10 things.

I have a new job. It pays well, allows me to work from home, uses my brain and skills and leaves lots of time free for writing. The only downside is the hours, which take up my evenings and deprive me of sleep and, well, blogging time. So a speed entry today, one of those blogger-meme things, blatantly cribbed from Lance Mannion. Ahem:

Ten views I hold without any evidence.

1) I was right to move to Fort Wayne and stay for about 17 years longer than I planned to.

2) Warren Zevon was a better songwriter than he was a performer.

3) Dogs are better than cats.

4) Lincoln was the best president. (OK, lots of evidence for that.) He couldn’t even survive the New Hampshire primary today.

5) If Islam really is a religion of peace, the peaceful Muslims are saying so to the wrong people.

6) Certain Lutherans are worse than many evangelicals, in terms of annoying the crap out of me.

7) Martin Scorsese keeps getting robbed because everyone in the Academy is jealous of him. But: Woody Allen is the world’s most overrated director. No, Spike Lee.

8) Small luxuries are better than big ones. Cashmere may be the best luxury of all.

9) Evil exists in every single human being above the age of 7. Some people just keep it buttoned up a little better.

10) The best art, the best food, the most interesting culture, comes from the bottom up. Also, from the oppressed up. (What if Michelangelo had been out’n’proud? We might never have gotten the Pieta. He’d have been dancing in a Florentine disco.)

Add your own in the comments.

Posted at 9:05 pm in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

29 responses to “10 things.”

  1. brian stouder said on February 8, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    “4) Lincoln was the best president. (OK, lots of evidence for that.)”


    “He couldn’t even survive the New Hampshire primary today.”

    I completely and totally disagree with that.

    A person who can speak, and who can write; a person who can take a complex situation and mull it over and up and down and then enunciate a clear view on it; a person who has poetry in their soul – will always be capable of winning.

    I think AL was a great ‘trimmer’; but also a deep thinker. He had his early foul-ups and mis-steps in Congress in the 1840’s – and he learned.

    I think one of the greatest political losses America sustained in the past 40 years was when RFK got murdered; another fellow who made many mis-steps early on, and learned from them

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  2. alex said on February 8, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    I think Jimmy Carter’s a close second. And Brian, I have to disagree with you regarding the first. In the age of beauty pageantry (which is to say television) Honest Abe would be no match for a telegenic wimp like W, never mind who’s honester or smarter. It’s why Kennedy beat the living shit outta Nixon even though Nixon won the brains contest in 1960. It’s also why someone like Toni Tenille wouldn’t stand a chance in hell getting a music contract were she thirty years younger and competing with Britney.

    As for certain Lutherans, I second that emotion and still want to slug the shit out of one in particular for throwing dirt on the Dustins’ grave before it was dug. And for pretending the Courthouse Preservation Trust is a bunch of lefty subversives for not planting the American flag where he wanted it. And for numerous other insults to the intelligence of anyone with an IQ of more than two digits here in Bumfuck Hollow. But no one ever said the News-Sentinel was a meritocracy and the folks still working there are living proof of it.

    Likewise for dogs. Their hair doesn’t make my eyes burn, their pee doesn’t conjure Bhopal in the mind and when you tell them to do something there’s actually a slim chance they’ll obey.

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  3. ashley said on February 8, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    #11 New Orleans and its reconstruction is all that matters, and if you as an individual don’t make people aware of it and how important it is, then you’re supporting the terrorists

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  4. brian stouder said on February 9, 2006 at 8:53 am

    Hey Alex – speaking of BF Hollow (aka Fort Wayne) and the greatest president the US ever had – the good ol’ Lincoln Museum is having a great event this weekend. The Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, Randall Shepard, will give a talk on Lincoln and his constitutional war powers.

    Aside from the critical modern relevance of the subject – there is also a reception with all sorts of goodies in the lobby afterwards.

    While it may be nothing new to newsies like y’all to get to be in a room filled with local and regional luminaries (albeit of varying wattage), for a John Q Public feller like me it’s about the ONLY opportunity for to wander about and hear what ‘they’ are talking about, and maybe even kibbitz a little bit.

    Last time Shepard came to town for one of these I was there, and every lawyer in town seemed to be there, plus the mayor and several other judges…..good stuff!

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  5. Dwight Brown said on February 9, 2006 at 9:44 am

    #2: I was lucky enough to see Mr. Zevon perform live, here in Austin. I’m sorry, Ms. Nall, but I can’t agree with you on this one.

