Fading out on the 2012 Oscars

25 February 2012

So it’s usually about this time of year that I wrap up a series of blog entries predicting (well, attempting to) the winners of the Academy Awards.  Last year, it ended up as three or four entries, probably about 10,000 words, complete with historical markers and rules of thumb for how each category tends to go.  I’ve had fun doing it, had some success as well (last year I picked 18 of the 24 winners correctly), and I hope people have had fun reading it.

This year … it’ll just be this one article.  A month or so ago, I was all revved up for doing a big showstopper franchise of columns, but it ended up as just this little indie production.

Now, I’ll grant that part of the reason was the depression I’ve been pushing through the last couple of months (see my previous post).  But another part of the reason was that it’s been a pretty blah movie awards season.  And much of the reason for that was that 2011 was a pretty blah year for movies — especially the type of movies that tend to win Oscars.

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An outsider’s look at the 2012 election – December 2011

30 December 2011

I was originally going to write this post yesterday, following up on my previous look at the upcoming elections from August.  But I decided I’d better do a little extra studying of the present-day situation before writing — and boy, am I glad I did!

I use the words “present-day situation” for a reason.  See, most of my thoughts lately regarding the coming election haven’t been about Obama, Romney, Gingrich and Bachmann — they’ve been about Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Nixon.  I’ve been reading a lot on previous presidential elections — Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals (about Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet), Donald Ritchie’s Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932, Theodore White’s The Making of the President series (I’ve finished 1960 and 1964, am still working through 1968, and read 1972 years ago but plan to re-read), Michael Lewis’ Losers (about the 1996 Republican candidates) and of course Heilemann and Halperin’s controversial Game Change.  These books and others, while not perfect, are helping give me some perspective on what’s going on out there, and have led to some interesting insights that I’ll deal with down the road in this space.

But let’s leave the past be for the moment and look to the present — the 2012 GOP contest — as the January 3 Iowa caucus quickly approaches …

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An outsider’s look at the 2012 election – August 2011

13 August 2011

If you’re an American, you’d better start getting ready for the 2012 presidential election — after all, it’s only 450-some days away!

The last few days marked the real ramp-up to next year’s race.  Not that things haven’t been happening all along; the campaigning for 2012 started before the 2008 election happened.  But the televised debate among Republican candidates in Ames, Iowa on Thursday, followed by the all-not-that-important Ames straw poll today, is being treated as the “ladies and gentlemen, start your engines” moment of next year’s big race.

I’ve been following the whole megillah a little (as I figure to do through election night and beyond – I minored in poli. sci. in college, and never quite got over it), and I have a few observations on the recent events, such as they are:

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