Monday, February 26, 2007

Academy awards live down to my expectations...

Al Gore was not the only one to benefit from Hollywood's self-congratulatory admiration for its brave, bold stance on Global Warming. I learned today (by accident - I wasn't looking for it) that Happy Feet won the Academy award for best Animated Feature. I cannot conceive of a reason, other than the political correctness of preferring penguins to man, that anyone would vote for that film for anything. Monster House wasn't a great film, but it was better than Happy Feet. Cars was immeasurably better. Better in every way it could possibly have been better. Better story, better animation, better vocal performances, better soundtrack. Better everything.

But Cars, you see, is about, well, cars. Them southern rednecks like cars. Like Nascar. Loud noises, exhaust fumes, left turns. That's just too jarring on the Hollywood left. It isn't, you know, simply too important, like saving the planet so that the Penguins can have fish to eat...

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quote of the day

Quote of the day:

We Marines maintain that except for Lee Harvey Oswald, there is no such thing as an "ex-Marine." I believe that John Murtha has just joined that small club.

- Mackubin Owens, in The Corner

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Crank on the minimum wage

Fantastic piece from the Baseball Crank on the current attempt by congressional Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage. Ignoring the big question of whether the Government even has a right to dictate what people should get paid - it doesn't - he's got three ideas why the current attempt is nothing but counter-productive economics and cynical politics. Great article...

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Friday, February 02, 2007

A question

Idle speculation, while pondering the "lite-brite" assault on Boston this past week...

  • We know that the devices were unauthorized billboards for a late-night cartoon show.

  • We know that they were placed as part of a marketing campaign.

  • We know that the marketing depended entirely on people talking about the billboards, because they carried no information other than the picture, therefore did nothing to increase the viewership. People had to talk about them and become aware of them.

  • We also know that these billboards were up in Boston and other cities for over two weeks with not a hint of an issue. And they became an issue in Boston on Wednesday at least in part because their presence on local bridges and overpasses was pointed out to the police on a day when 3 suspected pipe bombs were also located, at least one on a local bridge.

  • We know that ABC news has reported that the people involved were "asked to keep quiet as the stunt sent the city of Boston into chaos." A phone call or two could have significantly changed the actions of the authorities, and the marketing company allegedly tried to prevent that.

  • We know that saturation advertising of the sort that they got on Wednesday would be significantly more expensive than any fees or fines that are going to get paid.

Given all of that, the question that I'm pondering is this: If you are in charge of Interference, Inc., the "guerilla" marketing company that has planted these devices everywhere, and no one's noticed them for 2 weeks, and there's been no talk, no buzz, and no hint that any's coming, do you get someone to plant a couple of fake pipe bombs and then call the police?

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - we had the title...

... and now we've got the date! An e-mail from this morning reveals that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21, 2007. That's less than 6 months from now. The counter on Lyflines has been set. As I write this, there are 169 days, 10 hours, 56 minutes, and 20 seconds left until the release.

Yes, I've ordered a copy from Amazon. Yes, I'll be in a bookstore as midnight approaches on July 20th, to purchase another. The big question I'm facing is, are we going to make due with 2 copies, or am I going to get 3?

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Odds and ends...

Been a dry couple of weeks, obviously. I've just started an MBA program and am starting a new job next week, so that may continue, but I'm going to try to get something up several times a week at least. Today there are some odds and ends:

  • Yesterday, Joe Biden's mouth outran his brain. Again.
    I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.

    Look, there's just no point in parsing that comment, or trying to explain or excuse it. It's dumb, but there are a couple of points that need be made. The first is, yet again, the incredible and appalling double standard in the national press. Everyone remembers Trent Lott being hounded out of the Majority Leader's post for a comment more innocuous than that. But Lott's a Republican, Biden's a Democrat, and the press does not go after Democrats the way that they go after Republican's. Period. It isn't even debatable.

    And secondly, if Joe Biden thinks he's going to be President of the United States, or even the Democratic nominee for the Presidency, or even one of the top 4 competitors for the Democratic nomination, he's got to be the only one who does. What a waste of time - his, his supporters', the people who cover him, the people who end up watching the coverage...

  • Columnist Molly Ivins has died at age 62. I haven't read the obituary, but the headline to the on-line obituary in the Boston Globe refers to her "rapier wit." De mortuis nil nisi bonum, but I've never read a wit less like a rapier and more like a sledge-hammer than Ivins'.

  • I was at the ski slope with the kids yesterday morning, came home in the early afternoon without the radio on, never turned on the news or did any local site browsing yesterday. I discovered this morning that there was chaos in Boston, due to the appearance around the city of lite-brites with batteries to power them. The police didn't know what they were, the anti-terrorism forces kicked in, there was traffic hell as the highways were shut down, and someone is facing 5 years in jail for spreading images of a cartoon character around the city. There are big articles in the local papers about how there's a certain generation that recognizes the characters, but the people in charge don't. The funny thing is, I've never seen the show and know nothing about it, but I recognized the character as soon as I saw a picture of one of the "devices," because there's been a freakin' billboard facing the lower-deck of I-93 in Somerville with this character on it for months now. That's within a couple of hundred yards of where the bomb squad first came out, shut down the highway for two hours, and blasted the lite-brite apart with the water cannon. Has no one in the Boston city government ever driven into the city from Somerville on 93?

  • Since the Patriots beat San Diego on the 14th, they're 0-1. The Bruins, over that stretch, are 2-5, and have been outscored 31-14. They're currently riding a 4 game losing streak in which they've been outscored 19-3. The Celtics have been battered by injury - they've lost 9 in a row, running their club-record losing streak to 13 straight.

    Eliot said that April was the cruelest month, but Boston sports fans aren't having much fun with this January...

  • The Sox finalized the JD Drew deal. This is a good thing. There's not a better 3-4-5 in baseball than Ortiz-Ramirez-Drew. This is going to be an excellent team again.

  • Everything I have to say about the Colts-Patriots game, I said after the game in November. It is obviously true.

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