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  6. hb said on February 9, 2006 at 10:37 am

    I also stayed in Fort Wayne 17 years longer than I expected, Nancy.

    And Woody’s new film MATCH POINT is superb.

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  7. Danny said on February 9, 2006 at 11:30 am

    I think Jimmy Carter’s a close second.

    You … must … be … kidding. Lance wrote “best,” not “worst.” In in recent years, Carter has slid into even deeper illogical irelevance. His witless remarks at the widow King’s funeral about wiretapping were la piece de bullcrap.

    But on another point, I do agree Alex. The music industry is reaping what it has sown the last few decades. Now they must reach out almost past the grave to find real musicians for the superbowl show.

    And is anyone ever going to respond to any of Ashley’s comments regarding the rebuilding effort in NO, or lack thereof. He has filled us in with utter anguish several times over the past few months and there have been no takers, at least on the open forum.

    Ash, I think you are right that the rebuilding effort is important and that not enough people are clamouring for it. My wife and I contributed monetarily to the relief effort, but have been dismayed that the relief effort seemed to suck and then nothing has happened since. A few thoughts.

    1) The rebuilding effort is a political nightmare. Whoever tries to take the torch and run with it will be slimed from all sides. The amount of bellyaching that will ensue becuase everyone will be an expert armchair quarterback will be astounding. Every politicain knows this and will not have the courage to move on it.

    2) Nagin is a loser. He is not only responsible for a lot of suffering in that city, he is largely responsible for the lack of inertia the rebuilding effort is acheiving. Instead of being a leader, he tends to play the race card and the liberal-democrat card and whatever other divisive bullshit he can come up with. And you think the asshole should be president in ’08. Dumb comment.

    3) Then there is the carnival of other loser politicians at the state and local level in LA. And add the police force in the city itself. Corruption is rampant in the Big Sleazy that you love so much. Do you think anyone wants to give money and time just to turn around an get freakin’ ripped off by this bunch of crooks? I’d rather flush the money.

    I’m sorry for your loss, but there is not much any of us can do about corrupt politicians and police in our own cities, much less yours.

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  8. nancy said on February 9, 2006 at 11:43 am

    I, too, have been scratching my head over what to say about New Orleans, and have decided to hold my tongue, for now. I’ve been following the coverage in the NYT, NPR, etc., and the rebuilding — such as it is — seems to be disintegrating into a morass. The last story said the latest thing is to get “a figure below 50,” meaning an inspection that says less than half of your house was destroyed by the flooding, so you can rebuild. Of course, the inspectors are corrupt. Of course, there’s fudging. What this means is, some areas are likely to have one or two rebuilt houses standing in the midst of many vacant lots.

    In other words, Detroit! What a tremendous idea.

    This is one area where I think the feds have to step in — no, STOMP in. The local officials are making a hash of things, not unusual when very hard decisions have to be made. Obviously, the city is going to be different, and likely a lot smaller than before H.K. If someone has to be the bad guy, better it be Uncle Sam than anyone else.

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  9. mary said on February 9, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Hey, I’ve got a new job too. Congrats to you. Mine allows me to get out of my house, but be home by about 4:15pm. I have no problem with starting early. The company I’ll be working for has a PENSION! An old fashioned pension, paid by the employer. Can you believe it? They have huge benefits, and they are a profitable, non profit health care company. And I can use my brains and skills and experience. Phew.

    Dogs are great, but I love my cats too. They’re just different, not worse. Jon Katz wrote a piece in Slate about three weeks ago about being a dog person who got a cat. He’s got a whole new respect for cats now. I’ve had terrible cats and great ones, (Edith, you will never be equaled) and they are worth reconsidering. Fish are terrible pets. They are like fragile houseplants that need a lot of maintenance. They die a lot. Their water smells.

    I agree wholeheartedly about the small luxuries. I am not embarrassed about buying a beautiful small thing like a well made kitchen knife or great lingerie, or occasional perfect strawberries. Good chocolate, a well crafted handbag that lasts for years, real parmesan cheese. You can live without these things, but when you can afford them it’s just so lovely.

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  10. brian stouder said on February 9, 2006 at 11:56 am

    “… buying a beautiful small thing like a well made kitchen knife or great lingerie”

    Sounds like the beginnings of an intense Valentines Weekend!

