There's Someone In My Head

… but it's not me:

  • Pun Salad tries hard to be skeptical of ominous warnings of scary government encroachments on liberty but at the Technology Liberation Front, Adam Thierer is… well, darn convincingly ominous:
    In the battle over media and communications freedom, no group poses a more serious threat to a free and independent press than the insultingly misnamed regulatory activist group Free Press. Along with their founders, the prolific neo-Marxist media theorist Robert W. McChesney and Nation correspondent John Nichols, Free Press has engaged in relentless agitation for a truly radical media and communications policy agenda, and their influence is now spreading throughout the Obama Administration.
    Long but scary. What Thierer and others call the "media reformistas" have serious plans to use government regulations and subsidies aggresively to transform the press into dependent and reliable allies in promoting their "progressive" vision.

  • Iowahawk unearths the ribald tale of "The Two Randy Vicars"
    It happened that in Washingtown-on-Beltway there once ministered to the shire folk two vicars of remarkable and resolute piety. Polite history shall record their names and peerages as the Reverend John St. Edwards, Lord Plaintiff of Durham, and the Reverend Albert des Gores II, Earl Carbonet of Greenhouse. It shall likewise note well that each man, in his fashion, was a virtuoso upon his respective pulpit. What it shan't record, however, is each man's slavish indenture to the base desires of the flesh. As every schoolboy knows, as well he does his Latin infinitives, few are those men whose breeches are immune to the Devil's disturbances. In the case of our two ill-fortuned subjects, Lucifer himself seemed to take particular delight in presenting ribald temptations and the debasing consequences that follow. Herein lies their tale.
    How does he do it?

  • Longer, but also hilarious, is Matt Labash's article/review concerning the new book 538 Ways to Live, Work, and Play Like a Liberal by Justin Krebs.
    Who is Justin Krebs, you ask? Only my sensei. My guru. The man who made plain that I had politics all wrong. I used to think along the lines of the British writer and publisher Ernest Benn that politics was "the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." Thus, I had put my politics in my political box, and my life in my living box. When I should've placed all the contents in the same box--a much bigger, biodegradable one. (You can get them at Treecycle.com.)
    At Amazon, Krebs' work has garnered one review, five stars:
    Liberals complain about the 10 Commandments.

    And here are 538 new rules.

    I'm impressed!

  • Massachusetts has a semi-deserved reputation as the "People's Republic", so you might not expect that (in one respect) it's an exception to the usual practice of sports teams nuzzling aggressively for their spot on the government teat. Mark Yost in Monday's WSJ:
    Baseball fans will be tuning in for Tuesday's All Star Game, but as taxpayers they should be fuming. Nearly every one of the teams represented has gone to its local government and asked for hundreds of millions of dollars to build a gleaming new stadium.

    One of the few exceptions: the Boston Red Sox, who have taken Fenway Park, which turns 100 in 2012, and transformed it into one of the most fan-friendly ballparks in the country. Moreover, they've mostly done it within the historic confines of the original ballpark, kept ticket prices affordable and haven't taken a dime of taxpayer money. The net result is that the Red Sox still play in the smallest ballpark in baseball, have capped season-ticket sales at 20,000 seats out of about 40,000, and yet, according to Forbes magazine, remain the team with the third-highest revenue in all of baseball.

    Unfortunately, as I type, they're also in third place, five games back in the AL East.

    It should also be noted that other area teams aren't shy about asking for government money.


Last Modified 2012-10-03 8:51 AM EDT

North Face

[3.0
stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

In German, with English subtitles. No spoilers, but it ain't the feelgood movie of the year. It's based on historical events, and if you know your Alpine mountaineering history, you already know how it comes out.

In the mid-1930s, mountaineering teams are eager to climb the Eiger via the extremely difficult "north face". Don't ask me why: the Eiger isn't even close to being the tallest mountain in Europe, or even in Switzerland. And the summit had been reached decades before, from the west. Nevertheless, …

Two two-man teams set out on the attempt: one German (Toni and Andreas), one Austrian (Edi and Willy). Watching from the luxurious hotel in the valley below is Luise, a photographer who happens to be Toni's ex-girlfriend, and her boss Henry, a journalist hoping for either glorious triumph or heart-rending tragedy, not really caring which.

To call the attempt ill-fated would be an understatement. But the movie does a fine job of showing (and, in some cases, guessing) what happened; a few things are dinked for dramatic effect. The weirdest thing (for me) was absolutely true, however: a train tunnel went up inside the Eiger (and still does); you could ride in relative comfort up to a spot where, only a few meters away, the climbers faced deadly peril.

Consumer note: you'll note the swastika on the DVD box over there on the right (no, your right). The Nazi stuff is pretty minimal, other than some indication that having a German team be first up the north face would further pump up that old Deutschland Über Alles spirit we all loved back in the 1930s.


Last Modified 2012-10-03 8:51 AM EDT