Partial Readings: Hot Tubs and Their Discontents

Hot Tubs and Their Discontents
A.O. Scott on Hot Tub Time Machine: “The cultural detritus piled up everywhere, to be recycled, cherished, mocked and travestied, provides small–but nonetheless real–compensation for the spiritual deficits of modern life. Is it crazy to write that sentence in a review of ?Hot Tub Time Machine“? Not really: the movie itself proves the point. It?s fun, it?s sad, and it?s kind of sad that it?s so much fun.”

Cruise-ship Populism
Jonathan Raban reports from last month’s Tea Party Convention: “As we milled around in the convention center lobby, we might easily have been mistaken for passengers on a cruise ship. We belonged to a similar demographic: most–though by no means all–of us had qualified for membership of AARP a good while ago; 99.5% of us were white; in general, smart leisurewear was our preferred style of dress.”

The Rasputin of the Beltway
Karl Rove? Rasputin? Heat-seeking Missile? Ballerina-turned-Congressional representative? Beneath the apocrypha and epithets lies the elusive reality of Rahm Emanuel–the “leading practitioner of the dark arts of the capital.” The New York Times and the New Republic published recent portraits of Obama’s chief of staff, albeit without his endorsement or involvement.

Victory from Defeat?
Days after adopting the fierce and much-beloved terrier as its new mascot, Germany’s Social Democratic Party received a record breakingly low 23 percent of the vote in the national elections. But out of defeat often comes victory–and Clay Risen is sanguine about their future: “The free-market fundamentalists of the CDU [Christian Democratic Union] and the Free Democrats…have left the field wide open for the SPD to provide a realistic solu

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