Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Friday, March 31, 2006

It's The "It's Another Song Meme" Meme

Da rules: Go to your music player of choice (iPod, Windows Media Player, etc) and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. The title of the song that comes up is your answer. NO CHEATING. (And yes, I am doing this to procrastinate.)

How does the world see me? "God Only Knows", the Beach Boys. Will I have a happy life? "Looking for the Next Best Thing", Warren Zevon. What do my friends really think of me? "The Same Person", Veruca Salt. What do people secretly think of me? "Sweet Caroline", Neil Diamond. How can I be happy? "Shark Attack Theme", The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. What should I do with my life? "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps", Cake. Will I ever have children? "Scatterheart", Bjork. What is some good advice for me? "Play It All Night Long", Warren Zevon. How will I be remembered? "A Whisper", Coldplay. What is my signature dancing song? "Pastime Paradise", Stevie Wonder. What do I think my current theme song is? "I Bombed Korea", Cake. What does everybody think my current theme song is? "Haze of Love", Cake. What song will play at my funeral? "Ball & Chain", Big Brother & the Holding Company. What type of men/women do I like? "Awesome", Veruca Salt. What is my day going to be like? "You Turn the Screws", Cake.

hat tip: St. Blog's newest homeowner

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hooters Air, We Hardly Knew Ye

How Did St John the Martyr Survive?

New York Times article (with list of parishes in sidebar) available here.

My question: how is it possible that my father's home parish, St. John the Martyr on 71st St, managed to escape the axe (pun intended)?

It's a small parish, not attached to a school or any substantial charitable or outreach activities. There are lots of nearby parishes its current population could be transferred to (to wit: St. Elizabeth of Hungary on 83rd St, St. Catherine of Sienna on 68th St, St. Jean Baptiste on 76th St, St. John Nepomucene on 66th St, St. Monica on 79th St, St. Stephen of Hungary on 81st St, and St. Vincent Ferrer on 65th St). Its pastor recently stepped down amidst scandal (but not the kind you're thinking of). The building isn't some kind of beautiful artistic treasure; there's nothing of historical significance that would be lost if it were closed (as opposed to, say, Dorothy Day's home parish). It's a classic example of one of the old ethnic parishes that lost its purpose as the relevant ethnic group (the Czechs) assimilated.

I thought (and I think everyone in the parish thought) that it was going to be closed. I think, frankly, that it should be closed, if there have to be parish closings. I won't venture any guesses as to why it won't be. Just surprised, is all.

It Only Took $35 in Quarters to Save Him

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Party of the Left" Founded

Finally, someone will speak for the left at Yale College!

Monday, March 27, 2006

"solitary, poor, nasty, British and short"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Where, I Say, Where is Amy Welborn?

Where, indeed.

Happy birthday, Ms. O'C.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Little Known Facts About Semi-Exotic Fruit

Did you know: if you eat five or so kiwis in rapid succession, they will start to sting your mouth something awful. Whether this relates to the proteases therein, I cannot say. Also, any connection to this is, surely, coincidental. Surely.

Beard is Beautiful

Hate to say I told you so.

(ht, the also bearded Dom)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reverse Story-telling Meme

This is a reverse story-telling game. It works thusly: below, I have written the last few sentences of an as-yet-unwritten work of short fiction. Anyone who wants can write the next-to-last section of the story and post it on their blog. They should then link to this post, indicating that the story continues here. People who want to add the next-to-next-to-last section can do so, and then link to the next-to-last section, and so-on. The goal is to have the story freewheelingly develop backwards towards the beginning. (Think of it as "Memento" mixed with a weird trust-building exercise you might do at an office retreat.) There can, and hopefully will, be multiple versions of the story; as such, I recommend against linking to any of the posts that contribute previous chapters to your own - don't privilege one story over another.

The story ends:

Exhausted and just a little drunk, Hector stumbled into his apartment and collapsed on his futon. He lay still, trying to collect himself. His tongue slid lazily along the roof of his mouth. He could still taste the peanuts.

After a few minutes of this, he sat up and grabbed his laptop, which was resting eagerly on the coffee table.

