The Ham Hock of Liberty

Friday, December 30, 2005


"U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., discusses his re-election bid during an interview Sept. 16, 2005, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower) "

"Right now, it looks like I'm about -this- far behind Casey...."

Fun game

Another round of "Althouse or Altmouse!" Not recommended for children under the age of 6, or those prone to weeping.
"How should a man decide whether or not the collar of his shirt belongs inside or outside the lapels of his jacket? Obviously, if he's wearing a tie, the collar goes inside, and a big crazy disco collar goes outside. But other than that, what is the significance of inside or outside?"

The amazingly shocking answer can be found here!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thematic Materials

Follow-up to the movie blogging:

The Skeleton Key was rated R in part because of "Thematic Materials."

I have a reasonable grasp of the English language, but "Thematic Materials" tells me exactly jack plus shit. Do many movies not have "thematic materials"....? And what about themes makes them inappropriate for children?

Instead of a weird euphemism, the rating board should probably just say "Bad Hoodoo Mojo and chicken bones and crap like that." Lord knows there isn't a single parent out there that could use "thematic materials" as a basis to judge a movie's content.

Movie blogging

Slow news day, apparently. So, movie blogging.

The Skeleton Key.
aka "The Movie Where You Can't See Shit."
As horror movies go, it wasn't bad. Almost good, in fact. The fact that it had Gena Rowlands almost makes it automatically good, not to mention being a gothic set in the Bayou. The overuse of some hackneyed horror conventions was a real kick in the stones, however - particularly the tight close-ups that turn into cheap shock gags when it turns out the character is standing right next to something that you couldn't see, and is supposed to scare you. Usually a cat. At least they didn't use that one... And the fact that the entire film is practically pitch black gets tiresome.

Still, the ending didn't pull any punches, which is damn close to a miracle these days. Of course, now that the Bayou has been flattened, watching the movie is more than a little morbid.....

Handicapping '08

Yeah, yeah, it's way too early to be talking about '08, and the candidates will probably be people who aren't even on the radar yet. But it's still fun. Here's how I see it:

John McCain and George Allen have the best chance of getting the nomination, and they're probably about equal. McCain doesn't have much charisma, but he's the media darling because of his ostensible centrism/bipartisanship/principle. Of course, he's not really a centrist, and this photo tells you pretty much all you need to know. But that's the narrative, and the media will stick to it. McCain and Giuliani are the two Republicans that would be the most palatable to Sally Soccer Mom, and both can tap into peoples' apparent need for the Daddy State to keep them safe from the scary brown people. Giuliani, however, is even less charismatic than McCain, even more socially centrist, and generally resembles a snake. So McCain will get the "moderate" support.

Which leaves George Allen to pick up the mouth-breathers that just loves them some W. He's cut straight from the W mold, being a whiter-than-white golden boy, who can please both corporate America and the "values" Republicans. He also has the advantage of not being particularly bright. Or, to put it more succinctly, he's dumb as a post. Which is now a political asset, as it makes you seem less frightening. Think, "Non-Threatening-Boys Magazine" for the government.

I'm guessing it'll be Allen. The upside: both McCain and Allen are senators, who have a history of doing miserably in preznitial bids.

Sadly enough, Hillary is the most likely choice. She's totally unelectable, but nobody else seems even close in terms of early support. She could have a fight on her hands from Al Gore, Mark Warner, or Wesley Clark, but none of them could really stop the Democrats from tilting at windmills yet again, and nominating Hillary.

I'd be happy with almost any combination of Clark, Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama, Brian Schweitzer or Gore on the ticket, but it ain't gonna happen. Russell Feingold would be an excellent President, but he has even less chance of being elected than Hillary.

If '08 ends up being Hillary versus McCain, the GOP wins.
If it's Hillary versus will be closer, but the GOP will still win.

More trips into Wingnuttia

WARNING: This post contains links to sites that may cause your eyeballs to melt.

The last few weeks I've taken to regularly visiting wingnut sites...probably just out of masochism, but I tell myself it's to stay on top of what the other side of the street is talking about.I swear on the baby jebus, we inhabit totally different universes. It's gospel truth that the old media hate the administration and hate Israel. And they're simply tickled pink that the left is not happy about the wiretapping. There is no doubt in their minds it was all entirely legal and constitutional, that it is a valiant effort to keep America safe, and the more Democrats squawk about it, the better it will be for W.

Of course, on the sites that actually allow dissent without immediately deleting and banning it, it's treated about as dismissively as trolls at left-wing blogs, regardless of whether any substantive points are made.It's just...mind-boggling. And I can't decide if that's because I'm brainwashed from living inside a left-wing echo chamber, if -they're- brainwashed from living inside a wingnutty echo chamber, or some combination of the two. Sadly, it's probably the latter.

Odd, still, that they sometimes get it right. On Redstate, for example, they didn't like the proposed law to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, on the grounds that it obviously contradicted the Constitutional amendment on point. Seeing an issue like that, where they don't try to spin the facts and the law to fit a desirable outcome, is odd, when it's being done on every other issue around it...

Wingnuttia is a bizarre place. But it is disconcerting not to know whose echo chamber is warping whose good sense and objectivity the most.