It's fine to talk about Europe, which we have done plenty of
but it's quite another to speak to
Europeans. When's the last time you saw somebody really get in their
and tell them off? It's much more emotionally rewarding than you'd
expect, even more than it should be probably, since contemporary
Europeans fall into that strange category of being so damn smart they
don't have a clue what fools they've become. Recently, the Swiss
Freiheit interviewed Victor Davis
Hanson, who unburdened himself at some length about the arrogance
and stupidity of Europe in its views of the United States and in the
conduct of its own affairs. You should absolutely read the whole thing,
but I'm going to quote a few pungent excerpts just to whet your
appetite. Everything not quoted here is every bit as good.
The interview began with a somewhat condescending inquisition of
Hanson's perspective on America's immigration problems with Mexico.
Hanson returned serve for a winner, explained the details of the U.S.
immigration challenge, and then went on the offensive.
JF: Do you see any appreciable
differences between the way the U.S. is dealing with immigration
issues, and Europe’s response to similar problems?
VDH: We will stop the influx soon and through our powers of
assimilation and popular culture absorb those here; you may well not
and thus are already seeing a tiny elite on top mouthing utopian
leftwing bromides while a radical rightwing movement on bottom will
grow, demanding xenophobic solutions.
I am not confident in an easy solution for Europe, given its
20th-century past — whether confronting the specter of a Muslim
Eurabia, or the counter-rightwing backlash that could get very ugly.
You in Europe have little facility — socially, culturally, and
politically — to absorb immigrants into full-fledged Europeans. We do
(as Europe’s historic critiques of America as a mongrel nation attest)
— if the numbers of new arrivals are reasonable, of diverse
backgrounds, and of legal status.
Officially Europe sounds more utopian, while in reality Europeans are
clannish and reluctant to integrate and embrace; America sounds
strident and angry, while Americans in their personal lives integrate,
assimilate, and marry Mexican nationals who come here illegally — the
tragedy being that if we just cut the numbers of new arrivals of
illegals, the existing cohort would soon disappear through assimilation.
Right on, Victor. But at this point, he's just getting warmed up. It
turns out there's a lot to tell the Europeans about us and themselves
they don't really want to hear.
JF: What is it that makes the U.S. and
Europe so different from each other? From the outside, the two are
often perceived as a monolithic unit: the West. Does this unity really
exist, or are we talking about two separate worlds? Do you think the
alliance between the U.S. and Europe is made to last, or is it no more
than an illusion?
VDH: We have a common legacy, as the elections in France and Germany
remind us. And we coalesce when faced by a common illiberal enemy —
whether against the Soviet empire or radical Islam.
But after the fall of the Soviet Union, you diverged onto a
secularized, affluent, leisured, socialist, and pacifist path, where in
the pride and arrogance of the Enlightenment you were convinced you
could make heaven on earth — and would demonize as retrograde anyone
who begged to differ.
Now you are living with the results of your arrogance: while you brand
the U.S. illiberal, it grows its population, diversifies and
assimilates, and offers economic opportunity and jobs; although, for a
time you’ve become wealthy — given your lack of defense spending,
commercial unity, and protectionism — but only up to a point: soon the
bill comes due as you age, face a demographic crisis, become imprisoned
by secular appetites and ever growing entitlements. Once one insists on
an equality of result, not one of mere opportunity, then, as Plato
warned, there is no logical end to what the government will think up
and the people will demand.
The interviewer goes on to explore Hanson's perceptions of European
bias against America and then:
JF: Is there a corresponding bias
against Europeans in American society? How come nobody has ever thought
to diagnose such a sentiment? Is it truly non-existent, or is it just
that Americans are too wise, and Europeans too cowardly to mention it?
VDH: There has always been skepticism of Europe as a class-bound,
hopelessly aristocratic static society, warped by Old World
factionalism, and prone to dangerously wide springs between
totalitarian fascism and totalitarian Marxism. Few note such suspicions
of ours, since we are self-obsessed within our borders, and don’t
translate these musings into some driving ideology. Nor do we feel that
Europe per se affects our lives to any great degree, despite our
ubiquitous Western heritage that we owe to Europe and the billions of
U.S. dollars that are held by European governments.
