Monday, February 25, 2013

Daytona 500 and the Oscars

Because at this point I'm just too lazy to do two posts so we're going to do this in one. Although I will actually put them in separate paragraphs so feel free to skip to the one you're interested in.

Without Denica or the Toyota engine fiasco the commentators would of had absolutely nothing to talk about in the Great American Race. Driving around in a single line for 180 laps or so isn't what I call racing. If things are this bad at the intermediate tracks then this is going to be one very long season.

The Oscars I wasn't a big fan of who one. Being a  Canadian I'm annoyed by Argo's creative use of history. Certainly not the first time Canadians were cutout of the historical record. Life of Pi also annoyed me as well. Again for the same  Canadian reasons.

I wasn't exactly a fan of  Seth MacFarlane hosting. He has his standard half-dozen or so comedic bits and I wasn't sure they were going to mesh well with the telecast. Yes the boobs song was funny. I see that the left-wing indignation machine has ramped up. I expect this sort of nonsense from the right. Twist something around out of context then turn it into a strawman then pound away at it for a while. It just means in the future I won't be taking these people seriously. Cry Wolf et cetera.

The Clooney joke was not about the little kid. I repeat that it was not about the little kid. It was about Clooney's tendency to dispose of his "arm candy" which do tend to be quite a bit younger than him but legal. If anything I would have thought that feminists would've been applauding the joke not complaining about it.

There also seems to be quite a bit of rage that many of the reporters couldn't pronounce 
Quvenzhan√© Walli's name. This is not all that unusual. There's a tendency to do this with any name that's outside of the usual Anglo family. Do we really think that if say an actress from Ukraine had been up for an award they would've been pronouncing her name flawlessly? Heck during the red carpet show I had a miserable time pronouncing Kristin Chenoweth. Yes they should've done their homework and practiced it that's being a professional but to somehow extend this to racism/misogyny seems a bit much.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nebula ballot and "girly" fantasy

From what I can tell the latest Playmore in the science fiction and fantasy community was started off by two anonymous comments from here. That being said I fully expect that the next week or so is going to be taken up with all sorts of earnest posts about gender and genre including reading lists and the like. There is an aspect of this which comes down to don't feed the trolls but I don't think that's going to be taken into account. I've seen this play out many times online often within this community. I'm just tired. When it burns itself out in a week or two no one is going to be satisfied. I'd rather use my energy reading.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge

 Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War
by Dale Maharidge

This book describes the authors relationship with his father. Troubled as it was by the events of World War II. After his death he did what he could to research his unit and why he was affected. The research is pretty much the narrative of the book. We do get discussions about military actions but they are fragmentary and he doesn't bother coalescing them into one larger narrative. Since I usually read more traditional military history I found this to be frustrating.

Clearly Maharidge has quite a bit of anger most of it leveled at the decision-makers in the Pacific campaign. He finds Admiral Nimitz personally responsible for his dads PTSD. Intellectually I think this is a hard case to make. In the section on PTSD he doesn't acknowledge that the research shows that everyone has a breaking point at some point.

I found the research impressive and the writing is very good. If you treat this more as a memoir and biography that a military history then you'll get more from it.

Recommended for anyone interested in the effects of the war on the generation that followed.

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Life in Politics by Jacques Chirac

This is as the title would suggest the political memoirs of the French President. For North American readers the section on the lead up to the invasion of Iraq will probably be the most interesting. There isn't much new added here although some of the behind-the-scenes communication between the forces allied against invasion was interesting. My knowledge of French modern politics is pretty limited i was however able to follow the earlier sections of the book which layout his career.

One unfortunate thing which I'm not sure if it's the fault of the translation or the original text is that much of this reads like a summary. He wants to rush quickly through his early life to get to the presidency. This means that several important events including at least one constitutional crisis gets very limited coverage. I realize the book is a political memoir but the occasional vignettes about his family life are a times much more enlightening than his thoughts about to us in North America obscure politicians.

Miley recommended.

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.