There are very few 'reality' shows I much care for. I like people being asked to perform outside their zones of ostensible competence with reasonable rules not requiring all sorts of asinine conniving by the producers, and artificial rules trying to make people play off one another in ways they never would in 'reality'..
Which cuts me down to The Amazing Race (starts this weekend!), Dancing with the Stars (started a couple of days ago!), and the various Restaurant shows.
So far the season has already charmed me; Dancing with the Stars features a somewhat re-born Bristol Palin. The mousy shy kid of her first go-round appears to have been replaced by an alien! The alien still gets cheers from Sarah and Todd, and especially from Tripp, who provides the nicest moment in the video below recognizing Mark Balas at about 0:18. "Mark!" Sweet. And cheering after the dance.
Rattled and bitter that they could not knock the Romney-Ryan ticket off-message, the Obama team and its allies in the blogosphere fixated on Clint Eastwood. Listen, I was there and it was darn weird. But at times it was funny and devastating in its dismissal of the president’s excuses. And in clips and sound bites the day after the live performance, the oddness is diminished and the punch lines seem more biting. In simple terms, the movie icon encapsulated the message of the convention: If someone is doing a bad job, you have to fire him.
Eastwood apparently so annoyed the egomaniacal president that the leader of the Free World felt compelled to hit back via Twitter (“this seat is taken”) at the movie star. Talk about losing your presidential aura. Empty chair = Obama is now a powerful association. Will the chair be in ads?
In this, as in so many other artificial kerfuffles, the media’s feigned outrage only serves Romney’s purpose. Now everyone is familiar with Eastwood’s cracks, and the conversation has taken the place of any criticism of the two nominees’ speeches.
That last point is good; there is much to criticize in both Ryan's and Romney's speeches.
the hard lines packed more of a punch for being delivered in the midst of a Bob Newhart empty-chair shtick from the Dean Martin show circa 1968. Indeed, they were some of the hardest lines of the convention and may well prove the take-home (“We own this country . . . Politicians are employees of ours . . . And when somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go”), but they seemed more effective for appearing to emerge extemporaneously from the general shambles.
The curse of political operatives is that they make everything the same. A guy smoothly reading platitudinous codswallop while rotating his head from the left-hand teleprompter to the right-hand teleprompter like clockwork as if he’s at Centre Court watching the world’s slowest Wimbledon rally is a very reductive idea of “professionalism.” Even politicians you’re well disposed to come across as slick bores in that format. Which is by way of saying Clint is too sharp and too crafty not to have known what he was doing.
Oh, and next time ’round, he should sing.
'Clint is too sharp and crafty' - yes this reminds me of the twinkly in Rowdy Yates' eyes oh those so many years ago. Even in such a role, we was clearly an actor we would come to appreciate.
And go to Steyn's post and read his comment about the hair. Like the teleprompter, I missed that.
On a separate topic that Instapundit link also points to a fine post from neo-neocon, and I agree with her fundamental point (and I am embarrassed I knew none of this about Romney when he ran in 2008):
Whatever the reasons, the degree to which Romney has been a practitioner of personal kindness and good works is extraordinary. Whether he wins the election or not, it’s clear that Romney is a very unusual human being, with a combination of brains, hard-nosed business sense and competitiveness, and personal kindness that goes way beyond anything most people consider necessary or even possible. For a politician, this is so unusual as to be unique.
People keep saying about Romney, “the more I know of him the more I like him.” Not just on this blog, but in comments all over the internet. It strikes me that Obama is just the opposite—the more people know of him the more they dislike him.
Her final point hits me perfectly. At the end of the 2008 campaign I thought of Romney as a coddled child who inherited his wealth (I was oh so wrong about that!) and of Obama as moderately inspiring. Three and a half years later, we get to learn a lot more of the truth, and I find Obama not even likeable, and in fact pretty much not admirable in many ways. I think the Republicans made their case nicely in three days - this guy has been a total failure and 'our' guy is manifestly not simply more competent but decent beyond levels I even understand.
After a bunch of rapes in one of the trendy parts of Toronto our opinion leaders were all in a state and then the Mayor's niece tweeted:
“Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes and don’t dress like a whore.”
This all looks to me like pretty good advice.
