Saturday, March 31, 2012

Portrayals of Men in Media

Pretty good radio interview.

Interesting little bit in the middle talking about blue collar men opting out of marriage because girls don't want them. The essential point - women want higher status guys to marry and if they can't get that, can get better assistance via welfare, etc, than a blue collar man could provide. Sad. But true. There is an irony to the feminist movement in that women want equal opportunity in the work force, but also want a higher status mate. Mathematically, this is simply impossible, because if you achieve equality, there simply will not be enough higher status mates to go around. I would argue this is the statistical reason why there have been so many articles about attractive women "opting" for single-hood.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Selling Out

Why you should sell out.

They paid me a pittance for my time and extracting payment from them was like pulling teeth from a surly rhinoceros.

I thought this meant I was “cool,” “rebellious,” and “generally awesome.” Looking back, I wonder if it meant I didn’t understand the value of my work.

Selling your work for less than it’s worth isn’t cool. It means you have low self-esteem.

Interesting way of looking at it.
No Surprise

Regardless of how the Supreme Court decides on healthcare, the strength of the conservative argument vs the liberal argument came as a gigantic surprise to many liberal commentators. Why?

Thus, the strength of the conservative arguments only came as a surprise to Toobin, Greenhouse and others because they evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, “La la la, I’m not listening” whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.

This comes as no surprise to me as many liberal arguments post-9/11 and GW Bush in general, seem to suffer from the same finger-in-the-ear quality, when it came to the Iraq War, War on Terror, etc. A bad habit.

Film: Mr. Brooks

Jesus, there are a lot of serial killers in the world of Mr. Brooks. And that is only the third strangest creative choice of the movie -- number 1 is the William Hurt - ego of the serial killer as the antagonist and number 2 is the end twist, but not quite a twist.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Film: The Lovely Bones

The premise - turn the other cheek to serial killer violence. Oy Vey.
The Drumstick

The drumstick is one of the great pre-packaged desserts, yet it seems almost impossible to eat without making a mess. Some things are awesome despite (or perhaps because of) design flaws.

TV: Luck

Finished it. My first instinct - this was a mercy killing by HBO. That said, there were some boozy, beautiful moments in the final episode.
Sophisticated Heathcare Discussion

Makes a good points about the actuarial risk imposed by the uninsured and how this is the government's best case. But also counters. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. My basic thoughts:

1. It doesn't quite pass the smell test to force Americans to buy health insurance. How can the state force you to purchase anything? Also - it would seemingly pervert the market.

2. I'm not entirely sure health insurance is as big a problem as people think. People are living longer and our medicine is better - and hence more expensive. It is sort of like complaining about paying a lot of taxes because you make a lot of money. As Marlo would say, its "one of them good problems."

3. Something needs to be done about the issue of pre-existing conditions, but I'm not sure what.

4. Would the best system be something started from scratch which disconnects our health insurance from employers altogether and is a purely private purchase like car insurance? I know people are wedded to their programs, but if you are convinced HC is an urgent problem in need of fixing, why would this not work? It seems to work for car insurance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Dennis Rodman is also broke and seeking relief from child support payments. I'm sure the man mismanaged his money and all that, but I'm reading this story -- the guy owes $800,000 in child support plus almost 10 grand a month to two different wives. That's $120,000 a year post-tax money for a guy who isn't working. Kind of makes you wonder how middle class Americans are supposed to make ends meet --
What If...

Klosterman ponders what it means if Kentucky wins. His statement could be furthered by asking - what if Kentucky and the Miami Heat win?

I haven't been following the Final Four this year. And come to think of it, I haven't followed it nearly as much in recent years as I did in the past. I used to think it was the best sporting event in the world. Only recently, the World Cup became better, and then the NCAA tourney became second best. Now, I don't even watch. NFL football and the NBA playoffs, for me, blow it out of the water. Why?

It could just be me and where I am. I follow NBA and I like the NBA so much right now, I just can't get invested and spend the time to follow the games and the teams. My favorite time for the NCAAs was during college when I'd be on spring break skiing during the day and come home exhausted and watch like 6 hours straight of NCAA while drinking beer and making dinner. If God came down and was like - you can have 10 days of your life to live again - I swear one of those days would be one. But now, I don't even watch. It used to be, you would remember some guy from years ago and he'd still be playing for UCLA, or he'd be supplemented by a new big man or his younger brother. Now, I have to catch up on who all these guys are from scratch. It's just too much time to invest for me.

I wonder if other people are having the same experience. I wonder if the ratings are up or down.

TV: Luck ep. 7, Eastbound and Down ep. 3 and 4

If HBO wasn't getting Game of Thrones back, I'd have to consider canceling. I love HBO, don't get me wrong, but what shows do they have? Eastbound and Down is so strange at times, I can't believe anyone enjoys it. The episode of Stevie dressed like a Geisha girl and Kenny turning into cannon ball practice was strange, but I feel like this last episode topped it in terms of weirdness.

Luck. Oh man. On episode 7 there was an unintentionally funny preview before the on Demand viewing. There was this cheapo voice over explaining the background of all the characters while showing the preview - this was a like a 3 minute segment. It reminded me of 70s movie previews and was just hilarious because HBO felt like it needed a clear voice over to explain who all these characters were because otherwise even the heady HBO audience would have no clue who anyone is. "Walter --- is a trainer with a dark past...", so on and so forth. The show reminds me a little bit of when a person who you really like suddenly changes and gets religious or sober or really into yoga and it's just kind of uncomfortable being around them because they feel like someone totally different and humorless and
The End of the NFL

This is how it begins - with a lawsuit.

Iverson is bankrupt.

He owes a jeweler 860,000 that he doesn't have. Can somebody get a camera on this?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


VDH notices the regression of race relations evident in the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

The Trayvon Martin tragedy, by the time the entire process is played out, will reflect poorly on lots of people and groups, who in mob-like fashion have weighed in before all the facts in the case are fully aired.

Could this become the third instance of delusional left-wing reaction to tragedy? The first was obviously the Duke Lacrosse case where the guys were all presumed guilty until it came out the entire story was made up. The second was the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy where in the first few days everyone was blaming Sarah Palin's crosshairs and Republican's for inciting the incident before finding out the guy was basically a schizophrenic. And now this story which keeps getting mussed up and confusing by you know, finding out what happened...
Google Fail

Hat tip, Robyn. Based on an email sent by a Google employee about where the company is headed.

