The Plank

Merry Christmas, Kim
November 30, 2006 The Plank

This morning's Washington Post has what seems like an unrealistically optimistic piece on North Korean sanctions. There isn't much of a news peg here--the U.S. has published its list of restricted goods, but the U.N.

Even More Mad Mel
November 30, 2006 The Plank

Okay, last Mel Gibson post for a while, but I thought this Variety article about the unusual Apocalypto marketing campaign was interesting. It explains the marketing hurdles Disney faces, given the facts that: the film has no recognizable stars; it's performed in a Mayan dialect; and its director has had some, uh, personal problems of late.

The Thick Of It
November 30, 2006 The Plank

Did this fantastic BBC show ever develop a US following? Months after watching the first three episodes, I finally caught the second trio last night. The show--about the foibles of a hapless UK government minister and the various flunkies, operatives and media hacks in his orbit--is utterly brilliant. Anyone who's made a living in politics or political media will appreciate its dead-on details and pitch-perfect ear for the absurdity and black cynicism that pervades the business.

In Today's Web Magazine
November 30, 2006 The Plank

The American literature scholar Andrew Delbanco reflects on what it means to study war at a distance; Dorothy J.

John Mccain And Kids These Days
May 22, 2006 The Plank

When I was in high school, I landed a summer internship with Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini. (One of my Hebrew School teachers was his office manager. It really is all about who you know.) A big perk for the interns was getting to have lunch with famous Arizonans--including John McCain. It was 1990 and one of the big issues on the Hill that summer was a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw burning the American flag. McCain was a staunch supporter of the proposed amendment and so, during the lunch, I asked him why he supported it.