"Nobody is going to believe this," he said to himself, as he double-clicked the Firefox icon. He opened the homepage, and began to type.

"Here's the thing about monkeys..."


Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Glimpse into the Mind of a YLS Professor

Bruce Ackerman, in The American Prospect:
November 2009: After a hard-fought victory the year before, the new Democratic administration has come out of the starting gates in good shape. With the airwaves full of brave talk of new initiatives, there is real hope of a new beginning.

Then the unthinkable happens. A small nuclear device rips the heart out of Pennsylvania Avenue: The White House is totally obliterated; Capitol Hill looks like a war zone. Most of the nation’s leaders are lost beneath the rubble. Under current constitutional provisions and law, here’s what happens next: The secretary of defense, safe in the Pentagon, seems to be the next in line under the presidential succession statute. After swearing to uphold the Constitution as acting president, he immediately puts the country under martial law, suspending habeas corpus until Congress once again comes into session.
And then? What is the second act of the new president, as the Republic teeters on the edge of chaos?

He re-staffs the Supreme Court.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.


Amy Welborn reminds us of the day's sad anniversary.

Mere Comments offers up a good analogy for the Catholic Charities gay adoption fracas.

Eve Tushnet pays tribute to a great and well named lady (though perhaps not as constant a one as she is sometimes portrayed).

"Look How They Massacred My Toadstool."

or, "Don't ask me about my business, Peach."
or, "I know it was you, Luigi. You broke my heart."

Super Mafia Bros.

(ht: Sarah)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ahh, Boyo: 'Tis True, 'Tis True

You're 65% Irish

You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.
(And if you're not, you should be!)

(ht: the markedly less Irish Publius)

What Up, V?

Is it just me, or is this baby (Valerie of Accidental Verbosity fame) making some kind of gang hand-sign? Westsiiiiide.

I kid because I love.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ireland to Eliminate Archaic Laws

Finally: Erin recognizes my God-given right to adulterate coffee. Also, for our Jewish brothers: armor. You can never have enough armor.

(ht: Dappled Things)

The Fan-tom Menace

What's most astonishing about this video (ht: Goldberg, natch) - beyond the fact that it's f'ing cool - is just how quickly George Lucas, et al., have obsoleted themselves. "Star Wars" is less than 30 years old, and the "Phantom Menace" less than 10, and we're already in a place where a teenager using just his home computer can create a lightsaber duel with just as much pop as anything in either of them. Are we on the verge of a radically decentralized era of movie-making?

UPDATE: In retrospect, this post should have been titled "The Fandom Menace". *Sigh*. Blog in haste, repent at leisure.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Curse You, Napoleon Dynamite!

The Triumph and the Tragedy

Too cute not to link to.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I Don't Mean to Alarm You...

...but the artist who did the music for both The Hobbit and The Return of the King is not only still alive, he's still touring!

Folsom, California. December 11.
Be there, not square, etc.

"Newsweek" Pans "V for Vendetta"


"not good"; "lackluster"; "thinks terrorist is a synonym for revolutionary"; "a clumsy assault"; "full of cliched characters"; "extremely talky"; "endless scenes in which people sit around explaining stuff"; "least rousing at the climax".

In other words, it's just like the source material.

(ht Drudge)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

...And I'm Gettin' Old....

Caught Neil Young: Heart of Gold at the Criterion just now. 2 thoughts:

- I liked this movie better when it was called A Mighty Wind.

- Emmylou Harris has the most unexpressive face I've ever seen.


More like: MPR-wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Here goes nothin'.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Prayer Request

Have received unfortunate family news. Nothing life- or health-threatening, but nonetheless distressing. Please pray for wise judgment and discernment especially.

In consequence of this (and other pressing concerns, like the MPRE) I won't be posting here for the next few days. For those who just can't get enough Angus, I will be posting over at Debate Club in fulfillment of various promises.

And Nobody Watches You Do It!

Jonathan Archer. You make do with what you have

and never complain about it, just as long as

your seat is comfy.

