The Nation, 20 April 2009


Businessman Leo Hindery and former US Senator Donald Riegle write a proposal for “The Jobs Solution” to our country’s current economic woes.  Point 3 reads:

Concrete efforts to restore the essential tax-policy link between productivity growth and wage gains, which will almost surely mean adopting a value-added tax of the sort nearly every other developed country already has.

The Value Added Tax seems to be showing up everywhere these days; I’m starting to lean prettily heavily in favor of the idea of abolishing the corporate income tax and payroll taxes and replacing them with an American version of VAT. 

Stuart Klawans reviews a movie that our own LeFalcon and VThunderlad seem to find infinitely fascinating, Watchmen.   To be precise, the headline of his column lists Watchmen as one of the movies he will review, but what he actually does is open with a few paragraphs satirizing the disillusioned tough-guy prose style that apparently characterizes the Watchmen franchise, then tell a story about how he was shown the wrong movie at the critics’ preview.  The high point of this story comes when he claims that he thought he was seeing one of the most discussed visuals from Watchmen, that is, the long blue penis of a character who is naked throughout the movie, only to realize that his eyes were playing tricks on him:

The movie starts. Immediately, I see the blue penis, and the special effects are staggering. It walks on its own. It speaks. I suddenly realize it is Clive Owen, clean-shaven for a change, striding up to inspect Julia Roberts’s cleavage at a garden party. This is not Watchmen. It is Duplicity.

Barry Schwabsky’s review of the Guggenheim Museum’s current show about American art depicting images of Asia devotes most of its space to a French artist who influenced many of the Americans represented in that show, Pierre Bonnard.  More interesting to me was a brief remark Schwabsky made about American painter Thomas Wilmer Dewing, whose “oh-so-refined ladies cast adrift amid monochromatic fields… seem to anticipate the early paintings of Brice Marden.”  Here are some paintings by Dewing; here are some paintings by Marden.    

Katha Pollitt’s column starts with this irresistible lede: “Someday we’ll get beyond obsessing about
first ladies–and by “we” I mean the sort of journalists who use “we” to mean “the vast majority of Americans” when it is usually just themselves and their friends. “


  1. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    So Watchmen is rated “R” because of the long blue penis? I read a couple of the characters go to Mars . . perhaps I should see this movie and review it here. Or not. I’d consider reviewing it only if Julia Roberts is NOT in it.


    I see no connection between the paintings of Dewing and the paintings of Marden.

  2. acilius

     /  April 3, 2009

    I’d be interested to know what you think of WATCHMEN- I haven’t seen it and have no intention of seeing it, but LeFalcon and VThunderlad have been having a very lively discussion of it on an email thread the three of us have going.

    I’m not sure what Schabsky is getting at either, except that they Dewing and Marden favor subdued, almost pastel colors, and simple compositions.

  3. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009


    I thought LTL was supposed to be an email thread improvement.

    Acilius must be the Class President, getting everybody’s vote. I’m the new kid in school.

  4. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    hmmm . . you have no intention of seeing WATCHMEN, yet want to read another review of it? Maybe to compare reviews?

  5. acilius

     /  April 3, 2009

    My original idea was that the bloglike parts of the thread would migrate to the blog, while the email-like things would stay on email. But those guys are really committed to the email thread.

    To compare reviews, sure.

  6. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    Aha- “migrate.” Now I understand.

    When there’s 2 people on the blog it feels like email.

%d bloggers like this: