The Spectacle Blog

More Funny Girl Stuff

By on 11.25.05 | 1:27PM

Jed: When I predicted a rise in blood pressures, I didn't expect yours to be among them. But it may be calming to learn that I didn't shell out big bucks to see Streisand on the screen. The movie I mentioned was on HBO. Further, it didn't do to well at the box office -- precisely because Streisand's performance, along with Dustin Hoffman's as her husband, was savaged by the usually adoring liberal critics. Evidently they like their Streisand humorless and cold. My reaction, on the other hand, was thoroughly conservative: tolerant, appreciative of humanity, undogmatic.

By the way, I didn't know John Wayne was in those flicks with Maureen O'Hara. She sure was prettier than he was.

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By on 11.25.05 | 1:13PM

Wlady: I know you're very much a concerned and sensitive guy. But to pay one Yankee dollar (and I assume, based on empirical evidence of my own trips to see movies, that you paid quite a few) to see Barbra? C'mon pal. That's an anti-conservative act on several levels.

First, to pay for a ticket to a Streisand (or Fonda, or Baldwin, or so many others') movie is the ideological equivalent of donating, Turner-like, to the UN. Even one dollar in her pocket is too much. You gotta draw the line somewhere, pal.

Second, you're a busy guy. Among the deluge of offerings from the entertainment world, how can you possibly put Barbra in line -- even for ten minutes -- before NFL and college football? I'd agree that De Niro's presence is almost always worth the price of admission, but remember: Maureen O'Hara was enough to ruin several otherwise great flicks with the Duke.

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Funny Girl

By on 11.25.05 | 12:46PM

Thanks to a cold snap and high winds, a whole new crop of leaves has descended onto my habitat. Rather than fighting the traffic at the malls, I'll be harvesting via trusty rake. No blowers allowed. This is supposed to be a quiet time of year.

Glad to see some traffic on this blog. Want to see its blood pressure rise? Here goes: I saw Barbra Streisand last night. She was wonderful. The movie was awful (Meet the Fockers), but cheesy and over the top enough to merit viewing. What stood out was that the Streisand persona was nothing like the uptight, humorless Democratic Stalinoid she's become.

Who'd have thunk it -- Streisandism with a human face!

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In the Dark

By on 11.25.05 | 12:29PM

Speaking of semantic insanity: the day they crucified Christ we call "Good Friday."

The day the retailers enrich themselves we call "Black Friday."

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Yes, Syria

By on 11.25.05 | 11:04AM

Though not classified, according to sources, this has been going on for a while. We're calling it "hot pursuit," and it apparently doesn't include independent, planned ops against known terrorist sites. Which, if you think about it, would include Bashar Assad's home and office. Just a suggestion, guys.

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By on 11.25.05 | 7:40AM

Debkafile was reporting yesterday that American forces had penetrated the Syrian border and were engaged directly with Syrian troops west of the city of al-Qaim. Al-Qaim is a border town on the Baghdad to Damascus highway, where very heavy fighting took place during the 2003 Iraq invasion between US forces and fleeing Saddam forces going to Syria.

As of 0820 today, Defense Department sources could not confirm and would not deny the truth of the Debkafile report. If it true, it is of enormous significance. We have tolerated terrorist sanctuaries in Syria for almost two years. We know where many are. The fact that we have not hit them yet (at least before yesterday) is a major failure in our prosecution of the war. Stay tuned.

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Liberals Against Judicial Liberalism?

By on 11.25.05 | 2:29AM

Jonathan Chait wonders what poll respondants who describe themselves as "liberal" can mean by saying that Bush's Supreme Court picks are "too liberal." I can think of two reasons a liberal might think that.

One: A self-identified liberal might equate judicial liberalism with "judicial activism," and understand that term the way Cass Sunstein, Jeff Rosen and others have worked to tendentiously redefine it: to mean striking down laws and/or precedents (including when the Constitution requires doing just that). This is, of course, an example of one of liberals' many attempts to claim the mantle of "real conservative." (This phenomenom pops up a lot in fiscal policy debates. Just this week, Shawn Macomber noted Mark Warner casting his tax-hiking self as "the true definition of a conservative.")

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Happy Thanksgiving

By on 11.24.05 | 8:15AM

As the ravening family horde descends (3 of 4 sons, 2 with ladies in tow) and before those of us who have galley duty all day chain ourselves to the stoves, ovens and barbecue grills, it's time to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. While we enjoy our feasts, let's take a moment to remember all of those guys and gals eating MRE's today, not sitting in front of the tube watching football, and missing their families with every ounce of energy we are enjoying ours. To each of them, let us say thanks. But for them and those who have gone before, we'd have a lot less to be thankful for.

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Thank You, TAS

By on 11.24.05 | 7:43AM

No better place than our brand-new blog for me to thank TAS, Wlady, and Bob for the chance to be exactly what I've always wanted to be, a general interest columnist. It amazes me every week to be able to write for the site.

This Thanksgiving, we are joining what apparently is a growing trend in the U.S., of families who have forgone cooking and simply ordered their dinner out in a whole package from a grocery store or specialty food provider of some kind. We have an excuse. The cook -- that's me -- was in the hospital Tuesday for two pieces of minor surgery.

I suspect that what most people remember most about Thanksgiving cooking is the presence on table of some dish treasured by some one family member, but hated by all the rest. For years, my wife insisted on making creamed onions. Only last year did I find out that no one but me likes cranberries -- in any form, of any kind.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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See, It Really Is Like Vietnam

By on 11.23.05 | 3:09PM

Who needs Cindy Sheehan when you have Daniel Ellsberg? The media's best-loved leaker of national defense secrets joined a gaggle of unwashed lefties with no Thanksgiving plans outside the Bush ranch for another round of demands that American foreign policy match the pictures they see inside their heads. Where was Cindy? Tending to "a family emergency," we're told, though what would qualify for such at this point is unclear. Sheehan has long since made her break from Burke's little platoons. She belongs to the People now.

One demonstrator held a sign that read, "Give me liberty or give me a ditch."

I better not comment further.

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