A brief review of the stupid movie by Lileks:
I made two attempts this weekend to watch “Elysium,” but was hampered by the fact that it was stupid.
There’s actually a little more, but that’s the bottom line.
Your husband doesn’t have to earn it, ladies.
Sadly, this will come as a shock to a lot of modern American women.
…is a big loser at the Olympics. I’m not a big Olympic fan, but I do enjoy seeing healthy women who look like women.
Too bad it continues to win other places. I really don’t understand why women allow gay men to dictate what they look like, in either attire or body type. Surely they don’t imagine that straight men find the camp-survivor look very attractive.
According to a Zero-G press release, Kate Upton did a weightless photo shoot in a Zero-G flight for the fiftieth Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
[Update a few minutes later]
From the release:
The shoot took place on March 18, 2013; Upton and ZERO-G flew out of Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. A specially modified Boeing-727, known as G-FORCE ONE®, performed a series of 17 parabolas – 13 zero gravity and four replicating lunar gravity – as Upton bounced and soared through the plane for the cameras. Upton’s weightless experience was not simulated; ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless airline flights for the public.
“The ZERO-G experience was really exhilarating for everyone involved,” said MJ Day, editor of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. “We have been almost everywhere in the past 50 years with SI Swimsuit, but we have never done anything like this. It was certainly the most out-of-the-box shoot. Once again, Kate surprised us all with how she handled modeling in weightlessness.”
Hard to really capture it in stills. I assume they shot video as well. I wonder if we’ll see it.
[Late morning update]
OK, due to unpopular demand, I’m moving the pics under the fold to make it Safe for Married Men @Home.
The unaired pilot.
You can see why it was unaired.
One thing I’ve never understood. Why would an financially struggling waitress and aspiring actress live in a high-rent area that’s a longer commute like Pasadena? It would make a lot more sense for her to be in Burbank, or at least Glendale.
@JonahNRO on the historical ignorance of the Olympics coverage:
In America, we constantly, almost obsessively, wrestle with the “legacy of slavery.” That speaks well of us. But what does it say that so few care that the Soviet Union was built — literally — on the legacy of slavery? The founding fathers of the Russian Revolution — Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky — started “small,” merely throwing hundreds of thousands of people into kontslagerya (concentration camps).
By the time Western intellectuals and youthful folksingers like Pete Seeger were lavishing praise on the Soviet Union as the greatest experiment in the world, Joseph Stalin was corralling millions of his own people into slavery. Not metaphorical slavery, but real slavery complete with systematized torture, rape, and starvation. Watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, you’d have no idea that from the Moscow metro system to, literally, the roads to Sochi, the Soviet Union — the supposed epitome of modernity and “scientific socialism” — was built on a mountain of broken lives and unremembered corpses.
As he points out, imagine the outrage if similar language were used to describe the Nazi regime, complete with Swastikas. In a sane world, the hammer and sickle would draw just as much, if not more opprobrium.
Peter Robinson has a tribute. His peak was before I was born, but my parents (who were the same generation — he was my mother’s age) used to rave about him when I was a kid. The Carl Reiner character in the Dick Van Dyke show was modeled on him.
…in either sense of the word (that is, I’m not even all that familiar with it, other than the first two movies). But those who are may want to read this and comment (here or there).
A long essay by Don Surber on the continuing siren call of Stalinism.
A nice high, lonesome cover of the old song.
You can’t separate the man from the music:
Someone should assign Miller, Fusilli, and Bruce Springsteen to read in its entirety Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. Perhaps, then, they would come to understand the cause that Pete Seeger’s championing of unions, civil rights, and environmentalism was really intended to serve.
The idea of using music and the arts more generally to subvert allegiance to this country and to make Americans thoroughly ashamed of a history that is for the most part admirable, the idea of using music and the arts more generally to undermine the principles that make this country prosperous and free, and the idea of using music and the arts to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a thuggish, populist, kleptocratic dictatorship here — that is Peter Seeger’s legacy, and it is, alas, enduring.
