Today's Blogs

Yours Truly, Hillary

Bloggers look for dirt—but don’t find much—in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s letters to a friend in the 1960s. They also mourn film great Ingmar Bergman and assess Google’s motives on Capitol Hill.

Yours truly, Hillary: Bloggers are analyzing letters Hillary Clinton wrote a friend while in college. The letters to John Peavoy, now an English professor in California, shed light on her transformation from Republican to Democrat but offer no other salacious details.

More than one blogger compared Hillary to Lisa Simpson, and political gossip maven Wonkette has the expected field day: “Hillary Rodham is a steely-eyed robot candidate, sure, but she was once a narcissistic Wellesley student — exactly like every other obnoxious Wellesley student ever — writing terrible letters in a pseudo-Salingerian voice to a high school friend. … If you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go beg our exes to delete all our old emails.”

Republican New Jerseyite Fausta spies a trend:  “Some things haven’t changed - Hillary’s still divorced from the middle class: ‘God, I feel so divorced from Park Ridge, parents, home, the entire unreality of middle class America,’ she says. “This all sounds so predictable, but it’s true.’ At least now she’s not showing up in public in those dreadful striped trousers.”

But at left-leaning group blog Amphetameme, Woodstock is impressed by the future candidate’s introspection: “These letters make her human; they take away the illusion that if you woke her up at 3am on a random Wednesday and told her that polar bears had just become a nuclear power and were holding the state of Alaska hostage she’d be able to whip a 10 point recovery plan out of her bedside table without a blink. The New York Times, in my opinion, just made Hillary Clinton electable.”

Cleveland blogger (and Clinton contemporary) Tim Ferris sees something of himself and his generation in Hillary’s letters: “I’d imagine little of my own turgid prose survives, and the world’s probably better off for that. … Back then, we thought that we could take over and work through government to solve all of our society’s ills. So did Hilary. Most of us now think differently.”

Read more of Hillary’s letters.

Losing at chess: Legendary film director Ingmar Bergman died Monday at age 89 in Sweden.  Fans look back at his life and work.

Technical writer Robert Nagle at Idiotprogrammer recalls the filmmaker’s influence in his own life: “He is a hero to me.  I was a Bergman fanatic in college. I was profoundly moved in every conceivable way by Persona. I called it my alltime favorite film then, and still consider it my alltime favorite. Bergman has created a massive body of work, and I look forward to filling in the gaps of my knowledge.”

 “I was never a huge fan of his work, author John Scalzi notes at his blog Whatever.  “That said, I’m not so foolish as to confuse my own personal taste with a negation of the man’s genius. He was flatly brilliant, and is one of the lucky few (or alternately, we are the lucky many) to have his cinematic tableaux become part of the common culture. … When your vision is automatically understandable to even brain-dead teenage stoners who have never heard of you, you’ve made your mark.”

Film critic Michael Atkinson writes his retrospective at Zero for Conduct:“The earlier films are perfectly appointed genre dramas; the latter, indulgent self-examinations (that goes for the last, family-biographical screenplays, too). But nowhere, not even in the gradually reevaluated The Serpent’s Egg, is there a lazy, unambitious or unoriginal directorial moment. It doesn’t happen every day that we lose one of an entire art form’s aboriginal movers. When will he reenter the pantheon?”

Read more about the work of Ingmar Bergman. Joe Queenan watched all of Bergman’s 38 films, and lived to tell the tale

GooglePlexed:  Tomorrow, the FCC will lay down the rules regulating the auction for a $15 billion chunk of public airwaves.  The waves on the market have been abandoned by television broadcasters that switched to digital. Google has proposed an open-access network, which would increase access to Google’s offerings over wireless devices but prevent telecom companies from differentiating their offerings.

Lobbying is new for Google; the company didn’t have a Washington office until 2005. JW has mixed feelings about that at Iowa Liberal: “It’s unfortunate that our political decisions are for sale, but it is a small consolation to see somebody with money who’s on the right side making a dent. Google is on the right side with this issue just like they were on net neutrality.”

Not everyone has so much faith in Google, though.  The laissez-faire minds at the Liberty Conspiracy aren’t buying it:  “Google wants a piece of the action, and may spend billions in the auction, where it will be up against AT&T and Verizon Wireless. If Google loses, it is arranging what it sees as a backup plan – to get Congress to force the winner to carry competitors’ services… Huh?  Yes. You got it. The Googlers want the winner to BE FORCED to carry the Google service. Does Congress care about private property? If the members DID, they would turn over the spectrum to the private market with no strings attached, and would never be involved in radio regulation again.”

Read more about Google’s lobbying efforts here.