A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where There's a Will...

Mark Liberman on George Will's pronoun-counting.
How in the world did our culture award major-pundit status to someone whose writings are as empirically and spiritually empty as those of George F. Will?

All the News That Fits, They Print

John McIntyre, totally nailing it, on why people don't read newspapers anymore.
The vanishing generation of newspaper readers formed the habit when you had to read a newspaper when you wanted something more than the thin gruel of information offered by the radio or television. But the rising generations had more choices and did not form the newspaper habit. My children and my undergraduate students do not do much more than occasionally glance at a newspaper, if that. Why do you think? Perhaps because so much newspaper writing is appallingly, relentlessly, unapologetically DULL. And journalists are trained to write that way.

Noise of the Day 10/6/09

John Cole notes that Martin Peretz has called President Obama a "clinical narcissist" and Joe Klein knows why.

Matt Taibbi on what's wrong with Michael Moore's new movie.
It’s natural for Michael Moore to behave like someone who thinks he’s taking on the world alone. Because he is, sort of. If we want him to stop behaving like this, it’s kind of on us to do something about it. At some point we’re going to have to make a commitment to giving up our escapist entertainments for a while while we fix our actual lives. I’m as guilty as everyone else, spending half my time watching movies and sports. putting off my problems until later. If we all did less of that, my guess is that we might start thinking less like movie and TV critics, and more like citizens — at which point the flaws in Moore’s movies won’t seem so bad at all. We might not even notice them.
Conor Friedersdorf on right-wing attacks on the New York Times.
Is it too much to ask for right-wing media outlets to employ an ombudsman, a talented pool of reporters, and ideologically heterodox columnists like the Times; to check facts as carefully as the New Yorker; to challenge its own orthodoxies as regularly as The New Republic; and to assemble an staff alumni list as impressive an influential as The Washington Monthly?

But ... but, the Olympics! [Sound of Republican heads exploding.]
The United States is the most admired country globally thanks largely to the star power of President Barack Obama and his administration, according to a new poll. ... "What's really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009," said Simon Anholt, the founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.

Rod Dreher on the Conservative Bible Project -- rewriting the Bible to take out the liberalism.
It's like what you'd get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin'.
Questions I've Never Thought to Ask Department: Which is the most environmentally friendly -- CD's, vinyl records, or downloads?