Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All Palin All the time

One comment has chiacked me for being obsessed with Sarah Palin, and having gone as far as looking at the teasers on Hustler's "Nailin' Palin" site I suppose I have to plead guilty. But in my defense (though this doesn't actually cover Hustler, to be sure) she is a character, in the Dickensian sense (or at least the Ricky Gervais sense) and those are rare, in politics or elsewhere. It's a combination of perkiness, verbal core dumps, and complete lack of consciousness of any limits.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beckett on Palin

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Ms Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show So You Think You Can Dance? was paid $US22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone - more than the foreign affairs adviser, Randy Scheunmann.

Well, that brings up one of Samuel Beckett’s better jokes;

An Englishman, needing a pair of striped trousers in a hurry for the New Year festivities, goes to his tailor who takes his measurements. "That's the lot, come back in four days, I'll have it ready." Good.

Four days later. "So sorry, come back in a week, I've made a mess of the seat." Good, that's all right, a neat seat can be very ticklish.

A week later. "Frightfully sorry, come back in ten days, I've made a hash of the crotch." Good, can't be helped, a snug crotch is always a teaser.

Ten days later. "Dreadfully sorry, come back in a fortnight, I've made a balls of the fly." Good, at a pinch, a smart fly is a stiff proposition.

(I never told it worse. . . I tell this story worse and worse.)

Well, to make it short, the bluebells are blowing and he ballockses the buttonholes. "God damn you to hell, Sir, no, it's indecent, there are limits! In six days, do you hear me, six days, God made the world. Yes Sir, no less Sir, the WORLD! And you are not bloody well capable of making me a pair of trousers in three months!"

"But my dear Sir, my dear Sir, look—

—at the world—

—and look—

—at my TROUSERS!"

Yes, the beautician gets more than the foreign affairs adviser, but then Sarah Palin’s looks are getting a lot more favourable press than John McCain’s foreign policy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

That's what Sarah Palin's comments remind me of:

they "leave the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea; sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork."

Senator McAdoo on President Warren Galamiel Harding. I could have sworn it was Menken.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Some of the mistakes that you make as a child do stick. I was a fast and voracious reader, bleeping over any word (and any subtlety) that got in the way; and today I had a very hard time working out the spellchecker wouldn't give me the right spelling for indefagitable. I had to go to the thesaurus to find that the word was (logically enough) indefatigable and that I'd been spelling (and probably saying) it wrong for some sixty years.
And I'm still not sure how many dids to put in Thuycidididides.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Someone on The Reality-Based Community speaks of the power Obama may get from having mobilized a mass movement.
Like Oliver Cromwell, Barack Obama is more conservative than his core supporters. (Cromwell was originally against executing, or even deposing, Charles I.) An electoral sweep, backed with a movement that can still be mobilised against a recalcitrant Congress, would give President Obama an authority greater than any of his predecessors since FDR. In this scenario a more vindictive politician could get away with putting Bush and Cheney on trial for treason: fortunately for the republic as well as White House malefactors, this won't happen. Obama clearly has the moderate temperament of Augustus or William the Silent rather than the hubris of Julius Caesar or Napoleon III.

They do know that Augustus got to rule as a peaceful old uncle by dint of having had (as Octavian) everybody who could possibly look crossways at him executed on day one? Think Cicero.

That was what pissed me off about Gladiator. Roman generals didn't get thrown into paroxysms of revenge when people massacred their families; happened all the time, something you could have a good laugh at over a cleansing ale next time you met over the negotiating table, something you'd done yourself to the families of your conquests after you'd had them march behind your chariot in chains at your triumph. No biggie.

Listen to Octavian and Anthony in Anthony and Cleopatra haggling over the proscriptions - ok, you can kill my uncle, but only if I get to kill your brother - Shakespare didn't make that mistake.

I knew that, 86

Actually, no; 99 and the Chief.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I knew that, 86

For no particularly good reason I ended up seeing the new Get Smart, and it's as inexplicable as everybody says. The whole joke of the TV show - 100% - was that Max believed himself to be James Bond and was in fact utterly incompetent (in fact, as near as dammit George Bush). The new Max believes himself to be a nerd, with occasional small vanities (closer to Al Gore) and is in act a nerd with occasional ups and downs; and that really doesn't amount to a funny.

That's what McCain/Palin evokes; Get Smart, only with 99 being dumber than Max.

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