Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Manic Pixie Dream Girls

Calling them out.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.

Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, the girl in Scott Pilgrim. There are others...
On Why The Stimulus Was Ineffective

Really interesting economic points.

Funnily, now many people are talking about how it was WW2 and NOT increased government spending (ie works projects) that got us out of the great depression. The main difference being the length and NOT the amount of WW2...

Shouldn't Bernanke - who was supposedly this big Great Depression expert - have known this? Also, can we also acknowledge the post-war growth was mainly due to all the other industrial nations being destroyed and not some sort of magical American ability or even a natural business cycle?
I Need To Read This

Clarence Thomas piece in the New Yorker.

"In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court," Toobin writes. "Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication."


Film: Wall-E

I probably would have enjoyed it more watching it with a 5 year old.

TV: Party Down Ep. 5-6

I stuck with the show and I think it gets better. The porno party was 80% hilarity. Almost a great TV episode, except for one of the side stories. Incredible bits about picking up women between the pretty-boy actor and surly writer. Very true.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mila Kunis

On friends with benefits relationships:

Actress Mila Kunis, of the movie ‘Friends with Benefits,’ was asked if she thought such a relationship was possible. Her answer was insightful: ‘It’s like communism; good in theory, but in execution it fails.’

This girl has got to stop saying and doing really cool shit.
Life Is Not Fair

More talk of affirmative action for ugly people.

It is not the government's job to make life fair. Some people get cancer and cannot work. Doesn't mean we should give cancer to everyone to level the playing field. Nor does it mean we should sponsor plastic surgery to make people prettier. This is beyond foolishness. The same people discussing these issues think we overreached by going into Iraq to depose the worst dictator on the planet. Now they are open to considering the absurdity that the government has some sort of obligation to assist ugly people.

Jeez. Talk about misguided priorities.

Film: Funny People

Rewatched up until the midpoint. Very good first 2/3 of the movie. A good LA movie, too. Still my favorite line --

"Do you use Myspace?"
"No man, I fuck chicks. I don't have time for that shit."

Also like the little stuff Sandler talks about between generations - how Rogan's generation will never be as funny as his generation because parents got divorced rather than making the entire household miserable. Interesting theory anyway.
Gibson Guitars...

It sounds like the plot of an Ayn Rand novel.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ugly People

I've been joking ugly people ought to get affirmative action for years.

I'd much rather be good looking and ANY race than ugly and some "advantaged race."

The point that should be gleaned from all this is that affirmative action is dumb and no longer needed.
Debated Movies

AO Scott talks about polarizing movies of the summer.

There is a suspicion that “The Tree of Life” could be — or should be, or really is — a touching coming-of-age story, and a similar sense that “The Future,” at bottom, is really just another funny-sad indie movie about a young couple navigating the conflicting demands of work, romance and the desire to be cool. Objecting to the presence of tender dinosaurs and talking cats reflects an impulse to keep these films inside familiar generic boxes. All manner of extravagant fantasy seems to be allowable in the commercial space of the multiplex — robots from outer space, time travel, magic and all the talking animals you want — but the art house is apparently the domain of the literal. We have been conditioned to expect independent movies, “serious” movies, not to venture beyond the horizon of ordinary life.

But why not connect the prose of existence to its deep, strange, cosmic implications? Why not suppose, for example, that attention to a particular boy’s life might entail wondering about the nature of life itself? And why not notice that a youngish couple’s apparently mundane quandaries and decisions — about work, sex, adopting a pet, becoming parents — are local instances of the mysteries that define the human condition? How do we exist in time? What are we supposed to do?

I haven't seen "The Future," it seems to have lasted about 1 week in the theater, which almost makes it not worth discussing in the context of cinema as a popular art. Nevertheless, I can tell I'll probably not like the film very much (similar to the way I fell in love with Pulp Fiction just when my dad was describing the movie to me, prior to seeing it), but not for the reasons AO seems to be defending it along with Tree of Life. The issue isn't our preconditioning around indy cinema of not ask big questions or going off into fantasy worlds and tones (see Ratcatcher for an effective use of the fantastic), it the style and coherence with which it is done. Tree of Life suffers not from the questions it asks, but from incoherent craft and incompetent story telling. I accuse cinephiles of unconditionally fetishizing filmmakers like Malick (I suppose some can toss Miranda July into this category although I know no one who sees or defends her work) the same way guys fetishize the hottest girl in their high school...and will defend her hotness even once age and the world have gotten the better of her in any objective standard.