Harrison Barnes branding himself prior to becoming a good basketball player.

Putting the cart before the horse.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Film: The Hunger Games

Well, my pussy sucking of the Hunger Games earlier today proved to be a bit premature. I had the misfortune of actually seeing the movie tonight as I know it will be a topic of discussion tomorrow. I suppose I can appreciate it on those terms. I still like the idea of shared cultural references. It would not necessarily make me happier if America just became a subdivided type of society where only certain sects interact with each other. But I suppose the drawback of such a culture is that many of us must be subjected to tasteless teenage girl fantasies of a post-revolution society after West Hollywood defeats the rest of the nation in nuclear war.

What a strange movie. Can you imagine pitching this thing from scratch? I feel even tasteless people would be embarrassed to pitch an idea - okay - it's the future (or something) and we're in a totalitarian place where one kid from each district goes to battle with other kids to the death and it's like the most popular tv show in the world and there's this president guy who runs the society, but also serves as the executive producer of the tv show, and they pit 9 year old girls against 18 year old boys, and some guy who can paint himself like a rock, and there is going to be a bow and arrow, and Lenny Kravitz will be in the movie also. I swear, it'll be awesome. I can just see the executive feeling weird and being like "I dunno, Susan, pitting kids against each other in a match to the death? Sounds a little dark." "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it'll be for teenage girls and our heroine won't have to make any tough decisions -- like kill someone who is good -- she'll only kill people who are bad and only when they attack her first and whenever things get too hard for her, we'll bail her out with something literally dropping from the sky, and when things get too easy for her, we'll create animals that don't actually exist to attack her...AND...if the audience is ever confused, we'll have Stanley Tucci with blue hair cutting in to explain the set up." The executive leans back and says, "Well, why didn't you say that from the get-go!"

Thank God Game of Thrones is starting next week. If you want to geek out and get dark and fantastical, go Game of Thrones. Oh yeah...the last thing re: Hunger, it looked cheap. What was up with the special effects? Did we suddenly drop back into the 1980s? I felt like I was watching Big Trouble in Little China or something.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Must Read on Middle East

If you follow and care about the Middle East - which most Americans are totally sick and tired of - this is a must read. It essentially breaks down all the different ways in which we've tried to interact with the region and how all have failed. It sees the latest expensive and probably doomed to fail attempts at nation building as the totally last ditch effort. He's right.

Film: Hiro Dreams of Sushi

I really enjoyed this little film about a sushi chef and his obsession with making better and better sushi.

In other news, the theater itself was busier than I can remember theaters being for a long time, because of the Hunger Games. This made me unexpectedly happy. I haven't seen the movie yet, but just the fact that people are going to the theater in droves is really exciting. It bodes well for the business, makes the studio feel flush and therefore more likely to take future risks. It encourages the audience to get into the habit of going to movies. It helps other movies if folks go to the theater to see Hunger Games and it is sold out and they go to a different movie instead. Make no mistake, these kind of hits are good for the business. For those wary of popular entertainment, and I include myself in there, it would be foolish to imagine a world where only the Red Belts, No Country For Old Mens, the Fargos, and the Memories of Murder get made. These types of films are subsidized by the Hunger Games - if not directly - indirectly - because the Hunger Games pays for the theaters and the projection systems and the development costs - and all the sunk investments costs that exist prior to seeing a movie in a theater.

How Google stopped being Google.

[L]ately when using Google search I've found myself nostalgic for the old days, when Google was true to its own slightly aspy self. Google used to give me a page of the right answers, fast, with no clutter. Now the results seem inspired by the Scientologist principle that what's true is what's true for you.

Yeah, I noticed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why Not Make Everyone Wear Condoms?

California changes porn law - everyone is to wear condoms.

How long is it before the state makes every non-married person wear condoms? You could justify it under public health.
How The News Fails Us

In listening to the news regarding this Zimmerman/Williams shooting, I've yet to hear a recounting of the facts. All I hear are reports of death threats, how this vigilante went nuts on a black kid in a hoodie, how the Miami Heat wear hoodies in solidarity, how Geraldo blames the kid for wearing a hoodie, how President Obama weighs in on the issue, blah, blah, fucking blah. Can the media tell the story about what actually happened? Not a mealy-mouthed, from this or that perspective, but you know, a good old recounting of the facts and events that actually took place? You would think this is obvious. You would think this is what people would want to hear and know. But no. What people want to do is to find racial grievance in the issue - if they are predisposed to racial grievance; they use this example of why kids shouldn't wear hoodies, if they are predisposed to not liking hoodies. Man, this is a huge failure of our national press, who seems to benefit from rubbing salt on the wound and exploiting this tragedy for a few days of increased ad revenue as the people follow the case. What happened to the press...or just the idea of the press trying to find the truth of a story?

UPDATE: And why are all these people crying for vigilante violence - such as Spike Lee and the Black Panthers? Innocent black teenagers get killed all the time in gang wars and in drug related violence - why does this particular case galvanize people, while they just sit back and accept the rest as part of the tragedy of life? Why is a black teenager victim at the hands of a non-black perp worse than a victim at the hands of a black perp? Especially in post-racial America? It's not like anyone thinks this was a hate crime or this kid specifically targeted because he was black. It is obviously a mistake by an overzealous neighborhood watch guy. I mean - is this fundamentally worse than a drunk driver killing someone?

Friday, March 23, 2012


Advice for young investors. I think this is a smart note to apply to all expenditures:

Stay liquid. "We will never become dependent on the kindness of strangers," he wrote. "We will always arrange our affairs so that any requirements for cash we may conceivably have will be dwarfed by our own liquidity. Moreover, that liquidity will be constantly refreshed by a gusher of earnings from our many and diverse businesses."

That's a smart position for any business or person to maintain.
More on Higher Ed Bubble

Good points:

There's something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. -- that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

Professional basketball players have expensive sneakers, but -- TV commercials notwithstanding -- it's not the shoes that make them good at dunking.

Putting the cart before the horse.

Student loans should be discharged in bankruptcy.

