Akeelah and the Bee
Went to see Akeelah and the Bee
yesterday. Nice family movie. If you like "Searching for Bobby Fischer," you'll like this one. Not as good, but along the same lines. Yes, its full of cliches and its formulaic, but still enjoyable. Nice acting from Lawrence Fishburne and the young lady who is the lead. My only major complaint was that the score and musical selections were very weak. Still worth seeing.
The audience was one of the loudest I've experienced at a movie. Lots of moving around, babies crying, cellphones ringing. Plus, given that a majority of the audience was black, there were members of the "Hallelujah Chorus" in residence, so there was some talking to the screen ("don't do it baby, don't do it").
Cause and Effect
Nancy Pelosi today:
If you want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and therefore improve our national security situation, you can't do it if you're a Republican because you are too wedded to the oil companies. We have two oilmen in the White House. The logical follow-up from that is $3 a gallon gasoline. There is no accident. It is a cause and effect. A cause and effect.
And when so many people making the minimum wage, which hasn't been raised in eight years, which has a very low purchasing power have to go out and buy gasoline at these prices? Where have you been, Mr. President? The middle class squeeze is on, competition in our country is affected by the price of energy and of oil and all of a sudden you take a trip outside of Washington, see the fact that the public is outraged about this, come home and make a speech?
Let's see that matched in your budget, let's see that matched in your policy, let's see that you're separating yourself from your patron, big oil. Cut yourself off from that anvil holding your party down and this country down, instead of coming to Washington and throwing your Republican colleagues under the wheels of the train, which they mightily deserve for being a rubber stamp for your obscene, corrupt policy of ripping off the American people.
I'm the Decider Parody
Set to the Beatles "I am the Walrus."
Worst President Ever
Looking forward to reading the Rolling Stone article of the same name, but had to mention that I laughed out loud when I heard the clip of Bush saying "I'm the decider." He sounded like a 3 year old. Which isn't far from the truth.
I've been thinking about doing a book and film along the lines of "Super Size Me" about high fructose corn syrup -- like trying to give up for a year all products made with it and documenting the experience. I read this interesting article
today while researching HFCS.
I have been aware for some time of the Earl Butz connection. One thing I learned today is that some scientists think that HFCS acts more like fat than sugar in the body.
The only problem with my idea is that I don't drink soda, which is the main user of HFCS. But I'm sure there are zillions of other products (ketchup and salad dressing) that have it that I do have in my house.
A City on the Edge
The Duke lacrosse thing is bizarre. There were indictments today but no arrests yet. With the money and high powered attorneys these kids have, they may walk away scot free (should they? I don't know -- I have no idea what really happened, obviously -- the "facts" are conflicting and confusing).
The incident has laid bare the tensions between the city and Duke. The racial epitets the players spewed (overheard and reported by a neighbor) are sickening and yet typical of those elitist bastards.
There was a full page ad in the paper today from the mayor, the president of the Durham-based traditionally black college (NC Central) and the Duke president calling for community unity and calm. But I have a feeling the town is about ready to explode. All the national media attention ain't helping.
Rule of Law
I read stuff like this
and I get really, really scared.
Guantanamo is a vivid example of what happens when governments panic and make errors out of hubris, rage, greed and opportunism and refuse to right their wrongs after the fact. We have created a Kafka-esque nightmare that, unless we return to the rule of law very quickly, is going to be embedded in our system, ready to be exploited by any tyrannical figure who can trump up an emergency for political gain.
Don't the Republicans see how dangerous this is? It isn't a matter of partisanship. Any shallow reading of history shows that bad people can emerge from any movement, ideology, religion or party. That's why we have the rule of law --- so that our system doesn't depend upon the good-will of whomever is holding the office.
Loved last night's show. My favorite part: the rapper calling Tony the "original G." Great show -- first one of the season that I've wanted to watch again.
Take the Lead
Saturday, I saw a "sneak preview" of Take the Lead
, a movie starring Antonio Banderas as the guy who started the ballroom dance program in the New York City schools. It was OK -- not bad, but not good. I liked Mad Hot Ballroom
a lot better.
The print may have been not entirely finished. There were some scenes that just didn't look or feel right, and the opening and closing seemed rough. I do love Antonio (my idea of "hot"), even though I haven't seen many of his movies.
I wish some of the customers at the bookstore would buy in to one of the film's messages: that respect and politeness are of great value.