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Showing posts from November 6, 2005

oompa loompa liberalism

Funding note: this week LI’s funding drive netted one hundred dollars. This is excellent. When we started this drive, our goal was one thousand dollars. Now our goal is a more reasonable six hundred dollars. We are only two hundred dollars away from the goal. Is that cool or what? Please think about contributing to LI, check out the shirts and stuff via the handy Dopamine Cowboy button, and take the bread out of the mouths of orphans and widows and instead send it to LI. What did those orphans and widows ever do for you, anyway????? … Easeful sleep is not easy for LI. Somehow, our consciousness has transformed, over the years, from the good and faithful servant of the body to a tenacious monster out of some James Whale flick, a combination Igor and Old man of the Sea, clutching at our neck and turning the volume up in our brain with breathy chuckles as the night grinds on. For some people, three o’clock in the morning is an abstraction. For us, it is a stage in the journey to despair.
Scorcese made the brilliant decision, in Goodfellas, to impose the action of the movie against the signs of the sixties and seventies, using the music, the décor, the sex, the clothes, the drugs, everything, and simply eliminating the politics. Not one mention of the Vietnam war, for instance. This gives the viewer two feelings. One is the feeling that this Mafia enclave is truly living in its own world, even as it receives its inputs from the outside. And the second is that the American imperium is truly vast, because the Mafia is living like average Americans. So: I go out to breakfast, typical Austin joint, migas for me, tables around buzzing, here’s two guys talking about their kids and the marvels of speech their kids are inventing out of the stitching of neurons and the world, here’s a table around which construction chiefs have gathered as the GC lays out the plans for building a number of restaurants in Texas, from bonding agent to the architectural drawing to the specs, and

Off to prison she must go

LI opposes the death penalty. But LI also believes that Saddam Hussein should have been shot on the day he was captured. We reconcile these two positions dialectically – which is a fancy word for weaseling around seemingly irreconcilable positions. Clive Foss has produced a nice overview of the dispatching of tyrants in November’s History Today . Foss does a very English job of maintaining an armed innocence about the whole issue of violence and the state. That is the crux issue for us, and the reason we believe that a gap opens up in the very notion of law itself when a tyrant is overthrown. Foss’s article ends with the current decorous human rights point of view: “In modern times, a consensus has emerged that tyrants should not get way with their crimes against humanity but must face a fair trial, not so much for revenge as for catharsis, to bring closure to the survivors of their actions, and as a warning to future would-be tyrants. Yet fairness can itself bring problems. If Sadd

giddy nurses for us

The moronic inferno won in my state yesterday. The sick breath of bigotry had been condensed into an amendment to the constitution that defined marriage as “between a consenting cock and a consenting pussy.” The amendment also noted, “cocks with other cocks or assholes and pussies among each other are just too God damned scary.” The yahoos, of course, went for it like a prize ticket to a mudwrestling match. Next year we are going to vote on whether dinner is defined as “that meal with a hunk of scorched cow flesh in it and only with the aforesaid flesh.” This would be merely funny if the anti-gay amendment didn’t include vaguely threatening language that seemed to threaten the finances of gay couples, and their ability to raise kids. All of my votes – the vote against the prison bond issue, the vote against the road bond issue, etc. – lost. Wait a minute… I think the park bond issue passed. Oh, and supposedly “liberal” Austin went for the fear of cock with cock and pussy with pussy by

the nobility of parchment goes down

“… il est plus important qu'on ne pense en politique d'extirper cette diversité d'idiomes grossiers qui prolongent l'enfance de la raison et la vieillesse des préjugés.” (... in politics, it is more important than you might imagine to extirpate that diversity of vulgar idioms which prolongs the infancy of reason and the senility of prejudices." – Abbe Gregoire. When LI was a young lad hitching around France, we once hitched to Brittany. We were hitching with a young lass, which made the hitching a lot more fun. And both of us were associated with CODOFIL, an France-Louisiane friendship society. Well, the town that we hitched to was quiet enough that our appearance there, plus Codofil, got us an invite to dinner with the mayor and a picture in the local newspaper. While some of the local muckety mucks were shaking each others hands and exchanging jokes, the photographer sidled over to us and began to explain that he was a member of an independence group. The group h


Notes LI apologizes for the length of yesterday’s post. I don’t know what came over me. The fascination of the topic, the two Thai sticks, what... Anyway, I’m not going to go on at such tyrannical lengths again – without breaking it up into two posts. Also, an email from a reader reminds us that we should have linked to the Colombia Journal site a post or two ago. LI especially recommends Eric Fichtl’s August article , which goes probing into Colombia’s recent history from the odd vector formed by media and grafitti. LI is hoping that the peak donation period hasn’t passed. The first week of our drive we collected 200 dollars. The second week we collected 100 dollars, I believe. This is the third week. We’d really like to collect seven hundred more dollars, but more realistically, two hundred more is our goal. Please donate to us. And finally: we are not really puzzled by the news from France. This emeute has been building for some time. In the U.S., there is a sort of laughable view o

rabbit's politics

Christopher Lehmann’s essay with the provocative title ( Why Americans can’t write Political Fiction ) in the Washington Monthly, much mentioned this week among the political blogs, has an honorable intention at heart. Like many political junkies, Lehman thinks that The Gay Place, the novel by LBJ’s one time assistant, Billy Lee Brammer, is the great American political novel. Unfortunately, instead of simply sending a valentine, Lehman takes the big picture approach. The short cut Toynbee approach. This involves him, at the outset, in an unequal struggle with language. Language gets the best of it, the way the boa got the best of the Laocoon boys. Here’s Lehman’s second graf: “In the ever-accelerating information age, journalism has taken on the role of chronicling both the march of political events and the shifting character of the nation's political imagination. But technology and programming demands have made much political journalism far more shrill, instantaneous, and unrefle