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  11. Dorothy said on February 9, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    Congrats on the jobs Mary and Nance! Wish I had those hours again. I work 7:30-5:30 Mon-Thurs., and 7:30-11:30 on Friday. It’s hell for four days, and then Friday I’m always so damn grateful I have this schedule.

    Agree about the small things. Hubby is a fanatic about good knives. And while I’m on that subject, keep the knife on the counter in the kitchen with the strawberries, and leave the lingerie in the bedroom, and your weekend should turn out just fine.

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  12. mary said on February 9, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    Since I’m a single mom the Valentine’s weekend will be spent celebrating my son’s birthday. His dad 1) forgot it was his birthday and 2) is “not available) this weekend, meaning he thinks he going to get lucky. I will be supplying a birthday present with the dad’s name on it, so he doesn’t look like he forgot and made other plans.
    The good knives will be used preparing the birthday dinner. I think he wants flank steak and mashed potatoes with wasabi. The nice underwear will be cherished by myself alone, since good underwear feels a lot better than cheap underwear. Son Pete, the baby of the family, turns 12 on Saturday, same day as Abe Lincoln. He’s getting a cellphone (with many guidelines attached) and another variation on the theme of Gameboy, the Micro.
    There might be some chocolate and straberries involved, but I think the blackberries are looking better at Trader Joes these days. A chocolate cake with blackberry/raspberry puree sounds nice to me.

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  13. Danny said on February 9, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Mary, I hope your son, Pete, has a very happy birthday. Whenever I hear about fathers being unavailable, it makes my blood boil. I think of my nephews, who are like sons to me. They lived with us for two years and we spend every bit of vacation visiting them. I hope we can live together or near them again soon. No child should have to endure a single thought that they are not worthy of love.

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  14. Laura said on February 9, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    Re: pets. We had hermit crabs for awhile–yuck. When my son’s crab died after two years or so, he cried, “I should have played with them more!”

    Rei Momo the cat is still hanging in after 15 years, though. Go Rei!

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  15. Dorothy said on February 9, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    My daughter will be 23 on Saturday! But I think Lincoln’s b.d. is February 12, not the 11th.

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  16. mary said on February 9, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    You’re right, Dorothy, and my son’s birthday is the 12th. I was thinking Saturday was the twelfth.

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  17. brian stouder said on February 9, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Yes – the 12th. We are three years from the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, and a commission is busily toiling away, preparing to observe the national milestone


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  18. Laura said on February 9, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I loved Martin Scorsese, too. That is, until he started crushing on Leo Decaprio. Gangs of New York really blew. The Titanic-like love story got in the way of another fine performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.

    Marty did fine with romance in Age of Innocence. I just think he lost his way lately.

    Goodfellas and Taxi Driver are perfection, though

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  19. brian stouder said on February 9, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Mary – you are truly a grown-up; the type of person I always aspire to be (with inconsistent success). Making sure that your young folks have what they should have, despite the shortcomings of someone who is nominally OUT of your life but who will always be IN theirs – is definitive ‘motherhood’.

    Honestly, I have to say – well done!

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  20. Dwight Brown said on February 9, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    #10: Am I the only one who read that and was immediately reminded of Harry Lime’s “cuckoo clocks” speach in *The Third Man*?

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  21. Dan said on February 9, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    >> Kennedy beat the living shit out of Nixon

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  22. Dan said on February 9, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    There’s some revisionist history there. That was a very close election… today, Nixon probably would have (like Al Gore) taken it to court.

    And I think Lincoln would have what it takes to win today… as Burt Reynolds said of Sally Field, talent is sexy.

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  23. alex said on February 9, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Actually, Daley’s “machine” probably clinched the Kennedy win. Sort of like Diebold’s machines in Ohio did it for Dubya.

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  24. mary said on February 9, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you, but you need to know I’m always about half breath away from telling my kids that their dad is a jerk. Older son seems to be figuring it out on his own, and has even figured out how to manipulate dad’s jerkiness. Younger son still harbors some dad fantasy. He’ll someday find out that golf was chosen over seeing the kids lots of times.
    You also need to know that the ex knows I keep up his image, so he doesn’t balk at the child support and other cash he forks over. Not that it’s grand amounts, but he does pay his share.

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  25. brian stouder said on February 9, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    “he doesn’t balk at the child support and other cash he forks over. Not that it’s grand amounts, but he does pay his share.”

