A NYT reviewer evinces a complete failure to grok the Hitchhiker’s trilogy:

Dent, it happens, has been saved from extinction by his alien buddy Ford Prefect (Mos Def), a smooth operator in a snow-white suit who fends off trouble with an ordinary bath towel and knows how to hitch rides on passing spaceships. Arthur and Ford initially land on such a ship, operated by the Vogons, an unpleasant race that constitute the bulk of the galaxy’s bureaucracy and come equipped with expansive girths and lumpy porcine faces with smushed-in snouts. Beautifully constructed by the Jim Henson Creature Shop with an attention to expressive detail that recalls the political caricatures of Honoré Daumier, the Vogons function as the villains in this tale, though it is a measure of Adams’s dry, gentle humor that the creatures’ most devastating weapon is their exceptionally bad poetry….

This narrative bagginess is partly what makes the film feel true to Adams, if not in precise letter then certainly in mellow spirit. One of the pleasures of this loopy adventure – along with its gloriously singing dolphins and knit puppets – is that what keeps the story in gear are the moments when its four space trekkers – and Marvin, the depressed robot mellifluously voiced by Alan Rickman – are chattering about all manner of cheery nonsense.

Gentle humor? Mellow spirit? Douglas Adams??!!?? Did I accidentally cross over into some bizarre alternate universe where Ann Coulter writes an etiquette column for Good Housekeeping and Bob Novak is known as the Prince of Niceness?

Yeah, I’ll mos definitely be bagging this movie.

Not the greatest loss

Walking on Coals is concerned about the apparent burning of two Edvard Munch paintings, including Skrik (Scream):

The Munch masterpieces “The Scream” and “Madonna” have been incinerated, according to newspaper Dagbladet, citing criminal sources and a top secret police report. The paper claimed Thursday that the paintings were destroyed in order to get rid of damning evidence as the police investigation closes in on the culprits behind the robbery.

Investigation leader Iver Stensrud of the Oslo police said he had no knowledge of the supposedly secret report acknowledging the destruction of the paintings.

While I deplore the loss of anything of historical value, I can’t pretend that I consider the potential destruction of those kitschy crayola-like creations to be a massive human tragedy.

Still, they’re more original than most art these days and I would certainly have preferred to learn that someone had torched a few of the disembowled cows and elephant dung creations that are currently in vogue.


K-Lo posts the Gunning Fog Index of NRO’s writers:

11.03 Frum
10.94 Murdock
10.60 Ledeen
10.58 Hanson
10.12 Derbyshire
10.11 Novak
9.59 Buckley
8.77 Nordlinger
8.47 Brookhiser
8.44 Coffin
8.00 Seipp
7.90 Blyth
7.82 Kudlow
7.62 Lopez
7.07 O’Bierne
6.91 Goldberg
6.64 Lowry
6.52 York
6.32 Stuttaford

Curious to know where I stacked up with this fine collection of conservative and neoconservative writers, I ran my last ten columns through the index. Average: 14.69, with three of the ten maxing out at 17. That’s right, I am more than twice as unreadable as Jonah Goldberg. Clearly, I need to make more Simpson’s references if I want to get invited on Tucker Carlson’s show.

Throws like a girl

Natalie can’t even throw down a gauntlet properly:

OK, put your money where your mouth is. Come on over. My comment section is all yours. Just don’t take too long, I’ve got things to do this month.

Come on over and do what, exactly? I mean, your six readers can come over here if they want to read what I’m writing. If you want a debate, you have to make an argument, or at the very least, an assertion.

I don’t understand why some of these low-wattage sorts are so fixated on trying to invent excuses for why my column appears on WND. It makes no sense. I mean, it’s not like my family owns Simon and Schuster, the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Computer Gaming World or any of the many other places my writing has appeared with varying degrees of regularity. And even if that was the only reason I had the column, it still wouldn’t explain why it is the third most-popular one there, with a readership as much as 10x larger than other WND columnists.

But let’s face it, logic and the Left have never been comfortable in each other’s company.

A secularist Sudentanland

Stanley Kurtz writes on NRO:

According to Harper’s, conservative Christians are making “war on America.” Can you imagine the reaction to a cover story about a “war on America” by blacks, gays, Hispanics, or Jews? Then there’s Frank Rich’s April 24 New York Times op-ed comparing conservative Christians to George Wallace, segregationists, and lynch mobs….

Conservative Christians have good reason to fear cultural ostracism. The mere expression of their core religious views is being legislated against. The courts have banned traditional morality as a basis for law and have turned instead to secular Europe for guidance. Traditional Christians can’t even set up a college in New York City. And now Harper’s is calling them evil fascists.

It is a common tactic, when one is engaged in offensive warfare, to proclaim that one is merely acting in defense against a dangerous threat. This threat is almost always manufactured, and yet it has been used successfully on many occasions, by the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany and even the United States.

That is the only possible way to interpret this Harper’s article, as an anti-christian secularist Sudentenland. It is not Christianity that is encroaching on America, rather, it is modern secularism attempting to destroy the last strongholds of Christianity in America.

They are foolish to do so, of course, because secularism, like socialism, is a negative, parasitical force which cannot live without a positive host on which to feed off and survive.

Paul Krugman is right

What a scary thought. Some prominent Republicans are actually dumb enough to believe that the economy is in decent shape:

Aside from energy, there has been no increase in inflation for at least three years. Take out energy, and CPI inflation over the past 12 months was just 2.4 percent — lower than the 2.5 percent average of 1998-2002. Yet that 2.4 percent rate still overstates inflation, as the Boskin Commission explained in 1996….

Other indicators of incipient inflation are benign. The price of gold, a classic hedge against inflation, is the same as a year ago.

Right, 12.5 percent yearly increases in housing prices is simply due to an increase in their inherent value, right? This guy is such a bozo that he doesn’t even realize that the price of gold is not the same as a year ago, it is 9.19 percent higher.

No inflation, 9 percent inflation, what’s the difference, right? Look, I realize that the mere fact of having a Republican President, House, Senate and Supreme Court makes some people believe that we are living in the best of all possible worlds, but this joker makes the strumpets in the financial media look downright responsible.

Here kiddy kiddy

The New York Post reports on hands-on sex education:

Three female teachers busted for allegedly molesting students this week shocked the city — but not experts, who say one in 10 students will be sexually abused by an educator. And the problem in New York City appears to be surging, with the number of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students projected to double this year compared to last, reports from Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon show….

Exposing these offenders has never been a priority for the school system.

Shakeshaft analyzed 225 cases of teacher sexual abuse in New York in 1994 in which all of the staffers had admitted they committed the crime. None of the perpetrators was reported to police or school investigators, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach.

And Shakeshaft said Mayor Bloomberg’s comment that the latest spate of teacher student sexual incidents is “business as usual” hinders child advocates’ push for better training and reporting.

At least these kids are getting prepared for the real world, where they’ll be fully prepared to go down on their boss when he demands it.