But needless to say the 'opinion leaders' (CBC, Tronto Star people, it was all after the local MetroMorning, major home of leftie orthodoxy, the like) went bonkers. She was blaming the victims!
WTF! This was entirely forward-looking advice and certainly transferred no blame onto the victims. Do people actually think they are not more likely to be raped if they are dressed provocatively? I do not understand how ANYONE could think that. It makes no change to the culpability and badness of the rapist; it just seems to me there are incentive structures in place that anyone with half a mind would understand.
These are the same idiots in love with the Muslim community. And like why do they think Muslim communities often want women in unrevealing outfits?
In any case the same brain-dead outrage arose as fed into the Slut-Walks (which really seem dumb to me). Mostly they are not targeting the rapist community as far as I can see.
Do men ever talk to the women behind this nonsense (and I speak as someone incredibly unlikely in life to even approach a woman )?
So Krista Ford had to do a penitential apology for NO good reason. A whole bunch of idiots got to feel self-important (including one of the rape victims, who wrote some dumb stuff).
For of course it is a woman’s right to dress like a whore, just as it is a woman’s right to dress like a poor person. But the difference is that dressing like a poor person does not look like an invitation to a sexual advance, and dressing like a whore does.
Mark my words, please. I did not say dressing like a whore is an invitation to sexualassault. I said dressing like a whore – that is, dressing like the kind of woman whose professional sartorial fashion sense is premised on the need to maximize male lust – is to send a message that extremely high sexual interest from males is not only welcome, butvery welcome.
She has a couple of other entertaining and subtle insights into how this all relates to class, not to the favor of our lefty fashionistas.
UPDATE: Fords whack their kid. I am not sure they are right but if you are a politician in this silly city what real choice have you?
I do not know about the map but I never saw anyone doddering, except the leftie Twitter outburst after it.
Ed has some fun responding to some of the more stupid lefty press, like Time. "What did 'We own the country' mean?" Time thinks it was anti-immigrant. No it was anti-Beltway!
The “sane” world understood that as a reference to the taxpayers as opposed to the political class, actually, and the theme of Gran Torino wasn’t a paean to xenophobia, either. In fact, that’s nearly a direct antithesis of its message.
But how wonderfully sad and self-absorbed this shows Time staff to be.
But having watched it this morning, after all of the drama has passed, I actually thought Eastwood was … pretty funny. It was refreshing to get that break from all of the seriousness of the three days in Tampa. The clucking of tongues over Eastwood’s “I can’t do that to myself” as inappropriate is almost laughable, considering what passes for humor these days in the US. Eastwoodintended this to be irreverent, spontaneous, and fun. If you didn’t get at least three laughs out of that 11-minute segment, you’re taking life too seriously.
And for heaven's sake this was on after 10 o'clock! Do you get HBO?
If I can riff like that on national TV at the age of 82, believe me, I’ll be happy.
My mother is over 90, and for all the troubles she has, I think she could riff like that, and I am with Ed : I pray (and Iam an atheist) I will be there myself.
And I think Ed's argument about the scheduling is right:
Besides the Heartland Strategy, the RNC and Team Romney was using the Eyeball Strategy. They needed to reach people who might not have otherwise tuned in to the Republican convention to see Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. That means putting their Eyeball Strategy in play directly before Rubio. Now, perhaps some people who tuned in to see Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood speak tuned out after (or even during), but it’s a no-lose strategy. They wouldn’t lose anyone who tuned in to see Romney and Rubio anyway, and there’s a very good chance that most of the people who tuned in for Eastwood stuck around for Rubio and Romney afterward. If they did, they saw two terrific speeches and perhaps had their minds opened about Romney after Barack Obama’s summer of vilification.
What was the overall risk? Having a bunch of stupid lefties go bonkers is really only a win. And that is largely the price so far.
(And read the article for what the Romney campaign said if you want to hear some very solid good sense.)
I fell asleep during parts of last night's convention that I wish I had been awake for; the Internet does allow me to catch up, though I think I might have enjoyed the sequencing of events from the floor. (CPAC seems to have that online so I can play that on the computer and put tennis on the TV). I did awake to Rubio part way through his 'introduction of Romney' (and he is always fun to listen to) and I did follow the Romney speech.
