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

Monday, October 5, 2009

Noise of the Day 10/5/09

Paul Krugman on Republican schadenfreude.
How did one of our great political parties become so ruthless, so willing to embrace scorched-earth tactics even if so doing undermines the ability of any future administration to govern? The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern.

Joe Conason on the return of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
As Clinton himself pointed out, the same forces that wanted to defeat and destroy his administration have predictably mobilized against Obama. For the moment, however, those forces cannot muster the same kind of concerted attack that almost brought Clinton down. They may still have Scaife's money but they have no independent counsel, like the partisan zealot Kenneth Starr. They have no scandal-mongering allies in the mainstream media, like the late William Safire of the New York Times. They have no congressional majority, and nobody like Newt Gingrich to build and lead one -- at least not yet.

Roger Cohen on why Europeans don't understand the American debate over health care.
Whatever may be right, something is rotten in American medicine. It should be fixed. But fixing it requires the acknowledgment that, when it comes to health, we’re all in this together. Pooling the risk between everybody is the most efficient way to forge a healthier society. Europeans have no problem with this moral commitment. But Americans hear “pooled risk” and think, “Hey, somebody’s freeloading on my hard work.”

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