December 31, 2012

Reassessing Hudsucker

With The Hudsucker Proxy, the Coen brothers lost Warner Bros. a fortune. The film grossed less than $3 million and earned mixed to negative reviews. The world, it seems, wasn’t hungering for a cynical deconstruction of a genre that had been absent from screens for decades, even one delivered with such wit and retro-modern beauty. There are few things in the world I hold in higher esteem than the films of Sturges, Capra, and Wilder, yet I very much enjoyed watching the Coen brothers make gleeful comic sport of their oeuvre and sensibilities. Maybe that’s because it’s done with such affection. Or maybe it’s because the films the Coens referencing were often secretly caustic and cynical themselves. 


That Happened to Me Once

My Favorite New Year Movie

Good, but not Chris Johnson good

There's a lot of loose talk about Adrian Peterson's fine season.  I was curious though - just a priori, does his outstanding 2012 campaign come up among the best rushing seasons ever?  I did little scanning at to find out.
  • First of all, I'm not interested in trick-or-treat backs, or guys who get hurt all the time.  A truly great back is there almost every game.  So I first limited the candidates to players who had started 14-16 games in the post-merger era.
  • Second, we want production, at least 100 yards rushing per game.  But we don't want 33 1/3 three yard runs, either, we want guys who get yardage in chunks, let's say 5 yards per attempt.
  • Running backs don't just run - the man has to be able to catch the ball, too, to be a great back.  Let's plug in a minimum of 30 yards per game.
And we're already down to seven seasons (link to query results):

Of these, the guy who really ran amok was Johnson, 5.6 yards per rush and 10.1 receiving.  If I had to pick one running back season as the best, that's probably the one I'd take.

But if you want two, Mr. Tomlinson is the only game in town.

December 30, 2012

December 29, 2012

Three bucks well spent (?)

From the murderous cross-subsidizers at and Penguin, two books for $3:
  • What Ho Automaton (link)
  • Chernow's Washington: A Life (link)
The Washington deal is now expired, but Penguin is apparently testing the elasticity of the book market by offering daily deals on Twitter.  I've been a-clicking and a-spending:  some of these are very good value, for those days when you want a break from your free Moby Dick and your free The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  Actually, on that last point, Penguin is offering a very nice selection from that masterwork for just $0.95.  Not that anyone on Eisengeiste would settle for a mere selection of Gibbon, but you know, just as an informational thing.

More nearly-free good books here...

While this is lots of fun for Amazon and the similarly megalithic Pearson plc (parent of Penguin), I suspect this will be the death of many of the remaining independent publishers of physical books.  Marginal cost of production for an e-book is zero, and each sale displaces a unit that might have been sold by someone else at normal profit under the old rules.  Put another way, Amazon and Pearson can effectively operate as if they had no fixed costs, while their competitors struggle to cover theirs in an environment with worse volumes and, now, severe pricing pressure.  As they sink below their profitability threshold, Amazon and Pearson are tossing them anvils.

Oh well, more for us.  For now...

Don't pretend you don't remember

December 28, 2012

From Conquest, via Hitchens...

...via this blog - a limerick condensation of Shakespeare's Ages of Man:
Seven ages: first puking and mewling,
Then very pissed off with your schooling,
Then fucks and then fights,
Then judging chaps’ rights,
Then sitting in slippers, then drooling.

An inconvenient truth

The first living beings to see an Earthrise from the Moon were communist turtles.


December 27, 2012

Can't have mine - using 'em for my militia

The final numbers from the massively successful one-day gun buyback in Los Angeles have arrived: 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and two anti-tank rocket launchers were traded in for supermarket gift cards... 


December 26, 2012

Kim is in high gear today

What a life

Durning obit in NY Times.


