September 15, 2013 - September 8, 2013
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Time for yet
Boxing metaphor? Yes!
CAN BE FUN TOO. Here's the thing about metaphors. They have the
quality of being
reciprocal; that is, they reflect on each other. If a comparison seems
off, maybe it's telling you to think about the target supposedly being
illustrated by the metaphor differently.
Which is a sly way of saying that I tend to trust my own wild hare
ideas even when I don't know where they come from. Things pop into my
head. I should let them go, but I frequently don't. Like today. I'm
thinking about the 2008 and 2012 elections in terms of The first and
second Clay-Liston heavyweight title fights.
Absurd? Obviously. Unless not.
Absurd because everything seems reversed. In 2008 the young man
defeated the old man, which tracks with Obama defeating McCain.
But there's another perspective available to anyone who remembers
the first 1964 title fight. What we today call the MSM were absolutely
in Liston's corner. If the Titanic was unsinkable, Liston was
unbeatable. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, Liston a 7-1 betting
favorite. Just as the full force of the MSM was behind Obama in 2008.
Beyond that, the course of the fight was remarkably similar up to a
point. The media favorite against the young upstart. Who now remembers
that the energy and talent of the McCain campaign was all a function of
Sarah Palin? She's the one who was unexpectedly unexpected. She drew
the crowds, landed all the telling blows, and had McCain actually ahead
in the polls when he quit campaigning to see to the bailout crisis.
Cassius Clay beat hell out of Sonny Liston for the first four rounds.
Then something fishy happened. The Liston corner, it is now believed,
put liniment on Sonny's gloves, which he managed to rub into Clay's
eyes late in that fourth round. Katie Couric was not involved, but the
upstart was damaged. Word is that Clay wanted to quit in the corner
between rounds four and five. Trainer Angelo Dundee wouldn't let him,
so Clay fought round five blind.
In 2008, McCain DID quit. He never wanted to be president. He just
wanted to have run for president. He got his wish.
Where, in a hugely important respect, the comparison breaks down. Clay
recovered his sight and caused Liston to quit in HIS corner before the
seventh round. He was the new champion.
Which is where the metaphor enters the realm of reversals, irony, and
oxymoron. Cassius Clay seized on his moment in the sun to declare
himself a muslim named Muhammed Ali. Instant pariah, an immediate
figure of fear and loathing.
So the MSM touted, insisted on, a rematch. The frightening one had to
be put in his place, destroyed. Just as the MSM set about annihilating
Sarah Palin after 2008. Is there any precedent in our history for such
an assault on a defeated vice presidential candidate? No. But she had
become the frightening one, a champion of the right who had to be
destroyed at all costs.
Because of the unexpected ending of the
first bout, the World Boxing Council ordered a rematch, this time with
Liston as challenger. The World Boxing Association disagreed, as
immediate rematches were against its rules, and stripped Ali of his
Ah. So Ali was once again the challenger. Ring a bell, Republicans?
The blow that ended the match became
known as "the phantom punch," so named because most people at ringside
did not see it. Even Ali was unsure as to whether or not the punch
connected, as footage from the event shows Ali asking his entourage
"Did I hit him?" after the match. Slow motion replays show Ali
connecting with a quick, chopping right to Liston's head (known as the
"Anchor Punch" according to Ali) as Liston was moving toward him. In
their book on Ali, Felix Dennis and Don Atyeo argued that "the blow
generated enough power to lift Liston's left foot, upon which most of
his weight was placed, off the canvas." Liston was unsteady when he
finally got to his feet, and the fight continued momentarily, with Ali
connecting with four additional unanswered punches before Walcott
belatedly declared the knockout, ending the contest. In the final
analysis, it remains inconclusive whether the blow was a genuine
There were claims that Liston had bet against himself and "took a dive"
because he owed money to the Mafia. Others believe that he feared for
his safety from Nation of Islam members who supported Ali. The latter
theory was supported by Mark Kram's book Ghosts of Manila, which
included an interview with Liston conducted years after the fight.
Liston claimed to have intentionally lost because of his fear of
retaliation from the Black Muslims. No independent substantiation of
this claim has come to light.
Where my awkward metaphor starts to get interesting. The most likely
interpretation is that Liston was a shot fighter and knew it but wanted
one last payday. Why it's interesting that the perpetual pessimists at
Hotair are suddenly linking articles suggesting that Obama is in far
more electoral trouble than the sportswriters of the left would have us
It's hard to be the heavyweight champion. What if Obama would really
prefer to be defeated and done with all the hard decisions he must know
by now he isn't qualified to make?
What if he's in the process of taking a very elaborate dive? Think
about it. He's a dyed in the wool community organizer and his wife is
now a full-time jet set vacationer with designer wardrobes and magazine
covers galore. If he loses, he becomes an instant world citizen, victim
of American racism and historic western imperialism. He can go back to
being an ideological agitator, only on a global stage. No more having
to be nice to Notre Dame moms and Texas babes in arms.
