The Chapin Nation

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black (How un-P.C. of me to say!)

Herr Dean has spent some of his “Die Volks Tour 2003” criticizing George Jr. on his lax homeland security. Well, apparently Herr Dean has been a bit lax himself.

It seems that under Dean, Vermont’s one nuclear facility was repeatedly warned about poor security. Infact, it was rated as having the worst security of any facility in the nation!

Instead of acting like a chief executive, Dean decided to blaim the security problem utlimately on a lack of funding.

Wait a minute, as chief executive of the State, isn’t Dean rather influencial on how funds are dispersed? If only the government were to have acted more responsibly! Gosh darn it, leave it to a lefty to expect big poppa government to make everything right again.

If Dean cannot safely oversee the affairs of Vermont, one of the least populous states, how in the world would he handle running the country? Hopefully we won’t have to find out.

Posted by CommonSense @ 5:37 PM

The Way Saturday Should Be Spent.

Posted by Fire @ 7:45 AM

Modern Manhood by the Legendary Roger Scruton.
An oldie but a greaty.

Unlike other City Journal pieces, I’ve never linked to it before. You’re going to love it and it’s a must read because

a. it contains awesome analysis

b. it tells a compelling story

c. and last, but not least, it involves a man in his fifties’s marrying a girl in her twenties.

This is the feel good link of the year. Enjoy!

Posted by Fire @ 7:42 AM

Robert Lowell, Poet.

He was my favorite writer in college and this is a

very insightful piece

concerning his oeuvre. You may just like it even if you don’t like poetry. There was a wonderful essay in The Weekly Standard on him too, a few months back, but it was pay only and could not be linked to.

Posted by Fire @ 7:35 AM

Roger Kimball Uber Alles!

The New Criterion is here. How sad am I when they skip their July and August issues to read books and research in the sun. Anyway, here’s the master with his monthly attempt to fight the culture war–otherwise known as his “Notes & Comments” section. In it he

dissects the horrors of the Modern Language Association

which is just another in a long line of politically correct marionettes.

Posted by Fire @ 7:32 AM

Honor and a Sense of Shame Make Civilization Possible.
Wonderful piece

and I agree wholeheartedly. Just because “honor” is misconstrewed to support “honor killings” in barbaric social groupings does not make honor a bad thing. It’s a great thing. This includes analysis of the Rousseauian lie that children are born anything but savages. Our responsibility is to domesticate them. Otherwise they end up like the spawn of single parents who are destroying our society at present.

No society can exist that fails to instill some visceral code in its members; otherwise it becomes a chaos in which one “rugged” individual seeks to assert his will on another. Just as individual human beings can never expect to rise above their involuntary nervous system or their personal habits, so too no society can expect to rise above the visceral code that works through the conditioned reflex of shame and honor.

Posted by Fire @ 7:28 AM

Observations from outside of the bubble

In response to Fire’s


, may I suggest checking out the hilarious

Absolutely Fabulous



Seriously, this is a show that illustrates many of the points Fire has made perfectly! Not only about the mother, but also many of their poor lost daughters in generation Y. I nearly puked with laughter when the aging blonde breathlessly asked her friend about her lips and the brunette replies: “You have some collogen leaking out and some blood, darling!”

Foreign women often tell me they understand that they are irrational, emotional beings. Men sometimes project their rationality upon women with hilarious results. It’s that way outside of the U.S. as well (especially in non-English speaking nations) but the women are more understanding of themselves and men. Many of them spout off feminist rhetoric but when queried closely, it’s largely a joke to them.

In answer to Fire’s poor friend Chuck: What do we expect? Why shouldn’t they despise men if they go out night after night and treat men with total ambivalence and still get approached? And as Fire discovered, many plainer U.S. women are not grateful to have a man talk to them but hostile that he might talk to a prettier woman if she was available. (Of course, the thought that she wouldn’t give him the time of day if he didn’t get up and ask her out or if a nicer man approached her is something she needn’t admit at the time.)

