Stuff Worth Readin' And a Random Ten

Emily and I are on our way out of town for our anniversary celebration-- 3 days in Key West to celebrate 3 years of marriage. So at around three this afternoon, as you're trying to get work done, keep us in your thoughts-- we'll be the half-asleep people sipping margaritas by the pool.

In case you hadn't noticed, there have been several interesting conversations about race and language over at Shakesville. Things started out with Wolfrum's elegantly argued post about Golf channel announcer Kelly Tilghman's "joke" about lynching Tiger Woods. Then, Melissa McEwan wrote about Andrew Cuomo's comment about "shucking and jiving" in politics, pointing out (quite correctly, it seems to me) that there's absolutely no context for that phrase that doesn't involve racism. And finally, Portly Dyke has an-- as usual-- excellent meditation on these issues. But, again, while I liked all of these blog posts on their own, for me the really interesting stuff came out in the discussions in the comments. It seems to me that most people can agree on the problem-- what teh Portly Dyke identifies as "the creeping creepiness" of racism into our language and thought-- but solutions on the best way to combat this aren't so easily agreed upon. It's been fascinating reading so far.

The normally intelligent New York Times film critic A.O. Scott has, for some reason, given the thumbs-up to Mike Nichols's ill-advised, historically inaccurate Charlie Wilson's War-- a Tom Hanks comedy about the guy who inadvertantly armed our enemies in Afghanistan and set in motion a chain of events that led directly to 9/11, the war with Iraq, and all the current posturing about Iran. Similarly, the Sun-Sentinel's resident ignoramus Kingsley Guy has raved about the movie too. So it seems like now might be a good time to remember why corrupt elected officials who arm terrorists aren't really heroic, and why twisting historical facts in order to turn a true story into a feel-good comedy is generally a bad idea.

Duke University will use a $40 million gift to add 32 endowed faculty positions focused on undergraduate education. New York governor Eliot Spitzer wants to hire 2,000 more faculty members to the state's university system. And in Florida, a judge has dismissed the lawsuit by the state's Board of Governors challenging the Legislature's authority to set tuition and policies at state schools. Essentially, this means that the legislature can continue to slash schools' budgets and refuse to permit them to make-up for this short-changing by raising tuition. But, hey, at least the property tax break will most likely go through at the end of the month. Some commie pinkos think that you shouldn't lower taxes when you can't afford to fund basic things like higher education, but to them I say "Go back to Iraq, comrade!"

One more day to vote in the current Ethical Exhibitionist poll-- "What's your favorite online literary magazine?"

Okay. Random Ten time:

1) "One for Me"-- Macy Gray
2) "That Day is Done"-- Elvis Costello
3) "Nothing Compares 2 U"-- Sinead O'Connor
4) "Play That Funky Music"-- Wild Cherry
5) "Badlands"-- Bruce Springsteen
6) "Birdhouse in Your Soul"-- They Might Be Giants
7) "Looking for a Kiss"-- The New York Dolls
8) "The Party Song"-- Blink 182
9) "Bottle of Smoke"-- The Pogues
10) "Do You Believe in Magic"-- The Lovin' Spoonful

Time to go, I think. Key West is callin'. Have a good weekend, all y'all.

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