It's not as if any of his policies or governance were ever aimed at
making American life better. His stubborn refusal to move at all toward
the center indicates either remarkable stupidity or a political death
wish. Maybe, like Sonny Liston, he wants to exit the stage with the
perception that he was never beaten, only maneuvered by sinister forces
into a phony defeat.
Absurd. I know. But you're all aware I'll light on any excuse to show
Muhammed Ali fight footage.
We can leave it at that. But what if this is Romney on a certain
Tuesday night in November?
We all need something to hope for. Maybe all it really takes to defeat
Obama is a phantom punch. An easy excuse to move on to community
organizer sainthood at the U.N. Think about it before you trash me for
my mangled metaphor.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
of Child Memory
No, not Cleopatra.
Just an elementary school teacher.
mind is a funny thing. It forgets a lot and then it suddenly
remembers a lot. But never everything. Maddeningly.
The other day, I did a post that drew on a book I'd once been assigned
in class, Pearl Buck's The Good Earth.
inquired in the Comments whether or not anyone else had read it. Guy
T. produced a hilariously accurate review from, of all people, the
Oprah Winfrey Book Club:
"Oprah, forgive me, but this is one of
the most boring, relentlessly depressing, pointless books ever written.
I was forced to read it in High School and in College, and I believe I
have grounds to sue both of those institutions for mental cruelty.
Pearl Buck's condescending tone and wearying prose made me want to gnaw
off my arm to separate me from this book. Her ability to insult the
reader and the Chinese culture about which she writes is matched by her
ability to make the exotic pedestrian. I would rather read the mattress
My first thought was, absolutely correct but not as bad as another book
I had to read that year, called...
Which was the first time that memory really kicked in and I realized
what an extraordinary experience I'd had with the teacher who'd
insisted on such readings. Her name was (something like) Felicia
Cooper. She was my teacher for both seventh and eighth grades. She was
terrifying but devoted, scrupulously fair, and a truly gifted magistra. And as I suddenly
discovered in hindsight, a woman well ahead of her time.
Speaking of time, some backing up is required. This wasn't an ordinary
school. It was also ahead of its time, an unlikely product of a
combination of people and circumstances that resulted in a miraculous
experiment in education.
I'll give you the short version. The public schools in our neck of the
woods were terrible. There was a small population of parents --
doctors, engineers, local manufacturing enrepreneurs, and carpetbagger
bluebloods -- who knew the difference between education and babysitting
and who knew each other from country clubs and such. And there was my
paternal grandfather, who was the Senior Warden, Treasurer, and Head of
the Board of Trustees of an Episcopal Church. He talked the church into
sponsoring a school, funded largely by old money from one of the
carpetbaggers, and the school was launched with 26 students in the
Parish House of the church. (I was in the first first grade class.)
Less than two years later, the presiding bishop had had enough and
pulled the plug on church sponsorship. So the
backers found an abandoned mansion in the country, bought it, rehabbed
it with voluntary parental (and child... I wielded a paintbrush myself
that summer) labor, and became a truly independent school. By the time
I reached seventh grade, we had seventy students. The majority of our
first graduating class was enrolled in private boarding schools. The
experiment was working.
paint, I remember the smell of the bee infestation...
Not that there weren't lots of false steps and incomplete successes
along the way. We were supposed to be learning Latin and French from
first grade on, but the textbooks were the same every year and we never
seemed to make any headway, because the approach, for whatever reason,
was conversational French, and if you can believe it, conversational
Latin. (Year after year of Sextus asking his magister for a stylus.)
there were already no more history textbooks apparently. So like the
school kids, we got Social Studies instead and read about Pablo and
Paulina in Paraguay and another brother-sister combination in Lapland
with the appropriate "L" first names. And a disastrous two-year dalliance with the New Math that almost resulted in armed revolution by angry parents.
But we had small class sizes, mostly older teachers (retired from the
public schools) who were good, bad, and indifferent even if they all
sported those old-fashioned black chunk-heeled teacher shoes from the
1940s. Even the not so good ones were sufficiently rooted in the past
that book reports were required regularly from third grade on, we had
to memorize and recite poems like "Little Orphan Annie," and we had to
perform before the whole class in spelling bees and arithmetic flash
We also had a vivid sense of the fact that the school was being run on
a shoestring budget and that we had to do our part. We had hot dog days
and pizza days where we provided the labor, the food went for cash, and
the proceeds went into the operating budget. Early on, the continual
deficit resulted in an annual Country Fair that conscripted all parents
and students into the months long creation of an event that became
locally famous, the centerpiece being a car raffle and a startlingly
sophisticated auction featuring things like a weekend in some tycoon's
But what does any of this have to do with "The Good Earth" and the
memories Guy's post awakened in me?
