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28 February 2008

The Erudite Conservative, RIP, WFB


I Am Lapidary But Not Eristic When I Use Big Words said the headline of one of William F. Buckley's articles in the New York Times. Buckley died yesterday at the age of 82. He was the man I loved to hate, and I learned a lot from him in my youth. I guess I sort of admired him, even though mostly I deeply rejected his beliefs and his arguments. This NPR eulogy is an excellent summing up of a remarkable life.

21 February 2008

Riverbend

I kept checking Baghdad Burning every couple of weeks for months and months since Riverbend announced that she and her family were leaving, but after a while, I stopped and then forgot. But she came back on the scene with two long posts last autumn, from Syria, one in August and one in September. They are brilliant as usual; sad, but full of spirit, angry but loving and forgiving (not of America, though.)

Art imitates life, then life imitates art imitating life , , ,

Jimmy Smits, who played the West Wing's Matt Santos, with Barack Obama in 2005. Photo via the Guardian, by Chris Greenberg/Getty

Did you get the connection? The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland explains it all. Apparently (and rather bizarrely) the character of Matthew Santos was loosely based on Barack Obama in the first place, back when Obama was not even dreamed of as a near-term presidential candidate, but was just a fresh new face after his amazing speech at the 2004 Democratic convention.
What a difference four years make, eh? I was musing on this today at work, and it occurred to me that an ill-fated US TV show called, I think, Commander-in-Chief followed in the coat-tails of TWW with a female president. She (the character) was not as charismatic and universally loved as the character of Matt Santos. (Sort of like you-know-who.) And I began to wonder about the spooky power that fictional TV (like 24, for instance) holds over the American psyche.

20 February 2008

Stop this man before he governs again

Tony Blair's intention to run for the position of first president of Europe has called a "Stop Blair" movement into being. Where do I sign up?

05 February 2008

Super Fat Tuesday!


Happy Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and Super Tuesday, all in one!
It's Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, Super Tuesday lots of other places. (Louisiana's primaries are on Saturday.
In other Election 2008 news:
Deadheads and surviving band members unite for Obama.
Democrats Abroad this year are sending 11 delegates to the convention. Caucuses are being held even as I type in Oxford and London.
I guess you've heard about the endorsements of Obama by Caroline Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, and from the other end of the spectrum, Susan Eisenhower, grand-daughter of Ike.
And in other Shrove Tuesday news:
An Anglican bishop wants us to give up energy consumption for Lent
The nearby (to me that is) village of Atherstone has its 810th ball game between the "serfs of Warwickshire" and the "serfs of Leicestershire".

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