A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, September 26, 2003 :::
If you leave your window open and a fan blowing on you, be sure that temperatures during an autumn night are going to stay the same or go up. If you wake up in the middle of the night with your teeth chattering, you can pretty much expect to have a cold. An adult should not need to learn this lesson, but that explains the absence of this blog yesterday.

The saddest thing that A Mind That Suits has read in the last 48 hours is that Kodak is bowing to the inevitable. The corporation that gave us lush, beautiful photographs by means of its always superb film products is radically realigning it business to include more digital imaging. That is inevitable, but A Mind That Suits has not seen, yet, a digital image that matches a properly lit filmed shot. As it happens, no film is 100% "realistic," and every film has a color that predominates despite the best efforts of what are known as "timers" to get the colors balanced. ("Timers" are people.)There are trade-offs in every medium for capturing images. But for sheer richness and flexibility, nothing yet matches film. When digital can come up with a good, saturated black, we will be headed somewhere. But until then...well, A Mind That Suits will be a little disatisfied.

Now, in the hands of a master, any visual medium can be the best for any particular shot, which is why Saving Private Ryan is flimed using every single visual medium available at the time it was shot. But still, film is best, and probably will be for some time to come.

Ammo against pretentious, know-it-all NPR listeners. Some years back, the New Republic ran a competition under the title "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative." The title--which had actually appeared on piece by then-New York Times foreign affairs commentator Flora Lewis--was held up as the perfect headline to put readers to sleep. The words "European Union" have something of the same effect on American readers, although, as Financial Times associate editor Gerard Baker points out in a perceptive article this month, Americans should in fact be interested, as the likely winners in the battle for control of European foreign policy would be the people who think that the only way to define Europe is as something that is "not the United States." In other words, far from being our ally, a united Europe might well oppose us, just to keep its independence.

Policy considerations aside, it is true that the bureaucracy in Brussels has grown with very little oversight, a situation that invites corruption. The day to day operations of the Union are controlled by something known as the European Commission, which consists of the heads of various departments, roughly what you would get if US Cabinet Secretaries set policy together. And it now appears that the second Commission in a row will have to resign over,yes, corruption. Just remember that the next time you hear someone spouting off about how well the "Europeans" do things.

And then ask that person to define "European."

This morning, Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Henninger provides a good snapshot of all that is going right in Iraq. However, the blue ribbon panel sent over by the Pentagon listed many of those things 2 months ago. The Democrats and the Europeans (there's a difference?) are wrong to say the situation is a disaster, just as much of the conservative press is wrong to insist that everything is going fine. The President's did not do a good job of convincing the Ameican public that we need more money for Iraq, but we do. And it is true, as two conservative congressmen argue in this morning's National Review Online, that Iraq must develop Iraq, but that must take place in a stable environment.

Right now, the Administration has been thwarted in its attempt to pull out of certain areas and in convincing other countries to shoulder some of the burden. This is all to the good. The Europeans have made a mess of Kosovo, although you will not find it widely reported, so their help can be avoided. But it then falls to us to provide all the help that we can, and the Administration needs to get out and tell us what needs to be done. And it needs to tell about all the good that it has accomplished--over and above getting rid of Saddam Hussein.

Fighting the urge to crawl back to sleep, A Mind That Suits wishes you a wonderful day.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:29 AM



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