• I didn't see Crash but my wife assures me that it is the worst movie ever made. I actually hadn't seen a lot of these movies, owing to babysitter problems during Oscar (read: free movie) season. I am always more interested in the show and I enjoyed its non-four-hourness.

• Jon Stewart was pretty good: modest, almost to a fault. I didn't like his using the podium for his monologue, though I think that's how Carson did it; it's a more kinetic age now. My other kvetch is Stewart's whole self-deprecating thing; that's good on his show -- it helps cut the making-fun-of-politics self-importance -- but here it made him slightly smaller than he needed to be. Carson radiated "I am smarter than all you guys; so much smarter, in fact, that I'm not going to make a big deal of it." Any self-deprecating he did had the feeling of noblesse oblige. Jon Stewart could use more of that, i believe; he's earned it. Once he got into the flow of the show a little bit more of a bigger host persona started to emerge (I'm thinking of "That's how you accept an Oscar.") Dude could stand to have a little more Michael Jordan-like arrogance, is all I'm saying.

• Who knows just how liberal George Clooney really is? I mean, is he for a Canadian-style health-care system, or is he more into just underwriting catastrophic care, the way Kerry proposed? What about Amtrak -- does George Clooney think we should be focusing on regional intercity routes at the expense of a national system or what? These questions aside, if G.C. is the face of Hollywood liberalism that's great; he radiates pleasure -- not license, really, but the pleasure that's out there for someone who wants to be a whole person -- enjoying daylife and nightlife in equal parts. Liberalism is about opportunity and not letting life break people's legs just as they're about to pursue happiness. I feel like Clooney gets that.

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