FYI: I’ve seen this before. Many of these women dress up and blow $5 on beer just to have the thrill of a geek approach her and she can say “I’m sorry! I just came here to be with my friends! Thanks so much for your interest! Tee hee!” In some ways, this is due to their logical thinking that such a relationship isn’t desirable to her anyway (she would just be settling) and she’s been hurt before AND she gets to have that total power night after night while a real relationship might take work on her part. What’s funny is that many such women then go to singles mixers and then claim they didn’t know how they got in there (“A friend brought me!”) Yeah, right. It’s because such women no longer are getting hit on at such bars they need to PAY a cover fee just to tell men they aren’t interested…

Women live in a different, more subjective world than men. Men are creatures of practicality. They see what they have and if their needs are met, they are happy. Women live in an emotional world where they can either be ecstatically happy with very little (even to the point that most men would be drunk and miserable) OR they can be unhappy even if they have a million dollar home to live in and a gorgeous hunk servicing her night after night. In fact, it’s usually the latter woman whose miserable because women LOVE to complain about things and there’s nothing worse than not having any problems to gossip about. Why do you think Jenny Jones and other such trash is so popular with them? In the 1950’s, there was even a TV show that played upon this titled “Queen for a Day” where housewives would dramatize minor problems and win household appliances. If ONLY SpikeTV could put it back on the air.

We (the middle Gen Xers) men were born at an incredible time as if the stars were all against us: Women were given workplace equality (and privileges) helping to push young men out of the workplace. Young women didn’t care (back in the early 80’s) because they didn’t want to marry them anyway. They had their eye set on the “oppressors” who were loaded up with bad, racist, capitalist money. The baby-boomers had produced a lot of children so a lot of such men were available. It was a political, demographic, and economic convergence.

For such women in their 40’s, it’s the equivalent of Nero waking up and seeing his Praetorian guard gone fishing. Where did they all go? This isn’t just about women naturally aging. This is a full blown nervous breakdown for some. And not just women!

My cousin is my age and he decided to fall in love with a woman in our generation. This woman is still living in peacockville and taking him for a ride. He’s bought her expensive gifts to try to get her to come back to him for, get this, to have children and start a family. Even worse: He’s a politically correct leftist who loves to smoke pot and now all those great “affirmative action” policies have hit HIM personally and now he’s living in his parent’s attic again (at the youthful age of 37) So now he goes on and on about evil George Bush and how “women and minorities” need his wisdom to survive. Pathetic. Yes, I gloat but still: This is my childhood friend and relative too.

We don’t owe them anything of course. I briefly dated some older, very plain women who gave me the privilege of corresponding and dating them. They expressed mild interest in me. In the meantime, I couldn’t help but meet pretty, young, sweet women left and right. I stopped corresponding with them. They didn’t act surprised or even all that dissapointed. They just didn’t “get it” or understand what happened. It’s similar to my cat coughing up a hairball: How can I communicate with him? I just have to let him be.

Men can act irrationally as well (lord knows much of the mess our society is in is due to this) but women are the masters of contradictory thinking. Be sure to catch the newest Absolutely Fabulous on Oxygen, DAHLING!

All of the “geeks” in my office are married. I told them I was going out shoe shopping with my fiance. What this involved was us going to 5 different stores to have her ask me what she looked best in and for her to then decide to look at something else entirely. Then after she bought the product, she would take it back and exchange it for the first pair she looked at anyway.

My officemates told me that I’m still in the honeymoon phase. I know. But she’s harmless. I know how bad things can get, a little silly shoe shopping is a pleasure now.

Posted by PolishKnight @ 9:33 PM

America’s Fat Asses

Apparently, humans are more like dogs than we realize.

A new study shows that people will continue to eat

if presented with a seemingly endless food supply. Mean while, Detroit which not only has been named the most dangerous city in the U.S. by the FBI, has also

been named the fattest city in the U.S.