Despite all its good intentions, the school's success boiled down to
two secret weapons. There was Mrs. Hennessey, a University of London
graduate who was not ancient but couldn't be certified to teach in New
Jersey public schools because she didn't have a degree in pretending to
teach. She taught the fifth and sixth grades. By this I mean she taught
every subject all day long. We wrote a composition every week, at our
desks in a double-period timeframe, and she graded every composition
down to the last comma and period. Sometimes it was describe the
calendar picture and what it makes you think of. Sometimes it was what
you did on your summer vacation. Didn't matter. She taught us sentence
diagramming too, and if our sentences couldn't be diagrammed, the best
summer vacation in the world couldn't save us.
The other, even more lethal weapon was Mrs. Cooper. Sixth graders would
ask seventh graders about Mrs. Cooper and they'd just roll their eyes.
She was famous for surprise tests, called "Cooper Specials," which took
a full hour and included questions about every subject from math to
history to literature. She required essays too, but because we did them
as homework she was even tougher in her grading than Mrs. Hennessey.
I've been trying to remember how she taught seventh and eighth grades
at the same time in the same room, and I just can't. Her one break was
a science teacher who'd take one or another grade to a separate room
and misinform us about botany and gravity. Otherwise it was all Mrs.
Cooper, all the time. And she had her own ideas about science. Once she
brought in the innerds of a slaughtered hog (her dad was a farmer), and
I can still see what looked like a horrific crime scene spilled onto a
giant sheet of brown paper. "These are the lungs," she said, pointing.
That may be when I ran to the bathroom and threw up.
It's absolutely true that she could laugh and charm us all, but the
image that comes immediately to mind when I think of her is grim, a
downturned mouth and lines already etching her youngish face with the
travails of life. She was a local, born less than five miles from where
I write this, and her husband ran a septic tank pumping business.
Looking back, I wonder how that worked out. She often came to school in
a beat-up pickup truck. But she was always the picture of modestly
tailored authority. She favored long sleeves and it's only at this
instant that I wonder about that too.
Sorry for maundering on so long. But, you see, I wanted you to have
context for what Guy suddenly made me aware of that I had never realized before,
in all these years. She made us read books. I was always grateful for
that. But here are some of the books she made us read:
Good Earth (Pearl Buck) Silas Marner (George Eliot,
nee Mary Ann Evans) Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton) My Antonia (Willa Cather)
Let me say at the outset that The
Good Earth is Thunderball
compared to My Antonia. There
has never been a drearier, awfuller, more depressing book written than My Antonia, not even by the
Russians. Not that Silas Marner
and Ethan Frome aren't also
in the running.
Which fills me with a kind of serendicitous joy. All the way back in
the mid-1960s, I had the first militant feminist teacher, smuggling her
cause in under the radar. Not even my chauvinist dad ever suspected
that Mrs. Cooper had a private agenda and was working it to the max.
I think all she was trying to teach us was that women are writers too.
people too. After all, she had other books on her list as well: Animal Farm, Brave New World, A Tale of
Two Cities (unfortunately abridged in the textbook we had
available), and almost incomprehensibly ambitiously A Passage to India.
Meaning her novel list consisted of women and (mostly) Oxbridge Brits.
can't remember if Conrad's Lord Jim
was in there somewhere, but we also did the required Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar. And a ton of short
stories in an excellent pair of anthologies, one for seventh and one
for eighth grade.
I'm suspicious of the term irony. But I think there is some irony in
wormhole back to seventh grade. I did learn from Mrs. Cooper and Mrs.
Hennessey that women can be smart, learned, formidable, and admirable.
that women can write. I also learned that I mostly don't like women
writers. An opinion all the passage of years has done nothing to
change. But my heart goes out to her. She never preached at us. She
just exposed us to evidence she was willing for us to assess on our
own. I have no way of knowing what specifically motivated her in this
regard. It may be that she was simply preparing us in a way no one uses
anymore for the fact that our educations were going to involve reading,
analyzing, and understanding material that is, well, boring, or at
least very remote from our usual interests and preferences.
In that she succeeded. In fact, she succeeded in a lot of ways. She
taught us that the classroom is serious business and not always fun or
entertaining but still vitally important.
She also was the teacher at the desk who presided over my reading, my
discovery, of the single most moving short story I have ever read. It
has haunted me ever since. It's called The Scarlet Ibis.
Thank you, Mrs. Cooper. I owe you a lifetime's worth of gratitude. What
great teachers invariably do, no matter how they do it. Pure gold.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
other media detritus
He has a car
The iPad is both a blessing and a curse. I've been listening to
Laura Ingraham in the mornings. Brilliant woman. But so depressing.
Today she was fired up about an interview of Ann and Mitt Romney by
Diane Sawyer, who was "breathlessly" concerned about the issue of
"relatability" of such rich people with the electorate. (She also
brought up the ancient story of the dog on top of the car. Christ.)
Understandably, Laura was queasy about the Romney campaign's apparent
belief that such media-orchestrated muggings can have any positive
result. But she was also deft enough to question the marketability with
the electorate of Diane Sawyer as a stand-in for the oppressed and
offended 99 percent. Me too.
