Archive for March, 2010

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i love the smell of snark in the early afternoon

March 31, 2010

you guys, roger ebert is pretty cool. i only recently realized this, having not been a fan of siskel & ebert when i was growing up.* however, he is droll and snarky and funny. to wit, in reviewing recently released pile o’ dreck the last song, he gets some nice digs in at nicholas sparks, who wrote the novel/screenplay for the movie:

Sparks recently went on record as saying he is a greater novelist than Cormac McCarthy. This is true in the same sense that I am a better novelist than William Shakespeare. Sparks also said his novels are like Greek Tragedies. This may actually be true. I can’t check it out because, tragically, no really bad Greek tragedies have survived. … To be sure, I resent the sacrilege Nicholas Sparks commits by even mentioning himself in the same sentence as Cormac McCarthy. I would not even allow him to say “Hello, bookstore? This is Nicholas Sparks. Could you send over the new Cormac McCarthy novel?” He should show respect by ordering anonymously.

now i’ve never read nicholas sparks, but i’ve seen a walk to remember, god help me, and the trailer for the last song made me want to stab myself in the eye. y’all, i don’t even like cormac mccarthy.** but i am willing to bet that his books are like 5 billion times better than anything written by nicholas sparks. and i say this as someone who reads romance novels, okay, so i know all about the joys of trashy literature, which can actually be well-written and interesting.***

*you should read RE’s blog. it’s fun. also kind of trendy these days. yeah, that’s a bandwagon i’m jumping on. what of it?

**caveat: i’ve never actually read cormac mccarthy, and my actual opinion on his work should be more properly defined as “non-existent.” the weird thing is, i’ve never even wanted to read one of his books. despite all the praise heaped on him (and the dislike from certain quarters), i have never been even slightly interested in picking one up.

***don’t judge, okay?

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anger management

March 24, 2010

so i started this post in january in an attempt at self-exorcism, but i didn’t get very far. after some other discussions lately, i’m ready to just rant about it. apologies if this is crazy and disorganized, but, well, that’s what the tags are for. feel free to skip anything labeled “word vomit.” i won’t care. hell, i probably won’t even know. but if i do know, i won’t blame you for it. i wouldn’t want to read this crap either.

so here’s the thing: i am angry. not just like “good GOD why can’t my boss remember a single fucking thing i tell her” level annoyed, but really. fucking. pissed. OFF. there is rage, is what i am saying. i am not going to be rational, or fair, or calm. i am going to be ANGRY.

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the great unwashed

March 24, 2010

[ed. note: I originally wrote this in July and came across it today while looking for another draft blog. not sure why I didn’t post it then. anyway, it’s still fairly relevant, so I updated it a little and here you are.]

so i was reading this newsweek article by rick perlstein, who by and large i generally like (i wrote a paper on one of his books in grad school, even, and found nothing particularly objectionable in it). the article is all about the growing split on the right between elites and the “common” people in the conservative movement, as summed up in the title: “beyond the palin: why the GOP is falling out of love with gun-toting, churchgoing [sic], working-class whites.”

my problem here is that perlstein seems to fall into the same trap that the republican elite have: he conflates class and intelligence. here, it’s the wealthy, upper-class, urban republicans who are the “intellectuals,” while the so-called “heartland” voters are all the sort of people who mindlessly regurgitate limbaugh’s talking points and rally around sarah palin. it’s this same kind of thinking that leads the republican party heads to choose people like palin or “joe the plumber” to be their public face. apparently, in their world, being poor means being so stupid you’ll believe anything anyone tells you; it means being too stupid to realize when you’re being pandered to. there’s a theory, apparently, that to appeal to the working class, you need to look and sound like someone those people would like to have a beer with, regardless of how many houses you own or whether your daddy bought a building at an ivy league university. there’s some validity in this reasoning, as has been amply seen in politicians like reagan and gw bush. but history has also shown that patrician politicians can be popular among–and do good things for–the lower classes (ie, FDR). 

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insert witty movie reference here

March 23, 2010

do you ever have those moments when you realize that your childhood was kind of odd?  it’s sort of like realizing that your parents are insane, but that it’s really a factor of the lack of boundaries in a family, and it makes you wonder what kind of craziness your own kids will roll their eyes at one of these days.*

what brings this to mind is that i was just reading that article on dwight yoakum, which of course brought up buck owens. now, for a while i was convinced that buck owens was in a movie i saw a ton when i was a kid, but i was wrong – it was roy clark. along with mel tillis. nevertheless, thinking about buck owens leads to thinking about mel tillis for me.

i should stop here and mention that while i have a lot of the 80s pop culture knowledge that everyone else of my generation does, i also have enormously glaring holes. i’ve never seen E.T., for instance. on the other hand, the movies i would have listed as my favorites and/or my most watched in the mid-80s, most people–certainly my cohort–have never even heard of. see, back in the day, we didn’t have cable, but we did finally get a VCR. of course, we didn’t have any tapes. so we ended up borrowing a bunch from an older friend of the family with eclectic taste in enetertainment. there were maybe a dozen. these included:

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you don’t know me but you don’t like me

March 23, 2010

thanks, nathan, for reminding me that i freaking LOVED this video when i was about 9:

at the time, i didn’t know who buck owens was or what the bakersfield sound was, but i knew that it made bakersfield kind of sound appealing – a major feat, considering that bakersfield is the kind of place that even people from lompoc make fun of.

and, just for fun, some more of that bakersfield sound:

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drum roll please…

March 19, 2010

as i present you with a 2-for-1 funeral-related end to my week o’ semi-irish music:

after the jump, an extra special take on this theme, courtesy of one david simon…

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maybe i’m getting these backwards

March 18, 2010

but for st. hangover’s day, i bring you something a little more upbeat.