The Weblog of
Kevin C. Murphy


Conjuring Political, Cinematic, Cultural, and Athletic Arcana since the End of the Last Century


"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."
- John Kenneth Galbraith


Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson

Remotely Queued
Reinventing Comics, Scott McCloud
The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Friedman
The Journey From Here, Bill Bradley

Bounce (6/10)

Visions Past
Unbreakable (8.5/10)
Requiem for a Dream (9.5/10)

Visions to Come
Cast Away
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
O'Brother, Where Art Thou


Mama's Gun, Erykah Badu

The W, Wu-Tang Clan

Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits
Bandwagon, R.E.M.
I'll Be Your Mirror, Velvet Underground

12/7/00 (a day that will live in infamy) - Slate's David Greenberg examines the rise and fall of the FDR-Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory.

IGN Filmforce debunks the Wooperman rumor, which I think is really for the best.

Cluttered cleans up. Good luck on your post-blog adventures, PJ.

Budding sociologists should surely check out the Aaronland Archives on the "weblog phenomenon," a collection of writings and posts on or about blogs. (Via Medley.) Excellent idea.

The Florida Supreme Court meets today. But will it be the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Boo-yah! Real, honest-to-goodness Episode II stills from the Official Site. At right is Anakin checking out the scene at his favorite Coruscant nightclub. Also pictured today are Artoo and Threepio (once again) in the desert, and young Owen Lars.

The 50-50 split isn't the only Senatorial concern for Dubya. He's also facing a possible GOP schism between the moderates and the ideologues. (On the House side, the Hammer is optimistic.) Bill Clinton (circa '92-94) can tell you what a bitch that can be.

Speaking of the man himself, in a freewheeling interview with Rolling Stone, Clinton says if possible, he would have run again and won, that the "dumbass-notdumbass" don't ask, don't tell military policy is all screwed up, and that marijuana should be decriminalized. Well, guess what, buddy? You've been President for the past eight years. A fat lot of good it does to start talking sense a month before the end of your term.

Corona displays this impressive fanboy-made teaser poster for Spiderman today. Simple, yet effective.

Who cares who lives in the White House? We've got pandas. They've been all over the news in this town, but it does beat listening to more Norv Turner retrospectives.

U2 played their only show of the year last night. Said Bono amid a smattering of oldies, newies, and covers: We've been in a band longer than we haven't. People think it's like being in a street gang. ... It's more like the priesthood or the mob; you don't get out while you're alive...Ask Zack de la Rocha, he's here somewhere, ask him about Rage Against the Machine. Ask Billy Corgan, who's here somewhere, ask him about the Smashing Pumpkins. Two great bands soon not to be with us. I feel very, very bad in my soul about that and I hope you do too."

One for the books: Antawn Jamison and Kobe Bryant each score 51 in a 125-122 OT Golden State upset of the Lakers.

Sorry there was no update yesterday. I was busy most of the day working on a "funny" speech, which takes much more time than your average "thank you for having me here, I want to address this important issue" type of thing. I also had my first post-FCC interview for a speechwriting gig with a Democratic Senator (and, no, I didn't hear about the job through here.) Should hear back on that one in early January sometime.

12/5/00 - Metascene moves. Congrats on the new digs, Fred.

Lost amid the Florida shuffle, Senator Jesse Helms (no, not yet) once again makes asses of us all in front of the world at large.

Ethical Issues In Miller's Crossing, courtesy of Lake Effect. An intricately woven tale of friendship and betrayal, Miller's Crossing is my favorite Coen movie by far and goes down very near the top of my all-time favorite film list (along with Amadeus, Brazil, and - a sentimental favorite - The Empire Strikes Back.)

Strom turns 98, and it sounds like he might finally be slipping. Then again, many a political career in my home state has been destroyed by betting against the durability of the Dixiecrat Presidential nominee of 1948.

A day after Al Gore's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, many Dems begin to give up hope of a Gore presidency, despite the prevailing party line.

