URLs du Jour

2008-09-29

  • The coveted Pun Salad Read the Whole Thing Award for the day goes to "Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis" by Jim Simpson at the American Thinker.
    America waits with bated breath while Washington struggles to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. But many of those same politicians caused the crisis, and if left to their own devices will do so again.
    Good point, and if the article merely made that point to enough people, it would be a plus. But Simpson goes further to point out that bringing a situation to "crisis" is an explicit "progressive" strategy. It even has a name:
    The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

    The crisis du jour is the obvious housing/financial one. But—gee, guess what?—this makes a lot of sense when reviewing recent history of health care policy, education policy, energy policy, terrorism policy, drug policy, … (Via Liberal Fascism.)

  • P. J. O'Rourke had cancer. Read him too.

  • The New York Times passes along unedited a bit of stupid partisan rhetoric:
    Democrats say that in the long run, Mr. Obama’s approach will appear as an appealing alternative to President Bush and his choice as a successor, Mr. McCain.
    Emphasis added. I guess all that primary campaigning was a sham, then. It was Dubya's "choice" to make, and he made it, so there. (Via Prof Althouse.)

  • Our local paper reports on an Abraham looking for his Hagar:
    A Newmarket man has been banned from the University of New Hampshire after police say he tried to recruit female students to serve as concubines.
    If you are too creepy for UNH, you are creepy indeed.

  • Even Cerberus, the hound from Hades, was a cute little puppy once.

The Band's Visit

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

Here are some adjectives gleaned from reviews of The Band's Visit: heartfelt, humane, funny, lonely, inspiring, sad, beautiful, fab, charming, engaging. All true. It got a big 98% on the Tomatometer.

But, nevertheless, I liked it.

It's short and simple: The Ceremonial Police Band of Alexandria, Egypt travels to Israel to play at the Arab Culture Center in Petah Tiqva. But instead a misunderstanding dumps them off in (fictional) Bet Hatikva, a small burg in the middle of the Negev. There's no transportation out until the next day; the band is stuck. This sets up amusing and deft interactions between the Egyptian visitors and Israeli inhabitants. Most of the time is spent on relationship between straitlaced band leader Tawfiq and earthy, free-spirited Dina, the oddest of odd couples.

If there's a message here, it's pretty simple: people can get along, even from cultures with a history of animosity. But the movie doesn't beat you over the head with that.

Fortunately, some band members speak English, as do all the Israelis. And, at dinner, they accidentally fall into a rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime". So perhaps there's a message there about American cultural imperialism: it's good for you.


Last Modified 2012-10-10 3:37 PM EST