- Feb 1 2019: Why I hate using analogies.
"Analogies, in particular, can illuminate, but they can also obscure and confuse. They need to be handled carefully, like rhetorical high explosives."
- Feb 1 2019: Mamma Mia! at PHS: The music of ABBA onstage in RISD. Pop hits before these kids were born, maybe before their parents were born, brought back to life with great fun. Live orchestra, great voices, big cast. Be sure to stay for the curtain call and dance in the aisles.
- Feb 1 2019: In this drama, the role of "American woman" is played by Donald Trump.
American woman: I think you're cheating on me.
Russian boyfriend: If you'd just agree to an open relationship, it wouldn't be cheating.
American woman: Deal.
After the jump, more idle thoughts.
- Feb 2 2019: Legally Blonde at RHS: A rom-com, a murder mystery, and a coming-of-age tale with a #MeToo subplot. Add in talented singing, dancing, laughs, a large cast, a live orchestra and a talented theater tech team and you have a fun night of musical theater in RISD.
- Feb 3 2019: High School Musical at BHS: High school musical about trying out for a high school musical. Kinda meta. With great singing, dancing, a live orchestra, talented tech and an inspiring message of "We're all in this together!", it all makes for a fun night of musical theater in RISD.
- Feb 3 2019: I'm surprised that Buddy Holly was apparently so unknown in his own hometown that its newspaper has to identify him in its headline as "Lubbock Rock 'N' Roll Star."
- Feb 4 2019: Jim Schutze calls Jason Villalba's attack on Scott Griggs "crazy and unhinged." I have to say it sounds that way to me, too. And I'm not just anti-Villalba because he blocked me on Twitter. Well, not just for that.
- Feb 4 2019: Blow your mind fact: School finance reform will result in property tax relief, but not the other way around.
- Feb 5 2019: DMN headline before SOTU: "Speech will seek common ground."
Really, DMN? You already know that's not true. Your subhead highlights the opposite. "Trump will also defend his hard-line stance on immigration." But go ahead anyway. Tell your readers Trump is a uniter.
- Feb 5 2019: David Frum decodes Trump's call for unity.
Not: "I will quit insulting you."
Instead: "I demand that everyone else quits criticizing me."
- Feb 6 2019: DMN headline after SOTU: "A call for bipartisanship."
Really, DMN? He called for Democrats to cave in to his demands for a border wall and to drop their "ridiculous" investigations into his possibly impeachable offenses. That's not "bipartisanship", that's surrender.
- Feb 6 2019: They Shall Not Grow Old (2019): Documentary footage from WWI, brilliantly restored and colorized by Peter Jackson, with added sound and voices. No historians or generals, only soldiers on the front lines. No one not there can know what it was like but this is next best thing. A-
- Feb 6 2019: The question on the @BW cover is, "Did Foxconn Con Wisconsin?"
If by "Wisconsin" you mean Gov. Scott Walker, then no. He was in on the con from the start.
If by "Wisconsin" you mean the people of Wisconsin, then yes.
- Feb 6 2019: (AP): "The nation's federal financial watchdog has announced its plans to roll back most of its consumer protections governing the payday lending industry."
Damn. I thought when we got rid of Pete Sessions, the payday lenders would be in retreat.
- Feb 6 2019: "Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht calls for nonpartisan judicial elections."
Strongest sign yet that Texas is turning blue -- GOP calls for hiding party affiliations on ballot.
- Feb 6 2019: "The five warmest years in recorded human history have now happened in the past five years."
Impossible. Headline writer must not have heard that it was cold last week. ;-)
- Feb 7 2019: Public Relations Director of Texas Public Utility Commission calls Dave Lieber "an unprincipled, self-promoting huckster." I'm not siding with PUC or electricity companies in this fight, other than to say, they're not wrong.
- Feb 8 2019: Headline: "Richardson councilman issues apology after calling newly elected U.S. rep a 'bimbo'".
Scott Dunn steps in it.
- Feb 8 2019: @prvoelker, thanks for your statement this afternoon condemning sexist descriptions of any woman as inconsistent with Richardson's values. cor.net
- Feb 9 2019: Annihilation (2018): Mysterious DNA mutations happen inside a nature preserve. The danger is growing. Five carefully chosen actresses (er, scientists) are sent in to investigate. Shimmering woo, attacks by CGI monsters, and meetings with Rorschach-like aliens ensue. Bad. C-
- Feb 9 2019: In 2016, it's at least arguable that the "gettable" voters Hillary needed were the Bernie voters who rejected Hillary as being too tied to the Dem establishment. In 2020, wouldn't Warren appeal to those voters more than, say, Biden?
