Congrats to the South Siders. A good Series; odd to say about a sweep, but every game was tight.
Author Page for Robert Farley
Ok. Lexington is not a football town.
The Kentucky Wildcats are 1-5. They gave up 49 points in the first half at home against Florida. The rest of their schedule includes #4 Georgia, #19 Auburn, and #23 Tennessee. Next week’s home game against 2-5 Mississippi State is probably their best chance at another win. Their ineptitude is not particularly surprising, given their 2-9 record last year.
I wonder what she was wearing before they got their sole victory, a win at home against the always dangerous Idaho State Bengals? A sweater? A jacket? Socks, maybe? Perhaps a hat? A watch or bracelet?
Ah. A long sleeved shirt. Good work, guys.
The lesson here is that radio stations ought to put some thought into even their hackneyed and transparently idiotic promotions. And, in case you were wondering, WKQQ is owned, of course, by Clear Channel Communications.
This may end up being the most exciting four game sweep in the history of the World Series.
“White Sox breeze through postseason” was ahead only of “Padres dominate on way to championship” on my list of expected outcomes. It certainly looked staggeringly unlikely halfway through September.
What I’m watching…
My Name is Earl: They haven’t yet managed to equal the pilot, and I thought that the last episode was a little bit weak. Still, I have confidence; the concept is strong, and they’ve demonstrated they can be real, real, real funny.
The Office: I’ve been a bit happier with Steve Carrell this year, and Rainn Wilson has really begun to come into his own, which is unsurprising given his previous work. My favorite part of the show remains the sweet relationship between Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski.
Lost: The first two episodes were weak, the third and fourth stronger, and the fifth quite good. The nerds are out with the long knives, though. It always happens this, way, usually two or three years before a show actually starts going stale. Nerds who just last year had furiously mashed there keyboards in message boards around the internet trying to divine the meaning of the numbers now furiously mash their keyboards in competition to be the first to declare “Worst. Episode. Ever.” For my part, I’ll try to be a bit more patient.
The Simpsons: I don’t want to talk about it.
Arrested Development: Forgot about it because of the baseball playoffs. I fear it is not long for this world.
Rome: Probably deserving of its own post. I’ve been pleased with the way that the show has developed. In the last two episodes, Ciaran Hinds (as Julius Caesar) has really begun to display a clear personality, which I think is crucial for any depiction of this period in Roman history. The role is an exceptionally difficult one. The normally good Jeremy Sisto was astonishingly bad in the reprehensible Julius Caesar miniseries. I remember being displeased by Joseph Mankiewicz’ version of Julius Caesar because, even though Brando was magnificent as Antony (“these honorable men”), Louis Calhern seemed arrogant and stupid as Caesar. Thinking more on it (and re-reading the original text), I think that the flaw is with Shakespeare, and not with Calhern or Mankiewicz. Brutus says “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more,” but we never, from the text, get any solid understanding of why Caesar was deserving of such love. What you need is an actor who can simultaeneously depict danger, arrogance, competence, intelligence, and accomplishment, all the while leaving enough character to explain how someone in his position could make the mistakes that he did. Hinds, especially in the past two episodes, is doing a creditable job. His reaction to the death of Pompey was remarkably well done, as was his acceptance of the surrenders of Cicero and Brutus.
I am not displeased with the historical accuracy. For the most part, the writers have identified the crucial events and compressed the unnecessary. We don’t see, for example, Caesar’s year long campaign in Spain before Pharsalus, because it doesn’t matter. The depiction of Rome the city seems appropriate to me; a wealthy core surrounded by slums. Most importantly, the series has not seen the need of inventing new characters or of cutting out particularly important historical ones. The writers have, cleverly, channelled much of their creativity into a pair of soldiers who have only left us their names, but manage to be part of every great event that involves Caesar, Antony, and the rest. The adventures of Vorenus and Pullo are certainly false, but their creation isn’t too far afield from the way Robert Graves imagined the Caesars in I, Claudius. On the question of historical accuracy, Kierkegaard disagrees, largely because the Romans behave in an manner insufficient to the degree of virtue likely found in a pagan, imperial, slave-holding society. Which is to say that they don’t behave in the manner he thinks modern day Republicans do. Whatever.
