"Slack Motherfucker" - Superchunk
Hey there. I saw "Lincoln" last night, which I thought pretty compelling. It has its moments of Spielbergian sentimentality, but Lincoln is such an extraordinary character -- being played by an extraordinary actor -- that it feels like quibbling to point that out. Daniel Day Lewis makes you believe every minute he is on the screen. I don't know enough about the nuts and bolts of the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment -- the focus of the film -- to judge its historical accuracy in that regard, but the broader picture strikes me as pretty scrupulous in its detail. It's a bit of a throw back in a way to old-fashioned political potboilers like "Advise and Consent." People who have been critical of the movie for its "wordiness" -- imagine, a movie about Lincoln in which words are important -- need to stick to Marvel comic movies and let we adults have our pleasures. Well worth seeing, for Day-Lewis alone, although the remaining cast is excellent as well.
- I was disappointed to see how much the exit polling had been scaled back for this year's election. A huge number of states -- nineteen -- were omitted from full exit polling, leaving big gaps in the available demographic data -- stuff that I really love. I was trying to do a comparison of the states in which Obama had carried the white vote in 2008 versus his 2012 performance and several states were omitted. I also wanted to look at gender gap information as well. I will definitely do a post on this, but I am really saddened that the full data is not available.
- Watching the current disaster unfold in Gaza, I can't help but think that Benjamin Netanyahu is not understanding the way in which the world has changed in the Middle East and just how perilous his present course could be. The emergence of some kind of popular government in Egypt, along with a moderate Islamist government in Turkey, has altered the landscape of the region in unpredictable ways. Egypt, in particular, has the ability to really complicate the situation in Gaza and I think the appearance the other day of the Egyptian prime minister in Gaza should be setting off alarm bells in Israel regarding just how different things may be with Mubarak gone. Egyptian President Morzi is already signalling that he cannot sit by and watch another ground invasion of Gaza without taking some steps in response. Israel has benefitted immensely from the lack of threat on its Egyptian border. Does Netanyahu really want to jeopardize thirty-five years of peace -- however cold -- at precisely the moment that he is also trying to focus world pressure on Iran? It seems like folly to me.
- Nancy points out in comments this excellent essay by Rick Perlstein regarding the folks who put the "con" in the conservative movement. It's a fascinating read. Perlstein probably knows more about the conservative movement as it has existed over the last 50-60 years in the United States than anybody. I think that the concerted devotion to untruth that characterizes the right wing (and those who make their living off of them) is going to make it very difficult to make the kind of changes in response to demographic realities that have been much discussed in recent weeks.
What's on your minds?