COMMONPLACE BOOK, Excerpts of Interest for the last half of March

“Every surviving white person in New Orleans has been airlifted directly to the secret warehouse where all television media is produced. They were only allowed to leave when they mustered up the sadness to cry in front of Katie Couric, who managed to find an insightful anecdote about her children for every single story. Those who refused to laugh at her tales were ushered into Star Jones' dressing room, where they were promptly eaten alive while the T-Rex noise from "Jurassic Park" played in the background to set the mood.” --- The "Something Awful" website
“I ran into a gray eminence from the Bush era I knew the other day in an airport, and he said that what most offended him about Bush II is the naked incompetence. ‘You may disagree with Republicans, but you always had to recognize that they knew what they were doing,’ he said. ‘I keep going back to that intelligence memo of August 2001, that said that terrorists had plans to hijack planes and crash them into buildings. The president read it, and he didn't even call a staff meeting to discuss it. That is lack of attention of a high order.’” --Unknown, quoted by Garrison Keillor in the Chicago Tribune, March 15, 2006
Unknown author, commenting on Walter Shapiro’s “pimping” for Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances:
“God save us!...I would like to see us all just stop talking about her once and for all—there is no there there. All of this makes me want to just leave this compromised rotting hulk of a political party, but then again the chance to vote against yet another fearful, overly-careful, scripted, too-far-right, blown dry, mealy mouthed, cowardly, survival-conscious, too-quick-to-compromise, insulated, wooden, tone deaf, egotistical, unprincipled, retrograde, well-connected, born-to-lose, lawyerly, wimpy, lead from behind, squirmy, all around crap primary candidate like Hillary may keep me from reregistering until after the primaries!”
-- quoted by ‘punaise’ on

-- "Dial B for Blog" on the film adaptation of "Fantastic Four"
Patricia Relf Hanavan on pirates and the Republican doctrine of preemptive war: “Saw this line as I was re-reading Treasure Island and thought it seemed vaguely familiar. It's the pirate Israel Hands speaking (p. 175 in my book--in ch. 26):
‘Well, now I tell you, I never seen good come o' goodness yet. Him as strikes first is my fancy; dead men don't bite; them's my views--amen, so be it.’"

“We've no use for intellectuals in this outfit. What we need is chimpanzees. Let me give you a word of advice: never say a word to us about being intelligent. We will think for you, my friend. Don't forget it.” -- Celine
Joke forwarded by DeeAnn:
President Bush recently went to a primary school in Macon,
Georgia, to talk about the world. After his talk, he asked if the children
had any questions. One little boy put up his hand, and the president
asked him his name.
"And what is your question, Kenneth?"
"I have three questions:
1) Whatever happened to the weapons of mass destruction?
2)Why did you give a tax break to the super wealthy?
3) Did you steal votes to win both elections?"
Just then the bell rang for recess. President Bush informed the
children that they would continue after recess.
When they resumed, the President said, "OK, where were we? Oh,
that's right, question time. Who has a question?"
A different little boy put his hand up. Bush pointed him out and
asked him his name.
"And what is your question, Larry?"
"I have five questions:
1) Whatever happened to the weapons of mass destruction?
2) Why did you give a tax break to the super wealthy?
3) Did you steal votes to win both elections?
4) Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
5) What happened to Kenneth?"

“Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are very unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such.” – Republican activist Grover Norquist on the current crop of Democrats

“This is blues made for humming along, stomping your foot, feeling righteous in the face of oppression and expressing gratitude to your baby for greasing your skillet.”
-- Charles M. Young reviewing the music of Guy Davis*
• (Yes, this is skeptical me telling you that Guy Davis is the real thing. His version of “Goin’ Down Slow” had me hollering back at the radio.)

“(Republican Congressional candidate Howard) Kaloogian posted a photo from "downtown Baghdad" showing how peaceful and calm things were there; bloggers investigated the photo and it was recognized as coming from a suburb of Istanbul -- something that could be proved by comparing it to web-based photo-albums showing the intersection and the surrounding area. In less than a day, it was over. "Jem6X" at the popular DailyKos blog confirmed the street scene was in Bakirkoy, a suburb of Istanbul, not Baghdad.” -- Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing

“Here’s a thumbnail sketch [of Fredric Jameson’s thought]: Culture is above all the expression of history and its class struggles, its bouts of false consciousness and thwarted or poisoned revelations, coded into what we might nowadays call memes. Jameson identifies these “ideologemes” and “mythemes” and with great ingenuity examines the degree to which each epoch characterizes itself unconsciously by these cultural elements and their contraries (which are mutually exclusive, like life and death) and their contradictions (embattled inconsistencies or lapses).”
-- Damien Broderick in his Locus review of Frederic Jameson’s “Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions”
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” --Voltaire

See Also:
Saint Patrick's Day: "He was like a murderer annoyed at being called a shoplifter", End of April: "I've had far more sex than I've had fights on water towers against guys with super powers", February: ""WHICH GOD DAMNED IDIOTS CHOSE KAINE TO DO THE REBUTTAL?", Commonplace Book:January, December


Taocat said...

Interesting note: I was speaking with a guy last night who is in the Montana Air National Guard. He has served in both Iraq (behind the lines) and in Louisiana. He told me that Iraq wasn't bad - he would be ok going back, but New Orleans was awful. What surprised me was his reasons: In Iraq, he said, there were fewer bullets whizzing past your head. In New Orleans, he said, everyone was demanding, like "my house was destroyed and now you owe me. You need to clean that garbage out of my yard."

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

Here's how I would have responded (assuming I had my wits about me) :
1) Take the tax dollars paid by Louisianans to the federal government and multiply by the number of years since the Army Corps of Engineers started maintaining levees. Don't forget the US imports and exports that travel through Gulf Coast ports and the Mississippi River. (Don't ask him to think about the priceless contributions of New Orleans to American culture; let's stick to dollars, and not confuse the philistines.)
2) Subtract Louisiana's percentage of federal taxes from the money being pissed away in Iraq ($237,964,700, 000 at the moment, but who's counting?)
3) Now the administration is wondering if we can save New Orleans at all? You bet I'm pissed.

If the National Guard of Montana is going to be used to build schools in Iraq, they can damn well clean mold in New Orleans. Oh, wait, that's not their job, is it? Gosh, we don't want the president changing the mission of the National guard arbitrarily.

You can also tell him that the Louisianans you know (by one handshake removed) are not the indigent po' folks not worth saving (I'm being ironic) shown in television clips. Louis' father is a research scientist, the Beautiful (sigh) Monica's an educator, her husband's a banker... (Also note that I said 'by one handshake removed', if anybody gets to hug Monica in this thought experiment, it's going to be me.)

I'm curious to know why we haven't taken the Netherlands approach to our battle with the sea. I hear they've brought in some Dutch engineers recently, and I'll be curious to hear what they say.