URLs du Jour

2008-06-20

  • The House roll-call on passage of the "FISA Amendments Act of 2008" is a litmus test on how seriously your Congresscritter takes the ability to spy on the bad guys. Andrew C. McCarthy calls it "a flawed deal, but a good one". The vote math goes like this:

    • It passed 293-129;

    • Republicans voted in favor 188-1;

    • Democrats voted 105-128 against.

    Both NH representatives, Paul Hodes, and Carol Shea-Porter, voted against, making it pretty easy to tell where they fall on the moderate/kneejerk lefty spectrum. Note to the GOP: it might make a pretty good campaign issue.

  • Glen Reynolds didn't say it, so I will: They told me that if George W. Bush were elected, demonstrations embarrassing to the politically powerful would be repressed, and they were right!

  • The Guest Pun/Cooking Tip of the Day comes from Mr. James Lileks:
    Because the lard works in mysterious ways.
    Indeed!

Capote

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

This movie was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar; Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. 91% on the Tomatometer. But I'm like: eh.

The movie covers, roughly, Capote's In Cold Blood period, from the grisly Kansas murders to the hanging of the perpetrators. He's intrigued by the initial description of the slaughter in the New York Times and pesters William Shawn, head honcho at New Yorker to send him out to Kansas with the more conventional Harper Lee as an assistant. He worms his way into the community; when the killers are caught, he's able to get access to their jail cells.

Capote is drawn to one of the criminals, Perry Smith, and secures them better legal representation after the initial conviction. Even back then, justice could be delayed by endless appeal to various courts. Eventually, Capote is torn: he likes Smith—he really likes him—but he can't finish the book until Smith is executed. Dilemma! Much mental anguish and drinking results, and Capote comes off as a little narcissistic shit.

Chris Cooper has his usual outstanding performance as (this time) a cop who pretty much exemplifies Midwestern decency. A little taken aback by Capote's flamboyance, he nevertheless accepts him into his home. But he never takes his eyes off the horrific crime and its victims, and his motivation is simple: to see justice done. I have a much easier time understanding him than I do understanding people like Truman Capote.


Last Modified 2012-10-12 6:18 AM EDT