Film: Hell Boy 2

I didn't like it as much as 1. Similar preoccupation with the creatures, etc, and some huge storytelling inconsistencies. Some cool creature gadgets, etc. Jeffrey Tambor is a nice component to each film.

I rented a movie from Blockbuster last night for $0.50. Sunday special. Today, I rented another for $1, the regular price for non-new release. Hard to beat.

Film: Hellboy

Good: tone, visuals, attitude, pov

Bad: Incoherent story at times
10 Things...

...Obama could have done differently.
Not Being A-List

Listening to Veena Sud, the exec producer of The Killing on a KCRW The Business podcast about her show and the reaction to the finale...

I didn't finish the podcast, much like I didn't finish the show, but she compared her "choice" to not solve the Rosie Larsen murder to the ambiguous ending to the Sopranos and the way the Wire didn't wrap things up neatly each season and "opened up into other worlds."

Oh boy. Where do we begin? I hesitate to just call her a hack...because the show at least started well...but her comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of what she is writing: a mystery. The entire premise of the mystery genre is the mystery will be solved. The Sopranos and The Wire are not mysteries. The Sopranos is a family crime epic and The Wire is a procedural. Both shows end up being about a lot more, but in terms of fundamental genres, they know what they are and work within the genre to expand it. The Killing fails because it doesn't understand what it is on a fundamental level. It reminds me of when a nice guy starts acting like as asshole because he thinks it'll help him pick up women. It won't. Some assholes are naturally assholes and some girls are attracted to those guys. But it doesn't mean a nice guy should act like an asshole - it just makes him look like a poser and a fool.

Another writer who doesn't know how to use mystery - JJ Abrams. He misuses it in Super 8 and I assume Lost, by the way viewers of the show reacted.

If I were being more strident, I'd just call these people hacks. In reality, they just aren't A List.

One the best Deadline stories ever printed. James Toback on Monahan and Scorcese and Leo copping his work.

Hat tip, Phil.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I guess I'm in favor of raising taxes on folks who make over $1 million per year. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I was making that much.
Donald Westlake

On how he came up with the idea for Parker.

There's one argument for never getting a GPS.

Due to the recession, grandparents are playing a bigger role in child rearing and often serve as the financial safety net.

I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing, as I'm sure the rewards work both ways as grandparents likely enjoy being a part of the lives of the grandchildren.

On an unrelated note, last night I got to thinking about my friends and peers in our early 30s living in LA and SF and I couldn't think of a single person who has purchased a home without parental assistance. I don't know if this is normal or not. But it strikes me as unimpressive. Either me and my friends are all losers, or housing prices are being propped up by poor government policies.
At Least...

...they are able to articulate the problem. On how political journalists value "savviness" over say, "just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere, thoughtful or humane."

I'd say this persists all over the place, not just in politics and journalism.

Savvy is a means, not an end.
Tick Tock

Al Queda number 2 killed by a drone.

Keep up the pressure, let's put 'em out of business, please.

Film: Our Idiot Brother

Better than I thought. The lady actors really carry this movie - Zooey Deschenal, Elizabeth Banks, Kathryn Hahn and then serviceable performances by Rashida Jones and Emily Mortimer. Rudd, Adam Scott, and Steve Coogan were fun as well. There was an ease to the performances in the movie - working with a mediocre (at best) script.

It made me think about Rashida Jones...I wonder if she thought she was being edgy by playing a lesbian? She wasn't. I think Rashida Jones, if she ever wants to break out and really test herself as an actress needs to get away from playing "the cool chick." Play a bitch. Be cruel. Be a bad guy. I dunno. I think she's trapped herself into this cool-chick persona too much. She is too comfortable with the rest of the world and people sucking and managing to be above it all.

