‘Three tipping points at once’: Tom Friedman’s
‘three tipping points’ could be four tipping points, now that Hosni Mubarak is talking democracy
in Egypt. ... The elections in Iraq and Palestine were highly encouraging events. Now Lebanon and Egypt are stirring. Things can still easily go haywire. It’s the Middle East, after all. But things are certainly headed in the right direction at the moment. Cross our fingers, knock on wood, etc. ... Oh, and don't forget Afghanistan -- making it five potential tipping points. ...
'We have a perception problem ...’:
More on Mitt’s anti-Massachusetts rhetoric here
... And, yes, I’m sticking to calling it ‘anti-Massachusetts.’ There’s no other way to describe it. If he goes to South Carolina and doesn’t balance the snide remarks with positive remarks about our state, then he’s doing a disservice to the state that elected him governor. No getting around that. ... At a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event last week, Mitt noted the state’s perception problems, both the reality-based and bogus-based perceptions. Fine. Agreed. But why can’t he tell that whole story to other people across the country? It’s called speaking ‘the truth.’ It might even win him some points for showing the ability to be both critical and loyal. But it seems Mitt is more than willing to stir up the political and regional prejudices for his own purposes -- and at our economic expense. ...
Pay no attention to Kennedy and Kerry’s version
of sticking up for the state. It’s just warmed over liberalism. The entire point of Mitt’s election -- and Weld and Cellucci’s elections -- was to counterbalance this tired Hack-Progressive mindset of preserving and promoting government programs. Governing is also about getting government out of the way in permitting, taxing and regulating etc. ... Don’t look now, but they’re already tossing around non-Mitt GOP names
for 2006. ... Kerry Healey is seeking out campaign advice? Now that’s an interesting smoke signal. ...‘Gobsmacked to see the Antoine Walker trade ...’:
Reader No. 1, just back from a trip to DisneyWorld, on the trade:
“I was gobsmacked to see the Antoine Walker trade on TV Thursday night for many of the reasons Bob Ryan
cited, though principally because Antoine figured to cut into minutes for Al Jefferson and Tony Allen, two of Trader Danny's building blocks... But Ryan actually cited 2 reasons FOR the deal in his column: Mark Blount and Paul Pierce. And Antoine looked pretty special
last night: more inside play and rebounds than we saw since the early Pitino years. Give Trader Danny points for flexibility.
“Before we get carried away, this is still a .500 team... and I'd be VERY surprised if Gary Payton returned here next week (but not so surprised if Kenny Anderson joins the reunion bandwagon...)”Hub Blog’s quickie response
-- I’ve always recognized Antoine’s weaknesses. But it was fun watching the Celts again when he was here. Glad to see him back. ...
‘From A to Z it's totally trivial’:
about Condi’s Nancy Sinatra boots
strikes the right chord from the get-go: ‘Only in Washington. ...’
Actually, it could also be applied in some cases to ‘Only in Cambridge ...’
Virginity and war movies:
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill sadly agrees
that the Greatest War Movies List
just can’t compete with confessions
about virginity, adultery, secret desires to slaughter co-workers etc. He also breaks the news that Hub Blog won’t be getting a book contract:
“You're not going to get a book contract from your blog (unlike Jeffrey) because of other reasons:
“a.) The publishing world is in New York. ...
“b.) You write about Boston. ...
“c.) If you write about losing your virginity at 40-something, it's just pathetic, not amusing
“d.) People who give out book contracts at publishing companies are usually 20-somethings with no knowledge of anything outside of Manhattan and Manhattan cocktail parties.
“BTW: I just saw ‘Troy’ -- and I'd love to know why this movie got panned by the critics. It's good. Solid two-and-a-half stars for a war movie, with extra credit for actually making the Iliad’s main characters human. Actually, I know why the movie got bad reviews. Because I doubt there's one in fifty movie reviewers who've actually read the Iliad. How can a bunch of hair-highlighting failed English majors be expected to understand a movie based on one of the classics of literature?
“I highly recommend the new Lombardo translation of The Iliad. One of Hector's speeches: ‘Paris, you desperate womanizing pretty boy! ... No, don't stand up to Menelaus: you might find out what kind of a man it is whose wife you're sleeping with. You think you're lyre will help you, or Aphrodite's gifts, your hair, your pretty face - when you sprawl in the dust?’ ”
‘I am a product of THAT Somerville’: Four million visitor hits?
'Hargo' may have taken down his ‘Somerville Gates’ site
due to heavy traffic. But you can still view the original wonder here.
The parody and sarcasm have been perfect at every stage. Now compare the following quote to the one immediately below:
"At last an artist for our times who spans not only space-time continuums but the archaic human-animal divide and presents a postmodern perspective interrogated by the feline."
"While the faculty gratefully acknowledges Mr. Summers' apologies for degrading remarks about women and for lapses of respect in his communication with faculty members, the faculty also wishes to register its dissent from a number of pronouncements by the President that would otherwise appear to represent us collectively, and to urge limits on the proposed expansion of presidential prerogatives."