It’s a deadly combination if there ever was one.

How bad has America’s battle with obesity become? Well, the other night I went to a University of Illinois basketball game. From my seat, I could see the belly fat and love handles jiggle on more than one cheerleader. For the love of G-d, we have truelly reached pandemic proportions if it is now acceptable to have fat cheerleaders.

Posted by CommonSense @ 4:26 PM

Yet Another Year-end List

It’s the beginning of a new year and conventional wisdom would have us believe that a new leaf has been turned and we’ll all work for a better world. Unfortunately, that probably isn’t the case. To have an idea of how many leaves must be turned, here’s a yet

another year-end list

. This one is from, some fine folks who monitor biased middle-east reporting. This list honors the media outlets that best exemplified tolerance and understanding for the terrorist cause during 2003.

Posted by CommonSense @ 3:44 PM

Oh Joy, the Weekend is Here!

Posted by Fire @ 8:04 AM

Top 10 Films of the Year.
Well, Jon Last says it’s impossible to make such a list,

just as it was impossible to make such a list in 2000, 2001 or 2002. He believes, as do I, that movies are devolving a little more each year. Here’s a good point about the superiority of the past:

As Goldman has pointed out, if you go way back to, say 1950, you have “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Asphalt Jungle,” “Broken Arrow,” “Caged,” “Cinderella,” “The Gunfighter,” “The Men,” “No Way Out,” “Panic in the Streets,” and “The Third Man.” None of which were even nominated for Best Picture (“All About Eve,” “Born Yesterday,” “Father of the Bride,” “King Solomon’s Mines,” and “Sunset Boulevard”).

Posted by Fire @ 8:02 AM

Canada Backed the Confederates.

Well, not really that surprising in my mind, you know. They clearly have long resented our “arrogance” or, more appropriately, what they MISTAKENLY deem our arrogance. What made this so ironic is that they were passionately devoted to the abolitionist cause.

This is definitely a unique article.

Posted by Fire @ 7:59 AM

Paul Johnson’s book on Art

Is something that I should read but probably won’t as it’s 800 pages long and steep in price (40 bucks). For me, art is something I always look forward to investigating but experience severe attentional deficits when I actually have to study a lot of it. A two hour tour of the Chicago Institute of Art is just about all I can want or desire. Anyway, Kimball wrote a review only available for money in the National Review which was great and

here’s another one on Johnson

by ultra-famous David Gelerntner which you will undoubtedly enjoy.

Posted by Fire @ 7:56 AM

Madelaine “F—ing” Albright.

Ah, another day off work. These holidays are really where it’s at. I just wish I could read/write/watch football for the rest of my life. Too bad that there are no careers like that. Anyway, the new Commentary’s out and

M. Albright has an autobiography now available

in which it appears she was conscious of the fact that Clinton’s promotion to her as Secretary of State was merely just another aspect of his well-developed diversity fetish. It is well-reviewed here. Better to read a review of it that pay this leftist for her work. Oh, she felt insecure around Colin Powell and his many medals–too bad. She’ll never be a public servant again which is sometime to look forward too.

Posted by Fire @ 7:50 AM

Screwing Kids Up For Generations To Come

What better way to ensure that psycho-therapists in the future will be able to make a living than by giving your child a name that is sure to be the object of scorn on the playground. Now there’s a study showing how whacky some parents can actual be when it comes to baby naming.

Read the story here


Posted by CommonSense @ 5:11 PM

Banishing the Words

Lake Superior State, perhaps best known as a perennial college hockey power in the early 90s, has come out with its annual list of words or phrases to be banished from the English language. I can’t disagree with a single choice.

Read the list here.

Posted by CommonSense @ 5:05 PM

NFL Predictions.

