Call the men of blogwatch, and let them hear this song;Tell them Albert Einstein and Copernicus were wrong...So I saw the Harry Potter movie. Loved the Cuaronism--scenery, dark air of foreboding that never got boring or oppressive, time stuff, many lovely little directorial touches (Lupin's Victrola, sugar skulls, Whomping Willow, toad choir). The script, not so much. The first seven minutes or so (Harry at Dursleys') were really, really awful--I was embarrassed to be in the theater. Was … [Read more...]

POETRY WEDNESDAY, T -2: This is simple and not subtle, but I like the way it builds. Not a fan of the very end, though (everything after the final "balance"). It's Henry Reed, "Unarmed Combat."[clipped] … [Read more...]

SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH: Ronald Reagan, requiescat in pace.Reason magazine coverage here.Full-bore National Review coverage here.Lou Cannon obituary here.Some quotes:"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!""Communism is neither an ec[onomic] or a pol[itical] system--it is a form of insanity--a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature. I wonder how much more misery it will cause before … [Read more...]

HORSES SWEAT, MEN PERSPIRE, LADIES GLOW: Or not. A highly interesting take on gender and the messier aspects of corporeal life, from Jim Henley. I fully agree with all of the following (and should probably note that I'm a huge fan of both Philip Larkin and Elvis Costello): "My guess is that most women, by the time they reach adulthood, have integrated the dualism of Spirit and 'Filth' more completely than most men. They have to. A young woman has experienced monthly vaginal bleeding for at least … [Read more...]

"Americans and Europeans have been telling the other countries of the world, 'You have to be more like us.' In fact, they are very much like the United States of a century ago when it too was an undeveloped country. Western politicians once faced the same dramatic challenges that leaders of the developing and former communist countries are facing today. But their successors have lost contact with the days when the pioneers who opened the American West were undercapitalized because they seldom … [Read more...]

"THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY": Well. I have exactly no objective distance on this movie. I understand that this movie is not important. I understand that the ways in which it reminds me of The Secret History are the least important ways it could remind me of that fantastic philosophical pulp thriller. I understand that watching this movie quite possibly made me stupider.Ohhhhh, this was so satisfying!It's a tense, compelling thriller with much obsession, stolen identity, and sexual tension. … [Read more...]

PS: Next story is super short, but it has aliens in it. It's called "Better At It" (for now) and it follows the exploits of Alex Naufragio, Davidica Rubin, and Ann Morgan, as they battle aforementioned aliens, who are--as the title indicates--better at it.I should have the first section ("The Leader") posted Saturdayish.Man, work and life and stuff... some days you wonder why you don't just quit everything and kill everybody. It works in "Blackadder"! (Sort of.) … [Read more...]