Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elephant? What Elephant?

You know that completely ridiculous (yet completely unsurprising) story of the teddy bear named Mohammed? The one that has been getting major international media coverage, including front page stories in the National Post and constant updates all over the blogosphere? Well, my hometown Montreal Gazette finally decided to mention it. On page A16, at the very bottom, in a tiny paragraph closing out a bunch of other small news briefs, like about the Krygyz prime minister and American obesity levels. Here, then, is the Gazette's coverage of the cuddly crisis in its entirety:

Teacher Charged with Islam insult
KHARTOUM - Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher detained in Sudan after her class called a teddy bear Mohammed, was charged with insulting Islam in a move that sparked a diplomatic row between London and Khartoum. Tuesday, a 7-year-old student named Mohammed tried to defend Gibbons, saying the bear had been named after him."

That's it. Not a word about the death threats, the demonstrations, the school shutting down, the interrogation, the threats of lashing, nothing. No elaboration of the boy's statement, which basically admits that had the teacher named the bear after the prophet, she would deserve punishment. Nope, nothing to see here, folks, just a small diplomatic kerfuffle, a silly news of the world brief.

Meanwhile, the very same issue of the Gazette gives a far more prominent place to an opinion piece by a local Muslim. My favorite line: "Finally, I cannot see why some Quebecers feel threatened by Muslims." A mystery indeed - certainly, that is, if you make the mistake of trusting the Gazette for your news.

Next Day Update: Okay, the Gazette has a brief and very reluctant editorial up about it today (no online link I can find), calling the events "disappointing" ("even after one allows for cultural differences") and saying that, though "no disrespect was intended," the teacher did not understand "how off-limits Islam is for foreigners." (btw, is foreigners some sort of euphemism for "non-homicidal maniacs"?) And no mention of this. Still, better than nothing, I suppose!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


First off, my belated wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving! Besides everything and everyone I'm always thankful for, I just wanted to give a special shout out to AMC's Thanksgiving Day Hitchcock marathon - add Shadow of a Doubt and Rear Window to the Cowboys game, and I was able to stay almost sane cooped up in a hotel room last week.

I'm very behind on the news and my reading, but looks like the wonderful folks on the ol' blogroll have everything taken care of.

What prompts my return is that I watched Junebug for the second time last night, loved it even more, and wanted to spread the word. Besides being a wonderful movie, it's another example of a deeply conservative movie going right over liberal critics' heads. Yet, unlike Apatow's movies, the morality isn't couched in vulgarity, it's right out in the open, and still some reviewers just don't get it.

Exhibit A. The heart of the movie is Amy Adams' hyper-vivacious Ashley, who the critic says "talks because to be silent would be to confront her life's emptiness." B.S. The refined British visitor is clearly the empty one - Ashley is full of life, love, and God. But the critic, unsurprisingly identifying with Embeth Davidtz' sophisticated Madeleine, just doesn't get it. A key moment occurs when Ashley goes into labor and the entire family stays by her side at the hospital. The entire family, that is, except for Madeleine - she goes off instead to work on a business deal. The filmmakers are anything but subtle about this; some touching scenes at the hospital show us the importance of family, while some ridiculous scenes with her client illustrate the absurdity of Madeleine's career. Yet what does the Boston Globe critic write about this almost too obvious parallel? "At a certain critical juncture, George's family turns against this outsider artiste for reasons we're supposed to share, but such is Davidtz's deep-dish joy in her role that you're likely to stay on her side." Reasons we're supposed to share - you know, weird reasons, like love and family over business. Sheesh.

Anyway, ranting aside, the movie is definitely worth a look. And yes, Amy Adams is everything radiant and wonderful and just plain good.

here's the trailer:

and here's the opening song, light and fun:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Travel Day/Month

On the road for work and then vacation for the next three weeks, have no idea about internet access (or free time), blogging will probably be very light. Please check out all the wonderful blogs on the right!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

LOVE this:

this, too:

God bless America and all the troops.


Slowly catching up on my blog reading after a long week.

