Dear Hot Mathematician:
You, who leave the country Friday, called me and didn't leave a message. I know it was you because I 411ed the number from my call log and it's your parents. So there you are. It's good that you didn't leave a message because if you're jumpy enough to not leave a message you've probably thought dirty about me, and I'm not thinking dirty about you. I'm soooo not. Anyways, it's also good you didn't leave a message because I'm pissed off you didn't leave a message, which means even if I haven't thought dirty about you I'm still dirty inside.
Mistress La Spliffe
Moving along . . . yesterday the National Post published a hilarious opinion peice about how Hollywood is demonizing the free market by releasing films like Syriana, Alien, and - uhm - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No wonder this rag has to advertise itself as 'the newest national newspaper' in Canada - all the other superlatives that apply wouldn't look so appealing.
Films like Syriana, Alien and - uhm - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are the free market at work, Hollywood's economics are hardly a shining example of commie financial selflessness, and maybe the reason capitalism works as well as it does in countries like mine is the ability to share critical points of view, giving Adam Smith's magical 'free hand' a little more information to work with. All of that is obvious, super obvious, uber obvious, but - have you noticed? The Western right wing is getting so fractured these days that nobody knows what a really right-wing populist stance is anymore. So the National Post digs up the bones of the Hollywood Commie card, Bill O'Reilly has to conduct polls on aspects of subtle, divisive problems like immigration and big business to know which way to rant to maintain the largest possible market share, and Liberal-baiters struggle to straddle both sides of the U.S. port security question.
I'm not gloating or anything - more complaining - Western left-wing media is equally divided, messy, and twirling in circles trying to find the most popular line, and I'm really tired of it. In my head, populism is for second-string politicians, not the press; I want the press to lead us, to suggest things to us, just possibly educate us, not regurgitate our own prejudices and spoon-feed them to us.
Pardon my bitchery, but I have to read several newspapers and magazines a day at work and they're almost all rubbish, which makes my day a little longer. On the bright side, reading the Economist has become like drinking a good G&T after five or six nasty aspartame-laced sodas. They have some sort of central premise about a universally informed, universally free market being a good thing, and whether or not one agrees one can at least appreciate the thrust of thier nice snarky broad reporting from there.