Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newt Gets Blown

From Gail Sheehy's profile "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich" (Vanity Fair, 1995).

One of those women, Anne Manning, became romantically involved with Gingrich during his '76 campaign. The curly-haired young Englishwoman, then married to another professor at West Georgia, Tim Chowns, was an avid volunteer in Newt's Carrollton office. "I did have a relationship with him," she discloses for the first time, "but when it suited him, he would totally blow you off."

In the spring of 1977, she was in Washington to attend a census-bureaus workshop when Gingrich took her to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. He met her back at her modest hotel room. "We had oral sex," she says. "He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, "I never slept with her." Indeed, before Gingrich left that evening, she says, he threatened her: "If you ever tell anybody about this, I'll say you're lying."

She tells me this, she says, because she fears that Newt might become president someday. "I don't claim to be an angel," she says, but she is repelled by Newt's stance as Mr. Family Values. "He's morally dishonest. He has gone too far believing that 'I'm beyond the law.' He should be stopped before it's too late."

Kip Carter, who lived a few doors down from the couple, saw more than he wanted to. "We had been out working a football game --I think it was the Bowdon game-- and we would split up. It was a Friday night. I had Newt's daughters, Jackie Sue and Kathy, with me. We were all supposed to meet back at this professor's house. It was a milk-and-cookies kind of shakedown thing, buck up the troops. I was cutting across the yard to go up the driveway. There was a car there. As I got to the car, I saw Newt in the passenger seat and one of the guys' wives with her head in his lap going up and down. Newt kind of turned and gave me his little-boy smile. Fortunately, Jackie Sue and Kathy were a lot younger and shorter then.

I learned about this on The Last Word tonight.

"Life on Mars" Book

The cover of a forthcoming book (edited by Stephen Lacey and Ruth McElroy) which will include my essay "The Emigration of Life on Mars: Sam and Gene Do America.“

Artist of the Week, 11/29/11: Otto Dix

Otto Dix, Children at Play

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dissertations Directed/Directing, 2010-2012

In the Can
Cynthia Burkhead, Ph.D. (2010)
James Francis, PhD. (2010)
Schuy Weishaar, Ph.D. (2010)

Both Burkhead (American television dreams) and Weishaar (the grotesque in American film) have found publishers, Continuum and McFarland respectively.

In Development
Lawrence McKenna
Jeffrey Frame

On Deck
Gary Gravely
Jesse Williams

Spongebob Over New York, T-Day, 2011

GOP Thanksgiving (via JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE)

"Creating something . . ."

Creating something is not a democracy. The people have no say. The artist does. It doesn't matter what the people witter on about: they and their response come after. They're not there for the creation.
--Russell T. Davies, new Who creator

Tobias Fünke-isms ("Arrested Development")

New Abortion Law

New Law Requires Women To Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion

Family Concerned After Aging TV Show Has Another Terrible Episode

The Onion has the story.

A Traditional Thanksgiving

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.
--Jon Stewart

Tip of the hat to David Schmid.

Kim Akass, FT

Wonderful news in this morning's e-mail.

The incomparable Kim Akass becomes a full time research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire next month.

Artist of the Week, 11/24/11: Paul Klee

Klee, Highways and Byways

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yankee Stadium, Neel

Just found this ticket from a Yankees game in the last year of the Old Yankee Stadium.

That alone would make the event significant, but the day was special for another reason. It was at this game that I met our daughter Rachel's wonderful future husband, Neel Dhingra.

"TV is Dead"

Interesting piece on CST-Online by Toby Miller on "TV is Dead."

Artist of the Week, 11/23/11: Paul Klee

Klee, Southern (Tunisian) Garden

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Secret Agent Woman"

June Thomas (Slate) attempts to answer the question "Why are there so many female spies on television?"


Tennessee, take note, firmly in the Twilight Belt (and Bible belt).

Andrew Sullivan posted this commentary from the goodreads website:

On the map above, the readers in the red states rated the book highly (the darker the red, the higher the rating), while readers in the blue states gave it a lower rating). The Midwest and the South represent The Twilight Belt, while the coasts were decidedly less impressed with the book. Reviews were mostly distributed according to population, with the notable exception of Utah. Utah is the 34th most populous state in the US, but it generates the 6th most reviews of Twilight. In terms of cities, Salt Lake City—the 125th largest city in the country—is second only to New York in number of Twilight reviews.


Just heard this Yogi Berraism on Hardball.

We're lost but we're making good time.

Artist of the Week, 11/18/11: Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau, The Merry Jesters

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bones and Booth's Child

After a much-enjoyed, Bones marathon last weekend, I have now begun watching Season 7 on OnDemand. Bones and Booth (David Boreanaz) are about to become parents.

I am now worrying about Boreanaz's last television child, Connor. That did not turn out well.

I feel reasonably certain the Bones/Booth offspring will not be delivered by a staking/dusting in an alley.

Artist of the Week, 11/15/11: Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau, Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wash in "Suburgatory"?

I had no idea that Alan Tudyk was in that new sitcom. I suppose I should watch it.

