The Commonplace Book, Last Week of May

A couple of personal favorites to start:

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” –Lincoln


"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to steal bread, and to beg in the streets." -- Anatole France


“There was a time when a vital center coalition existed in the Senate, where there was room on both sides for trading votes across party lines. The Republicans destroyed that coalition and Liebermann, inexplicably, doesn't seem to get that. Even worse, when the shit comes down, he inevitably sides with them. Many Democrats took a long time to learn the harsh lessons of GOP political hardball and had to lose to a bunch of thuggish right-wingers before they began to recognise what they were up against. Lieberman still refuses to accept the fact that his high minded centrism is a weapon in the hands of the radical Republicans.”
-- from “Centrist Know-Nothings” at Digby's Hullabaloo

“There is a certain reverence for the sociopath as a major cultural type in American society, along with the frontiersman, the puritan and the outlaw.”
Robert Stone


From a list of “50 Favorite Marvel comic book characters” by Wheeler on LiveJournal:
“Nick Fury
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Superspy. Eyepatch. Cigar. Gun. Giant citadel held aloft by helicopter rotors. Flying cars. Robot clones. Holograms. Hot Italian contessa girlfriend. The definition of cool. These days, Nick Fury doesn't smoke cigars, because Marvel editor Joe Quesada lost family to lung cancer. I lost family when Godzilla took down a SHIELD Helicarrier over San Diego, but that doesn't seem to bother those insensitive shits at Marvel.”
“Swarm, Fritz von Meyer
Created by Bill Mantlo and John Byrne.
Swarm has appeared in comics only a scant handful of times, yet he has massive cult appeal. To understand why, there's just one thing you need to know about Swarm: He's a Nazi made of radioactive bees. Shakespeare only wishes he'd come up with stuff this good.”


“On the other hand, it's possible for a talented wanna-be who's written a good book to stress out at the prospect of actually submitting the thing, and suffer a debilitating attack of multiply recursive self-consciousness, which eats up every scrap of processing capacity and so impairs their judgment. That is: A good book can have a bad cover letter.”
-–Teresa Neilsen Hayden


TO: The Citizens of the United States of America

RE: Revocation of Your Independence

In the light of your failure to elect a proper President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. (Except Utah, which she does not fancy much.) Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

“But Constantine takes the liberties of adaptation too far. In the comics, John Constantine is a snarky blond working class Brit whose iconography includes chain smoking and wearing a dingy yellow trenchcoat. He is not a mopey black-haired American with a big gun and tattoos. Calling the guy in this movie John Constantine is an insult. If you made a movie of From Hell, which is largely about Jack the Ripper, and decided to change Jack the Ripper into an American stalking the streets of '20 Chicago with a tommy gun, no matter how good the movie was people would be rightly upset. So I'm pissed. As rumour has it [apparently confirmed as true—OEE ed.] Alan Moore has instructed (DC Comics) to not credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes exclusively to the artists (Rick Veitch and Stephen Bissette) .... Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected.”
-- Jonathan Korman in his blog -- Miniver Cheevy

“No-one who sees a system as "natural and inevitable" can really examine it; this is why minority groups create the best comedians, generally.” --Michael O’Hare

“David Broder is such a wanker. And, as pointed out at Tiny Revolution:
MR. RUSSERT: David Broder, is it possible for official Washington--the president, Democratic leaders, Republican leaders--to arrive at common ground, a consensus position on Iraq?
MR. DAVID BRODER: It's possible, Tim, but they won't get there by arguing about who did what three years ago. And this whole debate about whether there was just a mistake or misrepresentation or so on is, I think, from the public point of view largely irrelevant. The public's moved past that.

“And, as pointed out at Tiny Revolution: Just days after he said this, a New York Times poll found that 80% of Americans felt it was "very" (56%) or "somewhat" (24%) important for Congress to investigate Bush's use of intelligence on Iraq.

“In Broder's world: Figuring out how we got into this catastrophic war, not so important. Not only that, he assumes because it isn't important to him it must not be important to anyone. This is called the Pulling It Our Of Your Ass school of punditry, something the Dean has apparently mastered in his old age.” -- Atrios

"In essence, the basic question of philosophy (as of psychoanalysis) is the same as that of the detective novel: who is guilty? " -- Umberto Eco
-- Art by John Kricfalusi, that Magnificent Bastard

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