The Friday Political Thread: All Guns-a-Blazin' Edition

|

Unconvincing Quote of the Week
"You didn't care about black Africans when whites were killing them in Rhodesia."— New York City Councilman Charles Barron on Robert Mugabe.

The Week in Brief
– America's militias suffered a potentially crushing blow to their membership numbers.
– Blue-clad world-conquering egomaniacs overwhelmed and terrorized a small town.
– Millionaires finally caught a break already.
– Democrats looked to Bill Clinton's arch-enemy (or at least a runner-up) for salvation.

Below the Fold
– Terry Michael takes stock of Bob Barr's Naderization skills.
– Spencer Ackerman spends an afternoon with the men who brought you (recently, at least) torture.
– Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the Labour Party comes in… fifth place.
– Quin Hillyer profiles the last GOP congressman who'll win this year.
– Doug Bandow turns Europe over to the Europeans.
– Bob Scheer discovers how the Democrats can waste money and act tough at the same time.
– Alex Massie. Football. Germans. Come on, just click it.

This week's Politics 'n' Prog is my gift to all of your Guitar Hero players.

NEXT: Now Playing at Reason.tv: Brian Doherty Responds to D.C. v. Heller

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m using Firefox 3, and the “Quin Hillyer profiles the last GOP congressman who’ll win this year.” link gives me a “Reported Attack Site” page.

    That’s what I get for trying to RTFA.

  2. Whoo! Near-miss on the Godwin’s Law violation in the article on the German (2 girls one-) World Cup team.

  3. Wow, that was Rush? That was about 2 degrees from early-80s Metallica.

    Three solid minutes of kick-ass, before Geddy decides to let go of the bass and play with the Midi Mystery Machine.

  4. Say what you will about ze Germans in the past, but the last two tournament squads have been markedly different in attitude and playing style. They HAVE looked ordinary in most matches so far, but the author neglected to mention that they beat another pre-tournament favorite, Portugal in the quarters. The word “Portugal” doesn’t even appear in the article.

    No easy task, that. Especially with the world’s best diver/player on the Portugese side.

    At any rate, I think most everyone neutral is pulling for Spain. They’re LONG overdue, and haven’t shown any sides of their usual monumental, biennial collapse.

  5. Also, this tournament has been absolutely brilliant.

  6. Crazy the way the Brazilians can turn singing along to YYZ into a stadium-shaking soccer chant. American crowds just don’t work together that way.

  7. If Massie doesn’t care for the Teutonic approach to football, one has to wonder what he would have to say if Italy were up against them in the final.

    American crowds just don’t work together that way.

    It’s that damn individualism.

  8. Citizens are armed, subjects are not.

  9. Gee, it didn’t take violent criminals too long to figure out the path of least resistance

    Men dressed as police raid home

  10. Bingo–none of the commenters for that article seem to grasp that prohibition and police swat raids could be blamed for this. The comments are mostly a mix of “those damn illegal brown people, who cares if a crime is committed against them.”

  11. 1. One company isn’t a “good neighbor” to the GOP, among others.

    2. Yet another downside of Reason’s support for OpenBorders is that it gives power to people like this.

    3. Will Reason’s contributors be the next to fall? Let’s hope so.

    4. Some anti-prog is so strong it keeps getting deleted. Get treated now.

  12. The answer is D, but seriously Germany had a better team than Turkey. As they say “Class will out”.

    Spain has a lot of class though. I’m rooting for them as well. Still, I would be happy either way as long as the game is a good one.

  13. Since when is the Metrorail for elites?

  14. It’s certainly a powerful testament to the tolerance of Weigel, Balko, and the other Reason eds that they didn’t ban LoneWacko long, long ago for his shit-spam posts.

    Unless…maybe…LoneWacko is actually Gillespie? Or Cavanaugh?!? Or POSTREL?!?!?!?!?

  15. Men dressed as police raid home

    When I read this the first time, for some reason I parsed it as “Men dressed as ‘police raid home'”, and thought it was an article about a gonzo costume party.

    …none of the commenters for that article seem to grasp that prohibition and police swat raids could be blamed for this. The comments are mostly a mix of “those damn illegal brown people, who cares if a crime is committed against them.”

    People need it spelled out, and even then, there are ditherers.

  16. Many of Reason’s commenters are obviously sockpuppets; further, I’ve long suspected that some of my fellow commenters are actually Reason contributors. Forum owners have been known to “seed” things in that way to increase their traffic.

    As for having comments deleted, I’ve had it happen at over twenty sites run by lil’ Stalinists; the latest was a non-abusive but critical comment I left here:

    pbs.org/engage/blog/five-good-questions-gwen-ifill

  17. Dear Lonewacko,

    No one gives a fuck.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone

  18. Since when is the Metrorail for elites?

    The late 70’s.

    Seriously.

    It only stopped being for elites only in the late 90’s(?) (early oughts?) when the green line was finally built and it started to go to poor neighborhoods. (Stadium Armory doesn’t count, but Eastern Market sorta does.)

  19. joe,

    If you can’t tell YYZ within 2 seconds of hearing it, well, something something something. However, Metallica?

    Dave Weigal,

    Do you own a firearm? I only ask because of the curious title to this post.

  20. To counteract the effects of both Politics ‘n’ Prog and LoneWacko’s posts, I recommend something like this (with bonus points awarded because the song was used in this MTV Tr3s promo). (Anyone for Politics ‘n’ Pop Punk/Power Pop/Post-Punk? If nothing else, you certainly can’t beat the amount of alliteration.)

  21. Somehow, I can’t tell the difference between all your prog rock and this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3H4liC2sWg

  22. Here’s an alternative YYZ vid-it’s a fan video, and neil peart is cool enough to host it on his own site, instead of, you know, suing him for copyright violation or something:

    http://www.neilpeart.net/movies/yyz_vid.html

  23. Crazy the way the Brazilians can turn singing along to YYZ into a stadium-shaking soccer chant. American crowds just don’t work together that way.

    The Euros have been doing quite a job of turning the opening riff of Seven Nation Army into something pretty good, if overplayed.

    However, Columbus’ own Nordecke is the only group to have put actual words to it (and we did it first, I SWEAR!)

    Al-le-JAN-dro Mor-E-no

  24. Why am I in Texas? Why am I working tomorrow?
    why am I not at home? Why am I posting this?

    Roxy Music

    Glam beats your damn prog.

  25. I would also sort of complain that if you’re going to use Rush for P’n’P, that’s about the least Prog-like song you could find for them. I mean, it’s not 20 minutes long, and has nothing to do with space travel, Ayn Rand, necromancers, snow dogs, or epic poetry.

  26. EJM: that was pretty good, even if it had a female singer!

  27. Reason.com has got to be worried about the Heller decision — no more 400+ gun posts with liberals arguing the Second is a collective right, that it’s OK to have total bans, etc. — bad for traffic and revenues.

  28. Wow, that was Rush? That was about 2 degrees from early-80s Metallica.

    “Wow”? (And like Kill ‘Em All or No Life ‘Til Leather?!) I thought hearing the entirety of Moving Pictures, much less that particular Morse code intro, was mandatory in America. Every song gets consistent radio play. Besides, Tom Sawyer and Witch Hunt are pump-up music for H&R commentary.