The irony is that while Europeans periodically chest-pound and loudly
vie with each other in hating the United States for various alleged
sins (fill in the blanks from global warming to Iraq), slowly,
insidiously we in the U.S. are drifting away from Europe, whether
defined by commitments to its security (I doubt we would intervene
again in the Balkans) to sort of a popular weariness. One article in Le
Monde or a quip by a Chirac or Schroeder might pass over the heads of
those in Iowa or Nebraska, but not a few hundred of these per day. So
the Europeans have done the almost impossible: alienated a Western
powerful ally, that kept it safe and free for the majority of the 20th
From there the conversation turns to questions of international
morality, the viability of the European Union, and the challenge facing
Europe if it wants to be a true power in the 21st century. Hanson has
the nerve to mention religious faith, a couple of times, which leads to
JF: How much political significance do
you ascribe to religious faith? Do you consider the U.S. to be a
religious nation? Would you consider a strong religious faith a
geopolitical advantage in the sense that it is a source of strength in
the struggle for hegemony? If so, what does this mean for Europe, which
— speaking honestly — is a completely secularized region in the grip of
VDH: Religious belief means transcendence, or the notion you are living
for something greater than yourself. Atheism means this is it — so why
have children, invest in your country, or sacrifice your health for
abstractions like your country? We worry about Europe because it seems
to be creating a new culture in the West: marry at 35, have 0-1
children, be taken care of from cradle to grave.
Everyone needs a god; Europeans have turned their backs on the ‘Sermon
on the Mount’ and adopted in its place a Rousseau or Foucault as
totems. Atheism is bad enough when it worships the Calf of Pure Reason,
but when logic and rationalism are themselves replaced by postmodern
relativism, then the loss of god, and the trade off become an even
For those of you who need a shot of inspiration, here's an exercise to
try. Read the whole interview out loud. For the questions put on your
best dry, slightly bored Swiss accent. For the answers, remember to
savor the second-person pronouns. Really taste that "you."
If you're still having trouble feeling the encounter, review this clip
of an interview between BBC attack journalist Jeremy Paxman and Ann
It's the Paxman part that best captures the prevailing ambiance of
Euro-U.S. relations. Coulter, frankly, isn't really into her part,
although bored, terse, and contemptuous is a mien more of us really
should adopt in future. Hanson, bless his heart, is still trying to
communicate with these enervated dimwits.
NOW read the Hanson interview to yourself.
Anybody want to call up some Europeans on the phone? You know, just to
rattle their filthy gilded cage?
MISSING: One Chain Gang.
IT'S A DNA
THING. One minute they were there, the next they were
gone. Maybe it was something we said. They're from South Carolina,
where the chain gang profession is so old it has acquired a culture and
mystique all its own. Quite independent. Or so I'm told.
All we know for sure is that the old homestead seems kind of empty
without them. No one else could have come up with the perfect bromide
for all the most egregious sins of our selfish age. No one else called
election ahead of time with such deadly and scathing certainty. And
no one else in the entire blogosphere
ever gave a moment's attention to what Mrs.Bill
O'Reilly might be thinking about anything at all.
So. If you happen to come across some wandering troop of shackled
prisoners who have as one of their number a displaced Canadian hockey
player, tell them to call home. We've got ALL NEW locks and chains
and uniforms for them, plus brand new admin support in the form of
helpful "prisoners' aides." See?
Chain Gang's new "Prisoners' Aide No
It wouldn't do to keep her waiting. Just last night she said she was
feeling "kind of restless." We don't know what that means, but it
doesn't sound entirely good.
The Headhouse Gang
security let him keep the hat on, but drew the line at the "Press" card in
The two-tone wingtips also had to go. Clearly.
I imagine a kid dashing around a sunny beach, wearing his father's
jacket as a trenchcoat, introducing himself as "Cub
Reporter" to all and sundry. He spends the entire vacation assaulting
with questions from his little notebook, declaiming "dispatches from
front" via his driftwood microphone, reporting on anything and
everything that's going on. "The
Drudge family had pork chops for dinner." "We are going (BEAT) back to
the beach tomorrow morning at 9." "The lady with the really big top was
staring at the lifeguard all afternoon." Even when he's on the verge of
sunstroke, he can dig new scoops from the soggy sand: "That last
tide was bigger than
the three before. The weird-looking guy on the jetty is thinking we're
in for it. You heard it here first" Always in that child's clumsy
imitation of a "Last Chopper Out of Saigon" intonation.
The boy journalist version of the Steven Spielberg kid from hell we'd
like to clock with a huge jagged (nerf) rock on that STOOPID hat. [The
Boss made me put in
the parenthetical. But you know what I mean and, what's more, you
agree with me. Enough said.]
