Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ketchup

I haven't been blogging regularly, obviously, but that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention. What this means for you, then, my two regular readers, is that now that I'm back, I have a lot of links to share.

Therefore, you're going to be treated to yet another "link dump"-style entry. As with most grab bag "bargains", in "buying" this entry you're probably getting ripped-off, but then that's not exactly a new phenomenon when it comes to my blog, eh suckers readers?

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Seb and friends, while sharing with us some good news, present their latest discovery: The Wingnut Twins. While this Red State Zan & Jayna might have all the cornball wholesomeness (and latent homosexuality) of the purplely originals, they lack the saving grace and comedic stylings of a blue monkey sidekick like Gleek. Shit, y'all. This is like B.J. without the Bear, Clint without Clyde (or without Sondra Locke, for that matter), Dick Cheney without Dubya.

Aside my good wishes (and promises to pay child support) to Seb and his readers in reponse to his announcement of a bun in the oven, I have a request. Seb always liked this post, and the idea behind it. Or he took pity on my efforts with it (same thing!). Anyway, since Haloscan ate all the excellent replies that really made for a well-rounded collection of "Cases For Something Awful", I hereby invite Seb and his helpers to, if they like, take up where I left off and fucked-up, and renew the call to his resourceful readers and to store the collection on Sadly, No!

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An ecological remnant. Isn't this cool? Just in and of itself, not for the stated reasons in the article for why it is now being studied. Now if only it could be filled-in, paved, and a nice new Wal-Mart placed on top of it, wingnutism could be possibly served in two ways: one in further homogenising the world (always wholesale good, of course), and secondly in impeding, to an admittedly slight extent, the search for alien life, the discovery of which would surely plant a seed of doubt in the average fundamentalist's blind faith.

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I hope to have his passion, sense of justice, and sense of duty when I'm 39, much less 79. I wish I could write as well as he does at any age -- though the sooner the better -- but that's just a pipe dream. His essays and historical fictions (with emphasis on the historical part) are prose masterpieces.

Here's a recent interview. It's also nice to see that he's still, at that age, writing lit crit.

Wolcott wrote a nice essay on The Maestro. And here are videos of the famous 1968 DNC debates between Vidal and Buckley (whose witless threat shows just what lay behind the thin veneer of his "effortless superiority" schtick). A perfectly useless commentary on the debate can be found here, while a much better if biased one can be found here.

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Krugman on the recent rightwing assault on Academe. The whole thing's good, but here's something that is so true that it's been nearly forbidden to say:

But studies that find registered Republicans in the minority at elite universities show that Republicans are almost as rare in hard sciences like physics and in engineering departments as in softer fields. Why?

One answer is self-selection - the same sort of self-selection that leads Republicans to outnumber Democrats four to one in the military. The sort of person who prefers an academic career to the private sector is likely to be somewhat more liberal than average, even in engineering.


Put that in your bong and smoke it, Horowitz.

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Wal-Mart, which many people are beginning to realise is a monolithic evil, is forced to react by trying to charm the press. Of course, the press is mostly made-up of like-minded fools, so they needn't really bother, but then since they consider the Department of Labor as one arm of the corporation, why shouldn't they think the press is yet another?

Elsewhere, Wal-Mart's CEO is a perfect word-weasel. Europe has so far had the good sense to resist Wal-Mart, even though it is at least partially accidental. American taxpayers have donated, through corrupt proxies in Congress, $37 million dollars so that Wal-Mart executives' Porsches won't be forced to endure the gridlock that the peon employees' Ford Escorts enjoy while commuting to and from work. I know a bazillion roads, especially in Arkansas, that needed these funds more, and better deserved it. One of Atrios's guest bloggers told us over the holidays what we should do about Wal-Mart, and he's right, but he didn't mention that this sort of leverage can only be applied by the middle class. The working class has little choice in whom they patronise.

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I can't wait for this. I'm certain the WM3 were set-up. Anyone who followed the case and was not a bigot could tell that these goofy kids were Gitchell's patsies, perfect saps upon whom the local paranoids and fundamentalist nutjobs could heap all-too-convenient blame and scorn. The "Doctor" with the mail-order degree who was allowed to testify to Echols's and Baldwin's "occult activities" to a jury of typical Arkansas True Believers was an especially nice detail to the entire railroad job.

At first glance, the casting looks good. Most of these actors are unknown to me, but Michael Madsen as the slimy-ambitious Gitchell is great, and Donal Logue as the creepy John Mark Byers is inspired.

I just wish they'd re-issue the original "Revelations" HBO documentary on dvd.

The "official" WM3 site is here.

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More to come tonight and tomorrow.

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