No envy, no angst

Lest you wonder why I don’t worry about my book sales:

There’s a decided lack of plot in the above synopsis, and it’s not because I want to withhold spoilers. Truth is, there really isn’t a plot in Twilight. Nearly 400 out of 500 pages are devoted to Bella and Edward cuddling, professing their undying love for each other, and generally staring at each other dewey-eyed. In other words, oodles and oodles of this:

“His angel’s face was only a few inches from mine. I might have — should have — flinched away from his uexpected closeness, but I was unable to move. His golden eyes mesmerized me.”What are you afraid of, then?” he whispered intently.But I couldn’t answer. As I had just that once before, I smelled his cool breath in my face. Sweet, delicious, the scent made my mouth water. It was unlike anything else. Instinctively, unthinkingly, I leaned closer, inhaling.”

Sweet smelling…breath? Is this for real? I bet he craps rainbows, too. Just sayin’.

Seriously people, this is it. Between scenes of Bella playing Susie Homemaker to her father and wondering at her inexplicable popularity, this is Twilight.

Given the rather exotic nature of Summa Elvetica I suspect no one will ever doubt my professed lack of ambition to make the NYT bestseller’s list again. The truth is, if I wanted to maximize my pursuit of the consumer entertainment dollar, I’d much prefer to build an x-rated empire and develop games like Strip Club Tycoon and Rape 3D than write this sort of banal and brainless schlock.

Speaking of porn and Twilight, I’m reminded of the writer who wondered what was going to happen when a generation of young men accustomed to acrobatic performances by silicone-enhanced actresses runs headlong into a generation of young women expecting the human equivalent of gentlemanly teetotalling vampires. My impression is that moment of two cultures colliding will be the perfect moment to introduce Robogirl.

And, of course, bid adieu to Homo Technicas.

This can’t end well

In which I conclude our new visitor is doomed to disappointment:

Heard you on AFR yesterday and was taken with your tone. You seem to have a great understanding of how things really work without the usual cockiness that accompanies that.

J, I’m very glad to hear that you enjoyed the interview. You’re certainly welcome to bookmark this blog and hang out as often as you like. I hope you enjoy the ongoing discourse. However, full disclosure requires me to inform you that I do not suffer from what a reasonable man would describe as a dearth of self-assurance. I am polite when making an appearance on other people’s shows and blogs, but this civility should probably not be taken as an absence of arrogance.

It’s probably just as well Bane already kicked it. This would totally have done him in. He would have died laughing.

The simmering McCain upset

I’ve always subtracted 5 points from the Democratic advantage and usually come closer to the actual result than any of the pre-election polls. This guy, however, has closely examined a number of their structural flaws:

I have already written extensively about polling groups manipulation of demographic weights, so I will only summarize here that in addition to party affiliation, various polling groups this year have produced polls out of demographic balance with Census norms for urban/suburban/rural participation, minority race representation, age, employment status, and income range. It should not be difficult to imagine how these manipulations might invalidate the results published by the polling groups.

I have to admit, it always seems bizarre to me when a poll announces that in a recent polling of 850 Democrats and 600 Republicans, Obama has a 58-42 advantage. I mean, do they even have to ask the question to figure that one out? I understand the concept of estimating dynamic party identifications and electoral turnout, but it seems to me that given the weight of those estimates, the actual answers are irrelevant.

“In a poll of 140 black Democrats and one Republican who still supports Ron Paul, Obama is ahead 100-0. Looks like an epic Democratic landslide of unthinkable proportions, Katie!”

In summary, if McCain is within 5 points next month, he probably wins.