Remember, remember…

by Chris Bertram on November 5, 2004

Ah “the whiff of cordite”: and a hint of ancient religious bigotry …. Nice to see some fireworks tonight.

Friday crying-on-the-inside thread

by Ted on November 5, 2004

After a bitter, polarizing election, the gift of entertainment can be such a comfort. This weekend, Americans of all persuasions are sure to come together at a special film event. I’m talking, of course, about Alfie. Bush’s base can clearly identify with a priapic European in New York, wearing designer clothing and bedding everything in a skirt. And as a temporarily despondent liberal, nothing can lift my spirits like watching the handsome and suave Jude Law pad around for ninety minutes like a fucking gigolo tomcat. Let the healing begin.


Here’s the thread: post a link that makes you laugh. I’ve got a few under the break.

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The Contumelys

by John Holbo on November 5, 2004

The left and right hemiblogospheres are presently linked – if at all – by a corpus callosum of profound mutual contempt. Countless linky axons of aggravation transmit negative affect side to side. I won’t bother demonstrating this obvious fact with links, though I discuss it a bit here.

And so, in the interest of entente – or at least to preclude the need for split-brain surgery to prevent the equivalent of a interwebs-wide grand mal epileptic seizure, as the storm moves left to right and back – I propose … a contest! Awards! For outstanding and meritorious achievements in the field of contempt. I think we will call these awards … The Contumelys! (I imagine sort of a golden turd-looking thing on the head of an human figure, on a pedestal.) I haven’t really worked out all the details because I haven’t worked out any of them. There must be awards for Left and Right. And I think, though I can’t imagine how I could enforce this, that lefties should nominate righties and vice versa. I’m certainly not prepared to be judge, jury nor executioner. Except for executioner. I’m more than prepared to delete comments to this thread mercilessly. Because mostly your contempt isn’t worth much to me. Unless you find some way to profit yourself, or others, by it.

UPDATE: Apparently there are problems with comments not showing, even after waiting, even after multiple attempts to post. Sorry about that. What can I say? Be aware there’s a problem and try again later. Maybe it’s temporary. Kieran?

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Sore Winners

by Kieran Healy on November 5, 2004

I put my post about “how to best represent county-level election data”: on “my own weblog”: as well. Yesterday it got linked to from “this thread”: on the “CSP Gun Talk Forum”: Apparently, trying to present the data honestly is a problem:

Re: Don’t let “them” get away with it!
Posted By: those Sore Losers
They are rewriting history as we speak …….. !!!
Look at the map below >>>
then Go to the link below the map for the real shock >>>

Then they provide their own analysis:

bq. The only reason New Mexico and Colorado have any blue counties is because of all the idiot Kalafornicators that moved there. The only reason south Texas is blue is because of all the illegal mexicans that live there. It is sad the dimocrap city slickers want to force their pitiful way of life on the rest of us country folks…….maybe we need to wall off the large metro areas of the country…..chris3

We have met the enemy and he is gay

by Henry Farrell on November 5, 2004

David Frum “sinks even deeper into the Mariana trench”:

bq. Speaking of media bias, here’s a question you won’t hear in our big papers or on network TV: Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?

bq. We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system. We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight – possibly as much as 1/3 of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental dysfunction. What does this sound like?

bq. Former Romanian intelligence chief Ion Pacepa tells in his very interesting memoirs that the Ceaucescu regime taped Arafat’s orgies with his body guards. If true, Arafat would a great deal to conceal from his people and his murderously anti-homosexual supporters in the Islamic world.

via “Bookslut”:

The Nucular Option

by Henry Farrell on November 5, 2004

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been hearing speculation that the Bush administration was going to use the “nuclear option” to get judicial nominations through the Senate; that is, to junk the rules that allow a large minority of senators to filibuster judicial candidates.

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A taste of honey

by Chris Bertram on November 5, 2004

I can still recall my surprise when I happened upon a volume in a second-hand bookshop by Maurice Maeterlinck, author of Pelleas et Mellisande and one of history’s most famous Belgians, only to discover that it was all about the natural history of bees. If “James Meek’s piece in the latest LRB”: is anything to go on, I’m in good company:

bq. Not long after the First World War, the movie baron Samuel Goldwyn set up a stable of Eminent Authors in an attempt to give silent screenplays more literary weight. One of the recruits was the Nobel Prize-winning Belgian writer Maurice Maeterlinck. Initially, neither party seems to have been troubled that Maeterlinck spoke no English, and the great Belgian set to work on a screen version of his novel La Vie des abeilles. When the script was translated Goldwyn read it with increasing consternation until he could no longer deny the evidence of his senses. ‘My God!’ he cried. ‘The hero is a bee!’

Further on in Meek’s review of Bee Wilson’s _The Hive_ [1] he claims that Jean-Jacques Rousseau asserts somewhere that nations which eat honey are natural democracies but those which use sugar as a sweetener are fit only for tyranny. I guess I can see what the argument might be — something about honey-gathering being a suitable activity for free citizens whereas sugar came from large plantations worked by slaves — but does JJR _really_ say it anywhere?[2]

fn1. One of the names we canvassed for this blog before we launched was “The Grumbling Hive”, I’m glad I lost that argument.

fn2. Montesquieu makes explit the link between sugar and black slavery at _Spirit of the Laws_ I.15.v.

Moral Values Again

by Kieran Healy on November 5, 2004

Jim Henley “expresses some skepticism”: about the post election analysis saying that the Democrats need to do more about “moral values”: if they want to win the next election:

[I’m] calling qualified bullshit on the suddenly popular notion that liberals need to come up with “a plausible spiel on morality,” essentially dressing their existing beliefs in the language of religion so as to reach Christians who currently vote Republican … Among other things, this will raise conservative-Christian comfort levels with liberal politicians and make liberal policies attractive in the terms with which said voters view the world.

This is naive and even condescending. Conservative, values-minded Christians aren’t looking for validation. They’re looking for specific policy outcomes that their strongly-held beliefs entail – among them, the prohibition of abortion and the marginalization and if possible elimination of homosexuality. They are not empty urns waiting to be filled with liberal policies dissolved in honeyed words about faith.

… Bush and Rove’s faith talk may be every bit the “spiel” Kieran Healy says it is. Doesn’t matter. The question for evangelicals and what Sullivan calls “religious moderates” isn’t the sincerity of politicians, it’s whether those politicians deliver on their issues.

This is fair enough. I wrote that phrase, “a plausible spiel on morality” in a bit of a rush the morning after the election, and Russell Arben Fox and others picked up on it in the “comments thread”: I think my original post ran together a few different and half-formed thoughts. So, uh, here are some more.

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