Sporadic Blogging Alert

I suppose I should give an explanation for why I haven’t blogged in a week, despite such notable stories as the 2nd quarter fundraising reports (awesome/hilarious), the Libby commutation (horrible but not at all surprising), the revelation, from Gary Hart and Lee Hamilton, via Jim Fallows, that we could very well have been fighting China if it weren’t for 9/11 (even scarier than I would have thought), and the criticism of Sarkozy for engaging in the allegedly right-wing activity of jogging (you gotta love the French). The reason is that I’ve been interning for the Barack Obama campaign down in Manchester for most of that time, leaving little time for Minipuditry (yes, that is a noun now). So expect very light and irregular blogging for the duration of the summer.

6 thoughts on “Sporadic Blogging Alert

  1. And now for something completely different.
    I saw “The Lives of Others” on a plane flight on Saturday night. It was one of the best movies that I have seen in a long time. It had some interesting lessons for current politics too.

  2. I have some lingering bitterness toward Lives of Others due to the fact that it beat out Pan’s Labyrinth for best foreign film at the Oscars; as good as Lives is supposed to be, it’s hard to see it being superior to Pan, which is clearly one of the greatest films ever made.

  3. Instead of resenting any particular movie that does or doesn’t win an Oscar, you should instead give the Oscars the respect that they deserve. Which is to say, none.
    I believe you that Pan’s Labyrinth is a great film. It’s already in our Netflix queue. When we watch it, I will not devote even one thought to The Lives of Others, which is an entirely unrelated great film.

  4. I realize that it’s totally irrational to care about the Oscars, and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m completely apathetic about the Grammys and the Emmys. But for whatever reason I still care; any how, I’ll work on it.
    More seriously, I have a family friend who’s a German professor (he did his dissertation on East German romance literature and cinema during the Cold War) who has levied some pretty serious criticisms of the film’s historical accuracy. While he still appreciates it as art, I get the sense that he thinks the film exaggerates the Stasi’s real reach. He claims that both Good Bye, Lenin! and Lives of Others distort the actual legacy of East Germany, though in opposite ways.

  5. Sure, just like The Godfather exaggerates the mafia. Fiction is entitled to magnify its subject.
    Beyond that, I really don’t want to spoil the Lives of Others by analyzing it. Just watch it and see. Okay, I’ll say this much: when you watch it, you should consider what it implies, without saying a word about it directly, about current politics. Not to mention what it says about being human, all politics aside.
    As it happens, I also saw two other good features on Delta Airlines recently. (Of all places — their personal video system is actually very nice.) Like the Lives of Others, I give the animated short The Danish Poet an A+. I give Letters from Iwo Jima an A. Again, they both speak to the human condition, not just (in the latter case) about politics.

  6. I’ve been meaning to see The Danish Poet, along with the other Oscar-winning short, West Bank Story (it’s a musical comedy set in Palestine! How could it not be great?) And Northwestern’s video system is excellent as well. My brother and I watched Hoffa on it and, unsurprisingly, Mamet without the profanity doesn’t work. At one point, Hoffa (Jack Nicholson) yells, “Frig you, crapshooter!” at RFK and elaborates, “Frig you, and frig your brother too!” It was unintentionally hilarious.

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