Is it the 99% or the 1% who go to
parties with their nipples hanging out? Just
I know the dog story is supposed to hurt, but I keep getting the
feeling the libs have outsmarted themselves on this one. Everybody who
has a dog knows they love to put their noses in the wind and probably
won't get cooked at highway speed. Dogs have some pretty individuated
preferences, as we all know. Besides, what I think of immediately when
I hear this story is National
There's a dog story there too and a grandma story, with Imogene Coca
dead on the roof. Awful? Maybe what the libs are counting on. But it
doesn't quite jibe with the image of an out of touch billionaire
ordering the butler around on a jet set cruise. It kind of evokes an
image of an ordinary American family vacation. In a station wagon.
Where absolutely anything can happen. As we all know. Meaning real life
Which reminded me of Laura's meme that Mitt Romney is actually Ward
Cleaver and maybe that's okay. I've been mostly thinking NOT, until I
remembered this old post on the subject of station
[U]nlike today's minivans, the station
wagons of old had the capacity to
be utilitarian, sexy, godawful fast and, if not nimble, tenaciously athletic at handling. There was
nothing inherently feminine about them, nothing suggestive of the
bulbous wombs on wheels you see mooing blissfully down the highways of
a morning, so content in the primacy of their cargo that the mother
behind the wheel can't even be bothered to compensate for her abundant
blindspots by checking the rearview mirror. She has no power in merging
maneuvers, she veers from lane to lane as if guided by the wind-heeled
spinnaker of a sailboat that knows it always has the right of way, and
she has more faith in the belts and trusses of her childseats than she
has knowledge of the physics that make underpowered
high-center-of-gravity vehicles so incredibly vulnerable.
I'm not tring to be mean. Honestly. But surely our wives and children
would be safer in transportation appliances more like the old station
wagons -- lower, less tippy, with more visibility all round, lower,
more solid automobile handling characteristics, lower. To the ground. Yet station
wagons are a thing of the past. Why?
It's a route to cheering myself up, if not you. Horrible things in the
news, big and small, but it helps me
to know that in most cases I have anticipated them one way or another.
What better feeling when you're bounding down a mountainside, ass over
teacup, that you still retain the control of knowing how you got there?
Like when Time Magazine
decided to ask questions last week about -- wait for it!
-- Mormons, Inc. I took all kinds
of heat about this when I raised it in February
2007, suggesting that it was something Republicans should be ready
Did all you Romney adherents and
really think that the subject of Romney's religion wouldn't come up in
the course of a campaign for the presidency? The most disturbing thing
about the comments was how offended and surprised everyone seemed to be
that anyone would bring up the subject. That is truly absurd. And is
this how you're planning to persuade the electorate that it's not a
problem? By immediately resorting to ad-hominem attacks without
bothering to look past the first incendiary remarks for more
information about the person who offended you? (Leaping to the
conclusion that InstaPunk is a liberal and/or Jew hater and doing nothing to verify such assumptions
before making a fool of yourself is really inexcusable if you're
actually trying to help your cause, not just blowing off steam.)
Romney's religion is definitely going to be an issue in the campaign.
you want your man to win, the time to drag this looming iceberg into
the open is now. The worst possible strategy is to ignore it until
after Romney is nominated, because that's when the left will go to work
on it, and if you thought I
was unfair, you ain't seen nothing yet. We've just seen how unafraid
the lefties are of using genuinely
ridicule against the Roman Catholic Church. They despise
evangelical Christians even more than they do Catholics. You need to
think long and hard about how unscrupulous they'll be about the Church
of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.
Some facts everyone in the Romney camp needs to accept pronto. It is
remarkably easy to make fun of Mormonism. You're going to see a lot of
it, and I mean a ton. And it's not going to be as simple to handle for
Romney as it was for Kennedy to handle his Catholicism.
Laura was also bummed by a sight she could witness from her own studio
window -- the final voyage of the shuttle Discovery atop a Boeing 747
en route to its last resting place at the Smithsonian. She compared the
circling of the plane over the nation's capital to the wheeling of a
vulture. For her, as for many people, I'm sure, today's flight was a
poignant reminder that the era of U.S. manned space flight is dead.
while China, India, and Europe are just getting started. More of
that feeling of bounding down the mountainside while your country is
bleeding out. Except that I could at least cling to this July 2005 post
(uh, take the link;
there's a great IP Photoshop there).
More problems for NASA.
has issued yet another recall for the 1976 Gran
Torino model on which the original shuttle design was based. This time
the problem is faulty outside mirrors, which have a tendency to fall
off during hard acceleration. A company spokeperson expressed regret
that an administrative delay prevented the recall notice from reaching
NASA before the recent launch of Discovery, which shed both outside
mirrors during liftoff.
Oddly, Laura was actually cheered by Bill Maher's latest misogynist
rant (something about leopards and spots).
