Archive for April, 2007

Abolitionize Colorado!

April 15, 2007

From TIME this week:

“Eagle Pass, Texas, adopts a zero-tolerance policy called Operation Streamline, in which border agents stop sending migrants home and send them to jail instead.  Colorado proposes paying prison inmates 60 cents a day to pick the peppers once harvested by undocumented workers.”

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Top 5 Movies of 2006

April 11, 2007

So 2006 ended a while ago, but I never got around to doing this:

1. United 93 – far from being the exploitative, propagandistic garbage I was expecting, this is brutally emotional, informative, thought provoking stuff. Easily the best of the year.

2. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – while not as revealing about American character as the hype suggested, it’s still very, very funny, which is enough.

3. The Queen – It’s easy for a movie to titillate, harder to be emotionally involving, harder still to be worthy of argument once the lights come back up. Like Quiz Show, The Queen asks its audience to stop judging celebrities long enough to question what we’d do in their place, and indeed if conventional wisdom is as moral as it might seem.

4. Thank You For Smoking – the second funniest movie of the year. The cigarette industry seems too easy of a target, but Jason Reitman gets around this by making the movie more about the kind of person who would choose to be a lobbyist. It works.

5. The Departed – A big fun chaotic mess.

Other good ones: The Last King of Scotland, Pursuit of Happyness, Blood Diamond, Babel, Brick, Idiocracy

Things that weren’t as good as I wanted them to be: Little Miss Sunshine, Casino Royale, Pan’s Labyrinth, A Scanner Darkly

Never wash a bath mat

April 1, 2007

I may never understand the chemistry of it, but after six months of usage, I tried to wash the wretched thing — my understanding was that a washing machine wouldn’t hurt it — and it came out smelling exactly like dead waterfowl.

For peace of mind, I’m going to blame it on the leaky shower head that turned my bathroom into a literal sauna for one uncomfortable week two months back. But do yourself a favor: when your bath mat is all used up, mildewy and speckled with a year’s worth of cumulative ricocheted urine, throw the damn thing away.