This plush interior will not stand

by Michael Bérubé on August 8, 2010

Newt Gingrich, distinguished professor of history and reigning intellectual heavyweight of the Republican Party, explains how crafty Muslims are trying to exploit the ignorance of liberal American elites:

The proposed “Cordoba House” overlooking the World Trade Center site—where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks—is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites.  For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term.  It refers to the Chrysler Cordoba, a car made famous by a foreign kind of Mexican man who touted its un-American “soft Corinthian leather.” […I]n fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of soft Corinthian leather.  It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way.

Well, at first I thought Newt had to be kidding, but then I did some historical research, and guess what?  He’s completely right!  Check out the Islamomexicanian accent and music that was used to sell “this small Chrysler” to an unsuspecting American market:

You can fool some of the people some of the time, Islamists.  But you can’t fool our Newt—not now, not tomorrow, not even in the middle ages.

No to Cordoba House.  No to secret Islamist insults.  And no, a thousand times no, to soft Corinthian leather.

H/t to JP Stormcrow.

{ 85 comments }

1

John Protevi 08.08.10 at 6:12 pm

“I know my needs” and “in Cordoba, I have what I need”: it’s the sujet supposé savoir at last, in the flesh!

2

Michael 08.08.10 at 6:18 pm

The Cordoba put an end to the chain of signification, John, precisely by filling up every lack. And that 360 V-8 engine (180 hp) could take you from zero to the metaphysics of presence in just under 12 seconds.

3

Kieran Healy 08.08.10 at 6:23 pm

No, no. Cordoba House is the secret Fifth House of Hogwarts, founded by Guadalquivir Córdoba, a Catholic wizard whose house was purged during the Reformation as Henry VIII demanded (via Wolsey, his Minister of Magic) a property concession from the Wizards, partly in reparation for the disastrous consequences of a failed spell designed to make Ann of Cleves more attractive. But the Head of Cordoba survived and the House persisted, though driven underground, down to the present day.

4

John Protevi 08.08.10 at 6:23 pm

But if we fill up every lack, what will happen to advertising and consumption? It’s Don Draper’s worst nightmare. Those Islamomexicanians are crafty! Because we all know that if we don’t go shopping, the terrorists will have won.

5

Salient 08.08.10 at 6:31 pm

Ok so here’s the plan folks

from now on we all dejectedly admit “the mosque-builders really are acting a bit like conquistadors, and are probably trying to make 9/11 into the Islamist Yucatán

bonus points to the first wingnut who uncovers that (gaaaaasp) Yucatán is located in Mexico

6

Don Gomez 08.08.10 at 6:35 pm

„This rug really tied the room together.“

7

P O'Neill 08.08.10 at 6:35 pm

In one of history’s great ironies, Ricardo was also present at the genesis of Islamo-fascism. The car ad was just his movie Khan-like return.

8

Billikin 08.08.10 at 6:45 pm

Right, Newt. Nothing is more un-American than Chrysler.

9

Michael 08.08.10 at 6:48 pm

Kieran @ 3: most impressive! That makes Cordoba House even more historical — and even sneakier!

Speaking of which, further Internets research has suggested to me that at some point in the mid-1960s, a shadowy character named Jesus Arrabal tried to build yet another Cordoba House in San Narciso, California. If anyone has more information on this, let me know via the usual channels.

10

Harold 08.08.10 at 7:30 pm

Didn’t they have to pay Fernando Lamas extra for putting the accent on the wrong syllable when advertizing what should have been the Córdoba?

11

J— 08.08.10 at 7:42 pm

Cordoba House is the brainchild of Piedad_Cordoba. If it goes forward, the FARC will have a Soviet beachhead minutes away from Ground Zero.

12

Michael 08.08.10 at 7:51 pm

No and no, because (a) Fernando Lamas was a foreign kind of Argentininian man, whereas the Mexicanistanian Ricardo Montalbán was the Cordoba spokesman, and (b) Cordóba is actually the historically correct seekrit Islamicistic pronunciation.

