All I Really Want To Do

… is, baby, be friends with you:

  • Pun Salad Manor was recently nudged by its cable provider into upgrading to a digital TV package. (It was either that or no more NESN.) There's a smattering of new stuff. Waaaay up on Channel 284 was Fox Business, which is the new home of John Stossel. The first "Stossel" show I watched had Congressman Paul Ryan invoking Hayek's Road to Serfdom in the introduction; later, Reason magazine's editor, Matt Welch showed up. Awesome. I'm hooked.

    Here's a sample from last month, where Stossel describes an instantiation of crony capitalism:

    If you prefer your blood pressure to be raised via print instead, Stossel's associated column is here; but you'll miss MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's smiling endorsement of a politically well-connected business getting fat on the taxpayer teat.

  • Speaking of Hayek, David Boaz has a good summary of what he calls the "Hayek Boom". Boaz quotes heavily from this WaPo column from Bruce Caldwell, who edits Hayek's collected works. He reports that The Road to Serfdom, had always been an OK seller, about 600 copies per month.
    But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven't slowed down since. What's more, the Kindle edition went on sale in late May 2009 and is now the best-selling book that the University of Chicago Press has offered in that format. This would be a pretty good sales record for a contemporary author, but it is nothing short of amazing for a book originally published in 1944, and by an economist, no less.
    Hm, November 2008. What happened then? Oh, right.

  • Caldwell also prepends the famous Hayek vs. Keynes rap video. A bit econ-wonky, but it's seven and a half minutes good clean fun. Crank it up, yo.


Last Modified 2012-10-04 3:21 PM EST

Night and Day

[Amazon Link]

Since Robert B. Parker passed away last month, I read this with an extra twinge of poignancy: There won't be many more unread Parker books, and you're reading one of the last.

This appears to be the next-to-last novel in his Jesse Stone series. Jesse's still the police chief in Paradise, MA, and he's still tottering on the edge of alcoholic self-destruction, due to his devotion to trampy ex-wife Jenn. But (fortunately for the reader) he has other problems: a local school principal has inexplicably held a pre-dance panty inspection for the girls in her charge. (It doesn't help that the principal is married to a politically well-connected lawyer.) One of the girls, impressed with Jesse, asks him to investigate a swingers' club that her parents frequent. And (finally) there's a peeping tom afoot in town, and he's threatening to escalate his tactics.

Not too much detecting going on here: Jesse pretty much has the primary bad guy handed to him on a platter. There is a lot of shrink-talk about the nature of obsession, with an indirect parallel made between the peeper's need to look at nekkid ladies, and Jesse's attachment to Jenn. That can be tedious. Our favorite lady detective from Boston, Sunny Randall, reappears in Jesse's life, and helps him (apparently) make some progress in his personal life.


Last Modified 2012-10-04 3:21 PM EST

Rotten Tomatoes: Do They Even Care Anymore?

[Screenshot]

Good reviews, but how bad can a 1 minute 12 second movie be? Does that include credits?


Last Modified 2012-10-04 3:20 PM EST