Friday, May 29, 2009

The Capital of the World

Since when is a housing project in the South Bronx the Capital of the World?

Manhattan is maybe the capital of the world. A housing project in the South Bronx is farther away from that "Center" than an Amish farm in Lancaster County, PA.

Sotomayor also didn't just "get into" Princeton. She spent four years there and was the first or second person in graduation grades.

You can possibly get in with affirmative action slide-by (though you still must be very smart), but you can't get virtually every professor to give you A's for four years. She was a very smart person as an undergraduate. I doubt John Derbyshire could have ever gotten so high on graduation, even in his homeland of the UK.

Those who want to paint her as a dummy are thinking that every superlative achieved is "affirmative action" if the receiver isn't white.

And. speaking as a while male, I think that's why no one darker than me (or lighter, for that matter) should ever trust a Republican.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can this be true?

Concerning the 1968 true-crime drama The Boston Strangler: "20th Century Fox originally hired English playwright Terence Rattigan [The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version] to write the screenplay based on Gerold Frank's book, but he wrote it as a comedy and was replaced by Edward Anhalt. In Rattigan's version, the killer was revealed, by a computer, to be [20th Century Fox head] 'Daryl F. Zanuck' ."

It's at IMDB (which is suspect) but also at Turner Classic Movies and at Fox Studio Classics [UK], though all are similarly worded and perhaps repurposings of one error somewhere.

But if it's true, major kudos to Terence Rattigan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

500 Years

What a creepy and ahistorical lot. First Lindsey Graham says " of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work. "

Now Gary Bauer comes up with what is (to him) a Jesus-approved justification for torture.
The more appropriate question is, 'What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?'"

Well, Gary, Torquemada was an extremely pious religious man. And he wasn't even the worst of the torturers of the time.

Clearly, he was a follower of Jesus and was permitted to torture-- and that's part of why those techniques have survived for five hundred years.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lindsey Graham: Grand Inquisitor

Lindsey Graham: "I mean, one of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work. "

Yes, these techniques work great for identifying witches.

Also, for gathering false information to start a war in Iraq. They work great for that, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm supposing...

Since Charlie Crist has announced he will run for senate, I'd wager there's some artificial insemination going on so he and his beard wife can have a bouncing baby to strengthen his candidacy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kevin Eldon + The Cassettes: Mobile Phone

I'm announcing in my candidate for Summer Single 2009 right now, with the nuanced, multilayered, and darkly undertoned brilliance of "Mobile Phone" by Kevin Eldon and the Cassettes.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at
Kevin "The Actor" Eldon is already the Olivier of his generation, with roles in Big Train, Nighty Night, Lee and Herring (and merely Lee) projects, Brass Eye, and many more great things including the splendid Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg movie Hot Fuzz.

Little did we know that he was a musical genius as well.

Great song, Mr. Eldon!

If you haven't heard the BBC Radio 4 series Poet's Tree featuring Kevin Eldon and written by Eldon and Stewart Lee, you're in for a treat.

Photo of Kevin Eldon by David Bailey's Son. Nice job!

UPDATE April 2010
For some reason this has become quite popular, and I'm not at all sure the file host above will survive too many downloads. Just in case, here's another.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Or visit here: View eldon-mobilephone-mp3

I'm not sure where I found this originally-- it may have been on Adam and Joe's BBC 6 Music show.

RE-UPDATE: April 14, 2010

Thanks to the commenter Google Got Lost, I've discovered that the reason so many are downloading this song is because Adam Buxton played it on this past Sunday's (April 11) edition of his excellent new Radio 6 Music show Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape. Listen to the whole program on the Big British Castle's website via BBC iPlayer here.

I guess Adam obliquely refers to this blog during the following, his lead out announcement of the track:
Kevin Eldon and the Cassettes there with a track called "Mobile Phone." I'm pretty sure you can download that if you search for it on the Internet. It is available. And Kevin, of course, in case you don't know, is one of the country's finest comedy actors. He's been in TV shows like Big Train and Nighty Night and Brass Eye. He was in Dead Set, Charlie Brooker's zombie sitcom recently. His character Paul Hamilton, who is like a very pretentious poet is amazing. If you ever get the chance to see Kevin doing that you should definitely take it. He did a series on Radio 4 I think called Poet's Tree, with Paul Hamilton doing his poems. And "Mobile Phone" by Kevin Eldon and the Cassettes is just a guaranteed smash in our car, at least. I hope it has a beneficial effect wherever you are.
"Mobile Phone" starts about 17:30 into the program, and the whole show is excellent. I'm glad it's not for sale anywhere because I'd hate to have put it up if it were commercially available.

Here's one American who digs you, Corporal Buckles!

As a bonus, here's a blog post at A Silly Blog with Adam's comments about what he's listening to, including "Mobile Phone."

Friday, May 01, 2009

The "Anarchists' Convention" Republican

I never was a lefty, so I couldn't make much sense of the various schisms and divisions and splits and feuds that grew within lefty movements. John Sayle's short story "The Anarchists' Convention" [collected in the book of the same name] captured the idiocy of it all: the fights over trivial issues, doctrinal tussles that seemed medieval, personal slights that grew into great battles with no discernable external effect, and the long-burning feuds that are rarely referred to openly but which twist a petty vendetta machine into an "ideology."

I suspect this process is why Mickey Kaus is now unreadable by few besides Glenn Reynolds. Someone pissed Kaus off in the eighties and he can't get over it-- but he also can't explain it or even understand he's caught up in it any more than the people in the Sayle's story can.

Such a grand movement! A glorious impulse (real or imagined) that splintered into petty and irreconcilable shards of supposedly similarly intentioned do-gooders, each of which had, to others in the movement, an unseen despicable purpose. To outsiders it was all so labrynthine, so boring, so idiotic, and so utterly without purpose. However, if you're a villager, it all makes senese.

I said I wasn't a lefty, so I never bought into this kind of cannibalism. I've long been a Democrat, so I saw tough times but not nihilism like the lefties and anarchists see daily -- and not what the Republicans see now.

The GOP seems to be approaching that territory now. [With the understanding that Republicans will always have a large set of Big Money Boys to fill a trough in which all can abide.] The Teabag Parties are a good sign of this already -- God help us if the capital L Lefties had a Pacifica Radio that was as large and as well-funded as Fox News. The Teabag Parties would have hyper-caffeinated all US soil and all its territorial waters.

As I said, the Big Money Boys won't let this go on for long. They'll have a few "thinktanks" and some astroturf to salvage what will become a pretty strong braindead group from all this detritus of their movement. And facts on the ground will make things easier for them, I'm sure (things will get better, which they will exploit; or things will get worse, which they will exploit).

But it's fun to watch for now, because it's a spectacular flameout.
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