Pretty in pretty much everything.

I kept the Oscars on while I worked last night, because it’s the sort of thing you don’t need to watch-watch, or even pay much attention to. Every time I looked up, Anne Hathaway was in a different dress and James Franco was all but squinting at the teleprompter. I happen to like both of these folks, and I take it from the Twitter traffic that everybody thinks they really sucked. I disagree. Franco sucked (and I loves me some Franco). Hathaway’s only sin was trying too hard. But she was amazing to look at — all those dresses! all that hair! — and in a traditional matchup like that, it would be her only job. Look lovely, and occasionally zing. But she sparkled and zinged enough for the both of them.

I didn’t understand that Hugh Jackman thing. Was it some reference to last year? Because I forgot last year already. The Oscars are always highly forgettable, especially the singing and dancing parts. Here’s what I remember from previous years: Jon Stewart saying, “The score is now Martin Scorsese zero, Three-Six Mafia one.” Rob Lowe and Snow White. And a few acceptance speeches. That’s about it. So I don’t understand the annual whining that the show was too long, too serious, too dull, whatever. It was ever thus, and likely always will be. Let’s prize this opportunity to look at Hollywood unmasked, and revel in all the people who call themselves “artists” with a straight face. And let’s check out Hathaway’s Oscar dresses, shall we?

Tom & Lorenzo counted eight, enough to “rival a Cher Farewell Tour,” and I’d be hard-pressed to find fault with any of them. My favorite was the shiny cobalt column, but that might be my favorite color ever, and if anyone can rock shiny cobalt, it’s a slender strand of a woman with classic brunette coloring. I didn’t know this whole lineup was put together by Rachel Zoe; this may require me to change my opinion of her.

Looking at the pictures, you know what else I noticed? She had red fingernails when she arrived, and nude ones after the show started. So besides the eight costume changes and four hairstyle changes, she also had time for someone to blow through her dressing room with a bottle of acetone. Meanwhile, James Franco evidently smoked a doobie. The girl always works harder.

My single favorite award? David Seidler, 73, the oldest person to ever win for original screenplay. My role models these days are mostly old men, but I think it’s a mark of maturity that I’d rather be Seidler than Hathaway.

Manic Monday, so a quick trip to the bloggage:

Mitch Albom disapproves of Kim Kardashian. Says she does nothing to earn a reported $65 million last year. Oh, I don’t know. I think she works harder getting dressed and staying in shape for her many public appearances than Albom did on that lame-ass column.

Man, the Onion has been on fire lately. Marauding gay hordes react to lack of DOMA enforcement:

“It was just awful—they smashed through our living room window, one of them said ‘I’ve had my eye on you, Roger,’ and then they dragged my husband off kicking and screaming,” said Cleveland-area homemaker Rita Ellington, one of the latest victims whose defenseless marriage was overrun by the hordes of battle-ready gays that had been clambering at the gates of matrimony since the DOMA went into effect in 1996.

Also: Open-minded man grimly realizes how much life he’s wasted listening to bullshit.

Finally, our own Brian Stouder, guest-blogging at Fort Wayne Observed. If you want to know how to live life as a parent of a child at an “urban” high school, well, he shows you how.

Gotta run, kittens. More tomorrow.

Posted at 9:13 am in Movies, Popculch |

61 responses to “Pretty in pretty much everything.”

  1. Randy said on February 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

    For the first time, I gave up on the Oscars telecast, just past the halfway point. It was during the strange “Year of the Musical” montage introduced by the visibly-altered Franco. I could not understand what they were doing, and then realized it was probably something Franco created in his spare time during his film studies program at NYU, the result of two joints, some Jagrmeister, and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Or maybe it was something created by the Academy, with sincerity and sobriety. Either way, I switched to a Kids In The Hall marathon. Way more enjoyable.

    573 chars

  2. Suzanne said on February 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I thought Franco looked odd, too, part way through, but I haven’t knowingly even seen one of his movies, so didn’t pay much attention. Kirk Douglas (along with Dick Clark), God love ‘im, needs to give it up. Brought back memories of the Kennedys hauling out Rose in the later years for show or something.
    The piece on the urban public school piece was good. My kids went to a parochial school K – 8, and while they got a decent education, the school thrived on instilling fear of the public schools. When the kids hit high school, they went to a public school and were amazed at how competent the teachers were, and surprised that their fellow students were not in every hallway pushing drugs and liberal thinking, as they had been led to believe.