And David Goldman thinks that the music was his greatest sin:
Seeger’s (and Guthrie’s) notion of folk music had less to do with actual American sources than with a Communist-inspired Yankee version of Proletkult. The highly personalized style of a Robert Johnson and other Delta bluesmen didn’t belong in the organizing handbook of the “folk” exponents who grew up in the Communist Party’s failed efforts to control the trade union movement of the 1940s. The music of the American people grew out of their churches. Their instrument was the piano, not the guitar, and their style was harmonized singing of religious texts rather than the nasal wailing that Guthrie made famous. Seeger, the son of an academic musicologist and a classical violinist, was no mountain primitive, but a slick commercializer of “folk” themes with a nasty political agenda. His capacity to apologize for the brutalities of Communist regimes — including their repression of their own “folksingers” — remained undiminished with age, as David Graham reported in the Atlantic.
I’m willing to forgive Seeger his Stalinism. Some of my most-admired artists were Stalinists, for example, Bertolt Brecht, whose rendition of his own “Song of the Unattainability of Human Striving” from The Threepenny Opera is the funniest performance of the funniest song of the 20th century. I can’t forgive him his musical fraud: the mind-deadening, saccharine, sentimental appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste in his signature songs — “I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” and so forth. Bob Dylan (of whom I’m not much of a fan) rescued himself from the bathos by poisoning the well of sentimentality with irony. His inheritance is less Dylan than the odious Peter, Paul and Mary.
I liked Peter, Paul and Mary as a kid, but the point is taken.
Thoughts on the depths to which they’ve plunged, by classics professor Victor Davis Hanson:
…classical liberal education—despite the fashionable critique that it had never been disinterested—for a century was largely apolitical. Odysseus was critiqued as everyman, not an American CEO, a proto-Christian saint, or the caricature of white patriarchal privilege. Instead Homer made students of all races and classes and both genders think twice about the contradictions of the human experience: which is the greatest danger to civilization, the Lala land of the comfortable Lotus Eaters, or the brutal pre-polis savagery of the tribal Cyclopes? Telemachus was incidentally white, rich, and male, but essentially a youthful everyman coming of age, with all the angst and insecurities that will either overwhelm the inexperienced and lead to perpetual adolescence, or must be conquered on the path to adulthood. Odysseus towers among his lesser conniving and squabbling crewmen—but why then does his curiosity and audacity ensure that all his crewmen who hitch their star to the great man end up dead?
In the zero-sum game of the college curricula, what was crowded out over the last half-century was often the very sort of instruction that had once made employers take a risk in hiring a liberal arts major. Humanities students were more likely to craft good prose. They were trained to be inductive rather than deductive in their reasoning, possessed an appreciation of language and art, and knew the referents of the past well enough to put contemporary events into some sort of larger abstract context. In short, they were often considered ideal prospects as future captains of business, law, medicine, or engineering.
Not now. The world beyond the campus has learned that college students know how and why to take a political position but not how to defend it through logic and example. If employers are turned off by a lack of real knowledge, they are even more so when it is accompanied by zealousness. Ignorance and arrogance are a fatal combination.
Ignorance and arrogance is a deadly combo, as demonstrated by the current occupant of the Oval Office.
I love this line in this NPR puff piece:
Seeger actually was a member of the Communist Party in those early days, though he later said he quit after coming to understand the evils of Josef Stalin.
Yeah. You know when he came to “understand the evils of Josef Stalin”? Not until the nineties. He was in his seventies before he figured out what I knew as a kid in the sixties.
[Update a while later]
Glossing over the dark side:
As an apology Seeger’s words are underwhelming. While “cruel misleader” is by no means a term of endearment, in light of Stalin’s monstrous record, it vastly understates the depth of his depravity and the true horror of Stalinism. There are many more apt nouns and adjectives in the English language to describe the man who gave us the purges of the Great Terror, the Gulag, and the Ukrainian Terror Famine. Lost in the obfuscations of Seeger’s moral equivalencies is the fact that contemporary Christians, White people, and Mongolians are not responsible for the acts, however heinous, of Christians, white people, or Mongolians of the past, because they had nothing to do with them. Whereas Seeger is all too culpable for the crimes of Stalin because he was an open apologist for “old cruel Joe” and other communist thugs at the very time they were slaughtering millions.