    Geddy decides to let go of the bass and play with the Midi Mystery Machine.

    Welcome to Rush.

    Crazy the way the Brazilians can turn singing along to YYZ into a stadium-shaking soccer chant. American crowds just don’t work together that way.

    There’s a reason prog rock and power metal groups go there for gloriously over-the-top concerts. But I gotta hand it to Manowar in Germany for the best of those. (Specs: Three drummers on hydraulic platforms, three lead guitarists, a two story-high choir on both sides of the stage, motorcycles, leather.)

    In Japan, I made the horrible mistake of being unquestioning and got dragged to a visual kei concert. Fans know the damn dances and hand motions. It’s really painful.

    I, too, blame our rugged, assertive individualism. “Put your hands together!” Hell no.

  29. Bingo | June 27, 2008, 10:27pm | #

    Dear Lonewacko,

    No one gives a fuck.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone

    Dear Bingo:

    I do. Speak for yourself – you do not speak for me.

    Sincerely,
    SASOB

  30. To be fair, I think Bingo speaks for a lot of Hit & Run posters. A lot. It’s possible, smartass sob, that you and Dondero should just send e-mails back and forth.*

    *I say this knowing that H & R would be a poor, poor place without Lonewacko.

  31. joe,

    Did you spend too much time listening to Boston or something? Really, you dont know YYZ? Its the greatest song about a Toronto airport EVER!!!!

    YYZ is the result of letting objectivists write music. Of course, you also end up with stupid songs about trees. The Rand giveth with one hand….

  32. I’ve long suspected that some of my fellow commenters are actually Reason contributors.

    Yeah, and they post under their own government names! Good work, Sherlock!

  33. Four out of five of my sockpuppets don’t give a fuck. About anything. The other one was too busy writing fictional pornographic reminiscences to respond to the survey.

    Have a nice day.

  34. It’s possible, smartass sob, that you and Dondero should just send e-mails back and forth.

    Dondero?! WTF does he have to do with anything? No, I don’t think it’s at all possible that he and I “should just send e-mails back and forth.” Besides – you know very well that Dumberthandoodoo doesn’t acknowledge those who post under a pseudonym.

  35. My mistake, I think.

  36. I used to live at Eastern Market and I certainly considered myself an elite.

    Whether or not ayone else shared my opinion is debatable.

  37. “Reason.com has got to be worried about the Heller decision — no more 400+ gun posts with liberals arguing the Second is a collective right, that it’s OK to have total bans, etc. — bad for traffic and revenues.”

    I dunno prole, liberals would still be free to argue that the right is collective and that SCOTUS got it wrong just as many conservatives argue that there is no right to abortion and that SCOTUS got Roe wrong. Most people, I hope, are over thinking that just because the SCOTUS has ruled (especially when it does so 5-4) one way that it must have be the correct way.

  38. I imagine gun laws must have very often been very tough in the past. When you read old detective novels, like the Maltese Falcon, the Big Sleep and such, that are set in major cities in the past, it’s taken for granted that you’re breaking the law for having (especially carrying) a handgun. I was watching a movie on TCM the other day called Crossfire with Robert Mitchum and one character said to another “you know how we have laws making it illegal to have a gun in this city?” and the other guy nods his head like, yeah of course. Heck, I was watching CMT the other day and in Unforgiven English Bob’s beating comes because he is in violation of the “ordinance” against carrying a firearm in the town…I’m not saying these were scholarly historical works, but it’s interesting that the cultural understandings of the time, and even reflections back on certain times, assumed the reality of gun laws inconsistent with an individual “right” to own a firearm, even for self-defense.

    Mind you I think the proper way to read the 2nd Amendment is that it is an individual right, read the way we read the 1st Amendment. But it sure seems like throughout our history people thought localities could ignore that reading with some regularity. Of course for a very long time they thought that having students forced to recite prayers by a government employee was consistent with a prohibition on establishment of religion as well…

  39. Man, I hope Spain wins, because then my girlfriend will be in a great mood. However, Spain has a massive preponderance for choking, so I have a feeling they’ll blow it. I was sure Italy was going to pwn them on penalty kicks, but Casillas is very, very good, and they got lucky. I hated being goalie during penalty kicks.

    We’ll see. Tomorrow will be drama day starting at gametime.

  40. “You didn’t care about black Africans when whites were killing them in Rhodesia.” – New York City Councilman Charles Barron on Robert Mugabe.

    Some people have this weird view of Africa being a paradise of liberty and tolerance before Westerners came and screwed everything up. I blame The Gods Must Be Crazy and general academic xenophilia.

    Western culture is unique in its idealization of individual liberty. Places that adopt its precepts become successful regardless of ethnicity; those that do not almost invariably fail. It’s that “intangible wealth” earlier remarked on here.

  41. Episiarch,

    . . . girlfriend . . . choking . . . blowing . . . got lucky . . . drama . . .

    Excellent post 🙂

  42. Western culture is unique in its idealization of individual liberty. Places that adopt its precepts become successful regardless of ethnicity; those that do not almost invariably fail. It’s that “intangible wealth” earlier remarked on here.

    Uh huh. So….

    How’s China doing these days?

  43. – Alex Massie. Football. Germans.

    Football?!?!

    For a magazine called Reason, you sure don’t know crap about sports.*

    Are you referring to the alleged sport where championship matches have final scores of 1 – 0, with the 1 being scored by an overtime penalty kick? That hoodlum magnet called soccer?

    The Yanks, Canucks, and Aussies have real sports that are called football.

    * Yes, I know that’s a non sequitur. It just felt rael good to finally post “For a magazine called Reason …”.

  44. Some people have this weird view of Africa being a paradise of liberty and tolerance before Westerners came and screwed everything up.

    These people can’t have read Things Fall Apart.

    Western culture is unique in its idealization of individual liberty. Places that adopt its precepts become successful regardless of ethnicity

    Yeah, demagogues use ethnicity as a red herring way too much. Barron definitely fits the description of demagogue.

  45. – Alex Massie. Football. Germans.

    Football?!?!

    For a magazine called Reason, you sure don’t know crap about sports.*

    Are you referring to the alleged sport where championship matches have final scores of 1 – 0, with the 1 being scored by an overtime penalty kick? That hoodlum magnet called soccer?

    The Yanks, Canucks, and Aussies have real sports that are called football.

    * Yes, I know that’s a non sequitur. It just felt rael good to finally post “For a magazine called Reason …”.

    J Sub,

    On behalf of the millions of American, Canadian and Aussie soccer fans, blow us.

  46. Timon19,

    At least you called it soccer. Which is its proper British name. Why they didnt tell the continentals and the latin americans to piss off when they dropped the association part of the name, I dont know.

  47. On behalf of the millions of American, Canadian and Aussie soccer fans, blow us.

    I know, I know. When the kids grow up, soccer is really going to catch on in the U.S. Controlled nuclear fusion is only ten years away.

    I do note that you referred to that “sport” as “soccer”.

    😉

  48. robc,

    I don’t know why it can’t be known as both, in context.

    But you’d be surprised at how often it IS called both in England. I think it gets called soccer when writers need a synonym.

