Friday Dump

I first saw It’s a Wonderful Life in a college film class taught by Dr. Phil Reines, a famously entertaining lecturer and renowned expert on the subject of Champ, the Lake Champlain Monster. I recall discussing how dark the movie is, an idea echoed in a New York Times essay this week by Wendell Jamieson. He writes:

It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.

Alrighty then. Another good read on the movie is this Slate piece about how Pottersville looks much more fun than Bedford Falls. Enjoy.

You may remember that Don Corleone was in the olive oil business —well now we know why. It turns out that the olive oil industry is lousy with fraud and deception. Fraud? Deception? Yes, there’s dirty money in the stuff, mostly made by cutting pure extra virgin olive oil with inferior product. Thank God now someone’s doing something about it. What was the line from the movie? Leave the gun, take the canola?

I’m so happy that the rest of the world will finally stop hating America —but after Barack Obama’s January 20 inauguration they’ll need someone new to hate. May I suggest Germany? This week, a German politician said that Berlin’s poor be encouraged to catch rats for a bounty of one euro each. Favorite line from the story:

Rats are fast and much tougher to catch than returnable bottles, much sought after by poor people who retrieve deposits on them at supermarkets.