Zooey Deschenal is a charmer, but I don't think she can carry movies. She is a perfect supporting actor. For the entire movie, I thought Elizabeth Banks was Rachel McAdams. Don't ask me why. I was thinking "Damn, Rachel McAdams is GREAT in this movie." So I guess that's some sort of compliment to Elizabeth Banks.

Paul Rudd, Adam Scott, and Jason Bateman...they need a new category for these kind of actors...they are incredible versatile...they can slide between TV and movies, comedy and drama. They aren't quite leading guys, but not quite just supporting guys. They aren't great, but never bad either. Don't know what to call 'em. Straight men?

For all those who openly criticize the stimulus for being "too small," consider the following:

Deleveraging recessions last a long time, as shown by Rogoff and Reinhart. The need for continuing deleveraging implies that even a stimulus twice the size of ARRA won’t turn the tide.

In those cases a well-designed stimulus program should not be so “timely.” For a given presented expected value sum spent on stimulus, it is better to spread it out across the years. It is better to help a smaller set of workers for five years (or however many years it takes for most of the deleveraging to end), after which they are reemployable , than to temporarily boost a larger number of workers for two years, and then leave them back in the dust because deleveraging is still going on.

I wish someone had pointed this out in 2008. I haven't heard a peep about it until now. And frankly, now is too late.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just Call For Outlawing It Completely, Already

Huffpost reports on the invisible harms of "third hand smoke." Hat tip, Viner.

Liberals are strange creatures. On the one hand, they are moving towards outlawing cigarettes completely. On the other hand, they are moving towards legalizing pot.
Happy To Be Downsized

A story...
They Need A Screenwriter In The Room

Scientists on predicting scenarios that would occur if we made contact with aliens:

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.

McCardle nails them:

it's really remarkable, in fact, how often the aliens in science fiction just happen to be preoccupied with the exact same political issues that obsessed intellectuals of the era when the fiction was written. And yet it's still somehow breathtaking. They don't even notice that they're not noticing all their embedded assumptions. For example, the scientists do not even consider the possibility that the recent decline in church attendance among the citizens of the world's most powerful nations could be a signal to advanced, god-fearing aliens that we are a decadent and irreligious species who should be wiped out.

And it's just plain stupid. If the aliens can wipe us out for fear of expansion, they're going to wipe us out regardless of whether we pass cap and trade or buy a Prius.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs

Interesting article on why we admire his wealth and not, say, the companies who dig for oil or his rival Bill Gates (pre-charitable work).

It's because the iphone is pretty.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kudos To Grantland

I don't love all aspects of the website, but they are covering soccer and for that, I am happy.

I saw part of the Man U-Tottenham game at lunch the other day. This kid Welback on Man United looked unbelievable. Fast, strong, creative. Reminded me of Christiano Ronaldo. Didn't quite have the crazy moves or footwork...yet...

On an unrelated note, I want to make a plug for short soccer players. Can anyone fail to notice the creative offensive trio of the best soccer club ever assembled - Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta - are all listed at 5'7"? And for the record, that is being generous to Messi and Iniesta. I was one of the shortest and lightest players on my D3 college team and I would tower over all three of those guys. And I imagine those 3 could have taken all 11 of my college team on and probably defeated us. I wonder what this height thing is theory could say these guys are overlooked because of their height and Barcelona was able to get a deal in a Moneyball style of way of picking up value where others fail to see it. It could just be a freak accident and their soccer genius is unrelated to their height. Or it could be something strategic - Messi's smaller steps could keep the balled glued to his feet and enable him to touch the ball with quicker reaction time to other lankier players. Their quickness/first step could be tied to their height and combined with their skill and soccer brains are able to have advantage over other players. Also...don't discount the Barcelona style of play complements all of them perfectly.

Film: Unstoppable

Perhaps I'm just feeling generous in the putrid aftermath of Scott Pilgrim, but I rather liked Unstoppable. It was simple storytelling and - for a Tony Scott movie - restrained. The best moment in the movie is around the midpoint where you learn (spoiler alert) Denzel has already been fired from his job. Suddenly, we realize the movie at least spent a half second thinking about older male obsolescence in the labor force. Of course, it doesn't brow beat the point and barely scratches the surface of the issue, but at least it strives to touch upon a subject that matters to the real world and real people.