And I knew as I listened it was not for the floor of the convention, but for the few undecided voters still out there who need to see they can trust this guy to do his best. I do not think we would see him off golfing much.
Romney is no rhetorician, but I found it quite good, very moving in places. In fact this damned convention just got me more and more moved as we progressively learned more about what a good person this guy is. The story of the missing rose should have hit a lot of people. And he does not have to sing that story in any soaring way; one need only tell it. (And BTW go to that previous generation Romney history and think about his parents' choices; impressive lives.)
Still my favorite moment in the speech was the stinging line in which Romney quietly and lightly mocked that nonsensical line from Obama about stopping the rise of the oceans and healing the earth, contrasting it with his much more modest and believable purpose. A purpose he has clearly lived for his whole life in his personal life.
I have noted today that this sent Chris Matthews into apoplexy on MSNBC, arguing it was climate change denial. What a tin ear! That passage had ONE message and I suspect most people who do not drool over Obama heard it clearly. The Great Windbag is a Great Windbag, and I AM NOT.
I know I heard it clearly. And while I admit Romney is a politician, he is not cut from the grandiose self-important cloth of The Great Windbag (BTW if you do not come here that is indeed Obama).
And Clint!? Lots of opinions; when I got up SillyWife messaged me not to bother but I did go find a clip a couple of hours later. I thought it was very funny, if the tone was a bit weird. Was he incoherent, or playing the grandpa down the hall with some folksy questions for the empty chair/suit/rhetoric? I don't know. But I recall the twinkling eyes of Rowdy Yates and I have no reason to doubt he knew just what he was doing. He was contributing but clearly marking his independence (the wars would never have been mentioned on an RNC script).I suspect part of the response may have to do with knowing his full amazing career, almost all of which I got to watch. Perhaps you have to see the Dirty Harry movies back when they were made. So my default is to think he did just as he planned; sure it tossed the rhythm off a bit, but I cannot believe Rubio did not get it right back.
That was really a great political convention; I like watching them and do not recall one since the days when we did not have dramatic votes that had more to engage me.
DNC coming up! I hope they can find a lot of people Obama helped in extraordinary ways and maybe some shred of apparent economic competence to document, only for the entertainment value the debunking will provide. Oh social media, you make it so much more fun.
Perish the thought Romney does not win this election. I have indicated in the past that I think he is the most decent human being to run for this job in years (a close competitor to the two Bushes perhaps, but with a less complicated history). That is not necessarily how you decide on a President but I like it as a start.
But if he fails, sign me up for Condi 2016 (or maybe Christie 2016, or maybe Ryan), but wow she impresses me (and yes she has issues from her part in Dubya's administration, that bother me less than they likely bother you).
I love the image of that little Birmingham girl and her brave parents who let her believe in herself. Made her believe in herself!
Wow this Republican convention s revealing one pile of talent, and if there is a disaster and that clown gets re-elected, we have now seen Chris Christie make his first 2016 speech and wow did Condoleeza Rice make hers tonight!. So much talent (and there are lots of other secondary characters).
Rice was astonishing to me; she was aggressively making her case, maybe even for 2020, but what an attractive figure.
I will be watching the Democratic convention with the same interest but one must realize that any real talents will likely be suppressed until the next go-roiund.
Few of the speeches surprised me though it took some other blogger (sorry - forgot who) to point out that every speaker I saw was the child of an immigrant, except perhaps Chris Christie, who nonetheless brilliantly referred to the ethnicities of his parents. Rondi links to a terrific analysis of Christie's speech.
In the worst of circumstances, Christie's speech nicely kicks off a 2016 campaign.
I am a bit more of a sap, and I have to admit I was dragged a different way, and it astonished me. I am an atheist, inclined not to be particularly "pro-life", but Rick Santorum caught me off-guard., And it is even funnier, as I now watch it on-line, that he looks kind of greasy (Italian dad?), but I find what he says is really quite excellent. And there is no question he actually had me moved a couple of times, as did Ann Romney, and certainly Christie. But Santorum's hand sequence I loved (I said I was more of a sap) and of course his reference to his daughter, one reason, not the only one, he did not prevail in the primaries, had me in thrall as well.
