Tuesday, December 25, 2007

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A very important post about.... things I will not miss while I am away

Your humble blogger is getting the hell out of Dodge for the rest of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Blogging will be nonexistent for the next 36 hours, followed by ten days of, at best, posting whenever I damn well feel like it which won't be that often light to intermittent blogging.

Since it is the end of the year and I will be out of the country, here is a short list of things I will not be missing while I am gone:

1) Paul Krugman's jihad against Barack Obama. As an outsider to progressive infighting, this was fun for a few go-arounds, but we've now hit the tedious patch when Krugman spends every column and blog post searching desperately for something to dump on Obama. This is Krugman at his most humorless and least persuasive.

How bad has it gotten? If Krugman had written a column for Christmas Day, here's how I suspect it would have opened:

In the fifties, the elves at the Norh Pole were more than 40% unionized, and as we all know, it was the golden age of the elf middle class. Elf wages have since declined, and if you think that's only because of globalization and technological change, hey, here's a single magazine article from five years ago that ostensibly upends that supposition (while whiffing on the underlying causal trend).

Moving, on, Barack Obama claims that, as Santa, he will help the elf middle class. He has also said, however, that he wants to be "the Santa of the naughty and the nice." He's criticized the elf union for funding alternative candidates. It's conciliatory rhetoric like that which will guarantee that Obama will not be elected by a wide margin, dooming the progressive elf movement to a curious footnote in history....

2) Any more talk about Jamie Lynn Spears... really, it's the female equivalent of the Mitchell Report. There's a lot of "what about the children?" gnashing of teeth for both issues. In the spirit of Peyton Manning's Pep Talks, here's my advice:
Wondering what to tell your children about Jamie Lynn Spears being pregnant? Tell them it means that Jamie Lynn Spears is clearly a better actress than her sister, since the character she portrays is apparently much more level-headed than Spears herself.

In the end, it doesn't matter all that much, since the girl is worth gazillions and can therefore afford to hire people to assist in raising the child competently. Unless your children are as wealthy as Spears, however, assure them that if they get pregnant at that age, regardless of what they choose to do, they're going to be creating a serious wrinkle in how they thought their life was going to turn out.

3) Debates about whether Juno or Knocked Up is the better movie. It's like asking which gender you prefer -- there's no right or wrong answer to the question. I've seen both of them - I laughed harder at Knocked Up, but found more of Juno's characters (and cast) more interesting.

What's more interesting is the notion that the writers of these movies -- Judd Apatow and Diablo Cody -- might be having an extended film conversation, if this Entertainment Weekly profile of Cody is at all accurate:

Cody's taste runs more toward movies like Rosemary's Baby and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (she props a Spicoli black-and-white-checked sneaker onto the booth as evidence of her devotion), or sharply funny TV like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. ''God, I would slit my wrists to meet Judd Apatow.''

After Cody saw Superbad, she immediately went home and started writing a female response to the teen comedy, which Universal promptly snatched up. Girly Style, named after the wuss version of push-ups, tells the story of some nerdy college women.

4) Blogger endorsements. Yes, I toyed with the idea, but Ann Althouse has a valid point -- I didn't endorse during the 2004 primaries. Why start now?

On the other hand, Matthew Yglesias and the Concord Monitor are onto something with the "undorsement" idea. So, my two undorsements of candidates that could ostensibly win are.... John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani.

My reasons for the Giuliani undorsement have been made clear.

As for Edwards -- I can't take seriously anyone who thinks that a free trade agreement with Peru -- Peru!! -- is somehow going to devastate workers and communities. Proposing to "make top prosecutors at the Department of Justice responsible for enforcing trade agreements"? I love how Edwards wants to re-engage with the world and simultaneously bully these governments into accepting American terms. Hillary Clinton's trade positions are problematic, but Edwards is Hillary on steroids.

posted by Dan on 12.25.07 at 07:59 AM


Krugman was standing with his nose pressed against the window wishing he could get in during the last Clinton Administration, because he hadn't carried water for Bill. He is eager not to make the same mistake again. Will it work? Who knows.

posted by: dave.s. on 12.25.07 at 07:59 AM [permalink]

Oh, the answer to question #3 is clearly Juno. I laughed more at Juno than Knocked Up (heck, I thought Superbad was vastly better than the latter), although some of that may be just due to waiting to see Knocked Up on DVD.

posted by: Chris Lawrence on 12.25.07 at 07:59 AM [permalink]

Hey Danny, I just discovered your blog some 15 minutes ago or so and I like it. I hardly ever show up simply to complement a blogger but I appreciate the blog so you're worthy of the accolades.


posted by: mnuez on 12.25.07 at 07:59 AM [permalink]

The hype around Miss Spears is shameful. Since when are actors responsible for being the character they play on screen? And let's not assume that every 16-year-old mother is going to be irresponsible. Really, who is out there castigating the young man?

posted by: Charli Carpenter on 12.25.07 at 07:59 AM [permalink]

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