One more thing….

I am not the biggest college football fan, but it was sure fun to watch the Tar Heels beat the Hurricanes tonight. My dad is a UNC alumni. He was thrilled. That was fun.

UGA beat the Gators today, and that means all the people that puke and piss on the streets of Athens most weekends in the fall are now puking and pissing on the streets of Gainesville.

So, I guess that’s a good thing.

Well… falling back is not an option

Tomorrow I run the Marine Corps Marathon for the 4th time. I am blogging about it for the 2nd time. This year I am a little more prepared than I was last year, and not as prepared as I would like to be. My father has a back injury and is looking doubtful for the whole race. He is going to start the run and see what happens. I worry. I know him, and he’s like me. If it kills him, he’ll try to run the whole race. This could lead to a more serious injury.

But there’s no stopping the guy, so I am not going to try.

Tomorrow’s forecast is high of 75 degrees and a low of 50. No rain in the forecast. Should be a pretty day to run. I have been fighting shin splints all summer, so I am hoping that tomorrow I am mercifully free of pain. With any luck, the last pair of shoes that I bought will keep me from getting too tightened up.

Let’s see… other thoughts before going into the race:
I am 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be going into the race. Life’s like that. Oh, well.

We get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. That’s good news.

I have had a headache for two days. I took an eight hour tylenol about three hours to go. I think that it might be dehydration. Hopefully it won’t be an issue tomorrow.

Plenty to worry about, too late to worry about it now. LOL.

Wish me luck.

Fresh Krugman

Just in case you forgot to check… Fresh Krugman op-ed in the NY TImes.

Just in case, the right is already explaining away President Bush’s defeat: it’s all the fault of the “liberal media,” particularly The New York Times, which, so the conspiracy theory goes, deliberately timed its report on the looted Al Qaqaa explosives – a report all the more dastardly because it was true – for the week before the election.

It’s remarkable that the right-wingers who dominate cable news and talk radio are still complaining about a liberal stranglehold over the media. But, that absurdity aside, they’re missing a crucial point: Al Qaqaa is hardly the only tale of incompetence and mendacity to break to the surface in the last few days. Here’s a quick look at some of the others:

A nice list follows.

eat the whole sandwich.


Holy cow, that’s it. I am reading this essay over at Hissyfit and Wing Chun tosses this out like it’s a foregone conclusion. It’s so obvious, I guess it’s not entirely unreasonable to just toss this line over your shoulder, but My Oh My, is it an astute observation:

Leaving aside the whole crooked-Republicans issue, and Ralph fucking Nader, part of the blame has to fall on Gore, because while he’s clearly a very smart man and would probably have been an excellent president — terms of actually leading the country, as opposed to acting like the star of a movie called America — he apparently sucks at campaigning and doesn’t have a lot of native charisma.

Emphasis mine, to call attention to the money line there. It’s so simple and obvious that it almost begs the question to even bring it up, but that’s EXACTLY what the last four years have been like. Hand. Forehead. SMACK.

Get the cameras in place and the lighting right… never mind that reality and rhetoric aren’t even in the same zip code. Just make it look good enough for Fox News to get its shot.

I guess it’s worth mentioning

I run a marathon on Sunday. This will be my fourth. I am more prepared than I was last year, but once again, not as prepared as I would like to be.

Wish me luck.

DC friends, see you at the race?

I may wear the cowboy hat this year, for luck. We’ll see.

These are Terry Southern’s times

Terry Southern was the man behind the funniest parts of the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove. It’s not surprising that John Edwards’ favorite film is Dr. Strangelove:

On October 7, John Edwards, Democratic vice presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from North Carolina, will consider Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Edwards chose Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about nuclear war because of its message that “putting this kind of power into the hands of human beings – no matter who they are – is an extraordinary thing.”

I read a brilliant memoir in Harpers Magazine of Southern’s career as a writer by George Plimpton, but I can’t find it online. It gets a passing mention in this excellent and comprehensive article in the Austin Chronicle.

The resulting film was full of Terry Southern touches, from the names of the characters (Keenan Wynn played the memorable Major “Bat” Guano) to the prayer that George C. Scott delivers in the war room. Southern’s Texas origins are particularly evident in the character of the American B-52 pilot played by cowboy-character actor Slim Pickens. Pickens’ down-home delivery was perfect for the speeches he gave to the crew as they were flying.

Just past the fold are some of the quotes from Dr. Strangelove that make me think that Southern had some sort of crystal ball and saw 2004 looming as clearly as if it was in the rear view mirror…
[Read more…]

Hmph. David Mamet likes movies for the same reasons that I do.

More from The Guardian today. David Mamet writes about his favorite film moments, and I realize that he likes movies for the same reasons that I do. Film artificially creates moments that must simulate life in a way that resonates with the watcher. Creating those moments means imagining them and understanding all of the connotations of the elements of the scene, then making them happen in a way that removes all connotation that might detract from the scene…

Buster Keaton, frantically shovelling wood into the boiler of The General, as his fiancee, ever helpful, takes a splinter and dusts it before handing it to him. He does the world’s most sublime take, mooting, serially, homicide, forgiveness, and resignation in a half-second. Henry Fonda, framed in the light of an opening door, as he wins his first big case as Young Mr Lincoln, the light as the beginning of his apotheosis as our American Saint. The shot (in both Stairway to Heaven and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing) of the control yoke of a British bomber, tied down, an empty cockpit, the plane flying on autopilot after its crew has jumped.

Comrade Rockstar

Wow. This story is amazing.

In the mid-1960s, Soviet officials were on the lookout for acceptable entertainers to keep the kids in line. Nikolai Pastoukhov, a Moscow journalist, wasn’t expecting much in the way of young blood at the World Peace Conference in Helsinki in 1965. The conference was a mess, Russians and Chinese not speaking, delegates yelling, a fistfight in the offing.

Suddenly a young man jumped on to the podium and started playing his guitar and singing. He made everyone hold hands and sing We Shall Overcome. His name was Dean Reed.

Here was this handsome American who espoused socialism but sang peace songs. Pastoukhov thought Bingo! (Or the Soviet equivalent.) And he helped set Reed’s first trip to the USSR in motion.

Reed was 28 in 1966 when he played Moscow’s Variety Theatre. He sang folk songs and show tunes like Maria, a big favourite in the Soviet Union. He could do the Twist; he moved like a rock’n’roller.

A rock star behind the Iron Curtain. Who knew?