URLs du Jour


  • P. J. O'Rourke writes on our prospects in the Weekly Standard:

    Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

    P. J. is pessimistic and pissed off. And, as always, he gets the coveted Pun Salad Read the Whole Thing award for the day.

  • Everyone in God's Green Blogosphere is linking to Greg Mankiw's advice to President-elect Obama, and Pun Salad is no exception. Prof Mankiw is the runner-up for today's RtWT award, so if you have time… It's good advice, and to the extent that Obama follows it, he's likely to anger a whole lot more Democrats than Republicans. So how likely is that? Still, Obama is allegedly smart, and he does have some good economic advisers.

  • Mark Steyn has more on the Newsweek allegations about Sarah Palin's October 15 visit to New Hampshire. He points out that the McCain people were arguably shirty to the GOP's (doomed) gubernatorial candidate, Joe Kenney.

  • At QandO, McQ has more on the Obama "national service" proposal. If you're not dissuaded by the sheer collectivism of the proposal, maybe some of the utilitarian details will do the trick.

  • Please also note that Obama's to-be White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is unlikely to be a brake on any new sweeping new coercive programs. As Jim Lindgren points out, Rahm loves the word "universal", and among the things he loves to stick it in front of is "citizen service."

  • Cracked deals in its usual sensitive and sober way with "6 People Who Died In Order To Prove A (Retarded) Point." (Especially recommended to people who were impressed by the movie Into the Wild.)

    So don't be like them.

  • And also, please: don't be like Becky.

    This cracks me up every time it's on TV.

Last Modified 2012-10-09 1:38 PM EST

Man of the Century

[Amazon Link]

stars] [IMDb Link]

A unique entry in the small "screwball fantasy" genre, this movie was very much under the radar when released in 1999. (As near as I can tell from IMDB, it grossed slightly over 65 thousand dollars in three recorded box-office weekends. That's not just under the radar, that's under all other forms of electromagnetic radiation too.)

But James Lileks wrote about it, liked it, and that was good enough for me. (You'll want to check out Lileks' take; he has movie clips, lots of additional insight, and also uses the term fin de siecle properly, something beyond the skills of Pun Salad.)

The hero, "Johnny Twennies", lives in late-90s New York. But he dresses, talks, and acts as if he were the star of a 1920s talkie, full of fast-talking wisecracks and patter. And he's in a mess of trouble: his girl is getting a little fed up with his Hays-code morality; the paper he works for is in danger of going under; and he's on the track of a mysterious mobster whose thugs are threatening him.

It's rated R; while the strongest invective Johnny will utter is an exasperated "Applesauce!", most of the other characters aren't shy about using the less restrained lingo of modern New York.

There are a number of recognizable people along for the gag: the late Frank Gorshin, the late Bobby Short. Anne Jackson plays Johnnie's mom.

Both Mrs. Salad and I had a great deal of fun watching. Movies like this are a fine argument for doing the DVDs-by-mail thing with Netflix or Blockbuster; it's almost certainly never going to show on TV, and if it ever was on the shelves of your local video rental shop, it's long been displaced by the dozen copies of Lethal Weapon 4.

Last Modified 2012-10-09 1:39 PM EST