There are a few silly things - I hate the overuse of news announcers in movie scripts and there is a sort of a "why didn't they try that tactic earlier" element to how they eventually resolve the speeding train. But I suppose these can be forgiven...tonight, anyway.

It reminded me of reading or listening Denzel talk about movie making years ago and how he brings a level of hard work and dedication to his craft. He talks about people working hard in their jobs during the week and how they deserve to get their money's worth when they go the movies on a Friday night. Denzel doesn't always hit home runs, but he generally doesn't strike out either. Like Crimson Tide and Training Day before this, he seems to be attracted to mano v. mano in the workplace stories - pitting an experienced elder with a cocky protege. Something about such stories must appeal to the man -- above and beyond the actor.

Why doesn't he work with Michael Mann someday?

Film: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I went from hating this movie to not liking it very much during the course of watching...then I turned it off. There are some fun cinematic tricks in the film and some cool edits. But I hate this film on a molecular level. I hate it's DNA. It is hipster trash and preoccupied with the pettiest elements of life. It is remarkable this film gets made by a the same society who killed Bin Laden this year.

As a person who didn't love Rushmore, I was preordained to not like this movie. Rushmore is the high water point of hipster art. And in hindsight, this isn't a very grand statement. Rushmore holds a special status amongst people my age group because so many people saw it in their early 20s - when hipster appeal is at its full apex of power. The older you get, the more you realize hipster-dom is just a way for guys to act like pussies without feeling guilty about it. The basic premise of the movie is for pussies. Why would any dude need to battle his new girlfriend's ex-boyfriends? Who thinks about these things, except as a passing moment of insecurity towards the beginning of a relationship? I'll tell you who: pussies. Michael Cera. And apparently Edgar Wright.

Michael Cera was perfectly cast George Michael Bluth and acceptable in Superbad. The boy should not be in any more movies. The fact that in Scott Pilgrim this noodle-armed child was lusted after by multiple women was absurd and offensive to males with penises between their legs. The character Scott Pilgrim as depicted by Michael Cera should be on his knees thanking God each day a girl deigned to be nice to him much less go out with him or suck on his rod.

I just hope aliens don't get ahold of Scott Pilgrim and think this is what our society is like. They will invade with bbguns and probably take over.
End the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

Not a bad idea:

The less told story on such subsidies is what they have done to generate more demand and push up prices, he says. “One the one hand you are actually getting all your subsidies, but you are actually paying more for the property you would have liked to consume,” says Acharya. “Therefore the real subsidy goes only [to those] at the very top. It is for people who are buying a second house. It is for people who are buying more land than they would otherwise.”

No duh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Government Overreach

Starting in September, Santa Monica is banning the use of plastic bags in grocery stores. I understand what they are trying to do: get everyone to use those hippy canvas bags so everyone feels good about the environment (and buys canvas bags). But they don't realize the blowback (or externality) of someone like me who has an effective system for using grocery store bags: in my small garbage cans. I re-use the plastic bags from the store as garbage bags, so instead of buy small plastic bags to line my small garbages, I just re-use the ones I get from the grocery store. But with Santa Monica's government overreach, now I'll need to buy a canvas bag, buy garbage bags, and end up with the same amount of waste. And they probably think they are creating jobs. Wrong. They are just transferring money from my pocket to the pockets of the garbage bag makers and the canvas bag makers.

Small, but telling example of how government's good intentions fuck things up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Middle East

Interesting article on how Obama continues GW Bush's middle east policies, but with a defter (and hence, more effective) touch.

In some ways, President Obama’s Middle Eastern foreign policy does for President Bush’s democratization policy what President Eisenhower did for President Truman’s containment doctrine. In both cases, a necessary and useful foreign policy had become deeply unpopular; Eisenhower implemented containment but made the country feel better about it — partly by rhetorical shifts, partly by tweaking the execution. Obama is trying to do the same thing with Bush’s transformation agenda.

Right now, Obama's strength has got to be his foreign policy. He is calmly overseeing historical changes in the Middle East and he got OBL.

A story about a rich dude who couldn't get a loan.

