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June 29th, 2004

i am not a stuffed tiger.

stop (or start?) the presses

just in case you want to start preparing yourself for the the next Harry Potter book, it will be called Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince [cnn]

see it for yourself on the flash-heavy j.k.rowling.com with instructions from Wizard News [wn].
i am not a stuffed tiger.

text

Salon's book reviews have been exceptionally good lately.1 This review/interview with Tom Franks, author of What's the Matter With Kansas? about how democrats lost the heartland is fascinating:
Nobody thinks it's strange that Nebraska and Nevada and Arizona and Montana vote for right-wing Republicans in election after election, consumed with tax-cutting fervor and a passion to shrink the government, even though it's the massive federal programs of the 20th century -- dams and aqueducts, agricultural subsidies, public lands thrown open to ranching and mining and lumbering -- that supports those states' economies to this day.

You take people who would be natural Democrats -- because they work in industry, they're blue-collar people -- and you suddenly remove the economic issues from the table. You say, well, the Democrats are the same as the Republicans on those issues now. And all that's left for them to consider are the cultural issues. [salon]

It provides interesting food for thought for democrats, and nicely eviscerates the false red state--blue state dichotomy that's gained such cultural currency through the tireless efforts of David Brooks.

The only problem with these long reviews is that after reading them, I feel no obligation to actually read the books.



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(1) er. with the exception of today's about diet culture, which I hated too much to link.
i am not a stuffed tiger.

numbers game

you've probably already read that Farenheit 9/11 beat the too scary for words White Chicks at the box office this weekend. Salon's "war room" reprints Variety's analysis to reveal striking differences in the per engagement figures:
Fahrenheit 9/11 opened on 868 screens and brought in $25,115 "per engagement." The next most successful movie this weekend was White Chicks, which also debuted and played on 2,726 screens -- about triple that of Fahrenheit, yet it brought in only $7,190 per engagement.[salon]

While this probably isn't surprising to anyone who stood in a long line [mm] to see the film, it does make the box office record seem all the more remarkable.

It also shows that IFC/Lion's Gate was incredibly smart to release while a 21.8 million dollar weekend would still be newsworthy1 -- before Spiderman 2 rolls out with a huge Independence Day box office. If HSX is any indication of potential for box office success, the $130M (Fri-Sun) call is selling for > $10. [hsx]

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(1) ... though I'm sure they were really going for a documentary record.
the only earth?

it's that time again

get your war on | iraq sovereignty party
a new batch of get your war on for all of your post-sovereignty comedy needs. [37]

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the funny part is that I was reminded to check out the site by the creepy voice of Henry Kissinger on Charlie Rose