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How I Came to Love West Side Story:

After writing a whole diary about how I came to love West Side Story and just about finishing it, only to have it disappear on me just out of the blue (yes, this has happened on occasion while writing on a blog!), I have resolved to try again, and not give up until it sticks, if one gets the drift.  Here goes:

West Side Story is a beautiful film which carries a very strong message, which is sort of a two-edged sword;  the destructive consequences of racial/ethnic hatred and hostility and the often-ensuing violence, as well as the senseless of gang violence, arrogance and hubris.  Yet it also carries a message that reconciliation between people, as difficult as it often is, is still possible.  

As a devout fan of the film West Side Story who's also seen several stage productions of this great musical, including the newer, more up-to-date Broadway stage revival (which, although I enjoyed, viewed with a harder, more critical eye.), this is a hard film for me to resist.  I go to see screenings of West Side Story, whenever I have a chance (the one exception being in mid-March of 2001, when a Sunday afternoon screening of WSS conflicted directly with my late dad's memorial, so I didn't go that day!)  

West Side Story is my all time favorite movie, hands down, and I've never really been able to put a finger on why that is so.  A friend of mine asked me the other night if I'd ever analyzed why I liked this particular movie so much.  I told her that I couldn't really put a finger on it...that I just wanted to sit back and enjoy it.  My friend told me about why she liked the movie "Arthur" so much;  she identified with being frustrated about how romances had gone terribly wrong, but when a romance did come, with the right person, it was beautiful!   I had never heard of the movie Arthur until my friend told me about it, but, in all honestly, from the way she described  this movie, it sounded kind of slow for my tastes.  I actually tend to like movies with more action to them, and that have a somewhat faster pace to them, but that's just me.

Not only do I go and see the film West Side Story every time it comes to one of the two independent, non-profit movie theatres in our area, as well as other places, but, believe it or not, I've even made special road trips to the opposite end of the state in which I reside, as well as to neighboring states, to see a screening of West Side Story.  Why does a 50 some odd year old movie like WSS have so much appeal for me?  Again, I can't really put a finger on it, and have never been able to.  Hey..I think I'll just continue to sit back and enjoy it!

Sometimes I've had friends and family members come with me, while other times, I've gone by myself to see West Side Story.  Although West Side Story definitely has its detractors, imho, it definitely earned every one of the ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture of the Year when it was released in late October of 1961.

Although I've found West Side  Story to be enjoyable on TV, nothing beats seeing West Side Story on a great big, wide screen, in a real movie theatre, with the lights down low.  In fact, this great, golden oldie but keeper of a classic absolutely cries out for a great big wide movie theatre screen, for that's how it's really and truly meant to be viewed!  

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Matt Yglesias: A Case for Liberal Internationalism

His colleagues call him "Big Media Matt." That's because Matthew Yglesias is a respected voice of the liberal blogosphere. The 28 year-old Yglesias has accomplished much. He graduated magna cum laude, from Harvard, served as editor-in-chief at The Harvard Independent, and upon graduating, he became a writing fellow at The American Prospect. Yglesias began blogging in 2002, focusing on American politics, public policy, and foreign policy. Yglesias now writes for The Atlantic Monthly and blogs at the Atlantic blog.

More below the fold.

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Your <s>Liberal</s> Media - At It Again

In Saturday's New York Times, in an article about the Krongard brothers, one of whom is the Inspector General for the Department of State and the other of whom is on an advisory panel for Blackwater, Scott Shane makes the following comment regarding Congressman Henry Waxman:

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Brazil Oil Discovery - And a Lesson in Bias

Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company has discovered a major  location of oil reserves 180 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that, under ideal circumstances, could launch Brazil as a petroleum exporter. As the article notes, it appears to be light oil, which is easier and cheaper to refine than heavier oil found in Venezuela. While this oil is deep below the surface of the ocean, Petrobras is an innovator in deep water drilling:

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Still Another Stupid Idea

You know what really bothers me about this?

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Friday Funnies: Will Farrell Arguing with his Two Year Old Landlord

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The Beltway Media Still Irrelevant On Iraq

Glenn Greenwald documents again how the Beltway Media is clueless, but I think he overlooks an important sidebar, it is also remains irrelevant on Iraq. Glenn goes through the atrocious Pelosi in Syria coverage and her rising poll numbers:

Yes, Pelosi's trip to Syria sure did make Democrats look weak and untrustworthy on national security -- just like our brilliant media stars told us it would. After all, the percentage of Americans who trust Democrats over Bush to handle the situation in Iraq increased after Pelosi's trip -- from 54% to 58%. And the gap between those who trust Democrats more than The Great War Leader George W. Bush with regard to the war is now a startling 25 point gap -- up from 20 points as compared to the period before Pelosi went to Syria. . . . These media stars have absolutely no idea what and how "Americans" think. They take the conventional Beltway wisdom they pass amongst one another -- all generated by their White House confidants and other right-wing sources who have long ruled Washington (and therefore "their world") -- and they mindlessly assume it to be true and then run around repeating it without any effort to determine if it is actually true . . .

All true, but consider what happened - their relentless bleating had ZERO effect on public opinion. The Beltway Media has rendered itself irrelevant to the American People when it comes to Bush and Iraq.

The views of the folks back home should be uppermost in the minds of the Democratic Congress when it considers what type of Iraq funding bill should emerge from conference this week:

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The Politics of Blogger Prestige

As always, speaking for me only.

Via Yglesias, Eric Alterman describes in stark terms what the MSM punditry dislikes about blogs:

Back in the pre-Internet days of yore, political punditry was the best job in journalism and one of the best anywhere. You could spout off on anything you wanted, and almost nobody would call you on it, much less find a place to publish and prove you wrong. . . . The advent of the Internet--particularly the blogosphere--has changed all that. Now, not only are the things pundits say and write preserved for posterity; there are legions of folks who track pundit pronouncements, fact-check their statements and compare them with previous utterances on the same and similar topics. . . .

All true, and brilliantly stated. But I worry about the same type of process happening with the blogs. Most Left bloggers are indeed quite good. Some, like Digby and Glenn Greenwald, are consistently brilliant. But no one should be immune from questioning and disagreement. I hope we can avoid the logrolling nature that became, and still is, the MSM punditry.

More...

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The Media Marginalizes The American People

Here is another example of the Media marginalizing the views of the American People:

Americans are not necessarily intent on getting all U.S. troops out right away, the poll indicated. The survey found strong support for a two-year timetable if that's what it took to get U.S. troops out. Seventy-one percent said they would favor a two-year timeline from now until sometime in 2008, but when people are asked instead about a six-month timeline for withdrawal that number drops to 60 percent. Public opinion expert Karlyn Bowman of the conservative American Enterprise Institute said stronger support for the longer timetable could reflect a realization that it takes time to change strategy.

60% say out in 6 months and a so called expert says this reflects a realization that it takes time to change strategy (read stay longer). I mean, this is just false. If 60% said stay the course, they would not be rationalizing it away like this.

More.

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