Friday, January 8, 2010

Partnership for a Drug-Free America Subsidizes Pro-Drug Use Author

Imagine my surprise to see an ad from the Partnership for a Drug Free America next to a blogpost by my former colleague Jacob Sullum (Click to enlarge):

For those of you that may be unaware, several years ago, Jacob wrote an excellent book entitled "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use."

I'm all for reaching out to new audiences, but I'm doubt too many Hit and Run readers are going to flip their stance on drug prohibition because a banner ad told them that drugs are, like, ya know, bad.

But hey, if they want to give money to reason, more power to them! Maybe AHIP will start buying ads on Cato@Liberty next to Michael Cannon's posts on insurance company welfare "health care reform."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Quick Comment on Avatar

Someone directed my attention to Conor Friedersdorf's Avatar review/critique of other reviews. As most of Conor's writing that I have read, it is a well-written piece and worth a read if you're into movie reviews that delve into cultural commentary. That said, I think he--and other reviewers I respect--tend to read way WAY too much into Hollywood blockbusters.

My two cents on Conor's review, thus engaging myself in the over-hyped Avatar circle-jerk:

I think most of the commentary for and against the film give the film too much credit. I saw it, and I enjoyed it insofar as it was a nice escape with eye candy for awhile. But the story wasn’t compelling at all, regardless of what political or moral message you try take away from it.

The movie was riddled with cliche after cliche and, since we’re talking about intellectual laziness, how on Cameron’s Blue Earth something so insultingly unsubtle as “unobtainium” made it through so many edits to the final product shows the vacuousness of the filmmakers and the process. I felt repeatedly insulted by the hit-you-over-the-head messaging, ranging from the aforementioned “unobtainium” to the saran wrap transparency of the pre-attack speech by the strike force leader. Add the predictable deaths and the god awful attempts at foreshadowing (e.g., the circles around the tree) and you have a pile of shit.

A visually stunning sparkly blue pile of shit in 3-D, but it is what it is. I don’t regret seeing it, but there is such a thing in reading too much into a Hollywood blockbuster.

UPDATE: for some reason this post is getting traffic today. But if you're a sci-fi nerd like I am not, you know that 'unobtainium' is a trope in the genre. I stand by my critique of the film despite my ignorance of unobtainium. thx, mgmt. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just for Fun Friday Monday

I decided to do something a little different today. I usually save my funny stuff for Friday, but I heard this on Sirius Satellite Radio's Raw Dog Comedy channel while I was touring the Midwest on vacation and, if your day is anything like mine, figured you could use the laugh.

There is no video to speak of and the audio is mostly safe for work, save one has a few explicit exclamations, but isn't filthy.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crash As Worst Movie of the Decade

Why I love Ta-Nehisi Coates:

With that said, I don't think there's a single human being in Crash. Instead you have arguments and propaganda violently bumping into each other, impressed with their own quirkiness. ("Hey look, I'm a black carjacker who resents being stereotyped.") But more than a bad film, Crash, which won an Oscar (!),  is the apotheosis of a kind of unthinking, incurious, nihilistic, multiculturalism. To be blunt, nothing tempers my extremism more than watching a fellow liberal exhort the virtues of Crash.

If you're angry about race, but not particularly interested in understanding why, you probably like Crash. If you're black and believe in the curative qualities of yet another "dialogue around race," you probably liked Crash. If you're white and voted for Barack Obama strictly because he was black, you probably liked Crash. If you've ever used the term "post-racial" or "post-black" in a serious conversation, without a hint of irony, you probably liked Crash.