I guess banks will only lend to unqualified borrowers. Dumb system.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cool Series

Five best in the Wall Street Journal. An expert in a particular field picks five books he/she recommends. Here is Alan Furst on spy novels.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Noonan and Instapundit hammer Obama:

His baseline political assumptions have proved incorrect, his calculations have turned out to be erroneous, his big decisions have turned to dust. He thought they’d love him for health care, that it was a down payment on greatness. But the left sees it as a sellout, the center as a vaguely threatening mess, the right as a rallying cry. He thought the stimulus would turn the economy around. It didn’t. He thought there would be a natural bounce-back a year ago, with “Recovery Summer.” There wasn’t. He thought a toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball struggle over the debt ceiling would enhance his reputation. The public would see through to the dark heart of Republican hackery and come to recognize the higher wisdom of his approach. That didn’t happen either.

He blew his wad on healthcare if you ask me. One could say he got unlucky with the economy...but you could also say GW Bush got unlucky with the insurgency. He spent all his political capital on healthcare when jobs were the priority. And the stimulus didn't work. In hindsight, it would have better to do a bigger stimulus or none at all. But the in-between had the misfortune of both looking like a waste of money and not doing enough to kickstart the economy. Basically, he was inexperienced and America fooled ourselves into thinking we had a savior. We were wrong.
Prediction: Germany

Watching Bayren Munich play...Germany has a lot of young talent. I think they'll win the next World Cup...although I believe it is going to be held in Brazil, so a smarter bet is probably Brazil as home teams and home continents have tremendous advantages.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Well, He Doesn't Hold His Tongue

Harold Bloom on books to read and other things.

On the Academy:

I maintain canonical standards for the study and appreciation of literature. I practice philology and knowledge of the history of language. I do not give in to political considerations, however they mask themselves. All this business about gender, social class, sexual orientation and skin pigmentation is nonsense. I'm 81. I'm not prepared to temporise any more. I've been prophesying like Jeremiah since 1968, warning the profession that it was destroying itself. And it has. There are fewer and fewer people teaching English, or any other kind of literature, in American universities. Students don't wish to study garbage and that's all they're offered.

On the Tea Party:

We have this horrible contemporary phenomenon in the Tea Party – a real menace not only to America but to the world. Because if it goes on like this, they will destroy our economy and they will destroy America. They have no democratic vision, and I don't mean with a capital “D”, I mean with a small “d”. They frighten me. They're like the early followers of Adolf Hitler, and I'm willing to be quoted on that. They are a sickening phenomenon. That is because they have not read deeply and widely enough. But then maybe they’re not to blame, because American education – even in elite universities – has become a scandal in my opinion. It has committed suicide.

He suggests we all read more. Not a terrible idea.

TV: Louie

Graphic Novels: The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns

Interesting article on business strategy. Worth reading as you can apply it to life as well as business.

On redistribution.

When people ask for higher taxes what they mean is higher taxes for other people. No one I know who works for their money wants higher taxes. I'm all for paying tax -- I'd just like to get value for my money and feel like everyone else is contributing similarly. Doesn't seem like all that much to expect.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ron Paul

Is it just me or is this guy looking more and more right as time goes by? He will never get elected, but he ought to be paid attention to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There Is Another Term For It: Torture

A dating site without sex.

Dating is bad enough, but to take away the one upside seems just downright cruel.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Republican Debate

Watched a bit last night on youtube, trying to get a sense of the personalities of the candidates. My impression is that Romney is the only one who even seems remotely Presidential. Bachman seems nuts to me. More nuts than Palin. She sticks to her guns about kooky positions like not raising the debt ceiling. She makes it tough to take her seriously.

TV: Louie, Entourage, Curb. All newest episodes.

Ricky Gervais guest starred on Curb. Excellent foil for Larry. He also guest starred on Louie last year and was good in that as well.

Don't understand why Leon isn't in every single episode. One of the great Larry David deliveries of all time: "Everyone brings wine - I bring bread."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Balanced" Coverage

A race war that wasn't.

“The press,” Rosenthal wrote, “treats it all as some kind of cultural clash between a poverty-ridden people fed up with life and a powerful, prosperous and unfortunately peculiar bunch of stuck-up neighbors — very sad of course, but certainly understandable. No — it is an anti-Semitic pogrom and the words should not be left unsaid.”