I look forward to more fun tonight. And at the DNC!? Can the DNC actually match this lineup? John Kerry to orate on foreign policy?! Aaarrgghh.
"The Eagle has landed" is still a beautiful phrase.
RIP Neil Armstrong.
UPDATE: I have NO recollection of "The Eagle has wings." That is so pretty a metaphor especially as you know the moon has a neglible atmosphere.
UPDATE2: And what I love about this even more, having spent the most satisfying years of my life working on giant projects, is that this might have been about the biggest in many ways in its time. TO get SO many people working so much together is NO mean feat. I was NEVER in a meeting where the 'Go-Nogo' decisions were so immediate or the stakes so high, but the feeling is recognizable.
I think Michael Bloomberg is in many ways a bad joke, but watching his press conference about the shootings outside the Empire State Building today, it became clear to me how he came to be Mayor of NYC.
That guy can control a press conference!
That is no minor skill.
One might want him to possess other more prosaic ones, but we can start with that one.
In this case, calling Mann's 'hockey stick' graph fraudulent is at least arguable, and, as Lowry points out, is certainly not meant to accuse Mann of actual legal fraud.
But Mann, who seems to me totally self-absorbed and extremely prickly, does not like the damage to his brand. And his lawyer, amazingly to me, thinks threatening the National Review is a bright idea. Well, I hope Mann's vanity pushes this forward.
A back story in all this that baffles me is that of the Canadian media. I recall Mann doing some interview on CBC Radio One a while ago on the occasion of his releasing his whiny book, and was puzzled that there was no hint the CBC had asked Steve McIntyre to appear. Now I can believe Steve would not want to engage in this pettiness (a specialty, in my view, of Mann), but I wonder sometimes if the CBC is even aware of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick in their own backyard.
Well I certainly did not get it then, but mostly because Charles decided to let his crazy happen when he was a lot older, that tampon-man.
And now we get Vegas Harry.
OTOH he is only the spare, as the original saves a Canadian hiker. What I find funny in the reporting is that they describe Will as a helicopter pilot, and do not report that Harry is one as well, when not on weekends in Vegas.
Party on, lad! How did you beat your security team?
The whole story is worth reading and tells you a lot about Black and Amiel. It also, wonderfully, tells you a lot about cats.
I particularly love one great moment:
Though covered in fleas and sewage, she peered out at the world with fierce blue eyes, her determined appearance accented by her sewage-spikey hair and smudged nose. I have never encountered a more indomitable countenance, even on a mighty statesman or a great beast.
I think maybe he sees himself a bit in that cat; I see him that way.
Our finance minister, as a federal minister, is not what I expected from his provincial history. And sadly the CBC has decided there is something more interesting than Flaherty explaining to some dumb reporter that maybe consumers benefit from a higher Canadian dollar, and maybe export industries need not be sucked up to constantly. Hey wait! Maybe that is the Flaherty I remember!
And hey! We can buy capital goods at lower prices now!
One should not draw too much from this but it does tell one small compelling story; in the right circumstances people can do a lot better on their own than when controlled by some other idiot's idea of how things should work.
Another great example is of course the advantage of roundabouts over light-controlled intersections.
Of course if you have ever driven in England, you discover that roundabouts have their problems at high congestion (one direction can get starved, for example), and, even worse, if you start out with roundabouts, and then try to fix problems with regulation, you end up with the worst thing I have ever seen in my driving experience, the traffic-light-controlled roundabout!
But really, looking at that video, it seems obvious the lights are harmful.
My neigborhood is full of four-way stops, which are better than lights in that context, but it would be even better, I think, to have four-way yield signs.
To be honest I thought the participation of the Saudi women - a judoka who lasted just over a minute, and an 800 runner who ran 2:45 (I once could run that!) in the 800 was just a waste and certainly should not have been viewed as at all liberating.
Media coverage that buys this story reinforces the claim that women who do not cover are somehow less Muslim. This only slows down women’s progress in conservative societies against barriers that have everything to do with patriarchy and nothing to do with faith.