The first is an email Hargo got. The second is a faculty member’s proposed motion
on you know who. You can’t make this stuff up. ... The CSM
editorializes on ‘the tempest in academia's teapot.’ ... Do you think the pinhead Christos and Harvard types of the world have an inkling how they come across? Seriously. Do they occasionally wonder?
‘And four private parking spaces’:
Now is definitely not the time
to buy. ...‘Danny, I can't defend you this time’: Bob
approaches the Antoine Walker trade from the opposite viewpoint of yours truly: He was glad to see him go and not happy to see him return. But we agree on this: Danny’s latest move is somewhere floating beyond odd. ... But hold on there. Was it really Danny’s move? He apparently had to be convinced to go along
with the trade before the decision could be made ‘unanimous.’ Question: ‘Unanimous’ among whom? Danny’s the GM. Was it the owners who forced the trade? Are they starting to panic over plunging attendance figures? ... Antoine
: ‘I just hope it's not a frustration move.’ Hate to break the news to you, Antoine, but ... Favorite Danny quote: ‘There are risks with this, and I understand the risks. But there isn't a lot of risk. There's just a little bit of risk.’ ... Is Robert Parish still looking for a management job? ...
P.S. -- Don’t forgot the Philadelphia 76ers coach
who now has Chris Webber. ... ‘My cool cat list ...’: Howard Bryant
explains to Boston Sports Media
his definition of a sports ‘cool cat’ and provides a short list of them (scroll down a bit to see) ...
‘Howdy Y’all’: Holbert
on Mitt and Wayne
(sub. req.) on Mitt, who's not impessing the pro-life crowd
with his 'personally pro-life' spiel. ... What the heck. Might as well start throwing the Mitt and Larry items together. Mike
(sub. req. ) on Larry: “Larry Summers' problem wasn't what he said, it was who he said it to ...” ... Sorry for linking to so many subscription items. But they’re both good.‘The Scourge of God’:
And now it’s time for a Hub Blog Improbable History book recommendation: Pulitzer-prize winning writer William Dietrich’s ‘The Scourge of God.’
Read an advance copy and it’s quite good, filling in a lot of historical gaps I didn’t know about, i.e. good old Attila and the last years of the Roman Empire. Extra bonus lesson learned: Hungary is named after the Huns. Never made the obvious connection before. ... Of course no historical novel can ever match Cape Cod writer Bernard Cornwell’s ‘Sharpe’
series. ... Next up: Peter Straub’s ‘Ghost Story.’
Believe it or not, I’ve never read it. ... And that is today’s Hub Blog Improbable History discussion. ...
‘Charm offensive or offensive charm?’:
It had to be: a blog about blogs
). ... Notice how it ping-pongs from right to left, left to right etc. Now you get to know, in one quick blog summary, what the ideological left thinks of Mark Steyn and the ideological right thinks of Ted Rall etc. -- as if we couldn’t close our eyes and guess the predictable responses.‘Blow up the ball’:
Poor Chicago. Still stuck with commercialized ‘curse’
stunts that the media laps up. The only reason to root for the Cubs over the Sox: I can feel their fans’ pain over being subjected to non-stop for-profit curse hoopla. ... Just thinking: Did Dan Shaughnessy
ever provide an astrological explanation for the lifting of the Sox ‘curse’ after years of subjecting readers to his non-stop for-profit god-awful curse columns? ... Must be the curse of Nomar. ... Go Cubs -- please
‘Summers losing stare down with PC Posse’: Howie
(sub. req.): “This battle between the president of Harvard University and the faculty leaves me with the same feeling that I had during the Iran-Iraq war. Isn't there some way they can both lose?”Update
–- A NBC freelance cameraman as quoted in the Crimson
: “The talk among the media is that this story is huge today because there’s not a lot else happening.’’ ...‘Showing angst about the very people that he governs’:
are picking up the anti-Massachusetts tone
of Mitt’s out-of-state rhetoric. ... The abortion and gay-marriage
nuances/flip-flops etc. don’t bug as much. What can a Massachusetts governor do when the courts are all but dictating the issues? It’s when his presidential ambitions potentially start to hurt the state’s economy (stem cells/state image etc.), that’s when we should care. He touts Massachusetts to CEOs as a great place to do business and then mocks the state on a larger national stage? ... The Herald’s editorial board
isn’t impressed. ...The conspiracy to end all conspiracies -- failed:
Andrew Card triumphs over Karl Rove: The White House is going to have a pre-season Sox ceremony
after all. ... Of course there’s not a shred of evidence of a conspiracy to deny the Sox their day in the Rose Garden sun. But I’m pushing it anyway. ... Fact: The whole world is jealous of Title Towne. Logic: They're out to get us. Obvious deduction: Diabolical forces are plotting against the Sox.
