I am writing this from Backspace, an Internet/coffee shop/restaurant in Portland. And I’m having a small salad and Strawberry Smoothie to counteract the complementary Breakfast Buffett at the hotel. Still on vacation but I wanted to throw down some quick words.
-The upside of missing “The Dark Knight Rises” in Ashland? Seeing it for the first time at the FREAKING SWEET OMNIMAX!
Although I have to admit the curve of the screen kind of muddied some of the action beats for me, the large format made what was already a terrific film a full sensory experience.
And make no mistake, “TDKR” is one hell of a terrific film. Christopher Nolan has with his cycle of Batman films crafted one long epic of a man, battered by tragedy who uses his pain to create a symbol of hope in a time of darkness. If anything, it is in conception and execution, a repudiation of Nihilism and not an expression of it.
Which means that jackass at the Washington Times, Charles Hurt should stick to parroting right wing talking points and stay away from film criticism. The flashing lights and loud noises only frighten and confuse him.
-Good news, we are not Germany during the Weimer Republic. The bad news, apparently Greece is!
Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say.
In return, a growing number of Greek crime victims have come to see the party, whose symbol bears an uncanny resemblance to the swastika, as a “protector”.
“For a lot of people in poorer neighbourhoods we are liberators,” crowed Yiannis Lagos, one of 18 MPs from the stridently patriot “popular nationalist movement” to enter the 300-seat house in June. “The state does nothing,” he told a TV chat show, adding that Golden Dawn was the only party that was helping Greeks, hit by record levels of poverty and unemployment, on the ground. Through an expansive social outreach programme, which also includes providing services to the elderly in crime-ridden areas, the group regularly distributes food and clothes parcels to the needy.
But the hand-outs come at a price: allegiance to Golden Dawn. “A friend who was being seriously harassed by her husband and was referred to the party by the police very soon found herself giving it clothes and food in return,” said a Greek teacher, who, citing the worsening environment enveloping the country, again spoke only on condition of anonymity. “She’s a liberal and certainly no racist and is disgusted by what she has had to do.”
The strategy, however, appears to be paying off. On the back of widespread anger over biting austerity measures that have also hit the poorest hardest, the popularity of the far-rightists has grown dramatically with polls indicating a surge in support for the party.
One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing “positive opinions” about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%. The popularity of Nikos Michaloliakos, the party’s rabble-rousing leader had shot up by 8 points, much more than any other party leader.
The scourge of the Twentieth Century returns and we are cock punched by Nietzsche’s Theory of Eternal Recurrence.
We may need to buy thicker cups.
-Romney got a jolt from the first debate but “Talking Points Memo” seems to believe it might be a blip.
PPP polls also gave some hints about the polling its done over the last 3 days. PPP’s twitter feed said Friday’s polling was actually worse for Obama than Thursday. But it then noted that “Saturday interviews we’ve done for polls across the country look a lot more like our pre-debate than Friday numbers.” In other words, PPP’s data seemed to go from bad for Obama on Thursday to really bad for Obama on Friday and then back to something more like the pre-debate numbers on Saturday.
As far as I can tell, PPP and Ipsos are the only two outlets from which we have late Friday and Saturday data. And both seem to suggest either a plateau or fall off of Romney’s surge of support from the debate.
It’s worth noting that this kind of volatility is one reason many pollsters often prefer not to do quick polls right after major news events. The results can be accurate in a purely statistical sense but also quite misleading about the true state of the race. It’s not simply that opinions can shift quickly right after a major event. But surges of enthusiasm on one side or another can look like shifts in support, especially with likely voter models.
All of this remains uncertain. And the evidence for a fallback for Romney is quite fragmentary at this point. But from incomplete information, what looks clear is that Romney got an immediate boost which pushed him into something like a tie. But there’s now some evidence suggesting the surge is falling back.
Yeah, Romney looked strong in the moment. But the barrage of lies combined with threatening Big Bird may have limited any new-found enthusiasm to people whose inner monologues consists of variants of “Let’s get the N****r out of the White House. And the right going Alex Jones on the new Job Numbers will only help us.
Anyway, I am enjoying my last full day in Portland. (And really, what could be a more typical Portland experience than blogging in a Coffee House.) BTW, I’m going to close out the evening at Ground Kontrol. If you stop by, I’ll be the chunky guy mumbling obscenities at an old school pinball machine. Feel free to throw me a wave!