Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nothing Up His Sleeve

Gareth Porter on Obama's Afghan "withdrawal."


Linh Dinh on our "Sentimental Mass Murderer."

And David Walsh on Tom Hayden pimpin' for the Pimp.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Picture is Worth

An amiable Navy veteran loses his comfortable job at a big-box store, enrolls in community college, and seeks to reinvent himself while falling for his apathetic speech professor in this romantic comedy reteaming Academy Award-winning Charlie Wilson's War co-stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Larry Crowne (Hanks) has just been downsized. The unfortunate victim of a failing economy, Larry decides that his best option to avoid becoming idle is to take some classes at his local community college. In no time, Larry befriends a colorful group of moped-obsessed outcasts on the road to self-improvement, and begins working to sharpen his communication skills in a public speaking class taught by Mercedes Tainot (Roberts). Disenchanted with her job and bored in her marriage, Mercedes has begun to feel as if she's missing out on life. But whenever she's with Larry, all of her problems seem to disappear. Now, just as Larry and Mercedes are feeling as if their lives have been put on hold, they both discover that fate sometimes has a way of giving us exactly what we need, at precisely the right time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Unbuttoned


My "I Love Bob Newhart" post back in early-February should've included this PBS American Masters tribute from 2005. The '05 Bob isn't looking his best, but the show itself is very solid.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sister Hood

Katha Pollit in The Nation.
France, I don’t like you anymore. Because what is the point of having all those smart, cultivated, social-democratically inclined secular people if it turns out they are such self-satisfied creeps? . . . Almost as repellent as the sexual entitlement of French men, with their insistence on their seigneurial right to “heavy flirting,” is the docility and feminine-mystique-ization of the French women who enable them. Well, maybe it’s not entirely their fault: not only do they never get to eat a square meal (oh, so that’s why French women don’t get fat), masses of them are on tranquilizers —- twice as many as French men, and one of the highest rates in the world. But how pathetic is it to see them rising in defense of their right to be pawed by their bosses (“in France we don’t want war between the sexes. . .” writes Laurence Masurel, former political editor of Paris Match). Or applauding men for betraying them as if it’s proof of their manly greatness, as did Anne Sinclair, DSK’s zillionaire wife: “I am quite proud! For a political man, it is important to seduce.” How out of it are French women? In one poll, they were even a little bit more likely than men to believe that DSK was the victim of a plot (a view held by a majority of both sexes) and less likely than men to believe he was definitely not a victim of a plot.
Uh, huh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again

"Are we about to enter a second Great Depression?"
Rasmussen:

Yes 50%
No 41%

CNN:

Yes 48%
No 43%

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Iyashi

Tomoyasu Murata’s stop-motion works are without dialogue: Nostalgia (2000), Scarlet Road (2002), White Road (2003), Indigo Road (2006), Lemon Road (2008). Slow, painterly shots follow characters around on journeys remembering relics of the past -- happy days with a family, a deceased child, a deceased wife.

White Road.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011