‘It spread, like the Ebola virus – fast’:
Gabriel Jeffrey’s Hub confession site
has become a ‘cult hit’
and earned him a book contract. … Confession: I concede the Greatest War Movies List
just can’t compete with the issue of when virginity ends.Fine weather down there in South Carolina:
Now Wily Willard
has to come back to the bitterly cold north
to govern. … Joan
is also wondering if he’ll run for reelection in ’06. But my question now is: When (not if) he runs for president, will he run against Massachusetts? Reread the above articles. Do you catch a whiff of the possible commonwealth bashing he’ll have to engage in to win over SC votes? ‘The fraud that many predicted …’:
Not Mitt. The Silver Line. ... JDaley
notes the MBTA’s claims that buses and trains perform the same. … ‘As any imperfect human being …’:
Didn’t jump on the Larry Summers-releases-transcript story
earlier because of computer woes and a busy schedule last week. Reading the stories/transcripts, it’s pretty clear Summers’ talk was far more intellectually sloppy than first imagined. He also brings up racial issues, not just gender issues, if I’m reading this right. ... Still, the guy is getting unfairly lambasted. Every self-righteous performer in academia seems to be piling on this PC wreck. ... Don’t agree with everything Arnold Kling
has to say, but he does have interesting anecdotes about the lack of academic freedom and obnoxious male behavior in academic settings. (Fear not: You’re always allowed to bring up bad points about men when it comes to gender debates.)
‘Sox-obsessed Yankees …’: Boston Dirt Dogs
nail it: The Yanks are obsessed with the Sox. ... The curious role reversal was evident last year during the ALCS, when Bucky threw out the first pitch, George shoved Sox management into the Babe Ruth Suite etc. The Sox routinely lost when they were obsessed with the Yanks. Now it’s George et gang obsessed with the Sox. ...‘The timing only a few days before coming to South Carolina’: Oh, nooooo.
National political considerations didn’t drive Mitt’s stem-cell decision and announcement. No siree. ... ‘Wily Willard.’
... The ‘compromise’
as presented by someone else.If this was happening under Clinton …: Frank Rich
summarizes the Bush administration’s strange media bribery and plant campaign. ... The entire media world is getting stranger and stranger these days. Not just this. Everything. Is this how industries fade away? Into a huge spinning vortex? ... Don’t recall it happening to the textile industry.
'Cockney barrow boy spivs':
Gotta love it when pushy lefty professional activists
get pushed back by Britain's equivalent of New England Patriot fans. ... Thanks to Lex Reader for the tip.'Somehow, Bledsoe didn't see it coming ...':
From blitzing linebackers to playing second fiddle to Tom Brady, there were a lot of things Drew Bledsoe didn't see coming.
... I'm sorry for the guy. But three Super Bowls are three Super Bowls. ...'A serious case of freedom envy': Peggy Noonan
has a good piece on the mainstream media's latest hyperventilating and heart-clutching attacks against bloggers. ... The thing is, most journalists who discover blogging love it. The ones hyperventilating and making jackasses of themselves have little idea how it works. Unfortunately, they're also the cranks running most media operations into the ground. ... Quibble: Hub Blog thinks Noonan's predictions about blogging are pretty obvious and therefore lame. Some of them have also already occurred. ... The perfect Hub Blog job combo: getting paid to write a blog while serving as deputy assistant sod-farm monitor, both doable in pajamas and by midmorning.Update
-- Steve of Arlington says Hub Blog could also serve as 'professor and Robert Shaw chair of War Movies Studies' at some university. ... Via distance learning? With tenure? Pension? My life goals are finally coming into focus. ...
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill sends in this 'oops list'
of airplane mishaps. Go ahead, click on any of them and chuckle at things you're not supposed to chuckle at. Guilty pleasures....
Spyware, spyware, spyware, busy, busy, busy:
A combination of my computer freezing up at home due to spyware and just plain being busy had led to my own forced hiatus from blogging, as I thought would happen. Will try to fix things ASAP.... Until then, a few snide remarks about: A.) Tom Reilly. Now how do you 'evolve' and yet not change a position? I actually admired his initial stand on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's gay-marriage ruling. One can support gay marriage and still believe the court engaged in gross, egotistical judicial overreach that has undeniably led to a backlash. Now Reilly is blurring that approximate post-ruling stand by babbling about 'evolving.' At least he didn't use the word 'grow.' ... B.) Mitt Romney. Reader No. 1 and I have been having a spirited email debate about his new/old/whatever stand on stem cells. FYI: I do believe a politician can have a principled stand on the issue and use it for political advantage. That's politics. Unfortunately, I think the evidence is clear that Mitt's views on abortion and stem cells are, at best, unclear and certainly contradictory, and he's scrambling to curry favor, so to speak, with the right. He said the right things to get elected governor in 2002. He's saying the right things, he thinks, to get elected president in 2008. I now question if he's running for reelection here because 2008 is obviously more important to him than 2006.