    750 chars

  3. del said on February 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I generally like to see old timers like Dick Clark continue their work, don’t mind the labored speech and such. But Kirk Douglas looked so strange. Plastic surgery?

    166 chars

  4. Julie Robinson said on February 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    It felt like the producers used all their creative energy making the teaser ads and the opening montage and then thought they could rely on the hosts’ natural charm. But Franco forgot to try, leaving Hathaway to do all the work. Meh.

    Jackman and Hathaway performed an elegant duet at the 2009 Oscars but I don’t know about any supposed feud. I always got my celebrity gossip while waiting at the the orthodontist office and we’re done there.

    We did have a very exciting night Saturday at the opening of Rent. Matt did a great job in his ensemble roles and the whole cast was outstanding. The audience seemed a little uncertain that they were allowed to enjoy the performance, so Sarah and I tried our best to laugh hard enough for everyone.

    Nice post Brian, and kudos to you for being so involved. Your kids will do well wherever they are because you are showing them how much you value their education.

    920 chars

  5. Jen said on February 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    The Hugh Jackman joke was from a couple of years ago, when Jackman was hosting and he did a big song-and-dance opening. He grabbed Hathaway and they danced. I thought that part fell a little flat, but it didn’t matter to me, because I kept squealing over her tuxedo and Swarovski crystal-encrusted shoes.

    I love movies and the Hollywood glitz ‘n’ glamour, so I watched the Oscars as usual, although I recorded them and watched them without commercials after my husband went to bed since he is NOT a fan of Hollywood glitz ‘n’ glamour at all. I thought Franco was pretty blah as a host, but Anne Hathaway was absolutely stunning. I’ve loved the girl for ages and she just keeps impressing me. She wasn’t perfect, but she was charming and funny.

    I didn’t mind Kirk Douglas’ appearance. At first I was like, “Oh, God, no!” but he seemed to be enjoying himself so I figured, why not give a 94-year-old legend a couple minutes on stage? But my favorite part was when Melissa Leo won for Best Supporting Actress. She obviously didn’t think she was going to win. I had picked her to win about a month ago, but then there was tons of buzz that she wasn’t going to win because her crazy rogue “For your consideration” ads. She must of listened to the buzz because she looked like someone punched her in the face after they announced her name. And I liked her accidental f-bomb in her speech – it was probably one of the most “real” moments in an Oscar ceremony that was, overall, pretty predictable. Oh, and she definitely deserved the Oscar. She was wonderful in “The Fighter.”

    1576 chars

  6. Dorothy said on February 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I thought most of the show was terribly boring but of course I’m shallow and really only wanted to see the dresses. And the acting awards are the ones I’m mostly interested in. However Luke Matheny, who won for the Live Action Short Film, popped up on stage and said “Guess I should have gotten a haircut!” with a tone of wry irony in his voice – check out his wild mop of hair!

    I’m crazy about Melissa Leo and I can’t wait to see “The Fighter” but I thought she behaved with a distinct lack of class in her acceptance speech. And she had been so adorable at the Golden Globes when she won for the same movie last month. I’m no prude but a better place to drop the F bomb would have been during the interviews back stage, not in front of millions of people on live television.

    939 chars

  7. Deborah said on February 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I skipped the Oscars this year, for the first time in my life, I think. I hadn’t seen any of the movies and I don’t know, it just didn’t appeal to me this year. Besides I think our TV is still inoperable, I haven’t bothered to watch it since there was something wrong with our cable box a few weeks ago. We don’t get any reception without cable probably because we live in a steel structured highrise building. I knew I could catch up on all of the winners and losers (including the fashion) today via the internet. Last night we watched the last 2 episodes of season 4 of The Wire. Tonight we will watch the first episode of the last season. We are very much enjoying watching this series.

    690 chars

  8. LAMary said on February 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    It’s weird. I find Ann Hathaway really irritating. Maybe she reminds me of someone or something, but I find her unwatchable.She’s always trying too hard or singing too loud or laughing too much. James Franco, unless he’s playing a part in a movie, seems to be either wanting to be someplace else or mentally is someplace else.
    I thought the Oscars were more boring than usual. Kirk Douglas looked odd because someone convinced him to have plastic surgery and at the last minute to draw on some dark brown eyebrows. I’ve decided I can’t stand one more Disney animated movie romantic duet, and I think the song from 127 Hours should have won.
    Do I sound cranky enough? It’s Monday.

    681 chars

  9. del said on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Call me a cynic but the Melissa Leo’s use of the F-word seems about as accidental to me as Christina Aguilera’s mangling of the national anthem, even less so given the publicity machine to which she’s attached…

    212 chars

  10. adrianne said on February 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I thought the speech by my homie Melissa Leo (she lives in Ulster County, NY, when she’s not making movies) was genuinely heartfelt. She clearly did not expect to win and then she had to deal with the geriatric Kirk Douglas. James Franco was more wasted than the Dude last year in his acceptance speech. Anne Hathaway is adorable! Loved her parade of fashion through the show.

    376 chars

  11. ROgirl said on February 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Anne Hathaway seemed genuinely enthusiastic and human. Maybe she was trying to make up for Mr. Buzzkill. She reminds me of Rachel Berry from Glee.

    146 chars

  12. LAMary said on February 28, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Roger on that one del. It didn’t seem very spontaneous.

    55 chars

  13. Sue said on February 28, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I’ve seldom watched the Oscars (or any awards show) in the past, but even moreso now that my husband and I spend most of the time asking each other if we know who this or that actor is. Going into full fogey mode, I guess.
    I tuned in to see the coronation of King Colin the Yummy, and I wasn’t disappointed. Yay for him.
    I didn’t know Anne Hathaway could sing. Goodness, that girl has actual talent. I did not know that.
    I haven’t read Tom and Lorenzo’s review yet but the standout for me last night was Scarlett Johansson’s hair. Was that on purpose? I suppose T&L will criticize Colin for not being moisturized enough but give Scarlett’s hair an IN. That fashion thing, it eludes me.

    701 chars

  14. beb said on February 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Anne Hathaway brought one thing to the Oscars that has been missing for a long time, a modal-thin body. Of course she looked good in all that high fashion she thin ebnough for all the clothes to hang right. Just as Fred Astaire always looked good in a tuxedo because of his freakishly thin body.

    I didn’t watch the Oscars but caught the last couple seconds with Hathaway in that gray clingy number. You’d have to go to a wet T-shirt contest to find clothes more clingy than that!

    Interestingly, the state police did nt clear out the Wisconsin state capital last night as they had said they would. It was also interesting watching Dick Gregory on Meet The Press trying to talk about “union thuggery” and hateful speech in Wisconsin and the best he could do was find some buy holding up a sign with a picture of Mubarak and the slogan “One down, one to go.” Then Gregory got the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus to condemn the sign. Wimps. That was nothing like the Georgia town hall where someone asked “when is someone going to shoot Obama?” Now that’s thuggery. But It’s OK, he was a Republican.

    1111 chars

  15. Julie Robinson said on February 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “That fashion thing, it eludes me.” Did Scarlett pay someone for that do?

    Coincidentally, I too was wearing vintage as I watched from home. Vintage Old Navy from Goodwill.

    178 chars

  16. Kim said on February 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Have we approached the phase in Mitch A’s career where he channels Bob G.? His pining for those days gone by where people actually made things is ripped from the Bob G. playbook.

    178 chars

  17. Sue said on February 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    beb, First Draft has had boots on the ground since this started and has commented repeatedly on the waxing/waning news coverage. The gist of it for last night was that the only national there was Fox, and they were waiting for the footage of hippie head-busting.
    “nothing actually happens in America unless a celebrity or three pissed-off Medicare recipients are present” – Jude, First Draft

    499 chars

  18. alex said on February 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Skipped the Oscars as usual. I think the last time I bothered to watch, a doddering and incoherent Bette Davis was getting the stage hook. Anyone remember that fiasco?

    Excellent piece on the schools, Brian. Bravo!

    216 chars

  19. LAMary said on February 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    “…Skipped the Oscars as usual. I think the last time I bothered to watch, a doddering and incoherent Bette Davis was getting the stage hook. Anyone remember that fiasco?”

    That would have been a lot better than anything that went on last night.

    248 chars

  20. Connie said on February 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I skipped the Oscars as usual as well, though did go online to check out the red carpet and see who won. I only went to one movie last year. And it won best picture!

