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The Democratic presidential candidates’ YouTube debate the other night reminded me of this bit from David Denby’s review of Ratatouille in the New Yorker:

At a time when many Americans have so misunderstood the ethos of democracy that they hate being outclassed by anyone, when science is disdained as dangerous and expertise as élitism, this animation artist, working in a family medium, has made two brilliant movies that unequivocally champion excellence. “Ratatouille” suggests that some omnivores are better than others. There’s nothing to do but get over it.

Which in turn reminds me of Novelty Rock, Jason Cherkis’ 2005 piece on novelists who play rock critic.

All of this Creative Loafing business has brought some anonymous Cherkis haters out of the woodwork, to which I say, Hey, if you want the guy fired, please suggest someone who has written a better piece of rock criticism in the last couple years.

One afternoon about 13 years ago my dad and I were working on our ’77 Chevy Impala. We’d been futzing with the engine for what seemed like an eternity and couldn’t fix what was wrong with it. Finally, my dad called a mechanic who was a member of his congregation (my dad is a Protestant minister). The guy dropped by the house and fixed in several minutes what we couldn’t fix in several hours. He said, and this is a good one, “Now, pastor Jim, I don’t tell you how to preach, you shouldn’t try to fix your car.”