Monday, July 28, 2008

So it's vice-presidential vetting season, and rumor has it that McCain will be announcing a running mate in the next week or so. I'm not sure if Obama's ready yet - from the number of people bounced off of his vetting committee for various subprime lending malfeances, I'm not even sure if he has a vetting committee in action, or whether they've decided to just run his ego for vice-president & moved on to planning the inevitable transition instead of worrying over minor details like VP candidates. Is "hack to be named later" a valid choice?

Anyways, everybody's thinking about McCain's best choices, which leaves me wondering about worst choices. What politicians or personalities would be guaranteed to cause their ticket to crash and burn in the most picturesque manner possible? For McCain, the bad choices are almost endless, although time and fickle fame have undermined some of the best jokes - does anybody even remember who Zell Miller or Trent Lott is these days? 2004 was such a long time ago... Ah. But it will take a true spirit of perversity to properly torpedo Obama in the second compartment. Whose baggage is heavy enough to fatally over-balance the UNS Audacity?

The most timely of bad choices would be, of course, John Edwards. "Ma, Ma, where's my pa?" I'd say something about the Obama people missing the scandal because of their reliance on the determinedly blind mainstream media, but of course, lefties just pretend to not read the tabloids. They'll know. Politicians may be too high in the instep to buy their own groceries, but their aides will have seen the National Enquirer covers the next time they pick up the boss's skim milk. But really, Edwards is kind of boring, even for a worst vice presidential pick, even with the two-time loser aspect of the choice.

Who's flashier? Bill Ayers, of course, but that's more of a dream-candidate for those of us who follow the wingnut commentariat, and anyways, he's not actually a politician, unless you consider terrorism to be politics by other means. Michelle Obama, for that trifeca of misguided "feminism means riding on a husband's coat-tails" pandering, sullen anti-Americanism, and complete and total political inexperience. But it's hard to picture Michelle Obama as a sort of Eva Peron/Cristina Fernandez figure. Harder than it was the she-Nixon, at any rate.

With the Countrywide thing having blown up so comprehensively, I think we'll be spared the prospect of a Dodd vice-presidency, which will make for a less sleep-inducing VP debate, if nothing else. Whom among the other Democratic presidential '08 candidates would be crazed enough to keep us awake? Kucinich is almost plausible, if you honestly believe that the nutroots are pissed enough by the gestures towards the rightward tack since HC bowed out. Utterly and totally nuts, but plausable. And hey - Ohio! Favorite son! Remember when they used to put favorite sons in the VP slot, and it actually worked? When was the last time that happened? 1996, I guess.

But you know, few really plausable VP presidential choices for Obama are hole-beneath-the-water-line disasters. Sibelius, or Napolitano have few serious down-sides that I'm aware of, and although Bill Richardson supposedly has some dreadful portrait-of-Dorian-Gray in the attic that pundits like Mickey Kaus love to drop horrid hints about, I can't imagine it was that bad without it having come out during the Obama-HC hatefest in the spring. There are *tons* of female Democratic governors to choose from, and none of them are likely to blow up the campaign. Some are even red-state figures. Although really, I don't think Napolitano's Arizona is in play this year, any more than Palin's Alaska is.

I started out planning on making fun of McCain-Lieberman (speaking of two-time losers) or McCain-Helms (nothing like a dead racist to make a live Republican look progressive in comparison) or even McCain-Ventura (Why pretend to be Republican any more? Parties are dead!). But I realize now that the only choice McCain could surprise me with is McCain-Romney. Because really, anything would be an improvement on the expected choice.

But why listen to me? What do I know? I loved the idea of Kemp in 1996.

Jack's probably still available for another run.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wow. Dark Knight is a hell of a ride. Some pretty ugly philosophy and politics coiling in its bitter heart, but then we always knew that there was a fascist core to the Batman mythos, didn't we?

Weird thing? Batman himself almost disappears from the movie. The focus is so tight on all the secondary characters and villains that the nominal protagonist disappears over the event horizon. By the end of the movie, Bruce Wayne and his alter ego are like a black hole, disappearing within the abyssal requirements of the story. Batman becomes the abyss. I like that.

I'm impressed with how they used Harvey Dent. It works much better than what I was afraid they'd do with the character.

I'm a little worried about how much there is to the movie. I left the theatre thinking about how we have to drive up the intensity of everything any more - how what was very simple becomes with time either more and more baroque, or in the case of Dark Knight, condensed and concentrated. There's just so much story compressed into the film, that it feels like the material for three Seventies-era movies. But the story isn't rushed, or cluttered, or spackled-together like last year's Spiderman 3. The script & editing are a clockwork marvel of syncronization and economy.

Watchmen's trailer looks impressive. Actuallly, it looks a lot better than the actual comic, which honestly wasn't all that polished or artistically distinguished. Watchmen's virtues lay in the writing, and in layout itself. Now that I think about it, the Watchmen trailer looks like the version of the comic which might have been produced if the art had been given to one of the Nineties gold-foil crowd instead of Dave Gibbons.

Monday, July 07, 2008

No blood for uranium!

Now if the greentards would just let us build some pebblebed reactors to put the booty to use...