I quite like the rest of the characterizations, particularly James Purefoy as a charming, brutish Mark Antony and Kenneth Cranham as the doomed Pompey Magnus. Oh, and incidentally, I love and plan to marry Lyndsey Marshal, who plays an excellent, wonderful, excellent Cleopatra.
Law and Order: As I’ve suggested before, it’s a little bit stronger this year than in previous. Still not quite enough for me to set the DVR.
Deadwood: Through the magic of On Demand, I’m halfway through the second season. I must confess that the series didn’t really capture me until Swearingen’s illness at the beginning of the second season. The concern that Al’s lieutenants have for his health was weirdly touching. William Sanderson is great as E.B. Farnham.
The Sopranos: Nothing needs be said.
Entourage: Every episode has a happy ending.
Battlestar Galactica: More on this later.
Shows I wish I watched but haven’t had the time:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
According to Noam Scheiber and Peter Beinart, the way to solve the problem of attacks by conservatives on the mainstream media is, well, to hand the mainstream media to conservatives.
Our boss, Peter Beinart, has a theory about how to undercut the conservative punditry’s assault on the mainstream media: coopt it. The basic idea is that most of the conservative animus toward the MSM comes from feeling spurned by it. If that’s true, then the easiest way to fix this would be for establishment media institutions to hire lots of bright young conservatives. (This is already happening to some extent, but probably not nearly enough to change the MSM-bashing calculus on the right.) Conservatives would become invested in the institutions that employ them; they’d embrace the norms of empirical rigor, intellectual honesty, and objectivity (or, as conservative media critics would have it, “empirical rigor,” “intellectual honesty,” and “objectivity”) that govern the profession. Pretty soon the problem might be solved.
Clever. As James Fearon suggests, conflicts can always be solved by unilateral surrender.
Lots of good ideas coming out of that New Republic these days. I wonder, just how out of touch do you have to be to come up with things like this? What, precisely, has to have gone wrong with the way you think in order to make this make sense? I’d like to think that this is a joke, but I don’t really see any reason to believe it is.
Via Crooked Timber.
Heh. I think I speak for my co-bloggers when I say:
Woo hoo! [dances about a bit] Ahem. I grudgingly accept.
Although I must agree with the reviewer of Tropic of Cancer, and commend his or her ability to ignore sunk costs. I read, I think, four Henry Miller novels, and all would figure prominently on my “worst ever” list. I don’t know why I kept reading; it was kind of like repeatedly hitting myself in the head with a hammer in the hopes that the next time, it would feel good.
Via Dr. B.
Yavuz Sultan Selim had an active war career. The Russian Navy has historically been crippled by exceptionally bad geography, and war with Turkey helped exacerbate the problem. The Black Sea fleet could not move through the Dardanelles and play any larger role in the war while the Ottoman Empire continued to fight. In essence, the Black Sea became a large lake which the Turks and Russians fought over for four years. For the first year, Yavuz was the big fish in the small pond. The Black Sea Fleet included five pre-dreadnoughts, none of which could equal Yavuz but which were, in numbers, capable of damaging and deterring her. One of the Russian battleships was named Panteleimon; its name, before 1905, had been Potemkin. Yavuz‘ political importance made her service particular delicate, as it was thought that her loss might demoralize the Turkish people. Thus, the Germans and Turks were careful. When Yavuz hit a mine in late 1914, shipyard workers elaborately concealed the damage. In the long term the Russians had the upper hand, as three dreadnoughts were under construction in Black Sea yards.