  49. Gee, it didn’t take violent criminals too long to figure out the path of least resistance
    Men dressed as police raid home

    Bingo–none of the commenters for that article seem to grasp that prohibition and police swat raids could be blamed for this. The comments are mostly a mix of “those damn illegal brown people, who cares if a crime is committed against them.”

    I have a vegetable garden.
    I have fellow citizens.
    I detect comparable intellect in both.

  50. How’s China doing these days?

    It’s true that more collectivist cultures often exhibit considerable success, and I’m thinking their ‘intangible wealth’ may be based around an emphasis on education and technology.

  51. I detect comparable intellect in both.

    Intellectual complacency is a slothlike, sinuous but overwhelmingly powerful superbeast.

  52. The Yanks, Canucks, and Aussies have real sports that are called football.

    If you never played soccer as a serious sport, I can see you feeling that way. I’m sure many non-tennis players find watching it to be similar to watching paint dry.

    However, as a former member of a team that was #1 in the nation for our size school in soccer, I can enjoy it somewhat. I’m not overly thrilled about watching any sport on TV. I’d rather be playing.

  53. J Sub,

    Had you told me 20 years ago that soccer would have three networks completely dedicated to the sport, every US national team match save some far-flung friendlies on TV, and amazingly professional coverage of Euro 2008, and a fully professional division 1 league (that is growing) for 14 years, I’d probably have had you committed.

    Has it “arrived”? Shit, I don’t care. It’s doing pretty fucking well from my chair.

  54. Soccer is what you watch if you find the pace of baseball unduly exhilarating.

  55. Dear Lonewacko,

    No one gives a fuck.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone

    LOL.

  56. Actually, there are currently two networks that aren’t extra subscription that are dedicated to soccer.

    There are strong rumors of a third, which will have soccer as an anchor – ESPN Classic may be turning into an ESPN3, with programming more like the old days of ESPN (lots of stuff from all around the world), except vastly better production quality and higher-quality broadcast franchises (EPL instead of Brazilian league).

    My guess is that much of their very successful ESPN International programs and talent will be shown here.

  57. Of course for a very long time they thought that having students forced to recite prayers by a government employee was consistent with a prohibition on establishment of religion as well…

    Or that slavery was all about property rights.

  58. I’m no Rush fan, but I gotta say… Geddy Lee’s voice sounded pretty decent in that clip. If Neil Peart wrote more lyrics like that, I might start listening to them again.

  59. Hey, soccer fans,

    I think your sport is boring as hell. Many feel the same way about baseball. They are philistines, of course, but I don’t get my tits in a flutter when they ignorantly denigrate the Great American Pastime.

    IOW, why so defensive? 😉

  60. Uh huh. So…. How’s China doing these days?

    Thank you, a perfect example of the efficacy and inexorable expansion of Western values. The Chinese are liberalizing, giving their people Western-style property rights and holding local elections. They have a long way to go, but the results speak for themselves.

  61. Hmmm…TallDave, good point. As China liberalized they’ve done better.

  62. YYZ being the designation given their hometown airport. (like los angeles international is LAX)

    IMHO, Rush is what ELP wanted to be when they developed some chops.

  63. “You didn’t care about black Africans when whites were killing them in Rhodesia.” – New York City Councilman Charles Barron on Robert Mugabe.

    I’m Irish, yet somehow I still managed to recognize that the IRA consisted of a bunch of terrorist murdering assholes.

    I don’t know whether to pity, despise or just ignore dickheads like Charles Barron who look at morality through a racial or ethnic lens.

  64. IOW, why so defensive? 😉

    Oh, come on.

    Few sports have endured the same degree of hostility for so long.

    Though I’m not entirely sure why. Soccer in this country has been around as long as baseball, and back in the 20’s and 30’s, baseball owners supported a professional soccer league.

    I blame the two World Wars. Soccer was as American as baseball, but had a foreign connotation, and in the rampant xenophobia of the times was put in the corner (that and a bit of self-inflicted pain – about the same time, a competing league started up and they sort of beat the crap out of each other).

  65. Art,

    As you point out, they started out with some advantages. Rule of law was not unknown to them.

    Of course, seeing what was happening in Taiwan and South Korea probably helped too.

  66. Thank you, a perfect example of the efficacy and inexorable expansion of Western values. The Chinese are liberalizing, giving their people Western-style property rights and holding local elections. They have a long way to go, but the results speak for themselves.

    Oh, the arrogance!

    China has had a continually functioning empire (and then pseudo-Commmunist state) longer than Christianity has existed. They needed no “Western Values” or equivalent crap to be successful for so long. During that time, they developed a vaccine for smallpox, invented gunpowder and the compass, and basically shat all over the general notion of Western supremacy. There was only a brief period when western power was ascendant in the East, and that time has basically past.

    Not that I would want to live there; their values are not consonant with my own. But their values seem to have, in the scheme of history, served them just fine, and continue to serve.

  67. Dear Brotherben

    IMHO, Rush is what ELP wanted to be when they developed some chop

    You must be kidding me. Rush can’t hold a candle to ELP on its worse day.

    By the way H & R I’m all puckered up to kill a wetback (preferably female) when you post a Keith Emerson video.

    Get with it…

  68. robc, apologies to you as I see now you already pointed out the airport connection.

    I don’t know about joe, but I did spend all of 77 and 78 and most of 79 listening to Boston. Non-stop. Then someone introduced me to 2112 and Dark Side. Which led to Yessongs and George Jones.

  69. Lefty, I listened to Brain Salad Surgery awhile. It seemed to be all pomp and no circumstance. Just my opinion. I don’t know if that album is indicative of most of their work but I wasn’t impressed.

  70. They needed no “Western Values” or equivalent crap to be successful for so long.

    No, they just needed no competition. When they got some from Europe in the 18th/19th century and then from Asia in the 20th, they got their ass kicked.

    Which they have learned from and have now shifted from kickee to kicker.

  71. I wrote:

    There was only a brief period when western power was ascendant in the East, and that time has basically past.

    And you wrote:

    When they got some from Europe in the 18th/19th century and then from Asia in the 20th, they got their ass kicked.Which they have learned from and have now shifted from kickee to kicker.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear, since for a country that has only been around for two-and-odd centuries, 250 years probably sounds like an awfully long time. But for a country that has essentially existed for 2.5 millenia, 250 years is a momentary blip. The downturn of Chinese power during the invasion by the European powers in the latter half of the 19th century was less significant, historically, than the Mongol invasions several centuries earlier. Somehow they survived that too.

    (No competition. LOL!)

  72. China has had a continually functioning empire (and then pseudo-Commmunist state) longer than Christianity has existed.

    And they were so stagnant compared to the dynamicism of Western Civ that they fell way behind the West despite several millennia of head start.

  73. But for a country that has essentially existed for 2.5 millenia, 250 years is a momentary blip.

    Which is precisely the problem. During that “momentary blip” the West had the Inustrial Revolution, which China never achieved because they lacked the Western philosophy of empiricism to produce the ideas and the Western system of capitalism to best exploit it.

  74. There was only a brief period when western power was ascendant in the East, and that time has basically past.

    During that brief period, the West colonized the world and achieved living standards that are still generally double or more than those in China on a PPP per capita GDP basis. China is only now belatedly catching up by adopting Western ideas, as South Korea, Taiwan, and the other “Asian Tigers” did.