While on the phone with Common Sense, I decided to blog my predictions for Wildcard Weekend. Here they are:

Tennesee over the Ravens

Dallas over Carolina

Green Bay over Seattle

Indianapolis over the Broncos

Posted by Fire @ 1:52 PM

Enemy of the Year.

One more thing, now that 2003 is over,

they’ve announced Enemy of the Year

down at the Spectator. I won’t let say who it is but, surprisingly, it’s not Clinton, Hussein or any of the Democratic candidates.

Posted by Fire @ 6:46 AM

“Coward Dean.”

Well, I’m hungover from too much champaigne and will be taking a nap in about 15 minutes after the migraine medicine kicks in but I wanted to make sure you saw

this link to these awesome t-shirts.

What a noble idea! There are some great offerings that are suddenly becoming available in this new election season.

Posted by Fire @ 6:33 AM

See Little Fox! Video Available!
Yes, she’s blogged here a few times and now you can finally see her. Hit the “Foxy Cam” link.

She has described herself as blond and beautiful to me in the past and now you can judge her appearance for yourself (to me she looks like a brunette–but never mind). The Little Fox has a heartwarming true believer message and is attempting to bring leftists over to our side with birkenstocks entact. I must say the production values are quite good. It’s beyond my skills for certain.

Posted by Fire @ 6:30 AM

pic taken down

Posted by Fire @ 5:05 PM

AIM Tall.

You guys know

Accuracy in Media

don’t you? They just

sent me a book

for free but for $3.95, it’s still not a bad deal. It’s a compilation of many of their columns, but if you want to know the horrific, biased, nasty story of the leftist media on the cheap, you could just print out some of their columns. Go to the home page under “columns or guest columns” and read away.

Posted by Fire @ 2:06 PM

You Think Our Universities Are Leftist? Check out Israel.

Yuck. I read this yesterday on the

academic gulags of Israel

and couldn’t believe it. I’m glad those professors stay where they are. Hey, come to think of it, why don’t they forcibly patriotise Noam Chomsky? Get him the hell out of here.

Posted by Fire @ 2:02 PM

Wictory Wednesdays!

I meant to put these up earlier but blogger’s been down.

Posted by Fire @ 1:03 PM

Common Sense v. Amber Shooting War.

At the

other blog

, it seems our beloved Yakov is in the midst of defending himself against, Amber “The Bloody Menarche Flag of Tehran” Pawlik. I don’t want to take sides in it, although Yakov’s claim that she is romantically involved with possibly 1 to 43,000 Mullahs sounds tenable under the grammatical circumstances. Let’s look to Amber’s dad for guidance on the matter. He believes that this “tiff” is really a romantic spat.

This is a conversation between father and daughter last night.

Amber: “I’m not going out with Common Sense, he’s a creep.”

Dad: “That’s insane! CS is a great hero of the common man and defender of the people.”

A: “Gee, that’s so like every dad. They all want their girls to grow up and marry Yakov Bok.”

D: “Can you blame us? Having him live the rest of his life on my couch is a dream of mine. His cologne makes the house smell like downtown Ann Arbor.”

A: “That’s marijuana, dad, not cologne.”

D: “Whatever.”

A: “But dad I can’t marry him, he called me a dingleberry and a twit.”

D: “Now, Amber, what about those intellectual test results from the fifth grade?”

A: “I know, I know. But, dad, I’m sorry, I can’t marry him. He’s a pornographer.”

D: “Honey, everyone has a vice or five.”

A: “He called me up on the phone and asked to sleep over-”

D: “So? He only asked because he loves you.”

A: “He asked me to sleep over and have unprotected b-tt sex with him! What kind of person calls a girl and says something like that anyway?”

D: [With pride in his voice] “Common Sense, Amber, Common Sense. I love that guy. Maybe once he moves in we can pick up some stray over the weekends together. I can’t wait to have another red-blooded American male in the house with us.”

A: “Okay dad, I’ll go look at some dresses.”

