Just Remember

Filed under:Blogging — posted by Anwyn on June 14, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

…when you read personal anecdotes on your fellow bloggers’ blogs, that it’s probably worse than they’re letting on.

Holy Smoke

Filed under:Blogging,Heh — posted by Anwyn on June 12, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

A woman blogger who makes Rachl Lukis look like a little ray of sunshine dancing on the wall for your amusement. Don’t believe me by this post or this one? Try reading her “About” blurb.

Can we sic this woman on Rachel’s Idiot Angry A(nti)theists?

Via my friend, Miri’s dad, Godwin the Garter Knight, who suggests we find and kiss this woman on the mouth. Dude … you can try. Send me the video.

How Difficult Is It to Bruise a Backside?

Filed under:Mothering,Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn @ 10:32 am

Update: Shorter, corrected, clearer me: Either 1) IMO, Indiana’s standard of child abuse is too narrowly focused on the severity and longevity of bruises caused on the child to the exclusion of the emotional and psychological harm to the child through the mother’s causing such bruises in the first place or 2) The standard does include this kind of harm but the prosecutors failed to prove it in this case, which seems incredible to me based merely on the facts of the article. (Update x3: Also, my inner jury is still out on whether I think any punishment that results in bruises at all should automatically rise to the level of abuse and thus IN’s standard is too low to begin with, but I lean toward “of course, yeah.”) Xrlq has called bullshit on almost all of my amateur attempts to question the legal nuance here, and I defer completely to him on those points. I’d probably make a pretty crappy lawyer. But I stand by my conclusion that there is serious and permanent harm done to a child who understands that his mother is willing to bruise him and a radically ignorant mother who could not foresee such bruising based on the implement–whether belt or extension cord–that she chose to use to spank an 11-year-old boy.


Update x2: Anybody notice how I’m getting a swell series of little snapshot legal lessons by writing something inane and then inviting Xrlq over here to shred it for me? Pretty cunning, don’tchathink?

*** (more…)

Novak Seems Flummoxed

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on June 11, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

So I’m gonna help him out. From the Evans-Novak Political Report:

4. What Republicans fear most is a genuine Obama rightward sidestep toward the middle of the road. The Democratic candidate has picked up some Republican conservative support (the “Obamacons”) without his making a single conciliatory ideological move. What further gains can he make if he shows a little leg on a non-economic issue, such as education and even school vouchers?

This is not what Republicans fear most, or maybe I should say this is not what Republicans with that dangerous little learnin’ fear most. I’d be more alarmed if Obama started blabbering about school vouchers, because what has the federal government to do with those? Nothing at all. Don’t cross the streams. You start messing with the federal tax structure to deal with what is and ought to be a local or at most state-level problem, you’re creating a bigger problem, hands down. That is not a rightward step; it is pandering, and silly pandering at that. As for a genuine Obama rightward step, I’ll believe it when I see it. I consider it flatly impossible.

But the real Novak-flummoxing is in the next point down:

5. The need in Republican ranks is for McCain to do something that generates a little confidence. Just exactly what, nobody is sure.

Oh my. Nobody is sure? “Well, let me enlighten you people.” Dear Senator McCain: Start talking up domestic drilling. Untie the hands of the oil developers. Stop comparing a frozen wasteland to a natural national treasure. Shut your mouth about interfering in the legal workings of corporations. And return to the concept of fixing the borders before considering amnesty. Wow, see how easy that is?

Go Back to Learning; Don’t Bother Getting Educated

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 7:48 am

Dear Copywriters Everywhere, Including the Ones on the Email I Just Got from Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions website, where you can sign a petition, for all the good it may do, asking Congress to authorize development of more domestic oil resources:

Stop telling us to “get educated” or “educate yourselves” about anything at all. Go back to the older formulation of “learn more about …” right away. “Get educated about the issues” sounds trendy and pretentious, implies we’re uneducated to start with, and uses an unnecessarily tortured grammatical formulation. “Learn about” or “learn more about” is stronger in both structure and meaning.


Through Grown-Up Eyes

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on June 10, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

The trouble with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is that it’s not a farce, yet parts of it are completely unserious, and it’s not a horror movie, but parts of it are pretty much the most terrifying things I would ever deliberately watch. As a kid I used to think the scenes in Pankot Palace were merely disgusting, but nowadays the juxtaposition between the serving of the monkey brains and live eels and the discussion of the horror-inducing Thuggee cult is just ridiculous–and looks even more so when followed by stomach-turning portrayal of the rituals of the cult. Both Raiders and Last Crusade manage to bring the funny without whanging us over the head with it. But Ford is magnificent, as he was in all three, and even the miscast Kate Capshaw, admittedly with horrible lines to work with, in certain scenes gives a perfect performance as a squidgy, helpless companion while the classic Indy booby-traps roll down on our heroes. John Williams’s music is even a cut above. But then the whole thing degenerates into dark, dismal un-Indy again as they capture and drug Jones, to be wrenched back to good heroics in their escape and restoration of the children to their village.

