URLs du Jour


  • Your word for the day is "gliberalism", as defined in weekend WSJ op-ed by Harvard prof Ruth Wisse, on the dominant ideology on American college campuses.
    Recent surveys confirm that university faculties have been tilting steadily leftward, but I think it is wrong to assume they have been tilting toward "liberalism" as is commonly assumed. Liberalism worthy of the name emphasizes freedom of the individual, democracy and the rule of law. Liberalism is prepared to fight for those freedoms through constitutional participatory government, and to protect those freedoms, in battle if necessary. What we see on the American campus is not liberalism, but a gutted and gutless "gliberalism," that leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself the right to criticize. It accepts money from the public purse without assuming reciprocal duties for the public good. Instead of debating public policy in the public arena, faculty says, "I quit," but then continues to draw benefits from the system it will not protect.
    Spot on. It would be nice if, over the next few decades, we could evolve into a more sensible placement of higher-ed institutions into American life.

  • Today is Milton Friedman Day; Arnold Kling has a short essay in which he reveals his Friedmanesque posing of what he calls "The Fundamental Problem of Political Economy":
    How do we limit the power that idiots have over us?
    … something I'm sure we all wonder at times, so you'll want to check that out.

  • Via Dartblog, I happened upon an entire website devoted to Pompous Ass Words.

    I checked the list, and, dear reader, you'll be happy to know I've avoided all the P. A. words listed on the above page in nearly two years of Pun Salading.

    Well, almost all. I have used the word "tendentious" (including variations) seven times. I love "tendentious"; the suggested synonym "biased" lacks the in-your-face obnoxiousness connoted by "tendentious". You'll never be free of tendentiousness as long as you read Pun Salad!

    Of course, had I been using more of those pompous ass words, I might have been tempted to respond as did Jeff Harrell, although not as risibly, and probably more jejunely.


Poolhall Junkies

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

I think I may have seen this on a list of good "guy movies" at some point, so I put it into the Blockbuster queue, and it finally made it to the top.

It is written by, directed by, and stars Mars Callahan. It's the story of Johnny Doyle, who has only one talent, and one real interest, and that's playing pool. There's a raft of colorful characters in his orbit: his sleazy mentor Joe (played by Chazz Palminteri); the prickly but lovable poolhall owner Nick (Rod Steiger, in his last movie); his headstrong brother Danny (Lex Luthor with hair); the ambivalent-about-his-lifestyle girlfriend (Alison Eastwood); mysterious competitor/rival Brad (Ricky Schroder?!); the girlfriend's rich and offbeat uncle Mike (Christopher Walken); and a host of (probably too many) buddies with their own stories.

The dialog at times seems like output from the ClichéMaster 7000; the plot follows pretty familiar lines as well. Acting is OK-to-mediocre, except for Christopher Walken, who fits into his role as if it had been written for him.

And you know there's going to be a climactic pool game, with (essentially) our hero's life riding on the line. But I didn't see the ending coming at all; thumbs up for that.

Last Modified 2012-10-21 6:43 AM EDT