‘A man whose positions are nuanced bordering on tortured’: The Herald
compares Mitt to John Kerry, refers to him as an ‘alleged pro-business governor’ and blasts Mitt’s new stem-cell stand as all about ‘his national political ambitions.’ ... Did they leave anything out? When’s the next UMass poll? ... Stem-cell roundup here
… And, oh, read all about Mitt’s non-business business trips here.
… I don’t care what the polls say or don’t say. This is all going to catch up with him, locally and nationally. The obvious question: Is he even going to run for reelection?Update
– From Reader No. 1:
“I would expect it from the Globe, but it's disappointing that the Boston Herald editorial writers would take the easy road of attributing political motivations to Romney's position on embryonic stem cell research, rather than address the substance of his point. It is
possible for someone to have moral and ethical reservations about embryonic stem cell research independent of political ambition -- I'm not running for anything.” Hub Blog’s response
-- The problem is it’s obvious Mitt’s reservations are not
independent of political ambition. If he really wanted a thoughtful debate here, he could have had a thoughtful debate here -- in public or in private. He chose not to. He chose instead to leak it to a national paper for maximum national attention. This is standard operating procedure for the nationally ambitious.
‘Like an old rejected boy friend who still thinks he has a chance’: Mickey
expends oxygen beating up John Kerry. ...‘The governor's position runs counter ...’: Mitt
just threw an apparent curve ball caught by the NYT: He’s going to oppose some of the stem-cell proposals now before the Legislature. … Things are getting really strange around here. Hub Blog’s on Trav’s side? And Trav is on the side of business? … Speaking of Trav and the boys. … ‘A legislative Socrates he is not,’ Part 3:
Steve of Arlington writes in to take both Hub Blog and Reader No. 1 to task over the UMass poll
(see items from yesterday): “Mitt is L-O-S-I-N-G to Reilly. Read the damn article!” … OK, OK. I don’t know about Reader No. 1, but I’m blaming spyware. ... Speaking of Reader No. 1, he has a few more points on the issue, in case people think he doesn’t see Mitt’s faults – and voters’ faults:
“Mitt's deeds have fallen far short of his words, but his supporters don't expect a lot. After all, to the extent his supporters are addicted to the Hackerama, they/we are part of the problem... insert observation here about Reagan, Bush 2, and deficit spending. I'll respectfully submit that talking tight spending and taking the opposite tack is the true Republican strategic brilliance of the last 25 years. (NOT an excuse for anyone's behavior, just an explanation.) …
“On the Presidential issue: Massachusetts has yet to punish a native son ‘just’ for running for President. We punished native sons who ran for President and let the state go to hell in a handbasket (eg the Duke)... In that respect, the jury is out on Mitt, but I'll bet he's safe as long as the Hackerama is running state political operations, and he doesn't claim too much for himself (i.e., no ‘Massachusetts Miracle’ crap). Weakness is strength, a la Clinton after the Gingrich Revolution.”
‘A legislative Socrates he is not,’ Part II:
Reader No. 1 is surprised at my surprise at Mitt’s latest poll numbers and adds:
“Scott Lehigh's return to form column today (see post below) explains Romney's high poll ratings. Remember that November 2002 Globe map showing the percentage of votes for Mitt and Shannon, those tiny little dots of blue (I think, I hope) in the Hack-Progressive urban outposts and the rest of Mass (for once!) a Red State?
“Most Romney voters, busily navigating the rapids of the Ownership Society, have no illusions about what side they are on in the battle with the Hackerama. But between soccer practice, MCAS preparation, and midnight Emails to the sales office on the other side of the world, we/they have little time to take to the political ramparts.
“And ... as noted in earlier posts on same topic, the Hack-Progressive alliance has its hooks in good to the David Brooks contingent on matters of great importance, i.e. spending on public education and public safety.
“So nothing changes. Result: Mitt continues as the Commonwealth's most popular symbol of executive responsibility. The major result on which we judge him on is not to make state government a lot worse than it already is. Maybe Massachusetts is a conservative state after all.”
– I was surprised that Mitt’s presidential antics hadn’t hurt him more. I was obviously wrong. ... I am NOT surprised that many people are/will be closely watching the State House antics of Sal et gang. One of those closely watching should be Reilly.
‘A legislative Socrates he is not’:
Sal’s new ‘House speaker pro tempore.’
... Somewhat surprised by these positive poll numbers
for Mitt. Reilly should be happy too – if the numbers are accurate.
Consolidating the gains:
Sal is reshuffling
the deck to create a new old regime tilting to the left.
... This is what ‘currying favor’ gets? The Hack-Progressive Alliance has come out of deep freeze. It lives! It lives! ... Mitt’s still buried in snow-plowing woes
two weeks after a storm. Has it come to this? ... Sun and fun is just around the corner, Mitt. The South Carolina trip is only a few weeks away. ...
Another day, another championship: Ho hum.
… Ho hum.