As was I. Because it was back in November 2005 that I revealed the
truth about Maher's alma mater
lefties, and the whys and wherefores of its
dark and hateful culture. He's no lord of the political dance. He's a
snotty little undergraduate nerd who never got laid and never got over
University... is an Ivy League institution but despite the
automatic lustre this affords, the place has serious self-esteem
issues. Why? No other Ivy school is the second most prestigious university
in its state. Columbia is in New York City, a small undergraduate
school with a large and illustrious array of graduate schools. Cornell,
on the other hand is a large undergraduate school with a smaller and
slightly less renowned array of graduate programs. There are also some
fracture lines in Cornell's identity. Its medical school, for example,
is located not in Ithaca but New York City. Worse, Cornell is partly a
(gasp) state university, the only Ivy with an agriculture school.
There's also a school of hotel administration that's part of the state
system. Should these circumstances make Cornell neurotic? No. But they
do. The Columbia factor has caused Cornell to become obsessively
fascinated with... (drumroll, please) Harvard!!??
No, it doesn't make sense but obsessions rarely do. Is it a
contributing factor that in the Ivies only Cornell and Harvard have
school colors in
the red part of the spectrum? No one can say. At any rate, Cornellians
have a long tradition of hating Harvard, to whom they continually
compare themselves with unwelcome results. In all the areas where they
compete -- law, medicine, business, architecture, the arts and
is harder to get into, more honored, more famous, and more respected.
And by the laws of perversity that govern such things, Cornell has in
many ways become what it most hates. If Harvard is notoriously left
wing, Cornell must be more so.
Of course, Laura was encouraged for different reasons. She believes
that lefty bile leads inevitably to self destructive acts. The nastiness
can't be contained even when it really must be. Like what happened to
Bob Beckel last night on Hannity:
Bob Beckel. I find it hard to watch the
new Fox News hit "The Five" because the conservatives on set trivialize
their own convictions by ostentatiously liking Bob Beckel, who never
retreats from his own hard-line left talking points. He's a sour,
corrupt old pol who takes advantage of his kinder colleagues like Dana
Perino and Andrea Tantaros. Even Eric Bolling laughs and laughs at
Beckel's constant nastiness. Only Greg Gutfeld knows that Beckel is
actually evil. Which makes me want to throw up. Except that Gutfeld
does know. His eyebrows say
it all. Kimberly Guilfoyle also knows he's a disgusting slimeball. She
writhes away from him in her chair. Hot women know things good girls
don't. T'was ever so.
Oh. And I dealt with Maher in the same post:
Bill Maher. Total shithead. I don't
want him dead. I want him to
experience a black mamba bite. Something to make him contemplate the
eternal. And the antivenin needle is in the hands of a dumb twat. (Like
I've got lots more, but that's sufficient to prove the point. So I'm
feeling better now. Enough better to point you at an actual good and
provocative essay in the New York Times Magazine. It's
about action movies. You have to read the whole thing. This paragraph
is just to show you that we can trust the writer.
...as they say in the world of
business, we used to own this market. For roughly a decade, from the
early ’80s to the early ’90s — marked by high-water films all weirdly
clustered together, like “Commando” (1985), “Aliens” (1986), “RoboCop”
(1987) and “Die Hard” (1988) — the great American action film was a
robust genre, as complex and thematically rich and aesthetically
unified as the musical or the western.
You may laugh — in
fact, one sign of the genre’s decay is how completely it has devolved
into a universal joke. (It’s now just as easy, and twice as
pleasurable, to quote McBain from “The Simpsons” mocking Arnold
Schwarzenegger as it is to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger.) But as a
genre, the American action film featured hallmark stars
(Schwarzenegger! Stallone! Willis!) and identifiable tropes (kill
villain; make pun about method in which you killed villain), and it
produced at least one bona fide masterpiece, “Die Hard.” (If you can’t get behind “Die Hard” as a
great American movie, then I’d argue that you hate greatness, movies
and America.) And the action movie carried, briefly, as all
good genre movies do, the cultural weight of metaphorical significance.
Action films meant something. As surely as the film noir
communicated anxiety over postwar urban upheaval or as alien-invasion
films helped us work out our cold-war agita, the action films of the
golden age were a post-’70s, poststagflation collective national
fantasy: one in which America was strong, independent, unstoppable and
perpetually kicking much butt. Moreover, the best of these films (think
“RoboCop”) managed the nifty artistic trick of both embodying and
critiquing this quintessentially adolescent dream of dominance —
providing us with fantasias of cartoon violence that also served as
canny dissections of our lust for cartoon violence. [boldface added]
If you don't want to talk about any of the depressing stuff above, talk
about action movies. The best, the worst, etc. You guys need to come
out of your funk and participate.
been said about the Fiat Abarth 500 in
previous comment threads. Maybe this will silence the critics:
Oops. I meant this one:
uh, it's going to beat your Camry or Accord. Just so you know.
. Yeah, it's been a bizarre week. The left is
struggling with its outreach to women, to put it mildly. I won't recap
in the usual terms. It's bigger than the Beltway pundits. It was a
dogfight that turned into a catfight. The Obama Men thought they could
use the Romney Woman to divide all women, but they thought wrong.