    167 chars

  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Brian — excellent piece of writing; lots of dense data, fluently delivered. AYP is indeed a piece of work . . .

    If you have kids in school, or are interested in teachers & education at all, Brian’s guest-post is worth a read.

    (And whether in education or health care, our political “leaders” have committed us to have everyone above average by 2014, and that’s barely an exaggeration. I’m wondering how many of those who shoved thru these goals & benchmarks will have made sure to be out of the electoral line of fire by the time all of this becomes even clearer. Ed Administrators have been trying to explain AYP’s fatal flaws for years, but it’s diabolically designed to make you sound like you’re blaming the marginal or disabled students, so you just have to stay quiet and take your beatings.)

    809 chars

  22. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Melissa Leo’s F-bomb didn’t bother me, but her speech was barely coherent, even by the low standards of Oscar acceptance speeches. I think she’s a terrific actress; I guess I expected that she’d be better able to come up w/ a better performance when appearing as herself. And I’m w/ you, Sue, on Scarlett Johansson’s hair.

    After looking at all the AH fashions that Nancy linked to, I went through the rest of T&L’s commentary. Most striking were the entries in which the actresses were pictured next to a model wearing the same dress when it was shown on the runway. Most of the actresses are slender by normal human standards, but, compared to the models . . . well, the models generally made better clothes hangers. They really must live on nothing but celery, water, and vitamin pills.

    And, yes, your commentary was terrific, Brian. What a much better world it would be if more parents were so constructively engaged. The teachers and administrators at your school, as well as the school board, will be thrilled that someone is noticing and appreciating all their hard work.

    1087 chars

  23. prospero said on February 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Why were there barnacles all over Cate Blanchett? And didn’t Reese Witherspoon look like a perfectly drawn pint of Guinness?

    Wisconsin may not have the pettifoggingest Governor in the USA.

    310 chars

  24. Jakash said on February 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    “I take it from the Twitter traffic that everybody thinks they really sucked. I disagree. Franco sucked (and I loves me some Franco). Hathaway’s only sin was trying too hard.” I think you’re on the money there, NN. (Well, except for the part about loving me some Franco.) I don’t see why anyone lumps the hosts’ performances together — he was terrible and looked high even in his interview before the show; she was charming and gorgeous and I’ve never even been a fan of hers. I thought she deserved a best actress nomination just for the way she seemed to be so happy to be hanging out with that dude, instead of wanting to throttle him.

    I know absolutely nothing about fashion, etc., but even I was wondering what was up with Scarlett Johansson’s hair.

    Thought the show was pretty lame, but almost always is. Still, we watch the darn thing. I gotta say, though, Mr. Firth and Ms. Portman gave actual speeches, where they weren’t using notes, said everything they wanted to say in an intelligible way and with some class. I don’t undersatnd why this isn’t the bare minimum expected from great actors and actresses. So often they’ll use notes, or stumble around trying to think of what to say, which drives me up a wall. Christian Bale was pretty good, too and I think, up until this, he was one of the more underappreciated actors out there.

    I don’t know why, but having seen all but one, I don’t think any of these pictures deserved to be the Best Picture according to the standards set by some past winners. Since one has to be, I guess The King’s Speech is all right, but I wasn’t as wowed by it as a lot of people. It certainly didn’t deserve Best Director, though. How Inception was not even nominated for that is mind-boggling…

    1762 chars

  25. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I have a lot of questions about how movies are judged and the basis on which awards are given–perhaps because I don’t know enough about how movies are made. I mean, how do we know what the director did? If a director is associated w/ a long string of successful movies, then, yes, he or she must be doing something right. But we don’t always have that information. How do we know, for instance, how to allocate credit or blame to writers vs. actors vs. directors? Some of that is obvious, but I’d really be interested in hearing someone explain how, when I’m watching a movie, I can tell whether it;s well directed.

    The same is true for editing. How do we recognize good film editing when we don’t know what choices were made?

    730 chars

  26. Jakash said on February 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm


    “Some of that is obvious”

    Despite the bold assertions in my last paragraph, I’m all hat and no horse in this discussion. I’m just referring to what I think is obvious (the scope and multi-faceted nature of Inception compared with The King’s Speech, e.g.) and will leave a sophisticated response to your interesting questions to a more qualified commenter.

