A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Noise of the Day 9/30/09

Gene Lyons on the warmongering of Beltway pundits.
TV news anchors gravely pronounce upon the "Iranian threat," as if a nation whose military budget totals less than 2 percent of ours, and which suffered millions of casualties defending itself against Saddam Hussein's mighty legions, seeks war with the United States. Or possibly with Israel, although detonating a nuclear weapon there would kill countless thousands of Iran's Palestinian clients, destroy some of Islam's holiest sites and bring a devastating counter-strike from Israel's nuclear arsenal. Skeptics are advised that Iran's (very unpleasant) leaders are "madmen," like Adolf Hitler. "Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman," as Cohen famously wrote in 2003, "could conclude otherwise." Never mind that the Post columnist was then invoking the dread specter of Saddam Hussein's (nonexistent) "weapons of mass destruction." Also that we fools and Frenchmen turned out to be correct. Bogus intelligence and vapid cheerleading drove the United States into an unnecessary war.


Rachel Maddow on how the Republicans are shocked, shocked by Rep. Alan Grayson.

Gail Collins on Obama's Olympics trip.
No American president has gone to lobby for the Olympics before. But then no American president had gone on the David Letterman show before. No president had ever made a speech in Cairo before. No president had ever been called a liar by a U.S. representative during a speech to Congress. No president had ever been accused of “following Marxist theory” by Andy Williams, the pop singer we haven’t heard from since “Moon River” was in vogue.

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