Casey Affleck Should Win

I can probably count the number of my friends who saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford on one hand, while pretty much everyone I know has seen No Country for Old Men. While I loved No Country for Old Men and thought Javier Bardem gave a phenomenal performance, Casey Affleck’s portrayal of Robert Ford was a far more powerful and haunting depiction of a killer than Bardem’s. I wasn’t familiar with Bardem’s work before this film and so I can’t frame his performance in the context of other work. But Affleck is more of a known commodity, a bit actor who is only starting to come into his own. And in The Assassination of Jesse James, Affleck goes so far beyond what we’ve previously seen from him that the quality of his performance in this film stands out even further.

I don’t expect Affleck to win Best Supporting Actor, nor do I expect many people to be disappointed when he doesn’t. But he should.

…And since this is going to be my only Oscar-related post, it’s worth mentioning that I have no clue why Phillip Seymour Hoffman was nominated for his role in Charlie Wilson’s War and not Before the Devil Knows Your Dead – which was as good a performance as I have ever seen Hoffman give – or The Savages. In a year where smaller, artsier films have received great attention from the Academy, it’s ironic that Hoffman’s big budget role is the one that he receives a nomination for over two better, more artistic films.

Donita Sparks Listening Party @ FDL


For those who are friends of FireDogLake and Donita Sparks I wanted to let you know that my pal Joh Padgett of Monticello Politics is doing a special podcast version of this week’s regular The Spin I’m In music column at FDL. Donita will host a conversation with her longtime friend and drummer Lady Dee Plakas to debut the songs from the forthcoming “TRANSMITICATE” CD releasing nationwide this Tuesday, February 19th. A second part is also planned for next Friday as well since Donita and her band The Stellar Moments are set to play two shows in Brazil next weekend.

Please stop by FDL at 6pm EST/3pm PST. I know Joh, Donita, and everyone at FDL are very excited to bring this to you and look forward to seeing a good crowd show up later where Donita and Joh will be live blogging in the comments as usual.


Via Dean Barker at Blue Hampshire, it turns out two Democrats cast “present” votes on legislation that the rest of the caucus had the courage to stand up and vote for:

H RES 960 RES 960: “Congratulating the National Football League champion New York Giants for winning Super Bowl XLII and completing one of the most remarkable postseason runs in professional sports history”

The two weak-kneed Dems? Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire and Steve Kagen of Wisconsin. I suppose CSP and Kagen are just bitter that the Giants steamrolled the Patriots and the Packers.

At least Patrick Murphy had the courage to be the lone “No” vote. Sheesh.

Super Parade Fat Tuesday

Election Day Weather

It’s an overcast day in New York City, with misting rain and temperatures in the upper 40s. The picture this morning is more bleak, I think, than the actual weather.

Vote Here

I was the 102nd person to vote in my precinct. I voted at around 9:45 AM and there was no line, with lots of poll workers on hand. Anxious to vote, I made the mistake of not asking the poll workers how the turnout compared to past years. The composition of the poll workers was interesting. There were 8-10 people staffing the location, half of whom looked to be in their early-mid twenties.

Giants Victory Parade

The New York Giants victory parade is forming up at Battery Place. At least a few thousand people are already down by Battery Park and though I didn’t look up Broadway, there are surely tens of thousands more people waiting to great the Giants on their way to City Hall. The Giants, as you can see above, have not yet arrived to celebrate.

No 19-0

I’m only posting this picture because whoever owns this truck was fully dedicated to the Giants winning Sunday. Well…and because it’s awesome.




Enjoy that champagne, 1972 Dolphins.


funny pictures

ESPN (rough transcript):

“All season the talk around the NFL was about whether the Patriots were the greatest team of all time. Turns out they weren’t even the best team Sunday.”

Update II:

I’m having server problems that’s preventing me from posting new content. My server thinks it’s October 29, 1973. I have a couple good posts queued up which you can read in 35 years or when I get this bug fixed, whichever comes first.

There Will Be Blood

Roy at alicublog has a review of There Will Be Blood that really captures what makes this such a powerful and disturbing movie. I saw it a couple weeks ago and had trouble fully circumscribing the film in a way that allowed me to adequately respond to it. I recommend giving Roy’s review a read, though there are some mild spoilers in it, so you may want to hold off if you haven’t seen the film yet.

Luddism in “Lost”

Brad Reed, writing at Network World, documents the case that ABC’s Lost has a Luddite strain. In short, technology is a harbinger for death on the hit TV show (which, incidentally, is one of the few network TV shows that I closely follow).

Characters who use network technology in ABC’s hit mystery drama Lost are a lot like silly teens who attempt having sex in horror movies: for it seems that anyone who engages in either seems to have a cloud of doom hanging over them. Indeed, the mere presence of network technology anywhere on the show is a harbinger of destruction and chaos, whether it comes in the form of imploding electromagnetic research labs, exploding communications centers or flooded sonar stations.

I wonder if this thread will continue and if the series will ever elucidate why technology on this island kills.

Bad Fish

As a New Yorker who loves sushi and eats quite a lot of tuna, this article in the Times on the high levels of mercury in tuna found in NYC sushi restaurants is pretty troubling. I don’t think I currently approach the danger levels cited for tuna consumption, but if I ate as much sushi as I want to, I certainly would have to worry.