On night one of the Conservative Political Action Conference, as George Will entertained GOP mucketymucks in the Marriott Wardman’s cavernous banquet hall, the next generation of Republicans was downstairs, in the basement, enjoying something more hip. Or, at least, Stephen Baldwin’s idea of hip. “I know you don’t hear the word gnarly too much in conservative circles, but you’re gonna start hearing it in the future!” the 44-year-old ex-actor told a crowd of about 200 assembled youths.
Update: Oy--this would appear to be a hoax. Apologies. After the original report that Palin didn't know whether Africa was a country or a continent, I complained that people were being too credulous about her foibles. And then I committed the very same sin. Martin Eisenstadt outs himself as Carl Cameron's source for some recent Palin-mockery and delivers yet more fodder (emphasis added): As you know, I was one of the foreign policy advisers on the McCain campaign who worked with Randy Scheunemann to help prep Sarah on her debate with Joe Biden.
So I'm reading the WaPo's front-pager today on Todd Palin, when it hits me: Todd Palin is Hillary Clinton circa 1992. As the WaPo lays it out, the major criticism leveled at Todd is that he's too involved in his spouse's governing duties but operates without any oversight or accountability. The couple is seen throughout the state's political circles as a team--"Sarah and Todd." Todd sits in on high-level meetings. He's copied on official emails. He offers counsel on a wide range of issues. He travels on state business (often at taxpayer expense).
Violence is scary. Violence is sexy. Violence is wrong. Violence is righteous. Violence is a problem. Violence is the solution. Befitting its title, David Cronenberg's film A History of Violence comprises all these definitions and more. Just released on video, the film opens with a pulpy paean to small-town murderousness, as two drifters check out of a dusty, rural motel. The air of lazy depravity is palpable; bad acts are hinted at--"I had a little trouble with the maid," one man tells the other--before they are revealed.
"Matisse Picasso," the exhibition that has now arrived at the Museum of Modern Art after packing in the crowds at Tate Modern in London and the Grand Palais in Paris, begins as a sort of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for culture vultures, a study in male bonding in the artistic stratosphere that features the somewhat older, more formal Matisse and the younger, unabashedly bohemian Picasso. Later on, when the show really gets going, museumgoers are supposed to be agog at what amounts to a clash of the titans with avant-gardist sparks flying, a High Modernist love-hate-love kind of thing.
It’s back. Not that it is ever absent for long, but the present instance is particularly irritating. Here again is the oxymoron—the picture that combines strong execution and a poor screenplay. In this case the screenplay is not merely poor, it is dreadful, but it is more ostentatiously so because the other components are so fine. Harrison’s Flowers (Universal Focus) is a French-financed venture with a French director and with American and British actors in the principal roles.