That anyone took these covered athletes at all seriously, and that an audience politely applauded them, says nothing much good about us; that we tolerate THIS as what the Saudis decided to toss a more civilized world as a symbolic gesture is pretty sad. I feel sorry for the girls involved (except that they probably had a hell of a lot of fun in London, and one of them does not even have to pay for it by living in Saudi Arabia), but I think the whole enterprise was an embarrassment to the Olympics and should be an embarrassment to the Saudis, who appear to be beyond embarrassment in their attachment tp primitive treatment of women.
I was tired from a lot of walking and ultimately missed much of the Olympic closing ceremony.
But at one point I looked up and could not believe what was happening! Wait! No! It cannot be Daltrey and Townsend. Like I got to see the end of their second final farewell tour. With some pretty good symbolism, Entwistle died at the start of that tour. Years ago in Toronto. And it was their second farewell!
And here were these old guys again. (Do not get me wrong - they might be younger than I am but ....).
Do the Brits really think these tired old songs are the best they can represent to the world?
It depressed me no end. Part of me thought I was just waiting for the start of a CSI episode.
Finish dammit with Rollin' in the Deep - everybody leaves feeling really good and like there is a future, not dominated by near-skeletons. A beautiful, likely fecund, gorgeous woman who can not only write great songs but make them rock and roll.
The closing ceremony should point to the future, not wallow in some almost ancient past. Who the hell reviewed the program? I thought the opening ceremony vaguely defensible. Not the closing, at least what I saw.
I love how irrationally we can get engaged with fictional characters.
I am SO pleased Callie Cargill on 'The Glades' has passed her board exams!
This seems to me in a way pretty funny. To start with she is not a real person. Secondly her fictional existence occurs only within a TV show on Arts and Entertainment, and so I would guess just is unknown to almost anyone I know.
But damn I am really happy!
I will say though, I am not sure whether Jim should stay with Callie or move on to Jennifer. I confess I find them both really fetching.
1) All those impossibly beautiful pictures of London. It is a place I just love; there are few things just plain more pleasant than walking the Thames (I prefer walking the South Bank but YMMV). So many of my favorite memories are long walks in London.
2) The fascination of seeing sports I want honestly to watch only once every four years every fourth year; many of them I cannot figure out at all. For me this Olympics I enjoyed particularly the women's field-hockey shootout, unlike any of the other sport shoot-outs I can recall.
3) Brian Williams dressing down Lisa LaFlamme twice, once during opening ceremonies, and once just a few minutes ago at the end of LaFlamme's 'brilliant' report on women at London 2012. My father used to joke that the test of whether feminism has met its goals was not whether competent women got high positions, but rather whether incompetent women got them. I can say that I think CTV has proven feminism a success.
BTW Williams may not be done; there are still the closing ceremonies.
4) All those kids (yeah even Ian Millar, older than I but more of a kid) who invest so much in such arbitrary ventures. Their rewards are so uncertain, and I tend to think their dreams are pretty silly, but so many make something of it. Moreover, however arbitrary the momentary goals, all have built the sort of skills a modern society needs from its very important generalists. There is a decent human capital story here, however weirdly indirect.
5) For all the bumps (and there were many) the smooth operation overall of these games, and the fact nobody got blown up. This is not guaranteed in the UK; my guess is a lot of work went into not having anyone blown up.
6) Inane reporting. It makes me laugh.
What will I not miss:
1) Inane reporting. This is inevitable; this is a big operation and must feature a whole bunch of idiots along the way out in public. (See "LaFlamme, L" above for my opinion. ) There are many others I view as guilty. And where the hell was Dave Moorcroft during the men's marathon this morning? It was painful.
2) Reporters asking athletes how they feel. (OK a subset of 1) above.)
3) That song, whether by some number of tenors or a Ms. Yanofsky.
4) The daily morning wake-up excuse not to go exercise. I am a morning person and my standard exercise time has been displaced.
I suspect there will be one more post like this.
Thanks UK For hosting; apologies for some of my skepticism. This has been a really enjoyable two weeks.
And I hate to say it, no matter that I think you are bottom-feeding scum-sucking slime, thanks to the IOC.
Well actually also, thanks I think to Mark Tewksbury, who appears, entirely unexpected by me, to have been a pretty good chef de mission.
And Diana Matheson - thanks for telling Schmidt to send you the ball.