The Godfather - Part II

By From the June/July 1975 issue

Do you think you have a lot of willpower? Are you willing to be considered a nonconformist? Are you willing to be considered a freak even? You are? Then don't see The Godfather-Part II.

When I finally went to see GF-II, as its fans call it, two teenage girls in front of me were mixing screwdrivers while the show went on. They kept it up through the whole three and a half hours, and I think they really got something out of the time. I wasn't as lucky.

The movie is the biggest fraud since Homestake Oil Drilling, and a hell of a lot more money and people are involved. You would do better to contemplate murder for three and a half hours than to see GF-II. It is simple-minded, boring, pretentious, and dull. So that you won't feel too bad about missing it, here is one of its more memorable moments:


Republicans Are Stupid

By From the January 1987 issue

MAYBE THE DUMBEST THING said about the 1986 election was that the spate of negative ads on television turned off the voters and drove down turnout to the lowest point in four decades, a measly 37.3 percent of eligible voters. On the contrary, attack ads were practically all there was in the campaign to keep up voters' interest. Imagine how low the turnout in Wisconsin might have dipped if Republican Senator Bob Kasten hadn't gone on the air with a commercial accusing Democrat Ed Garvey of creative bookkeeping as director of the National Football League Players Association, and if Garvey hadn't fired back with an ad consisting of testimonials on his behalf by NFL veterans. The NFL dispute was certainly weightier than much of the campaign dialogue in Wisconsin, which included such bones of contention as Kasten's refusal to hold a joint press conference after a debate with Garvey, the hiring by Garveyites of a gumshoe to investigate Kasten, and Ralph Nader's heroic and high-toned entry into the campaign with the charge that Kasten, once arrested for drunk driving, needed to be "rehabilitated," not re-elected.


High Court Nonsense

By From the December 1984 issue

Even before the Supreme Court ended its last term in early July, media pundits had reached a verdict on its significance: The Court had lurched to the right. As usual, Anthony Lewis of the New York Times gave the charge its most strident formulation. The "stunned reaction among the public as well as legal specialists," he wrote, reflected "the sense that our fundamental assumptions about the Supreme Court must change… The Court made clear that it was no longer prepared…to set the limits on state power."


Delectations: Vermillion (with two ll’s), South Dakota

By From the December 1970 issue

South Dakota calls itself "the land of infinite variety," and no place in the state better epitomizes this variousness than Vermillion. Vermillion is easy to find, lying as it does half-way between Elk Point and Yankton, about eight miles off Route 29, the main road between Sioux City, Iowa, home of the nation's ninth largest stockyard, and Mitchell, South Dakota, famous for the Mitchell Corn Palace, a structure constructed entirely of corn cobs.