Mailvox: In defense of ROTS

Jamsco argues eloquently:

Three reasons why Vox should go see Episode III

1. It’s got Darth!

I know that you don’t think that even “Return” was as good as the first two and I would have to agree. The Ewoks were too cute and so forth. But wouldn’t you agree that you enjoyed every scene that Darth Vader was in? My thought is that the Darth Vader thread, throughout the first three, was always strong and enjoyable to watch. He is a bad guy that we like. (And I don’t mean “Like to Hate.” In Ep’s 5 and 6 we really want him to come around. He is a good guy on the wrong side) From the beginning, when he found the Death Star Builder’s lack of faith disturbing, we thought – this is a guy who would be good to have as a friend. And now Ep 3 shows his creation. Although I disagree with a few of the choices in how this was portrayed and the fact that his actor is still a pretty boy, the manner of Anakin’s fall makes us empathetic to Darth, just like we were empathetic to him in Return. It’s worth it just to see the mask being put on.

2. It’s got Light Sabers.

Again, I state that Star Wars is the best of the six. But having said this, my thought is that of all six, it has the worst light saber battle. I think these battles between 2,3, or 4 people, in sharp contrast to pretty much every other facet of the six movies, is something Lucas got better and better at developing. Ep 3 shows the battle that we have wondered about since 1977, the fight between Kenobi and Skywalker. And yet you say no. You have stated publicly your disdain for Ep 1, but didn’t the Jinn/Kenobi/Maul battle stir your heart a little? Personally, I think it was the best part of that movie.

3. What about your 1977 self?

Every time I’m at a hotel where there is a swimming pool and, as an adult, I choose not to use it, the eight year old Me yells at the adult Me, calling me a fool to not take the opportunity. Have you completely shut down, or blocked out the call of the ten year old, who saw it five times, who knew all of the trivia, and all of the names of the actors? (Not just Han Solo and Artoo, mind you, I’m talking about the Grand Moff Tarkin, The Head Sandperson and several Jawas now. (And I bet you get the reference in that last sentence.)) I can’t speak for that boy, but the ten year old
me would be saying “You are a big loser. Don’t give me that big talk about cinematic quality, it’s got Chewbacca in it! Let me see it!”

The bad news is that if you see Ep 3, you should probably rent Ep 2 first, which is, depending on your point of view, worse than the first. But it’s only two hours of your life. I’ll pay for the rental if you don’t want to give Lucas money for it.

Big Chilly is lobbying me as well. I’m wavering, but let’s face it, it’s always fun to have an excuse to say: “you’re dead to me”.

I remain dubious, although that third point is a compelling one.

Security and stability

Doubts on National Review:

This has become the conventional wisdom (I mean, of the last month or so) among conservatives who support the admin. on Iraq: That if only the President and his people would get out there and explain their case, public support would firm up.

I beg leave to doubt this. The admin. case on Iraq is not hard to grasp, and is, if my own conversations with friends & neighbors can be judged by, widely understood: A secure & stable Iraq is essential to our nation’s long-term security.

I’m not sure the problem is that people haven’t heard this. It may be that people have heard it, but just don’t believe it.

Probably because it’s a crock of equine fertilizer. Iraq was secure and stable prior to the US invasion and occupation. Saddam Hussein was no more of a threat to the USA in 2003 than he was in 1983.

China is a serious threat to our nation’s long-term security and it is both secure and stable. The Congo is insecure and unstable, but it is no threat. As usual, the gap between the administration’s pronouncements and logical credibility is enormous, which is why people, even rock-solid Republicans, no longer believe anything that comes out of the Bush White House.

Carelessness and the pole

Peter King defends his critique of two Fathers of the Year:

FATHER’S DAY LEFTOVER. From Tim Novak of Pittsburgh: “Your Larry King and Donald Trump comments aside, I hope you are not classifying all divorced men as poor fathers. I would be very disappointed, if you were.”

I am classifying two men with a total of 10 marriages as highly, highly questionable choices as Fathers of the Fear. I understand divorce happens. But don’t tell me if you’re divorced six times, as King was, you could qualify as a father of the year. Part of fatherhood is staying around. One divorce, I can see it. Two, well, starting to go over the line. Six? Gimme a break.

It does bring to mind the Oscar Wilde quote about losing more than one parent, doesn’t it? My theories about fatherhood are inchoate, but I believe Chris Rock has the right of it when it comes to daughters. While I have no lack of respect for dancers of any sort and have probably been acquainted with more than is the norm, I nevertheless think his fathering imperative is a wise one.

“You’ve got to keep them off that pole!”

In any event, Donald Trump and Larry King should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as fathers of repute, unless the adjective preceding the last word is “ill”.