The Ottoman Empire also faced a threat from the Mediterranean. Winston Churchill got it into his head that Royal Navy battleships, if able to penetrate the Dardanelles, could force Turkey from the war. If Constantinople could be bombarded, he reasoned, the Ottoman government would collapse. To this purpose he launched a series of attacks on the Dardanelles. The most spectacular naval attack, on March 18, 1915, was led by the new British dreadnought Queen Elizabeth and included the battlecruiser Inflexible and 14 French and British pre-dreadnoughts. In case the Allied fleet broke through, Admiral Souchon was instructed to fight to the death in defense of Constantinople. The Allied operation was not a success, as six of the battleships hit mines and three sank.
Churchill was not the sort of man to be dissuaded by failure. He reasoned that ground troops might seize critical points along the passage and allow for the movement of the battleships down the straight. This is a classic example of mission creep. British, French, Australian, and New Zealander troops invaded in April of 1915. The scattered Turkish defenders were commanded by a thirty-four year old colonel named Mustafa Kemal. The land battle for the Dardanelles was brutal on both sides, and eventually cost the 45000 dead and the Ottomans 88000 dead. The Allied troops, unable to make progress, withdrew in January of 1916.
Yavuz tangled with the Russian battle squadron three times in the first year of the war, but was never able to corner and destroy a portion of it. The five Russian ships, conversely, lacked the speed to force an engagement with Yavuz. The balance of power in the Black Sea tipped decisively towards the Russians in the latter part of 1915, however, with the commissioning of Imperatritsa Maria and Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya, two new dreadnoughts. Each was more powerful than Yavuz, and gave the Russian fleet the capability of employing three different squadrons capable of killing the annoying Turkish/German battlecruiser. Yavuz exchanged fire with Imperatritsa Maria to little effect in early 1916. Fortunately for the Germans and Turks, the Russian fleet was none too careful with its gunpowder. Imperatritsa Maria exploded and sank at anchor in late 1916.
Then, in March 1917, Russia went and had a revolution. Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya became Svobodnaya Rossiya, and the new dreadnought, Imperator Alexander II, became Volya. Panteleimon became Potemkin again, briefly, then Boretz Za Svobuda. Sometimes I think that the failures of the Russian Navy in the 20th century are largely due to the frequent changes in long, long names. Confuses the sailors, I presume. Anyway, Russian operations steadily grew more sporadic as the revolution took its toll, and Yavuz resumed its predominance in the Black Sea. The Bolshevik Revolution completely shut the Russian fleet down. Admiral Souchon departed in September 1917 to claim the command of a squadron in the High Seas Fleet.
In January 1918 the prospects of the Turkish/German navy looked bright. The Germans were on the verge of seizing the Russian dreadnoughts (they eventually captured and pressed into service Volya). However, things were going poorly for the Turks on the ground. The new German admiral hoped that a foray by Yavuz and Midilli (formerly Breslau) into the Mediterranean would draw the Royal Navy from the supporting positions it had taken around Palestine. The Dardanelles were defended by several old British and French ships, including the advanced pre-dreadnoughts Agamemnon and Lord Nelson. The British admiral, however, had divided his fleet and was left with only Lord Nelson to engage Yavuz. Fortunately for the Royal Navy, Yavuz and Midilli ran into a minefield. Midilli struck a mine first, and Yavuz hit a mine while attempting to tow Midilli to safety. Yavuz broke off the operation, allowing Midilli, her partner in operation after operation since 1913, to sink. Yavuz then hit another mine, but managed to make it back to the Strait before running aground because of a navigational error.
Goeben’s war was over. The Turks managed to drag Yavuz to safety before the arrival of British submarines and surface ships, but the battlecruiser was no longer in condition to fight. By the time Yavuz was battleworthy, the German High Seas Fleet, the German Empire, and the Ottoman Empire would all be gone.
To be continued.
I predict that pitching, hitting, and defense will be decisive.
White Sox in 6.
Let this serve as an open game 1 thread.