Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Keith Carradine, 63. I mostly associate him with Alan Rudolph, who I liked a lot during his peak (although I suppose he's the Don Mattingly or Mo Vaughn of directors -- very nice peak, but that's about it, and it's not as if he was Pujols or McGwire at his peak). I'm a big fan of Choose Me and Trouble in Mind (oddly enough, never saw Welcome to L.A., though), and I liked The Moderns and even like Mrs. Parker, although I guess I"m the only one who did...looking up Rudolph, I'm surprised how many of his movies I've missed. I should do something about that. Getting back to Carradine: I haven't watched Dexter (not really interested, although I'm sure it's great) or Deadwood (high on my list, just haven't got around to it). I did enjoy seeing him on Dollhouse, though.

Sorry for the rambling, have to get to the good stuff:

1. Brendan Nyhan on reporters, fact-checkers and the Harry Reid thing. I agree with most of it, but still disagree about what fact-checkers should be doing about it. Note comments from two top fact-checkers; good to know they're listening, at least.

2. E. J. Graff on where "having it all" comes from anyway -- and what can be done about it.

3. Nate Silver makes a point that can't be made often enough about swing states, this time via North Carolina.

4. And the case for reviving Crossfire, from Ramesh Ponnuru. I'm pretty sure he's wrong -- even if you could get Crossfire at its best, and you probably can't get anywhere close to Crossfire at its best. But I'm not entirely sure he's wrong.


  1. The first thing that comes to mind for me when you say Keith Carradine is "Nashville," in which he's fantastic. I still think of him more as a member of Altman's company than of Alan Rudolph's.

    1. Yeah, I'm not proud of this one: I tried to watch "Nashville" once and couldn't get through it. I'm pretty sure it was just the mood I was in that day...I've been intending to go back to it, but haven't yet.

      Rudolph would have been even better if he had been able to poach John Schuck away from Altman, too.

  2. I'm not sure a revived Crossfire would solve the polarization problem or civilize the tenor of debate, but I do think it could be entertaining and at least slightly more substantive than a lot of what's on cable news these days. Plus there's this great quote from the Ponnuru piece:

    'Of course, I’m not a professional TV executive. Then again, the professional executives at CNN sank millions into “Parker Spitzer.” Maybe it’s worth listening to someone else. '

  3. I found myself liking Mrs. Parker quite a bit too when I saw it recently, even if it does drag a bit towards the end. And The Moderns was a lot of fun.

  4. E.J. Graff's article was very interesting and I agree with it. The problem, as with all social movements in the United States, is that such fundamental social changes are nearly impossible in America for a variety of reasons. The Feminist movement ran into the same problems as other previous movements seeking fundmental social change in America, America's individualistic ideology and the Madisonian political system.

    The fierce individualism in American society always created a hostility towards any sort of solution that could be deemed collectivist. Thats why American feminism ended up being about allowing women to seek power and individual fulfillment than radical changes in American society. Our Madisonian political system prevented things like universal daycare from being implmented. During the late first or early second Nixon administration, Congress passed a bill that would institute universal daycare in the United States. Nixon vetoed it because the proto-Evangelicals did not like it, believing it would weaken the family.

    Any sort of movement seeking fundamental social change needs to recognize that the individualist ideology and the Madisonian system are against them. Most have not and suffered as a result.


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