“Student loans, if they are to continue, should be made dischargeable in bankruptcy after five years — but with the school that received the money on the hook for all or part of the unpaid balance.”

Student loans have spiraled shamelessly out of control. And think about whose responsible - a collusion between the college/schools and the government - entities whose purpose is to serve young folks and help them prepare for the tough stuff of real life. Instead, they've crippled young folks with debt so they can build nicer buildings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Film: Memories of Murder

Now that's a movie. Play a double feature with Zodiac. Wasn't a huge fan of The Host - the other film by this filmmaker I've seen. This was a real delight. DVD copy was shit, needed to adjust the aspect ratio on my TV to watch correctly.

Previews are too perfect now. I prefer these old weird, versions.
Strange Article

How the other half saves. The author proposes to describe how people living on $2 a day save for extraordinary expenses such as funerals or the loss of the main breadwinner -- in contrast to Americans, who during the 2000s, spent 100.50 for every 100 we made.

But then the article doesn't explain it at all. When the people run out of money, they borrow or plunge into savings -- the same way Americans do. Doesn't he understand that much of the "overspending" by Americans were undoubtedly due to similar circumstances - someone gets sick and incurs unexpected medical costs - the need to buy more space/housing for more people (or simple vanity). He implies that there is something we can learn from these poor folks living on nothing, but the fact is, we do exactly as they do -- or they do exactly as we do.

Here's a little secret I learned by living - as opposed to listening to all these saving gurus. You want to save money for a rainy day? Here's how you do it: earn more money. I've gone through various earnings cycles in my life. Sometimes I've earned less than average and sometimes I've earned more than average (strange term to use there, average, but most folks will know what I mean - average compared to peer group and relative cost of living, age, etc). When I've earned less, I tried to save and be disciplined and save that old 10% of the paycheck. But you know what happens? A car repair. A medical accident. A wedding and bachelor party. A move. A ticket. A tuition balance. A higher tax bill. And it crushes you. You can spend a year being disciplined and then get it wiped out in a moment of bad luck when your car blows a gasket and a timing belt at the same time. On the flip side, you can earn more money and be a total idiot. You can go to Vegas and blow $1000 on craps in a hour. You can eat at the new hot restaurant and order the most expensive wine. You can buy Google stock at an inflated rate. You can pay $200 for jeans. You can lease a BMW. And you know what? You'll still end up saving money. Because 10% of bupkis is still bupkis. But if you're making good money, saving is effortless. So what is my saving advice? Screw being disciplined and focus on finding ways to make more money. Do the old Mark Cuban thing and sell shoelaces. (his idea on how to make extra cash - buy colored shoe laces - say purple and gold - and go outside a Laker game and sell them at $5 a pop).

Bill James writes about baseball fans and prisoners and similar behaviors.
Incremental Improvement

Yes! A nice eulogy to the CEO of McDonalds, who rather than being lionized for inventing something from scratch like Facebook, Microsoft, or Berkshire, focused on the idea of incremental improvement and succeeded wildly.

The company was already clearly dominant in its industry when he took over as CEO almost a decade ago, but truth is it has lost its way. The restaurants’ service and cleanliness was spotty and expansion – opening new outlets – had become such a focus that quality was slipping. Skinner, who only got the CEO job because his two immediate predecessors died suddenly, slammed on the brakes and turned the company’s attention to quality.

I wish someone would do this in the film industry.
Bad Advice

Advice on how to avoid bad advice.

There is a lot more bad advice out there than good advice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Tebow was a late first round draft pick. He played better than nearly anyone in the NFL expected. He got experience, he sold jerseys, he won a playoff game. Now, he gets traded for a 4th and a 6th round pick? Just seems like he ought to be worth more than that...but I guess he isn't.

Script: Silence of the Lambs

So this is a great script of a great movie. The Lector escape sequence is wonderful storytelling. The script captures the themes of the story incredibly well - even better in some ways than the film accomplished. The film was smart and limited the flashback to Clarice's childhood (which is more prevalent in the script). But one beef that occurs to me -- the end. When Clarice identifies Buffalo Bill...why doesn't she just run out of the house and call the cops? This end sequence was totally memorable and awesome and so this isn't really a beef with the film, but in reading it, and knowing the characters, she could have run outside and gone to the neighbors house. Maybe she wouldn't have saved Catherine, but I know FBI protocol would not have suggested going after the guy herself in his own home.

Film: Mindhunter by John Douglas

Exciting read about serial killer cases. Not a fan of the writer - makes it seems like he's never been wrong in his entire life. Nevertheless, the stories are great.
Alex Smith

Re-signs with Niners.

I suppose it was worth flirting with the Peyton Manning idea - because yes, it would have been nice to roll the dice and we would have become the Super Bowl favorites this year - and we have to compete with some tough ass teams in the NFC in the years to come. But a couple of things make me feel better about working it out with Alex Smith.

1) Let's face it - Manning is a huge risk. The guy had 4 neck surgeries and is 36 years old. Are you kidding me? In the NFL these days? I'd be freaked out every time he drops back for a pass. The guy has his ring. I don't get him trying to play again. No one is the same after the knife. And this is the knife to the neck at age 36. But hey, I guess he feels like he has some more in his tank, and Peyton is a unique case because he doesn't take hits. But still...

2) It would be one thing if the Niners got blown out by Green Bay or the Saints, but they were a caught punt return or a Michael Crabtree showing up for the championship game away from going to the Super Bowl. There were about 5 teams in the NFC who could have won the Super Bowl last year if the ball bounced their way. My point: the Niners with Alex Smith weren't and aren't a favorite, but they are a legit contender.

3) We have a few good things going for us next year: re-vamped receiving core, several young players who will only get better - Aldon Smith, Navarro Bowman, Crabtree (in theory), the big guys on the offensive line; and returning our entire defense.

Things I feel bad about-

1) We will not be as lucky next year w/ turnovers. I imagine Smith will throw more INTs and we won't force as many turnovers because teams will expect it.

2) We won't sneak up on anyone next year like we did against the Eagles and some of our other early season opponents

3) Gore is a year older with a year more wear and tear

4) Our defense will suffer some injuries (often everyone points out the Niners didn't have any defensive injuries, but that isn't true, Patrick Willis, our best player was injured for 4 games)

5) Our division is getting better. All the teams will be better than last year. Seattle because they got a new QB, Arizona because Kolb will presumably be less injured and their young defense will get better, and the Rams because they will definitely not have as many injuries.