"Those who are modern and liberal don't want to express old-fashioned moral disapproval, so they won't say drinking or eating too much is self-indulgent and gluttonous. Pleasure-seeking is quite all right these days. And they want to be able to think of themselves as good people, so they can't just say they hate the way you look if you're fat. They have to believe they're actually concerned for your well-being."

Ain't that the truth.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Very much worth a read

Especially the Hall excerpts towards the end. The comparison between Hall and Harris tells you everything you need to know.

See also here. I'm with Dalrymple and the Dutchman, no question.

and Andrew Sullivan doesn't know whether to cry or to drool...

This is very possibly the greatest story ever.

Still, no need to hyperventilate into our sleep apnea masks about all this. My take is that cookie-burning only constitutes torture when not immediately followed by milk-boarding.

Friday, November 9, 2007

"For more tips on how you can save the environment,

stick your head really far up your butt."

Have I mentioned lately how much I love SarahK? I'll even forgive her for liking the most annoying person in the history of the world.*

Related: see here.

*Zach Braff. duh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Another Triumph for Feminism

The prosecutor, the DA, and the judge - all pee sitting down. The accused has spent his entire life viciously raping women. The decision? Exactly what you'd expect. Aw, the poor widdle baby. Here, let me kiss it and make it all better. Hush now, your father is a bad, bad man, it's not your fault.

Question 1: Any man worth the name will do whatever it takes, and usually far more, to protect his wife and daughters. Women were never expected to join the posses going after the rapists and deadbeats. So, am I crazy, or would a male judge have been much, much harsher with this monster? Or, is this not a women thing, but a spineless liberal thing?

Question 2: Going by the pic in the article, exactly how comfortable do you suppose the defense attorney's shoes are?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Book to Help America

No, not mine. His. Doubt we'll see anything like that again (except, naturally, as an exercise in teaching children irony, workin' 'em up to cheer for Colbert with all the cool kids).

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nobody puts Baby in a corner...

... unless Baby doesn't actually want to kill babies, that is.

Please take a couple minutes to digest this interview over at HotAir. So creepy.

This went on at Harvard to a much, much lighter extent. Never had one-on-one meetings with RAs, and I'm quite sure none of my conversations were typed up for the university files to keep track of my progress and "treatment." But I do remember the stand-in-the-corners game, good times! The facilitator (this was not the RA, just some random sensitivity trainer, as I recall) would ask about some controversial issue and then have us stand in different parts of the room depending on what our positions were. Always done in small groups of ten to fifteen, so you could see where everyone stood. The only point of the whole silly exercise was to immediately (this happened during the first week or so of school) point out and isolate the conservative minority (it's college, we're always the minority) - to quite literally put them in a corner. Liberals dream these hippie exercises up because they know it would work on them - that is, faced with isolation, they would cave and believe whatever it took to get them back with the crowd, maybe come up with some chants, paint a few signs, pass around a fat j, whatever, it's cool, dude, don't be a fascist. Unfortunately for them, with conservatives, this sort of stuff just backfires, since we enjoy pissing them off and like being troublemakers.

My point being, yes, please do get yourselves all up in arms over the Delaware sitch (yeah, I said sitch, deal with it), which is ridic, but don't forget that less blatant attempts at indoctrination are going on at just about every other campus, too.

And no, it doesn't really matter to most intelligent people (my dad's only concern as he underwent both nazi and communist indoctrination was to keep from giggling), but it certainly does do harm to the naive and unsuspecting. In any case, it's a total waste of time, perhaps even more so than actual college classes.

Now that's what I'm talking about

You do. not. mess. with Rachel Lucas.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ann Coulter

is not just trying to sell more books. She actually believes what she says, and has a sense of humor to boot. Party 'conservatives' who condemn her are batting close to zero in both categories. They're the ones trying to further their careers by playing nice, rather than risking exile from the mainstream by telling the truth. They condemn nothing - not Islam, not the immoral, not the traitors in our midst - nothing, that is, except Ann Coulter (and maybe, if they want to feel extra good about themselves, Bill O'Reilly, too. I mean, he's just so loud!). The same way that the only thing the Harvard Republican Club ever spoke out against was the campus conservative magazine. These people are spineless, pathetic, and, maddeningly, on the fast track to power and influence.

(h/t Hector Owen)