Saturday, July 27, 2002

HIS AMERICAN CAREER won't last long, but the NBA's Toronto Raptors have signed a Jewish basketball player, Nate Huffman.

Friday, July 26, 2002

LILEKS RIFFS on snack food.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

ANDREW SULLIVAN complains about the following language in the New Yorker review of "Tadpole":
The implication is that when [Bebe] Neuwirth, wearing a leather skirt and a fur coat, guides you back to her apartment, gives you a massage, and spirits you into her bed, the whole thing is just a phase, something you have to go through and grow out of, when it is, of course, as good as Oscar's life will ever get. Honestly, kids today: no respect.
Sullivan states that it is heterosexual hypocrisy that noone has raised a stink over this movie, and that the world would be up in arms in outrage over a homosexual pedophilia film. Leaving aside the example of the controversy over the Adrian Lyne Lolita, I'm curious if Sullivan can point to any widespread outrage over last year's critically-acclaimed L.I.E.--also about a 15-year-old boy, but with the "same-sex relationship" he feels would be the difference.

UPDATE: Captain Spaulding defends Sullivan. No dice. "Tadpole" isn't any bigger of a movie than "L.I.E."--they're both art-house flicks where the New Yorker review is the high point of the publicity campaign. ("Tadpole" is in all of two theaters in the DC area, compared to seven for the long-out-of-the-top-ten "Scooby Doo.") And Spaulding would be the first to snicker if someone else referred to a movie with John Ritter, Sigourney Weaver, and Bebe Neuwirth above the title as a movie that "feature(s) three celebrities"--if those same three were in a LA theater production of "The Graduate," Spaulding would be sneering. No one's going to shlep to the art-house to see John Ritter, as opposed to a Brian Cox performance talked up as "Best Actor" caliber. I'm certainly in the top decile in this nation's awareness of Neuwirth, and, let's face it, she's never been more than a character actor in tv or movies, no matter how stellar her Broadway musical reputation is. (Nathan Lane is the only Broadway star of the last twenty-five years to have any level of mainstream recognition, and it's mostly critical recognition at that. There's a reason Broadway musicals keep recycling washed-up celebrities.)

Anyway, CAPAlert hasn't reviewed either movie, so it sounds like the Christian right is equally indifferent to both. Which is my point.
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but when Max doesn't have a new post, I like to take a look and see what's on TV.
ENTERTAINING TALE OF a recent advertising campaign.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I DON'T HAVE ANY REAL reason to link this, I just like saying "voracious air-breathing, ground-slithering fish."

Sunday, July 21, 2002

CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL hypothesizes that the reason Bush doesn't want to reveal who bought his Harken stock is because the purchaser was Saudi.

Rank speculation to be sure, but Bush is only encouraging it by stonewalling. Game theory teaches us to assume the worst when disclosures are not made.

Josh Marshall points out the killer graf:
What kills the President is that every time Harken comes up, Democrats get to retell the story of how he made his money. And this, basically, is the story of the spectacular unfairness with which moneymaking opportunities are lavished on the politically connected. It is the story of a man who has been rewarded for repeated failures by having money shot at him through a fire hose. It is the story of a man who talks with a straight face about having "earned" a fortune of tens of millions of dollars, without having ever done an honest day’s work in his life.
HOLY COW. If you ever wondered where Krusty-Lu Studios or Professor V.J. Cornucopia's Fantastic Foodmagorium & Great American Steakery were, here's someone's attempt at a map of Springfield.
THE SAUDI ARABIAN Arab News is reporting that the "Visa Express" program is "still in effect", according to the U.S. Embassy there. The State Department had announced Friday that the program had been terminated.
TIM BLAIR has an entertaining look at the shift in coverage on Judicial Watch.
STUART BUCK is back, and he's disturbed by a British Columbia small town's police sting operation that catches seat-belt scofflaws using squeegee operators.

True, seat belt laws are patronizing; 99% of the effect is on the driver failing to use the seat belt. But in a society like Canada's, where health expenses are borne by the public, it's a natural consequence for the government to start enforcing patronizing laws that protect an individual's health--someone thrown through a windshield is wasting Canadian taxpayer money!
WHEN I WORK WEEKENDS, I have to take my personalized magnetized security key, and do the following:
(1) The key opens the garage to the office building.

(2) Once inside the garage, I use the same key to open the gate to the parking lot.

(3) I take the parking garage elevator to the lobby, and then use the key to activate the elevator to my office floor.

(4) Once on my floor, the key lets me into the suite of offices.
After September 11, building management decided more security was needed. So an intermediate step between (2) and (3) has been added: I now need to use the same key at the often-unmanned front desk to activate the ability to use the key to activate the elevator. I feel so much safer now.

During the Gulf War, my college campus, an unfenced wooded area of several acres in a suburb, got a security warning, probably one of those vague things that would be classified as Code Yellow now. So the (unarmed, mind you) campus police set up a checkpoint at the driveway onto campus, meaning everyone who drove was backed up fifteen minutes onto the street. It would never occur to the terrorists to get out of their car and walk up the hill via one of the many paths instead!

Two around-the-clock officers eating up 336 hours of time and overtime a week, plus the loss of an hour a week for the thousand to two thousand people who regularly drove onto campus, plus the increased risk of an accident caused by a line of backed-up cars around a blind curve on a busy through street. And for what level of marginal deterrence?

It's definitely one of my pet peeves that people demand security to Do Something, even when the something is pointless and perhaps even counterproductive. Nobody's doing cost-benefit analysis (heck, plaintiffs' lawyers use the fact that a corporation did cost-benefit analysis to demand punitive damages) and we get these chicken$#!& procedures that make life more inconvenient without making the world safer.