Yes, I'm busting Matt's balls harder than necessary. I love me some
wicked, rumor-dripping, anonymously sourced, WTF-is-he-up-to-now Drudge Report, same as you.
Thing is, the only criticism ever directed toward the guy is of the
"he's a footsoldier in the vast right-wing conspiracy" variety (and the
attendant ad-hominem slander). Doesn't take a thick skin to
brush off that brand of crazy. Recognizing his Hindenberg-sized sense
of self-importance as
being in place well before he even dreamed of having political convictions...
that's an Indian
Burn of a different color. I encourage you all to parrot it
Okay. I admit it. Even I was
embarassed by what Drudge did to Prince
Harry, the Ginger Wizard of the Windsors. And the thought that
right now Matt the Mug is hugging himself with glee over it is more
than I can stand. It makes you want to bulldoze Walter Winchell
his unsanctified grave, stuff the soulless remains into the Drudge url
stick of dynamite, and blow his yellow journalist ass UP, spraying his
rotten innerds all over the scummy walls of the Internet. All right.
Now I'm hyperventilating. Where's my bag?
I'll be okay. In a minute. Honest.
Don't be alarmed. Keep on keeping on. Anything that sounds like
laughing here is cognitive dissonance. Yours. Not mine.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
in Human-Climate Interface
Good News: Celebrity hybrids have stopped Global Warming cold.
. Global Warming fans were stunned this week when Daily
Tech reported the following:
long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming
Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has
exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its
first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most
snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since
record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold
in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South
Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has
been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global
temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have
released updated data. All show that over the past year, global
temperatures have dropped precipitously... The total amount of
cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe
out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one
year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature
change ever recorded, either up or down.
Leading climatologists were quick to respond, however, proving with
PowerPoint charts and abundant hand gestures that the sudden drop in
global temperatures does not indicate any error in the unanimous
worldwide scientific consensus that the earth is being mugged by human
CO2 emissions. Noted biochemist Leonardo di Caprio said, "There's
nothing whatever wrong with the science we've been making up on the
climate change question. In fact, what we're seeing in the new data is
that our efforts to halt Global Warming through human lifestyle changes
have been sensationally successful."
Di Caprio showed spectacular graphics created by Industrial Light and
Magic which traced plummeting temperatures to a dangerous bubble in the
credits market. In particular, he explained, heavy investments by
celebrity carbon consumers in buying offsets for their private jet
travel, mansions, and vast entourages have created a dramatic surplus
in the market, thus precipitating an exorbitantly excessive decrease in
energy usage worldwide.
A related phenomenon, called "doubling down", has further exacerbated
the market crisis. For example, superior citizens of Earth like Nobel
Prize-winning climate expert Al Gore used to buy carbon credits while
continuing to consume 20 to 30 times the energy used by the ordinary
and unknown people they were proselytizing to save the planet. But due
to the unscrupulous pressure of right-wing climate-change deniers, many
celebrities actually began to make modest reductions in their own
carbon consumption. Al
Gore, whose lifestyle habits were nobody's business, nevertheless
"doubled down" by reducing the energy drain caused by his Christmas
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Al Gore,
who was criticized for high electric bills at his Tennessee mansion,
has completed a host of improvements to make the home more energy
efficient, and a building-industry group has praised the house as one
of the nation's most environmentally friendly.
Al Gore recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global
The former vice president has installed solar panels, a
rainwater-collection system and geothermal heating. He also replaced
all incandescent lights with compact fluorescent or light-emitting
diode bulbs -- even on his Christmas tree.
"Short of tearing it down and staring [sic] anew, I don't know how it
could have been rated any higher," said Kim Shinn of the U.S. Green
Building Council, which gave the house its second-highest rating for
Al Gore posing outside his "energy
updated" Tennessee home last August.
"Once again," said di Caprio, "Vicious Republican hate-mongers have
pushed the world to a new tipping point, one that will require even
more drastic globally enforced controls on the economies and personal
lives of citizens around the world."
Asked "Huh?" by the assembled press, di Caprio responded that the
planet's climate is obviously far more sensitive to its interactions
with the human "disease" than even the most brilliantly gloomy of
scientists had estimated. This means that for the foreseeable future,
every particle of energy usage by ordinary people must be monitored,
regulated, and where necessary punished to the maximum by the people
who know more than average people do about everything. Almost all national
governments, for example, will have to be replaced by committees of
scientists and celebrities who can talk like scientists. "We have no
choice," di Caprio said. "Time has obviously already run out. 'The
Day After Tomorrow' is now."