13

Chris Crawford 08.08.10 at 7:51 pm

What is sadly ironic about all this is that Cordoba — the real Cordoba, the one in Spain — was the capital of Islamic Spain and, during its glory days under the Caliph of Cordoba, was a seat of advanced learning and art, and a beacon of tolerance in an intolerant world. The Caliph welcomed Christians and Jews and richly rewarded those who brightened his court regardless of their religious beliefs. I’m not certain of this, but I suspect that the Cordoba of those years must stand in history as the pinnacle of goodwill between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. How ironic that a center named for this would be subjected to such perverse abuse!

14

Michael 08.08.10 at 7:56 pm

Thanks, Chris. Actually, Carl Pyrdum (click on the first link) does a fine job of taking Newt to the historical woodshed on this. I’m just coming along in his wake, trying to make the most of the fact that an ignorant jackass like Gingrich has the ignorant-jackass temerity to speak of “the historic ignorance of American elites.”

Also, just on a personal note, I wanted to add that the Chrysler Cordoba gives me great confidence, for which there can be no price.

15

JulesLt 08.08.10 at 9:55 pm

It’s just impossible to satirise Newt.

16

BillCinSD 08.08.10 at 10:26 pm

I thought Cordoba House was in honor of Armando Cordoba the Panamanian boxer known as El Policia, so it’s really named in honor of the police first responders that died.

17

Ellis Goldberg 08.08.10 at 11:23 pm

The really interesting thing about the Great Mosque at Cordoba is the insertion of the Renaissance nave in the middle of the mosque in order to re-appropriate the area as a Christian site and destroy the architectural integrity of the Muslim place of worship. Perhaps they should have called it the Abu Hasira Islamic complex instead. Certainly appropriate for New York.

18

NMissC 08.08.10 at 11:27 pm

One of the most short-lived moments of happiness at public events I’ve ever had was at Newt and his (almost immediate!) return to the public forum after he resigned from the house. I was so glad that I wouldn’t have to hear any more of his little bogus lectures about history, wouldn’t have to spend a moment imagining what a horrendously bad professor he must have been, and just generally was glad Newt was over.

Then he came back around as a Fox News guy, and I thought– well, I don’t watch Fox anyway, so maybe I won’t hear this crap from him, but that didn’t work out– other networks would give him time, and I’d turn on the tv and there he’d be. We have to have balance! We have one sane person, so we have to find an insane person who can talk, and Newt (who may not be insane but can certainly act the part) got the slot.

I honestly can decide if I’d be more upset to face more time listening to him or to Sarah Palin. But I’m pretty sure that of all the politicians I remember in my lifetime (and I’m in Mississippi! I remember Ross Barnett! and, right next door in Alabama, George Wallace!) those two may be the most unbearable of my lifetime.

19

Dave Maier 08.08.10 at 11:42 pm

I honestly [can't?] decide if I’d be more upset to face more time listening to him or to Sarah Palin.

This one’s easy for me. If I listen to Newt, all I would do is punch myself in the face; but listening to Sarah would require that I stick knitting needles into my ears, and I’d really rather do the former.

Snark aside, check this out for a memorable cinematic treatment of Moorish Spain (starring Averroes!).

20

Irrelephant 08.08.10 at 11:53 pm

I think Newt needs to worry about more important issues, like whether it will be possible to resurrect the “Match Game” yet again so he can be on the panel with other withered has-beens like Bert Convy and Charles Nelson Reilly. Oh wait a minute, they are both dead. Well, maybe they can use the Genesis Device to resurrect them, like they did Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Speaking of which, I have a question for historian Gingrich.