    370 chars

  27. Dorothy said on February 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    The Oscars are not always awarded to the “best” in the category. It’s an imperfect system. Martin Scorsese waited a very long time until he got one, and so did Jeff Bridges. Cary Grant and Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar. It’s sometimes a popularity contest, and I think much of the time the “best” person actually does win. The director of “Inception” is still paying his dues, I think, so if he missed out this time, and his work is consistently brilliant, hopefully one day he’ll be up there saying his thank-yous as well.

    528 chars

  28. Sue said on February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I know most of you didn’t follow @mayoremanuel, but the man behind the profane brilliance of that twitter account has been revealed and he is… a journalism professor specializing in ‘entrepreneurial journalism and independent media’.
    Sounds kind of Nancy-ish.
    I raise my bottle of celery salt in salute.

    407 chars

  29. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Have just been reading that piece, Sue. Very good, but the author does go on a bit. I agree that the @mayoremauel thing was brilliant. So well-suited to the kind of person Emanuel is–or seems to be.

    199 chars

  30. DellaDash said on February 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The academy awards are all about insider peer judgement and politics. Box office results (or outsider perceptions) don’t drive Oscar. Visa versa.

    Those 5th graders from PS22 (PS222?) emoting in the finale were lip synching…there’s no way they all could’ve been miked.

    The gown parade didn’t disappoint. Even Cate’s barnacle bath jewels.

    345 chars

  31. paddyo' said on February 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    This blog, and its references to Tom and Lorenzo’s wonderful fashion snark, have made me pay a little more attention to what (or should I say “whom”?) the stars are wearing, but I usually pay no nevermind during the event. I did notice that just about everything Anne Hathaway wore was splendid.

    But my companion Patricia and I were dumbfounded when Cate Blanchett came out in that gown. I haven’t had time yet today to check T&L’s take, but did nobody else wonder what the hell that was on her shoulders? Those two spews of yellowy color in the collarbone area of her barnacle dress (credit: Prospero @ 23) looked like she had barfed turmeric chicken salad on herself from the green room buffet.

    703 chars

  32. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    More praise for Natalie Portman, this time for being smart.

    paddyo’, Tom and Lorenzo liked Cate’s dress, calling it “an acquired taste . . . but uniquely gorgeous.” The also suggested that those who disagree might not be sufficiently enlightened.

    I like it better as I look at it more, but that particular shade of yellow is not my favorite. Maybe with blue or lime.

    581 chars

  33. paddyo' said on February 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Agreed, Jolene — it was the color that offended us. The design was different, daring but pretty cool . . . sort of a cameo-setting or framed-mirror look, at least to this insufficiently enlightened viewer.

    206 chars

  34. Sue said on February 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Guys, I can’t decide if this is real or not. What do you think? Has anyone heard of this group? Really, pull to the side of the road for a ‘fun’ protest?
    It sounds bogus.…-just-stop-event

    236 chars

  35. ROgirl said on February 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Does ANYONE think that Rocky was better than Taxi Driver?

    57 chars

  36. nancy said on February 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Sorry, Paddy, but I loved Cate’s gown. It really looked like a piece of art to me. It would be utterly unsuitable on anyone with a boob larger than a champagne glass, but on her, I thought it was juuust right. And so different from everybody else, which is what she excels at.

    276 chars

  37. paddyo' said on February 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Hey, as I said, the gown was great — I was only quibbling about the particular color of those shoulder accents. But you’re right — as it was a piece of art, and having once been married to an artist, I realize it’s all or nothing. I’ll bow to artistic intent.

    261 chars

  38. Dexter said on February 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I actually looked at Cate’s dress and wondered if this was a throw-back tribute or something…I have never seen anything like that…and being totally ignorant of all fashion, I was amazed that those who do care were commenting today also.

    Melissa Leo does not have Tourette’s Syndrome so I feel her F-bomb was scripted…she knows this was her only trip to this mountaintop ever, and she just didn’t give a f***.

    Anne Hathaway saved James Franco’s sorry ass…he was as lame as they get for hosting an event like this. Hathaway was really, really great, and her gowns were as well.

