I’m writing about Spain tonight for the Newhouse column, so I won’t discuss it here, except to repeat what I wrote in the LGF comment section: you can take the nation out of old Europe, but you can’t take the old Europe out of the nation.

Vote against the party that maddened the terrorists, so the terrorists will leave you alone for a while – brilliant. It’s like sitting on a cooler of raw meat with tigers prowling around, and deciding to put down your rifle so you can throw some steaks at the tigers. If you throw hard enough, they won’t come back.

At least Spain knows what’s expected of them now. If they remove the Socialists from power some day, they can expect a few bombs here and there to remind them of their place.

A mild cold is working its way through the house. I’m not doing the nose-goop zinc this time, since apparently it makes you lose your sense of smell. I’m just eating zinc tablets, which make lose your sense of taste. For a while. Today I had a hamburger that tasted like some sort of electrical insulation.

Good weekend, if uneventful; too cold to do anything. The temps are a little below the norm, but the wind is ferocious. You have no idea how ugly it is around here these days. The snow has receded; what’s left are hard filthy glaciers on the boulevards, mud, dead lawns flecked with items left out before the first snows came. (A Scooby-Doo kite from a fast-food promotion reappeared last week, as did Jasper’s long-buried hedgehog.) The snowman is a crusty torso with stick-limbs that look like the bones from which the flesh has rotted away. It’s the interval between movements. In two weeks we’ll see shoots and hear oboes, and life will flood back into the world. But right now: looking at this place feels like you’re licking a brick.

Watched the sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Or perhaps the sequel to “Space Jam.” Or the sequel to every other misbegotten attempt to marry 2D animation to real-world footage. I like Roger Rabbit, but I don’t love it - it’s incessantly kinetic. Even the first time I saw it I felt as if someone had put an electric hand mixer in my brain and selected the WHIP setting. It’s too loud and too noisy, and let’s be honest: Roger Rabbit was one of the most annoying characters ever created. Eddieeeeeee, puh-puh-puh-puhleeeeze! Put him in the dip, already.

I rented “Looney Toons: Back in Action” out of grim duty, resigned to seeing how low they’d gone this time. But I liked it. At least the 60% I’ve seen, anyway. Bugs is Bugs, even if the voice isn’t quite right. (Too nasal.) Daffy is perfect. They are the Hope and Crosby of the cartoon world. But what of the others? Bucking the trend to treat bad guys like misunderstood good guys, the movie clearly finds the venal stupidity in Yosemite Sam; he runs a casino. His floorshow MC is Foghorn Leghorn (another insufficient voicing; not Leghorny enough, and you’d think they would have heard that.) Foghorn was one of those morally weak characters; he just wanted to hang out, enjoy the day, smack the Dog in the head with a board if the opportunity arose, and escape the clutches of that scrawny spinster chicken who had her bonnet set on marrying him. Shiftless and cheerful. In any case, the movie stays squarely within the timeless Warner Brothers world, so they don’t have to incorporate the happy shiny Disney stuff or the MGM characters – which are wonderful, but don’t belong in the Warner Bros. World anymore than Spiderman can fight alongside Aquaman.

It’s packed with details the reward the faithful. The characters go to Paris? But of course:

They visit supersecret Area 52, and there’s a fabulous old sci-fi reference which may have gone over the heads of 99% of the audience:

That’s Kevin McCarthy reprising his role from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” from 1956. Forty-seven years ago. And Shatner thinks he was typecast.

Speaking of type. I couldn’t help it:

The hero, Brendan Fraser, lives at home with his father, who makes Bond-like spy films. (The father is played by Timothy Dalton, one of the many little Escher-loop jokes the film makes; Fraser’s character is a stunt man whose resume includes “The Mummy,” for example.) When I saw this poster I thought: I KNOW THAT FONT.

It’s Spaceman, by Fontdiner. Wonder if he saw it.

Then there’s this. Marvin Martian, the one voice we all can do, is in a glass jar in Area 52. He receives a transmission from ACME HQ.

The image in his visor is Owl Jolson, from the 1936 Tex Avery cartoon “I Love to Singa.” The little owl has an overwhelming need to croon, and casts off his classical training to pursue a career as a jazz singer, to the chagrin of his very Jewish owl father.

You can see it here. (Real Audio player required.)

New matchbook linked below; tomorrow will have some photoblogging and a new tune. See you then. And yes, I am proud of this week's design, and yes, this does mean new weekly designs again. You just knew it was only a matter of time.
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