December 25, 2012


Well-placed smut

To have described divinely a Christmas party is something, but it is not everything. The disengaging of the erotic motive is everything, is the only touchstone. If while that is being done we are soothed into a trance, a nebulous delirium of the nerves, then we know the novelist to be a supreme novelist. If we retain consciousness, he is not supreme, and to be less than supreme in art is to not exist.... Dickens disengages the erotic motive through two figures, Mr. Winkle, a sportman, and Miss Arabella, "a young lady with fur-topped boots." They go skating, he helps her over a stile. Can one not well see her? She steps over the stile and her shin defines itself through her balbriggan stocking. She is a knock-kneed girl, and she looks at Mr. Winkle with that sensual regard that sometimes comes when the wind is north-west. Yes, it is a north-west wind that is blowing over this landscape that Hals or Winchoven might have painted—no, Winchoven would have fumbled it with rose-madder, but Hals would have done it well. Hals would have approved—would he not?—the pollard aspens, these pollard aspens deciduous and wistful, which the rime makes glistening. That field, how well ploughed it is, and are they not like petticoats, those clouds low-hanging? Yes, Hals would have stated them well, but only Manet could have stated the slope of the thighs of the girl—how does she call herself?—Arabella—it is a so hard name to remember—as she steps across the stile. Manet would have found pleasure in her cheeks also. They are a little chapped with the north-west wind that makes the pollard aspens to quiver. How adorable a thing it is, a girl's nose that the north-west wind renders red! We may tire of it sometimes, because we sometimes tire of all things, but Winkle does not know this. Is Arabella his mistress? If she is not, she has been, or at any rate she will be. How full she is of temperament, is she not? Her shoulder-blades seem a little carelessly modelled, but how good they are in intention! How well placed that smut on her left cheek!

Dickens by G**rge M**re, in Beerbohm's A Christmas Garland  (link)

December 23, 2012

The animated GIF you requested...

...of Kam Chancellor pasting Vernon Davis is here.

Putting things in perspective

As every schoolchild knows, on September 11, 1683, the Poles saved the German people from annihilation at the Battle of Vienna when the estimable John III Sobieski routed the Turks at the head of 20,000 lancers, the Largest Cavalry Charge in the History of the World:

Today's game is going to make the Battle of Vienna look like Barney's Adventure Bus.

"Like using your final breath to ID the killer"

The end of Newsweek.


December 21, 2012

Rovian Troll


NRA running out of dodge points

David Frum Twitter beatdown

Huffington Post

December 20, 2012

Weird, but it makes me proud

Bob Dole salutes casket of Daniel Inouye.


December 19, 2012

An Occurrence at Varda Bridge

When James Bond takes his bullet in Skyfall, he is grappling atop a train speeding across the Varda Bridge (which, as every schoolchild knows, was built by the Germans in 1912 as part of the Berlin-Basra railway).

And then, plunging 300 feet into the river below, he dies:

Encompassed in a luminous cloud, of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance, he swung through unthinkable arcs of oscillation, like a vast pendulum.  Then all at once, with terrible suddenness, the light about him shot upward with the noise of a loud splash; a frightful roaring was in his ears, and all was cold and dark...  

That is when Adele begins to sing that beautiful, mournful song:
This is the end, 
Hold your breath and count to ten...

And then, through the magic of movie fantasy, Bond is resurrected to galavant and gavotte through Shanghai, London, and various other exotic locales, and also Scotland.  Entertainment ensues, and the stage is set for another 50 years for the franchise.

Or is it?  I hugely enjoyed Skyfall for its inspired action sequences, homage to the best aspects of the Bond genre, and playful sense of humor (e.g., Chekhov's knife).  But as I contemplate it, I believe it may also be read as an artistic achievement along the lines of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - an obituary, accompanied by the intoxicating hallucinations of a dying man:

For Some People That's Thursday

After all, this is what the Bond movies have always been - lavishly illustrated adolescent fantasies, propelled commercially by the elongation of adolescence in the general population over the past 50 years.

The Bond story has a clear beginning - in literature it begins in the study of Ian Fleming during the Cold War; he named Bond after the author of his ready-to-hand birdwatcher's guide because he liked the mildness of the name.  The celluloid Bond came to life when director Terence Young took Fleming's work, and his own cultural sophistication, and mapped them onto a Scottish footballer:

Cleans Up Well

Fleming had originally imagined Bond's face as more in the Hoagy Carmichael category.  He did not want Connery, saying "I'm looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stunt-man," but after seeing Dr. No (and, presumably, the residual checks), he was converted.  Stories after 1962 were written with Connery's countenance in mind.

The other primary tension between the Fleming Bond and the movie Bond was never really resolved, however.  In Fleming's stories, Bond is flesh and blood, and decidedly mortal.  In the movies he is generally super-powered and immortal, and this is accompanied by a carefully preserved spirit of farce.  One achievement of the franchise, if you can call it that, is to entertain audiences without threatening them.  In most of the films, even the better ones, there is no moment in which we fully suspend disbelief, no encounter with anything resembling an actual person.

Skyfall is generally faithful to these conventions, and of course there is no attempt to contravene the prime directive:

This is just a hook-up, you're cool with that, right?