    I hate missing a World Series game, or a presidential inauguration, or a Super Bowl, or an Olympic Opening…all on TV, yes, but damn…all these events are experiencing LIFE, damn it! I don’t want to miss it. I was also glad to be in the delivery room as my child was born…I wanted to SEE it.
    I always feel cheated when I have to see events re-played on my TV screen…I want to experience it when it happens…the tension is what makes it so great.
    People used to ask me why I went to 100 straight U of Michigan football games in Ann Arbor. Well, I remember things about those trips that I would have instantly forgotten if I had just been in my chair in front on a TV.
    However, if the decision is to skip a huge event , catch the results on the news, or see it on live TV with maybe a seven or thirty second delay, I’ll take the live TV every time.
    Even if you hate the Oscars every year, you are hating it with others, at that same moment. And if you live alone or watch alone, you can discuss it on your phone or laptop.

    1636 chars

  39. MichaelG said on February 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    A couple of observations:

    The Hollywood remembrance thing tagged the luminescent Susannah York. I was a kid in college when “Tom Jones” came out and fell in love with her.

    Gwyneth Paltrow does a lousy Emmy Lou Harris imitation.

    I’m not a big Anne Hathaway fan but as somebody pointed out, she worked her ass off carrying that lump Franco around.

    There is a guy two cubes down from me, calls himself Conrad the Barbarian after our former governor, who went to PS 13 on Staten Island. He knows of PS 22. I guess their choir is a big deal.

    557 chars

  40. Bob (not Greene) said on February 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    By the way, anyone else creeped out by the runway models on the T&L site. God, they all look malnourished and miserable.

    As for Cate B., I guess I haven’t acquired that taste yet. It looked like someone stole the portrait painting from the middle of her chest.

    I thought Anna Hathaway was passable and looked great in most of what she wore. That shiny blue dress looked like it was latex, though she pretty much even pulled that off. Mr. Frano, on the other hand, looked like he was mailing it in about halfway through. He was a dud.

    On the other hand, and although many have slammed his appearance, I thought Kirk Douglas was great. He looked like he was having some fun out there, unlike the Oscar winner who read her acceptance speech off a crumpled piece of paper like she couldn’t wait to get the hell off stage.

    830 chars

  41. Deborah said on February 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    OT alert. I left the office this evening at 5:30 sharp which usually I don’t get to do. Lo and behold it was still light out. I’ve said this before here, but do you realize that daylight saving time starts in less than 2 weeks?

    227 chars

  42. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Has anyone seen 127 Hours, the movie for which Franco was nominated? I had wondered what could be interesting about it given the simplicity of the story, but, Ann Hornaday, a WaPo film critic, said in last night’s webchat that she loved it. Also, my sister liked it, so there’s confirmation.

    I saw Franco on Jon Stewart recently and was underwhelmed. Maybe he’s just not good at playing himself.

    405 chars

  43. brian stouder said on February 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    How to do a proper Acceptance Speech:

    Thanks very much to Nance for the generous link to my school essay, and thanks also to those hereabouts who read it and approved. At about mid-day, Pam called me at work and was pretty upset by the tone of one of the commenters, and we agreed I’d never do that again.

    But then, we started hearing from many others, since someone had linked it at the Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Facebook site, and at tonight’s Board meeting it even drew a comment from Board President and friend of Nance, Mark the Shark GiaQuinta.

    And indeed, as Mr GiaQuinta said, the person I have to thank the most is Councilman Mitch Harper, who published the essay on his go-to website, even despite that many of his regular readers would presumeably find themselves in disagreement with the opinions and viewpoints and assumptions expressed therein.

    (see – everyone got thanked, and no F-bombs, anywhere!)

    930 chars

  44. brian stouder said on February 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I was bummed that Hailee Steinfeld didn’t win an award, but at least “the f%$#ing Brits” movie didn’t sweep up everything before it, nor did the facebook movie, so that was good.

    Aside from that, isn’t Florence Welch wonderful?

    230 chars

  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Never eff-ing judge your impact, print and/or online, by comments. Comments, no matter how smart or skewerish, are an index at best, outliers only at worst.

    Comments give the illusion of feedback. I think they play a useful role even when they’re mostly trollbait, but I wouldn’t call them a conversation. They’re a tertium quid that we’re still figuring out.

    363 chars

  46. alex said on February 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    So was Pam upset about Mr. Perennial School Board Also-Ran or the other one who thinks the ‘burbs are better?

