March 3, 2006

Friday Roundup

"Duke" Cunningham to be sentenced today. There was a Congressional Historian being quoted on the radio today saying that, dollar for dollar, Cunningham is the most corrupt representative in History. He took more money in bribes than any other Congressman. Ever.

I can only hope that Alba v. Playboy will someday make it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Is it weird that, in light of recent revelations, I'm starting to feel like Brownie got a raw deal?

Finally today's Rant of the Day comes from James Wolcott on the subject of "Hollywood Values" conflicting with "Heartland Values"

The heartland issue is such a crock, especially when it's taken up by pseudo-populist pundits who cling to both coasts and wouldn't move to the middle of the country unless the name of that middle was Chicago. Fuck the heartland. It doesn't exist. It's a metaphor for all the simple good things Americans would believe in if they flattered themselves by believing in simple good things. (Go reread Sherwood Anderson or Sinclair Lewis if you want to savor the loneliness and cultureless vacuity of so much of the bedrock America we insist on coloring with Norman Rockwell nostalgia.) It's true that more Americans than usual are unaquainted and uninterested in the Oscar pics this year, but how many Americans saw McCabe and Mrs. Miller when it came out? Or Mean Streets? Not that long ago, the Oscars noms were panned because for being an index of popularity, not quality; now quality prevails in the judging, tastes have improved even at the Golden Globes, and the kvetching chorus is complaining that the finalists chosen aren't commercial enough, and don't reflect the interests and values of average Americans. There's no such thing as an average American anymore (if there ever was), unless by "average American" you mean (as news producers and pundits seem to do) white, middle-aged, heterosexual Christian small-towners and suburbanites who won't even be watching the Academy Awards because it'll be past their bedtime and they have elk to milk the next morning.

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