Open Thread for August 28, 2009

The movies finally get good.

Interesting movies this week… after a lackluster summer blockbuster season, August has finally seen some worthwhile releases, between District 9, Basterds, and this weekend’s offerings.

With Labor Day fast approaching, summer is coming to an end. We previewed the summer’s movies in two episodes of the Overthinking It Podcast (subscribe in iTunes). From the flip side, what were the standouts for you?

In sadder news, we lost Dominick Dunne and Ted Kennedy. Fenzel was too busy writing his latest opus on race relations to man his customary post at the OTI Obits desk… why don’t you fill in for him and reflect on the passing of a literary and a political giant?

On the TV front, Mad Men continues gloriously (I gotta say, though I know it makes me a philistine, I like the shorter shows and tighter pace), and—mirabile dictu—Summer Glau is joining the cast of Dollhouse in the fall. (Fellow geeks, if you need a moment alone, I’ll understand. Just come back to leave your thoughts in this, your open thread.)

8 Comments on “Open Thread for August 28, 2009”

  1. Genevieve #

    Hunh. So, Joss said, “OK Eliza. You had your shot at *trying* to be a badass. Let Summer show you how it’s done.” Is that it, I wonder? Hmmmm.

    I think it’s sad that Ted Kennedy died so soon after his sister. It’s almost like he just couldn’t handle one last family tragedy, and he actually died of grief or something. I am completely and utterly fascinated by the concept of people dying of grief. In cases like this, it’s probably something simple and measurable, like just losing the will to fight any more… but it’s even more interesting in those apocryphal tales where someone dies within weeks, days, or even hours of their spouse.


  2. Trevor #

    Interesting point/counterpoint: on the morning of Ted Kennedy’s passing, I flipped between Fox News and CNN just as a casual observor. “Fox and Friends” (no friends of mine) did maybe ten minutes on the passing, then moved on to other news, “CNN American Morning” became essentially “American Mourning” with coverage almost nonstop for the twenty minutes or so I spent watching before getting ready for work. Now, to be fair, I was only watching either network for a brief time, but the conspiracy theorist in me figures the bosses at Fox didn’t want to do much about Kennedy either because a.) they didn’t want to give the guy any credit or b.) they didn’t want to have a personality on there pull out the crazy card a la Glenn Beck’s “Obama is a racist” comment (which cost him some advertisors).

    At any rate, Ted was never one of the Kennedys that I cared for (really, Bobby was the only one that, after reading about the family in total, I could consider as coming out of the experience of being raised to privilage without being a complete asshole), but I do think his passing leaves a large hole in the story of American politics. Love him or hate him, you couldn’t ignore him, and his many failings only emphasized the difficult position he was in, as the brother who survived and had so much to live up to. That he didn’t do so well is only proof of his humanity, and I think his genuine efforts to bring partisans of both sides together for the common good will be missed.


  3. Gab #

    I had a total geekgasm when I first heard about Summer Glau. I absolutely, positively cannot wait until _Dollhouse_ comes back on the air.

    I actually wrote a very long, personal orbit for Kennedy on my own blog (I’ve been a fan of his since the Clarance Thomas/Anita Hill stuff). I won’t post the whole thing here, but I’ll quote the Lion of the Senate himself, taken from the eulogy he gave his brother Robert, for I believe it is perfectly applicable to him:

    “[He] need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”

    So there really isn’t anybody interested in football besides me? Not even both Michael Vick and Brett Farve playing again?


  4. Trevor #

    @Gab – I think the Favre/Vick juxtaposition could make for a very interesting football season (even if neither play for my Giants). One man is looking for redemption for an unspeakable act, something which will haunt him for the rest of his days and for which he can never really atone no matter how long he plays, considering the pain he’s put not only his family and fans through, but the sport as a whole. But enough about Favre and the Jets, Vick is also compelling.

    Re: Teddy’s quote – totally appropriate to be used for the man himself in this hour of mourning. Thanks for posting it.


  5. Gab #

    @Trevor: Bobby was my favorite Kennedy brother, too, but I also try to keep in mind that Teddy outlived his brothers by a lot- he went from the baby of the family to patriarch. He had longer to screw up, plus he was already sort of in their shadow, being the youngest. Having exceptional older siblings puts pressure on a person no matter what their socio-economic status, and different people respond to it differently.

    Re: football- You win the Clever Comment Award for this thread. Heh.

    The title and the explanations of the picture say it all (for me, at least):


  6. dock #

    I was at the Eagles game for Vicks first appearance. It was a complete circus around the Linc (Lincoln Financial Field). There were picketers against Vick, picketers in favor of Vick, bands playing outside and easily 100,000 people without exaggeration. All three stadium lots- The Linc, Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies play, and the Wachovia Center where the Flyers and Sixers play, were completely full.

    Also by the second quarter “We Want Vick” chants rang out throughout the stadium, and I thought to myself “Andy Reid has created a monster and I dont think he really knows it yet”

    Btw I hate Vick as a person and dont think hes a good fit for the football team. It was a disapointing move all around.


  7. Trevor #

    Gab said: “Re: football- You win the Clever Comment Award for this thread. Heh.”

    I would do a victory lap, but like so many online denizens who comment on atheletic superstars with witty aplomb, I am woefully out of shape. Favre wins this round…

    (shakes fist and yells to the sky) FAVRE!!!!!


  8. Gab #

    I want to apologize for consistently spelling it “F-a-r-v-e” instead of “F-a-v-r-e” on this thread and on others. I know how it’s supposed to be spelled, I just keep spelling it the way everybody says it because, and I’ll admit it fully, I don’t edit my comments with a fine-toothed comb. Sort of like how nobody says “mischievous” right and I thus often want to spell it “mischievious” with that extra “i” thrown into the mix. Sorry, Wrather, since I’m sure it has been hurting you in particular.

    Totally off the subject, does anyone use Google Chrome? Or, somewhat conversely, how about Bing?


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