December 29th, 2006

it says here...

Duce Duce Y'all

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM R.J.B. BOSWORTH'S BIOGRAPHY OF MUSSOLINI

1. Jim Halpert's claims notwithstanding, only a small amount of Dwight Schrute's speech before the annual sales convention was from Mussolini's 1941 "War Statement". Other portions were from Hitler, Lenin's "Declaration of the Soviet Government", The Communist Manifesto, Martin Luther, The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, and (I think) FDR's "Four Freedoms" speech.

2. Mussolini wrote letters to his daughter nearly every day, although many of them were quite trivial, and largely had to do with how happy he was that the Italian soccer team was doing well.

3. Although there is a general consensus among historians that Hitler was a jerk, there is still much controversy over whether or not Mussolini bit his weenie and whether or not it subsequently worked.
blowhard

Pound the brown hall

Today in the dingbat factory: Brent "Walter Peck" Bozell foams at the mouth over Hollywood's insufficiently grovelling treatment of Christians; David "I Wish My Brother Rush Was Here" Limbaugh pens the world's dumbest column on Iraq and Iran; and Rich "Smirkalot" Lowry pens a 'shut up bitch' column about diversity at the Washington Post. (In fairness, professional crazy old coot Burt Prelusky provides a rare dissenting voice, trashing The Pursuit of Happyness for being sappy and predictable and for glossing over the ugly aspects of investment brokerage. Go figure.)

My favorite bit, though, is from Mary Katherine Ham's squealy celebration of the vindication of the Duke LaCrosse players, who it turns out are guilty not of rape, but merely of being drunken whoremongers. In attacking the "media image" of these fine white athletes, she attempts to claim that, far from privileged toffs, the boys are in fact the product of working-class north Jersey and other humble settings:

Many of the players are indeed well-off and attended prep schools, but they’re not, for the most part, the Martha’s Vineyard-dwelling elitists the media makes them out to be. Here’s how the AP describes their homes:

Finnerty hails from Garden City, N.Y., and lived in a Dutch colonial house on a cul-de-sac. A lacrosse net and equipment were visible in the yard,which abuts a golf course. The Seligmanns’ home — a two-story red-brick house with twin white columns — sits about 17 miles west of Manhattan and within 1½ miles of three golf courses.

A Dutch colonial and a two-story brick home on cul-de-sacs, near golf courses? They’re not destitute, but I know plenty of folks whose homes would fit those descriptions, who aren’t the country’s elite by any stretch of the imagination.


Delightful! In an attempt to prove that these are just regular ol' ordinary boys whose parents are, I guess, garbage collectors and court clerks, Mary Kate uses an AP report that they live in stylish suburban homes bordered by golf courses, but THAT doesn't mean they're rich, because she knows lots of people like that and they're totally not rich! And, of course, if she was really part of the nation's elite, her ear for her own tone would be diamond-crusted platinum instead of tin.
stella stella can't you hear me yella

Hatwhorin'

So, you though we were done, huh? You thought we'd quit? You thought our widely celebrated and lethally well-timed Robert Altman issue (#7 of the High Hat) was all you were going to get out of us this season?

Nah. Nah. We don't dance no mo' at the High Hat. We're right back up in your business with a specially supplemental issue #7.5, where ten of our sexiest contributors expound on ten of their favorite cultural thingamadoos of 2006.

Simply by pointing your browser thisaway, you'll get:

- Founder & editor Hayden Childs (thehighhat) on ten things you should have paid attention to this year.
- Composer & classical music blogger Steve Hicken on ten significant developments in concert music.
- Film prof and High Hat editor Gary Mairs on ten of YouTube's finest.
- Writer, editor and literary gal about town Shauna McKenna (ninafarina) on the ten best websites for fiction.
- Cartoonist and raconteur "Calamity" Jon Morris(calamityjon) on the ten best -- and worst -- superhero comics of the year.
- Writer, thinker and author of "Against Polemics" David Nordstrom on the year's essential films and DVDs.
- Semi-professional arbiter of everything Phil Nugent tells us what movies made it okay to laugh again.
- Blogger, High Hat editor and freelance what-have-you Leonard Pierce (that's me, ya nitwits) on the year's best bests.
- Film critic and America's movie janitor Scott Von Doviak on the year's worst worsts.
- Culture vulture and movie death match referee George Wu on what he was watching in 2006.

Please take a moment from your busy schedules to use your spare eyeballs and brain cells on the latest offering from what we like to think is one of the more consistently snappy journals of arts and cultural criticism on this big truck called the internet, won't you? And stay tuned; issue #8 will be coming your way this February. (We're also still taking pitches for the next issue; contact us at highhatsubmissions at gmail dot com if you're interested.)

Our Robert Altman issue was one of the best yet, thanks to the hard work of our editors and some amazing contributions from our always-excellent writers. We're getting a higher profile with every edition, and we have you to thank for that. As always, we appreciate your support and kindness.