So, Mr. Gingrich, when the Reliant visits Ceti Alpha 6 thinking it is Ceti Alpha 5, they didn’t notice that a planet was missing? I mean, they have all sorts of sophisticated navigation devices and techniques in the 23rd century, they couldn’t do something like count the planets out from the star? And didn’t Kirk leave a log entry that they marooned Ricardo, I mean Khan, there? This is an important movie continuity issue, and seems to be ranks much higher than whether Sharia Law will be instituted in lower Manhattan.

And, Mr. Gingrich, are you aware there is not only a Gedi Temple in lower Manahhattan, but a monthly meeting og Klingons as well? Shouldn’t those issues rank just a bit higher than paranoid delusion? Thanks!

21

Steve 08.08.10 at 11:55 pm

Does Newt know that Spain was ruled by the Visigoths when the Muslims invaded Spain in the 8th century? Think about that. If the Muslims had not defeated the Visigoths, history might have been different. The Spanish Armada might have defeated the British fleet in the 16th century, Mexico could have been colonized by Germanic tribes and Americans might have become Goths. Instead of patriotic lapel pins, right wing Republicans would have spiked hair and facial piercings. Cordoba symbolized the way that the Muslims changed the course of history, and Newt should be grateful for that.

22

MoXmas 08.09.10 at 12:03 am

I assume this is actually a Double Meta Level joke on Newt’s part.

He’s making shit up, then referencing one of the best-known made-up marketing concepts in the history of advertising: “corinthian leather.”

No such thing, doesn’t exist, specifically made up to sell mid-70s Chryslers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnZdMeEfG1Y

As Ricardo Montalban himself describes the leather: “very soft, very pliable”. Like Newt’s core audience, really.

23

Red 08.09.10 at 12:15 am

So take heed, take heed of the Eastern wind
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there’s something you can send back to me
Corinthian boots of Corinthian leather

24

JP Stormcrow 08.09.10 at 1:19 am

Is that a mosque in the background of this ad? It’s all coming clear now .. soft Corinthian leather–introduced to serve mankind.

And per MB, go read the gotmedieval blog post–a nice bit of history. Most of the comments not so much, I’m afraid (I’m wondering where it got linked).

25

PHB 08.09.10 at 1:49 am

@Chris Crawford 13

The situation is hardly so ironic since it was the King and Queen of Spain whose legendary intolerance of Muslims, Jews and all non Christians ended the affair, leading to the Spanish inquisition whose torture techniques have proved such an inspiration to Bush and cronies.

26

NMissC 08.09.10 at 1:54 am

Yes, in 19 Dave, that would be “can’t”

27

Newt Gingrich 08.09.10 at 2:11 am

Ellis Goldberg @ 17: The really interesting thing about the Great Mosque at Cordoba is the insertion of the Renaissance nave in the middle of the mosque in order to re-appropriate the area as a Christian site and destroy the architectural integrity of the Muslim place of worship.

That’s exactly what I was saying. The insertion of a Renaissance knave is the key to the nefarious Islamistic plan to enact My Sharona law throughout the Western world.

Irrelephant @ 20: I think Newt needs to worry about more important issues, like whether it will be possible to resurrect the “Match Game” yet again so he can be on the panel with other withered has-beens like Bert Convy and Charles Nelson Reilly.

You call them “has-beens,” you random pseudonymous internets commenter, but the truth is that these are some of the most scrumtrulescent performers in the Western world. Remember, irrelephant, if that is your real name, they hate us for our freedoms.

28

Andrew Edwards 08.09.10 at 2:39 am

Next thing they’ll be teaching “Muslim math” in schools.

Only slightly seriously, I’ve always wondered how many loonies you could get standing up to oppose the teaching of “al-jebra”…

29

nick s 08.09.10 at 3:15 am

Cordoba actually gave its name to shell cordovan, which comes from a horse’s arse.

Ahem.

30

Vance Maverick 08.09.10 at 3:43 am

Check out the Islamomexicanian accent and music

Since nobody has followed up, I’ll point out that this is Rodrigo, the familiar Concierto de Aranjuez (though something sketchy superposes itself at the end). And to the extent that Rodrigo has a political valence (not a serious extent, as far as I know, but since we’re dredging here), it’s Franquist.

