Whimsy: May 2005 Archives

Star Wars III roundup


Commentary from around the Internet about the final movie in the "Star Wars" series:

Albert Greenland, guest-writing at The Galvin Opinion, says that Star Wars is great art because of the truth it tells about human nature, about sin and redemption:

...the genius of Star Wars is that it somehow manages to explain why we sin and what sin does to us. Graham Greene once wrote that "love makes more mistakes than hate does." In that light, the fall of Anakin related to the fact that he loved too much. And that love, combined with a few of the deadly sins, especially "pride," was the witch's brew which Anakin willingly drunk....

Three years ago, after the release of Episode II, Jonathan V. Last made "The Case for the Empire," arguing that "[t]he deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good."
He updates that perspective for Episode III with a commentary on NPR: "A Flawed Despot is Better than a Smug Jedi." Money quote: "You can bet Lord Vader makes the trains run on time." His review of Episode III for the Weekly Standard is here. (Hat tip for this and the following item to Galley Slaves, to which Last is a contributor.)

More contrarian views of the Jedi and the Sith:

Orson Scott Card: "The Jedi may claim to be in favor of democracy, but in fact they function as a ruling elite, making their decisions among themselves. They occasionally submit to the authority of the legislature, and they seem to respect the rule of law, though whose law itís hard to say. By and large, however, they decide among themselves what theyíre going to do and when itís OK to break the law and defy the civilian authority."

Julian Sanchez on Hit and Run makes the case for allowing the separatists to secede peacefully.

Sanchez links to Tyler Cowen, who says of the Jedi, "Aren't they a kind of out-of-control Supreme Court, not even requiring Senate approval (with or without filibuster), and heavily armed at that? As I understand it, they vote each other into the office, have license to kill, and seek to control galactic affairs. Talk about unaccountable power used toward secret and mysterious ends."

Finally, Ace of Spades links to video of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog working the crowd of costumed Star Wars fans waiting to get into the first showing on opening night of Episode II. A bit blue, but Ace says it's "maybe the funniest thing ever shown on Conan O'Brien."

A blog I told you about last week, The Darth Side, has reached its inevitable and tragic conclusion, and the full text is now available in PDF format, in normal chronological order (the beginning is at the top). The PDF version also contains "extras," including an interview with the author, Cheeseburger Brown.

I finally saw "Attack of the Clones" last week -- yes, that's episode II, not III. My son has already seen it with his grandfather and wants to me to take him to see III again. I thought I ought to see II first. I don't remember where I read this, but it's true -- there's something about Yoda leaping about in a light sabre fight that reminds one of Miss Piggy doing karate. ("Hiiiii-YA!")

The quote of the day comes from an unnamed aide to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, about Cantwell being spotted in an Italian restaurant in D.C., dining with disgraced New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli, where the two were said to be "all over each other":

"Yes, we can confirm that Sen. Cantwell did see both Torricelli and Lautenberg at Galileo, but it was not a date. Cannoli is not the same thing as canoodling."

(From Lloyd Grove's Lowdown in today's New York Daily News.)

Amanda of Wittingshire has an eight-year-old son too, and he is completely unimpressed by the idea of girls in bikinis:

He was still staring at me, utterly flabbergasted. Finally he found his tongue: "It disturbs me," he said formally, "that you are telling me that one day I will think girls look pretty in bikinis. That disturbs me. I know what I think, and I don't think that."

By this point I was laughing out loud. He was so serious, and so affronted.

"It isn't funny," he said. "Why on earth would I suddenly think girls in bikinis look pretty? They look cold. They look naked. Skin is just skin, and tummy skin isn't any prettier than arm skin. That's what I think. Why would I ever think different?"

(HT: The Happy Husband, in a post with a whole bunch of marriage-related links.)

Dan Lovejoy reports that Sen. Tom Coburn's idea of combining pizza with STD is nothing new where he works.

The Darth Side


Came across an intriguing new blogger the other day.

He writes about barbecues and parenthood. He muses about annoying coworkers, incompetent subordinates, and the inscrutable ways of his boss. He thinks about his mom every day. He struggles with badly-built prosthetic devices. According to his Blogger profile, "He enjoys fixing things, listening to music, and crushing people's tracheas with his mind."

Cross over to The Darth Side. You'll be glad you did.

78s online


Basic Hip Digital Oddio, home of the Space Age Pop Music webcast and the Online Guide to Whistling Records, is spending 2005 celebrating records for children from the golden age -- the mid '40s to the early '50s.

Kiddie Records Weekly presents a classic kids' album each week, from the days when albums really were -- albums, that is, books of discs to be played at 78 RPM. Each side of each record is available as an MP3 for download, and you can download images of the cover art and labels, too. Highlights of the series so far:

  • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, directed and narrated by Orson Welles and featuring Bing Crosby as the prince. The musical score is by Bernard Herrmann.
  • Gerald Mc Boing Boing by Dr. Seuss, read by Harold Peary (the Great Gildersleeve).
  • Pecos Bill, featuring Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.
  • Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks: Baby Snooks learns to tell the truth, to be good, to be clean, table manners, about crossing streets, and to be kind to animals.

There will be a new album each week through the end of the year.

Basic Hip's space age pop album of the week, up through Monday on the home page, is "Shock Music in Hi-Fi" by the Creed Taylor Orchestra. The cover warns, "Don't dare listen to this music alone!" You can download tracks as stereo 128 kbps MP3s or listen to the album as a lower-quality mono stream.

(Hat tip to Joel Blain.)


A robin built a nest right next to our patio door, in a spot where the gutter downspout angles in from the edge of the roof to the side of the house. This photo is from last Monday afternoon.

Romancing the groan


Longmire has added to his collection of altered romance novel covers, and there are more reader submissions as well.


And he's got a link to some award-winningly bad, but genuine, romance novel covers, one of which is below:


Here are the worst of 2002, of 2001, and of 2000.

(Hat tip to honest + popular of It's Rude to Point, who is still on my blogroll even though she inexplicably de-blogrolled me not long after she inexplicably blogrolled me.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from May 2005.

Whimsy: April 2005 is the previous archive.

Whimsy: June 2005 is the next archive.

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