how can you tell when a politician is going down the tubes? (s)he turns to God.
The Russian-born novelist’s writing habits were famously peculiar. Beginning in 1950, he composed first drafts in pencil on ruled index cards, which he stored in long file boxes. Since, Nabokov claimed, he pictured an entire novel in complete form before he began writing it, this method allowed him to compose passages out of sequence, in whatever order he pleased; by shuffling the cards around, he could quickly rearrange paragraphs, chapters, and whole swaths of the book. (His file box also served as portable desk; he started the first draft of Lolita on a road trip across America, working nights in the backseat of his parked car — the only place in the country, he said, with no noise and no drafts.) Only after months of this labor did he finally relinquish the cards to his wife, Vera, for a typed draft, which would then undergo several more rounds of revisions.
Well, among other things, “old” Star Trek wasn’t afraid to be quiet once in a while — to take a look around in wonder about the universe. Sometimes that got tedious — the love shots of the Enterprise got tiring — but the notion that sometimes the audience just needs to slow down and think about something, rather than having it screamed at us as the next flying piece of space debris nearly kills us (I did NOT watch the film in 3-D) is “old” Star Trek.
I also appreciated that old Star Trek had Ricardo Montalban play the whole aspect of a certain type of maleness to an additional degree: not just the strength, and the anger, and the arrogance, and the ambition, but the sexuality/romantic confidence, too. All I got from Cumberbatch was strength, revenge and a certain kind of loyalty. Those characteristics play well in an action movie, less well in a character study.
No doubt this was in part due to the fact that the film barely had 1 1/2 female characters (Uhuru and Carol Marcus), both of whom were “spoken for” in this (or the original) timeline. Abrams hasn’t given women much to do except be there and support their men … Roddenberry had very different ideas.
How’s that for a start?
The magic phrase “national security” is often invoked to justify these transgressions — often in transparently convenient ways (Attorney General Holder claimed the AP had put “lives at risk” with the story that sparked the scrutiny, even though John Brennan had said there was no such risk.) But intrusive surveillance is increasingly wielded in routine criminal investigations with no appeal to a supposedly higher purpose that trumps constitutional protections.
It’s a joy watching government officials dodge questions, insist on blissful ignorance of the world’s evils and invoke their right against self-incrimination. Such great theater. But, at the end of the day, disposing of those officials without doing anything else just clears the way for a new crop of power-abusers and useful drones effectively identical to the last batch, though with a slightly different list of targets for mistreatment.
We should get rid of the abusers sure, if only to remind the next batch that there can be consequences. But it’s much more important to get rid of the agencies and powers that are inevitably abused, year after year, so that we don’t have to act surprised, yet again, that we can’t trust government officials to use power with restraint.
If there ever was tragically visceral evidence of how remix culture fuels creativity and copyright hinders it, it is this: Despite – or perhaps because of – millions of views in less than a week, The David Foster Wallace Literary Trust has filed a copyright claim against the wildly popular YouTube version of the wonderful short film adaptation of Wallace’s timeless 2005 commencement address, This Is Water. (Luckily, you can still watch the film on Vimeo – but that’s beside the point.)
Here is an example of a project made out of love, the existence of which harms the estate in no way, financial or otherwise, but serves the public good by way of cultural preservation and celebration of Wallace’s spirit and legacy, extending his message and allowing it to touch more lives. That the estate finds any of this harmful is gobsmacking, at once an aberration of the law and a complete failure of cultural duty.
"As sometimes happens, the legislation that emerged was far too broad, and would have had ramifications that neither he nor the Commonwealth’s attorney’s office ever intended. Sen. Obenshain is strongly against imposing any added burden for women who suffer a miscarriage, and that was never the intent of the legislation."
The Virginia GOP’s nominee for attorney general says his bill to criminalize unreported miscarriages was a big misunderstanding—it was just a poorly written law. So, you know, it’s a good thing he wants to be attorney general. (via motherjones)
- this is the kind of bullshit response I’d expect from someone who just got their ass handed to them for being a dick.
Obama Went Off Script To Address Gay Grads Directly At Morehouse College: A slight change in the language, but a significant change in meaning. Instead of a veiled reference to same-sex couples, Obama made the language direct.