COMMONPLACE BOOK, Current Extracts and Quotations of Interest

"I have no problem with the demonstration, but this is a business. Couldn't they have protested in the morning before work? Couldn't they have protested in their hearts?"
CHARLEY BOHLEY, a restaurant owner who fired 10 workers after they attended an immigration rally, quoted in the NYT April 15, 2006

Gwenda Bond, “Fantasy Goes Literary”, article at
"Great writers have been incorporating fantasy, science fiction and horror in their fiction for a very long time," says Tina Pohlman, editorial director of Harcourt's Harvest imprint. But she concedes, "I realize that the contemporary literary world tends to equate literary fiction with narrative realism, so maybe there is something in the air."
.... "It's more of an aberration," says Brockmeier, "that those elements were stripped out of literary fiction in the first place. No one is rejecting realism, but there is a greater openness to accepting fantastic fiction as a form of literature."
....Kastenmeier, however, does view these latest developments as a sea change. "What is unique to our times is the fluidity of the borders between genres," he says. "There's always been fantasy in literature, and children's literature was accepted as literature, but now we're seeing people incorporate fantasy aspects into mainstream literature without being marginalized."

Jane Smiley, “Notes for Converts” in The Huffington Post:
“Bush is a man who has never been anywhere and never done anything, and yet he has been flattered and cajoled into being president of the United States through his connections, all of whom thought they could use him for their own purposes. He has a surface charm that appeals to a certain type of American man, and he has used that charm to claim all sorts of perks, and then to fail at everything he has ever done. He did not complete his flight training, he failed at oil investing, he was a front man and a glad-hander as a baseball owner. As the Governor of Texas, he originated one educational program that turned out to be a debacle; as the President of the US, his policies have constituted one screw-up after another. You have stuck with him through all of this, made excuses for him, bailed him out. From his point of view, he is perfectly entitled by his own experience to a sense of entitlement.”


“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” -- Gustav Mahler

“I’ve long resisted the idea that the modern limitated-liability corporation, considered as an “individual” (as it is, under American law) is in fact—no matter how good and kind the people inside it—a sociopath. But the older I get and the more I see, the more I suspect that’s essentially the case.” – Patrick Hayden
“An Easter Turducken consists of one Cadbury Cream Egg, surrounded by marshmallow Peep, crammed deep inside the body of a hollow chocolate bunny. "It is my policy to avoid ingesting foods that contain the letter sequence 'turd,'" says one commenter...” – Xeni Jardin, at BoingBoing

“... The cartoon generated so many positive responses that [Stephanie] McMillan decided to auction it off on eBay and donate the proceeds to help keep abortion safe and legal in South Dakota. The bidding started at 99 cents, but by the time the auction closed on April 5, it had jumped to $2,201. McMillan is splitting the proceeds evenly between Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Oglala Sioux President Cecilia Fire Thunder recently confirmed plans to build a women’s reproductive health clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the South Dakota state government has no jurisdiction.

[Stephanie McMillan says] “.... Once the thought occurred to me, and I found his numbers on the Web site of the South Dakota legislature, there wasn’t any question-- I had to do it....His recent comments about rape are so offensive that many people are appalled that someone like him is attempting to control women’s lives. After his creepy detailed description of rape, I suspect that his sensibilities are not very delicate-- he can probably handle rough language. His righteous indignation sounds like a put-on. What’s really obscene is his effort to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, even if they’re victims of rape or incest, even at the risk of their health, regardless of their desires or circumstances.... The funniest [question] that someone told me she asked was: Tampons or pads?”


