If it’s a new year, it’s a new Woody Allen movie. And if it’s a new Woody Allen movie, it’s a new round of Allen treating us to his philosophy of life. One need not have studied The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious to understand that behind all of Allen’s jokes about how we are all going to die is a decidedly un-funny fear of death, because he is all too happy to spell it out, explicitly, ponderously, pretentiously, insufferably, in his films and in interviews surrounding his films.
Like any Woody Allen fan, I’ve been waiting my entire adult life to re-enact the Marshall McLuhan scene from “Annie Hall.” Today, Mitt Romney and Jonathan Chait finally gave me the excuse I needed. Here’s the backstory: On Friday, Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire that he was reading my recent book on Obama and the economy. The book’s take-away, according to Romney, is that Obama deliberately slowed the recovery to focus on health care reform. “In this book, they point out that they said the American people will forget how long the recovery took,” Romney said.
Last month, rapper Kanye West interrupted an MTV Video Awards ceremony to protest the selection of Taylor Swift for “Best Female Video.” So widely did the fallout from this episode spread that President Obama soon weighed in against West (“He’s a jackass”). Obama himself would soon become the subject of a similar award-related imbroglio, when he was bizarrely chosen as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.