October 21st, 2009


Amplification across the nation

Bob Herbert gives the worship of the Invisible Hand a rare and righteous smackdown in the NYT, being one of the rare members of the SCLM with a memory longer than a guppy's; people all over the blogosphere are getting fed up with the SCLM's endless torrent of "Pity the poor rich, they are being made to feel BAAAAD about their new Jags and it's TOUGH when you can no longer afford to have three maids!" and mocking it with great gusto - as well as pointing out that, you know, this attitude may have something to do with why their subscriber bases keep shrinking; the pushback against "we can't afford healthcare for all" with "we can't afford NOT to" by the grassroots seems to be having effect, if seeming Sisyphean-slow; and so - as ever - it goes.

Also, you can find 1939's Mr. Smith Goes To Washington entirely on the internets (I find Kickass Torrents to be the best & safest source), and there was even an original Spanish-language dub of it from Argentina called "Knight Without A Sword" (Caballero sin Espada) which is at least in part up on Youtube.

Yes, it's Capra, and thus cloying. It's also still really relevant - particularly the bits about Claude Raines' chara. (And, with the original trailer on IMDb, you can see another demonstration of how much more sexist Hollywood has become - Jean Arthur got top billing back then, just like Olivia de Havilland did in Captain Blood's PR. Leading ladies were considered selling points, and for more than their T&A.)

Along that line, to explain the question so many of my readers from abroad have asked - why is it so difficult to pass beneficial reforms in this country? - I will answer with a joke that I saw a while back on a blog; unfortunately I'm not sure where or who first posted it. The joke goes that Sen. Al Franken, the former comedian from Saturday Night Live who once told war criminal Kissinger to take a hike when the latter was trying to scrounge up tickets to the studio show, upon being finally seated after all the challenges mounted by his Republican rival Coleman were thrown out by the courts, was very nervous and self-conscious about making protocol mistakes. So of course he makes one, saying "The floor recognizes the senator from Anthem Blue Cross" - at which Freudian slip, thirty senators rise to their feet!

It wouldn't be funny if it weren't all-too-true - which makes it not funny at all, really.