Bond's taste in women remains impeccable. In Skyfall even his warmup girlfriend is hotter than anyone I have ever met in real life, except of course for my wife and the Corresponding Secretary General.

But Skyfall does, as Adele promises, offer an ending to what Fleming began.  To do so, it restores the literary Bond, the one that bleeds, and can die.  It asks out loud if he should perhaps have stayed dead.  And as the action becomes more extreme, imagistic, and absurd, we begin to wonder whose dream this is.

Perhaps it is Bond's, in his last moments beneath the Varda Bridge, when his life, and the life that might have been, flash before him.  Taken as live action, Skyfall allows Bond the opportunity to tie up myriad loose ends, to hold M in his arms and call her Mother, to make everything right and report for duty good as new.  But deep in our hearts we know that isn't on offer.  Life rarely affords us such opportunities, least of all to middle-aged soldiers who have lost a step, no matter how much they might desire them.  And so our adolescence ends.
He stands at the gate of his own home.  All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine.  He must have traveled the entire night.  As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him.  At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with a smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity.  Ah, how beautiful she is!  He springs forwards with extended arms.  As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like the shock of a cannon--then all is darkness and silence! 
Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge.

Cleanup needed on the Sea of Tranquility

[H]ere is a rough (and only partial) inventory of the stuff mankind has left on the moon:

• more than 70 spacecraft, including rovers, modules, and crashed orbiters
• 5 American flags
• 2 golf balls
• 12 pairs of boots
• TV cameras
• film magazines
• 96 bags of urine, feces, and vomit
• numerous Hasselbad cameras and accessories
• several improvised javelins
• various hammers, tongs, rakes, and shovels
• backpacks
• insulating blankets
• utility towels
• used wet wipes
• personal hygiene kits
• empty packages of space food
• a photograph of Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke's family
• a feather from Baggin, the Air Force Academy's mascot falcon, used to conduct Apollo 15's famous "hammer-feather drop" experiment
• a small aluminum sculpture, a tribute to the American and Soviet "fallen astronauts" who died in the space race -- left by the crew of Apollo 15
• a patch from the never-launched Apollo 1 mission, which ended prematurely when flames engulfed the command module during a 1967 training exercise, killing three U.S. astronauts
• a small silicon disk bearing goodwill messages from 73 world leaders, and left on the moon by the crew of Apollo 11
• a silver pin, left by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean
• a medal honoring Soviet cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and Yuri Gagarin
• a cast golden olive branch left by the crew of Apollo 11

It goes downhill from there

Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century.




December 18, 2012

Shut up and take my money!

Elaborate Poster Puts All of Wile E. Coyote’s ACME Purchases on Your Wall

Artist and designer Rob Loukotka has drawn every product the ACME Corporation ever sold to Wile E. Coyote.


December 17, 2012

Seattle Accused of Running Up Score Against Texans in Superbowl

.. my ideal February Monday morning east coast sports media cabal headline.

"No, mostly weeping in front of the television. Thanks for asking!"

It's going to be a very big game

On Sunday, December 23rd, there will be a football game played in Seattle, Washington.  These late season games are not all not meaningful, except...

  • The game is one of two shots the Seahawks, one of the best teams in the League, have to reach the playoffs.
  • Since Harbaugh rubbed his face in it, Pete Carroll appears to have cultivated a bit of his own killer instinct, made all the more endearing by his earnest apologies afterward.
  • The Seahawks have the best rookie quarterback in the division that did not beat the Patriots on their home field this week.
  • The 49ers have the best NFL defense that doesn't feature psychotic cyborg cornerbacks from the future.  
  • The 49ers are bound to be confident after beating the Patriots in Foxborough in December, an accomplishment as difficult and elusive as the discovery of the Higgs boson.
  • The Seahawks are bound to be confident after winning their last two games 58-0 and 50-17. 

I am going to go out on a limb and say is a largish game, maybe even a big game.

Who am I kidding, of course it's a big game.  It's a HUGE game.  It's make-or-break for two teams that have won nothing, and have everything to prove, to themselves, to one another, and to a sports media elite that thinks the western frontier of the United States of America is the Mississippi River.

How big is this game?  It's going to make Roadhouse look like This Old House.  It's going to make Last Man Standing look like Last Year at Marienbad.  It's going to make Alexander Nevsky look like The Big Lebowski.  It's going to make Victory at Sea look like the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  

It's going to be a Big Game!

