Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stuff That Makes You Smack Your Forehead, Saturday Morning Edition

(1)Fillipa Hamilton was recently fired by Ralph Lauren for becoming too fat. She is 5'10", weighs 120 pounds, and wears size 4 clothes. She is gorgeous. If that makes a model too fat to work, then let the record reflect that Wade Garrett loves fatties.

(2), Wal-Mart, Target, and other large retailers are currently in a price war over new hardcover books written by best-selling authors like John Grisham and Stephen King. Amazon is currently selling Stephen King's new novel, Under the Dome, for $9.00 in hardcover, and Wal-Mart is selling it for $8.99, or 83/100ths of a cent per page. Technically, Wal-Mart's price is lower, but it still eight dollars and ninety-nine cents more than anybody should ever give to Wal-Mart. Still, that is $26 (or 74%) off the cover price, which sort of makes anybody who has bought a hardcover novel in the past fifteen years feel like a total dick. But an 1,100 page novel (and a potential CSD long book club selection??) for less than the price of a movie ticket just reinforces our opinion that books are the best thing ever.

(3)Senator Al Franken recently proposed an amendment to a spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from awarding any contracts to companies that make their employees contract away their right to sue their employer for damages if they are raped by co-workers on the job. That clause, included in the fine print of Kellogg, Brown & Root contracts, has prohibitted a young woman employed by KBR in Iraq from suing after she was gang-raped by a number of her co-workers. Sure, she can still sue her co-workers, but her co-workers don't have any money, and KBR has a lot of money. Such an amendment would seem like a slam-dunk, and yet it was opposed by thirty Republican senators. Senator Sessions, who lead the opposition to the amendment, said on the Senate floor that it is not the government's place to interfere in private contracts. Mr. Sessions, the 14th Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statistics! Senator Sessions, a lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi for twelve years, ought to know that the Supreme Court's Lochner era ended in the 1930's and that, while the government is generally prohibitted from interfering in private contracts, the federal government can choose to spend its own money any way that it wants, and can attach as many strings as it wants to the money it chooses to spend. Senator Sessions' attempt to disguise his blatant neo-conservative pandering to government contractors in a half-assed legal language the Supreme Court overturned more than seventy-five years ago is as bizarre as it is reprehensible.
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Ellen said...

In length alone the King book is the best deal out of all the $9 hardcovers. He originally started working on it 30 years ago, a fact that came to light after someone noted the similarities between his plot and the plot of "The Simpsons Movie."

Unrelatedly, just reading the phrase "Senator Al Franken" makes me pleased with the world.

Wade Garrett said...

The Simpsons movie is the first thing I thought of when I read about King's novel, though I didn't read about it until New York Magazine published its fall preview issue.

I like the King that I've read, but I haven't read much of his stuff. I bet this isn't the novel to read if you're looking to get into his writing . . . but I just feel that its release is going to feel like a big event.

Unrelatedly - better long book club selection that is an apocalyptic novel by Stephen King: The Stand, or Under the Dome?

Ellen said...

I haven't read all of The Stand or any of Under The Dome, so I can't say for sure. Copies of The Stand are still cheaper to come by, but you could tell your book club "Look, buy this book now for $9 and we'll talk about it in six months when the price will have gone up again." Under The Dome is fresh and being talked about critically, but The Stand features killer flu, which is current.

Clearly the correct answer is to form an apocalyptic book club and read them both, along with On The Beach, The Years Of Rice And Salt, etc.