If only Leni Riefenstahl was a communist like Pete Seeger.
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) January 28, 2014
One of the arguments against human expansion into outer space is that we will instead retreat into virtual worlds as the technology evolves. I think it’s an interesting technological race.
Here’s an idea. Let’s stop pretending that we understand it.
Graphically depicted. Funny stuff.
Why it’s becoming drenched in it.
Would it work for anyone other than Sauron?
This is pretty hilarious.
[Update a few minutes later]
Yeah, I should have put up a “slightly NSFW” warning on that.
No, New York Post, there’s no such thing. If they shot her b00bs in weightlessness, it was probably in a parabolic aircraft.
Should it be taken over by the Navy? Space is more like the sea than like the air, and I argue in my book that a US Space Guard would be a better organization for many things currently being done (or neglected) by NASA, the Air Force and the FAA.
Can a machine have an @rgasm?
This is one of the reasons that I like football:
More than any other position, playing quarterback requires mastering a farrago of detail, and then sifting through it while staring at eleven large people eager to break your face. The best N.F.L. quarterbacks, like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning, have reputations as keen, obsessive students of opposing defenses, whose schemes they decode in real time. And yet, what does it say that the great model of lethally consistent play, Peyton, scored a twenty-eight on the Wonderlic while his more erratic brother, Eli, scored a thirty-nine?
One theory some in the N.F.L. hold is that the highest-scoring quarterbacks are too rigidly scholarly, prisoners of research who don’t handle in-game adjustments well, while those whose scores are very low simply can’t handle a high volume of preparation.
Oliver Luck was twice an Academic All-American quarterback at West Virginia University, spent five years in the N.F.L., went on to law school, and is now the athletic director at his alma mater. His son, Andrew, (Stanford Class of 2012, architectural design; Wonderlic, thirty-seven) is the Indianapolis Colts’ excellent second-year quarterback. “Football intelligence to me is situational awareness,” Oliver Luck told me. “The variables in football are so many. Every play is a decision and you do it at full speed. Life involves more thought.” (If there is a dark undercurrent to a discussion of bright football players, it has to do with life after the scrum and the long-term effects that hits to the head can have on the brain.)
That said, Oliver Luck thinks that there have been certain moments post-football when his aptitude for the game has been helpful to him. “I remember distinctly sitting for the Texas bar exam after I finished law school,” he recalled. “There were maybe five hundred people in there. People were sighing and groaning. A guy one table away from me suddenly lost it. I wanted to tell him, ‘Suck it up! You can do it!’ The way I would in the huddle. I was focussed. I knew how to work through that test.”
But the other positions require intelligence as well. It’s not just a brute-force game, despite the heavy contact. It’s much more cerebral than continuous-motion sports (like hockey, basketball, soccer), which I hate. As Camille Paglia has noted, it’s more like battle planning and warfare, and it’s quintessentially American.
No, this isn’t about the culture wars. It really is a Hollywood Fault, that may prevent Garcetti’s gang of cronies from blotting out the sun of Hollywood and West Hollywood residents.
It’s interesting to note that the Red Line subway runs along it, down Hollywood Boulevard. That line was built a couple decades ago, and it’s not clear that they knew they were building it along a rupture fault. From the map, though, it appears to run a block or two south of it, so even if it did go, it wouldn’t necessarily break the tunnel. But it could leave a crack so deep that you could see all the way down to where the people who run Hollywood live.
So, it wasn’t just me:
I found the stuff revolting, because it was like drinking cold tomato soup.
…It had great brand awareness when I was growing up, thanks to the constant barrage of ads featuring people who had, for some reason, forgotten to avail themselves of a V8, and remonstrated themselves by slamming their palms into their foreheads.
Not even this made me want some.
…will never end.
Both sides seem pretty entrenched.