This wasn’t an investigation like my tougher colleagues love to do, where they dig dirt for weeks or months and then deliver a giant dirt sculpture in the shape of a pointing finger — j’accuse! — on a few hundred thousand doorsteps on Sunday morning, about a crooked mayor or an asleep-at-the-switch commission. Here, a guy got caught doing something bad and got fired, a story that was going to break sooner or later, but broke sooner. But it was a story with much dirt involved, and it went off like a grenade. Wreckage is still falling. I will be distracted for a while.
In between, I went for a bike ride and then to the movies. This was a beautiful, sunny, warm weekend, and the yard sales were as plentiful as dandelions. One in particular featured a whole table of NWT items — new with tags, for those of you who don’t eBay enough to know the lingo. Three wallets, still with Marshall’s price tags on them. Candleholders, ditto. And so on. Some people can never resist a bargain, who figure you never know when a gift will be required — a last-minute birthday invitation, an extra guest on Christmas morning with nothing to open. Some people are compulsive shoppers. Some people are bad at returning things they discovered they didn’t need. I considered two hurricane-style candle holders in cobalt blue, then, in the spirit of the day, decided I didn’t need them. And so I rode home, showered and headed to Royal Oak to meet a couple friends and see “Everything Must Go.”
Coincidentally, it’s about a yard sale. It’s, y’know, a metaphor, but it works. Will Ferrell plays a guy forcibly evicted from his house by his wife, who has changed the locks and temporarily left the premises. So he sets up housekeeping on the front lawn, with all the stuff she threw out. Based on a Raymond Carver story, so it involves alcohol, and it takes place in a world you and I would recognize, where people do stupid and self-destructive things for no good reason, and where when people change, they change from A to B rather than A to Z. Your average low-budget indie drama.
Or dramedy, I should say — it’s actually very funny in a don’t-laugh-out-loud sort of way, a wry comedy of human failing, and to me, the revelation was Ferrell, because I am not a fan. Not even a little bit of one. But that was a very fine performance. There’s a moment where Ferrell sells a fishing rig he bought but never used. NWoT, if you will, and it reminded me of how much crap we buy and never use, or hardly use, and how it weighs us down. Also, that I need to have a garage sale.
So, some bloggage:
The exit of Mitch Daniels, and the entrance of Mr. Excitement, Tim Pawlenty, from and to the GOP presidential race is bringing new attention to $P, who went on a Fox show called “Justice With Judge Jeannine” and ran her mouth for a while. She called Barack Obama our “temporary president,” whatever that means. I clicked the YouTube link hoping for a 30-second highlight reel, noticed it was the whole 14-minute segment, and immediately clicked away, but not before I heard the introduction, and saw She-Who reply to the welcome blather with, “As always, thank you, Judge.” Two things: One, when you’re making news for your appearance on shows with names like “Justice With Judge Jeannine Pirro,” it’s only a matter of time before you’re putting on an apron and making eggs with some Regis Philbin equivalent; and two, my very first direct observation of class difference in America, as a child, was by watching courtroom re-enactment shows on Channel 10 in Columbus, and noting that the better-spoken parties referred to the judge as “your honor” while the rednecks called him “judge.” I stand by my 8-year-old self’s observation.
You won’t have Mitch Daniels to kick around in 2012. And, are Republicans losing their grip on reality? Finally, Roger Ailes and the monster he created. (Fox News, Not $P.) Discuss.
And finally, I close with movie bloggage:
It’s been 20 years since the release of “Thelma & Louise.” My, my. I have to say, I liked that movie pretty well, and young Brad Pitt — yummy.