  75. Which is precisely the problem. During that “momentary blip” the West had the Inustrial Revolution, which China never achieved because they lacked the Western philosophy of empiricism to produce the ideas and the Western system of capitalism to best exploit it.

    And my point is, that’s turning out not to matter. The West sure did a lot of hard work through its striving and dynamism, and produced cars and computers, etc.. However, it seems that China is more than happy to take the fruits of that labor without having to go through all those convulsions and changes that accompany embracing freedom, democracy, an empirical worldview, and sundry others. They have cars and computers and a middle class larger than the population of the United States.

    And there isn’t exactly a great body of evidence that shows that either the Chinese government or its people are adopting any of those Western ideas with any sort of hurry, if at all.

    Somehow I suspect that China, after having been exposed to the industrialized West, thought it more prudent to let us make all the mistakes that first adopters make, and then assimilate that which succeeds into their own context, at their own pace (which is really fucking slow).

  76. Somehow I suspect that China, after having been exposed to the industrialized West, thought it more prudent to let us make all the mistakes that first adopters make

    Besides the miserable living standards, it’s hard to see the Rape of Nanking and other humiliations the Chinese absorbed as a result of their weakness in the face of the West and those who adopted Western ideas earlier (like Japan) as being the propitious result of a well-considered plan.

    And there isn’t exactly a great body of evidence that shows that either the Chinese government or its people are adopting any of those Western ideas with any sort of hurry, if at all.

    Property rights and empiricism, certainly. They are churning out tech degrees as fast as possible. More individual liberties are coming slowly.

  77. Anyways, circling back to the original point, it’s unfortunate that some regard it as evil cutltural imperialism when we tell these African countries “hey, if you want decent living standards you need rule of law and property rights and an empirical worldview.”

    Don’t throw that useful but dangerous Coke bottle away to preserve your “innocence.” Build a civilization that can make them so cheaply they’re trash.

  78. (No competition. LOL!)

    Yes, they had no ‘great power’ competition from 221 BCE – mid 19th cent CE.

    As an aside, the mongol invasion of China turned out to be like Rome’s conquering of the Eastern Med – lobbed of the top of the tree, but left most of the trunk and the roots intact.

    I’m more refering to this:
    China has had a continually functioning empire (and then pseudo-Commmunist state) longer than Christianity has existed. They needed no “Western Values” or equivalent crap to be successful for so long.

    If Rome (or Greece) has no great power competition (more precisely had nobody to fill the power void left by their loss of ascendancy) the way “china” did, they’d also still be the center of culture and power in Europe.

    If you counting the ‘success’ of a ‘continuous empire’ of china since 221 BCE, you’d have to count the ‘success’ of ‘continuous democracy/republic’ in Europe since 500 bce

    (Looking back I have WAY too many ‘quotes’ but I am too ‘lazy’ to ‘edit’.)

  79. 250 years probably sounds like an awfully long time. But for a country that has essentially existed for 2.5 millenia, 250 years is a momentary blip.

    When you consider that human knowlege has been growing logarithmically and that we are referring to the last 350 years* it’s not so much a blip as a huge fuckig hole.

    If Chinese society had stagnated from 800 – 1000 CE, nobody would have noticed. Nor was rule over China exclusively wielded by the Chinese during those millenia.

    That said, they are catching up rapidly and, like Taiwan and South Korea previously, may be making a peaceful transition from an authoritarian to a representative form of government.

    * Not a typo. A case can be made for an even longer Chinese nap.

  80. Yes, they had no ‘great power’ competition from 221 BCE – mid 19th cent CE.

    The Mongols crushed and supplanted the existing state in the 13th century. I realize that China absorbs it’s conquerors, that it’s been too damn big to swallow, but they have not been too large to humiliate even prior to the Europeans in the Age of Discovery.

  81. I don’t know whether to pity, despise or just ignore dickheads like Charles Barron who look at morality through a racial or ethnic lens.

    What really pisses me off is how people like Barron pass themselves off as being ‘good for black people’ when they really do the people no great service. It’s no surprise to me that Barron would voice support for Barron. I’m sure Barron genuinely doesn’t mind tyranny as long as the tyrant has a black or brown face.

  82. er, should say “Barron would voice support for Mugabe*.”

    *or should it?

  83. Another cliche with some truth to it. Do you know what the aphorism is about people (i.e. Barron) who are quick to see racism under every rock, tree, and inside every tunnel? Yeah…

  84. Just saw Wanted. Deliciously awful.

    ((Fight Club – 50 IQ points) + (Matrix – fortune cookie fucknuttery) + (Equilibrium – melodramatic Zen nonsense) – the whole point of the comic)

    Silly loud fun. An enjoyable 2 hours of your brain in neutral.

  85. Your math is too convoluted, NutraSweet. Someting more like this (though I have not seen the movie) is probably correct:

    Angelina + pregnancy tits + guns = stupid Hollywood trash fun.

    I think I’ll watch Night Watch tonight.

  86. What did you think was so stupid about Fight Club? I thought it was slick and at least hinted at some interesting intellectual themes.

    I did see the Incredible Hulk and thought it was every bit as good as Iron Man, if not better (because it didn’t have Downey Jr.’s wise-assisms).

  87. IMHO: To me the feel good hit of the summer so far:
    You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

    But when Dark Knight comes out none of the other films will really matter…

  88. Angelina + pregnancy tits + guns = stupid Hollywood trash fun.

    Sadly, no. It was filmed during her scary skinny phase before the boobs came back. She actually looks hungry and old through the whole thing. The lighting and cinematography is not flattering. No nudity from anyone, just a brief Jolie ass shot.

    And, boo hoo, the movie is misogynistic. Misogynistic. A word so often misused, it should be retired.

  89. I dunno prole, liberals would still be free to argue that the right is collective and that SCOTUS got it wrong just as many conservatives argue that there is no right to abortion and that SCOTUS got Roe wrong. Most people, I hope, are over thinking that just because the SCOTUS has ruled (especially when it does so 5-4) one way that it must have be the correct way.

    MNG — I agree with you that the Constitution doesn’t mean whatever the hell 5 SCOTUS judges say it is. They get stuff wrong plenty of times. But, I noticed that the gun threads in the last few days had a whole lot less of the fervent denial of the reasoning of the majority Heller decision than I was expecting — no 300+ post threads still asserting that it is a collective right confined to militia only. Don’t agree with everything in the Heller decision — there’s some loopholes there that will allow everyone but DC to continue with business as usual until some follow-up litigation gets decided by SCOTUS. But, with Roberts on the court, I think we’ll see a lot more very narrow decisions with a lot of consideration for stare decisis. Apparently he was telling the truth in his confirmation hearings about how he would approach cases, and with the current court composition, it would be very difficult to get to 5 votes without getting Roberts on board by keeping it narrow and not overturning precedents.

    Of course, I think stare decisis is rubbish — if the prior court got it wrong, toss it out, don’t try to come up with convoluted compromises that incorporates prior wrongful decisions, like they did with Heller.

  90. MNG sez But it sure seems like throughout our history people thought localities could ignore that reading with some regularity.

    Sort of like lynching Negros.

