Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rumpus Customer Service

Faithful reader Conservative in Virginia recently chided us for the dearth of blogging in Rumpusland.

We aim to please here at Rumpus, so I herewith offer my random observations about each of C.I.V.'s suggested blogging subjects:

Rudy wimps out -- I don't know that I'd put it that way. I think that after the Florida debacle, he understood that his campaign had failed. The "Florida firewall" strategy was always very risky, though I think it might have worked if the Huckabee voters in Iowa hadn't changed the dynamics of the race and tipped New Hampshire toward John McCain. I do think that the best moment thus far for John McCain's campaign was the endorsement from Giuliani. Giuliani is a very effective public speaker who makes even his prepared statements seem warm, informal and "off the cuff." McCain's emotional response to the Giuliani endorsement seemed genuine, and I loved McCain's anecdote about the 2001 Yankees-Diamondbacks Game 7 in which the Diamondbacks crowd cheered and cheered for Giuliani. Then he turned around and appeared bitter, smug, and Clintonian in his attacks on Romney in the Republican debate.

McCain pretends to be conservative -- There is at least one issue on which McCain has always been more conservative than, say, Giuliani or even Romney, and as far as I know, he is expected to get the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee. He also staked his entire campaign on the success of the surge, and that took some political courage. I'm not convinced that he has seen the light on immigration, and McCain-Feingold will always be an albatross around his neck, but I can't go along with those conservatives -- some in my own family -- who insist they won't vote in the general election if McCain is the candidate. I have some sympathy for conservatives like the commenter I noticed in one thread (I can't remember the blog where it originated) who said that if McCain is the nominee he'll stick a "Jindal 2012" bumper sticker on his car and hope for the best. I understand the perspective of some "movement conservatives" who want to wait around in the tall grass until another Reagan comes along, but my question to them would be, "What if McCain wins without you?"

Hillary's voice -- Can you stand 8 years of screeching? A HA HA HAAA HAAAAAA HAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAA! I'm doing my best "Hillary laughs to disarm her questioner and deflect the question" imitation here. If Obama does as well as I think he will in the Super Tuesday primaries, we might not have Clinton's screech to kick around. That'd be kind of a shame, don't you think?

Celebrity breakdowns -- I could comment on Britney's latest travails, but I prefer not to. Ah, democracy! Ah, humanity!

The latest in Bratz fashions -- One pleasant by-product of the move to Kansas seems to have been a greatly diminished focus among the tweens in Cashew's school on the Bratz and their evil minions. American Girl dolls seem popular here, and that's another issue, but not quite as disturbing or new-seeming as the Bratz issue.

Superbowl -- Go Eli!

The weather (always better than here) -- Always better than there, my friend? Always better than there? Bwahahahahaaaa!! [rubbing chapped, bleeding hands and laughing maniacally]. I feel like I haven't been warm for months.

VP possibilities -- If McCain is the nominee, I will be very unhappy if he chooses Huckabee as a VP candidate. In my non-expert opinion, a McCain-Thompson ticket would probably be best, unless the McCain campaign can come up with some "making history" candidate who is ready for prime time, and I can't think of one right now. As for the VP choices on the other side, I could see Clinton choosing Obama as a running mate, but I can't see Obama choosing Clinton; it seems to go against the grain of his entire campaign. What about all those people who are voting for Obama because he's likable, whip-smart, and represents Real Change (whatever that means)? What are they going to do when they see the Dynasty candidate on the ticket with him? Isn't that going to create some cognitive dissonance?

Life in Kansas -- Kansas is the land of the beautiful Wal-Marts. I never went to the Wal-Mart near our house in California, because it was always depressing, dirty, dimly-lit, unorganized, and filled with employees who were at best indifferent and at worst openly hostile to my questions. I dreaded going to the Wal-Mart here, but when I finally did it was an entirely different experience. When I walked in, I could have sworn I heard a choir of angels singing somewhere in the ceiling rafters. Everything was shiny and immaculate and beautifully organized and when I asked one of the army of smiling employees where I could find a particular item, he walked me to the correct aisle. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Southern California anymore.

Updates on Peanut, Cashew, Wonderpup, and Stewpups -- All fine. Cashew is enjoying playing in a basketball league, and Peanut is loving ballet and even learning a little bit of French during lessons. Peanut recently had a vision screening, and was referred to an eye doctor for a second look. When I told her she was going to go to an eye doctor to check and see if she needed glasses (like her Daddy), she said, "That's insane! I've been seeing for years!"