… Yawn. Who wants to take on a Boston/New England team next?
Update -- From Philly newspaper: 'Die Nasty.'
-- From Reader No. 1:
"Why is it so important for the Patriots to be a 'DYNASTY'? Maybe Coach Belichick can put a spin on it, but I think it's a bad thing. Dynasties are things that happened in the past and are over -- I would like to think the Pats best days are not behind them, my comments yesterday notwithstanding. My wife described last night's win as 'anticlimactic.' Certainly so by the prior 2 Super Bowl standards. It was like so many wins over the past couple of years, many of which end with a talented but erratic quarterback piling up big numbers and mismanaging the game when it really counts.
Makes you appreciate Tom Brady all the more! And it's nice to know that Boston is not the only city that sentences its near-championship teams to eternal damnation
when they come up short."
-- Definitely check out the eternal damnation
page. God Philly fans are brutally funny. ... 'Should we be looking to blame somebody today?' Classic.
‘The architect of Romney's national ambitions’:
Not only does Mitt seem to be in a bit of trouble locally, Gin
says he’s relying on a loser nationally.
‘What no westerns?’:
Maine Man chimes in on the Greatest War Movies posts over the weekend:
“What no westerns? The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Cheyenne. Zulu is a great movie, but it is a western set in Africa. Breaker Morant, a great movie, is a western set in Australia and Egypt. Apocalypse Now was far and away the greatest, there is no comparison; but The Searchers is number 1 if you admit westerns, and Apocalypse Now is second. ... What about From Here to Eternity, one of very few movies that both guys and gals could watch and enjoy? Lawrence of Arabia has a lot of topical interest of course. It was a great movie and it introduced many of us to Islam and the Arabs. (BTW, i think that the Omar Sharif character in the movie was later put on the Iraqi throne by the Brits.) Hell, you could even argue that the Godfather trilogy is a war movie, the family versus the state. One of the hallmarks of a good war movie is that the hero is a guy you would want in the foxhole next to you, but not someone whom you would trust in civilian life, and the movie is good enough to point that out. Rummy, who never served, is like that, isn't he?”
Hub Blog’s response
-- Agree From Here to Eternity should have at least gotten a mention/acceptance/rejection. ... As for westerners and the Godfather, I totally disagree. Should we also include cop and gangster movies?
'What, no mention of Patton?’:
And Sol jumps into the Greatest War Movies fray:
“What, no mention of Patton?! And don't forget to check out the oft-overlooked Howard Hughes directed Hell's Angels
Hub Blog’s response
-- I know, I know. Read Armchair Gen. Savin Hill’s anti-Patton rant from yesterday. Patton was definitely on my
'Enjoy it while you can’:
Reader No. 1 is holding with the Pats:
“I was going to make that 3-point pick on the obligatory Vinateri field goal, but everybody has beat that horse to death. So I'll say instead: Pats 24-9. Would not be surprised to see a slow start (call it the Media Week Effect - more effective than novocaine)... but an inevitable finish. And as Bob Kraft said this week on WEEI, 'enjoy it while you can, you never know when you'll go back.' Adios Charlie, Romeo, and about one-third of a great team in this offseason - thanks for a great run and the most thrilling Super Bowl win (#36 of course).”
Hub Blog’s prediction
-- Pats, though I’m getting very nervous and pessimistic. Which is good. …
‘The war movie version of ‘Mommy Dearest’ ’:
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill is on the warpath. He thinks Hub Blog and a friend, Christophenberg, who was briefed on the general’s Greatest War Movies of All-Time List (see yesterday’s post), ambushed him by later bringing up movies that he says he distinctly rejected. Savin Hill lashes out at his low-brow critics:
-- A fair, two-star movie that's more travalogue than war movie. We get to see the Australian outback, we get to see Egypt, and of course... a sliver of Gallipoli, at the very end of the movie. The dramatic build-up to the final scene is great, but really -- yawn -- oh-my-futility-of-war-isn't-it-horrible-officer-bastards, blah blah -- yawn. Also, I never really cared that much about the characters. So they were, uh, good runners, so it was particularly tragic that they die? Give me a break. I cheered when the boring blonde runner got shot….
