You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 10, 2009.

Over at The Corner they’re running down the Top 25 conservative movies.

#17 is Master and Commander.  Of it, John J. Miller says:

This naval-adventure film starring Russell Crowe is based on the books of Patrick O’Brian, and here’s what A. O. Scott of the New York Times said in his review: “The Napoleonic wars that followed the French Revolution gave birth, among other things, to British conservatism, and Master and Commander, making no concessions to modern, egalitarian sensibilities, is among the most thoroughly and proudly conservative movies ever made. It imagines the [H.M.S.] Surprise as a coherent society in which stability is underwritten by custom and every man knows his duty and his place. I would not have been surprised to see Edmund Burke’s name in the credits.”

Maybe, but nonetheless I loathe this movie.

For one thing, I will nail my flag to the mast in my belief that Russell Crowe was utterly, utterly miscast as Lucky Jack Aubrey.

For another, one of the signature rah-rah lines in the movie is the pre-battle question of whether the crew of H.M.S. Surprise wants to see a guillotine set up in Picadilly.   That line was certainly not taken out of any book Patrick O’Brian wrote.  Instead, I am almost certain – although I haven’t tracked it down yet – that it appears somewhere in one of the Hornblower novels.  One of these days I’m going to track it down just to satisfy myself.

The port-swiller stat meter has been spiking something fierce the past couple of days.

So is the new traffic the result of my keen socio-political insight? My subtle cultural polish? My rapier wit? My descent into midlife crisis?


Instead, somebody found a post I did featuring a large photo of the lovely and talented Sophia Loren back in September. I don’t know who keeps coming in to have a dekko at it, but I know they’re doing so a  lot.

I suppose you could call it a Sophia-lanche.

Wouldn’t mind getting caught up in one of those!

The American Anglican Council has issued a blistering report on the hijinx of TEC: The Episcopal Church – Tearing the Fabric of Communion to Shreds.

Just to give you a taste, here is the section of the Executive Summary entitled Catalogue of Heresies:

Quoting Episcopal Church leaders denying Jesus as the only way to the Father, denying the divinity and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, denying the Resurrection, denying heaven and hell, denying salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, denying the authority of Holy Scripture, denying the Creeds, and denying Biblical standards for human sexuality.

We also document the fruits of TEC‘s new theology—which include a refusal to reaffirm the historic articles of the Christian faith, syncretism, the promotion of abortion, weakening traditional marriage, promoting same sex blessings and other sexual aberrations, communion for the unbaptized, and accelerating litigation by TEC against the orthodox.

We conclude with the heresies of the current Presiding Bishop, in her own words, an analysis that demonstrates her affirmation of the classic heresies of Pelagianism, Marcionism, Pluralism, Universalism and Gnosticism.

I strongly recommend that those friends and family members of mine still affiliated with TEC read the whole thing, as they say.  You may reject what TEC is up to.  You may actually embrace it.  But I think the days of Uncle Owen it’s-all-such-a-long-way-from-here willful myopia are coming to an end.

A copy of this report has been delivered to the desk of Archbishop Rowan Williams together with a “Game over, man” letter from Archbishop Peter Akinola.

A glass of wine with Dr. Kendall Harmon.

The Telegraph is now saying that wind turbine that lost a blade a couple months back did so due to “mechanical failure” and not collision with a UFO.

A 65 ft blade that flew off the turbine came loose after bolts attaching it to the hub failed, not because of a collision, examination of the components has revealed.

Locals near the farm in Conisholme, Lincolnshire had reported seeing orange-yellow spheres trailing octopus-like “tentacles” on the night of the incident, sparking speculation that it had it had fallen victim to low-flying aliens.

But after weeks of analysis the turbine manufacturer Enercon has released an interim report identifying material fatigue as the cause of the accident.

They are now carrying out further tests to establish what caused the bolts to come loose, focusing on the blade and hub components to which they were attached. If one of these failed, the bolts could have been put under unbearable stress.

(Emphasis mine.)

Sure, sure.  Whatever happened to questioning authority and speaking troof to power?

It seems to me that the report of the dangling tentacles is a bit of a bloody giveaway.

fsm It’s been some time since I thought about our old friend the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but this incident obviously has his lemon-butter and garlic’d tentacle prints all over it.

