July 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Politics, and lots of other stuff I find interesting
July 12, 2012 1 Comment
I know I shouldn’t be wasting my time blogging about a mediocre television show, but damn is HBO’s Newsroom disappointing. Honestly, when HBO puts itself behind a drama you just expect higher quality than this. From the opening credits sequence, the whole show just screams “standard network TV fare.” Aaron Sorkin can sure as hell write dialog and that makes for an entertaining enough show, but I have found myself frequently cringing at plot developments and how characters act (and not in a cringing because it’s uncomfortably funny kind of way– just because it is awkward and bad). And for an admitted feminist, I’ve never been overly concerned by how female characters are portrayed, but damn does Sorkin do a horrible and one-note job with the female leads. Do they have to be so pathetic in their personal lives?
And last, I like me some good liberalism, but this is just pure liberal fantasy. Honestly, when I want fantasy I prefer it include orcs, elves, and magic swords.
A number of interesting takes on Mitt and the NAACP. I think Jamelle Bouie pretty much nails it:
The point of this address to the NAACP was to signal to right-leaning, suburban white voters—that Mitt Romney is tolerant and won’t represent the bigots in his party. But there’s a sense in which Romney had it both ways: Not only did he reassure hesitant whites but by pledging to repeal Obamacare—and being booed by the audience—he likely increased his standing with those who do resent African Americans. By going to an audience of black professionals and sticking with his stump speech, Romney, in some sense, might receive credit for refusing to “pander.”
As political strategery goes– well done. Michael Tomasky has a similar take, but really sticks it to Mitt for the cynical calculation involved:
But he wasn’t a race-baiter until yesterday. That speech wasn’t to the NAACP. It was to Rush Limbaugh. It was to Tea Party Nation. It was to Fox News. Oh, he said some nice things. And sure, let’s give him one point for going there at all. But listen: You don’t go into the NAACP and use the word“Obamacare” and think that you’re not going to hear some boos. It’s a heavily loaded word, and Romney and his people know very well that liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult. He and his team had to know those boos were coming, and Romney acknowledged as much a few hours later in an interview with . . . guess which channel (hint: it’s the one whose web site often has to close articles about race to commenters because of the blatant racism). Romney and team obviously concluded that a little shower of boos was perfectly fine because the story “Romney Booed at NAACP” would jazz up their (very white) base.
Blame the media for making such a big deal of it? Come on. When a candidate’s staffers are preparing a speech, they know very well exactly what line the press is going to lead with. Speeches are written with precisely that intent (or if they’re not, someone is sleeping on the job)…
We learned a great deal about Mitt Romney yesterday, and what we learned only adds to the picture of this little, plastic fellow who thinks he can get points from white moderates (as explained by an aide to BuzzFeed) by appearing at the NAACP while generating high-fives on the white right for rubbing dirt in the faces of its members while there. Did I earlier give him a point for going there at all? I hereby withdraw it.
Maybe a little harsh, but interesting and provocative points.
July 12, 2012 1 Comment
As you know if you are a regular here, I’ve really gotten into photography in the past couple of years. As part of that, I’ve read many books and many a website. One common theme that comes up is just how unimportant your actual equipment is in the grand scheme of things. Now, I realize far too many people just shell out for a Canon DSLR, don’t bother to learn anything, and then think they are going to have great pictures (they won’t). But when you have some idea of what you are doing, the equipment really does make a difference.
For example, my wife posted this photo I took of Sarah last week at Topsail Island Soundside park on Facebook and people have been raving about it.
Now, I’ll give myself some credit for recognizing a great pose when I see it, having a decent feel for composition, and quite purposefully looking to take advantage of the phenomenal light an hour before sunset– all of which is stuff I’ve learned in the past couple years– but if this photo was not taken with a DSLR (I love my Olympus E620) and telephoto lens I could not have gotten the shallow depth of field and great bokeh that make the image really pop. Now, sure, this would be a nice photo with any camera, but using reasonably high quality equipment really does make a considerable difference.
One of the things I realized early in my photographic interest is that the vast majority of what people consider to be higher quality/artistic images have shallow depth of field and significant bokeh. Quite simply, regardless of your other skills you can only get that with the right equipment.
From the Daily Mail:
It was billed to be an explosive tell-all about what ‘really happened’ during the affair that ended a marriage and the dreams of the man who was being pipped to be the next U.S. president.
But after all the hype, it seems not that many people really wanted to hear Rielle Hunter’s side of the story, as the book about her relationship with former senator John Edwards has sold just 6,000 copies.
Due to poor sales, Hunter seems to have dropped under the radar and scheduled no additional tour dates despite an initial media blitz.
Personally, I will confess to watching part of her interview on 20/20. I strongly felt the need to take a shower afterwards.
Very cool Big Picture gallery of Tour de France photos. I admit– just like anyone else I cannot look away from an accident:
Riders try and get back on their bicycles after a massive high-speed crash just 25 kilometers from the finish line during the sixth stage on July 6, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press).
Way back during the 1990 Tour de France my family was on a trip to Europe and we were in Geneva, Switzerland when the tour came through. My sister showed the signs (in French) and said that surely they meant the tour was coming through. Being the ever so confident and cocky 18-year old, I inisted that surely she was mistaken. It’s the Tour de France, I insisted. Of course, that was the day I learned that the Tour de France regularly ventures into neighboring countries. Anyway, it was pretty cool. I’ve got a photo of Greg Lemonde in the Maillot jaune somewhere. And that was the day I learned not to insist I was right about something when I didn’t really know. (Really!)
Here’s the results of a Gallup poll from a couple weeks ago that shows that Hispanic voters are significantly more concerned about health care and jobs than about immigration:
Lots of media and/or Republican commentary has suggested that since Hispanics really just care most about jobs, they should be as open as anyone else to voting for Republicans. What this really misses, though, is that even if immigration is the “most important” issue for only 12% of Hispanic voters and surely has huge symbolic importance even for voters who are much more concerned about jobs and the economy. Quite simply the Republican party is full of extremely hostile anti-immigration rhetoric, at least some of which, represents sentiments of xenophobia and anti-Hispanic attitudes (there’s some good political science on this) . Hispanics aren’t stupid– they know what is driving a significant portion of these immigration attitudes among Republicans. Those, from a simple ethnic/political identity perspective it’s easy to see why they would not want to ally themselves with the Republican party regardless of positions on other issues.