Tuesday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The US Department of Agriculture was scheduled to begin sending out payments to Black and minority farmers this month, as part of a $4bn loan forgiveness program included in the $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill that passed Congress in March.

    But a lawsuit on behalf of white farmers accusing the Biden administration of discrimination has, at least temporarily, stopped the checks, prompting dismay among Black farmers and campaigners.

    The money, intended as a way to address more than 100 years of discriminatory practices and policies that have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged Black owners of farmland, is now being held up due to an injunction granted this month by a federal judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    The USDA says it will “forcefully defend” the payments and is fighting lawsuits against them with the Department of Justice. Around the country there are other lawsuits against debt relief to Black and minority farmers with claims of discrimination against white farmers, including one in Texas backed by the ex-Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

    Farming while Black, according to Rodney Bradshaw, never gets any easier. “My feeling before [the injunction] was that we’re finally getting some justice that was due to us after the Pigford agreement [a discrimination settlement in the late 1990s]. Now, it’s that promises to Black farmers are always put on hold,” says Bradshaw, of Jetmore, Kansas.

    Because white people are the real victims of racism.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From ‘So, does it hold up?’: Fargo’s stars and co-creator on its 25th anniversary, a couple of anecdotes:

    The group shared some other tidbits of rural life during the shoot, informing everyone that the town where the crew rented the infamous wood chipper annually drags it through the streets for their Fourth of July parade.

    McDormand looked back on the towering, creepy Paul Bunyan statue constructed for the film: “We realized people were bringing their kids out before bed to look at the statue. That’s how little there is to do in North Dakota.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Only in America: ‘Gorilla Glue Girl’ launches haircare products

    Tessica Brown, AKA “Gorilla Glue Girl”, the woman who went viral in February for accidentally gluing her hair to her head, has launched her own range of haircare products.

    Brown’s Forever Hair range will feature a hairspray named Forever Hold, a play on her online infamy. The collection will include a growth-stimulating oil and a range of merchandise including a T-shirt that features a screen grab of her famous video and the logo “Bonded For Life”.

    The day care worker went viral in February, after posting a video confessing that she had sprayed her hair with the adhesive instead of her usual product, got2b hairspray. Despite washing her hair 15 times, Brown says that it stayed in its fixed position for a month. In the clip, she said it was a “bad bad bad idea … my hair don’t move”. Brown needed a four-hour long surgery to have the product removed. “As a result of that I ended losing some hair and having scalp damage,” she said.
    Brown said that she never intended for the original video to go viral. “I was never going to take this to social media. The reason I took it to social media was because I didn’t know what else to do,” she told ET. “I didn’t think for one second when I got up the next morning it was gonna be everywhere.”

    You go, girl.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    California man arrested for allegedly stealing 42,000lb of pistachios

    “Good job detectives, I guess you really ‘cracked’ this case. Guy must’ve been ‘nuts’ to think he could get away with it,” said one Facebook user.

  5. Teve says:

    New book offers fresh details about chaos, conflicts inside Trump’s pandemic response

    At one point, the president mused about transferring infected American citizens in Asia to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

    Dan Diamond
    June 21, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

    In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as White House officials debated whether to bring infected Americans home for care, President Donald Trump suggested his own plan for where to send them, eager to suppress the numbers on U.S. soil.
    “Don’t we have an island that we own?” the president reportedly asked those assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020, before the U.S. outbreak would explode. “What about Guantánamo?”
    “We import goods,” Trump specified, lecturing his staff. “We are not going to import a virus.”
    Aides were stunned, and when Trump brought it up a second time, they quickly scuttled the idea, worried about a backlash over quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects.
    Such insider conversations are among the revelations in “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” a new book by Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta that captures the dysfunctional response to the unfolding pandemic.


  6. de stijl says:


    Re: white farmers butt hurt about compensatory payments to black farmers.

    The usual feedback is that “That was before my time. I am not responsible.”

    It ignores that present day white farmers inherited much more than did their black counterparts.

    Yes, *you* are not responsible, but your grandfather bequested a much, much greater bounty of land and generational wealth onto you than his neighbor was able to to his grandchildren by the designed system in place then.

    Yes, I am invoking systemic racism that blossomed into disparate outcomes. A system designed to reward one set of folks and deter another.

    I know that is poison talk in RW circles, but it is true and it fucking happened and it is happening right now.

    You can pry CRT out of my cold, dead hands.

  7. de stijl says:


    Five of my favorite people of all time are named Coen, Coen, McDormand, Stormare, and Buscemi.

    Deserved classic status. A masterpiece.

    Raising Arizona is there too.

  8. Teve says:

    why Republican talking points on gas prices are so embarrassing

    I have seen, on Twitter, Republican politicians compare gas prices today to one year ago, and saying idiotic things like, “That’s Joe Biden’s Economy for you!” because they think their voters are the dumbest MFers who ever lived.

  9. Scott says:

    Such a small thing yet says so much:

    Pic of Tillis and Theo, who’s named after former President THEODORE ROOSEVELT. “I name all my dogs after conservatives,” Tillis said.

  10. de stijl says:


    You would think Rs would understand basic supply and demand. Gosh, what is different between last summer and now? What could that factor be?

    The Invisible Hand is gonna slap em upside the head hard.

    I believe they are trolling, poorly and obviously, for partisan effect. Correct me if I am wrong.

  11. Jax says:

    @Teve: Because they ARE the dumbest on earth. I’ve seen at least 15 gas price memes from local people I know on Facebook saying “Thanks, Biden”. At one point in my life I would’ve asked the simple question “What the eff does Biden have to do with the price of gas?”, because back when Bush was president and gas was over $4/gallon, they were all experts on the President not being able to do anything about gas prices. At this point, I refuse to engage anymore. Roll my eyes and scroll on.

  12. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I watched the trailer for Pig.

    I am wary of Cage. He can excellent. He can be utter shit.

    A movie about a hermit trying to recover a truffle pig is actually quite intriguing. It looks like Cage as a decent to good actor in a quite interesting role. Intrigued.

  13. Scott says:

    Islamic State revives religious police in northeast Syria

    The Islamic State’s religious police — known as Hesba — has made a comeback in the areas under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces in northeast Syria, spreading fear among the residents. The Hesba’s emergence comes as the SDF is preoccupied with events in Manbij in the eastern countryside of Aleppo and in the countryside of Hasakah.

    In early June, the Hesba called on all residents of the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor not to engage with the SDF and the US-led international coalition and to resign from the local councils of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, threatening to kill anyone who violates their instructions.

    Hesba members stopped a taxi carrying women to work on farmland in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor and demanded they not wear makeup. They also called on all public transportation operators not to transport women who do not abide by a Sharia-compliant dress code. They threatened to burn the vehicles of violators or give them heavy fines.

    So the choice is between fanatic religious tyrants or secular tyrants like Bashar al-Assad. I’m not in that situation but I’m thinking secular is better.

  14. de stijl says:


    Politically motivated bullshit is bullshit. Anyone who ignores the obvious underlying market pricing dynamic is bullshitting you on purpose. Fuck them.

    They are wanting to garner likes. It as false as false can be.

  15. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I spaced on Macy. He was perhaps the most intriguing. A man out of his depth diving deeper in. The most weaselly man imagineable.

    Not five, not six. 7 – John Carrol Lynch endeavoring to get the duck stamp gig.

    Many, many more. The two young ladies at the bar being interviewed by Marge.

    The little one was funny lookin’. Go Bears!

  16. Scott says:
  17. Kathy says:

    Over my vacation I streamed a few things. One was The Death of Stalin, a kind of satirical dark comedy about, well, the death of Stalin.

    This is a movie based on a comic book, so don’t look for historical accuracy. Beria, for example, was arrested, taken out of Moscow, and swiftly tried most unfairly, but not as shown on the film. Still, some things are exactly right.

    One is that Stalin lay alone on the floor for hours after having a stroke, with only the content of his loose bowels to keep him company. Also, a doctor was brought in only many more hours after the high Soviet officials were informed of this.

    Overall, worth watching.

    One caveat, there’s a lot of off-scene and on-scene summary executions.

  18. de stijl says:

    I went sleep last night at ~ 11pm. I woke up a 3 am. C’mon! I’m trying to live healthy here! Now, I’m gonna crash out sometime between now and 3 pm for another 3 or 4 hours. When? Who knows? It will happen.

    Sleep regulation as I age is becoming more and more difficult and absurd. I always tended towards night owl, but nowadays it is becoming bonkers.

    Apparently, I have no circadian rhythm now and am subject to strange whims like being fully awake and alert at 3 am is perfectly standard, even as I duly attempting the normal pattern of sleeping when it is dark.

    I cannot maintain a repeating, standard sleep schedule to save my life. Impossible. My body rebels.

  19. KM says:


    Because they ARE the dumbest on earth.

    So true. I saw a recent clip from local news in Buffalo NY regarding the closure of the US-Canadian border. The woman was literally screaming about how DARE Canada not open the border to car traffic because they have no right to tell the US what to do with their border with a liberal sprinkling of Thanks Biden for causing this. I couldn’t believe the ignorance of expecting a foreign county to just let Americans do as they please since it’s “their border”….. without getting that it’s CANADA’s border too! As for why it’s Biden’s fault, all I can say it is was clear she was pro-Trump and acted like this just happened instead of being a year-long issue due to a pandemic.

    These folks have the attention span and memory of goldfish. The GOP does what it does because it WORKS with these morons. They don’t want to understand basic elements of reality, only blame people for them being inconvenienced.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Your link goes to POLITICO Playbook: Liberals fume at Biden over demise of voting rights bill

  21. Neil J Hudelson says:


    Jason Isaacs was phenomenal in that movie. Buscemi shined as always.

  22. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Playbook is their daily cover of topics, you have to scroll down fairly far to get to the picture of Tillis, who took his dog on the Senate subway. Murkowski is also in the photo. Here’s a Twitter link to a picture: https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1407091103900241925?s=20

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Welcome to my world.

  24. CSK says:

    They believe what’s convenient or flattering to Trump for them to believe, and blithely ignore or attribute to press fabrication anything that isn’t. I saw a comment on Lucianne.com this morning claiming that, unlike Hunter Biden, Trump has never, ever been involved in any scandals. And by the way, Joe Biden is a well-known sex pervert.

  25. CSK says:

    Mine too.

  26. Teve says:

    Dumbass MFers

    GOP governor and lawmakers clash over vaccine policy

    Through PSAs, press appearances with doctors, and even launching an unheard of $1 million lottery for immunized residents, GOP Gov. Mike DeWine wants to persuade Ohioans to choose to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

    He said the facts on vaccines, which are credited with saving millions of lives and eradicating smallpox from the face of the earth, will win out.

    Republicans in the state General Assembly, meanwhile, are pushing sweeping legislation to weaken Ohio’s vaccination laws — for all vaccines, not just COVID-19. On Tuesday, anti-vaccination activists crammed into the House Health Committee hearing room to testify in support of House Bill 248.

    The legislation would ban vaccine requirements on customers, employees or students from businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, K-12 schools, colleges, daycares, or others. It would also prevent governments, insurers, or businesses from offering incentives for people to get vaccinated, or even requesting that people get vaccinated.

    In interviews, public health experts warned the legislation would hold the door open for infectious diseases to spread among Ohioans.

    Under the bill, a small business owned by asthmatics or cancer survivors — both of whom are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 complications — would have no legal right to require or even request that employees or customers who come inside be vaccinated. That’s according to Dorit Reiss, a professor with a focus on vaccine policy from the UC Hastings College of Law.

    “It’s against business rights, it’s against the individual rights of private businesses, it’s against safety, and it’s in support of the virus,” she said.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: My bad, thanx.

  28. Kathy says:

    I recently finished a Great Courses lecture series on infectious disease. It was recorded pre-pandemic, so it doesn’t cover that. In the last lecture, the lecturer speculates on the next pathogen which will cause a global pandemic.

    He does mention coronavirus as a likely candidate, given experiences with SARS and MERS, but dials that down by saying we know perfectly well how to contain such an outbreak. He didn’t say, but I infer he assumes a new coronavirus would be, like SARS, not transmissible presymptomatically or asymptomatically, and not highly contagious (on the flip side, SARS was deadlier).

    But he was right. Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam, among a few others, did contain the outbreak successfully early on. Check their numbers of cases and deaths. Had the whole world done that, we’d have put the pandemic behind us by late 2020, with fewer cases and deaths, and far less damage to the economy overall.

    Instead, we saw what happened.

    I would like to say we’ll put the trump pandemic behind us by the end of this year, but given the slowdown in vaccination in many countries, and the scarcity of vaccine doses in many more, along with lifting of restrictions, I think we have 12 more months to go at least.

  29. de stijl says:


    I feel you.

    I’m strongly thinking about just leaning in on chaos and just giving up on that whole normal sleep schedule thing.

    I already adopted the “eat when you are hungry” ethos years ago.

    “Sleep when you will” is basically the same.

    It boosts my non-conformity cred.

    Last week was crazy. My bedtime was 8 am.

    Time to embrace the crazy instead of fighting it.

    Also, now I tend to sleep in two chunks. Once for four hours and later for two to three.

    It does make for an interesting day.

  30. de stijl says:


    It is more likely than not that we all will get yearly Covid-19 boosters like we now get yearly flu shots. Likely to be combined or as a double shot engagement.

    It has burrowed in. Between spotty vaccination and mutation it will be a yearly presence in future times.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This dog should be playing for the Harlem Globe Trotters.

  32. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    That seemed likely early on, when we found it readily formed reservoirs in other animals. Now it seems likely to keep people as a reservoir for decades to come.

    I would recommend masks in addition to booster shots, but if resistance was fierce in the thick of the pandemic, I can imagine what it will be like when there are “only” a few hundred thousand cases a year and not even 50,000 deaths.

    I set myself the rather Quixotic goal of avoiding even the common cold for the rest of my life. I know I won’t, but if I can go two years at a time without one, it will be worth it. The plan calls for KN95 masks in cold and flu season, as well as hand sanitizer and distancing.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In case anybody needed a test case for how renaming Columbus Day would play out in the Northeast…


  34. Mr. Prosser says:

    @KM: I read this a while back, it may even have been here.
    “Canadians must think they’re living above a basement full of meth addicts.”

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Fragile W Syndrome

  36. Kathy says:


    If we extend that principle, then what right does the US have to forbid anyone form crossing Mexico’s border?

    I wonder whether the common people in other large empires with a global reach, say the British and Roman empires, were as provincial in their attitudes as Americans are today.

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:


    You should absolutely head up there and tell them that

  38. CSK says:

    As I said the other day, make any attempt to change the name of the Columbus Day holiday in the greater Boston area, and every Italian-American living there will try to kill you. You absolutely would not get out of the North End or East Boston alive. I knew the same was true of the New Jersey-New York-Philadelphia area, and this article just proves it.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Why, are they any less bone headed up there than they are here? Cause down here, they just pretend not to hear me.

  40. Pete S says:

    @Teve: @Mr. Prosser:
    Responding to your posts together as a Canadian with in-laws in Ohio, can you blame us?

  41. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: Buscemi can do anything, and own it. Drama, comedy, thrillers, action flicks, you name it. One of my favorite performances was in the throwaway action flick “Con Air”. This was one of the those Hollywood High Concept Pay Day movies, where they took a ridiculous B Movie plot, gave it a summer blockbuster budget and loaded it up with writers, director, actors, cinematographers that were a) extremely talented, and b) needing a big pay day. They all go into it knowing exactly what it is but nevertheless played it absolutely straight. Even John Malkovich was chewing the scenery in this one.

    And Buscemi – he played Garland Greene – The Marietta Mangler. Everyone else’s character was as broad as a barn and operated at maximum threat, or maximum camp, or maximum steely eyed determination, but Buscemi underplayed it to perfection. The conceit was he was the only prisoner all these other psychotic killers feared. And while they were busy shooting people, exploding things, screaming and ranting and psychotic-izing up a regular old storm, his scariest scene involved having a tea party with a five year old next to an abandoned pool.

  42. Mimai says:


    “Make a move and the bunny gets it.”

    “Define ‘irony’: a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane, to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.”

  43. Kylopod says:

    There are two types of people in the world: People who despise Nicolas Cage’s style of acting, and people who despise Nicolas Cage’s style of acting but recognize that he’s somehow been brilliant in a handful of roles in his 40-year career.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Mimai: I’m 98% certain Buscemi’s character was originally cast for someone else. He is never on screen with any of the other major actors, and in 95% of his screen time he either silently in a mask or in different location.

  45. George says:


    Why not just send it out to all farmers in that case? Except of course for the big industrial farms that have been driving out all the small farmers. Once again the conservatives are trying to make it about race to camouflage how big money has been screwing the small homesteaders. Small white farmers have far more in common with small black and minority farmers than they have with big white controlled corporations.

  46. Michael Reynolds says:

    Following up on the other days discussion of bears. The Onion:

    NYE, MT—Tickled by the group’s resolve, local grizzly bear Osguf confirmed Monday that his favorite part of mauling campers was when they threw their arms in the air to look bigger. “The whole thing is a blast from start to finish, don’t get me wrong, but I have a soft spot for when they start frantically waving their little arms around,” said the bear, who released a roar of delight as the family of five he had stumbled across jumped to their feet and began slowly backing away with their arms stuck straight into the air. “Sometimes they even bang pots and pans while doing it, and that’s a hoot, too. Do they seriously think I’m going to be afraid of some metallic clanking? I don’t know if it’s instinct or what, but I can’t get enough of it. Ah, look, now they’re picking up their children. You have to wonder what’s going on in their tiny heads.” At press time, the grizzly had fled the site in terror after one of the campers shouted “Hey bear!”

  47. Mimai says:


    Interesting. That never occurred to me. [updates netflix queue]

    The Rock is another delicious Cage move. And with Sean Connery and Ed Harris too!

  48. Teve says:

    what if American democracy fails the climate crisis?

    Naive title. Of course American democracy is not going to be able to do anything about climate change. But the article is good.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Wow! I had completely forgotten about the issue until you brought it back up. Still don’t care either way, though. 😉

  50. KM says:

    From what I gathered, the main complaint was flying in was OK, driving in is not as well as some quarantine measures still in place the obviously unvaxxed woman objected to. She wanted her fiancée (Canadian) to be able to drive to see her and her kids (American) whenever they wanted; the problem appeared to be he could likely enter the US but not be able to get back into Canada as it was considered non-essential travel and quarantine rules would kick in as the woman complained about shots. I’m unsure about the fiancée given the short clip but I’m betting the status is unvaxxed there too if the two-week hold is in play.

    Again, I boggles my mind that she thought the US has the right to tell Canada who can and cannot enter their country and on what terms. As someone looking to marry a Canadian, you’d think she’d be paying attention to the fact that her life will now have two different nations with two different sets of laws are in play but nope, how dare they keep an American from doing as they please for something as silly as think of Canada first! She then goes on to blame Biden for not forcing the issue and essentially allowing Americans to invade another nation at whim. The stupid is so very real, very deep and painful to watch.

  51. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Kylopod: @MarkedMan:

    Con Air and Face/Off marked the most interesting point in Nicolas Cage’s career. It was the moment the “Oscar Winner” Nicolas Cage and “Batsh!t crazy will do anything for money” Nicolas Cage existed simultaneously, with the full force of both of those personas in play. My understanding is that Cage wrapped up filming on Con Air and started filming Face/Off a few hours later. All that manic energy from trying (succeeding) in out-chewing-the-scenery with Malkovich, Buscemi, etc., he brought to bear against mid-90s-rennaissance Travolta, and the results are just delightful. The narcissistic energy the two of them have in trying to outdo the other in sheer insanity would only be seen again nearly two decades later when Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel would face off in the F&F series.

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Up there, they’re more likely to end up in a brawl with you over this particular issue.

  53. flat earth luddite says:

    Ow ow ow. Stop it, Scott. I just hurt myself laughing.

  54. flat earth luddite says:

    I’d forgotten just what a scenery-chewing nightmare that movie was. Completely disassociated with any reality I’d ever experienced, with one exception. Buscemi really nailed the character of the “wack” that everyone’s scared of. Even the other lifers. Watched one end a cell block riot with one sentence, and one look. OTOH, Art was the one guy even the guards never fwkd with. Never.

  55. Kylopod says:

    @Neil J Hudelson: It’s the curse of actors who become famous for being weird. After years of being praised for their weirdness, they eventually turn into parodies of themselves. One of the biggest falls from greatness in this arena has been Johnny Depp. But Cage has always had these tendencies and his ability to shine always worked within a limited range. My first exposure to him was Raising Arizona, and shortly afterward, Moonstruck. I was 10. Those two roles were a good first impression for me, since they’re still among the best work he’s done in his career. But much later I went back and saw his earlier film Peggy Sue Got Married, and in my opinion he was horrible and essentially wrecked the entire film.

    Con Air and Face/Off were never my cup of tea, and I was always baffled especially by the praise toward the latter, because it was often seen as a solid action movie in its own right and not simply as a guilty pleasure like the other film. I can get into a cheesy action flick every now and then, but my basic problem is that Cage just seems so totally incongruous as an action hero. He isn’t even laughable, he’s just…wrong. Square in a round hole. Yet it’s like these films totally ignore that fact and treat him as if he were a more conventional star like Tom Cruise or Keanu. The result is an uncomfortable strangeness that comes from not even knowing what effect they want to achieve.

  56. Teve says:

    Nick Cage’s Bad Lieutenant was delicious.

  57. Neil J Hudelson says:


    Despite my praise, I want to be clear that both movies are schlocky cheesefests.

    I just happen to really enjoy schlocky cheesefests. Guilty pleasures indeed.

    Your criticism is spot on.

  58. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Cage’s “peak” movie: Vampire’s Kiss.

    That was the 2nd movie I saw him in–after Raising Arizona.

  59. EddieInCA says:


    Sure. Celebrate the day of a murderous piece of shite. Why not?

    How about John Gotti Day?
    How about a day to celebrate Sammy The Bull?

    They killed less people than Columbus.

    Damn snowflakes.

  60. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: those Mob guys did a lot less raping of children and enslaving too.

  61. Kylopod says:

    Another weird thing about Cage that deserves mention: in his younger years he had a curiously ageless look. It’s why I can understand why they cast him in Peggy Sue Got Married, a time-travel film in which he plays both a teenager and a middle-aged version of the same character, without the kind of elaborate makeup they used in the Back to the Future films. He just could pass, almost effortlessly, as either a teen or an early-middle-aged guy. When I first saw him in Raising Arizona and Moonstruck, for years I was under the impression he was a lot older than he was. In Moonstruck, Cher was 42 playing a 37-year-old woman. Cage was 23, nearly two decades younger than Cher. I once saw a list where Cher’s character in that film was described as an example of a “movie cougar,” yet that’s only true if you pay attention to the actors’ actual ages. In the movie itself, there really isn’t the slightest hint that it’s meant as the story of a younger man falling for an older woman, and I think they were trying to pass Cage off as being at least a decade older than he was in real life. But his character’s age is never mentioned in the film, so it’s open to interpretation. It’s especially striking when you consider how pervasive it is for actors in their early 20s to be cast as teens.

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I’m sure that particular argument will absolutely help them see the error of their ways and bring them around to your way of thinking.

  63. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was scanning through the issues / news which my assistants compile for me and noticed the story, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought it back up. It seemed relevant in a “wow, we were just discussing this” sort of way.

    I don’t really care about the holiday either, if we’re honest. Doesn’t affect me so it isn’t my problem. Some folks here, however, seem to (inordinately) care about it a great deal.

  64. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    Haven’t ever really been that impressed with him, to be honest. He’s always struck me as someone nobody would otherwise ever have heard of if he hadn’t been born Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew. That family rather defines nepotism.

  65. Stormy Dragon says:

    My favorite Cage movie:


    Notable in that he plays both halves of a pair of identical twins and does a great job of making them two distinct characters primarily through body language.

  66. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The story I’ve heard is that he changed his name to Cage so people wouldn’t think he became famous for being a Coppola. Make of that what you will.

  67. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Adaptation was great and Cage did a fine job, though it was fundamentally another brilliant work by Charlie Kaufman.

    “The only idea more overused than serial killers is multiple personalities.”

  68. Stormy Dragon says:


    I knew the same was true of the New Jersey-New York-Philadelphia area, and this article just proves it.



  69. Scott says:
  70. Stormy Dragon says:

    Cage also did a really good job in Lord of War.

  71. MarkedMan says:


    I’m sure that particular argument will absolutely help them see the error of their ways and bring them around to your way of thinking.

    I realize that this was meant tongue-in-cheek and for someone else, but I’ll take the opportunity to point out that I don’t talk to others like I talk here. Here, I’m just shooting the breeze and expressing my frustrations. In my “real” life I tend to avoid any talk of politics or religion except with people I already know to be like minded. It’s just not what 99% of my interactions with people are about.

  72. Mu Yixiao says:

    Hyundai Motors buys Boston Dynamics

    I expect some interesting things to come out of this.

    Hyundai motors started out as a joke–not as bad as the Yugo, but not to far above it. A new CEO came in and simply said “We’re going to make this the best car company”. Within 3 years they were rated #2 in customer satisfaction by JD Powers, falling just behind Lexus.

    American companies tend to be where innovation comes from. But, as a colleague who taught in Korea said: Koreans don’t come up with new ideas, but give them one and they’ll perfect it and make it efficient and profitable.

    One step closer to Cylons! 😀

  73. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: FWIW, I think Cage makes an amazing effort in everything he does, and when it clicks he elevates any movie he is in. I honestly believe he commits as fully to Con Air or Kick Ass as to Bad Lieutenant or Adaptation. Sometimes it just doesn’t click with the rest of the movie. And sometimes I feel that way but if I happen to see it again I may come away with a different impression. Feel free to make fun of me for this, but I actually went from thinking his performance in Kick Ass was annoying and distracting to rating it as pretty nuanced, especially in comparison to how it played off against the younger characters. You have to bear in mind, though, that I’m someone who uses “nuanced” in the same sentence as “Kick Ass”.

  74. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Not without a fight:


    Various Italian-American groups filed a lawsuit to stop the change. They argued that Italian-Americans had faced unrelenting and deliberate discrimination.

  75. Kathy says:


    The mix of ignorance and entitlement makes for an ugly but potent combination.

    For all we know, this person thinks Canada is some kind of US territory, like Hawaii 😉

  76. Stormy Dragon says:


    Based on that lawsuit’s “logic”, I’m discriminated against because I don’t get off for Von Steuben Day.

  77. Stormy Dragon says:


    Again, I boggles my mind that she thought the US has the right to tell Canada who can and cannot enter their country and on what terms.

    I’m reminded of the Brexit backers who are for real arguing that because the UK left the EU, Ireland should be required to leave too so that the border issue is easier to resolve.

  78. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Based on that lawsuit’s “logic”, I’m discriminated against because I don’t get off for Von Steuben Day.

    I’m way more discriminated against than you. I don’t even have a holiday to not get off! 😛

  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: As I said in my first comment last week, whatevs. Thanks for keeping us current… I… …guess…

  80. HarvardLaw92 says:


    He says that, but as far as I can tell several of his early roles were in his uncle’s films. Seems convenient to me.

    He’d come by it honest though. The Godfather series managed to squeeze Coppola’s sister and his daughter into roles. Good work if you can get it I suppose.

  81. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Stormy Dragon: I want St Andrew’s Day off. I’m feeling repressed.


  82. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: There are obvious benefits to being from a famous family, even without carrying the name. But you can’t just write off people because of their family connections, especially when you consider the many famous acting families–the Barrymores, the Carradines; I think Jeff Bridges is a better actor than his dad ever was. And whatever you think of Cage’s talents, he’s unquestionably memorable in a way that, say, Jason Schwartzman (another Coppola without the Coppola name, due to its being on his mother’s side) simply isn’t. Even if I had no idea he was a Coppola (and for many years I didn’t), I would not find his stardom surprising, despite my criticisms of his acting.

  83. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Fair enough. I’ve just never been impressed with him as an actor. For me, he brings to mind a line from the immortal Peter O’Toole as Alan Swann in My Favorite Year:

    I’m not an actor. I’m a movie star!

  84. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Hyundai’s biz model is based on Toyota and Honda and they’ve successfully executed it. Yugo’s biz model was based on Fiat and they successfully implemented it.

  85. CSK says:

    You could go to Charleston. They celebrate St. Andrew’s Day there.

  86. Stormy Dragon says:


    There are obvious benefits to being from a famous family, even without carrying the name.

    As the saying goes, “success is where preparation and opportunity meet”. The famous family won’t let you shortcut your way around preparation, but it can make sure that you, out of all the similarly prepared people, get first shot at the opportunities.

  87. Kylopod says:

    @HarvardLaw92: In all seriousness, that’s part of what I was trying of convey: it’s easy to understand why he’s a star, even without having any idea he’s a Coppola. There are a myriad of reasons why some actors succeed and some fail, other than talent: connections, looks, choice of agents, personal persistence, personal stability, even to a degree dumb luck. But in spite of all that, the actor vs. star boundary isn’t hard to discern based on an actor’s qualities.

    I remember the time Chris Rock was hosting the Oscars and he got Sean Penn mad after he said Jude Law isn’t a star but Clint Eastwood is. He was right–despite the fact that you can argue Law is more talented and better-looking than Eastwood. (I actually don’t make that argument and have a lot of respect for Eastwood as actor and filmmaker, whereas I’ve generally been underwhelmed by Jude Law, but I can understand the viewpoint.) I’m sure the reason Eastwood is Eastwood and Law isn’t is complex–you’d have to go into the differing paths they took, and it’s possible Law simply never sought the spotlight in the way Eastwood did (though that could be ad hoc). But when you get down to it, Eastwood has a certain screen magnetism that Law lacks. It’s not tangible and is hard to explain, but most people who watch their films sense it. And I think you find this dynamic with a lot of stars compared with a lot of character actors. That’s not to say there aren’t great actors who aren’t also stars (many of the most celebrated actors have been stars, and many A-listers are well-respected as actors). But the boundary is a real one.

  88. Jax says:

    My youngest daughter got her second Pfizer shot today. In celebration, I booked our plane tickets, hotels and rental car to go see The Dead South and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band play in a cave in Pelham, Tennessee in October. We may need booster shots by then, who knows, but I am feeling much more optimistic about life now than in January!

  89. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: However he got his start, just as a business proposition Cage is very valuable. Just now I glanced at his IMDB page and there are a lot of money makers there, including ones that punched way above their weight. In addition to the summer blockbusters like National Treasure, there are movies of all types that made significantly more than their budget. Art flicks, direct to DVD schlock fests, rom coms, straight up romances, period pieces, animated pieces, lots of genre, war films, crime films, more than one Christmas flick, comedies, a kind of a western. Hell, he was in one movie (Red Rock West) that didn’t get released because the studio collapsed, then got a limited release years later in theaters and went on to enjoy the kind of long-tail profitability that is extremely bankable nowadays. He’s been in 107 movies and I wouldn’t be surprised if 80% or better were profitable, and at least 10% were blockbusters or near blockbusters. (Blockbusters for their time, not the 2000’s version of blockbuster which requires a hell of a lot bigger budget than anything he’s been in.)

  90. MarkedMan says:


    But in spite of all that, the actor vs. star boundary isn’t hard to discern based on an actor’s qualities.

    Some stars are great actors, but it is rare. I would put Brad Pit in that category while his ex-wife, Angelie Jolie, is just as big a star but not a shadow of the actor. George Clooney also falls into that category. Judie Densch. Eva Green. Russell Crow (aging actor, now, and not much of a star anymore. I think he just lost interest). This bifurcation goes way back. John Wayne – star, but not actor. Jack Lemmon – both. Marilyn Monroe – star, but not an actor (although she could do comedy…) Bette Davis – both. Jimmy Stewart was interesting in that a lot of people thought he played the same wholesome average Joe in every movie, and playing the same character in different movies is a sure sign of a star but not an actor. But he actually didn’t play that character very often and his best known example, George Baily in “It’s a Wonderful Life” is actually a lot more complex than that. So – both.

  91. DrDaveT says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    I read this a while back, it may even have been here.
    “Canadians must think they’re living above a basement full of meth addicts.”

    My favorite t-shirt of the FG election year was a picture of a Canadian flag over a downward-pointing arrow with the caption “I’m with stupid.”

  92. de stijl says:


    Abel Ferera’s Bad Lieutenant with Harvey Keitel is sick and degenerate and glorious and really hard to watch as he descends further and further.

    I highly recommend it, but you have to be forewarned for some scenes that are extremely troubling / triggering.

    I would not recommend anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse or coercion to watch it without a strong warning there is some very difficult content.

  93. dazedandconfused says:

    On the topic of actors, we watched Green Book last week..and that guy was Aragorn?? Viggo’s got game.

  94. flat earth luddite says:

    @de stijl:
    You have my sympathies. I was always something of a night owl, but 4 years of chemo seems to have made the pattern more maddening. SWMBO’d comments that I sleep like a baby… down for 1-3 hours, wake up crying for no explicable reason, eventually drift off for an hour or two… and then up for 20. Drives her further off the deep end of the pier, because there’s no consistency.

  95. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Why not just send it out to all farmers in that case?

    Because there was racial discrimination. Going thru the data, black farmers did not qualify at any where near the rate white farmers did.

    Small white farmers have far more in common with small black and minority farmers than they have with big white controlled corporations.

    Don’t tell me, tell the small white farmers who weren’t rewarded as much as the corporations.

  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Different issue, same result. I’ve been dealing with, and avoiding as much as possible, those kinds of a-holes all my life. More or less successfully.

  97. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I gotta say, I never got that one. A lotta folks agree with you, but that one was just a little over the top for me. I did like him in ‘Joe’, which is the latest I’ve seen him in.

  98. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m sure that particular argument will absolutely help them see the error of their ways and bring them around to your way of thinking.

    At some point, one should just give up.

  99. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: sadly, our brutal, uncaring universe has exacted a grim toll for Nick Cage’s success. 🙁

  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: Congrats.

  101. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yep.

  102. Jax says:

    My favorite Nick Cage movie shall always remain him as the voice of Grug in The Crood’s. It’s such a perfect “Dad/Caveman” voice. 😛

  103. de stijl says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    As a long-time John Woo fan, I had high hopes for Face / Off.

    Yeah, Hard Target and Broken Arrow were disappointments, but surely he will find his Hollywood feet with this cast. Sadly, no. F/O has its cheesy charms and glorious scene chewing, but I expected brilliance and got schlocky genre cheese.

    I had to re-think my fandom. After re-watching his HK oeuvre I decided that he is a great casting guy.

    Chow Yun-fat was carrying his ass. That man is charismatic as fuck.

    Plus, slo-mo shoot-outs with fluttering doves and cinematic light/ shadow effects seem lame when recycled.

  104. Mimai says:


    **cough** HLS legacy admissions **cough**

    I say this in the good-natured spirit of taking the piss.

  105. Mimai says:


    Outstanding! Good for you and her. Live music is magic. Seeing your favorite band in a cave after being on lock-down for >1 year…..ineffable.

  106. de stijl says:


    Sofia Coppola is a pretty great director in her own right regardless of the surname.

  107. de stijl says:


    Kick Ass is a kick ass, awesome movie. No need to be apologetic.

    Stand proud, brother!

    I am seriously in awe of folks like Chloe Grace Moretz and Saoirse Ronan who, without formal study and training, are great even when quite young.

    And continue to be great after hitting full adulthood. It is rare and astonishing.

  108. Teve says:


    Done with dating sites. I’m now focusing on pizza delivery guys, because I know they have a job, a car, and pizza.

  109. de stijl says:

    Leaving Las Vegas is pretty great.

    I remember walking out of the theater. It was a matinee. Your brain predisposes you to certain reactions.

    Walking outside to a sunny afternoon is jarring after watching a fairly quite dark film.

    Elizabeth Shue of all people delivered a really effective performance.

  110. de stijl says:


    My favorite role of Vin Diesel is as Groot.

    “I am Groot.”

    A simple statement that can have many shadings and interpretations.

    Have serious fun on your trip with your daughter. Cut loose. Be fancy free.

  111. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I wish Uber or Lyft had “Drive us to the tourist shit and come back for us after lunch” options. I’m getting a rental car to drive to Pelham, I have zero interest in driving my own damn self around Nashville. I mean, I live in a town with no stoplights, my patience level for driving in big city traffic to take the kids to go see the Grand Ol Opry, etc, is zero.

  112. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mimai: Yes, yes…the REAL affirmative action

  113. de stijl says:


    Between taxis and Uber / Lyft, you’ll be fine. Nashville is not that geographically big and most stuff is in, or near to, downtown.

    Beyond you having fun, actively encourage your daughter to do and see whatever she wants.

    Hit a honky tonk or two. Nashville is chock full of talented folks. A city seriously awash with unsigned talented performers.

  114. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    I echo these words of wisdom. The Nashville farmer’s market is fantastic……open daily, mix of people, lots of excellent food stalls, easy walk to riverfront park (picnic!), etc. As is often the case, the market gives a good sense of the vibe(s).

  115. de stijl says:


    Hear you, man.

    Words to live by.

    Irl, your business is your business and I keep my chip in and comments on your business slider set to zero. Irl, I take “not my business” very seriously and as a bright red line.

    We all can comment and kvetch here in a way that is distinctly unlike what we face in the day-to-day with physical folks we interact with.

    Filters are good and adaptive. Commenting me and physically interacting me behave very differently.

  116. George says:


    So send more to the Black and Indigenous farmers, but also send some to the small white farmers. Though I suspect almost no small farmers, white or otherwise, got anything at all — the money went (as always) to those who already had money and influence.

  117. Mikey says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Hyundai motors started out as a joke–not as bad as the Yugo, but not to far above it. A new CEO came in and simply said “We’re going to make this the best car company”. Within 3 years they were rated #2 in customer satisfaction by JD Powers, falling just behind Lexus.

    Hyundai wants to surpass the Japanese car makers in quality. There’s a lot of…history there.

    I like Hyundais. I’ve owned four. Never a problem with any of them. Solidly built, super reliable, and great value.

  118. de stijl says:


    There is a long standing legal tradition of compensatory damages and recompense thereto. It is not a radical thing at all. It’s fairly well settled law to pick one group legally deserving of a compensatory settlement.

    I understand that small farmers of all stripes deserve a fair shake, but this is a targeted response to past bad actions on a specific group so to that specific group.

    Don’t be willfully obtuse.

  119. George says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m afraid I’m honestly obtuse rather than willfully so (as Hanlon’s razor says, never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity), as I simply lack the ability to understand why they shouldn’t not only pass the aid to the black and minority farmers, but tack on aid to small farmers in general. The aid they want to give is an excellent idea, so why not generalize it?

    Its the same thing as expanding Medicare to everyone rather than limiting it to a smaller group — if something is a good idea, then apply it across the board.

  120. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Fair point. I’ll go on record as disliking that as well and thinking it should be done away with.