The Longest Yard

[Amazon Link] [3.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

The main question here: why did anyone feel the need to remake The Longest Yard? It doesn't have much new to say. Many of the scenes, and a lot of the jokes, are exact duplicates of the 1974 movie.

("The 1974 movie." As in, nearly a third of a century ago. Egads, I feel old.)

Nevertheless, they did remake it, and the result is OK, once you get beyond the inherent unbelievability of Adam Sandler as an ex-NFL quarterback. Burt Reynolds returns, playing the older movie's Mike Conrad role. ("Let's be careful out there.") I've always been a big Ed Lauter fan (honest) and he's back too, as one of the warden's golfing buddies. (Quick recap: James Cromwell plays the Eddie Albert role; Cloris Leachman plays the Bernadette Peters role; Chris Rock plays the James Hampton role; William Fichtner plays the Ed Lauter role; Courtney Cox plays the Anitra Ford role; Dalip Singh plays the Richard Kiel role very convincingly.)

But if you have to see only one version of this movie, see the older one.

I almost gave this another half star simply for Courtney Cox's dress. Uh, I don't believe she had those in Friends, friends.


Last Modified 2012-10-25 2:58 PM EDT

URLs du Jour -- 1/5/2006

  • Deep thoughts from Marginal Revolution, pointing to this year's Edge Annual Question. Which is (from Stephen Pinker):
    WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?

    The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?

    It really is good thought-provokin' reading. One hundred nineteen people give their answers. Among them: Paul Bloom, Paul Davies, Paul Ewald, Paul Steinhardt, John Allen Paulos, the aforementioned Stephen Pinker, and Michael Nesmith.

    For you youngsters saying "Michael Nesmith? Who dat?": see, in the Sixties, there was this TV show called The Monkees, and Michael Nesmith was … oh, never mind. Anyway, Michael's "Idea" is not so much Dangerous as it is Incomprehensible. But you might like it. And there's a small picture of what he looks like these days, very respectable.

    Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek likes Michael Shermer's DI more than Michael Nesmith's. Addendum: Jane Galt doesn't like Paul Ewald's DI at all.

  • Via Dartblog, a great post from Coyote Blog that describes "huge land mines" that lie in wait should Democrats get serious about using "privacy" as an "organizing theme" for future campaigns, as some suggest they should. One decent-sized quibble: Coyote is really talking more about general libertarian issues than (specifically) privacy rights. But his general idea is correct: both major parties are pretty bad on libertarian issues; if they were to start taking more libertarian stances on some issues, it leaves them wide open for criticism for not taking libertarian stances on other issues. Unfortunately, history says hypocrisy, inconsistency, and incoherence maybe don't matter a lot to voters.

    And if Democrats start claiming that "privacy" includes your right to have unmonitored phone chats with al-Qaeda operatives in foreign lands? As the Minuteman says: "Good luck. Let us know how that works out in '06."

  • But hey! If we live under a government infested with hypocrites, does that make the US a hypocracy? Heh. I made up a new word! I'll be famous!

    Asking The Google about "hypocracy" gives (as I type) 306,000 hits; approximately 305,998 are misspellings. Proving that it's tough to come up with an original thought on the Internet these days, one makes the case for the neologism "made up" above. Peter Epps, however, is pretty adamant that it's just illiteracy, and calls the previous link the product of a "doubtlessly moonbattish" person. Oh well. Don't want to be famous for that.

  • And—stop me if you've heard it—here's an extremely funny blonde joke.

Last Modified 2006-01-06 2:55 PM EST

University Diversity Mullahs Irked by Unknowns

An interesting article appears at Inside Higher Ed entitled "Identifying the Racial 'Unknowns'". Lead paragraph:

Over the past decade and a half, the number and proportion of college students opting not to reveal their race when asked have shot up, to 5.9 percent of all students in 2001 from 3.2 percent a decade earlier. The increases have raised two major questions: Who are these students, and why are they declining to identify themselves? The answers have implications for college officials and policy makers on a wide range of issues, including affirmative action and student life.
You can read the article to find the alleged answer: a "sizeable" number of unknowns are "white." The study that they base the article upon, a 20-page PDF, is here.)

But what's striking about the article (and the study) is the sheer peevish cluelessness aimed at these kids who decline to state their race. How dare they make the lives of diversity-mongers more complex, by refusing to fit themselves into the neat little boxes and classifications designed by well-meaning bureaucrats?

The study is (unfortunately) utterly predictable in its recommendations: more frequent and intrusive questioning of students to determine their "race", standardization of "racial" categories, etc. One wonders why they don't simply advocate mandatory DNA testing of all applicants to get a final, objective measure of their "race".

Because otherwise, you see, we just won't know for sure.

Wouldn't it be nice if—instead of treating these "unknown" students as irritants—Universities would start celebrating the increased number of their customers who maybe want to get beyond the race obsession? Who maybe want to be treated as individuals, not as beans to be counted and pigeonholed by their presumed genetic makeup? Who maybe find the Jim Crow-era notion of "official" racial categories to be utterly odious? Or who maybe just think their genetic "race" is none of their University's fargin' business?

That happy day is not likely to arrive, of course, as long as "college officials and policy makers" can continue to make a good living off of racial classification. As opposed to, say, teaching kids useful, beautiful, and interesting stuff without regard to their nose-color.