D: “Fine, just make sure you respect Yakov and buy the cheapest thing on the rack.”

A: “I will daddy.”

D: “Say, Amber, who’s your daddy?”

A: “That’s a good one. Common Sense, dad, Common Sense.”

D: “Great, just make sure to submit when he asks you too.”

The End–Yakov lived happily in the living room ever after.

Posted by Fire @ 4:08 PM

Neverland, Graceland “Just Imagine” and Woodstock

I am still trying to digest the Michael Jackson-Ed Bradley interview on “60 Minutes” last Sunday.

Right off the bat there is a long list of plastic surgeons out there who should have their licenses stripped from them IMMEDIATELY.

It is one thing to look at someone who is deformed (I refuse to indulge in the idiocy of abusing the English language by using terms like “challenged”)by nature or accident; it is something else altogether to look at a deformed man whose only reason for being deformed is that he had the money to have it done and there were people, apparently without consciences, who were willing to do do it.

As for the interview, it was a strange concoction of religion and psych-babble, a not uncommon phenonenon.

When Bradley asked Jackson whether he knew of any other 45 year old men who slept with boys who were not family members, Jackson vehemently said, “Yes!” and then went on to say that it was a great expression of love and followed that up by saying that Jesus said that we should love one another.

My respect for Jesus of Nazareth by the way is growing by leaps and bounds since he seems to have held every possible position on every possible issue. He is now in vogue with Howard Dean along with Jackson, George W Bush, some homosexual activists and a wide range of “Christians”.

I frankly am not sure that Jackson is a “pedophile” in the strict sense of having physical sexual relations with children but his sense of reality does seem to be sufficiently disturbed for him not to be able to realize that a 45 year old man sleeping with teen-age boys is not “a high expression of love”.

But that is no what struck me most forcefully about the interview.

What did strike me was yet another example of the Baby Boomer fascination with and entrapment by fantasy. Jackson is 45 which means that he was born in 1958, the heart of the Baby Boom demographic.

Whether it is Jackson building “Neverland” (the Greek word “utopia” means “no place” by the way), Elvis Presley building “Graceland”, the Beatles writing “Just Imagine”, the “Woodstock” experience, not to mention “Star Trek”, “Star Wars” and the Tolkien phenomenon, the reality that previous generations have had to come to terms with (suffering, old age, death), is something the Boomers don’t want to face.

And like Jackson they have had enough money (as a group), power plus a huge dose of historical luck (so far, anyways) to be able to get away with it.

I think that this has had several effects on the Baby Boomers: their readiness to accept notions that other generations have dismissed particularly in the area of sex.

“Free love” was around in the 20’s; no group of people have ever equated heterosexuality, which is the perpetuating mechanism of society, with homosexuality, which is a deviation, and the gross trivialization of the relationship between heterosexual men and women and the act of sex between them.

The flurry of material on aging now that is trying to hustle the notion that old age is

like the first half of life is just one more recent example. (AARP mag headline: “Sixty is another thirty!”)

The Boomers have also had a hard time with the notion of laws and limits. Their heroes and heroines are those who challenge laws, sometimes all laws, not those who uphold them.

Peter Coyote, the actor, said that when he was young and involved in the Haight-Ashbury movement, the goal was absolute freedom.

This is a normal adolescent desire. The difficulty is that if it is not out grown, chaos follows.

And is you don’t believe that, look around you.

The Baby Boomers have always made me think of a drunk on a tight-rope.

Experience says that at some point, there will be a fall.

We’ll see.

Posted by Gus @ 12:54 PM

Minority Set-Aside Program Ruled Illegal

In one more step towards a level playing field, Chicago’s rule for giving 30% to 40% of contracts to minority or women owned firms, has been struck down. The City has six months to fix the problem.

