Friday, June 06, 2003

Just finished reading The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It's on the New York Times bestseller list, but fortunately for me, I received the book as a get-well gift. I knew nothing about the book when I picked it up to read it. Parts of it, even late in the book, are slow going, but when you are done, you are very glad you read it.

Saw Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey this week. Like that Jim Carrey doing comedy.

Videos -- We saw Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Good to see it after Hallie Berry has won her Oscar, because what you know about Hallie and wonder about her folds back on this movie.

We saw Glengarry Glen Ross, which I had never seen before. When I was an actor, I used to use the Jack Lemmon part for audition material, and I did not want Jack to influence me (small lie --- I didn't want Jack's mastery to discourage me). I did however see the original Broadway production, with Robert Prosky (Hill Street Blues) as Shelley Levine. As a 44-year old, in rough economic times, it is a little too close to the bone to see a movie like that.

Bad TV -- We saw My Dog Skip starring Frankie Muniz and Skip the dog. Good when you are recovering from surgery, and knocked out on the couch.

Worse TV --- I saw the Mets drop two to the Brewers. Don't tell me about exciting young ballplayers and hope for the future. If you drop two to the Brewers, you just plain stink.

Preview of coming attractions --- If I didn't have to work for a living, the next topic in this free association would be Sammy Sosa, which would lead me to Martha Stewart, which would lead me to Enron, and the entire never steal anything small problem, which would lead me to why the House Republicans are full of it ---- it is immoral to say that a child tax credit cannot be given to poor people since "they don't pay taxes," at the same time that you are waiving taxes on dividends sent out by corporations that did not pay taxes on the money in the first place, which leads me to Paul Krugman's article in today's New York Times, which is the same article he has written 100 times in the past 24 months, that cutting taxes is just an excuse to create the financial crisis necessary to eliminate social security and health insurance, which leads me to wonder why people opposed to social security and health insurance are so sure they will not need it themselves.

As a footnote to all that I would bring up the Howell Raines firing, and the myth of the New York Times as a liberal newspaper. Howell Raines, as editorial page editor of the New York Times during Monicagate, had nothing good to say about Clinton, everything good to say about Ken Starr. You cannot throw enough dirt over Howell Raines to make me happy. The New York Post responded by saying that the New York Times should quit its myth of liberal reporting and come out swinging (i.e. why are you not in the same reporting sewer as we Murdoch publications). The Wall Street Journal complained that the New York Times is not objective enough. If you have pleased no one, there is a good chance you have done something right.

As a footnote to that, I guess I would say that the New York Post has the better of the argument historically. A lot of anomolies in the system were caused by the 1945-1973 period, and one of them is a generation thinking of journalism as a science rather than competing rags. I would also say that one of the ways to be sure that what seems to be anomolous becomes the norm is to keep fighting and winning wars. In God's world, it may well be that you cannot both maintain power and resort to peace for too long a time. You may be forced to fight more often than you want to. That is, and I say this without irony, as a pro-war Democrat, the one great thing that Bush either knows or has internalized, that is neither conservative nor liberal, but is a fact of power. There is a liberal way to express this. Truman knew it, but Truman was an accidental President. Clinton knew it, even though he was so afraid of it, he backed off from it. Clinton knew it, which its why it is blasphemy to ever accuse him of Wagging the Dog. Especially the way the Bushies use foreign policy to justify domestic extremism both economically (see the tax cuts) and in terms of freedom (see Ashcroft in yesterday's committee hearing)

I already have pointed out in the last two posts that I was in favor of knocking out Sadman Insane for any reason or no reason at all. What bothers me about the Murdoch view of things (what bothers me about the Donald Rumsfeld view of things) is the notion that people who were opposed to the war thought that the United States couldn't handle Iraq militarily. Nobody said that the military that Bill Clinton built was incapable of taking out Iraq. Not even Susan Sarandon said that. Rumsfeld strutting like a peacock, Rumsfeld criticizing the efforts of Colin Powell, Rumsfeld making believe that it was a great military victory to take out Hussein. Makes you lose your lunch.

Anyway, sorry I can't give all that the full treatment. One of the disciplines I hope to master for myself in this blog sheet is the art of consuming less television, movies, magazines, newspapers, and the art of writing more, exercising more, spending more time with the people I love. It is vital to my recovery

Off to work!