Tuesday, November 27, 2012

nerd fantasies do come true aka what the fuck is david brooks yapping about part ??

in this part 6? 7? of what appears to be an infinite-part series, i again eric foner examines the latest and greatest david brooks column in the new york times and asks the question we've all been wondering: what the fuck is david brooks yapping about? 

i watched lincoln over the holiday weekend.  i was impressed by the narrative arc that kushner et al created over a legislative vote.  yeah, i know: if you can't create suspense and drama out of the abolishment of slavery and the civil war, then what hope is there for storytelling?  still, it actually focused on the legislative process, which i guess i especially appreciated given my line of work.  both tommy lee jones and james spader were highly entertaining.  but you know, i felt squeamish over all that rah rah america is great patriotism permeating the film.  i mean, yes, the thirteenth amendment was a monumental achievement, but c'mon, y'all had slavery to begin with.  let's not get too high on ourselves here.

throughout the movie i wondered what eric foner thought of this whole business.  i haven't read his lincoln book, but i remember him disparaging doris kearns goodwin's thesis in team of rivals quite a bit during his book tour.

even though nobody asked for it, over the weekend, david brooks threw in his pointless two cents about how lincoln the film reminds us of how great politics could be blahblahbla.  i kind of skimmed it, rolled my eyes, and moved on.

but what do i see here?  eric foner's letter to the editor of the times was published today--he puts brooks and his banal, insipid op-ed in their place by pointing out that its premise is based flawed history, which he then explains in his usual concise, economical prose.  i seriously have been dreaming about enlisting an authoritative voice against brooks--and here it is! 

David Brooks praises the new movie “Lincoln” for illuminating “the nobility of politics” and, he hopes, inspiring Americans to reconsider their low regard for politicians. The film depicts Abraham Lincoln’s arm-twisting and political maneuvering in January 1865 to secure approval of the 13th Amendment, which, when ratified by three-quarters of the states, abolished slavery throughout the nation. 

This was indeed an important moment in political history. But Mr. Brooks, and the film, offer a severely truncated view. Emancipation — like all far-reaching political change — resulted from events at all levels of society, including the efforts of social movements to change public sentiment and of slaves themselves to acquire freedom.

The 13th Amendment originated not with Lincoln but with a petition campaign early in 1864 organized by the Women’s National Loyal League, an organization of abolitionist feminists headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Moreover, from the beginning of the Civil War, by escaping to Union lines, blacks forced the fate of slavery onto the national political agenda.

The film grossly exaggerates the possibility that by January 1865 the war might have ended with slavery still intact. The Emancipation Proclamation had already declared more than three million of the four million slaves free, and Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia, exempted in whole or part from the proclamation, had decreed abolition on their own.

Even as the House debated, Sherman’s army was marching into South Carolina, and slaves were sacking plantation homes and seizing land. Slavery died on the ground, not just in the White House and the House of Representatives. That would be a dramatic story for Hollywood.

New York, Nov. 23, 2012
The writer, a history professor at Columbia University, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for history for “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

happy birthday, joe biden!

he's 70 years old today! damn.

that's the photo you find when you google "young joe biden," so i will believe that it is, even though it could kind of be any prepster from the 1950s.  i shared the photo with a friend who told me that it was a depressing reminder about the passage of time because, in comparison, he looks terrible now.  i disagreed with her--i don't think he looked so bad nowadays.  the dude is 70!

then we engaged in a very substantive debate over whether he uses botox (i say yes).

Monday, November 19, 2012

yes, i've seen it

1. how old is (mc) hammer?
2. if one more white person gives me a knowing look while saying "[___] gangnam style", i'm going to lose it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

signs of the apocalypse

today i saw mario lopez on extra seamlessly transition from the kardashians' divorce to general petraeus to lindsay lohan.

 someone tell me it's going to be okay.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today in Old: Hockey Hall of Fame Edition

Amidst my endless reading about the reinvention of the GOP / Obama's drones / Messina's ground game and everything else I could possibly consume about politics, I somehow stumbled across this:

Holy moly!  I had no idea Bure's career was Hall of Fame level, but hey, not my decision to make.  What is he even up to nowadays?

Anyway, I miss watching these guys.  This brings me back.  Joe Sakic went to high school one city over from Vancouver and I once stopped by to check out his graduation photo.  I want to say that I happened to be there for another purpose altogether, but that's probably wrong.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

go on with yo bad self!

this kid can move.

 i'm sure there's a gif of this out there somewhere, but i'm also a bit afraid of what a google search of "asian guy dancing" will turn up. we'll stick with the known knowns.

awesome night for asian-americans overall.  beyond just that guy, of course.

finally, i was excited to see this

Sunday, November 4, 2012