In terms of weathering the current crisis, di Caprio was somewhat more
optimistic. "We can reverse the present overcorrection through a few well considered 'tweaks'," he assured
reporters. "For the short term, all that's needed is for celebrities to
resume their old carbon-consuming lifestyles and, perhaps, to suspend
participation in the carbon credits market. I'm trying to set a
leadership example myself by trading my Prius in for a V-10 Dodge Viper
convertible and quitting my old affectation of taking commercial
flights rather than hitching rides on one of Travolta's two dozen jets."
Heroic as always, Al Gore is doing
his part by eating surplus
What should ordinary folks do? "Stay the course," di Caprio said. "We
can't possibly afford a return to the apocalyptic energy usage levels
that precipitated Global Warming in the first place. If you're some 40K
a year jerk in Sheboygan and you've been recycling and driving the
brood around in a 30 mpg Jap tin can, keep on doing that. We're
counting on you. And we'll let you know immediately if there are more
sacrifices we need you to make.
"Remember," he intoned, "Earth itself is hanging in the balance."
. Somebody has to talk about
what's happening here and what it means. We're in the process of seeing
the canniest pair of politicians in American history reduced to
humiliated ruin at their own game, by a rank newcomer, after starting
their campaign with a gigantic lead. So far, all the leading lights are
still discussing this startling outcome in terms of the campaign only.
For example, WAPO media
critic Howard Kurtz is groping
his way through the subject, thus:
Is Barack Obama protected by a special
suit of armor--one that fits only African Americans?
Obviously, anyone running against the first black candidate with a
serious shot at the presidency has to be sensitive about racial
slights, real or perceived. Remember when Joe Biden got into trouble
for calling Obama "clean" and "articulate"? And the backlash against
Bill Clinton's comments, especially when he dismissively compared
Obama's South Carolina win to Jesse Jackson's earlier victory there,
underscored the tricky terrain...
[I]s this a big enough factor, in Obama's case, to change the nature of
the campaign? Are opponents forced to pull their punches? Would it be
deemed more acceptable for rivals to criticize a white candidate's
admission of past marijuana and cocaine use?
After all, Obama's two main rivals, Hillary and John McCain, have
already had to apologize to him for things said by supporters....
Politico's Ben Smith says Obama may be
milking the contrition of his rivals:
"Most of them have apologized for saying something insensitive about
Obama's race, his name, or his heritage. And the dynamic of outrage and
offense this campaign has proved race to be a much touchier subject
than gender. At times, Obama's campaign has sought to downplay
burgeoning outrage. At others, he's stoked it for political
I've previously stated my own belief that America is ready for a black president.
I've also said that race is a three-edged
sword, which I explained, like the rest of the herd, in campaign
two edges have been abundantly noted and commented on. Yes, there are
Americans who still aren't ready for a black president, though not
nearly as many as the paranoids in the liberal media feared. There is
also a deadly danger to anyone who makes a charge or even an
observation about Obama that might conceivably be interpreted as
suggestiive of racial prejudice. The third edge is concealed between
the bright lines of the first two....If
every gaffe or unpleasantness committed by the Obamas on the campaign
trail is going to be shushed up or suppressed to spare their racial
sensitivities, resentment is bound to grow like mushrooms in the dark.
If that's the strategy, the third edge will cost Obama the election.
But those who have been observing a related phenomenon called the Bradley Effect are
concluding that so far at least, it's not nearly the hindrance we might
This seems like a good time to revisit
the "Bradley effect," the theory that Obama was losing votes on
election day from scared whites who told pollsters, uh, sure, they'd
vote for the black guy... and then voted for Clinton or Edwards. While
there have definitely been odd pockets precincts and counties where
Obama bottomed out... we have not seen another situation like New
Hampshire, where Obama underperformed his polls. Check out Virginia,
where the final SurveyUSA poll showed Obama beating Clinton 60-38 and
getting 47 percent of the white vote to her 49 percent. On election day
Obama won by 28 points and won the white vote 52-47. He won the white
vote again in Wisconsin, winning by 17 points a state where polls had
him up by 5 or 6.