-- A very good, two-and-a-half star movie. The entire movie is a character study of Patton with an absurdly over-the-top, scene-chewing performance by George C. Scott. Who is amusing. In fact, he's so amusing, take him out of that role, and how good is that movie? Not very. It's the war movie version of "Mommy Dearest" -- the scene-chewing holds together the whole movie. You can't look away. The battle scenes all look like they were stock footage pulled from other movies, and aren't particularly realistic. Shooting a donkey doesn't make a war movie. …
-- God how I hate this movie. Take out the POW Russian roullette scene -- and ... oh my, we have "Days of Our Lives" set in a Pennsylvania coal town. Half the characters walk around in the movie sullen, inexpressive and on the verge of tears -- except when they are wildly drunk, which is when they are happy... It's like the director, at every scene said "OK, in this scene you are drunk and happy....and in this scene you are sober and morose" ... Dreadful, dreadful movie. And the ending -- good God. Vietnam vet goes back to rescue his friend -- WHO HAS BECOME A MORSOSE, SULLEN ZOMBIE! But he's a star in the Russian Roulette business (wonder what health benefits are like?). This movie manages to be both improbable AND sappy. Oh ... and he (*sniff*) can't shoot that deer anymore (*sniff*). This would make my list of top 20 WORST war movies.‘My honorable Mom will applaud your selection of 'Zulu'’:
Reader No. 1 also weighs in on The Greatest War Movies on this noble Super Bowl Day, the unofficial American Male Holiday:
“Good topic. And my honorable Mom will applaud your selection of 'Zulu' as #1. Some thoughts:
“1. Private Ryan is a deserving film, but maybe we are a little close to it right now. I agree on Battle of Britain. I enjoyed it (in a theatre!) when I was 10 but it's not in the same league as these others.
“2. How can you leave out Full Metal Jacket!? That would be in my top.
“3. Band of Brothers was fabulous but it isn't really a movie - it was an HBO series. So I'm a nitpicker...
“4. Hamburger Hill (1987) was greatly underappreciated when it came out 9 months after Platoon, plus it was written by a conservative. It's awesome.
“5. Both versions of Henry V - Olivier and Branagh - are worthy.
“6. I would bump up Glory in the listings. The battle sequences are incredible and of course, we always know what we are fighting for.
“My list is too slanted towards newer films, probably because seeing them in theatres leaves a strong impression...”Update
has his own thoughts. Hmmm. Dr. Strangelove. Interesting. ... Full Metal Jacket seems to have been a big oversight, at least on my part. Armchair Gen. Savin Hill doesn't like it. He's very picky.A possible non-hiatus forced hiatus:
Hub Blog is suffering massive spyware problems and may be out of it for a while. … I barely got online to make these posts today. It’s outrageous. I’m plotting to put as much distance between me and anything Microsoft.
For your pre-Super Bowl pleasure: The Best War Movies of All Time:
What do three friends discuss at a bar when they go through the first weekend since last April without a Sox, Pats or playoff game to watch? Why, they discuss the best war movies of all time, of course. Armchair Gen. Savin Hill got it rolling this past Sunday by grandly announcing he had come up with his tentative top 20 list of All-Time Greatest War Movies, forcing Hub Blog and the Hub Blog Bro to guess which they were. The debate got hot and heavy, with several total strangers at the Hill Tavern eagerly jumping into the fray, one of whom had to be glumly dragged away to dinner by an annoyed girlfriend.
Anyway, feel free to discuss Armchair Gen. Savin Hill's modified list in the run-up to tomorrow’s Super Bowl and/or during the half-time show, if Paul McCartney’s not your cup of tea. Here goes:
Saving Pvt. Ryan
The Battle of Britain
Paths of Glory
Bridge Over the River Kwai Lawrence of Arabia A Bridge Too Far
Das Boot Black Hawk Down
Band of Brothers Braveheart
Pork Chop Hill
The Great Escape Spartacus
12 O'clock High
Bridges of Toko Ri
The Longest Day
Savin Hill’s Honorable Mentions: Cross of Iron, Too Late The Hero, Stalag 17, The Bedford Incident, Gettysburg, The Lost Battalion, Guns of Navarrone, Judgment at Nuremberg, Glory, The Enemy Below, The Crossing.Hub Blog’s comments
-- Those in bold -- which shall be called the Bold of Shame -- are the movies Savin Hill actually forgot on his initial list, if you can believe it. ... I don’t agree with his top two. I’m tired of Saving Private Ryan, and Battle of Britain never did it for me. ... I’m also no big fan of Tora, Tora, Tora! and the Longest Day. ... And my biggest pet peeve: Battle of the Bulge doesn’t even make honorable mention? The all-time greatest Saturday morning war movie on Channel 56? C’mon. OK, so it’s historically inaccurate from beginning to end. But it’s got Robert Shaw as Colonel Kessler! ...
My top movie? Probably Zulu. Rounding off the top five: Paths of Glory, Lawrence of Arabia, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List, with Pork Chop Hill, Breaker Morant and Patton tearing at my heart strings. ... Schindler’s List raises a question: Is it really a war movie? Is Spartacus? Savin Hill fudged and said his main criteria was that a movie had to include a battle scene. But wouldn’t that exclude the Great Escape, Stalag 17 and Judgment at Nuremberg? ... Questions, questions. ...
Yes, yes, yes. We were aware of the Big Red One, Kelly’s Heroes, MASH, Where Eagles Dare, Midway and other ‘60s and ‘70s big-production vehicles for movie stars. R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D. ... Yes, yes, yes. Aware too of Platoon and Apocalypse Now. Very little debate over Platoon. R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D. But Apocalypse was hotly debated. .... Should made-for-TV flicks and series be included? ... Questions, questions. ... To our collective shame: we forgot Deer Hunter and Gillapoli. ...