“To be a member of the ‘Comics As Literature’ canon, a work has to fit two of three descriptions, other than being a work of sequential art:
1. boring and/or incomprehensible
2. autobiographical, semi-autobiographical, or featuring a character with the same name as the author
3. about genocide or mass murder”
-- Franny Howe at “So, So Silver Age”
“In 1996 and 1997, Abramoff billed the Marianas for 187 contacts with DeLay's office, including 16 meetings with DeLay. In December 1997, DeLay, his wife and their daughter went on an Abramoff-arranged jaunt to the Marianas. DeLay brunched with the Marianas' largest private employer, textile magnate Willie Tan. Tan had to settle a US Labor Department lawsuit alleging workplace violations. According to the book "The Hammer" by Lou Dubose and Jan Reid, among the violations common on the islands is forbidding women to work when they are pregnant, thus leading to a high abortion rate.
“Evidently, DeLay didn't have time to look into such allegations, since he was busy playing golf and attending a dinner in his honor, sponsored by Tan's holding company. According to The Washington Post, it was at this dinner that DeLay called Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends." He also reminded those present of his promise that no minimum wage or immigration legislation affecting the Marianas would be passed.
"’Stand firm,’ he added. ‘Resist evil. Remember that all truth and blessings emanate from our Creator.’ He then went with Tan to see a cockfight.” -- Molly Ivins

".... our study found that more young people reported self-harm before, rather than after, becoming a goth. This suggests that young people with a tendency to self-harm are attracted to the goth subculture," says Robert Young, who led the study.
"Rather than posing a risk, it's also possible that by belonging to the goth subculture, young people are gaining valuable social and emotional support from their peers." But he cautions: "However, the study was based on small numbers and replication is needed to confirm our results." Only 25 participants felt strongly associated with goth culture. – Gaia Vince, New Scientist

Theoretically we have lots of technology to teach people [fill in the blank, prioritize as you like] whatever. But more often every day I get the terrifying impression that it's just not sticking. And I live in the Northeast surrounded by colleges and college towns. I know it's Allentown and not Princeton, but still. Then I start projecting outward. Planet population of what, 7 billion? What percentage of that number is below the age of 30? Below 20? Below 10? Forget Atlas Shrugged fantasies and religious apocalypse scenarios. We're not birds or fish who get most of what we need to survive and thrive hardwired into us. Our quality of life is predicated on a certain percentage of the population being around and able to pass knowledge on to the next generation in sufficient quantity to sustain and expand and enrich that culture. ... I really hope I'm wrong and I'm just beginning to lapse into "hey you kids, get off my lawn!" mode. That would be ok. Not fun, but tolerable. But if we're literally going to drown in our own uneducated, well then Dan doesn't have to be right about much before things are going to start sucking pretty hard and most of the time.

- Barney Dannelke
“The Republicans will probably win again. Good luck to them. Who wants Democrats to get in, just to run a better police state, the way Blair and New Labour have in Britain, where, last time I looked, the government was planning togas every badger from Lands End to Cape Wrath?
“Who wants Democrats to get to run a better Empire? In the Bush years Latin America is seeing a new dawn, with Hugo Chavez publicly deriding our Commander in Chief as a drunkard and sending cheap heating oil to the poor in the Northeast. In the Bush years two professors, from Harvard and the University of Chicago, have published an eighty-three-page paper outlining exactly why slavish deference to the Israel lobby is hurting America. I don’t think that would have happened in Clinton’s time. At some level, there’s a lot to be said for having morons in charge—at least until the sort of people I was talking to last Saturday can organize a party to take over, and start the long process of returning the country to sanity. Feingold should make a break for it now, split like LaFollette and really stir things up. God knows, we need it.

-- Alexander Cockburn in The Nation

See Also: Why am I being played by a 16-year-old lipgloss model?,
"He was like a murderer annoyed at being called a shoplifter",
"I've had far more sex than I've had fights on water towers against guys with super powers"


Taocat said...

I'm curious to know the origin of the asshole letter....

Taocat said...

It keep saying 0 comments, why won't it acknowledge my previous post?

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

It refused to acknowledge your comment because it saw you dancing with that OTHER comment at the office party, slammed back three fruity drinks, then went storming out to the parking lot yelling, "If you want your comments acknowledged, get your WHORE to acknowledge your comments!", then spent an hour necking with some guy it didn't know in the front seat of a Fiesta until it started sobbing and the bartender had to drive it home. What a mess.
Actually, it doesn't show the comments until you refresh the page.

The 'asshole' letter was posted on Wonkette at
I also recommend clicking Wonkette's links below the story for more assholery, of which there is no shortage these days.