Thursday, July 24, 2008

Arizona: A Battleground State?

The New York Times thinks so.

McCain doesn't have strong personal ties to Arizona. Since he first moved here in the 1980's, it has existed solely as a conduit for his political ambitions. Today, half of the congressional seats and the governor's mansion are held by Democrats. So why does the news media treat it as a given that McCain will win this state? Why isn't the Obama campaign contesting Arizona as intensely as New Mexico and Colorado?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Read the collected comics, and watched the movie after returning from Israel. The influence of Maus is profound. Like Art Spiegelman, Marjani Satrapi is deeply ashamed of an upbringing that, in comparison to her family members, is shallow and frequently pathetic. She's even more honest, and far less self-pitying than Spiegelman, in fact. I admire her family for staying in Iran, especially when it would have been easy for them to move to Los Angeles like the rest of the privileged Persian population.

As for the movie, the dual casting of Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve -- a real-life mother and daughter playing Satrapi and her mother -- was genius. Sean Penn, as Marji's father, was significantly less so. He sounded like Spicoli on quaaludes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Man Shoots Dog

In light of the tragic death of Tucson Police Officer Hite, this Daily Star headline strikes me as a little ghoulish:

Tucson Police Officer Fatally Shoots Biting Dog

At a quick glance, it reads like "Tucson Police Officer Fatally Shot." Maybe this wasn't the headline writer's intent, but to me it seems crass and calculated.