Saturday, April 17, 2004

Patriotic Gore

go to NPR interview w/Bob Edwards by clicking photo

I enjoyed Justin Raimondo's review of Gore Vidal's new book Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson (The article, Patriotic Gore, linked above).

I have not read the entire book to date, but I've read many parts.
One particular part sticks in my memory. I begin with an excerpt from Sterne's "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy"

My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries;--not from want of courage,--I have told you in a former chapter, 'that he was a man of courage:'--And will add here, that where just occasions presented, or called it forth,--I know no man under whose arm I would have sooner taken shelter;--nor did this arise from any insensibility or obtuseness of his intellectual parts;- -for he felt this insult of my father's as feelingly as a man could do;-- but he was of a peaceful, placid nature,--no jarring element in it,--all was mixed up so kindly within him; my uncle Toby had scarce a heart to retaliate upon a fly.

--Go--says he, one day at dinner, to an over-grown one which had buzzed about his nose, and tormented him cruelly all dinner-time,--and which after infinite attempts, he had caught at last, as it flew by him;--I'll not hurt thee, says my uncle Toby, rising from his chair, and going across the room, with the fly in his hand,--I'll not hurt a hair of thy head:--Go, says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his hand as he spoke, to let it escape;-- go, poor devil, get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?--This world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me.

I was but ten years old when this happened: but whether it was, that the action itself was more in unison to my nerves at that age of pity, which instantly set my whole frame into one vibration of most pleasurable sensation;--or how far the manner and expression of it might go towards it;--or in what degree, or by what secret magick,--a tone of voice and harmony of movement, attuned by mercy, might find a passage to my heart, I know not;--this I know, that the lesson of universal good-will then taught and imprinted by my uncle Toby, has never since been worn out of my mind: And tho' I would not depreciate what the study of the Literae humaniores, at the university, have done for me in that respect, or discredit the other helps of an expensive education bestowed upon me, both at home and abroad since;--yet I often think that I owe one half of my philanthropy to that one accidental impression.

Reading this section of the book where Uncle Toby spares the life of a fly, Aaron Burr (who lived to a ripe old age) is said to have remarked, "Had I read Sterne more and Voltaire less, I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me."
Coming Soon to a 9-11 Commission Near You...


Leonid's the world's tallest.
Better a veterinarian than a proctologist...

At Critical Viewer, A Busy Person's Guide to the Bush Press Conference

If you don't have time for the original, (so much campaign slogan schlock to wade through), this one's to-the-point.

By the way, this has been tough weeks in that country.

My prize for the weirdest (and most horrifying) answer to a question about the FBI: "We are an instrument of God to deliver freedom to the people of the world."

Oh...please repeat after Cal....It's all Don Gonyea's's all Don Gonyea's fault...

A particularly 'DUH-ful' moment: "And they were happy — they're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either..."

Most unconvincingly delivered line: "I feel incredibly grieved when I meet with family members, and I do quite frequently. I grieve for, you know, the incredible loss of life that they feel, the emptiness they feel." Maybe it was just the delivery, but I wasn't swayed in the least.

Second most unconvincing line: "I wanted Tenet in the Oval Office all the time."
*For PDB threat assessments history lessons, perhaps? Is our children our Presidents learning?*
With Glen Este and the Maupin family and friends...

Here at Iddybud, our prayers are with all of you.

Matt, come home safely.
Have you seen....
"The Front-Runner’s Fall"

The Dean implosion up close, from the vantage point of the candidate's pollster

The night of the Iowa caucus:
We tried hard to cheer him up, and we explained the importance of seeming confident in those interviews. He did beautifully in each of them. But nobody had bothered to write up a concession speech or even a few lines to use when he faced the crowd waiting in the Val Air Ballroom, many of them Stormers. It was as if we were all in shock, and didn't even consider the importance of his first election-night appearance in front of a national television audience.