Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.


Friday, July 18, 2003  

Time Well Spent Department: James Lileks closes today's Bleat with some comments on an awful movie -- The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.

It's a Woody Allen movie, and it's frighteningly awful. Oh, it has that Woodman sheen; the sets are great, the costumes perfect, the lighting superb, the camerawork exquisite, but at the center of the thing is this bleached prune in a trenchcoat doing schtick, this tiny withered sixty-something pickle pretending he's a sex-magnet for Helen "A moment of silence, please, for those windswept T-Shirt shots in 'Twister'" Hunt. I mean, gaaah. And the dialogue! If it weren't for Woody Allen movies, the tin industry would collapse.

It's horrible. And I have to finish it tonight, so you'll excuse me if I stop now and get to the whole uploading-cursing-editing-reuploading part of my evening. There's at least an hour of the film left to watch. Like so many of Woody's recent works, it's dreadful.

And such large portions!


James, if it's so awful, why on God's green earth do you have to finish watching it? Toss it aside and get on with your life. I mean, what have you lost by not seeing the last hour of it? What do you gain? An hour to spend on something you like, such as editing home movies of Gnat. Now that would be an hour well spent!

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:11 AM
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Thursday, July 17, 2003  

Willful Ignorance Department: Writing in Slate, Christopher Hitchens says:

. . . [T]o believe that the Saddam regime had nothing to hide is to believe that he threw out the U.N. inspectors in 1998 and then said to himself: "Great. Now I can get on with my dream of unilaterally disarming Iraq!" Who can be such a fool as to believe any such thing?


Who indeed? The Democratic presidential hopefuls, it seems. Mark Steyn puts it this way:
They’ve let post-impeachment, post-chad-dangling bitterness unhinge them to the point where, given a choice between investigating the intelligence lapses that led to 9/11 and the intelligence lapses that led to a victorious war in Iraq, they stampede for the latter. Iraq was a brilliant campaign fought with minimal casualties, 11 September was a humiliating failure by government to fulfill its primary role of national defence. But Democrats who complained that Bush was too slow to act on doubtful intelligence re 9/11 now profess to be horrified that he was too quick to act on doubtful intelligence re Iraq. This is not a serious party.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 3:54 PM
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Tuesday, July 15, 2003  

Lost In Translation Department: We went to a family reunion this weekend, and my youngest uncle told a story that illustrates the dangers of assuming that the jargon you use is universally understood.

He started the story by saying "This isn't a true story, but with dad, it could have been."

One day, Anton [my grandfather] was working in a field when a traveling evangelist came by. The traveling evangelist greeted Anton and said "Are you lost?"

Anton said, "No, my house is right over there, and my barn is over there. I know exactly where I am."

The evangelist said, "No. I mean, are you a member of the Christian family?"

Anton said, "No, I'm a member of the Jacobsen family. You must be thinking of the Christiansen family. They live a few miles north of town."

The evangelist was becoming a bit frustrated, and said, "No, you don't understand. I want to know if you're ready for the judgement!"

Anton said, "When is it?"

The evangelist said, "I don't know! It could be tomorrow! It could be the day after that!"

Anton replied, "Well, when you find out, let me know. I don't want to go twice."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:47 AM
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Blogrolling Department: I found Jenn lurking in the comments. Now she's in the Blogroll. Take a look.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:02 AM
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