- It's worth noting that, for all of the U.S.'s problems, many people would still like to live here. According to a recent Gallup poll, focused mostly on Mexican immigration, 700 million people worldwide said they would like to live in a different country, and 165 million chose the United States. The Compass sees this as “the country's capacity to regenerate itself and stave off a decline in population. America's two major great power rivals - China and Russia - can boast of no such attraction.” I'd go further. I think immigration is the only thing that can save us from inevitable decline, because it fills the country with people with drive rather than with a sense of privilege.
- Related: Who wants to work at the FoxConn plant in Shenzhen, China? It's a tragic situation, but, I have to admit, the dueling headlines at the New York Times yesterday made me laugh. In the morning: “After Suicides, Scrutiny of China's Grim Factories.” The story's all about the horrible conditions for these Chinese factory workers, 12 of whom attempted or committed suicide in the past year. In the afternoon: “Changes in China Could Raise Prices Worldwide.” It's all about how rising wages for these factory workers, including those at FoxConn (doubled to US$300 per month), will impact your wallet. It's our schizophrenia in one neat package. “Oh, how awful for these poor people!”/“Wait, I don't want to spend more money for a T-shirt, an iPhone, a slinky!” See also: “BP sucks!”/“I'm driving to the gym in my SUV!”
- Is this part of our schizophrenia or just part of our assholedom? I'm talking the controversy surrounding the mural at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona. Lord. Roger Ebert has a nice, personal essay on race in response, but Arizona's becoming a real embarassment. Remember “Mississippi, Goddam”? Try “Arizona, Goddamn.”
- FYI, but I would read a Newsweek magazine redesigned by David Carr.
- Movies! Matthew Belinkie at overthinkingit.com on “Jaws” and Chief Brody's heroic journey, complete with phallic and impotent images.“ It's a fun read that clarifies the film. I'm also warming up to his contention that ”the summer blockbuster is about a regular Joe becoming a real man" (i.e., Neo, Peter Parker, Harry Potter), and that Chief Brody was the first of these regular joes. Sorta kinda maybe. He was still a man, of course, just not a man's man. He had a real job and a real family. But what does this trend mean? Is it a positive (characters aren't thrust whole into the storyline but must develop) or a negative (wish fulfillment for all the half-men out there)?
- Finally, there was a lot of puffed-up talk about Jim Joyce's blown call in Armando Galarraga's perfect game last Wednesday, but the best thing written about the entire affair was written within hours of the game. By my man Joe Posnanski. Read the whole thing. Please. Excerpt:
Galarraga pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit. I’ll always believe that. I think most baseball fans will always believe that. But, more than anything it seems that Galarraga will always believe it. The way he handled himself after the game, well, that was something better than perfection. Dallas Braden’s perfect game was thrilling. Roy Halladay’s perfect game was art. But Armando’s Galarraga’s perfect game was a lesson in grace.