Press "Enter" to skip to content

Just a little catching up

Another Darwin runner up

If this is actually true (and Snopes hasn’t pronounced otherwise), it truly belongs in the Department of Stupidity Archives: Motorist tries to drive through a Roadrunner tunnel. (H/T MJR)


Constitutional carry moves ahead

As of last night (when I scheduled this) I hadn’t heard whether Butch Otter had signed or not, but on Friday the Idaho legislature became the ninth to pass constitutional carry legislation.

And isn’t Butch Otter a great name for a governor?

Another off-grid life in the news

Funny, though, the way they treat this guy like some crusty old freak.

Heck, he’s considerably less freaky than some of my good friends. 🙂

Great Irish comedy

Friday night I wanted to watch a movie that felt seasonal.

It was too late in the year to watch Groundhog Day and too early in the year for V for Vendetta. So I thought about the nearest spring occasion and realized I hadn’t watched Waking Ned Devine for a couple of years. Perfect. It’s not specifically a St. Patrick’s Day movie. But it’s Irish* and what a gem.

It stars Ian Bannen** as Jackie, the more wiley and larcenous of a pair of old friends in a miniscule Irish village. His more naive and law-abiding buddy Michael is played by David Kelly (the grandpa who accompanied Charlie Bucket on his tour of Johnny Depp’s Willie Wonka factory). They get word that someone in the village has won big in the lottery. But no one’s coming forward, and with only a few dozen residents, it shouldn’t be hard to know who’s suddenly rich. Jackie, Micheal, and Jackie’s wife Annie )Fionnula Flannigan) plan to find the winner, kiss up and get their share. But that’s not quite how things work out.

What I love about Waking Ned Devine (called just Waking Ned outside of the U.S.) is that every time you think you see a comedy cliche or a morality tale cliche coming right at you, the movie suddenly veers off in an unexpected — and much better — direction.

It also gorgeous music, including the most stunning ever version of the folk song “The Parting Glass” performed by Liam O’Maonlai. Not that I’m any expert on Irish folk music; my tastes end with the Wolfe Tones and the Chieftans, which isn’t going very deep. But this song is perfect for its moment in the film.

Just a delightful movie altogether.

Great Bollywood movie (familiar in these parts)

And while I was poking around the DVD shelf, I found another movie for the next occasion: tax day.

I’ve written about Lagaan a few times over the years, so it’s old hat to some of you. Rather than bore any old-timers I’ll only say to anybody else that if you absolutely cannot imagine yourself watching — let alone enjoying — a nearly four-hour long Bollywood musical about cricket, you may be happy to find out you’re wrong.

That it’s also a movie about a tax revolt is only part of its charm. A big part for some. But only a part.

Haven’t watched Lagaan in a year or two, either. Soon. Before you-know-what day.

You-Know-What Day

It’s funny how my relationship to That Day has changed over time. I’d ask, “Has yours?” but that’s not the kind of question for a public forum. So offer a view on that only if you’re really comfortable about it.

Between my wild and woolly days and now I’ve changed strategies for minimizing my contribution to tyranny. The second, my current strategy, is more meek, not so admirable. But it’s the right one for now.

I don’t regret altering it. I regret only ever having said, “will never change.” Even if I usually tempered that with “I can’t foresee” or “I don’t think I’d ever”… well, not many people can truly be that sure about life.

I’ve been privileged to know some who’d rival Freeborn John for steadfastness. I am not one of them.


* Never mind that it was filmed on the Isle of Man.
** Never mind that he was a Scot.


  1. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner March 22, 2016 4:15 am

    The last Bollywood film I saw was Koi, Mil Gaya, which is sort of E.T. meets Flowers For Algernon. What I’d love to see is Bollywood tackle a story like Schindler’s List complete with the obligatory song and dance numbers.

  2. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair March 22, 2016 5:29 am

    “Warning! [Coffee] cup may contain hot liquid.”

  3. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack March 22, 2016 6:40 am

    I believe the highlight of Ned is the phone booth scene.

  4. KenK
    KenK March 22, 2016 12:32 pm

    Here in Michigan the legislature was about to pass this too, but then a mentally ill Uber driver in Kalamazoo shot & killed six people. Every effin time too. Not a conspiratorialist sort but sometimes…

  5. Claire
    Claire March 22, 2016 2:44 pm

    R.L. Wurdack — Oh, I so very much agree! That’s another of those places where it takes a turn you’d never imagine in such a sweet-natured comedy. The funeral is another great one.

  6. jed
    jed March 22, 2016 4:15 pm

    John Lilburne, c.1615-1657

    Political firebrand who began his career as a martyr for Puritan doctrine …

    I think that’s a way to end your career; beginning it that way would make for a very short career indeed.

    I’ve become more grumpy over time about tax day. Not that I was ever sanguine about it to start with, but used to not resent it much. These days, I don’t pay much.

    Speaking of Ireland: Remote Irish island seeks Americans fleeing Donald Trump presidency.

  7. capn
    capn March 22, 2016 7:30 pm

    I have lowered my income so far down that I don’t get the tax forms in the mail anymore. (knocks on wooden desk)

    The poverty level is what these days 17K? I have been getting by on less than 9K and haven’t sent in any paperwork for the last three years? Maybe four.
    No debts except the monthly rent and utilities plus food and gasoline for the Trusty Rusty F-150.
    Still poverty as a lifestyle is not all that exciting. Challenging but not real exciting.

    In fact I would be willing to give it up if I only had a Rich Uncle.


  8. Jim B.
    Jim B. March 22, 2016 11:18 pm

    Meep Meep! Phbbbt!

  9. Joel
    Joel March 23, 2016 10:18 am

    I regret only ever having said, “will never change.”

    Amen, those are dangerous words that do not taste good in later years.

  10. Joel
    Joel March 23, 2016 10:21 am

    I haven’t seen Ned Devine in so many years it may be I only saw it in a theater. But thanks for the reminder. I was just lamenting that comedies are unwatchable anymore, since they seem to depend solely on some SNL alum acting insufferably for two hours. Which simply isn’t funny.

  11. LarryA
    LarryA March 23, 2016 2:25 pm

    Dunno about SNL. I thought today’s “comedies” were rated by how many friends the hero stabs in the back.

  12. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2016 12:53 pm

    Or by how much adolescent vulgarity can be crammed into the space of any (e.g. Judd Apatow) film (or Amy Schumer film, so I hear; but given her Schumerishness and the anti-freedom views she holds in common with her uncle, I have no desire to see any of her films for myself).

    I definitely agree it’s getting harder to find good comedies. Even the non-vulgar ones (like the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) are often more preoccupied with “oh, look at us; aren’t we clever?” than with developing great stories and characters.

    Still some excellent stuff around, though. For an intelligent comedy (well, dramedy) series, check out Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle.

  13. Jim B.
    Jim B. March 24, 2016 7:15 pm

    If you’re streaming, then check out the anime series “I couldn’t become a Hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job”. At about the 8th or 9th episode, the Demon Girl explained why she wanted to work at the retail store. Very, very libertarian explanation and causes the protagonist to question why he wanted to be a Hero. It also shows why the Demon Girl’s choice was better all around.

    Started on the Tenchi Muyo series now.

Leave a Reply