URLs du Jour

2006-11-26

  • Andrew Sullivan's blog has become a seething sophomoric Petri dish of question-begging, disingenuousness, and book-hucksterism. Some who have pointed that out recently:

    • James Taranto meditates [last item] amusingly on how Andrew's disgust with Mitt Romney and love of Madonna leads him to deem the latter "closer to Jesus' authentic teachings" while the former is deemed the foreordained candidate of the "Christianists," despite (gasp!) not being a Christian himself. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

      As a bonus, Taranto quotes Andrew extensively, boldfacing each use of "Christianist/Christianism". It brings to mind the classic observation of Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    • Ann Althouse is pretty put out with Andrew's willingness to use Romney's anti-gay-marriage stance as a pretext to belittle Mormons generally.

    • And up-n-comer Glenn Reynolds offers links and commentary (a) refuting the usefulness of Andrew's "Christianist" meme; (b) demonstrating the superficiality of Andrew's political analysis; (c) rubbing it in.

    But, as Taranto points out, Andrew's blog has also "a guilty pleasure, something to gawk at morbidly like the site of a horrible accident." I suppose that explains why I keep going back.

  • Many government policies deserve to die. Some, however, deserve a Hollywood-style, painful, lingering death, after being pursued by a sadistic serial killer through nightmarish landscapes filled with sharp knives, broken glass, naked pictures of their grandparents, Barry Manilow played from unseen speakers …

    Ahem. Near the top of that list of policies is sugar protectionism, a policy with no other rationale besides moving money from the pockets of ordinary people into the bank accounts of sugar producers. Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek comments on yet another dysfunctional symptom of this policy: it makes the use of sugar-derived ethanol for energy economically unfeasible in the US. He also points to a free link to a good further explanation of the issue by James Surowecki in the New Yorker, worth reading, although there's no indication that the New Yorker crowd will start wholeheartedly embracing free-market capitalism anytime soon.

  • We all have our hallowed holiday customs. One of mine is "The Reading of Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide."
    Holiday gift-giving is a tradition that dates back roughly 2,006 years, to when the Three Wise Men went to Bethlehem with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus. Of course the next day the Virgin Mary returned these items for store credit, because she was a low-income mother with a newborn, and as the old saying goes, ''You can't diaper a baby with frankincense.''
    Do not drink liquids while reading.


Last Modified 2006-11-26 3:22 PM EST

Junebug

[Amazon Link] [2.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

Movie Marathon Weekend continues … but maybe I'm getting movie overload. Junebug is critically acclaimed (87% on the Tomatometer, 7.3 at IMDB), but I'm all like … eh.

It was billed as a comedy, but it's one of those comedies that's not actually funny. In fact, it's downright unfunny in most spots.

Amy Adams is great (and was Oscar-nominated) as the very pregnant Ashley. She's a dim but likeable chatterbox. Unfortunately, she's surrounded by her equally dim and uninteresting dysfunctional family. The plot, such as it is, involves the return of her estranged brother for a visit; in tow is his wife, a Chicago art dealer in search of "outsider" art. But I kept asking: why should I care about these people? Didn't find a convincing answer.

Your mileage may vary, especially if you're more in tune with the critics than I.


Last Modified 2012-10-21 12:26 PM EST

Click

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

Movie Marathon Weekend continues … What's good about Click is its supporting cast: Kate Beckinsale, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner (Rhoda's sister, out from under that tower of blue hair), Christopher Walken, Sean Astin, Jennifer Coolidge, and the wonderful Rachel Dratch. James Earl Jones even does voiceovers! The premise is oh-so-promising: Adam Sandler goes out to buy a "universal remote control" and finds one that really does control the universe.

What's not so hot is the utter predictability of what follows. Sandler will Learn A Lesson; it's clear in the first ten minutes what the lesson is, and it's clear in about the first twenty minutes how the lesson will be learned. And things get pretty sloppily sentimental along the way, even for me; I'm usually a sucker for that kind of thing.

I like Adam Sandler, though, even when he's whiny and sappy.


Last Modified 2012-10-21 12:26 PM EST