Speak loudly and carry a small stick

by John Holbo on October 14, 2006

Everyone is much amusing by our President’s proclivity for finding things ‘unacceptable’. (As in: you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does.) I got curious whether anyone had made the obvious inversion of Teddy R’s wisdom. Turns out Josh Marshall said it, back in early 2003:

Speak softly and carry a big stick. Or, speak loudly and carry a big stick. Or maybe even speak softly and get by with a small stick. But, for God’s sake, don’t speak loudly and carry a small stick. And yet that’s precisely what President Bush has been doing on the Korean Peninsula issue for two years …

Wait, it’s coming to me in a vision: speak sensibly, and carry a medium-sized stick and a medium-sized carrot (which was the fashion at the time). Damn, we all pretty much miss the Clinton years, don’t we? (You can make jokes about Clinton’s carrot if you like. Doesn’t change a thing.)

Self-Evident Truths

by Brian on October 14, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea that some propositions are self-evident recently. And it is hard to think about this without being reminded of the Declaration of Independence. But I realised when going back over it that I didn’t quite know what Jefferson meant at one crucial point. Maybe this is something completely obvious, or maybe there is some historical literature on this that I should know about. But it seemed to me to be an interesting interpretative question.
[click to continue…]

Wild Things

by John Holbo on October 14, 2006

A few months ago I praised Kim Deitch – as well I should. I didn’t mention at the time that his dad, Gene Deitch, is no slouch either. (I guess that must be why they gave him an Oscar, so maybe my help here is not needed.) And not just that: on Gene Deitch’s website you can listen to the original John Lee Hooker recordings he made long, long ago.

I mention Deitch because I notice that Amazon just put a bunch of Scholastic DVD’s for kids on sale (we parents watch out for such things). And the pick of the litter is Where the Wild Things Are; a bunch of Sendak stories, directed and produced by Deitch. And you get Peter “PDQ Bach” Schickele providing some music and narration. And Carole King singing songs we remember: “Pierre”, “One Was Johnny”, “Alligators All Around”, “The Ballad of Chicken Soup”. (You can watch them all on YouTube.) Best of all is “In the Night Kitchen”. It tripped out my 2-year old. And, of course, “Where The Wild Things Are”.