6) Our schedule is harder

7) People will be gunning for us

But...and this is important...last year, it took us about 5-6 games to realize: jesus, we are a good team and we are going to win. Now, we know - we are two plays away from going to (and probably winning) the Super Bowl. Re-signing Smith is the smarter, safer, route, and I say we have a shot in the next 3 years to win one and we have a good chance to continue to be competitive for the next 5-6 years with Harbaugh and our core of youngish guys - Willis, Smith (Aldon), Davis, Crabtree, Bowman, Hunter, Walker. In the next three will will have Alex, Justin Smith, and Gore but eventually will lose them to age, but those guys are warriors. It would have been cool to sign Peyton and go for 2 Super Bowls these next two years, but maybe it is a smarter bet to play the longer game and go for it in the next 5 years instead. The one major franchise appeal of Peyton would have been the issue with the Steelers having 6 rings and the Niners having 5. It would be nice to be the top organization again.
ESPN Misrepresentation

Here is a good example of the thing ESPN has been doing for years: overhyping certain types of players, namely Kobe and Brett Farvre.

Notice the coverage - focused on Kobe getting to the hoop, scoring several buckets, and then hitting a late jump shot to tie the game. Then they introduce that the Rockets won the game. The reason I pick this out: I was listening to this game on the radio at about the 6 minute mark until the end. Michael Thompson was talking only about how Kobe was having a terrible game and shooting poorly and how the Lakers were winning despite him - not because of him. And remember, Kobe is Michael Thompson's favorite players. Pau and Sessions were having really good games. The box score bears this out - Kobe shot 10 of 27. Yikes. Pau shot 10-14. Kobe had a huge turnover toward the end of the game. The Laker defense collapsed and gave up a 10 point lead with like 4 minutes to play. Bynum got ejected. None of this in the ESPN coverage. They made it seem like Kobe was carrying the Lakers all game and then somehow the Rockets suddenly came back, Drajic hits a big 3, and they win. This is what I object to in ESPN coverage of these games - they simply reinforce narratives like "Kobe is a closer" and "Brett Farve is a clutch cowboy" by selectively choosing highlights that tell this story. Say, for instance, all the hype about Kobe is correct and he is a killer and a closer and the best player in basketball. I think this is a false narrative, but let's just say for the moment it is correct. Why does it need to be reinforced on a random Tuesday night at this point? Everyone knows Kobe has 5 rings. Everyone knows he's having a good year. Why isn't the story - Kobe shot 10 for 27 tonight - and Sessions and Gasol lead the way and then the Laker D let the team down. That's what actually happened. How would the truth harm Kobe's reputation if he reputation were in fact true?

Here's what I think: ESPN is lazy and needs to put things together quickly. Narratives and reputations develop - some are correct, others are less correct, and others are totally incorrect. But either way, ESPN reports and reinforces the narrative -- because that's what people like to see. They don't want the narrative disrupted. So even though Brett Favre went 10 years without getting into the Superbowl and ending the season on an unnecessary interception about 5 of those years, he still has the reputation of being a great late game player (which he was for 3 seasons or so). Ask someone who knows only a little bit about football this question - Brett Farve played for 20 years - how many Super Bowls do you think he won? Just ask them. They will guess based on his reputation, I'm betting, a lot more than the true number (1).

Ask someone who knows a little about basketball what Kobe's shooting percentage is in the 4th quarter of important games, given that his lifetime shooting percentage is (whatever it is). They will guess more, even though in truth, it is less.

Kobe and Favre fans: explain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Respectfully Disagree

A New York Times Op-Ed pleas for mix raced parents to insist their children identify as black.

Mixed-race blacks have an ethical obligation to identify as black — and interracial couples share a similar moral imperative to inculcate certain ideas of black heritage and racial identity in their mixed-race children, regardless of how they look.

The reason is simple. Despite the tremendous societal progress these recent changes in attitude reveal in a country that enslaved its black inhabitants until 1865, and kept them formally segregated and denied them basic civil rights until 1964, we do not yet live in an America that fully embodies its founding ideals of social and political justice.

There doesn't seem to me any compelling moral argument here. And if there were, the argument seems to only apply to blacks, since the foundation of the argument rests on the issue of slavery and special injustices faced by black folks in America. I suppose I bring a different perspective being of mixed race Asian descent, but it strikes me that the continued emphasis on racial difference only slows the rate at which we can become a post-racial society -- which seems to me the end goal.

The dissidents in the old Soviet Union would often act "as if" they lived in a free society. That was their way of rebellion. I've always liked this attitude. Why not act "as if" we are in the post-racial society we all want and therefore make it a reality without getting permission from all who benefit from racial discord?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slavery's Last Stronghold

I didn't know this. You don't hear "human rights" activists talk about this very much. Seems to me like it ought to top the agenda.

Film: Man Bites Dog

Hat tip, Andy. Brings up an interesting issue I blogged about before re: books - can you enjoy a book you don't finish? Can you enjoy a film you don't finish? I've watched 2/3 of the movie and enjoyed it, but do not feel like I need to finish it because in some ways, there is nothing more to see. There isn't a story. Just a camera crew following around a serial killer. It is funny, dark comedy, but I don't really sense a need to finish the film. Part of this, I'm sure, is watching at home on my computer.
Rough Crowd

Laying it on thick to Dwight Howard, calling him a drama queen, etc.

These reporters know these are guys in their mid-20s, right? It's a bit strange, how much we ask of these athletes.
Oh Boy

Alex Smith negotiating with the Dolphins. It seems the story is Alex Smith was insulted by the 3 year 24 million offer the Niners made. His side didn't respond. Then the Niners started pursuing Manning, now losing out to the Broncos. Now Smith is talking with the Dolphins (who would be dumb to sign him - how much is he an upgrade over Matt Moore, honestly?). I don't know how I feel about all this. Smith should be rewarded for his good work last year, but let's be honest, the guy has already pocketed a ton of money from the Niners that he didn't quite earn in his rookie contract. Now to come back and be insulted with the 3 year offer? I don't know. He played bravely in the Saints game, but didn't look like a world beater. Then in the Giants game, he didn't exactly lose it for us, but he didn't exactly win it for us, either. I'd like Smith to be the QB next year (although I must admit a tinge of excitement for the Peyton possibility) and see what he can do. Either way, we seem to be developing Colin Kaepernack for the future anyway...tough call all around.
Is The Rent Too Damn High?

