Free Dave Barry

Filed under:Language Barrier,Not Cool,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on September 27, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

Got it from Instapundit.

This One’s Pretty Much for SarahK

Filed under:Books,Hot — posted by Anwyn on September 13, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

I see the attraction of Twilight. I’m nearing the end of the first book, and my editing hand is not as twitchy as you might think. Past the obvious, the obsessive love story, there is a powerful attraction in a pack of potential monsters who have perfected their own small civilization willing to use their powers to protect you, personally, against all comers.

It’s the same thing that made Logan Echolls the hands-down winner over Duncan Kane in Veronica Mars. It’s pretty hard to resist.

Bonnie Hunt’s Pretty Cool

Filed under:Cool,Heh,Politics,Television — posted by Anwyn on September 12, 2009 @ 9:49 am

Interviewing Rod Blagojevich and using words unfamiliar to him, such as “accountable.” Apparently it kind of pissed him off.

Blagojevich became so riled by the questioning, Hunt jokingly asked for “a sidebar.”

“You went to law school, I didn’t,” she says. “I’m only a nurse, but I might inject you with something just to get you to quiet down.”

If we can’t have any more movies like Return to Me, at least we can hope she’s going to keep interviewing bigger and bigger politicians in the same way.

Via Hot Air headlines.

Never Forget Before It’s Time to Remember

Filed under:9/11 — posted by Anwyn on September 11, 2009 @ 10:27 am

And never go soft on the ones who did it and all of their partners in heinous murder.

RIP, Mr. Kelley, your coworkers, airline pilots and passengers, firefighters and police.

I have one of those “amazed at obvious, mundane stuff” moments when I consider how many children have been born since 9/11 who have no clue yet and who won’t have to for some years to come, when they’re learning about the attack as history. My father was born seven years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I wonder how old he was before he learned about it? My own child was born two years after 9/11, and I feel a sense of relief for his kindergarten teacher that she won’t have to be the one to try to tell her classes about it.

Never forget, for sometime you will need to talk about it with your children and help them understand sufficiently but not excessively. There is not much call for making them feel the shock and the tears I felt as I watched a tower burn and crumble on TV, but they will need to understand what some people are capable of. Eventually. But thank God, not today, for them. Only for those of us who were alive and aware–who remember, as they never will. Never forget, because as a limited number of people who remember, we’re called upon to do so.

Because It’s Worked So Well Before

Filed under:Good Grief,Television — posted by Anwyn on September 10, 2009 @ 11:34 am

Fox picks up “sci-fi western with a twist.”

Because of the adoration for and longevity of Firefly, oh and, um, Brisco County, Jr., right?


Cultural Sentimentality

Filed under:Cool,Sad — posted by Anwyn on September 9, 2009 @ 10:27 am

Cutting to the chase: Nine hundred-plus Dragon*Con participants doing the “Thriller” dance in hopes of breaking the Guinness record. They start out well, some sputter a little in the middle, but they don’t seem to run out of gas.

It surprises me occasionally what sinks deep into the cultural part of my brain and psyche without me being totally aware of it. I’ve never been a Michael Jackson fan; I acknowledged his talent but disliked watching him grab his crotch and for the most part despised his vocal style. When he died, I thought Sippican had summed it up best, well before his death: Did you know Michael Jackson could sing?

But Quincy’s magnum opus was fixing it so you didn’t notice that the greatest child soul singer, ever, couldn’t sing a lick anymore. Every bit of Quincy’s talents were needed to foist this future circus freak on the public, when the freak had nothing left in the tank but a visually disorienting dance step. And Quincy kept moving the musical cups around so you couldn’t find the little ball under the one marked “He can’t sing.” Because poor old Michael couldn’t sing a lick after his Adams Apple showed up.

… it was over for Michael when his voice changed, and he knew it. And it’s probably what drove him crazy. And if Michael Jackson is anything, it’s crazy.

Perhaps you’d go crazy too, if you were given that gift, and then it was taken away from you like that. And it is a gift. Michael’s father Joe couldn’t beat that sound out of Tito or Jermaine, after all, no matter how hard he tried. Michael had it, and out it came.

So I had a lot of sympathy for Michael Jackson (notably after his death, however), and a certain amount of grief and disgust over an American talent and celebrity descending into a not-quite-psychotic mental twlight, but wasn’t what I would call a fan. So I can’t really explain why I actually got tears in my eyes over this: Nine hundred-plus Dragon*Con participants doing the “Thriller” dance in hopes of breaking the Guinness record. They start out well, some sputter a little in the middle, but they don’t seem to run out of gas.