31

Delicious Pundit 08.09.10 at 4:22 am

Newt advises you to choose a 70s car you can perform a circumcison in.

32

Earnest O'Nest 08.09.10 at 8:45 am

Go easy on Newt, he is merely preparing Geert Wilders’ speech of acceptance for the Oscar for non-US wignuttery at ground zero. I heard he is going to be airdropped in using only his hair to ensure a soft landing thereby showing no Islamist will ever be able to hurt him.

33

daelm 08.09.10 at 8:50 am

Andrew, according to comparative test scores worldwide, Americans DO reject ‘al-jebra’. Praise Jesus!

34

Uncle Kvetch 08.09.10 at 10:56 am

Do your worst, Gingrich. You will not come between me and the sublime and funky upholstery that I crave.

35

Ciarán 08.09.10 at 11:08 am

Uncle Kvetch’s comment wins but seriously folks, what scares me most is that the terrorists will presumably be overlooking Ground Zero, two blocks away, with their soft leather x-rays of mass destruction.

36

Harry Campbell 08.09.10 at 11:10 am

@Vance Maverick, full marks on identifying the well-known Concierto de Aranjuez, but can we please know in what sense Joaquín Rodrigo was “Franquist”? In the sense that he was of Spanish nationality and alive at the time of Franco’s dictatorship? The same sense in which Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Nazi?

37

mds 08.09.10 at 1:22 pm

First they came for the algebra, and I didn’t speak up, because I hated word problems. Then they came for the algorithms, and I didn’t speak up, because my computer no longer worked. Then they came for the zeroes, and Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin were taken away. So I guess it worked out after all.

38

ajay 08.09.10 at 1:41 pm

36: hardly Bonhoeffer. He wrote articles for Falangist newspapers during the war, pushing a fairly Fascist line on the importance of German music being authentically German, etc. His music was very popular with the Franquists. He wasn’t a fervent Franquist by any means, as far as I can tell, but he wasn’t noticeably anti-Franco.

39

Bill Benzon 08.09.10 at 1:44 pm

Yeah, but what about all those Islamofascist algorithms in the Internets? And Hollywood Squares?

40

Steve LaBonne 08.09.10 at 1:44 pm

mds- just as long as they don’t come for the alcohol, which I need to survive this era of craziness. (But maybe if we rename it Spirit of Freedom they won’t take it away!)

41

ajay 08.09.10 at 2:12 pm

I think they might want the Shiraz, Steve. Iranian, you know. And the cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and merlot all sound a bit, you know, French.

42

Uncle Kvetch 08.09.10 at 3:19 pm

And the cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and merlot all sound a bit, you know, French.

I was going to point out that rich, crushed velour might provide a suitable alternative to the inherent dhimmitude of soft Corinthian leather. But then I realized that it runs into the same problem: just too damn French. Maybe if we call it “Reagan velvet”…

43

Irrelephant 08.09.10 at 3:22 pm

…and call algebra freedom cypherin’

44

Vance Maverick 08.09.10 at 3:23 pm

ajay, I didn’t know all of that — just that Rodrigo returned to Spain after the Civil War, and became a kind of national symbol (so that regardless of what politics he had, to choose his music was to choose the public Spain of his time). FWIW, over the past couple of years, I’ve come to admire his music quite a bit; very conservative, obvs, but showing an acute assimilation of the modernism of the teens and ’20s, esp. Stravinsky/Ravel.

45

Newt Gingrich 08.09.10 at 3:39 pm

I don’t understand why “al-jebra” should be part of an American school curriculum. If young Jesus of Nazareth didn’t need it, why do we? But I do like the idea of “Reagan velvet.” Thank you, Uncle Kvetch! I am going to talk to Sean Hannity this evening about the possibility of converting the paintings in the National Gallery to Reagan velvet. Any ideas for Mount Rushmore?

