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Our Last 50 Referrers

« Nate Likes Avenir | Main | Ultra-Eco Lifestyle »

May 01, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Virginia Postrel has discovered Yi-Fu Tuan. I'm a big fan of Tuan's "Passing Strange and Wonderful."

* Vince Keenan reports that Mike Hodges' followup to "Get Carter," the 1972 "Pulp," isn't half bad.

* Mencius thinks that he has boiled leftism down to its central idea.

* Bluewyvern turns up some amazing book artists.

* Crime-fiction nuts should be making Steve Lewis' Mystery*File a regular stop.

* Alicatte thinks Lancome may have overdone the Photoshopping on Clive Owen.

* Moira offers some nuanced thinking about courtesy and the truth.

* Michael Pollan argues that our farm policies subsidize obesity. Link thanks to Tyler Cowen.

* Eddie Muller presents his list of the 25 best film noir movies. (Man, that's awkward: "film noir movies." Have you got a better way of writing it?) I wrote a blogposting about film noir here.

* Thriller fan D.A. Ridgely reports that "Fracture" may not be perfect but is still worth a watch.



posted by Michael at May 1, 2007


The Farm Bill is a grotesque monstrosity, one that we seemed to be on our way to (slowly) killing under Clinton. Unfortunately, Republicans are even more beholden to those red farm states than Democrats, and the 2002 bill was bigger and uglier than ever.

I recently had the misfortune of sitting down to a USDA-funded school-provided lunch at my daughter's school. God, what an appalling array of crap. At least there was a (wilted-looking) salad bar, but you can imagine how many kids opted for that in lieu of the hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and bizarre-looking "French toast" sticks with mini-sausages (a favorite of my daughter's). Fortunately, my wife packs the kids' lunches most days.

Schools serve this stuff, and then have the gall to turn around and provide nutrition classes. Theey're in a bind, of course -- many kids rely on that federal school lunch program, provided at minimal cost to most kids and no cost at all to others. And there isn't a teacher there that doesn't know that what's being served is garbage.

But I'd sure like to see a nutrition class that used the lunch line as Exhibit A of what not to eat.

Posted by: Steve on May 1, 2007 6:47 PM

In the Postrel review of Yi Fu Tuan's essay, the following quote appears:

Modernism provides the necessary security, which includes material sufficiency, social-institutional safety nets such as insurance and government subsidies, and, thanks to science, substantial freedom from the vagaries of nature and almost total exemption from the dread of dark magic, ghosts, witches, and demons.

The older I get, the less I believe that material sufficiency, saftey nets, subsidies, freedom from the vagarities of nature, etc. really offer such total exemption from dread as the author appears to believe. I think a realistic discussion of dread in the early 21st Century wouldn't be any shorter than one written about the 10th century. I just think that current conceptual frameworks make dread less easily visible, but not less present.

But then I'm a pessimistic old fool.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on May 1, 2007 11:53 PM

RE: Top 25 Noir Films
Where are The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Narrow Margin, Force of Evil, The Spiral Staircase, and Pickup on South Street? They could knock some of the mediocrities of that list. Most of all where is Hawks' The Big Sleep? Along with The Maltese Falcon and Double Indemnity, its the best of the noirs, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Thursday on May 2, 2007 7:28 AM

If we can live with "attorneys general" I guess we can live with "films noir."

Posted by: Fred on May 2, 2007 12:12 PM

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