Archive for May 5th, 2005

Has Bush Treed Himself?

Since the webmail I have to use for blogging via e-mail tends to insert line breaks in inconvenient places, I can’t really use it to post anything that requires links to any but the tiniest URLs (no, I can’t access TinyURL either), and I’m leery of even attempting to use block quote tags. Consequently, I can pretty much only use the blog-by-mail to post random musings that don’t reference any specific article or blog post.

Today’s random musing regards Bush’s Social Security quagmire. Of course, the most obvious question to ask is, If the polls on Social Security privatization are so bad and getting worse, why can’t Bush just back off?

I think I have an answer to that, and it just tickles me pinko. As we all know, one of Bush’s signature traits is to Never Admit Error, the corollary of which is the We-Have-Always-Been-At-War-With-East-Asia Doctrine. Whenever this administration has flip-flopped on a policy, they have always insisted that the new position is the one that Bush has held all along, and the flip-flop is somehow merely a refinement or restatement of that position. Or else they just release it on Friday afternoon and hope no-one notices. To do otherwise would be to admit that their original position was a mistake.

Now this is the beauty part: Ask yourself, HOW? After 60 days of barnstorming all over the country to pitch the virtues of Social Security privatization, HOW is the White House going to pretend that Bush has been in favor of the Social Security status quo all along? Or slip a radical policy reversal under the radar in such a way that no-one notices? My bet is that they’ll do it via solvency and “saving Social Security”, and explain that the president’s number one priority has always been to protect SS’s finances, and he has always kept an open and pragmatic mind, blah blah blah. Some people will actually even buy it. But for most people, I think this is going to be far, far worse than Hillarycare, which never threatened to take money away from anyone’s retirement. The media can only do so much – or so little, as the case may be.

You know, if you use enough rope, the head will just pop right off.

Someone get this man some more rope, please.

2 comments May 5th, 2005 at 05:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Social Security

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Sin City

Well, I went out with a friend on a man-date to see Sin City, but it was sold out (on a Wednesday? A month after it was released?), so we watched Hitchhiker’s as our Plan B.

I liked it, but it was a strange and sometimes unsatisfying experience, as there was an ever-present overlay of the original TV version in my head, making me acutely aware whenever something would diverge, or be cut, or even not sound quite right. On the other hand, I did like a lot of the stuff that was new in this version. Discretion is probably the better part of valor here, so I will not attempt to list any examples.

Some other random hitchhiking thoughts:

Casting was mixed. Bill Nighy (Slartibartfast) was great, like he always is. Mos Def doesn’t quite have the chops for Ford; Sam Rockwell was perfect as the obnoxious, self-absorbed, ADD Zaphod; Zooey Deschanel was adequate as Trillian; and Martin Freeman was good, but still can’t hold a candle to the original Arthur, Simon Jones (who has a brief, holographic cameo). Alan Rickman was a logical choice as Marvin, but wasn’t nearly as effective as the original, and the tiny-body-big-head thing made Marvin look too childlike and cute (Asimo? Asimarvin?), which I think was a mistake. Stephen Fry was outstanding as the voice of the Guide, I really thought they had used the original narrator. The Guide animation was also excellent, very stylish and whimsical (I especially liked the Vogon grandmother…).

It seemed to me that the aspect of Zaphod, President Of The Galaxy, being a blithering idiot and figurehead with a southern accent was played up a lot more than in the original. One wonders if this is entirely coincidental…

There was an additional plotline that is resolved at the end, that I thought was unnecessary but unsurprising. I won’t say any more, so as not to spoil the mild surprise.

I had forgotten just how much I liked the theme music. “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish” was quite… catchy as well. It’s still stuck in my head, in fact.

I feel like I should have a grand, overarching theme to advance here, but I don’t, other than that I think it’s worth seeing, and my gut feeling is that it’s better if you haven’t read the books or seen the original, because you won’t realize what’s missing.

1 comment May 5th, 2005 at 12:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies

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