46

mds 08.09.10 at 3:53 pm

If young Jesus of Nazareth didn’t need it, why do we?

Jesus of Nazareth did need algebra. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to exploit the Banach-Tarski Paradox to multiply those loaves and fishes.

47

gmoke 08.09.10 at 5:46 pm

Yep, ole Newtie is a Renaissance knave all right. He can be knavish on almost any subject and do it without breaking a sweat. Truly remarkable. Almost never right about anything but truly remarkable in the inventiveness, depth, and breadth of his knavery.

48

PHB 08.09.10 at 5:49 pm

I turned off On Point this morning after they had the woman from the bigot brigade explaining why the 14th Amendment does not guarantee birthright citizenship as the movers of the amendment clearly intended.

This sudden upswing in bigotry is explained by one single factor, there are elections in November and the Republican party has nothing to run on other than bigotry and fear. They can’t run on their economic policy because their policies got us into this mess. They can’t run on tax cuts as their ‘tax cut’ plan gives 117% of the benefit to the top 1% of tax payers. Guess how you get 117% – yep, everyone else will see their taxes rise. So all they have left to run on is hate.

They say ‘illegals’ but what they mean is ‘latinos’.

Bigotry has been a defining characteristic of politics here since the Pilgrims landed. Then the bigotry was directed against different denominations. My church being one of the ones that was targeted. There is a memorial to Mary Dyer, one of the four Quaker martyrs next to the state capitol.

The target changes from time to time, but not the tactic. Newt Gingrich’s behavior is explained by the fact that he is a bigot. Rudy Giuliani’s behavior is explained by the fact that he is a bigot and a panderer to any ethnic group that will give him votes. He has give peace prizes to terrorists and helped them raise money when it suits his electoral advantage.

The decision to turn up the anti-Latino and anti-muslim bigotry most recently seems to have come as the Tea Party movement has begun to lose momentum. They only managed a few hundred at their last national rally. Fox News has also halted its rise in the ratings and has started to decline. Glenn Beck has also clearly peaked.

This has nothing to do with the facts or the issues, it is all Rupert Murdoch’s bigotry and greed that is the driving force here. The Republicans must know that as well, they work for him.

49

Michael 08.09.10 at 6:27 pm

PHB, I’m glad you brought up the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not cover the children of illegals. I have more on this constitutional originalism at my other place.

50

politicalfootball 08.09.10 at 8:46 pm

This plush interior will not stand

This headline actually evokes the elder Bush who, for all his faults, wasn’t a nut.

51

JP Stormcrow 08.09.10 at 9:04 pm

I predict that sometime this week someone will link up the Michelle Obama’s Spain trip and Cordoba House (not sure where she flew in and out of, I think the resort was ~120 miles from Cordoba).

52

Uncle Kvetch 08.09.10 at 9:21 pm

I predict that sometime this week someone will link up the Michelle Obama’s Spain trip and Cordoba House (not sure where she flew in and out of, I think the resort was ~120 miles from Cordoba).

According to commenter R. Porrofatto at alicublog (see comments here), you’re behind the curve, JP:

“If you do a Google to Cordoba, it’s only 2 hrs away, due north. Someone from that Cordoba Institute, which is so much in the news now for the Ground Zero Mosque, may be having private meetings with Michelle. I think it’s just a little too coincidental. “

You just can’t get out in front of these people.

53

PHB 08.09.10 at 10:33 pm

@Michael 49

Unfortunately, sarcasm is now inapplicable to the Republican movement as they invariably turn satire into their next policy proposal.

At what point is it legitimate to point out that giving Germans people to hate was the way Hitler got started?

54

Steve LaBonne 08.09.10 at 10:38 pm

At what point is it legitimate to point out that giving Germans people to hate was the way Hitler got started?

Long since. At least since Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

55

parsimon 08.10.10 at 1:11 am

a foreign kind of Mexican man

Newt really said that?