Why is the Brit Press so unwilling to see this?

As long as I’m on an animation theme this morning, I thought I would mention this:

Being of tender age and shielded by us as much as reasonably possible from the influences of pop culchah, the gels have only the vaguest idea of who Arnold Schwartzenegger actually is beyond the fact that he’s governor of California.  They’ve never seen any of his movies, of course, so know nothing about the Terminator, Conan or the  body-building days prior to his movie career.

jorgen-von-strangle1BUT.  No defense other that utter isolation is completely foolproof when it comes to keeping out pop culture influences, which have a way of leaking through, sometimes by very oblique paths.  The gels do understand that the funny voice at the end of the Jib-Jab YouTubes inviting people to make their own videos (“It’s fahtaastik! Do it! Do it naawh!!”) is an Ahnold parody.  They are also aware that two popular cartoon characters,rainer-wolfcastle Rainer Wolfcastle from The Simpsons and Jorgen von Strangle from The Fairly Odd Parents, both of whom sport over-the-top Austrian accents, are both parodies of Der Ahnold as well.

So when I’m putting them to bed at night and they say, “Dad! Do the funny Ahnold voice! Pleeeease?”  I feel I have no choice but to respond:

“Ja! You must go to behd zis instant. It’s faaanstaastic! But you must do eet naugh! If you do not comply, I vill haff to crrush you like ein leeetle bug.  Hasta la vista! I’ll be bach.”

Hy-larity ensues.


Jonah has this to say in the Corner this morning:

Okay riddle me this Batman: Why oh why, if what Douthat says is true about the allegedly woeful proliferation of superhero movies, why has there been no sequel to The Incredibles? Hmmm? Tell me. That movie was awesome, hugely successful, full of superheroes, family friendly, and lends itself to endless sequels more than any live action superhero movie ever. This has bothered me for years now. The movie came out nearly five years ago. There’s been no end to the Toy Stories, Shreks and Little Mermaids, but for some reason this movie about a superhero family—that ends with a cliffhanger!—and grossed something like a third of a billion dollars doesn’t lend itself to a sequel. Grrrr. Ack. Blurgh.

I flag this because I happened to be thinking about the very same subject just the other day.  (Those of you who may  have come away from reading my blogs over the years with the idea that I spend all of my spare time meditating on the deeper issues of Life, the Universe and Everything, are sadly mistaken.)  And I must say that I respectfully disagree with Jonah, in that I’m actually glad there’s never been a sequel.

The reason I’m content with just a singleton Incredibles movie is that I am so fond of it.  As Jonah rightly points out, it is an awesome, awesome flick, head and shoulders above anything else Pixar has put out to date.  This is true from its characters and moral grounding through its spectacular visual effects and right on to its phenomenal sound-track, which somehow manages to do a perfect riff that blends the best of the James Bond sound with that of the old Batman series.

Now certainly the visuals and sound could be reproduced.  But I have a very hard time seeing the writers scoring another bullseye with the characters and story-arc that doesn’t involve going off on some kind of gimmicky tangent.  What would it be?  All Jack-Jack, all the time?  Dash gets his pubes?  Helen finds herself irresistibly attracted to Frozone?  Bob finds himself irresistibly attracted to Bart Simpson? The world wonders, but I for one can’t imagine any sequel that would not be a huge let down from the first installment.

Some things are best just left alone, and it strikes me that The Incredibles is one of them.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, one of the features of the Wii-Fit is a “virtual” trainer who leads one through various yoga and strength-training exercises.  Among the latter are several “challenge” options, wherein one may go toe-to-toe against the program to see who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups and the like.

Well, last evening I selected the “plank challenge” as I usually do.  This is an exercise where you rest your weight on your forearms and your toes, keeping your body as straight as possible.  It’s supposed to be good for what they call the “core” muscles.

Imagine my surprise, then, when after I had clickied on the screen icon, the virtual trainer appeared and said, “I’m feeling a little off today.  Come back some other time to try again.”

Whu-? Ruh-? Huh? Can it do that?

Yes, I did the exercise myself anyway.  But I can tell you that getting shot down by a computer program didn’t do much to help my already tottering grasp on reality.


Blog Stats

  • 495,655 hits
February 2009