Thursday, May 16, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to David Boreanaz, 44. Totally impossible for me to get my mind around the idea that there are people who think of him as the guy from Bones; he still has a few more episodes as Angel, but not very many. Angel is my least favorite of the Whedon TV shows, but I am happy to see that Gunn is going to be on the Avengers show. Excellent.

Oh, I shouldn't forget the good stuff:

1. I only have a very plain blog, full of what are apparently technically called text-heavy pieces of content. Nevertheless, I agree with Chris Cillizza.

2. Sarah Kliff on the Senate actually confirming someone to head the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

3. Framing. No, not the public opinion kind; the baseball kind. Catchers, that is. Ben Lindbergh explains what a big deal it appears to be.

4. And Matt Yglesias on Star Trek -- including his best-of rankings. Only one quibble, really: I still think the torture episode of Next Generation is pretty awful. He underrates the Kirk series, but I'll give him that on changing tastes and standards over time. He nailed the movies, though. Maybe I'd put First Contact a bit higher, but no real complain there. I do think, on his main essay, that the quote that best captures the Star Trek idea is the cultural imperialism speech that Quark makes at one point about root beer and the Federation.


  1. I disagree with you "Chain of Command" but have to say that "The Drumhead" certainly was a better TNG episode that the ones Ygleisas sites.

  2. I know that the point of this blog is to confirm prog biases (at Limbaugh strength, not style) but come on! Slate is writing articles that read like Lew Rockwell pieces!:

    James Buchanan? Protect whistleblowers from Obama? This is great stuff!

  3. First Contact higher? I have trouble putting it that high. 6,2,4, JJA, the others (don't care about order), 5 (which must always be dead last).

    1. I've found that, for me at least, 4 doesn't hold up as well.

      I do wonder whether the last Picard one might rival 5 for the worst, but purely because 5 might have more camp value. OTOH, it's not as if I'm going to go back to either to test that judgement any time soon.

  4. My theory on Star Trek is that given what it is, we all most like the series that we know from childhood. I was pleased that Yglesias nailed the two best (Nicholas Meyer) films. But his embrace of The Next Generation as the best series must be due to nostalgia.

    For what it's worth, my take:

    The Charm of Star Trek

    Sure to offend and inspire!

  5. You rank Dollhouse above Angel?

    1. I do, with the caveat that I've only watched each series once through.

  6. It's not like he's a different guy. He's still a courageous, guilt-ridden do-gooder.

  7. My least favorite Whedon is Firefly. It only had one season, and never found its feet.

    I would take Firefly's one season over S1 of Buffy, let alone godawful S4 of Angel.

    Another way to think of Angel/Booth: Angel was born in 18th Century Ireland, and got bitten by a vampire. Had he been born in 20th Century U.S. and joined the Rangers, there's Booth.

  8. I love Angel, not quite as much as Buffy or Firefly. And I didn't like his character at all on Buffy. As with Buffy, get through the first season and I think it settles in. Season 5 of Angel in particular is fantastic, which is in no small part due to Spike.


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