Sorry, I haven’t read the thread, but really, I thought my jaw couldn’t drop any further.

56

KCinDC 08.10.10 at 3:25 am

Parsimon, you might want to follow the link to check the quote.

57

Michael 08.10.10 at 4:22 am

No, Parsimon, he said something far worse. I have Newt saying something inconceivably stupid; what he actually said was inconceivably stupid and also kinda evil.

58

Red 08.10.10 at 5:12 am

As a historian, I am naturally infuriated by Newt’s vicious idiocy, but my feelings probably pale in comparison to what Tony Judt would have experienced. Given the timing, it might be appropriate to remember what Judt told Terry Gross in his last radio interview:

“On whether history matters to him as much:
I think it does. It really does. I know that sounds funny, but I believe the reason is this: that all I ever wanted to do in life professionally [and] occupationally was teach history and read and write it. There are times when I’ve thought, ‘My God, you’re a dull man, Judt. When you were 13, you wanted the same thing, and now you’re 62 and you still want it.’ And the upside of that is that I get as angry at bad history writing, or the abuse of history for political purposes, as I ever did.”
(see also http://atthispoint.org/2010/03/30/tony-judt/)

59

Ignobility 08.10.10 at 6:45 am

The Cordoba in that commercial is obviously pointed toward Mecca.

Also, Reagan Velvet sounds somewhat sleazy to me. Maybe I’ll start using that as my bar name.

60

stevelaudig 08.10.10 at 11:19 am

But it looks mahvelous. and so do you!

61

Salient 08.10.10 at 11:52 am

You just can’t get out in front of these people.

You mean out from under them. :-/

62

JP Stormcrow 08.10.10 at 2:21 pm

The Cordoba in that commercial is obviously pointed toward Mecca.

God forbid someone one drives a Cordoba to the Flight 93 memorial.

63

Lancelot Link 08.11.10 at 7:28 am

Next thing they’ll be teaching “Muslim math” in schools.

ARABIC NUMERALS, people! Can’t you see????
We must demand a return to Roman numerals in our schools!
Think of the Children!

64

zamfir 08.11.10 at 7:49 am

Arabic numerals are really Indian numerals the Muslims took from them.

So we really just taking them back, being aryans like those Indians etc.

65

sg 08.11.10 at 8:28 am

I don’t mean to derail this highly entertaining thread, but does that car advert actually make any sense to anyone here? I just don’t get it. Were all ads for ’70s cars that weird? Have modern sensibilities changed so much that imagery from a ’70s car ad has become meaningless to us, or is it just me?

66

Salient 08.11.10 at 11:26 am

Have modern sensibilities changed so much that imagery from a ‘70s car ad has become meaningless to us, or is it just me?

Heck, I think even imagery from some modern-day car ads is meaningless to me. There’s a billboard I drive past to go to work that says, “travel AVELON class!” And apparently the reader is supposed to be telling a mustachioed and liveried driver, “Thanks for the SMOOTH ride!” This billboard seems hopelessly tacky and nonsensical to me, but also seems like what the billboard version of the Cordoba ad would be.

Also, you are all so behind the curve. My more wittily whiny high school students were cracking wise about “Iraqi math” and “terrorist math” way back in 2005. (Granted, they got the origins of geometry confused with the origins of algebra, but this is easily forgiven. It’s all Greek to them. And I guess they think of Greeks as being Arabic…)

67

ajay 08.11.10 at 12:17 pm

Salient: I think geometry is Islamomexican in origin too, it was just first written down formally by the Greeks.

68

sg 08.11.10 at 4:13 pm

I wonder if they had a bunch of reactionary arseholes accusing them of dhimmitude and undermining democracy while they wrote it down?

I bet they did…

69

Tehanu 08.11.10 at 8:12 pm

First they came for the algebra, and I didn’t speak up, because I hated word problems. Then they came for the algorithms, and I didn’t speak up, because my computer no longer worked. Then they came for the zeroes, and Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin were taken away. So I guess it worked out after all.

mds, I love you!