The story is about how in 1991 the New York Times framed a story as a race war between blacks and jews that was more accurately "an anti-Semitic pogrom."

Awful. But this is what you get when you privilege equality and diversity over the truth and fairness.
Comic Genius

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What To Do With Money?

An interesting article on why the stock market is no longer worth investing in.

Despite yesterday's upswing, it has been reported that about $1 trillion in on-paper losses have occurred on Wall Street in the past month. That's a hunk of cash, and it wipes out many of the gains investors had recouped since the tech bubble burst in 2001 and the mortgage crisis took the market down in 2009.

For a decade now, I have contended that long-term investing just doesn't work anymore, that big-time day traders are buying and selling the same stocks two or three times a day and manipulating the market.

Okay...say stocks are being manipulated. What is one to do with cash? You can't save. The interest rate is zero. You can't buy property because the prices are inflated (due to low interest rates). You could invest in businesses...which is inherently boom or bust, all or nothing. You can invest in education...which is bloated. There is literally nothing one can do with money, responsibly. A smart person would invest in stocks and real estate because inflation is going to come eventually as a result of all this easy money and just sitting on it will eventually drown out the value. Stock and real estate will go up with inflation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


TV: Entourage, Curb, Louie

Here is an article on Louie. Hat tip, Phil.

In addition to the article, I would add, I don't watch the episodes in any particular order nor feel the need to. In a way, this is also a reversion to a more traditional sitcom or episodic tv show. They were uniquely structured in that any particular episode could be a gateway into the show itself and the pleasure of watching was not significantly damaged by watching shows out of order. HBO and other serialized shows changed this trend, but Louie is reverting back to it. What Louie really changes, however, is that each episode is not really self contained. Sometimes it is. Sometimes there are two short films in there. Or unrelated tidbits and scenes followed by a full episode.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hacker Group Vows to Kill Facebook

If there is anything I hate more than Facebook, it is anonymous cowards who seek to destroy without any claim of legitimacy but their own spoiled point of views.

Facebook should die, but not this way. It should die when users realize it is a waste of time and energy and voluntarily stop using it. It should not die because some pimply faced hacker decides Facebook is bad for everyone. God, we're degenerating into such a pathetic, small people, it is really disgusting. These London riots where people are protesting nothing. These Wikileaks and Facebook terrorists. Who do these people think they are? What right do they have to disrupt society? What right do they have to steal classified information? What is their claim to legitimacy? Who do they claim to speak for? They make me sick. And they are all the same: people who can't make a case for their positions and force others to adopt it. People like this make our Congress look like wise old men and women.

Monday, August 08, 2011


Film: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Enjoyable summer entertainment, I suppose. What we should pretty much expect from a studio release. Story for the most part made sense and had a nice patient build, which is different from a lot of the action movies out there today. People will talk about the awesomeness of the computer generated apes. I'm still not a huge fan of this cartoon stuff being the focal point of movies, but it is hard to deny the technology is improving. The film is actually a prison break movie.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Film: Manhunter

Fell asleep about halfway through - late on Saturday night - not a dis to the movie - just the weekend. A thing to note about serial killer movies: as an audience, we all know the killer will eventually be caught. It is a given. Yet, the movies are still compelling. We pay attention to HOW he gets caught. I think this is a good reminder in not trying to be too fancy with screenwriting and not employing too many tricks and mcguffins...a few sly ones will do.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Poor Zito

Never buy the hype of yourself.

And in that instant, at that Japanese restaurant, Barry Zito might have in fact been very happy. He might have believed that everything that Scott Boras' computer had predicted would come true. He might have believed that he would finish his career in Cooperstown.

Instead, in the coming days and months and years, all that weight, all that expectation, all that godforsaken math, it pushed Barry — Barry, not Zito — off his delicate and particular balance. Those numbers meant that he would never again be consciously unconscious. He would never again be able to feel his way through his life; now he could only calculate the value of it, when all people ever had to do was watch him throw his curveball and they would know exactly what he was worth.