Read the story here


Posted by CommonSense @ 11:03 AM

Chicago’s Finest Men in Blue

Chicago has approximately 13,500 police officers. During 2003, the police department administered a strictly voluntary physcial fitness exam. The good news is only 8% failed. The bad news is that only 2,756, or 20% of the force actually took the exam. What’s worse is that the police department had to effectively bribe its officers to take the exam by offering a $250 bonus if they passed.

I wonder what the physical state is of the 80% who didn’t take the exam?

The only job I’ve ever had where phyiscial fitness was required was in the Army. The tests weren’t voluntary and we weren’t offered bonuses as an incentive to pass. If we failed the test, we were less than honorably discharged. In otherwords, if we weren’t in shape, we were fired and left with the blight of a federal conviction – the discharge – on our record. Being physically fit was part of the job reqirement.

I would think and hope the same thing would be required of our police officers.

Posted by CommonSense @ 10:58 AM

The Civil War–Twice a Week.

The Washington Times has been running, as a standard feature, columns on the Civil War (or the War Between the States should you prefer to call it that.) I think this will be a big winner for them as I, just in the past year, am an example of neophytes who are amazed with the complexity and depth of that incredible four year story.

Here we see that this week they cover rather unknown individuals and the famous “Irish Brigade.”

Posted by Fire @ 4:52 AM

The Economy: “Things Are Going Great–And They’re Only Getting Better.”

I’m doing all right, getting good grades, the future’s so bright…well, you remember the song. I don’t understand how the left lies about

all this promising economic data.

Yesterday, a carpenter informed me we were still in a recession. I had to straighten the guy out. The recession lasted from February of 2001 to November of 2001. Keep buying stuff, I mean I won’t, but you should.

Posted by Fire @ 4:37 AM

Time to Get Up, No, Let’s Wait About 3, I mean, 15 Minutes.

Posted by Fire @ 8:54 PM


When will it end? It won’t unless people like you and I do something about it.

This is a magnificent essay

on the attempt to devalue all those who lived before the Emancipation Proclaimation was issued. Political operatives posing as scholars who undermine the history of Jefferson, Madison and Washington are an absolute disgrace and the pinnacle of anti-intellectualism.

The cumulative effect of the new mandate to put slavery “at the center of the story of early America” is likely to be devastating. Imagine if, in the centuries after the fall of Athens, the West had concentrated single-mindedly on the fact — quite undeniable — that the Greeks kept slaves. Imagine if every book that appeared on Plato, Aristotle, and Sophocles put at “the center of the story” the sin of Greek slavery. If the mantra “Never Forget: They Kept Lots of Slaves” had been applied to the Greeks as rigorously as it is now to be applied to the American Founders, Saint Augustine would never have happened. Neither would Aquinas have emerged, in any form remotely resembling the one we know. The same goes for Dante, Petrarch, the Renaissance, vast chunks of our inheritance.

Posted by Fire @ 8:50 PM

The Akira Kurosawa Story.
Fine work by Thomas Hibbs on the Asian films of yesterday and today’s Japanese culture.

Too bad Nice Guy’s busy because he could provide sterling analysis on the topic. I learned a lot from this one. It’s a subject I personally knew nothing about. I badly want to see the 1957

Throne of Blood

and will put it on my Amazon wish list as I know my video store won’t get it. However, I’m on buying restriction until March 1st 2004 but maybe after that I could swing it. It’s based on


and sounds marvelous.

Posted by Fire @ 8:41 PM

Nit-Wits and Neat Guys

For all the jerks in sports today, and they have multiplied at a frightening rate, Joe Horn, Latrell Spreewell, Rasheed (again?!) Wallace and all the rest, there are some guys whom it is just fun to watch because they are good at what they do and they are neat human beings.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present Brett Favre.

I’ve always liked Favre because his definition of a receiver being open is that there is 1/4″ margin to get the ball in between three defenders. He has a gun for an arm and more often than not pulls off what he is trying to do.

His performance in the Monday night game when he threw 4 touchdown passes was magnificent only made the moreso by the act that his father had just died.

