Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Casting a Dark Horse as the Sixth 007
James Bond producers are searching for a new actor to play the role afterdumping Pierce Brosnanthis week.

Media favorites for the next 007 include Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, and Clive Owen. I imagine they'll pick someone from this demographic: Top-of-the-marquee actors under 40 from the U.K. or Australia who can handle a black-tie dress code.

British bookmakers have Owen as a4/5 favorite, but some of their other choices are so odd you have to wonder at the collective intelligence of the gamblers placing the bets. Goren Visjnic?

As someone who became bored with the Bond movies around the time Timothy Dalton took over, I'd love to see them do something bold with the franchise, casting a black actor in the role.

A color-blind casting call opens up some interesting possibilities. Black actors can lead blockbuster action movies, as proven repeatedly by Will Smith, but he was born in the wrong country to be considered for the role. An American Bond would go over as well as an AmericanRobin Hood.

Brosnan's choice for successor is reportedlyColin Salmon, the actor who played MI6 operative Charles Robinson in the last three Bond films.

My pick: Idris Elba, the 32-year-old actor who playedStringer BellonThe Wire. Born in London to parents from Ghana and Sierre Leone, Elba was incredible in an odd role -- an erudite Baltimore drug dealer trying to turn dirty money into clean businesses -- and he wears a suit like he was born in one.

Never Wrestle with a Pig
One of my friends is looking for archived versions of Rush Limbaugh's show from the years he was abusing Oxycontin. He figures there has to be comedy gold in the shows where Limbaugh was pontificating under the influence.

Earlier this week, Limbaugh made a statement about Cindy Sheehan that's so bizarre we should be talking relapse:

Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real.

He subsequently denied calling her a liar, in audio thatRachel Maddowgleefully broadcast on her Air America show this morning (two-minute clip attached). Jerry Springer broadcast it also, Media Matters isdoing the same, and Al Franken will undoubtedly air the same clip at noon.

Liberals spend a lot of time debunking false statements by over-the-top conservatives like Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, and I sometimes worry that we're just making them stronger. Anyone who cares already knows that they have an estranged relationship with the truth.

Whenever someone on television angrily denounces Coulter, she visibly brightens. Check out herreaction to Alan Colmeson Crooks&Liars. It's theSeinfelddirty-talking episode all over again, prior to the point where Jerry kills the mood by asking,"you mean the panties your mother laid out for you?"

The laboriously detailed corrections that Franken devotes to Limbaugh remind me of the days when I would get into flamewars onUsenet. I can recall spending hours drafting a point-by-point rebuttal to someone's post, believing that the information I had gathered, coupled with the strength of my reasoning, would prove to everyone that my antagonist was a total stupidhead who sucks big rocks.

Eugene Volokh Considers Gay Sex
Yesterday, UCLA law professorEugene Volokhthrust into the public debate a very long post of turgid prose which rams the argument down our throats thatgays are converting people:

If you persuade someone to become a vegetarian, you can be said to have converted him to vegetarianism. He's still biologically an omnivore, but his practices are now different. Likewise, changing someone from (a) being an orientational bisexual who engages solely in heterosexual relationships to (b) someone who is an orientational bisexual who engages solely in homosexual relationships, or to (c) someone who is bisexual both by orientation and practice strikes me as quite rightly called a"conversion."

I am too juvenile a person not to snicker about Volokh's comparison between eating meat and sexuality.

Volokh, a former computer programmer who became a UCLA freshman at age 12 and clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor, is like the anti-John Roberts.

Unlike Roberts, who has been taking the fifth his entire adulthood, Volokh makes regular practice of sharing controversial opinions like this bizarre riff on homosexual conversion, which values a Humpty Dumpty-like fixity of the definition of the word"conversion"over the anti-gay persecution that results from the irrational fear of gay recruitment.

His contrarian outspokenness is a great trait for bloggers (or Internet trolls), but will forever disqualify him from consideration for the Supreme Court.


AOL's web site redesign includesBlogZone, a blog digest similar to theDaou Reporton Salon.Com.

I found it because of the traffic it's sending to theCindy Sheehan interviewbroadcast by Alan Colmes.

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