  91. TallDave cunningly alludes Don’t throw that useful but dangerous Coke bottle away to preserve your “innocence.”

    Damn you! Damn you to hell! You brought THAT movie back to my mind. The only movie I ever walked out on.

  92. Misogynistic. A word so often misused, it should be retired.

    Spoken like a true misogynist. 😉

  93. prole-I’m inclined to agree with you about Roberts. He seems to want to rule on these cases as narrowly as possibly to get as big of a consensus as possible.

    I’m suprised there used to be people here supporting the collective right. I’m one of the few “liberals” that post regularly here and I’ve been for a individual right (and a strict level of scrutiny) for a while…Don’t get me wrong, I know such people exist, but would think they were very improbable around here.

    I disagree with the stare decisis. I don’t think it should be conclusive, but a deference to past decisions and a strong effort to work out new rulings within the holdings of old rulings creates some stability of law which is important for people to order their lives and business in a prosperous way.

  94. NutraSweet, I just realized that the guy who directed Wanted is the guy who directed Night Watch and Day Watch. Hmm. I hope the Watches are better than you allude Wanted to be.

    Anybody seen them?

  95. How can a movie in which the main star is a woman be misogynistic?

  96. It sounds like Wanted hates its audiences more than it hates women.

  97. “Sort of like lynching Negros.”

    I don’t think that’s a good analogy. My point was that people must not have thought that such gun control ordinances were unlawful under the 2nd much like they did not think the 1st would ever ban their prayer readings in schools. But I think everyone thought lynchings were “exta-legal” even the people doing them…But I think we agree on the point, so this rambling post was just me being a pedantic know-it-all and virtually adds nothing to the thread 😉

  98. Interesting.

    Charles Barron makes a comment about people treating oppression by white people differently by oppression about black people, and some find it necessary to respond by insisting on the superiority of…you know…”Western culture.” He didn’t say a word about one being worse than the other, and in fact, chastised those who did, and yet it provokes this knee-jerk reaction: No, the White People are Better.

    It’s funny what drives different people to the barricades.

  99. Epi, First one B+, second one D.

    Art-P.O.G., that is straight from the comic. It creates a protagonist so reprehensible, you are supposed to find shame in enjoying his antics. (If you don’t catch that point, the last two pages drive it like a spike through your skull.)

    ***Wanted spoilers follow***

    Misogyny has suddenly become the portrayal of any woman in a bad light.

    The movie doesn’t hate women. His girlfriend is fucking his best friend. He beats the living shit out of the friend, and only kisses Jolie in front of the girlfriend. The maniacally bad boss isn’t evil because she’s a she, she’s evil because she’s one of those people who think they are the life of the party and everyone actually hates them. Wesley only yells at her while quiting, after years of her screaming in his face and humiliating him in front of the whole office.

    Morgan Freeman plays a bad guy. I guess the movie is racist, too.

    ***Spoilers off***

  100. joe, I think you missed the point of my comments. And possibly everybody else’s, although I’ll re-read them and see if that’s really the case.

  101. Art,

    I wasn’t talking about your comments.

    Where was the issue about the condition of Africa before imperialism raised, and in why?

    It’s very interesting, the gap in the chain of reasoning, and how it got filled in.

  102. Yeah, joe. Barron’s quote still doesn’t convince me that the guy’s not a jackass.

  103. I just realized that the guy who directed Wanted is the guy who directed Night Watch and Day Watch. Hmm. I hope the Watches are better than you allude Wanted to be.

    Anybody seen them?

    Epi, First one B+, second one D.

    That’s funny, I would have reversed those two ratings, and converted the D to a C+. Then again, it matters whether you were watching the US releases or the Russian releases. They chopped quite a bit out for the American releases (at least Night Watch) that makes then all but incoherent.

    I thought that Day Watch was the better story in any case.

  104. I disagree with the stare decisis. I don’t think it should be conclusive, but a deference to past decisions and a strong effort to work out new rulings within the holdings of old rulings creates some stability of law which is important for people to order their lives and business in a prosperous way.

    I think we sort of agree on this, mostly. I also believe that deference to past rulings increases predictability and thus prosperity, to the extent that the past rulings were judgment calls about ambiguous portions of the Constitution. But, I don’t believe that, for example, the Dred Scott decision should be given any deference at all, even in the absence of clarifying amendments that overturned it. And, since I feel the Constitution has been basically ignored about the strictly limited powers it grants the federal government, I wouldn’t shed any tears about a Supreme Court decision that resolved a case about how specifically to administer No Child Left Behind by saying precedents be damned, the entire Federal Department of Education is an unconstitutional usurpation of the powers granted to the cities and states by the Tenth Amendment, and so NCLB must be scrapped.

    I won’t go into how Roe v. Wade or DOMA are federal intrusions upon the Ninth and Tenth rights of states and individuals, because who needs one of those angry 300+ threads that change nobody’s POV, yeah? So let’s just stick to guns for now.

  105. I’m gonna have to watch Wanted. I just saw Street Kings. It was pretty good.

  106. OT, but if anyone here enjoys video games, you might like to know that Blizzard announced Diablo III today.

  107. OT, but if anyone here enjoys video games, you might like to know that Blizzard announced Diablo III today.

    The gameplay sample video was pretty fucking sweet.

  108. NutraSweet and LMNOP, thanks. I will find out tonight (probably).

    you might like to know that Blizzard announced Diablo III today

    FUCK YEAH. I love Diablo; mindless destruction of zillions of enemies.

  109. joe, I can sort of get down with what you seem to be getting at, though. But I don’t think TallDave’s line of reasoning was too meandering, or at least not considerably so.

  110. “Millionaires finally caught a break already”?

    Have you been paying attention, dude? Do you recall the “farm bill,” aka “millionaires’ subsidy bill”? How about the Bear Stearns bail-out? If the Fed had let the market decide, Mr. Bear Stearns would have been broke. Now he’s got $61 million in walking-around money. And how about the “help the poor home owner bill” which would allow special breaks for people buying homes costing $500,000?

    I’ll tell you what’s hurting millionaires. It’s the stock market, not the government.

  111. Epi and LMNOP,

    I too enjoyed the Diablo games immensely, and I think D3 is going to be pretty damn awesome. The gameplay vid was indeed excellent, and if you read the “Cain’s Journal” section, it’ll get you caught up to the “now” of D3’s story. It’s going to be a lot of fun. 😀

  112. When you consider that human knowlege has been growing logarithmically and that we are referring to the last 350 years* it’s not so much a blip as a huge fuckig hole.

    If Chinese society had stagnated from 800 – 1000 CE, nobody would have noticed. Nor was rule over China exclusively wielded by the Chinese during those millenia.

    The last 250-350 only matter because they are the most recent years. In 50-100 years, no one will notice. Just like Europe’s 600 year nap didn’t matter because people can quickly climb on the shoulders of other groups’ work. If the Arabs were isolated from the Europeans, they’d still be climbing out of the hole dug during the dark ages. The Chinese have the good fortune of climbing on our shoulders and in a few decades no one will notice.

    Be careful before being too smug.

  113. Thank you, globalization.

    Bonus: watch for Quentin Tarantino.

  114. Mo,

    You made my point much clearer than I did. Kudos.