    Well, I know how THAT goes; I was never late or behind, and tried to go above and beyond whenever necessary –

    but I always realized that paying money was – by far – the EASIEST part of the deal. If the adults can work together, then a rough situation can at least remain contained…but of course, usually the divorce stems from some untenable problem or series of problems which directly (and negatively!) affects the ability to work together (and usually, one or the other party is married to that ‘insuperable problem’!)

    btw – my son’s b-day is 2/18!

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  26. ashley said on February 10, 2006 at 11:58 am

    Danny, you’re right about Nagin. I blew that one.

    At least, at the time, Nagin was showing he cared. He still does, he just has not the slightest bit of sense when it comes to political savvy. None. He’ll be gone in April, when Mitch Landrieu will become the mayor.

    At this point, I don’t think the idiot pols in LA are to blame as much as the idiots in DC. The no-bid-contract folks are the ones getting rich off of this. When FEMA pays $175 a square for blue roofs, and the sub-sub-sub contractor gets $2 a square, well, there’s your rebuilding effort. The corruption is coming from DC, where I think the gubmint is simply waiting to bankrupt everyone so that their real estate cronies can come in and build a bunch of beige vinyl siding McMansions.

    People won’t come back to their homes to rebuild for 2 reasons: 1) no levees, despite promises by W on 9/15 in New Orleans, and 2) no acceptance of the Baker bill, which would save many from bankruptcy.

    Why NOLA can’t get the same deal that NYC got, I have no idea.

    My biggest point is that everyone has forgotten about us, and Nancy’s silence, from an admitted New Orleans lover, has been deafening.

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  27. Danny said on February 10, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    People won’t come back to their homes to rebuild for 2 reasons: 1) no levees, despite promises by W on 9/15 in New Orleans, and 2) no acceptance of the Baker bill, which would save many from bankruptcy.

    Yeah, Ash. Those two things seem pretty reasonable. I am not familiar with the Baker bill, but to be devastated financially from a natural disaster seems unnatural in this day and age of government intervention. I too cannot fathom why NOLA is not getting the deal that NYC got.

    And speaking of bankruptcy, the recent changes to those laws just pisses me off. Bush should have many more pressing priorities than ram-rodding that questionable bit of legislation through Congress. Yet, there it is. Almost overnight and without comment. I have a feeling that the people in the know see a train a comin’ down the tracks for the American middle class that are so highly leveraged with ARM’s and regular old consumer debt. And the rich corporations are gonna damn well make sure we get hit by it. Sad.

    As to being forgotten. Many have not, but there just seems to be no relaible, viable way to to give of our resources and to be assured it is getting to the right folks. My church has sent several teams to help with cleanup and rebuilding .. no pressure, no proselytizing .. just helping, out of decency and love. I just cannot get the time off of work to go with them.

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  28. nancy said on February 10, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    Well, I don’t want to be too cynical about this, but it’s easy to get people excited about rebuilding the financial district in a thriving metropolis destroyed by fanatics on national television — remember those Photoshopped pictures of the rebuilt WTC, in the shape of a fist flipping the bird?

    It’s harder to get them excited about putting poor people back in their homes, and it’s not like this is the first time. When most people think “New Orleans” they think “French Quarter,” which was pretty much unscathed, and as long as they can still get a muffaletta at the Napoleon House, then it’s OK.

    This is one reason I haven’t said much about this — I want to see what “rebuilding” is. Is it returning the theme-park aspects of the city to working order, or is it about getting the middle class back in town and back to work? I also have misgivings about rebuilding anything in such an environmentally precarious place, and yes, I feel the same way when rich folks’ houses slide down canyon walls in Los Angeles.

    But you’re right, Ash, I should be paying more attention to this, and I promise I will.

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  29. basset said on February 10, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    I have to agree with PJ O’Rourke’s description of New Orleans, several years pre-hurricane, as a “high-crime drainage ditch.”

    not that I don’t have every sympathy for the people who lost their houses, but aside from the zoo and the better-lit parts of the French Quarter, I just never found New Orleans all that appealing. interesting, yes, but mostly in a negative way. greasy food, filthy streets, and in-your-face strip joints, what a combination.

    meanwhile, I’ve had seven PJ books up for sale on eBay for, I dunno, maybe three days now. starting price one dollar for the bunch. no bids yet, which probably should tell me something.

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