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Showing posts from April 22, 2012

wanker moment 5: Exxon scepticism, a b c

The most important thing that happened in the double 0s, as we all know, was that more than 700 –800 million people were born in that decade. Of that group, at considerable number will live the lifestyles of the developed world. The lifestyle I live as I type this. Considered as a phenomenon of natural history, this is quite a strange lifestyle – a biped who stands 6 feet tall, and weighs in at between 145 and 165 pounds, uses every day the amount of energy that a blue whale, who stands at 95 feet and weighs 238,000 pounds. An expert on these matters, about 6 A.D., asked, what man by taking thought could add a cubit to his stature? About 1800, the answer was, any man with the a rudimentary sense of geometry and mechanics. By 1900, by taking thought a man could fly. But all bets are not off. Having taken thought and added 237,850 pounds to my stature – along with about a billion and a half fellow humans – I may well be part of a historical circus stunt that has not long to go. O

wanker moment 4: hero John Kerry, come on down!

The Dems had a problem in 2004. Was the problem that they had shown zero integrity in opposing Bush tax cuts, the rich vein of corruption that clogged the arteries of the administration like the cholesterol that clogged the portals of Dick Cheney’s heart, indefensible fecklessness pre-9/11, indefensible fecklessness post 9/11 in Afghanistan, the pill company bill, the vicious and unacceptable invasion and occupation of Iraq, the torture, the massive civil rights violations, the orgy of debt resulting from the deregulation of the mortgage market? Of course not. Basically, these were things they were for before they were against, and were things they might be for again. No. Their problem was they needed someone as heroic as George Bush. John Kerry as a young man did not become famous because, on a swift boat speeding through the jungles of Vietnam, he was the model for all Rambos and Hulk Hogans to come. John Kerry as a young man became famous because he courageously came back f

A lament for the french elections

Pity the decline of France. At one point (alright,in the 1790s), campaign platforms had some zing to them. Here's Babeuf's proposal for the communist state: ‘this government will make the boundaries disappear, the hedges, the walls, the locks in doors, disputes, trials, thefts, murders, all the crimes; the tribunals, prisons, gallows, penalties, the despair that causes all calamities; envy, jealo usy, insatiability, pride, deceit, duplicity, and all the other vices; more (and this point is no doubt essential) the gnawing worm of general disquiet, particular disquiet , perpetually there for each of us on our fate for tomorrow, for the month, for the following year, for our age, for our children and their children.”  This is what I call a campaign promise...  

wanker moment three: the killing fields

Christopher Hitchens had a good war. In the beginning, he imagined a beautiful war, and decided that it was identical to the war being machined into place by the oil oligarchs and Cold War relics of the Bush administration; then he supported his friends – and who had more friends than Hitchens? He was facebook before facebook – who fell into different categories: there were the Kurdish smugglers, the Iraqi financial frauds, the petro-criminals, the sneaks, the spies, and those promoting a National Front cleansing of Eurabia. And of course, the D.C. press corps, who, like the Arkansas rubes watching the Duke and Dauphin perform their version of Shakespeare, were bowled over by pisselegance proffered in a nurseryroom martinet voice. Then the war came, and it was good. The invasion was good. Then the war went slightly out of kilter. Then the fifth column at home raised traitorous questions. Then the clubman’s yelps he was reliably grinding out started getting boring, even when, like