    I take issue with both, but especially the latter guy. I know teachers who teach in Northwest Allen. They have no latitude to do their jobs. They teach the same class five times per day, every damned semester, every damned year, and have no say in the assigned reading because it’s all handed down from on high for the purpose of acing standardized tests. If they’re still offering a few electives like home ec and shop, it’s only because they have a tax base that can afford to provide a “slow lane” for the few farm kids they still have to serve.

    I actually did some time at Northwest Allen. Having had parents who, like Brian and Pam, took an active interest in my education, it didn’t hurt me none, but from my perspective it couldn’t have been any more mediocre than FWCS, even though the popular perception is that it’s the primo district for the schmancy crowd. I can attest that both Northwest Allen and FWCS had some of the dumbest adults ever allowed in front of a classroom on their payrolls and I was able to recognize it even as a child.

    1167 chars

  47. brian stouder said on February 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Just as you say, Alex – the latter guy upset Pam; the former guy was just lame.

    Other than that, the standardized ISTEP is king, period.

    And the essentially crazy AYP thing simply cannot be overstated, as Jeff says.

    And despite it all, it is worth noting that no other school system in the United States has more ayp cells than the 37 that FWCS has, nor has any other with that many fulfills them all, as FWCS does.

    433 chars

  48. Jolene said on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I hope you’ll reconsider the idea of writing more about the schools, Brian. The combination of dealing w/ a policy issue (i.e., AYP) and your warm voice as a parent was very appealing. You could do a lot of good by continuing in that vein–perhaps writing something once a month or a couple times each semester. Both school people and parents, as well as others in the community, would learn from what you have to say, and I’m confident that you’d find more issues to comment on.

    479 chars

  49. Liara Pierce said on February 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    With her Fabulous Red Gown makes her stunning on the awards night. I am more impressed with her today than before. Good thing she didn’t pursue in becoming a nun; otherwise, we wouldn’t have come to know a great actress like her. I just read her newest release of biography at

    334 chars

  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2011 at 7:12 am

    What’s truly fascinating to me — read the first couple chapters of Robert Heinlein’s “Have Space Suit, Will Travel,” and he’s talking about today’s education “crisis” . . . in 1958.

    Of course, Heinlein also wrote about the endgame of Vietnam in 1963 with “Glory Road.” And I keep thinking about “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” watching Egypt & Libya.

    357 chars

  51. basset said on March 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

    and he predicted the Sixties, called them the “Crazy Years” on his Future History chart… which he insisted wasn’t foreseeing anything, just an outline for some commercial stories, all he wanted to do was turn a dollar, no greater meanings ever, no, not him.

    265 chars

  52. basset said on March 1, 2011 at 7:57 am

    (repeat posting deleted)

    24 chars

  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2011 at 8:04 am

    At least the dirt-eating craze didn’t happen. Although if you told him about the obesity epidemic that followed, I can hear RAH say “Must have mis-applied a variable in the first part of the social dynamics equation . . . hmmmm.”

    I’m reading the first volume right now of the new authorized biography that takes you up to 1948-9. L. Ron Hubbard’s role — wow. The “bet” between him, RAH, and Asimov about starting a religion is debunked, but oddly reaffirmed by the details of the conversations they did have on the subject. It may not have been the result of a bet, but it was the genesis of Scientology.

    608 chars

  54. basset said on March 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

    a new, authorized RAH biography? how did I miss that? must have one.

    70 chars

  55. John (not McCain) said on March 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Yeah, can’t get enough of a guy who wanted to live forever and mate with his mom. It’s the story of conservatives generally, writ large!

    137 chars

  56. Scout said on March 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I read a story on Yahoo news this morning about the case that changed Obama’s mind about DOMA. Then I began to read comments. Dear. Merciful. God. It served to remind me that comments sections in places like that are not for the faint hearted. Brian, don’t stop writing, but seriously consider staying away from the troll droppings. We are so spoiled with what we have in the comment section here, aren’t we?

