"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

Friday, December 31, 2004

One thing I forgot to mention in the wrap-up was the film Finding Neverland which stars Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell, Dustin Hoffman, and Ian Hart.

Sort of unrelated, Christopher Hitchens wrote an obit for Susan Sontag.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Year's end wrap-up

TV has become pretty awful. Michelle Cottle writes the piece I wish I had done by diagnosing Dr. Phil's bullying style and his popularity.

On the bright side, Heather Havrilesky writes about how comedy drew blood this year.

For drama, the only show I'll watch besides the Wire, while vegging out and relaxing is Law and Order SVU. Alessandra Stanley places it at the #2 spot on her year's end list:
2. 'Law & Order SVU' The sex-crimes spinoff has displaced the shopworn original as the best Dick Wolf cop show. Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have a humane stoicism that contrasts nicely with the show's backdrop of murder and sexual perversion.
In the real world, things aren't so bad as people often make them out to be. "People power" won out in Ukraine and Afghanistan (with helpful assistance from the West). Democratic reform is on the table in the Middle East and the autocratic governments there are on notice.

At least outgoing Secretary Powell acknowledged genocide was going on in Sudan.

President Bush signed into law a bill authorizing $82 million in grants aimed at preventing suicide among young people.

General Pinochet was indicted in Chile. (I happened to catch the searing Roman Polanski/Sigorney Weaver film Death and the Maiden last night on IFC. It's based on Ariel Dorfman's play and the script was co-written by him and Matthew Yglesias's father, Rafael.

No doubt there's stuff I'm forgetting.