Archive for June, 2007

Links gone wild!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

You have to admire a good takedown, and this one’s a doozy. I’ve always been noncommittal about Bono — never quite warmed up to him (or U2 itself, for that matter), but he always seemed to treat rock ‘n’ roll as something worth doing well, so I gave him credit for that. I even admired Bono’s effort to put debt relief for Third-World countries on the agenda for discussion. But all celebrities walk a fine line in this regard. It’s one thing when a famous person uses his or her ability to attract media attention to highlight a cause. It’s a much different thing when a celebrity, unelected and ungovernable, apparently decides that fame gives him the right to dictate global policy. Uh, Bono? If you want a seat at the table, stand for office.

A passage in this article stopped me dead while I was reading. It said: “Journalists, like novelists and filmmakers, used to romanticize warfare by closing their eyes to much of the horror of it … [Now] in the media’s reporting of war, honor and glory have become at least as invisible as the ghastly flow of blood and viscera once were to their predecessors.” The essential truth of that observation is undeniable. In fact, the same thing can be said of the contemporary reporting on both politics and business. Where journalists once tended to give deference to elected officials and corporate executives, today they are more likely to treat them cynically and disdainfully. Hardly anybody wins journalism prizes these days with accounts of virtue and sacrifice. Scandal and wrongdoing are the tickets to career advancement.

Is your favorite stoner movie mentioned here? You may not think of it as an actual genre of film, but this piece points out that there is a specific stylistic template that stoner movies generally observe. (”Two guys + a big bag of weed + some kind of task to complete = awesome times.”) That formula probably explains why the most famous stoner movie ever — Disney’s “Fantasia” — doesn’t get a mention. Personally, I always thought Martin Scorcese’s “After Hours” was a great stoner movie, even if it doesn’t exactly fit the template.

Speaking of movies, here are two video clips for you. I’m suspicious of the first, because it ends abruptly. I think that dog had himself a nice snack just seconds after the filming stopped. The second shows a Japanese bullet train swooshing by a spot where people clearly gather just to see it. That thing is traveling at 310 mph, by the way. I’d like to meet the hobo who can snag a ride on that train.