"Bones," Season 6

I missed all of Bones last season and am watching Season 6 now on DVD. I had forgotten how charming and well written it is.

I especially liked "The Doctor in the Photo," an exploration of Bones' psyche, in which Veronica Mars vets Enrico Colantoni and Francis Capra appear, the former as a manifestation of Dr. Brennan's unconscious.

Borowitz Report - Penn State Replaces Entire Student Body with Interim Student Body

You tell 'em Andy.

Borowitz Report - Penn State Replaces Entire Student Body with Interim Student Body

"Who" Convention

Read all about it.

Tip of the hat to Bethany Stollar.

Chris Rock on a 2nd Term

There’s a fucking art to the first term because you’re always running for a second term the whole time. It’s like Clinton’s first term. You can’t really do your gangsta shit until your second term. … Even Bush couldn’t really fuck up the world until his second term. That’s when he put the hammer down. I’m like everybody, I want more action. But I understand that he’s trying not to piss off a lot of people. But I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta shit.


When 12/12/12 comes around I will be 63 and our daughter Rachel (born 12/12/1980) will be 32.

The Penn State Scandal

Local artist Michael Pilato paints over former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky that was in his 'Inspiration' Hiester Street mural on November 9, 2011 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Sandusky was replaced with a chair and blue ribbon. The painting contains notable figures of State College. By Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan

Artist of the Week, 11/11/11: Paul Cézanne Week

Cézanne, Ginger, Jar, Fruit

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whedon, Wonder Woman

Joss Whedon talks the Amazon Princess that might have been (Blastr).

"NCIS": "Random Roles: Mark Harmon" and "NCIS: WTF"

A good, comprehensive profile of the NCIS star (Onion AV Club).

And an excellent reading of the series in Slate.


Scott Tobias' solid piece on the giant snake film for Onion AV Club's New Cult Cannon series.

'Bully Pulpit"

A deeply needed "Word."

Michigan Senate Republicans pants an anti-bullying law and stuff it in a locker, adding moral and religious exemptions to it.

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Heard on "The Colbert Report"

Italian debt threatens to bring down the Eurozone. I knew they never should have offered unlimited breadsticks!

Artist of the Week, 11/10/11: Paul Cézanne Week

Cézanne, The Corner of the Quarry

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"The Tree of Life"

A treasured colleague and I have a friendly running freud over The Thin Red Line, which he adores and I find pretentious crap.

We may be adding The Tree of Life to our spat, for having finally seen it (today on DVD), I found it much like Thin: part 2001, part Koyaanisqatsi, and 75% pretension.

Roger Ebert gave it four stars, but Michael Atkinson (in Sight and Sound), who suggests that it might have been designed from the ground-up to provoke the kind of argument my Thin-loving friend and I have, is much closer to the truth when he concludes his review thus:

Malick, of course, is enough of a magician to craft breath-catching moments by the dozen; he stays close enough to the boys (particularly Hunter McCracken as discontented Malick avatar Jack and Laramie Eppler as doomed, favoured middle son R.L., resembling Pitt to a startling degree) to nail this particular experience of boyhood to the wall for all time – the endless lawns and wide streets, the spaces between houses and neighbourhoods where adults can’t find you, the idle moments among friends in the woods thinking up something dangerous with which to fill up a summer afternoon. Without the dizzying assault of sacred bluster (and the occasional mytho-surrealist touches, like levitation and Sleeping Beauty’s glass coffin, which simply scan like ideas Malick had and then gave up on), the film might have been an intimate and evocative masterpiece, an anthropological ode to a lost America. But who among us can begrudge the besotted Malickians if, in their woozy ardour, they’ve found exactly that and more?

"The Tea Party's Fatal Delusion"

Andrew Sullivan's masterful take-down on the Tea-Baggers.

Artist of the Week, 11/9/11: Paul Cézanne Week

Cézanne, Chrysanthemums

Heard on the "Colbert Report"

Everyone knows there's an assault on the wealthy in this country, so it's a good thing they have all the polo mallets.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

"The Imaginative Thinker"

One of the Kindle books I hope to have out soon is The Imaginative Thinker: A Commonplace Book.

Here is the planned cover, which uses a scan of one of the Chinese diaries I used to record my favorite quotations back in the 1980s.

Colbert's Brilliant Non-Buddy Roemer Ad

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"The 8 Worst Fonts In The World"

Glad to see my beloved Verdana is not on the list.

Cain, Sorkin

Discussing the sexual assault charges leveled against Herman Cain yesterday--at a press conference held in the Friars Club--and Cain's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chuck Todd (MSNBC) just referred to these as "rejected Aaron Sorkin scripts."

Artist of the Week, 11/8/11: Paul Cézanne Week

Cézanne, The Bay at Estaque

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I rather enjoyed Paul . . .

My favorite moment was, of course, when Tara Walton (Blythe Danner) punched out The Big Guy (Sigourney Weaver) with Ripley's classic line "Get away from her you bitch."

Addytude: Addy at the Safe Haven Walk (11/5/11)