Your Everlasting Summer

… you can see it fading fast:

  • P. J. O'Rourke spends 72 hours in Afghanistan. Sample (with a local angle):

    As all good reporters do, I prepared for my assignment with extensive research. I went to an Afghan restaurant in Prague. Getting a foretaste--as it were--of my subject, I asked the restaurant's owner (an actual Afghan), "So what's up with Afghanistan?"

    He said, "Americans must understand that Afghanistan is a country of honor. The honor of an Afghan is in his gun, his land, and his women. You take a man's honor if you take his gun, his land or his women."

    And the same goes for where I live in New Hampshire. I inquired whether exceptions could be made, on the third point of honor, for ex-wives.

    "Oh yes," he said.

    Afghanistan--so foreign and yet so familiar and, like home, with such wonderful lamb chops. I asked the restaurateur about other similarities between New Hampshire and Afghanistan. "I don't know," he said. "Most of my family lives in L.A."

    Long and insightful. P. J. is a national (and state) treasure.

  • Amity Shlaes' headline is a grabber: "Obama Misreads Message of `Live Free or Die'". Did our President explicitly disrespect our state motto? I wouldn't be too surprised if he did, but no.

    Instead, Shlaes notes that we've run the experiment Obama wants to impose on the nation before, specifically between Maine and New Hampshire.

    It's wrong for the president to ask for patience. The results of the government experiment are in, courtesy of the states. Double dips are more likely with policies like his. And most Americans would prefer a future that looks like New Hampshire to one that looks like Maine.
    Pun Salad Manor is a mere few minutes' walk from Maine. It's a lovely state, but a bad example to follow.

  • National Review maintains its 53-year tradition of not being that into Ayn Rand.

  • One of the features of working at the University Near Here is exposure to, um, interesting ideas that one might not otherwise encounter. One is locavorism, a preference for "locally" produced food. Adherents are evangelical.

    True overheard conversation from last April: "What are you doing for Earth Day?" "I'm resolving to think more about what 'local' means to me."

    I personally have resolved to only eat food produced within 25 miles of the Earth's surface. That's what local means to me.

    Should you be buttonholed by a locavore, you could do worse than pointing him or her (and not to be sexist but my guess is it would probably be "her") to Steven Landsburg's thoughts on the issue.

Hot Tub Time Machine

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

I don't want to sound like a prudish old geezer here, but: it could have been just as funny, and probably better, without all the filth. According to the IMDB: 233 fwords, 66 occurences of the common term for excrement, and "Almost 400 obscenities overall." And that's just the language.

The movie's protagonists are Adam, Nick, and Lou (John Cusack, Craig Robinson, and Rob Corddry, respectively). Once fast friends, they've drifted apart. None is satisfied with their their middle-aged lives, and Lou is positively suicidal. Together with Adam's nephew Jacob they take a weekend trip to a fondly-remembered ski resort. Unfortunately, the resort is also long past its prime, decrepit and full of stray cats. But when the hot tub outside their room comes magically alive… well, you noticed the movie's title, right?

So it's pretty much a dirty version of Back to the Future. (Comparison: Marty McFly went back 30 years from 1985 to 1955; the boys here go back 24 years from 2010 to 1986. And Crispin Glover is hilarious in both movies.)

It's not without laughs, and Rob Corddry is especially amusing in his over-the-top freneticism. It does a good job of re-creating the 1986 world, without beating us over the head with tedious social commentary. And the "return" back to the present day world is very funny.

Last Modified 2012-10-02 4:05 PM EDT