One night in Blogwatch and the world's your oyster...Amy Welborn, spurred by this Jonah Goldberg piece on "Groundhog Day," is asking readers to suggest movies that are shallow on the outside, deep on the inside. Interesting suggestions, plus this moving comment: "I had no idea until I read Goldberg's various comments on Groundhog Day that [it] is considered to have spiritual meaning. I am no expert on philosophy or theology. At the time it came out, however, and I saw the film, I felt like it … [Read more...]

PICTURE BOOKS: Amy Welborn and commenters have recommendations here. The ones I remember are: anything at all by Mercer Mayer (I frequently find myself referring to "Just for You"), Maurice Sendak of course, and the many books I list here. … [Read more...]

FEASTING WITH PANTHERS: So I spent this past weekend in New Haven. I was spending time with my college debating society, for their annual banquet (hence the title of this post). I have a few things to say about the weekend, but, on the car ride back home, I realized that most of those things circle around a central theme.I spent a weekend with people who, for the most part, think the world is a very hard place, and if you find something good you should fight like hell to protect it. These are … [Read more...]

IF I RAN THE NEW PENGUIN SHAKESPEARE... The NPS is a nice little series of paperbacks with boring woodcuts on their front covers and brief, often startlingly acute quotations from the plays on their back covers. The one for King Lear is probably the best: just the one-liner, "What is the cause of thunder?" Many others are quite good (I remember liking the one for King John, though I can't recall what it was; and Love's Labour's Lost has the "while greasy Joan doth keel the pot" song, yay). But I … [Read more...]

WHY DOES NOBODY TALK ABOUT ROMER V. EVANS? [edited to cut subpar discussion of Lawrence v Texas, which isn't the point of this post, since I know why people talk about Lawrence. What I want to know is:] So... why does nobody talk about Romer? If Supreme Court cases about sex-and-related-issues were characters from "The Lion in Winter," Romer would be Geoffrey. ("Nobody ever says 'king' and thinks 'Geoffrey'"--but you do not want to be on his bad side....) Roe or maybe Casey might be Richard (you … [Read more...]

GERMAN PROSTITUTION-FOR-WELFARE STORY PROBABLY (MOSTLY) FALSE. Good to know. Still, even as a "technical possibility" it's pretty daggone creepy. Anyway, sorry to have inflicted this particular game of blog-telephone on you all. … [Read more...]

VOICES OF THE VOTERS: You've probably seen these links already, but in case you haven't, here are two sites compiling bloggers' reports from the Iraq elections. Inspiring. (Maybe via Oxblog and The Corner? I can't remember.) When I get a chance, probably Tuesday, I'll do some trawling of the Iraqi blogsophere as well. … [Read more...]