    412 chars

  57. brian stouder said on March 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Scout – true! I love love love the cheap seats here at nn.c, better than front row seats anywhere else

    102 chars

  58. prospero said on March 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Regarding teahcers. It is to the GOP’s decided benefit to keep Americans ill-educated and ill-informed. Teachers are the enemy? Yeah, they might cause Americans not to be mindless GOP drones. Educated and well-informed folks aren’t likely to be teabaggers.Of course they’d attack teachers. They actually do hate America, if it doesn’t vote blindly against its own interest and forcorporate overlord thugs like the Koch bros. Given the dichotomy, I’ll take teachers over the Dukes. and Billy Lee and Winthorpe and certainly Jamie Lee, a woman thaselfish pigs pushing their snouts into everybody’s business to screw everybody over. . One of the best movies ever made . How did those folks know about the Kochs so far ahead of time? Attacking teachers’ ability to deal with their workplaces, that’s a really good idea. I used to make half a living as a sub.stitute teacher. It’s difficult, but not impossible. Kids knew I was there to try to help. I actually loved the job. And it was way difficult. But not impossible. I subbedthey want people stupid. long-term for teachers with health problems, and I was very good at it.

    Jamie Lee exudes taste, intelligence and class. And how great were Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche to expose these bastards for what they really are? The GOP approach is keep your biscuits in the oven and buns in bed. Of course, if they’re Newt, that would be in rehab and cancer remittment. What a disgraceful excuse for a human being. And that pig is what Republicans propose? He is the ultimate POS. Why would any woman consent to have sex with such an odiou revolting excuse for a human being? Seriously. He’s a disgustingoleaginous turd.. if that isn’t Huckleberrybee. These people just despise people remotely different from themselves. There is something seriously wrong with these jackasses. And with anybody that supports them politically. I’m for the English language. These dumbasses that dislike Obama, obviously because he’s black continue to talk about hate. Hate is a verb. Hatred is the noun. Normalcy is some bogus Harry Truman attempt at speaking English when he wasn’t capable. That’s normality, Harry. There is no such word as normalcy. Could it be alright to actually speak English. Truman was the great Republican Democrat. Trashing the English language. Normalcy? that is worthy of W. Normalsortof? sortofnormalesque. What an idiot. But there is a reason why Republicans liked the guy. He was one of them. and he blew up Japan. Shock and Awe, for no good reason but profit and because we could. What a murdering POS. Exploding people because we can, that’s revolting. W did it time after time. He’s a mass murderer, along with all his PNAC buddies. They tried to talk Clinton into this murderous shit, but he was not having it,. It was the Halliburton profit that turned the trick for Dickless. How oculd he pass on that kind of cash? Are we kidding. It was just so much money sitting on pallettes waiting to be absconded with. Dickless Cheney stole money from the USA, No fucking doubt. And he’s without question, a war criminal. Why doesn’t somebody do something?

    3126 chars

  59. prospero said on March 6, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Am I wrong about this? Hate is a noun. Hatred a verb form. This is dumb aas shit. Apparently morons on the political right think hate has been generated in the direction of W. Bush. These folks alo beirve that norbody on their side has a oroblem with the President becUse he’s somewhat darker thn they re. eah, right. . The racism is so virulent Nd so obvious you should just shut up and admit it. The problem y’all have is with the guy’s skin color. The racism is so overt, even trying to deny it is hilarious. You are full of crap. He’s brown so he’s unacceptable. You’d find an out and out racist like Haley Barblur acceptable. Seriously? This guy believes the Klan wasn’t that bad.

    687 chars

  60. prospero said on March 6, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Does calling W an idiot amount to Hate Speech. He is one after al. But where do these defenders get off with this hate speech crap? Aholes. The fact is the moron piled up the cost of the invasions and occupations, and he never included any of that in the budget, When Obama did, acting like an adult instead of a petulant child, He took all sorts of shit for that. Who spent that cash because He tried to kill my daddy? Shit, I think it was W. Are we joking on this subject? W ran the deficit and said nobody needed to pay for it. You people are the biggest jackasses in history. Make rich people pay taxes you dumbasses.

    622 chars

  61. prospero said on March 6, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Scout, I’ve read those comments. People are capable of being scum., and its depressing. I’m a Catholic. I believe in nothing more than John Donne. No Man is an Island. We’re all in this shit together. I believe that is the Catholic view. I believe that is the human view. Based on my Jesuit view of things, I’m sure that’s what we believe. I believe we are all meant to take care of one another. It just seems right. Because everything Jesus said makes a great deal of sense. We are meant to take care of one another. How does that not make sense?

    549 chars