The Pew Research center has been testing this out with every primary
and come to different conclusions, and I haven't done as much research
as them, but outside of the deep South there doesn't seem to be the
lying and polarization among scaredy-cat whites that we were told
existed after New Hampshire.
Yes, what happens in the campaign, and why, is interesting and
but what nobody is yet contemplating is the effect such matters might
have on a presidency -- you know, the thing that comes after a presidential campaign. I
guess I'm elected.
I'll start by returning to the subject of the Clintons. I know I had Clinton
fatigue long before the Democrats did. When Hillary was still
riding high in the polls, I asked:
I mean, do Americans really want to go
back to sex scandals (Lewinsky,
Willey, Jones, Huma...) and campaign finance scandals (Charlie Trie,
Norman Hsu...) and personal corruption scandals (Whitewater, Marc Rich,
Hillary's private jets...) in an age when lowly U.S. Senators are
coming across with bathroom stall scandals and the young lions of the
Democrat Party believe they can prove the President and his VP not only
stole two elections in a row but also planned the worst terrorist
attack in U.S. history? In this context, the standard Clinton fireworks
are pretty small potatoes if you ask me. [YAWN]. Excuse me. Didn't mean
to be disrespectful there, but facts are facts.
Hillary's stock has plunged like Victoria Falls since then, but note
that nothing I cited ever became an issue in the campaign. There were
plenty of murmurs, of course, but only in the righty blogs, who have
always been part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" the Clintons
succeeded in pinning Bill's, uh, troubles on in the past. None of it
stopped the party establishment from regarding the controversial,
of an impeached ex-president as the "inevitable" heir to the Democrat
nomination for the presidency of the United States. Despite the
continuous, unending reams of scandals, large and small, the political
pundits saw Hillary as formidable and probably unstoppable. Certainly,
they expressed no early interest in stopping her themselves.
Now, though, the Conventional Wisdom is that Hillary ran a bad
campaign, that she was a bad candidate, that the fabled Clinton magic
had, like the Fonz of Happy Days,
somehow "jumped the shark" and lost its mystical feel for the heart of
the American electorate. Poor Hillary is suddenly a sad female
hammerhead whose latest jump was a bridge too far. Isn't that the new
It's bunk. All of it. Make no mistake. The Clintons, both of them, are
master politicians, whatever the weaknesses of their ethics, ambitions,
and policies. In a curiously American way, the nakedness of their
Machiavellian maneuverings was always part of their allure. That's why
Bill was deemed the first black president. You could see the game he
was playing every step of the way, but he was so damned good at it, and
charming to boot, that you let
him take you in. Because he also knew that you knew, and he counted on you
understanding that he was half sincere and half self-serving
rogue.Which is to say that he was a pure politician and purely American
-- in that he was never claiming to be better than you in absolute
terms, but only at working the system on his AND your behalf. That's
how he skated through the Lewinsky scandal and kept his approval
ratings higher than all those dully virtuous presidents who didn't
enter the Oval Office and see it as a stationary exoticar pussy-magnet.
The blanket, knowing forgiveness that gave Bill his two terms was
also extended to his wife -- whose personal travails we all
understood without her ever coming clean about them. As a people, we
accepted her marriage of convenience and saw it as the dues she had
paid to become just as pure a politician as her rapscallion husband.
Despite her seeming lack of humor, that was the joke the members of her
party were willing to share with her without forcing the punchline to
be uttered out loud.
So now it's all over. A long, deeply committed relationship axed via
text message, What can do that? Only an infatuation. All the durable
lovers have deserted them -- blacks, feminists, poor single mothers
dying for another chance to be betrayed by yet another sweet-talking
user, and even the unionists who have always known their cause depended
absolutely on smiling corruption. Momentarily at least, they have all
forgotten that American politics is about finding the best politicians
who are willing to be on your side for a price you can both agree on
without spoiling the pleasure between the sheets at least one of you is
counting on. They've forgotten everything, including the basic nature
of the transaction.
You see, Hillary was never a femme fatale. That's the role Obama has
stolen. He's the mysterious, alluring, elusive siren, arousing,
intoxicatingly seductive, remote but poetic, blade strong yet easily
wounded and possessed of myriad vulnerablilities, all of which must be
observed, placated, avoided, kow-towed to, and appeased. He is running
for the position of national Greta Garbo.