Uneven, heavy-handed, difficult to watch–but still Indy.

P.S. Short Round was the brightest spot in the whole film. Jonathan Ke Quan is three years older than me and has had quite a varied career.


Filed under:Sad — posted by Anwyn on June 8, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

I don’t, not much, not as much as I should, but Rachel Lucas says there’s a good man in need of prayer–her boyfriend’s father, Joe, who was hit head-on while riding his motorcycle by a car that came into his lane. His injuries sound gruesome and potentially life-changing, although, thankfully, perhaps not life-threatening. Her description of his wreck was enough to raise my hair and I hope the instigator is punished to the extent of the law. Also that some people who are idiots stupid enough to leave contrary comments on a post like this (see update to second link (Update: And here–even bigger idiot alert)) eventually see themselves as others see them–pretty fitting punishment for anybody, but especially appropriate for people like that.

If Anybody’s Wondering

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on June 6, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

I haven’t seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the County of the Fiefdom of the Crystal Duck.

I just couldn’t be bothered, since bothered is what I thought I’d be while sitting through it. If it comes my way in future I won’t go out of my way to avoid it, but I’m not going out of my way to see it, either.


Filed under:Good Grief — posted by Anwyn @ 7:17 pm

IMDb appears to be down. After Amazon was down for two hours earlier today. Is somebody doing a one-by-one hit job on the Ten Wonders of the Internet? Is Fark next, or Wikipedia, or eBay?

Link via Ace.

Update: Turns out IMDb has been owned by Amazon for the last ten years. Shows how much I follow business news. But at least it explains the outage, which continues as I write this.

Potentially Fair Lady

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn @ 12:46 pm

A remake of My Fair Lady starring Keira Knightley.

It has potential … what kind of potential depends on too many things to predict either a memory-corrupting bomb or brilliant addition to the Harrison/Hepburn classic. Same score, but shot on location as opposed to soundstages. Do musicals work in more realistic settings? They’re art pieces, and the sets help them create the art. The scene that shows the market square coming to life installment by installment comes to mind. The traditional moan of musical-detesters, “It’s so unrealistic, people singing all the time,” misses the point completely–as in opera, they’re expressing the dialogue in song instead of in spoken word. That sense of entering a different mode of expression could be destroyed by the attempted introduction of too much realism, even if it’s just locations–but it’s not just locations; they are explicitly trying to capture more of the emotional “highs and lows” that Eliza goes through.

That’s a pretty serious gamble for a musical to take, especially for one as beloved as My Fair Lady, but I can’t help being intensely curious to see if it will pay off.

Update: The producer of Notting Hill, Duncan Kenworthy, is on board with this. I seem to recall from that film a strong sense of London-as-movie-set, evoking that same sense of stage as My Fair Lady’s sets while allowing for intense emotion in the leads–the scene where Hugh Grant walks through the seasons of a year in the space of one song, for example. Maybe it won’t be as far from the art cocoon as would initially be thought.

Dear Diary

Filed under:Blogging — posted by Anwyn on June 5, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

Day Three. No post ideas that don’t suck. Blaaahhhgs drag on. No news stories incite me to post or anger me into wordsmithery; they just depress me. There’s the old man people let lie in the street to die; there’s John Bolton pointing out the flaws in Obama’s understanding of foreign policy and the little yapping dogs in the comments who think waging a war means “blowing up the Middle East”; Sarah finds another nonyapping but condescending commenter who thinks a big defense program is equivalent to socialist health care because they both have big price tags and involve big bureaucracies. Kyle Smith seems to have suffered catastrophic blog failure. (Update: Fixed.) See? Depressing.

I’m not the only one; even Lileks is tired of his own nostalgia:

It’s all useless nostalgia, of course; no wifi and coffee shops that smelled of cigarettes and scratchy hissy TV that cut out after Carson and gave you the Indian Head or “High Flight,” with its surly-bond-slipping.

Further outlook: Surly. And bound.

Why Is the City-County Council in Charge of This, Exactly?

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn on June 2, 2008 @ 11:04 am

A proposal to raise Indianapolis cab fares from $2/mile to $3.25/mile.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace