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Social Media Dump 2021: March 1-16

See also: Feb 15-28, March 17-31

Outrageous! Emily Holden reports that gas companies in Texas have steered municipal power companies in San Antonio and Austin towards more reliance on natural gas and slower implementation of decarbonization plans. Climate change Emily Atkins wrote a column praising Holden’s articles, and I agree.

Thejuicemedia is an Australian-based video agitprop company which make “Honest Government Ads” — videos resembling corporate or official announcements. In fact these “press people” are in fact delivering cynical/condescending/paternalistic messages that make clear that the office is in fact pure evil. Everything is supposed to be satire, and this anti-Trump video . Also, you have why conservatives are incompetent at managing the economy. (Hint: it has to do with spending cuts, tax cuts and more subsidies for fossil fuel development).

There are a lot of Australian-themed ads (which is only logical and occasionally interesting to Americans — see this takedown of Kyoto carbon credits — wow! Recently they have been making revisionist history disguised as satirical tourist ads — See the ones for Puerto Rico, Hawaii and E. Timor.

Actually alongside these satirical ads are interview podcasts on Youtube with well-known liberals.

A GREAT REPUBLICAN! Sen. Bob Dole announced his presidential campaign on Letterman. David Letterman invited him back to the show a few days after he lost. Here he was relaxed, gracious, self-deprecating and very respectful both to Clinton and the institution of the presidency. Here is a man with class. He also is extremely funny too!) About a decade later, I happened upon a humor book edited and written by Bob Dole. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.

COMING 2 AMERICA — FRIDAY ON PRIME! I am genuinely excited that the sequel to Coming to America will go on Amazon Prime this Friday…. It’s a nice and silly fairy tale with lots of great lines and comic performances. This sequel should be great as well.

Hadley Freeman writes a much-needed defense of Woody Allen after the release of the “true crime” style documentary of his alleged child abuse. I kept an open mind about the subject until the last time the scandal eeked out again 5-10 years ago. Then I read all the related documents in a single day. The investigation in the 1990s established that there was no evidence of child abuse, that at worst, Allen was a strange/neurotic (but loving) father, and that there was a good chance that Farrow was “poisoning the well” in her children’s minds. I’m sure Dylan believes that she was abused (and chivalrously, Ronan Farrow has come to her defense), but the film presents no new evidence, and I’m more inclined to trust the doctors and judges and investigators closer to the time of the event. What is true is that Mia’s charges have already wrecked a director’s movie career even if they were poppycock. I’m not that much of a fan of Woody Allen’s films (so I am not personally invested in whether he did it). But his account of events remains highly plausible to me — while Dylan as an adult seems to have adopted an unprovable claim which only hurts herself and her adoptive father in the long run. Ultimately to me the case doesn’t seem to be about sexual molestation than the use of an inflammatory accusation to pressure the court to refuse child custody to Allen. (Lawyer Alan Dershowitz was probably responsible for such scorched earth tactics).

Here is a long interview from Sun Yi Previn in 2018 . It criticizes many things about Mia Farrow’s parenting skills; and even if Sun Yi’s version of events includes a degree of self-interest, it’s hard to read it without concluding that Mia Farrow was a bit of a nut job herself and a bit too obsessed with children and adoption.

MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: Totally loved the COMING 2 AMERICA sequel (which premiered on AMAZON PRIME yesterday). It was exactly what I expected; a big Hollywood film with most of the original cast and lots of celebrity cameos. Jokes and snide references to the original movie were everywhere. The pagaentry was a feast for the eyes: great costumes and choreography and extravagant silliness. The soundtrack also could not be beat — a mixture of 80s classics and recent funk and comic songs. (like this song).

REVISITING SPINAL TAP: Here’s new footage of Spinal Tap which was used to promote it on SNL. Here’s video of Tony Hendra (who played the group’s music manager) about what it was like to be in the movie. Hendra — who was a British comedian with lots of experience had several major failures and letdowns before showing up at the set — and he found Spinal Tap so relaxing, so easy to improvise for, calling it “practically a documentary” of Heavy Metal fans who expected that kind of music to take over the world. Here’s a Moth story by Hendra about being a teenage Catholic boy seduced by an older woman.

Ebook /Technology blogger Nate Hoffelder has lots of “power user” tips for using gmail. Funny I’d been using gmail for a long time and hadn’t heard of many of them. RELATED: Nate rags on a new Dell laptop which gave him lots of grief.

I’ve been enjoying Ezra Klein’s NYT podcast . Some good interviews with environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert (Feb 9) and productivity expert Cal Newport (March 5).

Speaking of which, someday I should write a post about my productivity habits.

BERNIE SANDERS AT THE MALL: You may already know that when Bernie was mayor of Burlington, VT in the 1980s, he used to take a camera crew out and ask random people about their outlook on life and put it on Public Access TV. Here’s a fun (and actually insightful) interview with 2 punk students at a shopping mall. Perhaps Bernie’s true calling would have been a talk show host in the spirit of Donahue or Oprah. According to Wikipedia, after the Department of State forbade unsanctioned contacts between US dipolmats/businessmen/journalists with USSR, Sanders set up a “sister city” program between a Russian city and his own.

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