I Was Wrong

  • I thought stories about federal farm policy could not outrage me further, but I was wrong:

    WASHINGTON – A sports team owner, a financial firm executive and residents of Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia were among 2,702 millionaire recipients of farm payments from 2003 to 2006 — and it's not even clear they were legitimate farmers, congressional investigators reported Monday.

    They probably were ineligible, but the Agriculture Department can't confirm that, since officials never checked their incomes, the said.

    Not enough to raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels? Try this:
    The investigators said the problem will only get worse, because the payments they cited only covered the 2002 farm bill subsidies. The 2008 farm legislation has provisions that could allow even more people to receive improper payments without effective checks, they said.

  • I thought the War Against Christmas was over, but I was wrong: there are apparently still skirmishes going on:
    An annual parade of boats on a Long Island river that dropped "Christmas" from its name has apparently lost lots of supporters.
    To clear up this Professionally-Written Associated Press sentence: I think it was the parade that dropped "Christmas" from its name, not the Long Island river.

    Anyway, I liked this from later in the story:

    The change was made after some residents complained the name wasn't inclusive enough.
    Is that irony? I can never tell. (Via Protein Wisdom.)

  • I thought it was just me, but I was wrong: an actual story on the strange allure of the Progressive insurance girl. Yes, the one with the big tricked-out name tag.

Tropic Thunder

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

Written, directed, and starring Ben Stiller, Tropic Thunder follows the travails of a big Hollywood war movie, filmed on location in Vietnam, based on a best-selling memoir. The production is troubled: a novice director can't control his actors, cameras, or special effects. So the director gets the bright idea to dump the actors in the remote jungle, filming them surreptitiously as they make their way back to civilization. Things go very wrong.

There's a lot of star power in the movie: Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, and a host of cameos. Each is a wicked satirization of Hollywood vanity, vapidity, venality, and vulgarity. It's pretty funny.

True fact: this movie satirizes insensitive attitudes of aforesaid Hollywood types toward the mentally retarded. But some people kind of short-circuited that to "this movie makes fun of the mentally retarded." Honest.

As a result, the DVD includes a tail-end public service announcement, and so does this post:


Last Modified 2012-10-09 1:28 PM EDT