All Those Dayglow Freaks Who Used To Paint the Face

[Amazon Link]

… they've joined the human race:

  • Iowahawk just gets more awesome as time goes by. His recent article is in the E.J. Dionne/Michael Moore vein, describing how Your Federal Government is nuh-uh, not either broke. Why, by squeezing a mere $10 billion per day from the rich, we can cut that deficit down to size, starting on…

    12:01 AM, January 1
    Let's start the year out right by going after some evil corporations and their obscene profits. And who is more evil than those twin spawns of Lucifer himself, Exxon Mobil and Walmart? Together these two largest American industrial behemoths raked in, between them, $34 billion in 2010 global profits. Let's teach 'em both a lesson and confiscate it for the public good. This will get us through...

    9:52 AM January 4
    Okay, maybe I underestimated our take. […]

    A masterpiece.

  • But if you want a lot fewer laughs with your fiscal reality check, there's Kevin Williamson:

    When it comes to the Scrooge McDuck set, the problem isn't that they're not rich enough, it's that there aren't enough rich -- not enough to do what liberals want to do, anyway, which is to balance the budget by increasing taxes on them.

    Or Reason's Matt Welch:

    The headline on Dionne's fantasy is "What if we're not broke?" Which is a lot like saying, "What if there was a million-dollar bill in my pants?" Only it's much worse-the consequences of this dream not coming true are truly terrible […] And the defiant can-kicking by Democratic dead-enders is only tacking a premium onto our future pain.

    Whatever happened to the reality-based community anyway?

  • Owsley Stanley died a few days back, as a result of a car crash in Australia. His Wikipedia page notes that he "was a former underground LSD cook, the first private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD." As might be expected, he was also involved with the Grateful Dead.

    What might not be expected: he lived to be 76. Not all of his buddies managed that feat.

    The Steely Dan song "Kid Charlemagne" was loosely based on Stanley. I like this story from the song's Wikipedia entry:

    According to an infamous story recounted by [Steely Dan's] Walter Becker on VH1's Storytellers, Becker once informed a taxi cab driver in New York City that he was with the band Steely Dan. The cab driver remarked "Steely Dan - they had the stupidest lyric I ever heard in any song that ever has been written." Becker replied "You're kidding - what was that?" The cab driver responded with "Is there gas in the car? Yes, there's gas in the car".

    Although I've never taken LSD, I always sing those lyrics when they come up on the car's iPod, to the consternation of Mrs. Salad.

Last Modified 2012-09-27 9:12 AM EDT

Alice in Wonderland

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Usually when I go against the Critical Consensus, it's when I'm not impressed by a movie that everyone else loved. This is the opposite: it had mediocre rankings from critics and IMDBers, but I liked it quite a bit.

It is (more or less) a sequel to Lewis Carroll's works. Alice is a young lady, and is surprised by a marriage proposal from an upper-class twit. Bewildered about what to do, she falls back down the rabbit hole, and …

It's live action, with plenty of CGI to illustrate the denizens of Wonderland. Carroll was content to let Alice wander around and experience all the bizarreness and off-kilter wordplay. It's quite different here: the filmmakers decided to make Alice an action hero. This worked for me, but I can understand how purists might object.

Mia Wasikowska is wonderful as Alice, who gradually finds her proper role in the goings-on. Also on hand is Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the evil "Red Queen", Anne Hathaway as the good "White Queen", and a host of others. There are plenty of jokes and sight gags, but (on the other hand) the good guys are in actual peril, and Alice is the only person who can save the day.

Last Modified 2012-09-27 9:18 AM EDT