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In which life imitates (rather bad) art. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
In which life imitates (rather bad) art.
We've had pretty good luck recently with films we've seen out, Netflixed, or gotten from the library. Last night, though, that streak came to a crashing halt. Margaret is a drama released in 2011, but actually filmed four years earlier; the intervening years were full of lawsuits between the studio and the writer-director over the final cut. HE wanted it to come in at close to three hours; the studio-issued version was over 2½, at least 30 minutes of which were slow, loving pans of various New York City skylines and street scenes.

Despite the length, the plot takes up about five sentences. Girl meets bus driver. Bus driver runs over pedestrian. Girl and bus driver lie about the color of the traffic light. Guilt results, or doesn't. Girl yells at and/or sleeps with every other character in the film. Somehow, this got on to all sorts of best-of lists after Fox finally released it in 2011; all I can think is it was considered a fashionable East Coast version of Crash, another milk-a-moment-in-time piece with an A-list cast that I also had little use for. The IMDB reviews have averaged about 6 out of 10, but almost all are either at the 10 end or the 0 end (my favorite: "Makes You Wish that the Bus Hit You").

To be fair, those long loving pans are beautiful, and the acting is classy, given what they've got. By the end, though, the only person in this film I could still stand was the one who got knocked under the bus in the first ten minutes- and without characters you care for, you're wasting my time.


That was last night. We then awoke to the bizarre and tragic news of a real-life accident within two hours of home (if you click, be careful; that video is as graphic as advertised):

Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night.

Kevin Ward Jr. had crashed following contact with Stewart one lap earlier and got out of his car as it was stopped along the fence. Video of the incident showed Ward walking from his crashed car onto the racing surface as cars circled by, and, as he gestured at Stewart's passing car, he was struck.

Hideously, as of the time that article posted, and as I was out and about at 9 this morning, Stewart was still planning to race in the main NASCAR event in nearby Watkins Glen today. By 10:30, cooler heads had prevailed, but dude was still in need of some sensitivity training, if not outright criminal investigation:

Stewart-Haas Racing, of which Stewart is a co-owner, released a statement early Sunday morning.

"A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating," the statement read. "Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We're still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time."

REALLY? Leading with the fact that your star-star-star driver was unhurt before acknowledging (and not naming) the 20-year old victim? We will likely never know whether he came to this decision himself or if his sponsors were ripping their 300 patches off his uniform and preventing him from making money on the race. Just as bad were the comments, online and on-air, from Neckcar fans who blamed the whole thing on the victim (a kid who did, undoubtedly, do a stupid thing in leaving his vehicle on the track) and thought the killer was entitled to his lovely Day At The Races despite the death. One justified the driver's speeding up just before the fatal impact (despite the cars being under a caution flag from the initial impact)- "Y'all don't understand racing; drivers on caution hafta keep their tars warm!"

I'm just happy that this known hothead did the right thing for at least one day. Because otherwise, this big event at the Watkins Glen track (one of the few on the circuit which isn't a left-turn-only oval) would have truly lived up to its name:

5 comments or Leave a comment
bill_sheehan From: bill_sheehan Date: August 10th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tony Stewart was in an accident? OMG, that's terrible!

What? Somebody else died in a mangled heap? Oh, thank God. I thought something might have happened to Tony Stewart.

(Any relation to Jackie Stewart?)

NASCAR is big around here. No, really. There's a website and everything. See?


I particularly like the progress made toward their fundraising goal...
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: August 10th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I keep hearing a Scottish accent from 70s Indy races on ABC.

And besides, that kid was probably just some damn Yankee Obama voter anyway
bill_sheehan From: bill_sheehan Date: August 10th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
See, now if he'd owned a gun...
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: August 10th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also: sorry the Cape group is so slow; there's probably a much bigger one in Chappaquddick.
digitalemur From: digitalemur Date: August 10th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if this is why today's Sunday Secrets ran one from someone who started watching NASCAR to be close to her husband and now watched it because of her crush on Tony Stewart. Might have been; in any case it was only because I'd seen his name on PostSecret this morning that I had any idea who the hell he was.
5 comments or Leave a comment