Always a problem when you're relying on men who insist they know
everything important about women. They don't. Liberal Kirsten
was offended while conservative Kathleen
Parker was dismissive and even scornful. Fox News Hostess Greta van
Susteren defended "my firiend Hilary Rosen" while the Obama
administration went into overdrive piling up buses to throw Rosen
under. Then the lefty backlash
began. The libs couldn't let it go, leading to doubling and tripling
down on their original point, which culminated in a typically brash and
misogyenistic performance by Bill Maher that got everyone's
Then comedian Sarah Silverman seemed to put a cap on it. Abortion
is not only cool but casual. She fell short of winning the flag though. The laurels
go to decidedy uncomedic, and nominally Catholic, Georgetown
University, which has scheduled a lecture series closed to the public
presenting to its students not only pro-abortion advocates but a
Princeton "medical ethicist" named Peter Singer who
argues for infanticide of unwelcome newborns.
The lefties have tumbled into a chasm they don't understand because
they're sure they all feel the same way, which is a delusion dating
back to the founding of the American feminist movement. And, uh,
before. Long long before.
As a kid in seventh grade, I had to read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck.
Exciting as it should probably have been (at that age) to read about
the generous body of Olan in her marriage with Wang Lung, I remember
being perturbed about the image of Olan giving birth in the fields as
she continued harvesting fortune cookies (or whatever) and sticking
around, regardless, to stuff the little messages into the cookies. And
then Wang Lung found some painted strumpet for a second wife and Olan
faded into the background with no wonderbra to boost her sagging appeal.
The men of the left who invented totalitarian socialism and marxism
have always been men of the east -- Russian, Chinese, Korean,
Vietnamese. What the eastern leftists did to women was presaged by what they did to
Jews. American Communist Jews conspired in the oppression and sometimes
slaughter of their own kind. So has it been with the New American Left
and women. The first militant American feminists were the girlfriends
of Sixties radicals who were tired of being the Olan of the commune.
They learned the methods and they applied them. But their masters just
snickered and reined them back in.
Women on the left have been sold a terrible bill of goods. They're parade
horses, doing one trick after another to prove that they're not horses
at all. But they are horses,
doing their masters' bidding. Get a job, go to university, fuck your
brilliant mentors, get abortions, postpone what your biology tells you
you must to do to the last possible second, then drop the babies in the
fields of your endeavor and never stop to smell the roses.
In return we will pretend to take you seriously.
But it's all pretend. Time and again the feminist movement has been
summoned to play defense for purely male misbehavior because they back
the lie that you girls matter as long as you don't get inconveniently
Think of what all you've had to swallow to defend the right that is
their chief escape from responsibility -- your baby. The whoring of the
Kennedys, including the sodden body of Mary Jo Kopechne. The fabled
waitress sandwiches of Teddy Kennedy and Chris Dodd. The predation of
Bill Clinton, who seduced a teenager and may have done much worse. The
renascent career of Eliot Spitzer, Client No. 9, whom all true lefties
are cheering on as a successor to the unfortunate Keith Olbermann, who
also had, um, problems, with women.
Squat lower in the fields, Olan. Push, strain, squeeze that baby out
into the rice field. Kill it if you must. Then run to law school and
get ready for your star turn as a defender of Utopia, where all good
things will come true for all good people.
Maybe that's why it's better, on the left, to be a Lesbian. I mean, who
could blame Hillary, whether you spell it with one "L" or two? Is it a
coincidence that Lesbian peons can be trusted not to give you unwanted
child support payments? Vive les Lesbians. As long as they work their
big asses off...
Soviet communism stole from Jews their cultural heritage. The left has
stolen from women their femininity. In a sense, both are eunuchs.
Spayed, neutered, reduced to symbolic objects.
Ultimate irony. The left hates capitalism but not nearly as much as it
hates the one demographic that might be freest from capitalism. They
hate women who don't get paying jobs. Why? Because they are afraid of
women who are free to put human values first. And hold their children
and husbands accountable to those virtues -- decency, politeness,
effort, education, creative activity, good influences, good books, and
The west has treasured such women despite capitalism. It was always the
great defense against mercenary progeny.
The east has always regarded women as brood sows. Even Japan still
does. The left does too. But brood sows who can be trusted to fuck you
and follow your orders without embarrassing you with children.
Where did women go in this post-modern mix? Ah. Ask Joan Rivers.
My wife loves Fashion Police,
and I enjoy it too. But what you learn in watching the fashion highs
lows of celebrities is that women -- in the context of Hollywood and
the prosperous ones who are rich enough to be free of ancient cultural
biases -- are basically reducible to all the anatomical parts
Joan habitually calls them. Which is every (and I mean every) dirtiest anatomical word
you've ever heard. What you learn from Fashion Police, Joan Rivers, and
her panel of accomplices is that all women are whores engaged in a
ceaseless competition to score money from rich men. Actually, the
monolithic lefty view, from all the evidence at our disposal.
I once had a Fiat 124.