Slate writer and good friend Seth Stevenson looks at what's holding back NASCAR: family values.

Harry birddogs this bittersweet April interview with Christopher Lee, who's enjoying a career revival of sorts with the Rings films and Episode 2. Says Lee of the forthcoming Tolkien trilogy, "I want to live long enough to see all of the Lord Of The Rings films come out." You and me both, brother.

Just in time for the holidays, Salon remembers the loathesomely bad Star Wars Christmas special. It's the perfect backdrop for your Boxing Day sojourn to

Mars or Minnesota? Turns out the red planet might once have been blue.

Have you played the political paranoia party game that's sweeping the nation? It's Six Degrees of Adnan Kashoggi! From the makers of "Who Killed Vince Foster?" Get yours this Christmas (or see the Oliver Stone movie next fall.)

NASA sorts out the wing issues of Space Station Alpha. Great news...the agency doesn't need another high-profile failure around now.

12/4/00 - Sauls says no to Gore. I do believe it might be time for the fat lady to start practicing her scales.

According to Harry, Majandra Delfino of Roswell is the newest name bandied about for Mary Jane Watson.

Instant Analysis: Sounds like the Supreme Court punted back to the Florida court. Tie goes to the defender, particularly at this late date, which means good news for Dubya.

The morning after a key 9-7 loss to the New York Giants, which realistically if not mathematically eliminates them from the NFC playoff hunt, Redskins Coach Norv Turner gets fired. Man, that's been a long time comin'. I can't believe he's lasted this long.

Take...these unretracting, overly flexible wings...and learn to fly again doo dee-doo dee doo. Hopefully, NASA will get this all worked out.

According to one recent study, 28 million Americans and 2 million Britons have given up on the Internet in favor of the "real world." The real world? What is this "real world" of which you speak?

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich surveys the wreckage in Florida: "To suppose that all of this is reconnecting average Americans to politics is to confuse connection with a spectator's fascination at pandemonium." Well said.

12/3/00 - No, that's not Henry Hyde. Senator Toonbuck Toora holds court in this week's Episode II Select.

Inexplicably, the international trailer for Cast Away has none of the grating plot-by-numbers aspects of the spoiler-rich domestic cut. Grrr...

If you're not sick of them yet, here's another apt historical analogy for Election 2000, the 1896 contest between William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley.

The Tragedy of Rehnquistio, as recounted by Slate's Dahlia Lithwick.

A Miami Herald study contends that in a perfect world, Gore won Florida. Perhaps so. In my perfect world, of course, neither Gore nor Dubya would have been on the ballot in the first place.

The Pumpkins hang it up.

Tonight, the Sci-Fi Channel premieres its Dune miniseries, which is meant to be more faithful adaptation of the Herbert novels than the David Lynch film. I was going to watch it anyway, but I thought the black Dune bag my Sunday NYT came in today was a particularly nice advertising touch.

Pictures from next year's remake of James Caan's Rollerball have surfaced on the web, courtesy of Coming Attractions and the official site.

Robert Kuttner, editor of the American Prospect and a (tepid) Gore supporter, wants the Dems to declare amnesty for Ralph Nader.

Will action director John Woo revive (or bury) the Superman franchise? I like Woo and all, but let's face it - (a) MI:2 was a terrible film, and (b) Supes does not carry two guns.

And, while I'm being lazy this Sunday morn and jacking a lot of links from Harry, I might as well also mention that the Romulans will be in Star Trek 10. Classic archvillians + even-numbered film = worthwhile experience?

Scientists discover dried-up sea beds on Mars, making the chances of fossil life on the red planet that much more likely. Just don't go send Gary Sinise or Val Kilmer to check 'em out.

12/1/00 -

A Day Without Weblogs.

11/30/00 - OJ Simpson sounds off on today's Bronco-esque Tallahassee ballot transfer.

