Oscar nominations are in as of yesterday morning. Overall, the choices were predictable and honored those studios who no doubt mounted rigorous campaigns for their favored films. "Departed", probably the best film of 2006, was appropriately honored, I thought. Picture, Director, Screenplay. I really liked seeing Wahlberg get a Supporting Actor nomination. The lines written for him were genius, and he delivered them perfectly. (Isn't it weird that Marky Mark and the lead in "Fear" is now an Oscar nominee?) My one major problem with the nominations this year was this: "Borat" got a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay while "Prestige" (and countless other deserving scripts, I'm sure) was ignored in that category. If the Academy doesn't think Christopher Nolan and his brother wrote one of the best adapted scripts of the year, fine -- no one would ever accuse them of having exceptional taste -- but to honor "Borat" with a nomination? A movie that was a collection of clever bits Cohen improved his way through, all of which is hung on a weak Borat-Has-To-Marry-Pam-Anderson plotline? Not to defame a movie I thought was pretty funny, but Best Adapted Screenplay? I'm guessing Academy members (or is it just Writers' Guild members who do the screenplay noms? Shawn?) just wanted to see what funny things Cohen will say if he goes up and gets the award. And for that reason, I bet there's a good chance he'll get it.
Also, some fantastic political video clips this week. Here's one of Wolf Blitzer interviewing Darth Cheney. This thing is guaranteed to make you squirm. Okay, maybe not Heath. What's especially good about the clip comes at the end when Wolf starts asking Darth about the fact his lesbian daughter's having a child with another woman. in response, Cheney levels Wolf with his Lidless Eye of Sauron and Wolf withers beneath its unclean glare. He stammers and stutters and retreats. If I didn't hate Cheney with a purple passion, I'd almost have to hand it to him for so completely discombobulating a member of the press, especially the usually unflappable Blitzer. I think Wolf's problem was trying to join two completely different sentiments, one being a phony journo congratulations on Cheney's new granddaughter, and the other being a tough (and legitimate) question regarding the Vice President's hypocrisy on the subject of gay rights. It was too difficult a transition to make for ole Wolf, though I commend him for making the attempt. It must have something to do with the Cheneys. Uberbitch Lynne Cheney also gave Wolf hell, though she had even less reason to be so than her husband. Anyway, this is what happens when you deal with a politician who's cranky by nature and is entirely unconcerned with their political future. Disdain for the press times a hundred.
And here's Chuck Hagel making an impassioned speech about the war. Nary a thing he says in this clip is untrue, and he says it well. You should check it out -- it's just good.
Also, Obama calls out FoxNews for its completely lame-ass smear job it did on him last week. Some right-wing website publishes a completely uncorroborated report that Obama had attended a madrassah when he was a small child. FoxNews, because they are in no way a legitimate news organization, aired the story on the air without any independent sourcing of their own, and now a lot of regular folks believe that at some point in Obama's life, he was Muslim. Truth is neither his white Kansan mother or his secular Kenyan father (who he saw once his whole life) was a Muslim and he is and has been for some time, a Christian. Also, a madrassah is essentially Muslim grad school, so Obama being in one at the age of 8 or so, is ludicrous on its face, But the damage is done and Obama called them out in this letter, by name. And the thing is FoxNews's position is indefensible, so if they're smart they'll just take it. Which means they probably won't.
And just to round off all this political stuff with some uplifting news, here's a link to a Rolling Stone article that talks about the still-possible Gore run. James Carville thinks he'd be damn formidable and would be absolutely shocked if he didn't run. I hope I hope I hope. The wife hopes, too. Even more than me, if that's possible.
Well, the wife's back from India and she saw a whole lot of it. I don't want to attempt a rough transcript of what she told me, but I'll say that based on her first-person account, my opinion of India, already low, has hit absolute bottom-of-the-Marianas-Trench levels. Talk about a country fatally hamstrung by a religion-inspired c'est la vie outlook on its dire national problems. 60% of Indians live in filthy slums. 20% are homeless. When asked about the trenchant poverty, the other 20% of middle-class and outright rich Indians tell you the desperately poor are "content" in their slums or begging on the streets. No problems here! What's to fix? Anyway, I'm going on and on and I didn't even go. She took lots of excellent and well-framed digital photographs during her travels, and also, incidentally, a video clip. I'll just put the link here. Who knew Indian stags were such horny freaks? Anyway, good times -- take a look.
And finally, one space or two? Up until this past week I didn't know ANYONE was using a single space between sentences, but I now realize I, in fact, am the only one still using two spaces. Is it really just me? How widespread is this one-space epidemic?
Aaaaand I'm out.