I’m thinking of more movies as I write. But I have to stop somewhere. ...
‘This Charles-Manson-with-a-turban’: Tom Friedman
hails the Sunday vote in Iraq: “It's about time, because whatever you thought about this war, it's not about Mr. Bush any more. It's about the aspirations of the Iraqi majority to build an alternative to Saddamism. By voting the way they did, in the face of real danger, Iraqis have earned the right to ask everyone now to put aside their squabbles and focus on what is no longer just a pipe dream ...”
The realistic discussion about Iraq is now between those who were gung-ho from the start and gratified by Sunday’s vote and those who had legitimate criticisms and misgivings but are still gratified by Sunday’s vote. All those who simply carp at the president and the United States -- and ignore the reality of Sunday -- are irrelevant to the debate. ... How can you not be happy about Sunday's vote?
What hiatus?: Andrew Sullivan
has written more in the last 48 hours than I’ve seen in months. Some hiatus. Sort of like John Ellis’
hiatus. ... The key is, methinks, to admit to any blogger exhaustion/addiction and withdraw in stages, without announcing it until the winding down is made obvious. Sort of like quietly going on a diet. I tend to signal to everyone I’m determined to lose weight, then get caught the next night wolfing down a Steak Bomb sub at Ninos. ... Glenn Reynolds
has a great post on blogging. Like the sand-and-rocks comparison. ...
Islamic law in Ontario?:
Must have missed this imbecility
when it first broke. Who’s opposing the oh-so progressive move not to fully assimilate Muslims into Western laws and institutions? Islamic women who know sharia
tribunals are stacked against them. ... Great article: ‘He's a martyr now.’
And he is. As are others.
Money talks: Mitt’s running:
Mitt’s denying it, of course, but money talks.
... Is he going to brief Spartanburg County, S.C. Republicans on the snow removal efforts on battered Cape Cod? Update Michigan state senators on his relations with Trav and Sal? ... I’m beginning to wonder if he can win reelection in Massachusetts. I don’t think his advisers have an inkling how poorly his shallow checklist governance style is playing on the streets here. ...
-- 2.2.05 - ‘Romney vs Kerry in 2008?’
Unlikely, but it would be fun. ... Wait a second. Who would run the state while they’re going at it?
‘Those Boston years were good years’: Godfrey Sperling Jr.
looks back on his long career at the Christian Science Monitor, Boston's often overlooked third daily. ... A signal he’s going to retire soon?
‘There is only one way ...’:
The man of peace and love
sure spits out a lot of venom today -- again. ... Can’t you at least be happy for one day, James? One day? ... Tom Oliphant
is right: a phased, smart withdrawal of U.S. troops is important and inevitable. But not the way Ted Kennedy wants. ... There are simply very few precedents, if any, in history of a people tolerating a foreign occupation in the name of protecting them from their own people, even if those people happen to be fascist thugs. ...
is now claiming ‘vindication.’ To a degree he’s right. To a degree he’s not. Walter Russell Mead: "Certainly at this point, you have to say that the Bush administration's critics have made as many mistakes as the Bush administration in assessing Iraq." Actually, I’d say the critics have made more mistakes. But the problem is the Bush administration and most of its Bushie groupies have admitted no
mistakes. I’m sorry, but I never viewed this war, in the winter of 2003, as a war of liberation. That’s the jingoistic, backup argument that came to the forefront after the WMD and terrorist-link arguments fell by the wayside. I view the successful election just completed as more a case of the administration snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. It was its last hope, while a successful election should have been icing on the national-interest cake. ... Was it worth it? Let’s answer it this way: How can you not rejoice (James Carroll excluded) at people defying terrorist thugs and voting for democracy? So, in that regard, it was worth it, seeing we can’t go back in history and undo the past’s almost unforgivable pre-war planning and occupation blunders. ... And, oh, yes, I know it’s not over. The crocodiles are still there. But I’m rooting for the Iraqis -- and us -- to win in the end. I don’t like failures.
‘On hiatus for a few months’:
Following in the footsteps of John Ellis, Andrew Sullivan
is also taking a hiatus from blogging. ... I think Reader No. 1 is right
: we’re at the end of the blogging beginning and something else is emerging. ... I’m looking forward to Andrew returning with a revamped site. Hopefully he’ll help take blogging in a new direction and/or heights. ... Hub Blog is bravely sticking it out! This is a hobby for me, so it’s not a burden. I like it. When I’m not in the mood, I don’t blog. Simple. I don’t quite understand the pressure some, like John and Andrew, apparently put on themselves to produce. Any observations, Sherman? ...