There are other quarterbacks with great arms, Jeff George comes to mind, who try to do the same things but can’t quite seem to pull it off.

What distinguishes Favre is his judgement both as a passer and in his arrogance. He knows, most of the time anyway, when to throw and when to hold, but he also has a brand of arrogance that says,” Just because I’m going to crush your manhood by completing this 3rd and 18 with an impossible down-and-out throw, then jump up and down because I’m happy doesn’t make it personal.”

And it doesn’t come across that way.

We have the privilege of watching someone who is very good at what he does, do it and enjoy it and not bash other people in the process.

It’s a nice experience.

Posted by Gus @ 4:07 PM

Tyrrell Owens/Joe Horn Corruption of NFL.
Mark Goldblatt provides this offering

on the cosmic justice of Joe Horn, of the New Orleans Saints, losing last week on a botched extra point after his touchdown antics humiliated the Giants the week before. Goldblatt is right to state that such displays are an attempt to humiliate one’s opponent. They are. Also, it is reflective of the honor, which we as children admired in sport, vanishing. Wish I wrote it myself.

Incidentally, Mark Goldblatt has a new website that we should remember as he’s written some fine pieces like this one on the Iraq protests which inspired me to pen one of my own.

Posted by Fire @ 5:02 AM

Hate Speech of the Left.
Jeff Jacoby comes in this morning with this piece

and I’m glad he did. The true enemies of free speech are on the left and he shares with us some unpleasant reminders of this fact:

…when Jesse Jackson explicitly likened the proposals of the new majority to Nazism and apartheid — “If this were Germany, we would call it fascism. If this were South Africa, we would call it racism” — there wasn’t even a ripple of disapproval. Julianne Malveaux, a radio host and USA Today columnist, caught no flak when she prayed aloud for the death of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease,” she snarled on PBS.

Posted by Fire @ 4:54 AM

Come to Think of It, I Do Have a Couple Sick Days Left.

Posted by Fire @ 5:50 PM

Our Politically Correct Past

Recently, I saw the movie “Big Fish.” It is a movie about a son who tries to come to terms with not knowing whom his dying father really is, only to learn he’s known him all along. Unfortunately, the movie is receiving critical claim because the thing is borderline crap. The movie is nothing more than a Susan Sarandon mother/daughter love flick without the soft focus.

However, I have a problem with the movie for another reason. The movie made some politically correct casting decisions. The decisions were not as drastic as the local evening news with one of everything plus a second of another thrown in for good measure. But, the decisions were still noticeable.

Many scenes in “Big Fish” take place as a flash back to segregationist Alabama between most likely the 1940s through 1960s, with one scene in the early 1970s. This is significant because the main character in the movie is white. In the flash back scenes, the main character is seen as a youth – growing up in segregationist Alabama mind you, with a black playmate paling around in a group of whites. The scene in the 1970s shows the main character’s child being born with a black physician on hand (played by TV’s loveable Benson I might add).

In Alabama at those times, I highly doubt a black kid and group of whites would have ever been within ten feet of one another on the basis of equals. And I hardly doubt a black doctor would have been allowed to deliver a white baby. And I hope I am wrong on both accounts. But I seriously doubt it.

My question is why did the moviemakers make the questionable casting decision? Was it because the movie is about the telling and believing of tall tales so the allusion that segregation didn’t exist becomes part of that tale? Or is because it really doesn’t matter, after all it is just a movie; so a few jobs might as well be given to black actors? If that is the case, why not pick the cast by choosing “one from everything?” If it truly doesn’t matter in the context of this movie, when do we start telling people that there is the blight of segregation in America’s past? Do we tell them only in school when it is time to learn?

I would think that no matter what the situation, we as a society would want to be reminded of our past. That is not to advocate that society be collectively hit over the head with the reminder in every minute of every day. But where it is appropriate to show that at one time institutional racism did exist in this country– in depictions of that time – we should show it.