Article and book suggests this is a policy issue, not simply a demand issue.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Film: John Carter

A mess of a movie. I don't want to pile on as much has already been said elsewhere. But I suppose it should provide some sort of lesson in borrowing -- one need not be influenced and copy from every single movie that precedes oneself -- it strives to be Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and every single James Cameron movie at some point or another. Methinks one ought to limit oneself a bit more and perhaps just strive to be The Last Crusade meets whatever, rather than all of it.
SoCal Housing

Most sales are short sales and foreclosures.

The bottom line is the market is hungry for cheaper properties however many sellers do not want to accept this fact so demand has shifted to short sales and REOs for the past couple of years.

As it should be.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

And Why Not?

Woman marries herself. It makes perfect logical sense when you combine the narcissism of our present era and the cultural goal of propping up everyone's self esteem.

My favorite line in the article:

I believe everyone has the right to marry, regardless of sexual preference. For some people being alone is what feels most natural. Shouldn't they too be entitled to tax breaks?

Is it still called a tax break if everyone gets it?
And Why Not?

Woman marries herself. It makes perfect logical sense when you combine the narcissism of our present era and the cultural goal of propping up everyone's self esteem.

My favorite line in the article:

I believe everyone has the right to marry, regardless of sexual preference. For some people being alone is what feels most natural. Shouldn't they too be entitled to tax breaks? it still called a tax break if everyone gets it for what? Existing?

Tim Parks on whether to finish books (also linked via Andrew Sullivan re: plots).

One of the strangest responses I ever had to a novel of my own—my longest not surprisingly—came from a fellow author who wrote out of the blue to express his appreciation. Such letters of course are a massive pep to one’s vanity and I was just about to stick this very welcome feather in my cap, when I reached the last lines of the message: he hadn’t read the last fifty pages, he said, because he’d reached a point where the novel seemed satisfactorily over, for him.

In honor of this conundrum, I failed to finish the entirety of his article.
Neat Point

The tyranny of endings. I rather like this idea:

It is the pattern of the weave that we most savor in a plot—Hamlet’s dilemma, perhaps, or the awesome unsustainability of Dorothea’s marriage to Casaubon—but not its solution. Indeed, the best we can hope from the end of a good plot is that it not ruin what came before.
Fiction Lacking Topics

Interesting point and I agree - most of American life does not face moral challenges - and thus, there is little to write about.
Whit Stilman

He is the best at making the kind of inward-looking movies about privilege that I don't particularly like. The rich man's Noah Baumbach. An interview about Damsels in Distress. One of my favorite recent movie director quotes:

‘I think 12 years is the right amount of time between movies.’


TV: 30 Rock

Jack plays a version of Settlers of Catan with the writers. Not quite as good as when James Franco plays D&D with the Geeks, but still fun. Also a nod to Game of Thrones, which has now been referenced in Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and The Simpsons. Not bad for a show with one season under it's belt.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Chimps have policeman. Interesting.
The Comments

Deadline posted this new Davis Guggenheim/Tom Hanks video on Obama. I haven't watched the video, but I'm surprised by the vitriol on the comments. I imagine this being a sort of left-leaning website being a Hollywood trade site, basically, but the disgust with Obama is palpable. Then again, it is a comment section, so it is hard to make too much of it as it encourages the unhinged.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Film: Sherman's March

Personal filmmaking. Just wanted to check out the beginning, but can't seem to turn it off.
Big Surprise!

Goldman Sachs employee writes disgruntled memo about the firm ripping off it's clients.

As if anyone didn't know this already...Goldman isn't the only one. Law firms, talent agencies, other investment companies, they are all acting in the interests of themselves and will do as much as they can get away with without being fired.

Got my tax bill today. I'm paying a higher rate than Mitt Romney. I've decided I'm not in favor of "lower taxes" or "higher taxes." I'm in favor of making the tax code simpler and more just (in the common sense of the term). Because no one can honestly say that Mitt Romney should be paying a lower rate on his investments than I pay on my income. Especially because in theory - my work (screenwriting) - could lead to jobs (production jobs) - if done correctly. Certainly more American blue collar, middle class jobs, than whatever Mitt Romney's dividend payments lead to. Find me an economist who sells it otherwise and I'll show you a bullshitter.

In the quad core of Mexican food the fajita is the most under-appreciated. The taco and burrito, of course, are the two favored sons, eternally jockying for the top position. When I was a child, tacos held the sacred crown, but as I got into high school, the burrito slowly took over and now reigns supreme. Tacos have adjusted and had a rebirth with the more authentic, street style, and of course, the modified offshoot, the food truck/Korean taco craze, etc, to close the gap, but the burrito has almost entered a different echelon -- it might be more accurate to compare it with with the sandwich as a staple lunch food - at least in California. Like the sandwich, the burrito has it's breakfast form, and it should need no more explanation of the ubiquity of the burrito than the fact McDonalds offers a breakfast one.

I believe enchiladas occupy the third position. Enchiladas, I imagine, are a favorite of a certain subset of people and because of the melted cheese, are more popular than the fajita. There was a time when the fajita was a favorite of young people, when the sizzling hot plate came out of the kitchen, kiddies would giggle with delight as the server warned them to be careful. The promise of making one's own "fajita" with the peppers and steak and gauc, etc, was the promise of fun, the ability to craft to perfection just the exact ratio. What happened to those days? When was the last time you ever saw anyone order fajitas? Is it an age thing? Is the fajita an inferior dish than the enchilada?

