many education programs." They might be better positioned, but they don't have the money. After all, California is trying to come up with a budget that closes a $15.2 billion deficit this year.

I do have to agree with Lips' line, “I think people should recognize that there isn’t simply a pot of additional funding buried under Capitol Hill that could be used to improve schools.” There's no buried pot of funds under the Capitol. The funds are buried in the wallets and bank accounts, if they get to have any, of our children. At least that's where the Iraq War funds are "buried." And the Heritage Foundation has no problem with that.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

When Orange Is Blue

So you probably thought this would be another entry about the Mets, but instead let's talk about someone else sure to lose this fall, John McCain. For an AP article claims:

Enthusiasm for McCain, especially among conservatives, is a question mark. George H.W. Bush won 241,000 votes in the 1988 primary in Orange County, long considered the state's Republican heartland. McCain, in the February primary, got 142,000 votes there.

The old Elephant Party might be in trouble if it can't get Orange County excited--after all, it's tailor made for the current Republican way, claiming ketchup is a vegetable and all, at least for children who need food programs to make it through the school day.

On the other hand the article then goes on to say you can win in CA if you're a moderate Republican, and then, of course, points to the Governator, who had enough sense to moderate his approach some after trying to ram his way down voters throats and losing at the initiative box. (Coming soon, a ballot in CA that has voters vote on every law that Sacramento could pass on its own, with two versions of each initiative almost exactly written except for one qualifier hidden amidst the legalese.)

But back to McSame. Ultimately he's too Republican for California, but not Republican enough for California Republicans.

Here's my favorite line of the article:

McCain has a single paid staffer in California.

Why oh why can't the rest of the country be more like us?


Sunday, July 06, 2008

It's a Pisser Getting Old

Originally uploaded by fractalien

In this case sponge pants, too.

Moday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Poor Kid Always Got the Cold Shoulder

Originally uploaded by Marina-daytripper

No one wanted to believe Cole when he said, "I see dead snowpeople."


Play Us a Song You're The Piano Mannequin

Originally uploaded by babblebox

Despite giving his all, people always complained his performances were wooden.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hooray for the Red, White, and Grey!

For Dog Blog Fourth Weekend: Mookie and Nigel are all set to yodel their vote under spangles.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Indie-pendence Day

Fitting for the song title, of course, but the video's fuzziness matches the world of Santa Barbara this afternoon--ash falls like snow, the whole world's a BBQ.


Friday Random Ten

The Scene Is Now "Anthracite" The Oily Years (1983-1993)
Robbie Fulks "In Bristol Town One Bright Day" Couples in Trouble
Nina Simone "Blues for Mama" The Very Best of Nina Simone: Sugar in My Bowl
Galaxie 500 "Melt Away" This Is Our Music
Spearhead "Ganja Babe" Chocolate Supa Highway
Otis Redding "Don't Leave Me This Way" The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968
Neil Young "Sedan Delivery" Live Rust
Sonic Youth "Bull in the Heather" Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
Miles Davis "All Blues" Kind of Blue
Bobby "Blue" Bland "Farther Up the Road" Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues

Kate Bush "Sat in Your Lap" The Dreaming

Not too shabby--heavy on the blues, fitting for a 4th in the age of Bush, as a too many acre fire blazes mere miles from where I sit. Then there's radical shifts like Galaxie 500 to Spearhead, not so radical shifts like Neil Young and one-time tour mates Sonic Youth bumping shoulders. Classic Miles. Damn catchy Kate to take us out.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Come West, Not So Young Men and Woman

Not bad for their first show in 17 years. Makes me want to bop about my cube, but the headphone jack isn't long enough.

(hat tip to freealonzo)


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Photographers Snip Snap

Here's the view from the second floor cut across on Phelps Hall where I work at UCSB. Not too pleasant. Last August the Santa Barbara back country burned for a month (yes, an entire month), and while it made things mightily apocalyptic, those of us who live in SB luckily were never threatened. This Gap Fire, however, is already on the coast side of the mountains.

Here's hoping the winds stay down and the firefighters can do their mighty work.


The Dirty South

Don't know if you've checked out FiveThirtyEight over in the links yet, but it's a project by Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus, in which he turns his astute ability to use and never abuse statistics (that is, he doesn't start a project trying to prove something) toward the 2008 election. It's very fascinating, not just for the numbers but for Silver and his cohorts' ability to write and analyze and not just toss out numbers. So, basically, it's BP for political junkies.

In an entry yesterday Silver runs through some numbers and gets to this brilliantly underwritten passage:

It seems to me that Obama's numbers in states like North Carolina and Georgia are liable to come in within a relatively narrow range. He'll do better than a Democrat like John Kerry did there, with substantial support from blacks (although Schaller is right that African-American turnout has not been particularly low), students, information-sector workers, and new migrants to the region -- as PPP notes, Obama is leading by 6 points among people who have moved to North Carolina from outside the state, but trails by 13 among people who were born and raised there. But where Obama is disliked in the South, he tends to be disliked a lot; his "very unfavorables" tend to be pretty high in the region.

Gee, wonder what it means that "true" Southerners not only don't like the black man, they very unfavorably don't like him?

The more things change, the more the Stars and Bars still fly over the hearts of Dixie.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Marrily We Roll Along

I know, everyone else is posting it, too, but it really made me laugh and I wanted to pile on.


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