As we strive for a more integrated and equal society, if a child, white or black, asks why there is no one “that is different” in a movie scene, we should be able to tell him. It will provide a litmus test to show us how far we have come as a nation and as a civilization towards reaching our liberal goals.

Otherwise, we will begin to forget out pasts. And you know what they say . . . Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:36 PM

Why I Am A Feminist

Tonight I realized something. I am a feminist. Not only am I a feminist, but I am also the ultimate feminist.

It is not because I feel that men are truly the weaker species and we need a good dose of gurrl power to keep us in line. It is not because I feel that men, specifically men of European decent, have subjected women to a life of domestic servitude. Nor, is it because I feel that men are nothing more than chauvinistic pigs.

I am a feminist because I hate to work.

Yes, I said it. I hate to work. I hate the frustration of the morning commute and I hate the empty good mornings and I hate the inane lunchroom banter and I hate watching the clock only to endure another exhaust fume sucking afternoon traffic jam. I hate it more than anything on the planet. (Well, not as much as an Avalanche Stanley Cup but that’s another story).

So in order to not work, I must be a feminist. It is out of necessity. The bills must still get paid. Therefore, in order to do so, I am willing to say that women are equally capable of working as men have over the centuries. I am willing to have a woman be the breadwinner while I stay home all day and pursue the leisurely arts. And for that I am willing to stand up and shout “Equal Pay For Equal Work!”

“But what about house work?” you might ask. “After all, they don’t call it work for nothing.” My willingness to allow a woman to support me unconditionally is not so shallow as to see this problem. My woman will earn enough to afford a maid and perhaps a nanny or two. After all, my woman will not want me to over extend myself between the mahjong club, book club, and mundane choirs such as purchasing groceries. So if at first she cannot afford these necessities, she will work harder.

“Ha!” you might exclaim! “You still can’t have kids. There’s one traditional female role you can’t exchange!” Alas my friends, I have thought of an answer for that too. My woman will be career focused and too busy working to support me to have the desire for children. But, if the biological drive proves too strong, there is always the option of adoption or worse, if the magic little pill stops working its magic, thanks to the Family Leave Act, she’ll have plenty of time to bond with our off-spring before she heads back to the office. There will be nothing to fear because I will be home. I will not be working.

I know that feminism is not popular. And I know that many do not understand my position. But sometimes in life, a man has to stand up for what he believes in. For me, that time is now.

Women, I stand by the sisterhood as you defy the world and show that you are capable of everything that a man does. I am willing to give up working so you can support me. There’s nothing in this world I would love more.

I am a feminist. Hear me roar.

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:34 PM

On Iran

As an estimated body count in Iran rises upwards of 20,000, the country is pleading for international aide – aide from all countries in the world except for one. In the Iranian’s time of grieving they still have the time to show in their hearts how much they hate. That one country that Iran explicitly said they would not accept aide from is Israel.

Whether the country is known as Iran or Persia, one thing is perfectly clear: their situation can never be too difficult to find a way to express their hatred of Jews.

I hope they find 40,000 bodies.

Posted by CommonSense @ 12:33 PM

Trilogy Tuesdays at the Theatre.
Here’s a first hand, meticulous journalistic report on the strange world of pre-release parties and Lord of the Rings “true believers.”

The high correlation between being a Tolkien fan and being a fan of Star Wars implies that this is really a devotional insiders view of science ficitionites in general. Definitely worth reading.

Posted by Fire @ 8:24 AM

Your Own Private Weimar.

Has the internet become a competing source of radicalism that has little or no moderates within it?

That’s the argument made here in this pretty interesting article

that suggests that most bloggers and internetateers are either of the freerepublic or camp. I would proffer that most of us are either Libertarian or conservative but there is undoubtedly a strong, minority leftist presence in the blogosphere.

Posted by Fire @ 8:18 AM