  115. P Brooks sez Soccer is what you watch if you find the pace of baseball unduly exhilarating.

    In the immortal words of John Kruk “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer”. And it isn’t hubris that keeps soccer players from uttering an equivalent.

  116. My beef with Wanted is a bit unfair, having not seen it or read the Mark Millar comic, but basing it only on the trailer.

    It appears from the trailer that Joe Blow main character finds out after years of living an average hum-drum existence he is REALLY possessed with these amazing assassin powers. And I hate the Hollywood tendency to do that: impressive abilities come not from difficult, sometimes boring, painstaking years of discipline and training. No one day some magic shit will just happen and suddenly you are amazing and fucking Angelina Jolie. It’s such a silly mastubatory fantasy. Shit, it was even the main plot device of Kung Fu Panda which I took my kid to see. Jesus, that’s a good lesson for the kids, don’t work real hard some magic shit will happen and make your sorry googy ass great…

  117. The real question is:
    Mark Millar
    Brian Bendis
    or
    Warren Ellis?

  118. I’m guessing on a libertarian site Alan Moore would be the answer. The guy is great. The Killing Joke alone would qualify him.

  119. Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman are my favorite comic writers. And Dan Clowes and Kurt Busiek.

  120. Frank Miller I know and like a lot (I don’t like his art thought). I’m gonna look up the others now, I might already like them without knowing who they are and what they do.

  121. OH, Sandman. Never got into it, but can’t comment on it.

    Ghost World. Great stuff. Loved the movie.

    With all the Marvel/DC creds of Busiek I’m sure I have seen his work but don’t remember him especially…

  122. It appears from the trailer that Joe Blow main character finds out after years of living an average hum-drum existence he is REALLY possessed with these amazing assassin powers. And I hate the Hollywood tendency to do that: impressive abilities come not from difficult, sometimes boring, painstaking years of discipline and training.

    What they need is a montage.

  123. I happen to like Frank Miller’s art, or at least his work on Daredevil, The Dark Knight and Sin City. And yes, Alan Moore is awesome, too. And Ellis. I haven’t read much Millar or Bendis, but like what I have read.

  124. I’m guessing on a libertarian site Alan Moore would be the answer. The guy is great. The Killing Joke alone would qualify him.

    If he weren’t such a colossal public douche I’d agree, but his continued whining about (good) films being made from his work really gets under my skin; Frank Miller took the “if you can’t beat ’em join ’em” approach to film adaptations, and has produced some mighty fine work because of those collaborations. If Moore got off his high horse and, um, worked with folk, he might be pleased with some of the results.

    Then again, he might not. He *is* a colossal douche, after all.

  125. What they need is a montage.

    LOL. In all seriousness, this is why good biopics (i.e. American Splendor, Ed Wood are indispensible.

    MNG, I’m a fan of Busiek’s work on Astro City.

  126. I was always perplexed at why his art was supposed to be good, I always thought he was a truly great writer.

    Millar and Bendis have each done great work in the Marvel Ultimate line.

    tarran-At least a montage would have, you know, implied there is some work to be really good at something…

  127. Elemenope, good point. And it seems like, by and large, Hollywood’s way better at working with creators than it’s ever been before.

  128. I’ve always admired what American Splendor was going for, and was always bored reading it. Where the fuck are the flying men and optic blasts I would think…I know how provencial that is, but jesus, when I read a comic I want a person who can lift several tons fighting someone who can teleport. If I want social commentary on the drudgery of working class life there is always Bukowski…

  129. What they need is a montage.

    As bad as montages are, but at least they show some effort over a period of time rather than stupid mitochondria or inborn magic powers.

  130. Art-I think that is the effect of the internet. More people get educated and in the know about these projects.

  131. As for American Splendor I can’t say I ever read the comic, but a scowling Paul Giamatti interspersed with real clips of Harvey Pekar and the gang? Classic.

  132. Paul Giamatti=THE MAN

  133. Art-I think that is the effect of the internet. More people get educated and in the know about these projects.

    A fair point. Also, the generations of film producers who grew up from the ’60s and onwards probably have a more respectful attitude towards comics and other “low” art forms than their predecessors.
    And of course, there is the advent of CG.

  134. And it seems like, by and large, Hollywood’s way better at working with creators than it’s ever been before.

    True. Well, admittedly it’s still hit or miss. I’d say outside of Miller, Hollywood probably has had the most current success faithfully interpreting *dead* writers’ work. I think, somewhat perversely, there is a special incentive beyond just the hordes of very picky fans to get a dead guy’s work *right*. I suppose nobody wants to be the guy known for publicly and gruesomely violating the spiritual corpse of some beloved writer or other.

    For me, I think the amazing plasticity of the medium and its ability to take many different interpretations of one work is borne out by the many sundry productions of Shakespeare’s plays that disregard the original setting and other details and root the story in wildly new contexts. Successfully.

  135. I don’t know how old you are, but movies about comic book heroes were largely unthinkable when I was a kid. They had to be animated. We had Superman, but that looks laughable now. We comic fans are all so lucky today, really lucky.

    BTW-I know a lot of people here would judge me as hard on the market. Let me say this: it was voluntary transactions and self interest purely that led to the point where there can be a different satisfactory super-hero film for fans like me every couple of months. That would NEVER, EVER happened in a command economy. Never. Not in a million years.

  136. Yeah, Giamatti’s awesome. And I just saw that he’s doing a Philip K. Dick “semi-biopic” called The Owl in Daylight.

  137. “And I just saw that he’s doing a Philip K. Dick “semi-biopic” called The Owl in Daylight.”

    Oh HOLY SHIT you’ve made my day!

  138. “For me, I think the amazing plasticity of the medium and its ability to take many different interpretations of one work is borne out by the many sundry productions of Shakespeare’s plays that disregard the original setting and other details and root the story in wildly new contexts. Successfully.”

    I agree, especially about the Shakespeare, but I think it’s harder for movies. Look at the near universal hate for Ang Lee for placing the Hulk in a different light. His work was imperfect, sure, but he did not deserve some of the hell he caught for just trying to re-imagine the Hulk in ways unfaithful to the comic…

  139. For me, I think the amazing plasticity of the medium and its ability to take many different interpretations of one work is borne out by the many sundry productions of Shakespeare’s plays that disregard the original setting and other details and root the story in wildly new contexts. Successfully.

    Oh yeah. And I liked Scotland, PA and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. And in comics, like you said, there is room for Frank Miller to reinvent Batman, reinvigorate Daredevil and for somebody to write a great series based upon a previously minor character. There is so much richness and depth to be mined in comics, and individuals like Guillermo del Toro taking the reins is encouraging.

  140. Art-You should really check out the Ultimates line if you like these reboots. It takes tired old characters and reinvents them in ways that are honorable and recognizing of the older lines.

    Just as a note, Ultimate Spider-man, the Ultimates, and FF are much better than the X-men series.

  141. I agree, especially about the Shakespeare, but I think it’s harder for movies. Look at the near universal hate for Ang Lee for placing the Hulk in a different light. His work was imperfect, sure, but he did not deserve some of the hell he caught for just trying to re-imagine the Hulk in ways unfaithful to the comic…

    The Hulk was underrated. Sometimes fanboys do need to check themselves. Daredevil on the other hand? Horribly disappointing.