I ask these questions because I've recently ordered the fajitas at La Fiesta Brava, a delicious little local spot over in Venice. What a dish! It comes as an enormous portion - easily enough for two meals - on a hot plate sizzling with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and whatever meat you order - steak, chicken, shrimp, or any combination thereof. The most amazing thing about the dish is how it changes while you eat it - like a glass of scotch when the ice melts. At first, you use the meats and veggies on top, throw them in your tortillas, add some avocado and a squeeze of lime and yum, yum, yum, eat it up. But you quickly run out of tortillas and although I suppose you can ask for more, I just pick up a fork and start eating the lower meat and veggies, which have been cooking on the sizzle plate. Something happens to this stuff down at the bottom. Is it the juice from the steak? They get cooked and gooey and deliciously flavorful, almost like you are eating a totally different dish. The flavor of the onion and the meat itself is so much tastier than the top.

What the hell is wrong with Netflix? I type in "Sea of Love" and cartoons show up. I type in "Cache" and the Haneke film doesn't come up. I type in "Wild Things" and Running Wilde the tv show shows up. This service is turning into shit. It's becoming like a TV channel. It used to be a video store. Someone else needs to exploit this a videostore. I'm thinking Blockbuster going out of business has made Netflix soft and stupid.

Film: Paranormal Activity 2 and 3

3 is by far the most interesting of the Paranormal films. They do a decent job in this series of expanding the visual grammar throughout, taking some camera conceits from the first, upping it in the second, and then upping it again in the 3rd. What's interesting about these movies, the more you watch, is the entirely different approach to filmmaking than say a "regular" movie. It all starts with the camera. In the more traditional approach to filmmaking, the one taught in film schools and modeled on the old studio system, it all starts with story and generally, story starts with character. Of course, throughout cinematic history, there are deviations from this way of making movies, but the storytellers, ie directors and writers and actors, undoubtedly come at it from character first. I suppose this comes from all the way back - Greeks and myths and Aristotle and Shakespeare and the stage to radio to film to tv. Not to say these films don't still employ storytelling or character, but it is more of an outside-in approach than an inside-out approach. Where is the camera? Why is it on? These are the first questions, preceding who is the protag and so forth. On first blush, it makes the more traditional film watcher think, jeez, this sucks or at least is rather clutzy in terms of storytelling. What the horror genre does, however, is replace the pleasures of narrative with the pleasures of fright and chills.

But now, with Chronicle and Project X, this visual language is being expanded into other genres. Strange days.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Film: Project X

I'm beginning to relate to old people who say our culture is declining. I'm not sure what is going on.

On Obama's cynical education policies.

Make no mistake about it, the black students who go to school to get an education are the main victims of the classroom disrupters whom Duncan and Holder are trying to protect. What they are more fundamentally trying to protect are the black votes which are essential for Democrats. For that, blacks must be constantly depicted as under siege from whites, so that Democrats can be seen as their rescuers. Promoting paranoia translates into votes. It is a very cynical political game, despite all the lofty rhetoric used to disguise it. Whether the current generation of black students get a decent education is infinitely more important than whether the current generation of Democratic politicians hang on to their jobs.


Monday, March 12, 2012


Hearing about this awful massacre by an American soldier in's something to think about...

If this happened in America, by a Muslim dude who sympathized or worked for radical Islamicists, we would be going buck-freaking-wild freaking out. We would call it a terrorist attack inspired by radical Islam, if not ordered specifically by Al Queda or some other like minded group. Such a thing would cited as justification our presence in Afghanistan and perhaps even our work in Iraq.

But let's think about what actually happened and how we think about it...we know this is the work of a lone crazy dude. We know our policy has no stated goal of attacking Afghani civilians. But if the shoe were on the other foot, we would still be blaming the radical Islamicists for setting the conditions where an attack like this can occur, might even be inspired to occur. Can't they say the same about us?

Since the right has been on the forefront of this issue, I'm hoping they will talk address it, although I doubt they will have any good answers. I have no hope for the left, who treats such issues by burying their heads in the sand.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Film: Catfish, Beginners, Paranormal Activity

Catfish is a fake documentary. I wasn't aware of the debate surrounding the movie since I hadn't seen it and deliberately wasn't paying attention. But while watching, I knew the thing was fake or at the very least, staged. So I went online and read some reviews and the debate surrounding the veracity of the movie. I suppose it isn't very important whether it is staged or real, if the emotions elicited by the film are genuine. There were some good parts at the end of the movie.

Beginners was surprisingly bad. By the reviews and the Oscar for Plummer, I thought this would be a good indie film. It tries to pull the trick 21 Grams tried about 10 years ago, where it masks inept narrative storytelling by cutting back and forth between timelines. Also, I'm not a fan of quirk. I can think of few things more overused. Turned the movie off because I had no idea what part of the movie we were in - it could have lasted 10 more minutes or 1 more hour. Bad sign.

Paranormal Activity - a movie for stupid people.
Good Point

I know sellers (old people) are trying to sucker non-home owners (the young) into overpaying for housing...but this article suggests in the end, the young will win.

Wars against the young are very easy to fight but very hard to win.

Indeed. Because the young learn and so long as they survive, will ultimately prevail.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Film: Body Double and Sisters

A De Palma double feature! Play perfectly together. Very similar themes. I think I prefer Sisters.
Oy Vey

IRAQI TEENAGERS STONED TO DEATH FOR “EMO” HAIRCUTS: At least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory interior ministry statement dubbed it “devil worshiping”, activists said. Iraq’s Moral Police released a chilling statement on the interior ministry’s website condemning the “emo phenomenon” among Iraqi youth, disturbingly declaring its intent to “eliminate” the trend. “The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,” the statement read.

Jesus, what did we do?
Good Point

Review of John Carter. I'll probably see it. Of course, I said that about Ghost Rider, also.

This may be a sign of the times, and a problem of scale. “John Carter” tries to evoke, to reanimate, a fondly recalled universe of B-movies, pulp novels and boys’ adventure magazines. But it pursues this modest goal according to blockbuster logic, which buries the easy, scrappy pleasures of the old stuff in expensive excess. A bad movie should not look this good.

The stakes and price of going to law school.

University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos has studied the legal job market and found that it's been shrinking because in part because of outsourcing and computer automation. He estimates that of the 45,000 law graduates each year, almost 45 percent can't get jobs that require a law degree.

"Many of the people who are going to law school right now are never going to be lawyers," Campos said.

Campos says that almost all law schools report employment rates of 80 percent or more by including non-legal, part-time and temporary jobs. On average, the real rate is about half that.