Is it worth what he went through and what he became to have such a deep and lasting impact on people? I don’t know. What does that impact consist of? Individual resonance, certainly, but also shared cultural watermarks and experience. Sharing that experience over millions of people is no small feat, notwithstanding the fact that of course he never did it alone. How frustrating that the bigger the celebrity, the bigger potential for a harder fall into a nastier trough–harder because even if he/she gets away with whatever he/she pulls, the public knows and never forgets, and nastier because for whatever they do to whomever, it’s played out on national television. RIP, Michael Jackson.

I wondered, as I watched the video, how they taught all those people all those moves in the proper order; it’s not a short song, after all. Check it out:

H/t: Calisuri.

What Happens When the Government and the Medical Establishment Are One

Filed under:Mothering,Oh Hell No,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on September 8, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

Oh, and when the government’s also responsible for building an extension onto your housing: 1) If you disagree with or question the government doctors, the government social workers take your children; 2) If you question the government’s failure to provide the proper housing, the government social workers say you can’t care for your child because you lack adequate housing and they take your children.

This is chilling.

Via Instapundit.

A Question for Crazy People

Filed under:Ew,Jerks — posted by Anwyn on September 7, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

If your name were “Squitiro,” wouldn’t you probably go ahead and take your husband’s name, even if it was “Funkhouser?”

No, wait. You’re crazy.

Lookit What Mr. Sippican Sent Me

Filed under:Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 8:31 am

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. Isn’t it pretty? Matches my writing table, an’ all. I do wonder if Mr. S grumbles as he paints over the grain of tiger maple, though. Still haven’t decided what kind of Sippican I’ll get next. Did you know he has a nifty little branding iron that puts the maker’s mark onto the underside of the wood? So that when your stuff goes up for estate sale, somebody will say, “Hey look, a Sippican, I have to bid on that.” No use looking for it in thrift stores before that; who would part with a Sippican voluntarily?

Not I.

Kipling Table by Sippican

Amen, Grover

Filed under:Right On — posted by Anwyn on September 6, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

And amen.

I Love These Lights

Filed under:9/11 — posted by Anwyn on September 4, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

But that fact notwithstanding, it’s shameful that eight years after the fact, we still have only lights. It is dishonorable to those who were killed and to the governing bodies involved that they have not yet been able to agree on an appropriate plan and build it. On the other hand, I’d rather we have lights forever than have anything that smacks of either submission, guilt, or shame-facedness. I still have a soft spot for the new WTC 7:


Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on September 3, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

I hoped when I quit watching Smallville that I wouldn’t have to watch Kristin Kreuk make Concerned Frowny Faces any more.

Alas. Run, Chuck, save yourself!

Message Problem

Filed under:Mothering,Politics — posted by Anwyn on September 2, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

So the president will address schoolchildren at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Let me stipulate up front that my child doesn’t start school till Wednesday, Sept. 9, by the scheduling of the school and not by me keeping him home. Which raises the question of whether or not his kindergarten teacher will record the speech and show it once school starts.

I’ve read a lot of opinions, from (I think) childless AP and Ace to Mama Venom and Daddy Vodka–one “Keep your kids home,” one “Really?” one “Yeah, I can sorta see that,” one “Pick your battles,” and Keep-’em-home Vodka’s follow-up answer to AP.

As Vodkapundit agrees in that last link, the problem is probably not the probably-pap speech itself. The problem is twofold: 1) The arrogance inherent in the president declaring himself the teacher for the time being and 2) The smacking–even if it is just a smacking without substance–of the Little Octobrists. This is not the Presidential Physical Fitness Award, with an impersonal established award for any student meeting the stated criteria. Obama doesn’t establish much, as a matter of fact, that he doesn’t then have to backtrack on, as the administration has already done once on this here speech. But what he does establish, or attempt to establish, is statist all the way. If the president really just wants to send a personal message to students to work hard and stay in school, that’s one thing, but when heavy statism is all you’ve shown yourself willing to sell, why should you be surprised when parents don’t like even the bare possibility of it being sold to their kids behind their backs?

And why does the president believe anybody’s kids need his personal message, even if it is just about staying in school and working hard? I think there’s a lot of merit to Kate’s point that if you make a big deal, the kids will make a bigger deal of it in their minds than you otherwise would. Fortunately I do not have to choose whether the Bean will hear the president in school or not … this year. Like so many things about statism, though, this could be, or try to be, the thin end of a wedge. And, as always, I can’t help but picture the outrage had Bush put an address into schools, something he did not do even right after 9-11. He did not appoint himself our children’s personal grief counselor. The president is not our kids’ teacher or nanny, either.

And: Nice Deb goes fairly nuclear.

And also: What I’m trying to say is that in this case, the message might well be the messenger himself. The essential fact that the president puts an address into the schools sends a message of statism, whatever the speech itself does or doesn’t say–that children should work hard because the president says so. That’s not why they should, and they shouldn’t be taught otherwise.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace