["Heath Ledger got lucky. Before Brokeback Mountain, he was on a career track to oblivion. Decades from now, nobody will ever remember The Patriot, The Four Feathers, The Order or Ned Kelly, and nobody would be able to pick Ledger out of a lineup. But then he was cast in that socially responsible epic Western, which was safe and bland and pretty and made people feel good about themselves. But at the same time, he stumbled upon a great trick, and one that hasn't been used in so long that people have forgotten it: he mumbled. Marlon Brando wowed people for years by using this trick. Apparently, if people can't understand what you're saying, they assume it's something profound. Ledger's mumbling worked so well that it didn't even matter that he obscured the film's final line of dialogue, and his momentum was such that he even earned a few rave reviews for the dim-witted Casanova, released a few weeks later. Now he has joined the Serious Brooders club (Joaquin Phoenix, James Caviezel, Eric Bana, etc.). It will be interesting to see if he can out-brood Christian Bale in the next Batman movie."]
["Right now HBO is shipping out its Emmy campaign box to the 14,000 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Presentation is simple, understated and efficient: two bound volumes measuring about 7 inches square, containing 13 disks each. In between each program sleeve is a cloudy, transparent sheet with a few quotes from major media."]
["I have received a lot of advice that I should not attend the Festival. I'm told that paparazzi will take unflattering pictures, people will be unkind, etc. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. As a journalist I can take it as well as dish it out."]
["Without forgiving a thing that Cho did, let me say that I was heavily in the therebutforthe camp for a while and it was sobering. Stephen King wrote something for the EW website about this mess—the suggestion buried in there seems to be that Cho happened because Cho didn't have any talent. I think that's, all irony aside, really fucking fascinating. I think that it's dead on."]
["After hammering out an agreement on Monday, members of the House and Senate are preparing to vote later this week on a war spending bill that would start bringing combat troops home from Iraq as early as July and effectively complete a withdrawal by April 1, 2008."]
Clip of the Day
_____________________________________________________ "Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.