Writer's strike -- Can't bring myself to care.

Did Bernanke blink? Or were the rate cuts justified? -- I'm not qualified to answer this one. Any other Rumpusers want to chime in?

Should Barack change his name to Barak H. O'Bama to get the Jewish and Irish votes in NY? He'll probably get those anyway, won't he? Well, maybe not the Irish vote if McCain's the nominee.

Bubba, Babs, Oprah, etc. If I never hear about any of them ever again, it'll be soon enough. I do think, however, that Babs's son-in-law waz robbed in the Oscar nominations. Apropos of nothing, why is it that the Oscar voters always seem to favor actors who play either psychos or people with disabilities? Yes, Javier Bardem is quite creepy and frightening as Anton Chigurh, but is it really so hard to play a psychopath? I've never quite bought this cant about how actors and actresses have to leap into some dark abyss in their psyches in order to play characters like Hannibal Lecter. It always reminds me of the story I've heard about Laurence Olivier conversing with Dustin Hoffman during the filming of Marathon Man. Hoffman was supposedly describing his method acting approach to the role, which required him, among other things, not to sleep for a few days in order to get into the character. Olivier replied, "Why not try acting?"


Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

You've finally come out of hibernation. Hooray!

The weather referred to the SoCal Rumpus, not Kansas. We've got friends who moved to KS and get regular reports on the extreme weather of the month.

The Bernanke question was to stump y'all. Fed Watching is a pastime in these parts, but I expected the LA crowd to ask, "What movie was he in?"

BTW, if you really want to understand the financial crises, you really can't beat this video.

February 03, 2008 5:08 PM  
Blogger Templeton Peck said...

I'll chime in a bit on that "playing a psycho" comment Kate... I think you underestimate the difficulty of playing a character like that...I mean anyone can put on the Hockey mask and slash up the main characters, but Mr.Bardem's greatness in that role came from the deliberate, constant, feeling he gave me of there being a completely mad, out of control person juuuussst behind that quiet facade he had for the entire film. The repression of that madman...was to me?..a work of true art as an actor, and kept me on the edge of my chair for pretty much the entire film. The thought of someone saying " So? git'en a lot of rain up that way?"... now makes me break out in a cold sweat. I think the depth of that preformance is one that I'll appreciate for a very long time, and was much more difficult to pull off than he made it seem.

February 04, 2008 1:48 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Hey, Temp! Thanks for chiming in. I appreciate your perspective, since you obviously know a lot more about acting than I do.

I wasn't trying to detract from Bardem's performance. I agree with you that Bardem is terrific in the role -- really, truly frightening, much scarier (for me) than Hannibal Lecter, for instance. I just think that the relative "showiness" (for lack of a better word) of psycho roles tends to make us underestimate the difficulty of a performance like Brolin's. Anyway, I'm glad I managed to see the movie on the big screen. Having the movie-theater sound really made a difference in this case, and I was struck by how relatively little dialogue Barden and Brolin actually had.

Anyway, that scene ("Call it, friend-o") that you mentioned is the best in the whole movie. I also go on record as liking the ending, though I think the only flaw in the script was that Tommy Lee Jones as the Greek chorus wasn't given quite enough weight. Ah, I could go on and on about it. Maybe I should try to write a coherent post about it. It's *still* not as perfect a movie as Miller's Crossing, but then again what is?

February 04, 2008 2:20 PM  
Blogger stewdog said...

Welcome back to blogville, KM. Its been to long.
Stewife is a member of Film Actors Guild (yes. . FAG) and we received a comlimentary copy of No Country For Old Men. I have surround sound upstairs so I didn't miss out on that. That film goes immediatly to the top of my list of great and favorite movies. Bardam's Character joins the list of all time bad guys. The film was flat out brilliant from start to finish. Every small character was brilliantly written, acted, and directed.
"If I don't come back, Tell my mother I lover her."
"Your mother's dead, Llewellen".
"Well, then I'll tell her myself".

February 04, 2008 2:51 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

By the way, CIV, what movie was Bernanke in? :)

Thanks for the video. It was very amusing.

February 04, 2008 10:41 PM  

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