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Random Links And Observations

  • Jill’s take on the Assange is arrest is definitive.   Of course, the priority put on his arrest is almost certainly political.   But that doesn’t make the charges invalid on their face — Capone really was guilty of tax evasion — and certainly have nothing to do with the “dating police.”  Indeed, the only Victorian morality on display here is in Wolf’s implicit assumption that any woman who consents to intercourse is therefore consenting to the risk of disease and unwanted pregnancy, even if she makes her consent contingent on having her exposure to these risks minimized.    And while this should go without saying, smearing Assange’s accusers without anything but bog-standard “you must be crazy if you think you were sexually assaulted” narratives is appalling.
  • The body-shaming of Elizabeth Edwards.
  • I really want to see this Stephin Merritt doc.
  • Primarying Obama is indeed a really dumb idea.   It has plenty of downside, no real upside, and no chance of working — your classic Nader-style “heighten the contradictions” strategy, in other words.
  • So I used the Netflix to check out some shows that I’ve missed given my near-total abandonment of network TV shows.   So Glee.   It is not very good, although I can understand why others like it more.    While the typical position of skeptics is that it started out good and got much worse,  with me it was more “started out good enough to make acceptable background viewing and got pretty terrible.”   As a TV show per se, it’s negligible — an OK comedy with one good character/great performance (and some good jokes run into the ground) crossed with mawkish, Afterschool Special-level drama, with the combination being less than the sum of its parts.  (Cartoonish characters and ridiculous plots are OK for comedy but melodrama really does demand real people doing at least vaguely plausible things, and the mawk undermines the black comedy.)   So, really, whether the show is worth watching comes down entirely to whether you like jukebox musicals.  And I…don’t like jukebox musicals.   Even when the signing is “better” they almost never improve on the (generally obvious and overexposed) originals.   It’s infinitely preferable to American Idol, of course, but basically I think watching professionals or would-be professionals do Karaoke is like listening to people discuss their fantasy baseball teams.    Your mileage is likely to vary…
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