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November 07, 2003
That's (not) Entertainment

I had more coffee, but it didn't help. Part of my brain is focused on regretting NaNoWriMo, which I decided not to participate in this year, part of it's focused on my plans for the weekend, and a significant percentage of it is, surprisingly, focused on getting some work done.

However, there are a few things you shouldn't miss today.

Avedon Carol is talking about truth in media and discussing the apparent deep concern for "accuracy" in the cancelled Reagan miniseries as long as it's, you understand, the right kind of accuracy. No mentions of hubris, no repeating dumb or insulting remarks, no coverage of lies or criminal behavior. (Ed. I got to the story via Avedon Carol and I encourage you to read the comments in that blog, but the material itself is the most recent Eric Alterman Center for American Progress column. And you should read it. My apologies to both of them for my sloppy linking.)

I dunno. If you take that stuff out of the Reagan years, all you're left with is the already exhausted amusement potential of "supply side economics" and who wants to watch four hours about that?

Reagan was a president who lacked basic knowledge of current events; the former actor who accelerated the transformation of the presidency into the most cynical kind of political theater; a foreign policy daredevil who promoted civil war in Central America at the expense of the U.S. constitution but is now bogusly credited with "winning" the Cold War; a destroyer of all the environment except that which he owned; a man who claimed to have nothing against homosexuals but wasn't willing to expend an ounce of political capital to keep them from dying of AIDS; a leader whose economic policies allowed the wealthy to feast at the government trough while contributing to massively increased poverty and homelessness in America's cities.

Forgive my cynicism, but I doubt this was the president the miniseries would have shown, no matter how "unflattering" it was.

The problem with telling, or trying to tell the truth about what really happens in the corridors of power in this country is that the vast majority of citizens of this country don't want to hear about how ugly some of the things we do are.

Also, didn't I say this? The miniseries was pulled for financial reasons. Threatened boycotts.

For the record, I do feel it's a bit hypocritical of us on the Left to scream about freedom of speech when we've used the same tactics against people we don't like over on the Right.

It could be my imagination, but when I read Hesiod's entry on Bush's recent speech, I see a guy angry because he liked the speech and didn't want to. (I've been taken to task for this flippant remark, so let me make the record clear. Hesiod made no secret of how he felt about Bush's speech and I agree with him. It's the speech that should have been made long before we invaded Iraq and it is, indeed, "too little, too late" at this point. I don't know who in the Administration is responsible for this sudden display of intelligence but I wish they'd been in charge of crafting both policy and the message over a year ago. In short, I do agree with Hesiod and he was right to point out, as he did tangentially, that I shouldn't take my disgruntlement out on him.)

Via Informed Comment, an interesting explanation of why Iraq is not post-War Germany or Japan or any of the other comparisons the Administration would like to put over on us.

Toxic Immunity in yet another example of why the government shouldn't be exempted from the legislation and regulations it passes, and why we need an EPA with a real focus on P and some muscle behind it.

We've heard rumors of Bush versus Bush before, stories that Dad doesn’t like what Sonny Boy is doing now that he's in charge of the store, but are they true or is it a conglomeration of rumor and inference on the part of hopeful liberals?

Also, now Clark's saying the invasion of Iraq was a bait-and-switch" tactic to settle essentially personal grievances of individuals associated with the Bush Administration, but I find myself wondering how someone so very on the "inside" in terms of the access and sources you'd expect someone with his background to possess didn't know this or speak up about it before he decided he wanted to be president?

Andrew Olmsted has some interesting thoughts on the role of men in our society. In spite of his expressed admiration of that "Toit" person I mentioned yesterday, and whose 'rant' I found so absurd, Andrew has some very interesting thoughts. (It's a bit one-sided, as all of us tend to be on our 'own' topics and, to be fair, Andrew is less prone to knee-jerk, one-sidedness than, for instance, I am.) His objection to teachers "disciplining" boys more than girls doesn't contain any discussion of that fact that teachers also pay much more attention to boys, call on them more often in class, etc., so if boys are "disciplined" more, it could just as easily be because they get the majority of teachers' attention (I read a study on the subject a couple of years ago and will try to find an on-line source I can link to.) but for the most part I agree with him and others who talk about how society has maybe swung just a little too far in the direction of "empowering" women and that it's time to try and achieve a new balance.

Of course, I'd rather avoid the "pendulum" model that goes too far, alternately, in each direction before reaching stasis, since I'd rather not spend my declining hears awash in a conservative backlash, but I doubt we can. Probably the best thing thinking people can do is meet the growing demands for a more true equality head-on and try to minimize any overreactions.

Understand that I don't think women (or minorities) have achieved a true equality yet, but I don't actually feel that we'll truly be "more equal" just because someone else is declared, "less worthy." That's not the kind of equality I, personally, am searching for.

Anyhow, read Andrew's post. I'm always over there quibbling at him in his comments section, which is not really nice of me because I check his blog every day and he almost always* gives me something very interesting to think about, but that's just sort of how I am. (* Almost always. Not so much when he's rooting for the wrong baseball team, you understand.)

Anyhow, I really like commenting in the blogs of the sane conservatives in blogdom. Challenging what they say frequently makes them expand on their thoughts and, well, that's educational for me.

Apparently I've run out of news items to discuss at the moment, so go practice Cat Bowling or try your luck with the Bug On A Wire or something.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:57 AM


You probably should give Eric credit up there - it looks like you're quoting me, rather than that I was quoting him.

Posted by: Avedon at November 8, 2003 07:39 PM

And in your comment about my reaction to Bush's speech, I see someone who agreed with my criticism that it's too little too late P.R. ass-covering by Bush, but who doesn't want to admit it.

Posted by: Hesiod at November 9, 2003 04:57 AM

This is why I like having comments. Everyone is so much more accurate than I am.

Editing the entry now, because you've both, quite rightly, pointed out things I did, in fact, mean, and should have said.

Posted by: Anne at November 9, 2003 08:25 AM