I do hope certain backbone bloggers stick it out. Locally, there’s Adam Gaffin
, who’s built a terrific Hub central blog and is now thinking of major changes, for the positive I assume. (I’ve voted to keep Boston Common, FYI. See cyber ballots at the left.) .... Nationally, there’s Glenn Reynolds
, who’s dared to annoy me in recent months, but who constantly startles me. Did you see his post yesterday on neo-Confederates
? That’s been an unwritten pet peeve of mine for a while. I’ve been giving the issue some thought and was looking for an opportunity to write about it. And Glenn just rips out an unbelievably great item on the issue. How does he do it? Hope he sticks it out too. ...
‘A moment for Arab self-criticism and soul-searching’:
Williams College’s Marc Lynch
writes for CSM on the Arab media’s criticism of the tepid, tardy Arab response to the tsunami disaster, saying it marked a significant change in tone and substance. ... Maybe the change lapped over to the coverage of yesterday’s election in Iraq, where the Arab media actually covered the voting
, not the violence. ...
Kennedy and Kerry alert: Mickey
is raking the two senators from Massachusetts over the coals. ...
Blogger war alert: Andrew
is still bashing critics of his criticism of noncritics; Mickey still isn’t saying what he thought or thinks about the elections; Glenn
is rightly pointing out goalpost-moving efforts while not mentioning his and others’ past goalpost-moving efforts (lack of WMD, bogus comparisons to post-war German occupation etc. etc.). And so it goes ...
Roads, roads, roads:
Even if fire departments
got more resources they still would have to face Boston roadways.
... Speaking of roads, I’m not terribly impressed with city and state snow plowing efforts during the recent storms. Many roads are still clogged -- and they’re now freezing over. But I was impressed with snow removal on Cambridge Street. There used to be huge mounds everywhere. Tractors and dump trucks arrived this weekend and, well, it’s remarkably clear. Where they put the snow, I don’t want to know. ...
‘We want to be like other Iraqis’: A truly historic day.
percent turnout? Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be so high. Imagine if there wasn’t an insurgency. Now we know: a minimum 72 percent of the Iraqi people are not with the fascist insurgents. Period. End of argument.
... My pre-election pessimism calls for me to eat a little crow. Not an entire crow. Maybe just a wing. But some crow nevertheless. Pass the Grey Poupon! ... The big question: What now? Will the fledgling democracy be consumed by corruption and apathy? Subverted by mullahs or other would-be Islamo dictators? Anyone who says they know is a fool. Yet this much is clear: today’s vote was a dramatic, positive start for a new Iraq. ... The biggest short-term domestic winner: President Bush. The guy’s on a roll. The biggest short-term domestic loser: Ted Kennedy. He should have waited until after
the election to give his troop-pullout speech.
-- Steve of Arlington asks what I was pessimistic about. Though I didn't annuniciate it in detail, I was mostly fearing turnout of at best about 50 percent or so, marred by ferocious violence and massive Florida-like voting irregularities and other woes. Never expected the open, festive atmosphere after what Iraq went through in recent months. ... Glad to be proven wrong. ... And, hey, eating crow isn't that bad.
‘It shouldn't have taken me this long to say so’: Jeff Jacoby
writes one of the most honest columns I’ve read anywhere in a long while, this one on the torture scandal. Jeff:
“If this were happening on a Democratic president's watch, the criticism from Republicans and conservatives would be deafening. Why the near-silence now? Who has better reason to be outraged by this scandal than those of us who support the war? More than anyone, it is the war hawks who should be infuriated by it. It shouldn't have taken me this long to say so.”
Hub Blog was talking to a friend the other day about the torture scandal, trying to put it into historic perspective. My friend compared it to the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II -- an undeniable black mark within the context of a good cause. Not a perfect comparison, obviously, but you get the idea. ... The conversation turned to other aspects of the current war. My friend also compared the military, intelligence and diplomatic blunders at the start of the war to the ineptness of Union forces at the start of the Civil War -- undeniable and almost unforgiveable mistakes within the context of a good cause. ...
Such real-time blunders and contradictions, I suspect, contribute more than a little to Hub Blog’s Wobbly Warrior Ways.
‘The Little Prince’:
I just received my winter edition of Tufts Magazine
(Fall 2004 edition still up, alas) and consumed a long excerpt from Sol Gittleman’s
new book, ‘An Entrepreneurial University.’
The unquestioned star of the book is the late Tufts President Jean Mayer, the mischievous sorcerer who transformed the university in the 70’s and ‘80s through a beguiling mixture of ‘disinformation and misinformation,’ as Gittleman affectionately puts it. What a character: a former resistance fighter and Free French adviser to Charles DeGaulle who once shot a Nazi guard when escaping prison and who later went on to rescue Tufts. Gittleman is right: Mayer, a huge figure at both Tufts and within American academia, shouldn’t be forgotten. ...
Mayer is one of those miraculous university presidents -- including BC’s J. Donald Monan and BU’s John Silber -- who blessed Boston in the late 20th Century by propelling their then underachieving schools to new heights. All three were great dreamers, schemers and builders. ...