URLs du Jour


  • Bruce Springsteen and his sycophants in the media really, really, want people to question his patriotism:
    Springsteen says he is prepared for criticism from those who may take the lyrics on his latest album "Magic" as unpatriotic for speaking out against the Iraq war and U.S. President George W. Bush in war time.
    Unfortunately, what he's getting instead are articles like these, questioning not his patriotism, but his intelligence, his naïvité, and his moral preening.
    If you really want to know what is going on, Bruce, go talk to Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Fleming Rose. They can tell you all about what real oppression is like because they live in daily fear that their next breath could be their last. They constantly fear that waiting for them around the next corner is the bomb, bullet or blade of an Islamo-fascist killer. Preachers of Jihadic hatred incite followers to murder "infidels" like Ali and Rose, and anybody else who won't bow down to Allah.
    Poor Bruce. It's tough when your political opponents won't follow your cues as well as your band does.

  • By the way, if you'd like to hear more about Aayan Hirsi Ali, Michelle has the latest. She's showing the kind of courage every day that Bruce Springsteen will never, ever, need to.

    If Michelle's too ultra-righty for you, here's Ann Applebaum.

  • If you'd like to read something sensible about global warming, the WaPo has given prominent display to Bjorn Lomborg's article on the topic. Good for them. At Wizbang, Jim Addison contrasts Lomborg's approach to … well, a different approach:
    Perhaps annoyed, but undeterred by the constant snickering over his naivety on foreign policy, Senator Barack Obama hastened to add energy policy to the list of subject areas on which he comes off as a sputtering buffoon …

  • The 22 Most Awful Moments in Science Fiction caused many giggles at Pun Salad Manor. For example, from number 19, on 2001: A Space Odyssey:
    Make no mistake, the first 50 hours or so of the movie are daring and innovative and deep. What critics somehow missed is the self-indulgent ugly psychedelic shit Kubrick takes on the audience at around hour 77.
    Via BBSpot.

The Host

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

This is a monster movie from South Korea. The critics loved it (92% on the Tomatometer), but I think this is mostly due to the heavy-handed anti-American political underpinnings.

Yes, the monster is unleashed on Seoul due to environmental misdeeds by the American military, which dumps a huge amount of toxin into the Han River. A few years later, a mutated—something—has emerged; it's angry and hungry. Unfortunately, one family seems to bear the brunt of its ire, and the movie follows the various members as they try to deal with it.

We watched it dubbed into English and English subtitles. There's an unusually large divergence, which makes for occasional entertainment. (Before leaping from a bridge into the Han, one character says to his pursuers either "Have a nice life!" (dubbed) or "See you in Hell!" (subtitle).)

Without totally spoiling things: although there are some funny and imaginitive bits, the movie is also kind of a downer. Not my cup of kimchi, but you might like it.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 2:11 PM EDT

Dead Heat

[Amazon Link]

The arrival of a new Dick Francis book cheers me up, not least because he's coming up on his 87th birthday. This entry has an explicit co-author, Mr. Francis's son Felix. (People have always questioned how much writing Mr. Francis does himself; there used to be speculation that his late wife Mary probably deserved at least co-author status in the past.)

And it's a pretty good one, starting out with gourmet chef Max Moreton laid low with gastrointestinal distress. It gets worse: it turns out that hundreds of guests at a party catered by Max have also gotten ill, landing him in a spot of legal trouble, and also possibly ending his career.

But he wouldn't be a Francis hero if he didn't soldier on, and he soon is involved in a much more deadly incident at (where else) a racetrack. And soon after that, it becomes clear to him (but not, of course, to the police) that his life is in danger. Fortunately, he also meets a cute and equally intrepid viola player.

In short, it's a typical Dick Francis book, and that's pretty good. The collaboration works out well. Here's hoping he keeps up the good work for as long as he wants.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 2:11 PM EDT