URLs du Jour

2009-02-04

  • I will reliably link to all and any P. J. O'Rourke content, and if I need to tell you to read the whole thing, well, then, um, what the Hell is wrong with you, pal? P. J. is ranting about the Nanny State, and I'll just do a snippet…
    The killjoys are back in charge--the mopes, the fusstails, the glum pots. Their wet blanket has been thrown over the White House and Congress. They're worrying up a storm. (Good thing that George W. Bush is no longer in charge of the weather and FEMA the way he was during Hurricane Katrina.) America is experiencing a polar ice cap and financial meltdown, causing sea levels to rise and sending cold water flooding into Wall Street where the rapidly acidifying ocean is corroding our 401(k)s and releasing mortgage securities full of hot air into the atmosphere until our every breath is full of CO2 especially when we exhale, which should be banned when children are present lest their uninsured health care be harmed by second-hand greenhouse gases that are causing endangerment of plant and animal species (Republicans are extinct already), leading to a shortage of green, leafy vegetables vital to the fight against America's growing epidemics of obese hunger and housing foreclosures on the homeless.
    There's more. Lots more.

  • But don't worry, Americans: one of the would-be rescuers of your economy, Nancy Pelosi, knows the situation is dire, because "Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, five hundred million Americans lose their jobs." Also, she personally shoots a puppy. Or so I've heard.

    (The link is to YouTube, via Drudge; the video is helpfully labeled: "Nancy Pelosi: Dumber than Soap".)

  • Apparently Southern Illinois University attracts liars and hacks like the Democratic Party attracts tax cheats:
    A Southern Illinois University administrator who told the student newspaper vivid stories of his heroism during the Vietnam War has been accused of lying about his military record.
    Specifically, his lurid tales of medal-winning action in Nam, Bosnia, and the Persian Gulf were not reality-based: he spent his Army time in relatively peaceful Germany, Kansas, and Wisconsin. (Via University Diarist. Previous Pun Salad posts on SIU here and here.)

  • But in other SIU news, they're hosting both the ESPN Salsa World Championship and the 2009 Spring Drag Show this month. So don't worry, parents of SIU students: your kids' higher education is in good hands.

  • The New York Times demonstrates why they are the go-to source for sophisticated economic analysis:
    A frequent refrain in Washington and on Wall Street is that there are no current market prices for toxic securities. But people who buy and sell these investments say that is a simplistic reading of the problem. They say most kinds of securities can be valued and are being traded, but trading has slowed as sellers and buyers disagree about what that [sic] the price should be.
    On further reading, it develops the sellers think the price should be higher, the prospective buyers lower. Shocker! Who'da thunk? (Via Poor&Stupid.)

  • Fortunately, our local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, is a little more professional. One of this morning's headlines:
    Bartender charged with serving teen found 'unresponsive' in Portsmouth
    Pop quiz, hotshot: who was found unresponsive? No fair peeking!


Last Modified 2009-02-05 8:53 PM EST

Le Cercle Rouge

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

Or "The Red Circle" to us folks. It's French noir, directed by the famous Jean-Pierre Melville. (He also directed Le Samouraï, which I watched a few years back.)

Alain Delon plays a moody criminal, just released from prison. Gian Maria Volontè plays another moody criminal escaping from a moody French cop taking him (apparently) on a train ride to prison. The two crooks meet by sheer coincidence and team up to pull off "one final heist". Joining them is a moody ex-cop played by Yves Montand. And the moody cop dedicates himself to tracking down the escapee, all leading up to a thrilling climax.

So it's not bad, even if you have to read a lot of subtitles. And it's slow-moving in that moody French way. It reminded me quite a bit of Heat, the DeNiro/Pacino movie, although without the apocalyptic gun battle.

Most Clint Eastwood fanboys will recognize the name Gian Maria Volontè: he played two different bad guys in Mr. Eastwood's first two spaghetti westerns. He's not recognizable as the same actor here unless you look really hard.


Last Modified 2012-10-08 7:46 PM EST