"The Vice-President's gone mad!"


… "Where?" "Downtown." "When?" "Last night":

  • In University Near Here news:

    The University of New Hampshire is pleased to welcome Vice President Biden to campus Monday, April 4, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Building's Granite State Room. This is a small ticketed event for university students and other guests; it is not open to the public and invitations will go out via e-mail Thursday, March 31, 2011.

    My invitation was sent at 1pm, and invited an RSVP at a website. By the time I clicked over at 1:07, the event was full. A waiting list was offered and (why not) I entered my name thereupon.

    Vice President Biden will be appearing with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, speaking on the topic of violence against women on campus. Fearless predictions: (a) they'll both be against it, and (b) they'll assert that Your Federal Government has some sort of shiny new role to play in decreasing it.

    While I'm at it, the announcement page has some amusement:

    UNH also has a nationally and internationally recognized Bringing in the Bystander™ program, which has two components: A Prevention Workshop for Establishing a Community of Responsibility™ in-person program and the Know-Your-Power™ social marketing campaign.

    Yes, that's three trademark symbols in a single sentence. Woe betide the foolish feminist tempted to filch these phrases for her own use!

  • NH Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been keeping a pretty low profile, but occasionally sticks her head up a bit so that Drew Cline can play Whac-A-Mole:

    Gasoline and crude oil prices are up, which means Jeanne Shaheen is back to bashing speculators again.

    Blaming speculators for high prices is much like blaming wet streets for rain. As always, it's difficult to pick which is worse: whether Senator Shaheen actually believes the nonsense she's spouting, or whether she doesn't.

  • 'Twas brilliant when it was mere text. But if you're one of those tl;dr folks, Bill Whittle put Iowahawk to video:

    We're headed for fiscal disaster, but that's no reason not to grab chuckles where and when you can.

Last Modified 2012-09-27 9:25 AM EST

My Name is Khan

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

This is really two movies: a funny, clever one about an unlikely romantic relationship and tolerance. But about halfway through it turns into a dreadfully sentimental and manipulative melodrama. I can't remember the last time a movie whipsawed me like this. Maybe never.

Khan is a Muslim from India, immigrating to the US after the death of his beloved, protecting mother. He has Asperger's syndrome, but (nevertheless) manages to function reasonably well in a job set up by his brother: selling women's beauty products to salons in the San Francisco area. One day he meets the lovely Mandira, a Hindu single mom, and is smitten. Romance develops, and then…

Well, 9/11 happens. Khan and Mandira, and Mandira's son, are soon subjected to the true face of American bigotry and xenophobia, culminating in a shocking act of violence that drives Khan and Mandira apart. Which sets Khan on a quest—I am not making this up—to confront President George W. Bush and tell him that he (Khan) is not a terrorist.

This could have worked. But the red flags start going up when a skinny black kid starts singing, uninvited, "We Shall Overcome" when Khan speaks in the church of a poor African American community in the deep south. From then on, every time you think the movie can't possibly contrive to get any more sentimental, you get hit in the face with yet another setup of artificial mawkishness.

Maybe a William Shatner cameo would have helped.

Last Modified 2012-09-27 9:26 AM EST