1. "Medium rare...an aristocrat!" Andy Horbal analyzes the cooking scenes in Scorsese's gangster classic.
2. "Stranger than Fact." Edward Copeland on "Bobby."
["I keep coming back to the idea of how much better Bobby would have been if it had been an actual documentary. A cursory Internet search seems to indicate that many of the people who were really at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968 are still alive, and their stories certainly have to be more compelling than the silly ones Estevez has concocted...Because the fictional footage proves so boring, watching this movie ends up playing like it's Waiting for Sirhan." ]
3. "The Present Pernicious--or--Why I hate the History Channel (in which we find inbred cats)." Liverputty contributor Escutcheon Blot on the History Channel, and a particular storytelling technique that he loathes.
["While I have always condemned this particular story-telling gimmick (at least since I first consciously encountered it in the the mid-nineties on the History Channel), its unacceptable recent contamination of light fiction has aroused my fighting blood."]
4. "Serial killer elephant shot dead in India": Insert G.O.P. joke here.
["An elephant named "Osama bin Laden" that has killed 27 people in northeast India, has been shot dead, triggering protests by conservationists who say forestry officials had probably shot the wrong animal. The 10-feet tall male elephant had been terrorizing villagers in Assam state for the past two years, destroying hundreds of homes and trampling scores of people—prompting locals to name him after the elusive al-Qaida leader. The animal was accused of killing 14 people in the past month."]
5. "The Lost Leader." From the January issue of Sight and Sound, Colin McCabe on Derek Jarman.
["The first thing you have to say about Derek is that he was queer. The second thing to say - and hard on the heels of the first - is that he was English. I'm not sure that I've ever met anyone who better understood what it is to be English, despite, or perhaps because of, a New Zealand father and a half-Jewish mother. I certainly never met anyone who understood more clearly what was at stake as Margaret Thatcher incubated the Blairites in the blood of the Falklands war and the boom of City deregulation. Derek's anger at what was being done to his country was compounded by his anger at what was being done to his lovers and friends as the scourge of AIDS allowed homophobia to clothe itself in respectability."]
"Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.