An attempt to unravel the conundrum of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", mainly why such a relatively innocuous disco song has had not only enduring but euphoric appeal for women of all ages. (Like many men of my generation, I've seen this phenomenon play itself out on countless dance floors in my time.)

The "stupidly large" GitM Portal is now even larger (and more stupid.) If you ever drop by and see that your blog is not listed, just send me a note (That goes for the Color Wheel too.) I might someday pick out my favorites for a separate list, but right now y'all know who you are.

McChickenHead! The corresponding comment at Metafilter is so right...the picture of the "nugget" in question is at once horribly vile and laugh-out-loud funny (well, at least if you're somewhat sick in the head like your Humble Narrator.)

Man, it's a bad day for U-Haul.

Another fallen beast from Return of the King (A Nazgul carcass was blogged 11/15.) The caption and article, from the New Zealand Herald, reads A magnificent Oliphaunt, enormous compared to the human standing in front of it, lies dead on the field after a great battle. To be honest, I didn't even know Brando had been cast in the Tolkien trilogy. (I know, that's cold.)

Speaking of cold, illusionist David Blaine spends 62 hours encased in ice in Times Square. What do you want, a cookie? Get a life, man.

John Judis examines McGovern-plus, a potential blueprint for Democratic electoral success in 2004 and beyond. Not to beat a dead horse here, but I think it also might help if the Dems don't front a chump like Al Gore next time around either.

According to Corona, Famke Janssen of X-Men and Goldeneye leads contenders for T3's Terminatrix. I have little doubt that this movie will be terrible, even if John McTiernan takes the helm, but Janssen is a better choice than the other "actresses" being bandied about (WWF's Chyna, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Natasha Henstridge.) Arnie, Arnie, Arnie...why are you wasting time with this type of schlock when you could be making Conan the King with John Milius and the Wachowski brothers?

Of course, the Wachowskis have other projects at the moment. Jada Pinkett tells Oprah she's in for both Matrix sequels and that they'll start production in February.

The Knicks sleepwalk through a loss to archrival Miami 84-81, and Sprewell is (rightfully) pissed at his team's lackluster effort. That being said, when you have Spree singlehandedly sparking a fourth-quarter comeback, and two of the best pure shooters in the league in Allan Houston and Glen Rice, why do you let streaky backup Chris Childs take 3 tre's in the last 25 seconds? Ugh.

Well, that's that, then. I'm a Schedule C (political appointee), so the clock is now officially ticking.

Is Robert Downey, Jr. the poster child for the War on Drugs? "Some problems defy neat solutions--alcoholism, for one. But the present policy does damage to the Constitution, makes criminals out of mere users, divides us along racial and ethnic lines and has not materially dented our drug problem when it comes to hard-core addicts." True, that.

Dems eager to find a new post-Newt right-wing bogeyman would do well to bone up on the Exterminator, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. No doubt about it, this guy - who in the absence of Dubyian leadership must be considered the titular head of the GOP - is a creepy cuss. Most people already know this of course, but I had never heard this particular post-Columbine explanation from the Hammer's mouth: "We have sterilized and contracepted our families down to sizes so small that the children we do have are so spoiled with material things that they come to equate the receiving of the material with love." Truly bizarre...he reads like an unholy amalgamation of Charlton Heston and Tyler Durden.

Space Station Alpha earns its wings - 240 foot long expanding solar-powered wings, that is. Endeavor launches tonight with them in tow, the largest, most complex haul ever made in a shuttle. Godspeed.

This year's Bad Sex Literary Award goes to Sean Thomas for his book, "Kissing England." The offending passage? "She is so small and so compact, and yet she has all the necessary features. Shall I compare thee to a Sony Walkman, thou are more compact and more ... She is his own Toshiba, his dinky little JVC, his sweet Aiwa." Ok, that's pretty bad.

Kris Kristofferson joins Burton's Apes as the leader of the human rebels.

Harry unearths the trailer for next summer's Cats and Dogs. Well, if it's going down like this, I'm gonna have to side with the dogs.

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