December 16, 2012


From Jonathon Bate's fine Introduction to the Modern Library's Antony and Cleopatra:

"Cruel Alexis" is the "lovely boy" ... to echo his name was automatically to evoke homoerotic desire, which in Shakespeare's time was also castigated as a form of emasculation. 
The name "Alexas" signals the trickier aspect of the Greek influence on Roman culture.  Ancient Greece provided classical Rome - and Elizabethan England - with a back-catalogue of military heroes and ideals:  Alexander the Great, the generals who fought the Trojan war, the Spartan model of military training.  But "Greek love," as espoused in, say, Plato's Symposium was hardly calculated to reinforce the Roman code of masculinity.  The notion that the good life involved ascending a ladder of love that proceeded in an unbroken progression from buggering of boys to contemplation of the divine did not sit well with an ideology of cold baths and route marches.

3 rushing, 1 passing

Take that, Emperors and Lords and Space Invaders

There is, as far as I know, no direct evidence that the Framers intended to protect the right of individuals to own personal weapons that had no practical military purpose in service of the govenment/national interest, or in the sense of potential revoltion.   The right in the discussion around the Constituiton exists entirely in the context of the inherent military legitimacy of the U.S., and in that era, military need, resting with the people. (How clear was this? Washington himself passed a federal mandate, yes, one of those, that free men purchase rifles, to be ready if needed to serve U.S. military purposes.)

This random page of gun worship blitheness imagines that it's own Founder's quotes are a broad defense of gun rights. But it's the opposite. All of it is about the political importance of being able to raise citizen militias, and almost all of that is contigent on defense against outside tyranny and even "domestic insurrection." 

In other words, the 2nd amendment was written and designed as political right,  not a personal carte blanche; a right of the people to organize into militias, but entirely within state, local and national law, as a souce of check and balance on centralized government power.  Fine.  What it's describing is Switzerland- free citizens have a military weapon, after their period of national military service, for use in national defense, and as a legal recognition that political power rests in the hands of the people.

But unlike the 1st Amendment, it says nothing even close to "Congress shall make no law." It says, in modern language, "we need to be able to raise an anti-Space Invaders army from the people, so right of the people to have assault lasers for that army shall not be infringed."  The 2nd amendment has exactly nothing to do with hand-held weapons of any kind,  which are essentially useless on a battlefield.  It doesn't limit or exlude regulation like the 1st. And it certainly doesn't protect the right of a resentment-besotted doofus to wallk into college classrooms with concealed weapon and an 11 round clip.

Of all groups in recent history, the Black Panthers were, with the obvious more or less, what the Founders had in mind when the 2nd amendment is interpreted at is greatest breadth. This latter point should be raised often.

December 15, 2012

Worthwhile Alaska initiative


What gun laws would you enact?

I'm pretty sure that nobody who contributes to this blog hasn't shot a gun, and most have owned them. I'm also pretty sure we all think we need more gun control. But I'm curious: if you had a free hand, what laws would you enact? (Feel free to edit this post with your response, or leave a comment.)

Two clear thoughts on Vietnam

From the time I first heard of it as a child I was befuddled by the war in Vietnam.  With my head full of World War I and World War II histories, just the language of the war was maddeningly obtuse, from the unfamiliar place names ("Plain of Jars"), to bafflegab like "Vietnamization" and "hearts and minds."  Even the comic books looked weird.

Postmortems written in the aftermath, by people working overtime to salvage their reputations or build new ones based on simplistic narratives, did further mischief.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see two clear and clarifying thoughts from Frederik Logevall's fine (premium*) review of Hanoi's War in Foreign Affairs -

  1. Time and again, U.S. economic reports complained that South Vietnamese authorities were unable to collect taxes outside of a few urban areas and that the government was therefore unlikely to survive long without being propped up by Washington.  The Communists, meanwhile, continued to collect taxes, replenish food supplies, and draft soldiers; in other words, they did all the things that a government controlling its territory ought to be able to do.
  2. Indeed, Washington's involvement was part of the problem, for it presented the noncommunist nationalists in the South with an impossible dilemma:  they couldn't win without the United States, and they couldn't win with it.  Massive U.S. assistance was essential to defeating the insurgency yet killed any chance of gaining broad public backing.
Of the latter Bui Diem, who served for a time as South Vietnamese ambassador to the U.S., wrote:
Caught in the middle of these powerful forces, [noncommunist] Vietnamese nationalists found themselves in a succession of precarious situations.  In most cases they were forced to choose among unpalatable alternatives; often, indeed, they saw no choice at all.  With their survival at stake they were forced to take refuge in a series of uneasy and uncomfortable compromises that little by little eroded their legitimacy.
Legitimacy.  As our leadership pivots, ending current engagements and committing to new ones, that word is worth keeping uppermost our minds.

