Saturday, March 05, 2011

Quotes of the day

The basic stimulus to the intelligence is doubt, a feeling that the meaning of an experience is not self-evident.--W.H. Auden

Michael Barrier complains that Pixar films are too emotionally manipulative, which apparently undermines them as Serious Art; some folks in comments on other sites said hell yeah, I was hoping Wall-E would stay dead at the end. Because REAL ART IS DARK AND CHARACTERS STAY DEAD. Also, the toys in TS3 should have gone into the furnace. In real serious non-manipulative art, Frodo gets knifed in a bar on the second day of his quest, I guess. Also “Up” was manipulative because we didn’t know anything about the characters at the beginning, but were forced to cry because they looked at clouds while Randy Newman music played, and then she died. Doesn’t seem to occur to the writer that the film’s ability to bond the audience to the story and the characters without dialogue or explication was something you can only do in the CGI or animation medium; a live-action version of “Up” would be risable. The first ten minutes of the movie anchored everything that came afterwards. The end of Wall-E wasn’t just about providing a rote happy ending, it was about investing hope and humanity in EVE. Wall-E is a simpleton, and doesn’t change; it’s EVE who’s really on the journey AND YES I AM TALKING ABOUT CARTOON ROBOTS. I know that. But I love these films, and I love this medium, and I wish everyone would just relax.--James Lileks

... recall that the Constitution calls for maintaining a navy, but raising an Army only as required--Christopher Preble

The Christian needs to be generous, but generous charity is not the answer to the world’s most pressing problems of hunger, inadequate medical care, and grinding poverty. Wealth is created in places where the rule of law is upheld, property rights are secured, people are free to be entrepreneurs, and there is sufficient social capital to encourage risk-taking. We can and should do good with our giving. But we must not lead people to believe that most of human suffering would be alleviated if we simply gave more.--Kevin DeYoung

In a newly released report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that, in fiscal year 2010, $48 billion in taxpayer money was squandered on fraudulent or improper Medicare claims. Meanwhile, the nation’s ten largest health insurance companies made combined profits of $12.7 billion in 2010 (according to Fortune 500). In other words, for every $1 made by the nation’s ten largest insurers, Medicare lost nearly $4.--Jeffrey Anderson

after being down 24 just minutes earlier, Orlando built up a seven-point lead. At that point, I figured James or Wade would take over. But … no. Wade made two free throws in the fourth quarter. James didn’t score at all.  With eight seconds left, Miami needed a three-pointer to tie. Chris Bosh ended up taking that three, which might tell you something right there. After a flurry and a rebound by Mike Miller, the ball was kicked out to LeBron James who was wide open for a three. He missed. And Orlando beat the Heat, who at that moment had lost three times in four games. This led to much speculation about how LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are getting along on the court. This has led to much speculation about the coaching situation. Ah, the joys of South Beach talents.  Friday night, Miami played San Antonio, and I watched excitedly again. This game offered a different kind of fun. San Antonio outclassed Miami. It was mind boggling and wonderful. The Spurs embarrassed the Heat in the first quarter and led 36-12. The Heat made a reasonable second half comeback and trailed by only 12 at the break leading the announcers to suggest that Miami was still in the game. Miami was not in the game. The Heat’s halftime adjustment appeared to be: “Stop guarding them.” By the middle of the fourth quarter, San Antonio led by 31, and the camera kept cutting to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra because, let’s be blunt, he’s going to get fired really soon unless things get better pretty fast. The old line has never been more true: You can’t fire the players.--Joe Posnanski
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