A romance made in heaven, to be sure, the stuff of dreams. But what if,
underneath it all, he too is
a politician. What if he should turn out to be simply a different kind
of manipulator than the Clintons -- not the jolly whore of our
egalitarian tradition but a greedy mistress with a grievance and a
Down to earth. If the Clintons can't make a dent in the campaign of a
coolly ambitious, non-African-American, Ivy League Chicago machine
politician, what will any of of us be able to do if he turns out to be
inept, short-sighted, vengeful, corrupt, or actively seditious? If some
clumsy American politician accidentally says something to offend his
300K-a-year Princetonian executive wife, for example, will we all have
to apologize -- or pay in some other coin? If he violates his vow to
uphold the Constitution, will we have the recourse we would have with
mere politicians? Or will every voice -- in politics and the press --
fall silent, because raising an objection of any kind is tantamount to
a hate crime?
What stories will not be
pursued by the already horrifyingly cowardly PC media? What legitimate
policy objections will not be
posed by senators and congressmen who are already living in daily fear
that their most inadvertent verbal slip will bring down 400 years
worth of resentment on their heads?
Think about it. If the "First Black President" has already been made to
look a bigot for daring to promote his wife's candidacy over Obama's,
what chance do the rest of us have in the next four or eight years if
we start to see in Obama a Carter, a Ferrakhan, or Quisling? No matter
what he does, he could never be impeached. It's debatable whether he
could ever be criticized. Let alone mauled and mocked and belittled day
after day like a Bush or a, uh, Bush.
The first black President must
be a politican, not a messiah. We've already seen what happens when
teflon meets a halo. The halo wins. Without even being responsive. The
truth is -- and this is not racist, but statistically valid -- that the
first black president really can't coast unexamined into office; he has
an absolute moral obligation to demonstrate with full candor and
understanding that he isn't
Marion Barry, Alcee Hastings, William Jefferson, Ray Nagin, or all the
mayors of Newark, Detroit, and Philadelphia who have ridden the horse
of jury nullification into sinecures of power only to abuse that power
in systematic ways while branding all who objected to their corruption
What we cannot afford at this time in our history is a sainted Jimmy
Carter, a well educated Huey Long, or a closet Castro..
Inquire of yourselves -- again and again -- how did a neophyte take
down the Clintons?
This weekend, read ALL of the following pieces and then ask, how well
do you really know this obviously clever
and oh-so-ambitious man? Obama's
Women Reveal His Secret.
The eulogies are all over the web, and they are well worth reading. All
I will add is that too many of them make it sound as if we have lost
William F. Buckley. We haven't. Thanks to his writings and the vast
electronic memory of the media age we live in -- which he helped create
-- we have more than a monument to his memory. We have his wit, his
intelligence, his personal warmth and rhetorical fire, his inconography
as a giant who transcended his own caricature of himself, and we even
have the twinkle in his eye at the touch of a button. It is not mere
metaphor to say that he is still out there sailing his beloved ocean,
grinning as he looks back at us through the spray of the waves.
. Did you stay up for the whole
thing too? We're suckers together, then. Grindhouse
was snubbed, so I only paid attention out of journalistic obligation.
If you missed it, count yourself lucky. Nothing at all happened.
Almost nothing. The old man hates Jon Stewart,
but he earned props in Zoni's book tonight. An Irish songwriting team
won the Best Original Song award (Isn't InstaPunk Irish or
something? Welsh? One of those...) and were so shocked and humble the
girl didn't approach the mic before it got turned off and the music
swelled. Flustered, everyone walked off w/o complaining.
After the commercial break, Stewart brought her
back out to say her thanks. He might be far and above the worst sophist
of our time, but he knows from class. Apparently.
But so what? The most life- AND art-affirming flick of last year didn't
get so much as a token technical nod. That makes the Academy entirely
This is an oversight on the level of Citizen
Kane losing the best picture statue. When's the last time you
gave How Green Was My Valley
any thought? Exactly.
A few other things almost happened, too. Viggo Mortensen seemed genuinely
attracted to his 13-year-old date. Hal Holbrook yelled out, "What about
Anna-Nicole??" after the death montage, which ruined the moment of
silence. So what, so what, so what. Hollywood's self-love is getting
worse, but we're used to it getting worse, so it doesn't seem worth
commenting on. I was
attracted to Tilda Swinton, which I think makes me gay.
God, look at that. '68 Charger, right? Maybe I'm straight after all.
[ED. It's not a Charger. It's a
Chevy. You ARE gay.]