* Foreign Affairs is $2.99 / month on Kindle, highly recommended.

December 13, 2012

No wonder I feel so safe


December 12, 2012

Hirschman Exits


I love this country

I find myself supporting most of these.  Most popular petitions at

  • Let Texas secede
  • Legalize weed
  • Recount the election
  • Mandatory labeling of GMOs
  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Require free access to taxpayer-funded research
  • Impeach Obama
  • Let the states decide to legalize weed
  • outlaw offending prophets of major religions
  • Let Louisiana secede
  • Let Florida secede
But this is the one that demands the attention of all right-thinking citizens.

Don't sleep on Barry O

Interesting that a community organizer would have better capital allocation skills than a billionaire.

December 11, 2012

Sympathy for the Clintons

There has been much gobshitery expended to no real purpose on the topic over the past month, some of it hilariously two-faced to those of us who remember when Mrs. Clinton was a lesbian dominatrix whose mad heterosexual love skillz killed Vince Foster in their DC pied a terre while the two of them were doctoring the billing records from the Rose Law Firm and making a bajillion dollars on cattle futures. That was quite a weekend, I'll tell you that. 


December 10, 2012

Well, Of Course Representations of Now and Future in Cezzane Echo Modern Financial Liquidity!

Rachel Cohen gets you out of Damien Hirst's shark tank and more or less into the title of my last big show.  This article was written especially for Doctor Kapital.

December 09, 2012

Honor in a cold place

Down with a cold nasty enough to be of interest to the CDC, I woke in the middle of the night, and to return my mind to its normal serene state, dialed up an episode of Dogfights on Youtube.  Most of these shows were about World War II, but I'd never seen this one on The Great War, named The First Dogfighters.  (link)

I was shocked by the first battle - based on a tale in the memoirs of Ernst Udet (translated here) - both because of its outcome and because it forced in me a slight reassessment of the persistence of a certain kind of honor in German military culture during the 20th century.  You might know a bit about Udet already - he was the model for Kessler in The Great Waldo Pepper, and, as every schoolchild knows, killed himself in 1941 for reasons of love, disappointment, or possibly because he'd been caught sleeping with a diplomat's wife who was working for the Russians:

He recolours well, anyway

Dogfights describes a 1917 encounter, 15,000 feet above the Western Front, between young Udet and the fearsome Georges Guynemer.  At first Udet knows only that he is engaging a skilled opponent, but then sees the word "Vieux" painted on the side of the SPAD...and realizes he is up against one of the leading French Aces of the war.

At first I thought this was the story of Guynemer's death - I knew he did not survive the war, and that Udet did.  But the battle seems to be going the other way.  Udet gradually realizes he is outclassed, but also that there is no sense in trying to run.  He fights on, and even, momentarily, finds an opening.  But his guns jam.  And now he know he is going to die:
Suddenly, Guynemer turned over and in inverted flight passed by head down. Immediately I released the stick beating the damned gun with two hands.  The approach was primitive but sometimes it worked.  Guynemer had watched me doing this and knew now I was his defenseless victim : he made another pass just over my head in almost inverted flight...

...and to my amazement made a sign with his hand and left westward.
Really?  In 1917?!  I'd heard of some attempts at nobility early in World War I - notably in the 1914 exploits of the German cruiser Emden.  But I'd also thought that by 1917 the remorseless logic of the war had infected everyone, and that each combatant understood that there was no mercy to be given or to be had.  Industrial scale massacre was now routine.  ("Bertie Wooster, if he ever existed, was killed round about 1915." - Orwell)  As Guynemer and Udet duelled above them, the British were gearing up for the next big push at Passchendaele.  The idea that a leading ace would spare the life of a competent enemy pilot seems utterly out of step with the time.

But perhaps Guynemer was out of step with his time.  He could remember a slightly less-horrific time:  in a world where pilot life expectancies were measured in weeks or months, he had been on active duty for two years.  He was famous for his modesty and seriousness of purpose, and maybe, just maybe, he thought of himself as something more than a gladiator.  Udet thought so:
Afterwards some people suggested that Guynemer's machine gun had the same problem while others thought he was afraid of me hitting him in my distress. But I don't buy that. For me, Guynemer displayed some perennial element of old chivalry that outlasted modern fighting methods.  Therefore, I feel committed to contribute this personal testimony as a homage to the unknown tomb where he rests...