Which Star Trek Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

HT: Church of the Masses

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I Suspect "Cabin Boy" May Come Closest...

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Saturday, March 04, 2006

At Last, I'm Becoming a Crafty Consumer!

Thanks to the help of the beautiful, brilliant and resourceful Sarah, I now have a new reason to be excited when I get e-mail: instead of a little ping, my Eudora will henceforth alert me of the presence of new mail with a delightful "hooray" from Dr. Zoidberg himself. Hooray!

For more fun with the greatest new TV character of the last decade (sorry, Tony Soprano) click here. You may also want to explore his wit and wisdom, consult his medical expertise, study his inspiring biography, or just listen to the soothing sounds of his voice.

Not Your Usual Russian Vampire Movie

I caught Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor to our Russian-speaking friends) this afternoon.

Thumbnail review: A much better, Russian version of Underworld (which was itself not without its charms). I enjoyed it, and will try to see the sequels when they're released.

Despite liking it more than he, I'm inclined to agree with many of Roger "Big Poppa" Ebert's criticisms. The central conceit of the plot (the "truce" between the Light Others and the Dark Others) is pretty silly, and pulls off the neat trick of being both blah-simple and totally confusing at the same time. And he's absolutely right that during the climax almost all sense of continuity and time gets thrown to the wind.

I think, however, that those are problems that don't detract too much from one's overall enjoyment of the film, which has so many other cool things going for it. Like the subtitles. I think the movie's almost worth seeing just for the fun the filmmakers have with subtitles. I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say, at times the subtitles bleed.

< pontificating cap on > I think I noticed in the movie two subtexts that speak to the present situation in the real Russia, which (if they're really there and not just imagined) make the movie more than just your standard Slavic vampire flick. One is the theme of class. The Dark Others seemed to be associated with success and Westenization. They wear Addidas jumpsuits, moonlight as pop stars, play English-language video games. The Light Others, in contrast, seem much shabbier and poorer. They live in small apartments, wear hand-me-down clothes. They drive around in a power company maintenance vehicle and complain about how out-of-date their equipment is. I'm not entirely sure what (if anything) this is supposed to stand for. Is it Oligarchs versus ordinary Russians? Those who want to orient Russia with the West versus those who want to return it to it's unique roots (the old Westernizers versus Slavophiles debate)?

The other subtext is abortion. Again, without revealing too much, let it suffice to say that an (attempted, supernatural) abortion plays a prominent role in the plot, and the killing of an unborn child (or even the desire to do so) is treated in the film as a very grave evil (indeed, it's arguably treated as a more grave evil than killing a post-birth human). This would be a powerful theme in an American movie; I can only guess at its significance in a movie from the country with arguably the world's highest abortion rate (two abortions for every live birth). < / pontificating cap off >

In an effort to not end the review on such a down note, I thought I'd mention another neat thing about Night Watch: it allowed me some glimpse of what it must be like to be a movie-goer in a non-English-speaking market, and of why they seem to go ga-ga for all the epic, explosion-laden dreck that Hollywood churns out. Was the acting in Night Watch wooden? Who knows? Who cares? It's in Russian! Even if it was Olivier, I wouldn't have understood it any better. Just keep the whiz-bangery and ass-kickery coming, and give me enough subtitles to keep everything not too confusing, and I'll be happy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Joining "the Elect"

As long as we're in the congratulations-awarding business, I think a serious round of applause is due to CJ Mahoney, who has reportedly been hired by Justice Kennedy for the 2007 term.

You Love Us, You Really Love Us

I just wanted to express my gratitude to everybody who graced Sarah and I with well-wishes and congratulations over the past few days. Whether in person, over email or IM, or through the magic of blog links, I can assure you that they've all been a source of great joy for me (and, I'm sure, for Sarah as well). And, to the hundred-odd people who pointed this out, I agree: she is a total hottie.

The Cardinal Has a Podcast

When I heard about this, I knew it was something that would have to get linked to on the Fox. And link-to I have.

That's right: everyone's favorite Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Francis Cardinal Arinze himself, has a podcast.

Go, listen, become enlightened.