Got it after I'd had lots of faster cars. Big American V-8s and such.
After a Porsche 944 Turbo, which zoomed from 0 to 60 like a scalded,
uh, piece of machinery.
The Fiat was my dad's. His last sports car. He'd had a Triumph TR3, a
TR4, and a TR6. Loved the TR6. Straight six, gorgeous sound from the
pipes. Crisp throws of an upright gearbox. All of them manly, robust,
upright, and direct. And then the Spider. Why had he even gotten this
thing? Truthfully, he never much cared for Italy or things Italian.
Especially since we all nearly drowned on the Leonardo da Vinci ocean
He was older when he bought it. Initially I thought it was the
convertible top. All the Triumph tops were construction projects. (same
with my Spitfire and MGB.) Fifteen minutes until you were underway. The
Fiat top could be raised and lowered with one hand. Zoop, Zoop.
The only easy thing about the car on first blush. Compared to the
Triumphs, the driving position was like lying down. The steering wheel
stuck up at an odd angle. The gear shift was balky, the clutch stiff,
the engine small and slow. And the rear end boasted something like fins.
I'd always disdained to drive it until after the old man was dead. I
took it out on the open road as a kind of tribute.
I guess it took about fifteen minutes. The top was down, of course. I
got used to being cradled back-leaning in the seat. The steering wheel
became, I don't know, I don't have any idea what, just right somehow. The engine didn't
have the straight-six soldiering drill of the TR6; it had a mellifluous
singing thing going on, like something, well, female being pleasured.
Best sportscar I ever owned. Funny thing. All the bad traits --
balkiness, slowness, etc -- always struck me hard at first. But I
learned that when we got underway, all of that would melt away and we
would just commune our way though every bend, corner, and straightaway.
Loved that car. Because when I was driving it I got the distinct
impression it loved me too.
There's no performance statistic in which the MR2 doesn't beat the Fiat
124 Spider. And I don't even miss the Fiat. It's an affair long gone.
Kind of like the way I feel about American women. The Fiat was a lover.
The left consists of nothing but hard-bitten whores. Fortunately, I
have a wife I love who loves me. I guess that constitutes a kind of
Friday, April 13, 2012
A Communique from Lake:
April 19, 1981
Shuteye Town version.
WE NEED YOU. Just
this week, we were treated to a glimpse of a singular artifact, the
Dedicatory page of The Boomer
Bible, signed in blood by the diverse bands of Punk City. For
of us, this incredible work is what brought us to this site, and for
several of us, the book was a touchstone for our reinvigorated mission
A couple of years ago, a group of us worked long and hard to bring
this work to a digital home, complete with working Intercolumn
Reference links and formatted as closely as possible to the original
book. It is now available to all, still for free, and it underpins much
of the current content on this site. It is more relevant than ever as
this country slips into fully embracing the Way of Harry, even while
Punks toil to provoke Thought and Belief in every corner of the U.S..
Have you read sections of The
Boomer Bible recently? Dig in. You won't regret it.
I'm writing this to ask for help. The hosting contract has come up
for renewal, and a teacher's salary makes the cost difficult to
shoulder alone. For those of you willing to help significantly, our
benevolent host has offered to send you a Shuteye
Train tote bag photo-quality segment of the Epistle Dedicatory of
your choosing, suitable for framing.
If you're interested in helping make the book and the site live
on, hopefully forever, you can PayPal funds to rootlake - at- gmail.com. The generosity
of commenters on this site got this great book on the internet to begin
with; thank you for considering the extension of its digital life. Time
is of the essence.
All you need to do now is blow it up, print it, cut it out, and do the
same with the back half (below).
A good heavyweight grade of paper or something stronger would be best. Then I'd
suggest gluing the left, right, and bottom edges of front and back
together, but not the top edge
or the handles. That would be bad. Presto. You have a tote bag. Unless
you have a better idea...
Or you could email sigmazrn at comcast.net which part of the Epistle
Dedicatory you'd like a quality photo repro of, suitable for framing,
ideally in a floating frame.
I'll need mailing addresses too.
Thanks to all who have contributed. More
needed... but that's why we're now in the tote bag business.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
A Day in the Life
her window seat.
BENGALS. So I
was working on a white paper for a giant computer company
(which shall remain nameless to guard their innocence of InstaPunk)
when I heard plaintive noises downstairs. I passed Izzie the Bengal
(above), who was pretending to hunt birds through the window and found Raebert still
moping about the loss of his beloved Buckeyes in the Final Four.
Don't ask me to
explain it. I can't.
I brought him upstairs with me and I worked more on my white paper
while he and his buddy Elliott watched an episode of Dogs 101. It was
about Borzois, the other second largest sighthound, and they were into
Borzois as therapy for traumatized vets. Cool.
Everything was going great until I heard the crash. But Izzie knocks
stuff over all the time and I was tempted to let it go. Except that
Raebert seemed concerned.
When he gets in
your face, he's hard to ignore.