As I tried to get back to sleep, that last sentence preyed on my mind.  Why is Udet telling me this?  Guynemer was revered in France and respected in Germany, so there was no need to further burnish his image.  The motive cannot be self-promotion - Udet acknowledges that he was the lesser pilot, and that Guynemer could have killed him with impunity.  Am I really hearing, in this narrative from one of the founders of the Luftwaffe, an appeal for mercy and honor in modern combat?

It's strange, but sometimes a question like that sticks with you, other times it just fades from your mind.  I suppose I would have let it go, but just this evening I've stumbled across another article, about an event decades later, that suggests Udet had at least a few like-minded comrades:
“If I ever see or hear of you shooting at a man in a parachute,” Roedel said, “I will shoot you down myself. You follow the rules of war for you — not for your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”

Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident (link)

Stigler was prepared to shoot down the B-17 until he realized there was no capacity for resistance:
I flew beside them for a long time.  They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do that.  I could not have shot at them.  It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute.

I found an interview with Stigler from a few years ago that suggests how deeply he held this belief, and how much he was willing to risk for it:
Q:  Why did you stay with him for so long?
A:  …Because I didn’t want anyone else to get him…

(The book will be out December 31st.)

December 08, 2012

Just go home, dude

Romney visits Manny Pacquiao before the big fight, gives him a pep talk.  Pacquiao gets knocked out.

You haven't done that already? RINO!

[It] makes me want to burn my passport and move into a fortified rural compound...


That's no peanut...


Someone should get an award

December 07, 2012

Thinkin' ain't easy

Top-paid think tank leaders.

[Appointing DeMint to run the Heritage Foundation] is the scholarly equivalent of appointing Michael Moore to head the Brookings Institution, or Ted Nugent to the Cato Institute, or Roseanne Barr to the Council on Foreign Relations, or perhaps Donald Trump to the American Enterprise Institute.


Near the bottom of the league tables

I'm thinking this "Emperor for Life" bid in Egypt may go down as one of the least-successful in history.

(Holy crap)

December 04, 2012

IAYPA Update: Mike Shanahan is violently insane - like Doctor Frankenstein

Additional Notes
  • Cannot believe Peyton Manning can still function (cyborging?)
  • I have never before seen a quarterback ranked as high as Alex Smith lose his job
  • I'll have what Josh Freeman's having
  • Russell Wilson is lurking
  • Matt Cassell, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick - what happened?
  • Michael Vick and Jay Cutler - same guy, basically.

December 03, 2012

Why you shouldn't buy art

Via the estimable Felix Salmon...


December 02, 2012

This is fun

To check the security of your password, just type it into this site maintained by total strangers.  They'll keep it secret, they promise.

Once past that conceptual hurdle, it's quite entertaining.

I thought of this in 2018

Two words:  DeLorean taxi.


December 01, 2012

Early returns on GOP minority outreach: not good

Noahpinion raises the question on Asian voters, this fellow explains.

[T]he generation of my parents -- who came from China -- saw enough rigid, dogmatic ideology run amok, thank you very much...

How to ruin a pop song

At the neighborhood store this afternoon when 10cc's The Things We Do for Love came on the radio.

(Here is the least repulsive fan video of the song I could find on YouTube.)

This song is sort-of a guilty pleasure for me. I soft-of consider it for a list of favorite pop ditties featured on AM radio during the 70's if it weren't for one thing. Please allow me to elaborate the internal monologue I relive every time I hear it:


"Difficult to identify sounds are coming out of my radio, yet it seems familiar. Oh yeah, it's that song!"

Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river 
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
"That's such a sweet turn of phrase, and I really love the arrangement and production values of this song. Keep It Simple!"

Like walking in the rain and the snow  
When there's nowhere to go 
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
"All pride put aside, I actually like this chorus. It's starts out cutesy, but pivots to heart wrenching. Takes me back to a time and place where I didn't know what love was, but longing hurt just the same."

Ooooooooh you made me love you  
Ooooooooh you've got a way 

The Lovecraftian Horror of Windows 95

Here, via the AV Club.

I was keeping it together pretty well until I got to the wallpaper choices.