URLs du Jour

2009-01-11

  • There's P. J. O'Rourke content at the Weekly Standard. If you haven't clicked over there already, here's a sample:

    Is it too soon to talk about the failed Obama presidency just because Obama isn't president yet? That depends upon how quickly Barack Obama is able to apply the lessons he's learned from Management Secrets of the Illinois Governors. So far he's not doing very well. He has allowed America's current number one jackleg, crackpot, smut-mouth, slime-licking politician to give the Obama Senate seat to a lovable old African-American doofus whom no one has the heart to execrate. Roland Burris will be the kind of ornament to this year's Senate that the broken plastic Rudolph with its antlers missing was to last year's Christmas tree.

    But read the whole thing.

  • In the NYT, genius Harvard econ prof Greg Mankiw offers plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the ability of government to pull the economy out of the doldrums via increased spending. He's also pessimistic that skepticism will prevail in the matter:

    But don't expect such qualms to stop the juggernaut. The prevailing orthodoxy among the nation's elite holds that increased government spending is the right medicine for what ails the economy.

    As I've said before, the stimulus has all the inevitability of a speeding locomotive, headed for a stalled car at a crossing, filled with taxpayers.

  • I got the WALL·E three-disc DVD set for Christmas; consider this an unabashed plug. After watching the movie again, my face hurt from smiling so much.

    There are a lot of extras on the DVDs as well. "Making of" interviews with the filmmakers aren't the same old self-congratulatory crap; they're actually interesting. And there's an 87-minute documentary, The Story of Pixar, on DVD 2; it was made by Leslie Iwerks (granddaughter of the legendary Ub), and it's really good.

  • "Mr. President, it may kill you, but you'll die happy."


Last Modified 2012-10-08 8:25 PM EST

Wanted

[Amazon Link] [2.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I thought I'd like this better: a 7.0 rating at IMDB and a semi-decent 6.6 at Rotten Tomatoes. But—eh. Depending on your taste for this sort of thing, it might work better for you.

Our hero, Wesley Gibson, is a pathetic schlub, stuck in a boring cubicle-based accountant job in Chicago, abused by boss, co-workers, and wife. But (as it turns out) he's actually an Übermensch, the son of a member of a shadowy organization of assassins. (It's OK, though, because they allegedly only kill bad guys, in order to save the lives of innocents.) Dad's recently been done in by an evildoer, though, so Wesley is recruited by said organization for training and revenge. Pretty quickly the stage is set for massive amounts of special-effects assisted violence with little regard for innocent bystanders.

It sounds like a fantasy written by and for loser sociopaths. That's about right. Think: The Matrix, stir in some Star Wars mythologizing, and The Assassination Bureau. (OK, that last one's kind of obscure; I watched it because it had Diana Rigg in it.)

There's some wit in a few scenes: an ATM more insightful than most; an ergonomic keyboard whose flying keys spell a helpful phrase when it's smashed across a guy's chops. But you have to wade through a lot of dreck on the way.

Oh yeah: Angelina Jolie is in it.


Last Modified 2012-10-08 8:25 PM EST