"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Dancing, dancing in the street / Way down in LA, everyday
Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko is that rare film which can induce nostalgia for the late 1980s when I was a teenager.

Kelly has a new project, Southland Tales, in pre-production. It's "a musical/comedy set in 2008 where a three-day heatwave in Los Angeles culminates in a huge Fourth of July party." The cast includes Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Lee, Janeane Garofalo, Ali Larter, Tim Blake Nelson, Amy Poehler, and Kevin Smith. It will either be genius or uncomfortably bad. I'd bank on the former.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Why they hate us
The other day I rewatched Whit Stillman's Barcelona, which is now 10 years old, and it has held up remarkably well. In view of the recent elections in Spain and the growing anti-American sentiment worldwide, the comedy is as prescient a film as I can think of.

The movie is set during the waning days of the Cold War. Two cousins - one, a sales representative from Chicago, and the other, a naval attache - explore Barcelona's nightlife and have to deal with their fair share of anti-Americanism. Neither can understand why they're repeatedly called fascists (fasche) by the locals and therefore get into a few arguments.

The movie's dialogue makes it seem like a precursor to Wes Anderson's Rushmore, but that's just a guess.
Michelle Cottle reports on the 911 Commission. She complains that since the Commission was partly carried out in public, it led to political posturing and grandstanding. She suggests closed-door hearings would have been better, but that sounds anti-democratic to me. Her fatalism regarding another attack resonates, unfortunately.

Ms. Cottle and I shared a creative writing class back in college and she was one of those reticent charmers who reflect well on the "New South."

* Situation Normal All Fucked Up

Thursday, April 29, 2004

The worse, the better
Some misguided factions on the Left have used this slogan which indicates support for chaos to heighten the contradictions of politics. Dan Drezner points out the apparently worsening situation in Iraq is helping Bush in the polls. (via Andy Sullivan)
At this point, Kerry has to wonder whether he's in a parallel political universe. It seems neither logical nor fair that problems in Iraq should boost the president who sent U.S. troops there in the first place, while imperiling the challenger who voiced qualms about the invasion before it happened. But odd as this will sound, it's worth considering the possibility that failure in Iraq is helping Bush's reelection chances--and that immediate U.S. success in Iraq is Kerry's only chance to win.
"We begin bombing in five minutes"
Michael Kinsley once said a Washington gaffe is when a politician utters something everyone knows to be true. Laura Kipnis writes about politicians' parapraxes and uses Condi Rice's recent DC dinnertime faux pas as a spring board:
What Rice reportedly said was this: "As I was telling my husb—" before abruptly breaking off and correcting herself: "As I was telling President Bush." Jaws dropped, we're told. And though nobody thinks Bush and Rice are "actually an item," we were nevertheless reminded that the unmarried Condi does regularly spend weekends with the president and first lady.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Resistance is futile (or Sheena is a punk rocker)

Dear Reader, (all 0-2 of you)

Should you notice a change in tone or sudden drop off in the number of postings, it's because of a young lady. Let's call her A. for the purposes of discussion.

It doesn't look good on paper, I'll admit, but we have fun together. A. is a tattooed, streetwise yet kind, midriff-baring "Generation Y" gal who can hold her liquor like none other I have seen. Your humble servant is a jaded "Gen Xer", as you can probably tell. We do share a fondness for David Sedaris.

Still, I'm wary. But I've had a sip of the Kool-Aid and it tastes good.