Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don't Blame Canada

Check out the Toronto Globe and Mail today, and you'll find out that Canada has decided to opt out of the Bushies' expensive and persistently grandiose plans for a "missile-defense shield," something akin to a super-power forcefield meant to deflect all those possible slings and arrows from countries who don't like us so much (now, why could that be?). Proof that at least one North American country can still identify nonsense when it sees some. My favorite part of the article comes early, when US Ambassador Paul Cellucci regards this decision as the death of Canada's "sovereignty." I love how the Bush folks like to toss around the word "sovereignty," often in purely military terms, as though the world is full of fortified city-states, which continue to exist only at our own discretion. And here I thought the tide of US diplomacy was rising, what with Bush jovially calling Jacques Chirac a "cowboy" earlier in the week.

Keep reading the article, and you'll discover that the US will still deploy its soldiers into Canada whenever "North America" comes under attack (i.e., whenever it f'in wants to), and that Canada isn't necessarily opting out of all of our military reindeer games. But if it isn't too light a word for something rather serious, I'm still tickled by this article. Missile-defense shield, we hardly knew ye! Maybe now Rumsfeld will have to divert all that money into that fleet of invisible jets we have badly needed for so long. Or, I'd settle for a crop of those truth-extracting lassoes that Wonder Woman used to wield... I've even got some ideas about whom I'd like to tie up first. You want a cowboy, GWB, you got one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dakota and Ariam: Both Better Than Me (and I'm Cool with That!)

Dear readers, I've been having quite a good week, doing my best to earn your patience with my infrequent postings of late. In the past week, I finally got an article accepted for publication at a good journal and, even better, I scored a dream job as an assistant professor at a college that I'm hugely excited about. I even pulled off a tenth-place finish in my brother's Fantasy NASCAR League, which I wouldn't be caught within 500 laps of if it weren't a favor to his enthusiasms. (I can't even bring myself to link to NASCAR, y'all; you can bring NicksFlickPicks to a red-state sport, but don't worry, you can't really make him drink.) Maybe I'm gonna have to ask Nathan to cast a vote on Best Dressed at the Oscars this Sunday, just to even the stakes a little.

Anyway, I was feeling good about all of the above until the IMDb reported that Dakota Fanning turns 11 today. This girl has thrown down with Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Michelle Pfeiffer, Charlize Theron, and Robert De Niro, and she's barely in her double digits? What am I even doing with my life, you guys? The fabulous Kimberly Snyder and I were just debating yesterday when we're going to actually get around to writing those Oscar-winning screenplays we've been housing deep down in us all these years, and here goes Ms. Fanning running laps around us, stealing our checkered flag. (Holy Batmobile, an unintentional NASCAR analogy!)

Since I'm a mature adult, I'm going to avoid the urge to begrudge the pint-sized Dakota her amazing movie career. Dakota, I hope Chuck E. Cheese is a blast tonight; say hi to Sean and 'chelle for me, wouldja? Meanwhile, here's a real-life grown up person whom I actually know that is also better than me, but in a terrific way. My former student Ariam Mogos just found out this morning that she earned a prestigious internship working under goddess/producer Christine Vachon over at Killer Films. Killer's resumé of titles is stunning, and that's even before you count up those projects Vachon produced herself—you know, little nothings like Todd Haynes' Poison and Safe, Rose Troche's Go Fish, Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol... Christine Vachon is like the one woman in America whom our current queer cinema simply wouldn't exist without. And now, my Ari is going to work for her! Ari is talented, adventurous, motivated, energetic, and totally fun, and she deserves every nanosecond of this internship—even if she winds up losing it because her ex-professor won't stop showing up at her desk begging to be introduced around. But I'll save those indignities for later. For right now: Ari, you're my new hero!