That's the real tragedy of Barry Zito. It's not that he was reduced to a mathematical proof in the winter of 2006. It's that in the summer of 2011, he has become one: Sometimes the sum of faith and belief and love still isn't nearly enough.
About Mother Fucking Time!!!

Klinsman nails the problem with US Soccer.

No, Klinsmann understands that the problem with American soccer is simple. We don't play enough pickup . From orange slice leagues on, our talent development is programmatic and over-coached. The U.S. national team is plenty athletic—physical fitness and toughness are our calling cards—but woefully devoid of magic. Of vision and creativity. Of the things that can't be taught. Our nation produces great, gritty goalkeepers. We never have produced a Pele.

Gimme 11 ten year olds who love soccer and I bet I can get them to State Cup Finals by the time they are 16. And I've never coached soccer in my life. There is opportunity here.

Ironically, once we start playing a joyful game, we will woo would-be basketball players because they would love it just as much if not more.
From Day One

Virginia Postrel had Obama pegged.

She understood very early on, Obama was glamorous and not charismatic. The difference:

Charisma moves the audience to share a leader’s vision. Glamour, on the other hand, inspires the audience to project its own desires onto the leader (or movie star or tropical resort or new car): to see in the glamorous object a symbol of escape and transformation that makes the ideal feel attainable. The meaning of glamour, in other words, lies entirely in the audience’s mind.

And the capper:

If you think of Barack Obama as a charismatic president, it is hard to explain why his supporters are so angry. He should be able to win them over. But if you understand his appeal as glamour, then his problems aren’t surprising.

With glamour, any specific action that stands outside the fantasy breaks the spell, alienating supporters who disagree. Even trying to remain above the fray, as Obama often does, infuriates those who want a fighter.

A well-established sales tool, glamour is a tremendous asset if you’re running for office. But once you have to govern, it’s a problem. Although charisma can continue to inspire, glamour is guaranteed to disillusion. The only thing surprising about Obama’s predicament is how few people expected it.

The truth can hurt.

Film: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Good film. They should make more like this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I hate this crap. I needed to buy a new ipod because my old one broke. I didn't do anything to it, it just broke. These things aren't designed to last. I go to the store to buy a new one. First of all, they aren't really any cheaper than several years ago. Now they have ipod, itouch, and iphone. Freaking iphone and itouch also have ipod functions. I see no reason not to get an itouch since I can play Angry Birds on it and maybe find some other use for these apps and all this nonsense everyone talks about. Maybe I'll use the maps. So I get that one. I can't do the iphone. I'm not ready. I don't want to pay the extra monthly money. I buy the itouch and try to figure out how to get my itunes (on two separate computers) to get it all on the new device. Of course the itouch doesn't work on my old mac (why not?). So now I need to transfer all my old shit onto my new computer and then onto my stupid new itouch. Meanwhile, they want me to register everything. Why? Who fucking cares? How does it help me to register this crap? I can't type on the goddamn little keys. I can't figure out how to space forward with the stupid fucking keypad. I feel like a freaking 4 year old. All this is really for is to listen to podcasts on the way to work, having some music, and play angry birds. If I could use a freaking map once in awhile, it would be nice as well. Is this worth $350 (cost plus tax and the new adapter). Of course it doesn't work with the old adapter. I hate this crap. It's such a racket all this apple stuff. It makes life harder and it makes you spend more money. What would I prefer? I'd prefer my old ipod worked. I'd prefer my new itouch would work with my old computer and new computer together. I'd prefer my itunes easily transferred to my new computer so I could junk my old computer. I wish I could play Angry Birds without creating a goddamn gamer name so some fucking nerd can write to me about my fucking Angry Birds score. Who gives a shit about being a fucking avatar on the internet.

I'm over this shit.
Higher Taxes is Bad Brand

On why Democrats don't have a good message.

If they were smart, they'd show what good the programs they hope to save achieve for people and the country. I suspect they don't help as much as they think. Dems have a bad fiscal message, but better messengers. Republicans don't seem to have very good candidates, if you ask me.

TV: Louie, Season 1, ep. 1-7, Season 2, ep. 3-5

Surreal show. Almost not a comedy. Fantastic moments. Completely and utterly adventurous.

Missouri outlaws student-teacher facebook relationships.