Monday, October 16, 2006

Train Horns Are Louder Now, Video of Saunders Reading a Storuh, and "Hot Fuzz" Teaser. An Auspicious Monday Indeed!

Ah, happy Monday folks. It is a gray and drizzling day in Decatur, Georgia, and I think the thinning foliage may be allowing more of the train horn sound through to my apartment. They're louder than they used to be, or at least it seems that way. There's one now. I guess it must be moving through a stretch of track cut through with a lot of streets without the ding ding dings and the striped come-down stick things. Gots to keep the idjits off the tracks. Let them know you're coming. Yeah, all of that's pretty stream-of-consciousness, and I like it about as much as you do, so I'm moving on.

Last week, I wrote about George Saunders and his collection of stories called "Pastoralia". They are good stories. This week, I'm posting a link to some sweet video of George Saunders doing a reading in New York City (along with a guy who wrote a book called "Absurdistan") that was sponsored by the New Yorker magazine. A Q&A follows. It's my first glimpse of the guy in action and I was impressed. The story he reads follows in the same humor-girded-with-pathos vein most of his stories do, and not only was the story good, he read it well. He's relaxed, witty, well-spoken, and essentially sets the bar very high for calm and erudite public speaking. He says that he's taking a year off from teaching at Syracuse and that he's got nothing on his plate at the moment, but that he's hoping that during this sabbatical, he'll get into something "bigger". Perhaps we can expect a full-on Saunders novel? Also: he says that he writes 4 or 5 short stories for every one that he likes well enough to publish. That's a lot of stories he's got moldering in a metaphorical drawer somewhere. Anyway, take a view of the Saunders video if you get the chance or have the inclination.

In political news: A Washington Post article takes note of how "inexplicably upbeat" Karl Rove and W. are these days about Republicans' prospects in the mid-term elections. In fact, they're making no plans for what they'll do if they lose one or both houses of Congress. And this isn't just optimism they're showing off in public, putting a good face on a bad situation and all that. These reports are coming from higher-ups in the White House who don't get what possible reason Rove and Bush have to be upbeat about election day. What could it be? Do they have a standing arrangement with Diebold to deliver every election for Bush while he's in office? Or does Rove have some something evil in the works designed to sway those soft-headed Republicans -- those who may have planned to skip voting on account of Foleygate -- to go out and vote? Well, here's what might be allowing Rove to sleep better at night.

"Saddam verdict to be read out on November 5th."

Hmm. That's on a Sunday. The elections are two days later. That's two full days of full-bore mainstream media coverage of what a nasty guy Saddam was and how great it is that, even though there's all this dying, and Civil Warring, and assassinationing, we got nasty terrible Saddam out of power and into a jail cell. Undoubtedly there will be a national prime-time address direct from the Oval Office in which Bush can make an election-eve plea for his base to come out and vote, and for two full days, the 24-hour "news" networks will give precious airtime to Republican spinmeisters who'll say the misguided and traitorous Dems are far from pleased with the verdict, that, if fact, the party of Pelosi and Kennedy and Reid wish Saddam were still in power, etc. etc. November 5th. Quite the coincidence.

Finally, in movie news: 1) To view a couple teasers for "Hot Fuzz", the new film from the team that brought you "Shaun of the Dead", click here. (I'm not sure quite how they've got the teasers working on this site. Click on the link to see one teaser, then reload the page and maybe see the other teaser?) Nothing riotously funny here, but I'm not about to cast aspersions on this film based solely on a so-so teaser. Also, 2) "The Prestige" opens this Friday. Thought I'd remind folks, just so you have something else to look forward to this weekend.


Craig Moorhead said...

What's also sad about that Saddam verdict being read on the 5th is that considering it to be a political ploy doesn't make me wonder if I'm too cynical.

JudgeHolden said...

It's true. I think Karl Rove is, and this is the result of scientific study, one million percent more cynical than the most cynical American. Not to say I believe it at all, but it's Rove's deplorable cynicism that gives credence to 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Because no reasonable person can imagine a level beneath which Rove wouldn't descend, it's less easy to fault those guys because they imagine that level might be killing Americans on American soil. Of course the theories are, to me, completely bogus but Rove's constant playing politics with things that should be above the fray, ranging from the "That's Politics, Kid" level like demolishing Kerry's exceptional war record (with the Swift Boaters, which Rove handled), to playing with things the American people genuinely trust (or used to) as he did with the completely phony terror alerts sent out to change the subject away from negative Bush news, to this holding the Saddam verdict until two days prior to the mid-term elections, make it easy to believe Rove's cynicism is truly depthless.

Brian O'Malley said...

October 16, 2006: Adam Nagourney’s claims in the New York Times that Republican Party officials have “written off” Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio could not be further from the truth. RNC spokesman Aaron McLear told ABC’s “Note” that "The assertion that the RNC is pulling out of Ohio is not accurate. We have been and will continue to assert a considerable level of support for Sen. DeWine." While another Republican Party official added, "We have spent more money in Ohio than any other state and that level of spending will continue through Election Day."

Anonymous said...

Long live the Republicans! We are all about protecting the right to exploit and never reuse natural resources, cum on women's faces without their permission, and form secret clubs for people with money!

Brian O'Malley said...

I don't remember hearing any of that being part of the Republican platform, but I'll let you silly Dems live in your anti-American fantasy world. For more on your silly fantasy worlds being exposed, be sure to watch this.

harwell said...

I can't compete with O'Malley, but Crane if you get a chance check out a story called "Jon" in Saunders' new collection. Freaking great and you'll probably see more similarities to Idiocracy in this one than in any other. It's about a group of teenagers who live in seclusion and basically their sole purpose in life is to provide companies with market research and analysis on their new products and advertisement campaigns. As always, it's brutally funny, bleak, and humanistic at the same time.