I grumbled my way downstairs and found a terrifying scene. The tulip
pot we'd received for Easter was on the floor and Izzie was having a seizure
on the window seat, her body convulsing, legs twitching, her eyes
glazed, and her mouth spewing saliva.
I gathered her up in my arms and raced back upstairs to my iPad. She
was limp and as I changed arms to get to my keyboard, she urinated on
me. Oh God. I typed "tulips cats toxicity" and was instantly informed
that tulip leaves and bulbs are highly poisonous to cats. Shit. I
speed-dialed the vet's office on my iPhone, described the symptoms, and
they told me, get her ass in here immediately. Half an hour away by
Turnpike at least. Shit.
Shoving things in my pockets, getting my jacket half on, still
clutching Izzie, and where was the damn cat carrier? By now Raebert was
I found the cat carrier in the garage.
Poisoned or not, Izzie is strong.
After a tussle I proved I was more muscular than a 7 lb cat, and we
proceeded to launch ourselves in Mr. Two.
Have you ever seen the YouTube about the African honey badger who gets
bitten by a cobra while killing it for dinner? He keels over and looks
fatally stricken until suddenly he wriggles upright, stretches, and
chows down on the dead snake. We weren't two miles down the road before
Izzie started her Bengal yelling -- sorry I can't come up with a better
word; it really is yelling --
and I had the sense I was on a fool's errand. Bengals are tiny, clumsy
superheroes. They don't jump gracefully like cats. They just hurl their
bodies at things in the apparent knowledge that they can't be seriously
hurt. One of Izzie's careless jumps caused her to plummet from a rafter in
the garage on her face (they don't always land on their feet either).
The swelling went down in about an hour and a half.
But what can you do? The emergency team is waiting, and I'm no vet, so
the mission must proceed. But I'm convinced the second priority is to
keep the lady of the house from finding out. She'd freak and come
running. Izzie is yelling throughout my thinking process and I'm
encouraging her to yell louder. She yells and I say, "Yell, Izzie!" If
she's fired up, she's obviously not lapsing into a coma or cardiac
arrest or whatever the next bad stage is supposed to be.
And the dogs never had their afternoon out time. Shit.
The minute I get on the Turnpike the fuel light comes on. Great. Hadn't
planned on this emergency run. Then there's a traffic slow down and
near virtual stoppage. Life is not fair. Izzie keeps yelling. I pretend
I'm listening to SportsTalk on the radio. Can't hear a word.
Should I stop and get gas at the station just after the exit? While my
cat is dying? Or should I run out of gas two hundred yards short of the
vet clinic? The latter. Balls to the wall.
We make it. Izzie is yelling as I haul the carrier out of the car, up
the steps and into the waiting room. A vet tech says "Izzie?" and I
hand her off to go get her vital signs checked.
Ten minutes later another tech ushers me into an examining room where
Izzie is still yelling inside the carrier and tells me she is "stable"
-- and that a vet will arrive in a few minutes.
Foot tapping. Math. It's 3:30. My wife's plan is to leave work at 4:00
today. It takes her an hour to get home. It will take me half an hour
to get home. Izzie is yelling less and communing with me through the
mesh of the carrier. She is obviously getting better. Should I text my
wife and tell her? Or keep trying to beat her home? Then the door
opens, Izzie erupts in a full-throated complaint, and the vet walks in.
"No question that's a Bengal," she says, struggling to make herself
heard over the vocalizings of a cat with lungs the size of a chicken
We discuss what happened. She's not convinced the seizure was caused by
the tulips. They're not usually that
toxic to cats. Maybe she had a seizure and then kicked over the tulips
because they were there. She needs blood work. Okay. I'm not a vet. But
I know a crime scene when I see it. Never mind. But I try to make a
deal. "How long is this going to take?" I ask. "Her mother still
doesn't know and I'm trying to beat her home." The vets eyes actually
twinkled. "Fifteen minutes," she said, "for the bloodwork. And we can
give her an IV while we're waiting for the results." Then she carried
I could hear her yelling distantly for the whole fifteen minutes. I
imagined everybody else in the vet clinic could hear her too. It
sounded like someone was torturing a cat.
I texted my wife and made up two errands for her to run on the way home.
I said the batteries of the home phones were all dead. I crossed my
Within ten minutes, they brought Izzie back.She sat curled up in my
lap, silent, her fur gummy with IV stuff, shedding like mad, and we
But the vet was true to her word. She was back in the time she'd
promised, the bloodwork was good, and we were back on the road by 4:05.
Got gas, sped home, Izzie yelling the whole way, and got back in time
to let out the dogs before the missus arrived in the driveway.
I apologized for hiding the crisis, but she understood and approved. Thank
We took care of the tulip problem.
Raebert finally settled down too.
Today, Izzie is as exhausted as I am. Here's how she spent the hours
between 5:30 am and 2:30 pm.
Then she got up and started tearing around. She's a tiny superhero.
And despite the madness of the headlines, I'm still marginally sane.
Because life always happens one day at a time.