URLs du Jour

2006-05-30

  • There ain't no social problem that nanny-staters and earnest do-gooders can't make worse. The latest data point comes from an unlikely source: a New York Times article from Harriet Brown, discussing ham-handed (heh!) attempts by public schools to make their students more svelte. Only problem is that many such efforts are (at best) ineffective and based on shaky science. In some cases, they probably make things worse: "A recent Internet discussion board among families with anorexic and bulimic children identified middle school health classes, which focus on weight, as the No. 1 trigger for their teenagers' disorders."

    (Via Prof Althouse.)

  • In serendipitous fashion, Jonathan Adler at Volokh points to a Philadelphia Inquirer story where a Greenpeace fact sheet was released containing the (verbatim) sentence:
    In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].
    A Greenpeace spokesmodel, apparently called in to fill the "humorless stereotype" role, followed up with the comment: "Given the seriousness of the issue at hand, I don't even think it's funny."

  • Fortunately, Al Gore remembers to fill in the blanks in his alarmist and armageddonist rhetoric. Over in BBC-land, he's quoted:
    But Mr Gore, fresh from an appearance at the Cannes film festival, delivered a starker message that the world was now facing a "danger which could bring the end of civilisation."
    (Via Drudge.)


Last Modified 2006-06-02 9:28 PM EST

Won't Get Fooled …

The story up to now: John J. Miller compiled a list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs for National Review. Sitting right up at number one: "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who; certainly one of my all-time favorites, too.

Pete Townshend took time to reply. Miller responds. And both Althouse and Bainbridge comment. Radley Balko is unimpressed. All worth reading.

The interesting part (for me) was Townshend's comment that Daltrey's interpretation of the song significantly shifted Townshend's original intent:

I am just a song-writer. The actions I carry out are my own, and are usually private until some digger-after-dirt questions my methods. What I write is interpreted, first of all by Roger Daltrey. Won't Get Fooled Again - then - was a song that pleaded '… leave me alone with my family to live my life, so I can work for change in my own way…' But when Roger Daltrey screamed as though his heart was being torn out in the closing moments of the song, it became something more to so many people. And I must live with that.
… the intentions of the songwriter get "readjusted" before the song even gets out of the recording studio. Something bloggers don't have to worry about, right?

The Official Pun Salad Comment on Miller's list: If you're going to put in Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man", then it's an utter travesty to leave off Glen Campbell's "Galveston" (written by Jimmy Webb). Miller compounds this error by leaving it off his followup list here, while putting in a Charlie Daniels song.

The Da Vinci Code

[Amazon Link] [2.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

While everyone else in the United States was going to see X-Men, our family checked out The Da Vinci Code.

Once someone has pointed out the illiteracy of the title to you (It's as if someone titled a work about Lawrence of Arabia The Of Arabia Code) it's difficult to take seriously. Unfortunately, the movie takes itself pretty seriously, while simultaneously being incomprehensible and ludicrous. (Sure, we'll move Mary Magdalene's tomb from there to there. No one will ever notice us moving it, and it's a much less conspicuous location!)

Tom Hanks is glum throughout. Audrey Tatou manages to crack a smile at a couple of points, which is good for half a star.


Last Modified 2012-10-24 4:09 AM EST

The 40 Year Old Virgin

[Amazon Link] [4.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

I'm pretty late getting around to seeing this movie, but you know, they wait for you just fine. It follows in the fine tradition of Wedding Crashers, an extremely funny and filthy movie whose premise is entirely captured by the title.

Steve Carell plays Andy, the titular character; his friends at the Best Buy-like store where he works decide to remedy his situation. Misadventures and hijinks ensue, and as you might expect, Andy is frustrated in his quest right up to the very end of the movie. A pleasant surprise: the movie is downright traditional in its treatment of love and commitment.


Last Modified 2012-10-24 3:42 AM EST