"Used car salesmen can't get away with the kind of claims that law schools get away with all of the time," Campos said.

Seriously...if law school was considered a consumer good, this would have to considered fraud, wouldn't it? I feel like pyramid schemes have a better chance of success (with lower cost) than going to a law school below the top 25.
Onto Something

I think Charles Murray is onto something about American's middle and lower class problems largely being cultural, rather than economic. A cool part of the interview:

The Gavi is going down fast. By now, Murray is positively convivial. “I don’t think this is the gin talking ... but I want to be briefly more optimistic,” Murray declares. He discloses that he sometimes plays poker at a casino in Charles Town, West Virginia, and that he will, in fact, head over there after our lunch has finished. “The ways in which it reinvigorates your confidence in America is really interesting,” Murray says.

“I remember sitting at a table a couple of months ago. And at a poker table there’s lots of camaraderie. And so here I am at a typical table at Charles Town. Big guys with lots of tattoos, sleeveless T-shirts, one of them an accountant, the other looks like he comes from a gang. There was an Iranian-American and Afghan-American. Incredible polyglot mix of people – all speak perfect idiomatic English – and the conversation turned to the fact that my daughter was going to marry an Italian. ‘Well, do you trust him?’ they said. ‘You know, you can’t trust those Italians.’”

Murray guffaws at the recollection. “The thing is, it was such an American conversation,” he says. What would they say if he told them he had just eaten truffles in an Italian restaurant with the Financial Times? “Oh, I think they would be very amused,” he replies. “The thing is, I would like to take these parents who insist their children go to the best preschools and then Yale, etc, etc, and grab them by the scruff of their necks and take them to the Charles Town poker room and say, ‘These people are really fun and smart, and [your children] are missing all of that.’”

I think the American elite is distancing itself from the working class...and both have something to learn from one another.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Funny and True

The Atlantic skewers HRisms "just be more productive."

"Look", I said, "I can't 'just put down what I'm going to be working on for the year', because I don't know. I can't 'just focus on the projects that are most likely to succeed', because I don't know what those are. I don't care what it says on the org chart. I'm in research, and my real bosses are a bunch of cells in a dish and a bunch of rats in cages. They determine what I'm going to work on next. And they can't be coached for success, and they don't care how much team spirit I have, because they don't listen to me."

This didn't go over well. My audience from HR seemed to think that I was either lying, trying to be funny, misinformed, or (most likely) just not enough of a team player. But the argument illustrated two different ways of looking at the world. The new salary plan was from the power-of-positive-thinking side, the "You can do anything if you want it enough" side. (The non-falsifiable flip side is, naturally, that if you didn't make it, you must not have wanted it enough). But one of the things I actually like about science is that it doesn't care what I think. The physical world is what it is. If you ask it the right questions, it'll give you answers. And if you ask it the same question in the same way, it will always give you the same answer back, and that will work for anyone in the world who does it the same way. If the system looks like it's not doing that, there's some other variable you haven't considered. The physical universe is always ready to play. It never fails, but it also never fails to be utterly indifferent to human concerns.

The same applies to creativity, coming up with movie ideas, etc. You can't just "want it more," or work harder and make it happen. You have to dig and ask questions and then dig some more.
April 1st

Some Republican folks are canceling HBO to protest the Palin movie. My guess is they'll sign up again before April 1 when Game of Thrones season 2 begins. "...and a little man can cast a very big shadow..."

Film: Cloverfield

Some cool visual stuff, but among the lamest characters one can remember in recent films. I wonder if it is possible to care about a character who carries around a camera for the entire film. Methinks not.

According to Instapundit:

Feminism has always been about promoting the interests of affluent women.

It comes up in the context of how now a normal family life is available to affluent folks. Whether or not that has to do with feminism, I'm not sure...

Young Arnold in Rio. Hat tip, Cindy.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Film: Rear Window and Disturbia

Rear Window, of course, is a good film, well constructed, very clever, witty, and all those things. I also fell asleep during it. Which I imagine has happened before because I know some of the scenes and must've watched it at some point in my life prior and yet, I couldn't remember much about it. Strange how most Hitchcock movies have a similar affect. I love the set ups, the irony, the humor mixed with the suspense, and yet, I fall asleep. Or want to. Times.

On the other hand, Disturbia. Many moments of "duh, why is the character doing that..." and an overly long set up. But the third act is quite good and I imagine explains why the film is a hit. I can see people who like these kind of movies coming out of Disturbia and recommending it based on the fact that it is pretty good for the teenage thriller genre.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Messi scores five goals in a single game.

"Messi is a joke. For me the best ever," Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney wrote on Twitter.

I sometimes wonder if Messi was born in America, would he be a soccer player?
Student Loan Debt

Worse than we think. Not surprising.
The Joy of Boring Movies

I'll have to take his word for it.
Underestimating Human Extinction

Not good.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Film: Safe House

Watching this movie was like watching the 49ers offense under Mike Singletary. Never an unexpected move. Just pounding the ball straight up the middle in the most boring fashion possible. It could be said I got into writing movies to write movies better than this. There is mounting evidence Ryan Reynolds is incapable of making a decent movie except as a supporting character.
Bird and Magic

Man, I don't like Rick Reilly, but even he can't screw this interview up.

They remind me of Call and Gus from Lonesome Dove.

TV: Luck

A new drinking game for watching Luck - one takes a shot every time a character is asleep on screen. Double for Dustin Hoffman or Farina.

Is trying to put themselves out of business (in LA).

Hat tip, Sher.

Monday, March 05, 2012


TV: Luck

A very puzzling show. Does every character need to be surly in every scene? I cannot believe many people continue to watch it. It is testing my patience.
Obama Impressions

From Roger Simon upon seeing him in person for the first time.

This is one strange dude — part narcissist, part Chicago ward heeler, part neo-Alinskyite marxist, part talk show host smoothie, part nowhere man. The ideas might be there, traceable back to Ayers, Dohrn, and Reverend Wright, but he has pushed them far away, almost as if he were trying to forget them. They were no longer functional and had to go, but he is left with… what?

It’s hard to tell what he really thinks now because I suspect even he doesn’t know what that is. He is a kind of moving target, not just to us, but to himself. You expect to hate him, then you start to like him, then you start to hate him again. At the end, you don’t really know what you think, although in my case you revert to your previous view — extreme distaste.