70

Salient 08.12.10 at 5:14 am

…Then they came for the ones, but I didn’t speak up, because I didn’t like the Matrix and Ayn Rand fans are insufferable

Then they came for e, but we didn’t speak up, because nobody wanted to admit to a predilection for the irrational

Then they came for i, but i did not speak up, because i thought i was not real

But then they came for the pi, and there was no getting around it any longer: they were gathering us up for something profoundly negative…

(Hopefully someone in the audience noticed and appreciated the e^iπ^ = -1 joke; I don’t know how to make it not obscure)

71

mds 08.12.10 at 2:15 pm

I don’t know how to make it not obscure

Yeah, it’s rough when you have to be the exponent of your own gag. Especially one that’s so complex.

72

JP Stormcrow 08.12.10 at 2:55 pm

Yeah, it’s rough when you have to be the exponent of your own gag

Seriously. It’s best if others do the real analysis.

73

ajay 08.12.10 at 5:17 pm

The humour is indeed complex. (Partly imaginary.)

74

Chris Williams 08.12.10 at 6:23 pm

The bits that aren’t imaginary are irrational.

75

ajay 08.12.10 at 7:00 pm

Better irrational than square.

76

Steve LaBonne 08.12.10 at 7:20 pm

Don’t worry, there’ll be π in the sky by and by.

77

mds 08.12.10 at 8:11 pm

I don’t want to pigeonhole anyone here, but this continuous stream of math puns is less than ideal, especially if you root out the duplicates. If only christian h were here. When it comes to math puns, he could run rings around this group. It’s his field, after all, so he’d be all set for this sort of thing.

78

roac 08.12.10 at 8:51 pm

You have to admit, though, that this is the least square group of commenters to be found on any blog.

79

ajay 08.13.10 at 2:48 pm

I wish we could get away from references to irrational numbers, but that would be ab-surd.

80

Gene O'Grady 08.14.10 at 11:32 pm

You guys may think of Islam when you hear Cordoba, but I think of Seneca and Lucan and the possible corruption of our public rhetoric.

I’m not sure I qualify for membership in the liberal American elite, but doing some study of the field currently known as late antiquity gives me the sense that (a) while I may know slightly more than the average guy about Islam I’m frightfully ignorant, and (b) the world that Islam came out of, and a whole lot of other things from French nationalism to Benedictine monasticism to Gregorian chant, is a rather appealing world with which everyone has lost even the faint touch that I had growing up in the American Catholic 50′s. Peter Brown has a remarkable tribute to it that is inaccessibly buried in a symposium in Symbolae Osloenses dating back to the pre-9/11 days of Islam bashing.

81

Michael Bérubé 08.15.10 at 2:52 am

Damn, I go away for a couple of days and this thing turns into an unfogged thread.

82

Andy 08.15.10 at 8:26 am

a lot of people don’t seem to get that prof berube is making a joke…here is the actual quote for those morbidly curious
http://www.torenewamerica.com/gingrich-ground-zero-mosque

83

Mike Schilling 08.16.10 at 2:37 am

In discussing pi you need to avoid tangents to arrive someplace transcendental.

84

Ian Dalziel 08.19.10 at 9:23 pm

(Hopefully someone in the audience noticed and appreciated the eiπ = -1 joke; I don’t know how to make it not obscure)
well, it was a bit formulaic…
;- )

I was going to point out that rich, crushed velour might provide a suitable alternative to the inherent dhimmitude of soft Corinthian leather.
Discretion is the better part of velour…

…as a first time poster, I have to say what a welcome relief it is to find a great blog with such intelligent, good natured and humorous commenters – hope for humanity soars!

85

chris 08.20.10 at 1:51 pm

a lot of people don’t seem to get that prof berube is making a joke

Then they don’t know him very well, do they?

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