  142. Oh, yeah. I like The Ultimates. I’ll be honest, though and say that I’m somewhat out of touch with comics. Being in Europe for a couple of years hasn’t helped.

  143. Do the Ultimates lines exist in their own separate continuity? Like do they still put out the original Spiderman series and the Ultimates Spiderman series?

  144. Daredevil on the other hand? Horribly disappointing.

    Yeah, it really was. I couldn’t put my finger on why, though I did think that the two villains were wasted in their parts (M. C. Duncan and C. Farrell are capable of sooooooo much more than those parts gave them).

    Then a friend pointed out to me that while the action was well choreographed, it was poorly executed, and that threw him, and upon reflection it threw me too. Ben Affleck simply *can’t* do Kung Fu, and it becomes painfully obvious that it isn’t because he can’t do the moves. There’s a je ne sais quoi to the physicality of such a role that, for example, Keanu Reeves can do (one of the most underratedly brilliant *physical* actors today) that Ben Affleck simply can’t.

    So, the fight scenes in The Matrix trilogy looked fucking beautiful, and the comparable scenes in Daredevil looked exceedingly stilted and awful, despite being technically approximately equal.

    On the other hand, Affleck can take a hearty stab at emoting, which seems fairly beyond Reeves.

  145. Ben-The two “universes” are seperate though there are two comic lines existing at the same time.

    Others-I did not hate on Daredevil. It was not great, but certainly not awful. I liked Duncan as Kingpin and Farrel as Bullseye.

  146. Sincere apologies
    I didn’t not mean to Kill a wetback I mean to kiss a wetback (preferably a female)

    Brother Ben
    You should definitely check out the first ELP album. Then of course Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends WBMFTTSTNE. One of the best live albums ever. Trilogy is a good piece. Trust any ELP fan when they tell you LOVE BEACH is an abortion, a mortal sin against good taste produced when the band was sucked dry of energy. BSS is a classic; hardly pomp, there’s a mix of great stuff on that album.

  147. Elemenope, I believe that’s the most thoughtful and concise review of Daredevil that’s likely to exist. I agree about Affleck and Keanu’s relative strengths and weaknesses.

  148. FWIW, Tammy Bruce just mentioned that Wanted looks like a movie with potential, but has not seen it yet.

  149. D. Weigel’s systematic avoidance of Kansas for “Prog” videos is really starting to annoy me. Steve Walsh, in his prime, was the greatest prog-rock vocalist ever. At their best, they easily went toe to toe with Rush, ELP, Rush and Yes. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mmJkPGV0Rk&feature=related

  150. Too bad Miller really lost it with his new Batman & Robin series. I mean, that is so not Batman but some vicious sadistic sob, like one of his Sin City characters. The book wouldn’t be that bad if were about a different character. But, it’s just not Batman.

  151. I hated Daredevil. I mean, it wasn’t as bad as Ghost Rider, but it was still pretty awful.

    I saw an interview with Michael Clarke Duncan that pretty much said it all as to why it sucked so bad. He said he was treating his character seriously, trying to do a good job, but the director said “No, Michael, you’re a villain! Ham it up!” The director actually told him to do a poorer job acting. “Please dude, could you suck just a bit more?”

    Even though they told the story you’d want to see told in a Daredevil movie, they removed everything interesting about it. The entire story is about how people can screw up their lives and don’t notice it until they’re forced to by meeting someone out of their past. They turned it into a mistaken identity revenge fantasy. Sort of like “Three’s Company” meets “Death Wish.”

    Except it’s not as cool as that combination sounds.

  152. The moment in that Daredevil story that gets all the credit is the one where Bullseye cuts Elektra’s throat with the playing card, but the real moment takes place a few pages earlier. It’s the bit where Elektra realizes that she’s been hired to kill her old boyfriend’s best friend but didn’t even know it when she got the contract. She lets him go and breaks down. That’s the gag that makes that story good.

    Oh, and Collin Farrell is crap. Worst acting job I have ever seen in anything. He is garbage with big fuckin’ eyebrows.

  153. The Ang Lee Hulk movie wasn’t awful, but I was pretty disappointed in it. Especially as I had liked everything I’d seen of his before that a lot. The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon both I loved.

    The problem with the Hulk (though nowhere near as big as the one with Daredevil) can best be summed up in an interview, too. I’m paraphrasing again here, but the interviewer asked Lee about his own dark side (since you know, that’s what the Hulk story is about). Lee replied something to the effect of “You know, I really don’t have a dark side.”

    This is, I think, an unsurmountable problem even for a good director like Ang Lee.

    In order to make a good superhero movie you need two or three things. When you have them, the movie at least has a shot.

    1. You need a good director.
    2. The director needs to be a comic fan who understands the comic.
    3. The director needs to treat the comics seriously on their own terms.

    When the movies aren’t treated seriously you get Batman and Robin. When you have a bad director, you get Daredevil. And when you have a non-comics fan or a director who doesn’t understand the character, you get Hulk.

  154. Paul Giamatti is a fantastic choice.

    Interview with the Owl in Daylight screenwriter, Tony Grisoni.

    I’ll reserve any harsh judgments for later, but his initial story outline doesn’t do much for me. Dick’s life was weird enough to support a movie by itself.

    PKD’s biography, especially the fairly focused Lawrence Sutin 1989 biography Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick is a fascinating read. If Grisoni would pick it up, it’d answer question like:

    but I love FLOW MY TEARS. I had just discovered dowland’s songs and I read TEARS immersed in the most profound melancholia – which I believe to have been at the very core of Phil Dick. for all the jokes and inventiveness, there was something very sad at his his heart.

    Dick had a twin sister that died shortly after birth. In a sense, he spent his whole life mourning her loss and looking for a way to replace what she would have meant in his life. Dick admits that Flow is another fictional attempt to imagine her in his life. This could also be answered by reading Dick’s essay on the subject, The Dark-Haired Girl.

    It’s easy stuff like this that doesn’t leave me jazzed. Sounds like Grisoni is shooting for a biography / body of work mash-up like Naked Lunch, an interesting movie and approach, but not much of a Burroughs biography.

    (On a personal note, it was a bad experience in 1998 with a PKD newsgroup that lead me to swear off comment boards until I started up here.)

  155. Go back to sleep, NutraSweet. Weekends are for sleeping.

  156. Somewhat OT, but only later did I realize why Officer Bart Bookman says “Flow my tears” in Southland Tales. Clever, but almost too postmodern.

  157. Also, Southland Tales is about equal to Finnegan’s Wake?

  158. Go back to sleep, NutraSweet. Weekends are for sleeping.

    So, um, why are you up? I’m at work; I have an excuse. What’s yours?

  159. Crap – I stay away for a couple days and miss out on the good conversation about soccer / football. Anyway – go Spain! The Massie column was dead on. Even in 2002, the Germans were lucky to beat us. Glad the Brazilians got them in the final (especially since I had $400 on them).

    For those of you who believe soccer is boring, I suggest you watch test cricket. You will come to understand the meaning of the word.

    And since the conversation has gotten to comics and Phillip K. Dick, let me say I enjoyed Linklater’s version of A Scanner Darkly.

