Meet Scoop Gibson of Springfield

Work paid my way to go see The Simpsons Movie, otherwise I might be waiting until the DVD came out. Then again, it’s had pretty good reviews, so I might have found a couple hours to sneak the movie in. On the movie’s Web site I created this character, Scoop Gibson.

My comments about the movie can be found here. The short version is I really liked the movie, but it would have been a lot more meaningful 10-15 years ago. As days have gone on, however, I find myself wanting to see it again. That’s not a bad sign.

Harry Potter and the Lowlife Spoilers

harry potter coverI just finished the final Harry Potter book. There are plenty of other places to read about the book itself, so I won’t go into my critique, other than to say I enjoyed it.

What I noticed, however, was how afraid I was that some buttball out there might ruin the ending for me. I had attended the premiere of the fifth movie, in part to be part of the shared experience of being at the first showing. I liked the movie and liked the event. You know, sometimes it’s just fun to take part in something because everyone else is.

When the book came out I took my kids to Barnes & Noble to get it, because it was a belated birthday present for my daughter. I looked for moments she wasn’t reading it and snatched it away.

All the while I avoided my e-mail and feared opening it at work. I avoided the Web at home and steered clear of some sites while I read the book, because I was afraid someone, innocently or not, would spoil the ending for me. I read about it on Eric Snider’s blog here, how some people purposefully seek to destroy the ending by placing spoilers in unrelated places. There’s also a discussion in the comments about whether we fans are lemmings. I wax on there about it.

Thankfully I finished the book before anyone said too much, though someone did say something that kind of spoiled it for me. In the end what she said was vague and was something that I probably could have assumed about the ending.

Nothing like the time before I got to see Rocky II and my friend said, “It’s just like Rocky I except Rocky wins.” Furnunculus Bruce Luttrell.

Presidents and Generals

This morning I read this story in the New York Times. It tells how intelligence showed a top terrorist was at a site in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border, that our military was ready to take him out and then Rumsfeld called it off. His reason was to maintain our relationship with Pakistan.

I predicted this morning that I’d find a conservative site blasting the Times for the story. I wasn’t disappointed. Andrew McCarthy reads the reporter’s intent into the story as if he were a psychic, then I think suggests the Times is trying to say Bush is no tougher than Clinton on terrorism.

I also predicted I’d find a liberal site blasting the administration. Again, I wasn’t disappointed. The Daily Kos starts with a generalization about the only terrorists Bush cares about are the ones in Iraq, then makes the case we ought to be operating elsewhere.

How naive of me. I read a news story about a disagreement between Rumsfeld and the military over a mission. Period. You can argue over whether it was the right decision, but I expected some blasting about how the Administration wasn’t getting along with the military. On that point, I was wrong. That argument didn’t come up in the two sites I found, but if I’d cared I bet I could have found them. Too bad, because this weekend I watched the movie 13 Days, which retells what went on in the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. There again, the Aministration and the military brass differed. Turned they probably both played a role in ending the thing. I guess what I’m getting at is if the Bush Administration has carried out this war incorrectly, it’s not just because it has gone against the military leaders, it’s the substance of where they differed.

I guess today I’m Captain Obvious.

An American’s Story

Darn you, Plaschke, for making me cry on Independence Day.

We take it for granted, don’t we? We’ve lived next to Dodger Stadium for so long, we ignore its beauty, shrug at its charm and lose sight of that funky streaking baseball.

We are so worried about the lousy concession lines, inconsistent parking and cramped concourses, we forget that our aging neighbor may still be the most beautiful sporting spot on Earth.

Meet a man who does not, who will not, who cannot.

Read the story of Maurice Gardner (no relation) here.