Best Of The Web
“The internet got its first look at the trailer for “Vice,” a new biographical drama about former Vice President Dick Cheney, this week. Most viewers expressed shock and awe at the physical transformation of the normally lithe British actor Christian Bale, who plays the stout Mr. Cheney at various stages of life. And Mr. Bale’s performance looks great. Left unanswered: Why make this movie?
George W. Bush left the White House almost 10 years ago. In that time we’ve had quite a ride—bank bailouts, tea parties, race riots, the IRS scandal and several Supreme Court nominations. Then there’s Donald Trump. Yet Hollywood still hasn’t gotten over the Bush administration.
It’s an ugly obsession. From Oliver Stone’s dreadful “W.” (2008) to Will Ferrell’s unfunny TV special “You’re Welcome America” (2009), the offerings have tended to be bad—and worse, predictable. When it comes to politics, Hollywood never seems to want to work that hard. At least half the country has no reason even to tune in.
Mr. Cheney served for much of the early 2000s as blue America’s chief bugbear. Sometimes Republican politicians’ stock with Democrats rises after retirement, as Mr. Bush’s has. But everybody still hates Mr. Cheney. “NYT columnist Maureen Dowd explains why Donald Trump isn’t as bad as Dick Cheney,” read a recent headline from Australia.
The former vice president is now 77. Unlike Al Gore and Joe Biden, he’s been mostly invisible since leaving office. He’s not bothering anybody, so what gives? In 2012 Mr. Cheney got a heart transplant, and his surgeon predicted he’d live another 10 years. Maybe the makers of “Vice” wanted to let him know they hate his guts while he’s still around to hear it.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."