- Feb 10 2019: The Other Side of the Wind (2018): Orson Welles's last, unfinished film, about the making of a documentary about the making of an aging director's last, unfinished film. An art film, a satire on Hollywood movie-making, but mostly a self-indulgent, bloated mess. D+
- Feb 11 2019: The Gulf: History of the Gulf of Mexico from Spanish explorers to oil spills. From over-fishing to bird hunting. From aboriginal shell mounds to modern dredging and mangrove destruction. A primer on nature and business that moves fast and always it seems, downhill. B-
- Feb 12 2019: Our flight to Milwaukee was diverted due to snow and ice. The announcement was garbled but it sounded like we'll now be landing in Schitt's Creek.
- Feb 13 2019: Homecoming (TV 2018): Julia Roberts as a social worker helping soldiers adapt to civilian life. Or not. The mysterious program messes with her as much as the soldiers. The narrative arc is flat, the resolution unsatisfying. No meaty roles here, except her overbearing boss. C+
- Feb 18 2019: Gov. Abbott: "Texas must evaluate the importance of an independent judiciary free from politics."
The GOP is suddenly interested in making judicial elections non-partisan. The surest sign yet that Texas is trending blue.
- Feb 18 2019: The irony, of course, is that Gov. Abbott's interest in making judicial elections non-partisan is itself nakedly politically partisan.
- Feb 18 2019: David Brooks: "How China Brings Us Together."
Hey, I agree with Brooks on the threat of China, but not on it bringing us together. The GOP is too busy undermining our Republic and the Dems are too busy resisting the GOP to do anything about China.
- Feb 18 2019: HJR43 would require ALL property taxes collected for schools actually be spent on schools. Now that would do more for property tax reform than anything Gov. Abbott has proposed. Get on board @AngieChenButton.
- Feb 19 2019: TIL what a "bath sheet" is.
P.S. I am pretty sure I don't own one.
- Feb 21 2019: RT @realDonaldTrump: "Senator John Cornyn has done an outstanding job for the people of Texas. He is strong on Crime, the Border, the Second Amendment and loves our Military and Vets. John has my complete and total endorsement. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Not helping.
- Feb 22 2019: CNN: "DOJ will release Mueller report next week."
DOJ: "No we won't."
CNN: "Why the delay?"
Huh? How was it established that this is a "delay"?
- Feb 23 2019: Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018): Oscar nominated documentary about life in rural Alabama. Cinéma vérité, a style I loved when I first came across it in 1975 (Frederick Wiseman's Welfare), but am now more likely to find simply mundane and tedious. C-
- Feb 23 2019: Republican Rhode Island fundraiser, who hosted a lobster dinner last summer featuring Congressman Pete Sessions, has been arraigned on fraud and election law charges. Enuf said.
- Feb 25 2019: Best explanation for last night's surprise Best Picture Oscar: "The Oscars can't let go of movies like Green Book because the Oscars can't let go of the idea that the awards celebrate an industry that tells stories that can make the world a better place."
- Feb 25 2019: I'm surprised that ranked-choice-voting resulted in Green Book as the winner. My guess is that a lot of voters loved it (ranked it #1), but many hated it (ranked it #8), which should have caused it to sink. Obviously not.
- Feb 25 2019: "Acceptable to all" is what ranked-choice-voting is good at delivering. Not this time. Did you see Spike Lee's reaction to Green Book winning? Not pleased.
- Feb 25 2019: Each and every nominated movie had serious criticisms leveled against it, including Green Book. I don't know how you handicap a race like that.
- Feb 25 2019: "Green Book" was one of three nominees I graded "A-" when I saw it, so I can't complain. But I'm an old white guy, so don't be surprised that I liked it. I gave BlacKkKlansman a B+.
- Feb 25 2019: I called BlacKkKlansman's coda "a gut punch." I saw its nomination as Best Picture more as a lifetime achievement award for Spike Lee than recognition of it as a great picture on its own.
- Feb 25 2019: Green Book for Whites: In which a family from Wisconsin in the 1950s has to take a road trip to visit America's national parks in the West using only a AAA TripTik. (Based on real life personal experience.)
- Feb 25 2019: Green Book is a Christmas movie.
- Feb 25 2019: All fifteen seats on Dallas City Council have multiple candidates. Twelve seats have three or more. In Richardson, an at-large city, 3 of 7 seats have drawn only one candidate. An argument in favor of single-member-districts.
- Feb 25 2019: I'm old enough to remember when Republican politicians like Sen. John Cornyn thought fascism was bad and would never quote someone like Benito Mussolini approvingly. Trumpism has spoiled the whole GOP barrel.
- Feb 25 2019: "Confidence that human activities were raising the heat at the Earth's surface had reached a 'five-sigma' level,...meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming."
So they aren't positive. ;-)
- Feb 26 2019: Leave No Trace (2018): A combat veteran and his teenage daughter live off the grid in the Oregon forest. A character study of his inability to return to civilian life and the strains that places on her. An understated, touching look at one case of the "unhoused." B-
- Feb 27 2019: Dallas Cowboys Star Randy Gregory "might never play football again for using a substance that is legal for recreational use in 10 states and for medical use in 33 states."