  160. In the immortal words of John Kruk “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer”. And it isn’t hubris that keeps soccer players from uttering an equivalent.

    Wait… What’s a hypothetical equivalent, and if it’s not hubris that keeps them from uttering it, what is it?

  161. Whoa, whoa, I’ll be the first to admit that I find soccer not as exciting as Amer. Football, MMA or basketball, but soccer players are extraordinary athletes. Hell, I’ve run around those fields non-stop, tried to “dribble” the ball and stuff…you gotta be in shape to do that stuff.

  162. And since the conversation has gotten to comics and Phillip K. Dick, let me say I enjoyed Linklater’s version of A Scanner Darkly.

    I, as well. Brilliant writing and acting, and hewed fairly close to the original story too.

  163. Also, I played baseball (and even though it was 6th grade), it’s considerably easier physically (disregarding the fact that you gotta play like 200 games). Well, except for the position of pitcher, which is extraordinarily demanding.

    So, I definitely see what Kruk was saying. His body was finely tuned like Mick Foley’s.

  164. I also enjoyed A Scanner Darkly but then Linklater pretty much can’t go wrong with rotoscoped films.

  165. I have an older friend — 60-ish something guy who recently got an early retirement via a buyout. Diehard, dyed-in-the-wool Ohio State football fan. Has lived and breathed the stuff for decades, with NFL and college basketball consuming the rest of his attention.

    And in the space of three weeks — watching the Euros with his newfound free time — he has become a soccer addict.

    He sent me an e-mail a few days ago: “It clicked. I finally get it. Now I understand what you’ve been raving about all these years. Sorry for anything deragatory I ever said about soccer.”

    His entire weekend has been planned around today’s final. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s tuning in to the DC-Los Angeles MLS game that’s about to start as part of ABC’s doubleheader.

  166. “For those of you who believe soccer is boring, I suggest you watch test cricket. You will come to understand the meaning of the word.”

    qft! and try to get someone to explain the rules 🙂

  167. LMNOP – on the DVD extras, Linklater talked about wanting to keep the story as close to the original as possible. He even talked with Dick’s daughter Isa about the script.

    Moose – anyone who knows the LBW rule should have no problem with Robert’s Rules of Order. However, I don’t mind one day (limited overs) cricket or 20/20. At least I didn’t when I still drank alcohol, but that helps almost everything become less boring.

  168. Regarding the Rush/ELP comparisons…

    It seems that they play a completely different genre of music which make the comparison difficult…

    ELP was prog that fused Jazz, Classical and Rock into a giant pomposity that was pretty unique (although there were some attempts at imitation, c.f. Triumvirat). I think, in fact, that ELP might be considered more of a fusion band than a prog band…if they weren’t so iconic for the prog rock world, and didn’t do such arena-rock style live shows.

    Rush, on the other hand, is basically a rock band that didn’t really bring in non-rock elements. Their “progness” comes from non-4/4 time signatures, somewhat more complicated rhythm/melody lines, lengthy story lines, and the like. Their music is much less about showing off than ELP’s (and it is certainly far easier to play) and lacks the improvisational elements that were very important to ELP’s music.

    I wouldn’t predict that liking Rush would set one up to like ELP, although the reverse might be true.

  169. it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s tuning in to the DC-Los Angeles MLS game

    I hope he is. It’s a good one so far.

  170. Lee replied something to the effect of “You know, I really don’t have a dark side.”

    Having just watched “Lust, Caution” last night, I think Lee may have more of a dark side than he would like to admit.

  171. How can a movie in which the main star is a woman be misogynistic?

    I don’t see how the focus of the story has any impact on the misogyny parameter.

  172. awesome, baked! LBW is one of those breakthrough moments 🙂

    200 for 4 and seven overs for today’s innings… sher.

    Mk – at least the announcers aren’t those fucking whatever the hell accent they have on ESPN. Mein Gott. Just have Eric W. and Julie F. do the commentary and be done with it!!

  173. A Scanner Darkly would seem to be one of the few things Winona Ryder has done since the ’90s that was worth a damn, too. Now, I’m a fan of Ms. Ryder (see, Tim Burton has exquisite taste in leading ladies). Well, I’d say the cast kicked ass in general.

  174. In the immortal words of John Kruk “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer”. And it isn’t hubris that keeps soccer players from uttering an equivalent.

    This score is a few years old, but pertinent.
    Minor league (AA) pitching 1, Michael Jordan 0.

  175. J Sub D,

    The reasons for Jordan’s troubles were more related to skill and experience than (obviously) lack of athletic ability. I will grant you that even John Kruk would likely have to admit that he was more ‘athletic’ than, say, Gary Kasparov.

  176. Another difference between Rush and ELP: Rush is easier to mercilessly mock due to their hair and their choice in books. ELP’s choice in books is unknown.

    In other news, assimilation is proceeding apace.

  177. The reasons for Jordan’s troubles were more related to skill and experience than (obviously) lack of athletic ability. I will grant you that even John Kruk would likely have to admit that he was more ‘athletic’ than, say, Gary Kasparov.

    A definition of “athletic ability” would move this discussion forward tremendously. Is it
    – Strength
    – Endurance
    – Hand eye coordinatiopn
    – Speed
    – Agility
    – Refexes
    Some combination of the above that varies from sport to sport?

    I’d imagine even with years of training with the best coaches, that finding a soccor player that could hit a 100 mph fastball or compete with Mary Lou Retton on the uneven parallel bars would be difficult. The reverse also applies.

    Those who excel in two or more sports, particularly dissimilar sports, deserve the the appelation great athlete more than those who are outstanding in just one.

    Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Jim Thorpe, and Mildred Didrikson come immediately to mind.

    Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez and Pele don’t.

  178. In other news, assimilation is proceeding apace.

    In other news, psychiatric treatment for monomania does not guarantee a cure.

  179. A definition of “athletic ability” would move this discussion forward tremendously. Is it
    – Strength
    – Endurance
    – Hand eye coordinatiopn
    – Speed
    – Agility
    – Refexes

    So every D&D character has athletic ability?

  180. I think what John Kruk was referring to was most likely cardiovascular conditioning of the sort that is more necessary in some sports than others.

    In other news, psychiatric treatment for monomania does not guarantee a cure.

    In the absence of concerned family members, legal problems or a sudden flash of personal insight, I doubt any mildly deranged person would find themselves in treatment.

  181. Hey Epi – so how was the celebration of the Spanish victory?

  182. You should have seen her; she was freaking out during the whole thing. Plus her friends were texting her during the whole game. However, Torres’ early goal made her much calmer (that is a relative term) once it happened.

    Before the match, she was going through one of the cabinets looking for rice, and ran accross a box of spaetzle I have there. She threw the box on the ground and yelled “nothing German in my house!”

    This is what I have to deal with.

  183. A definition of “athletic ability” would move this discussion forward tremendously. Is it
    – Strength
    – Endurance
    – Hand eye coordinatiopn
    – Speed
    – Agility
    – Refexes

    So every D&D character has athletic ability?

    Not even soccer players made their psionics roll.

  184. Mk – at least the announcers aren’t those fucking whatever the hell accent they have on ESPN.

    You must be talking about Tommy Smyth. He’s a Geordie (Newcastle area), just so you know.

  185. I choose free will.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.