URLs du Jour

2008-07-16

  • Iowahawk is very perceptive about current financial news:
    It's useful to think of our current economic situation as a spirited game of nude Twister, with Fannie Mae as an extremely fat drunk chick.
    This seems to be more honest and accurate analysis than the recent writings of Paul Krugman or J. Bradford DeLong.

  • To match some right-wing gripes about WALL·E being anti-capitalistic eco-propaganda, here is Daniel Engber in Slate griping that it buys into myths about obesity:
    Wall·E is an innovative and visually stunning film, but the "satire" it draws is simple-minded. It plays off the easy analogy between obesity and ecological catastrophe, pushing the notion that Western culture has sickened both our bodies and our planet with the same disease of affluence. According to this lazy logic, a fat body stands in for a distended culture: We gain weight and the Earth suffers. If only society could get off its big, fat ass and go on a diet!
    Whether or not you read Engber, I recommend you read the response from trivia hero Ken Jennings.

    Very slowly now, plus-sizers; it’s not hard. Wall·E says nothing about the percentage of American obesity currently caused by genetics vs. other causes. Wall·E is completely silent on whether or not high fructose corn syrup will somehow lead to environmental disaster. Wall·E doesn’t care whether or not fat people will cause health-care costs to skyrocket. Most of all, Wall·E isn’t about the kids who called you “Jabba” in ninth grade.

    You'll also want read Ken to find what WALL·E has in common with Katherine Hepburn and (soon) Clint Eastwood.

  • Shawn Macomber suggests a new Pun Salad Official Motto:
    The red light goes on and the puddles of drool start accumulating.
    Well, he's actually talking about another thing entirely, which you should check out. Nevertheless, I'm adding it to the rotation.

  • I'm probably way too late to be considered contrarian on this, but nevertheless: Cracked is consistently funnier than the slicker, trendier Onion. On their front page as I type:

    And if you're like me, you've already clicked over. You're welcome.

Strange Wilderness

[Amazon Link] [0.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

Arrrgh. I was beguiled by a funny teaser playing on the overhead TV at the local Blockbuster. And this movie is full of people involved in pretty good past movies: Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, Justin Long. There are a few fondly remembered old-timers who, theoretically, could be pretty funny in a comedy: Harry Hamlin, Robert Patrick, Joe Don Baker. There's even an Oscar winner: Ernest Borgnine. (Yes, that was over 50 years ago, but…)

But it's awful. The plot premise is promising: the son of a famous TV wildlife show star tries to follow in Dad's footsteps, only to be continually frustrated by his own stupidity, aided by copious amounts of marijuana. This continues, until it stops.

It's a rare movie that could have been improved by giving more screen time to Ernest Borgnine. The half-star is for Mr. Borgnine. According to his IMDB bio he's 91. (And he's the only actor to star in all four 'Dirty Dozen' films.)

The funny teaser turned out to be one of the approximately three actually funny things in the movie. All indications are that nearly everyone on both sides of the camera was under the influence of one of those pharmacological agents that makes nearly anything hilarious. (Except, I hope, for Ernie.) Avoid unless you plan to put yourself in a similar state.


Last Modified 2012-10-11 4:16 PM EDT