My biggest recent impression comes from the Grantland podcast and I concur - the dude is weird.

On a side note, I was thinking yesterday about the Democrats and Republicans. Recently, the Democratic nominees for President - Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Al Gore (pre going environmental crazy), John Kerry - all strike me as fairly center-of-the-road pragmatists in terms of their stated policy goals for being Democrats. On the other hand, we look at the Republican field right now and the only center-of-the road candidate is Romney.

Herein lies a strange paradox...because I think America is basically a center-right country. But whereas the Democrats have loons on the left, they don't play a major role in Democratic politics. Not yet, at least. But the Republicans are highly influenced by marginal quacks on their side, both social/religious and libertarian and suffer from being basically, a white-only party. If the Republicans were able to focus their side on economic issues, inoffensive "family values," and get some moderate candidates with a little bit of charisma, it strikes me they could do pretty well. I imagine they could rope a lot of Asian, Black, and Latino voters as well with the right message, particularly because large segments of those minority populations yearn for strong family values such as two parent homes, good public schools, lots of children, this type of thing. So, I suppose what I'm saying is that Republicans often have, I think, the better "position," but suffer from their own wacky base and bad line up of politicians selling their message. The Dems have less popular positions, except on social issues and a better record historically with respect to minority rights, but tend to nominate smart choices for office.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


TV: Homeland Finale

God. Not sure what to make of this show. The last several episodes were pretty awesome and I began to understand why everyone hyped the show. Then comes the finale which was at several important moments, utterly preposterous. But there were also some pretty damn good moments. I dunno. What the show asks you to believe, as a conceit, is ridiculous, if you pause to think about it. The bad guy plot suffers from what a lot of bad guy plots suffer from - outrageously elaborate and impossibly convoluted. But I'll say this - for a spy show - one of the most difficult genres - it managed to keep me watching and interested. But I won't go back and watch, nor do I excitedly await for season 2.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Ricky Williams

Retires. Strange guy. In addition to that, I read his Wikipedia page.

Williams is a qualified yoga instructor. He has stated that one of his main reasons for joining the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts was for the opportunity to teach free yoga lessons at a local Toronto yoga facility. He is Hindu.[36] It has been reported that Williams uses a Hindu-based pranic healing similar to therapeutic touch to recover from injuries.[37]

He loves Toronto. How many other professional athletes would agree? If this guy wrote a book, which I suspect he will someday, I would read it.

TV: Justified

There is an argument to be made that Justified is the best show on television. Here goes. In sports, you talk about teams that can "throw different things at you." Take basketball. Last year, the Mavs could go "big" with Haywood, Chandler, Dirk, Marion, and Kidd or "go small" with Barea, Terry, Kidd, Marion, and Dirk. See how that works? Small, you can spread the other team on defense with shooters and let Barea break down the defense. Go "big" and you have guys who can crash the boards and outmatch every guy on the other team with size. Justified is the only show that can throw different things at you fluidly. On the one hand, it go super networky and toss in a procedural element where Raylon is tracking down a criminal-of-the-week. But it can also go HBO on you and throw in a massive backstory and history of characters with Boyd and his arch-criminal enterprise. It can toss in a Michael Mann element, the mano v. mano Boyd vs. Raylon, cop v. criminal, whose only true understanding can come from one another. It can even toss in early Tarantino wit with the pulply dialog -- it has the actors and tone to pull it off. Just an example from an episode I watched this week, Dewey Crow thinks he's had both his kidney's removed and goes on a robbing rampage to get money to buy them back. Raylon corners him and tries to talk him down, telling him if he can take a piss, he's got both his kidneys. He in fact, is able to piss and joyously celebrates and says "You mean I got four kidneys!"

And lastly, it can toss in rich, complicated male/female love stories. In fact, the entire first season thematic was the tragedy of the male-female bond and the foolish places it puts us in.

This is a remarkable show from a structural and aesthetic perspective. The final thing to think about is the ad campaign, which is simply brilliant. Olyphant sitting on a lawn chair with his hat dipped. Oh man. Sums up the show. Sure, the show is not as rich or as profound as the best stuff on HBO, but in a way, it almost makes it better - this is a reclamation of TV-ness vs. the novelization of TV, which is where HBO is going.

Film: Undefeated

Friday Night Lights meets the Blind Side in a documentary. Worth seeing.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Saints Bounty Program

The New Orleans Saints ran a bounty program for injuring opposing players.

Didn't work too well against the Niners this year.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Simmons/Obama Podcast

What a coup for Simmons to get Obama on Podcast to discuss sports.

I enjoyed listening, but something stood out to me that I hadn't really noticed before: Obama's arrogance. Of course I've heard conservatives talk about it - but I dismissed it as political posturing. Obviously anyone who runs for President is going to be A LITTLE big arrogant and so what's the big deal. But listening to him talk about sports with Simmons, even Simmons noticed and teased him about it. Obama found it necessary to mention he had a podcast before podcasts were a big thing, he had to mention he knew about Jeremy Lin before Linsanity, he guaranteed the Bulls would win a championship while he was in office, he boasted of crossing over Chris Paul (yeah right), he boasted about winning a game of HORSE against some female college star, he kind of bragged about hanging out with a bunch of NBA players at Vince Carter's house, he boasted about never taking mulligans and counting his entire score in golf, he told a story about swishing a 3-pointer in Iraq when visiting the troops, he says he coached his girls basketball team (Really? I find this hard to believe). Anyone one of these things, taken alone, could be a good story and I understand he was purposefully being funny and "falsely" arrogant about some of them. But taken together, in such a short period of time, I was like " are protesting too much." Anyhow, I guess this is what happens when you need to constantly defend your record against attack all the time, you develop this false bravado, this wall, and do the self-mythologizing, but still, on a folksy podcast like Simmons (which I listen to all the time), if felt arrogant and like a dude I wouldn't really want to hang out with.
False Equivalence

Way to point it out.
Political Blogging

It's hard to like any of these liberal bloggers when they celebrate a death of a conservative blogger.

Twitter is no good.

Film: Defending Your Life

Some funny parts, but felt a little dated to me.