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February 15, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Alice thinks that the time has come for people in marriages to pay better attention to each other.

* What on earth is going on in Austria?

* Alan Sullivan has never understood the fuss people make about blonde bombshells.

* Allan Mott fondly remembers some books that defy movie adaptation.

* Maxwell Goss recommends Russell Kirk's collection of ghost stories, "Ancestral Shadows."

* Searchie goes into business for herself and has her first-ever meeting with a CPA.

* Ross Douthat wonders if "The Wire" is peddling any anti-Semitism.

* Ootje Oxenaar talks about what it was like designing the Netherlands' very beautiful currency. Ootje is a man who has enjoyed his work: "You're making something that lasts for decades and is in everyone's pockets, every shop; it's a fantastic feeling."

* Lynn Sislo has some advice for those Treasury Dept. types who are hoping to make dollar coins a going thing.

* Batons! Flames! Burlesque! Why not hire Fire Groove to liven up your next party?



posted by Michael at February 15, 2007


From Alice's blog on marriage:

"If you ask me, the solution is culture wide and also simple: we need to raise our standards. Married people must worship and adore one another better, and in return the whole of society benefits from a major plummet in the general public interest in Britney’s underpants!"

I have the opposite opinion. I think we need to lower, if not the standards of, then the expectations we have of marriage. One person cannot fulfill every aspect of another's life. I love this quote from the underrated show, Grounded for Life, when the main character is complaining to his dad that his marriage was getting stale, and the dad responds, "You expect too much. Your mother and I were in a rut for 30 years. 30 wonderful years."

Posted by: the patriarch on February 15, 2007 4:30 PM

Mott's topic always brings to mind Pale Fire, and right on its heels is the thought: "Is Lolita really adaptable?" I was relieved when the Lynne version came out, lacking several of the glaring flaws in Kubrick's. Now I can't stand either.

On the other side, "Slaughterhouse-Five" is an inexplicably successful adaptation.

Mott made my skin crawl at the prospect of Pixar attempting "Skinny Legs and All", one of my very favorite novels. For those of you unfamiliar, it involves "inanimate" objects with consciousness, getting involved in human religious/spiritual affairs. Part of the premise is that objects move themselves too slowly for people to notice, presumably because we're insufficiently capable of calming our frantic minds. There's a wonderful section about a street performer called "Turn Around Norman", who seems to be standing completely still but is actually doing a steady 360 over some immense period. So, the prospect of the story being filmed with goofy-voiced objects bouncing around... yikes!

Posted by: J. Goard on February 15, 2007 4:36 PM

Finally, as many of you probably know, Atlas Shrugged is coming. For a time, I revered it. Now my attidute is basically awe: at its preposterous anachronisms; its accidental parodies of Dostoyevsky and Hugo in the long speeches and asides; its wacko Horatio Alger premise that anyone who can be a great exucutive or academic will also be a great engineer or sandwich-maker; its odd place in the literature of utopia; and, most importantly, its richly ironic relationship to Rand's life and movement. In other words, it's a colossal work of strangeness. No way it can be reasonably adapted.

Posted by: J. Goard on February 15, 2007 4:41 PM

Dutch money beautiful? Well, if you say so. But look at this currency...

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on February 15, 2007 4:41 PM

I agree that the Dutch money is not beautiful. The only term I can think of is etiolated, bloodless. It was designed by someone determined, IMO, not to celebrate Dutchness, not, god forbid, to show any evidence of that retrograde condition of the heart, patriotism.
Whether the schillings shown by CG are beautiful is questionable, but they are stirring, they do unashameadly celebrate German heroes and heroines, an attitude our betters have now, in effect, outlawed.

Posted by: ricpic on February 15, 2007 7:21 PM

So ashamed. Unashamedly.

Posted by: ricpic on February 15, 2007 8:21 PM

On The Wire being Anti-Semitic:
I am as un-Anti-Semitic (Pro-Semitic?) as anyone, but, is it possible that their is a corrupt, money-grubbing, oily Jewish lawyer for drug lords in Baltimore?

I don't mean is it possible in the sense that anything is possible, but in the sense that most of the drug-dealers in Baltimore are black and that Jews make up a disproportionate number of Lawyers.

I think that one of the signs that we have destroyed Political Correctness is when we can have shows like The Wire and no one will comment on the stereotypes.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on February 16, 2007 1:52 PM

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