On hiatus.

I’ve run dry, folks. Blogging may resume mid-week, depending on my internet connections, or it may not. Consider this an open thread for whatever you want to discuss. Active this week: Bloggers at The New Package start in on Generation Kill, and I’m sure Coozledad will have a few stories to tell. Back July 21 at the latest.

Posted at 10:05 pm in Housekeeping |
 

58 responses to “On hiatus.”

  1. Dexter said on July 11, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Open thread? Here’s my post from the last thread:

    Ivan Lebamoff was defeated by Bob Armstrong and became mayor of Fort Wayne in 1975.
    I don’t really know much about local policies before Armstrong, but during Armstrong’s term, until 1979, Fort Wayne was a crazy place . Maybe it all started under Lebamoff’s watch, I don’t know, but the vice was unchecked. I heard enough from my work-buddies …for one case, the Godfather Club…guys would be dared to perform oral sex on the dancers and the dancers would comply…I don’t know what else went on, except I heard many stories of guys flashing the dancers with no repercussions. I mention this because I did happen to be in The Cats Meow club downtown in the Fall of 1974 when some dancers from The She Club came in and during a break between band sets these two girls played the juke box and shed all clothing …totlally nude…and danced around on the edge of the stage, but within three minutes cops came in and busted them for indecency…so I believe most of the XXX stuff went on under Armstrong’s leadership.
    One of the two papers did a special on the massage parlors, fer chrissakes!!
    They named the addresses…amazing! One line from the story read something like ‘ …if those walls could talk, the stories they could tell…’ Jeezuss! How trite! I seem to remember they were all over town, from North Clinton to Waynedale. I thought the mayor that followed Armstrong cleaned all that shit up, but if Nancy didn’t even start at the NS until 1984…guess not.
    Oh well. Of course the stories were abundant, as the guys told of their weekends…one simple motherfucker came in with a token for a “round the world”, courtesy of some parlor’s management…he showed it to us guys asking what it meant. “Pack your bags, youngun,” I told him.
    “You’re going on a trip!”

    But the story that lasted as bar gossip for twenty years involved an older employee, a man who was addicted to the whores at the parlors. He got the clap and gave it to his wife.

    She made him buy her a new car and then all was hunky-dory.

  2. coozledad said on July 11, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Y’all have a good vacation. If it stays as hot as it is here next week, I’ll just keep sitting here and hitting refresh.

  3. brian stouder said on July 11, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Have a great, restful vacation, Nance!

    We just got back home today….I must say that Sue’s Wisconsin is a beautiful, beautiful state. The Dells were very nice, etc etc – but to me one of the genuine highlights of the excursion was the drive from the Dells to the House on the Rock. One inevitably ends up on the curvey, undulating secondary roads (instead of the boringly straight interstate routes) in the lovely rolling emerald Wisconsin countryside west of Madison – and it was an enthralling experience.

    And – I think it was Julie who forewarned us about the shakedown on the Duck ride, which was precisely as decribed. Still, the ride was great, and we got 1/2 off the price, so I bought TWO books (Pam would have forgiven one!)….and then our Duck (Jane) wouldn’t start up again…so the Tow Truck Duck came to us (cleverly named “Chesty Puller”!).

    Quick thing I learned when I bought a Baraboo newspaper….The dry bed of Lake Delton has drawn many people with metal detectors, and do you know what they’ve been finding numbers of? Hand guns! And one couple found a very large safe – with the door cut off – buried 20 feet beyond the boat ramp. The Lake Delton Police took that away. (we saw a Black Hawk circling around several times dring the week; presumeably FEMA? – as the state and the affetced counties and cities decide who pays for what)

    And – Paul Bunyans was GREAT!!

  4. moe99 said on July 12, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Brian, I worked with Lew Puller, Jr. at DoD and played bridge with him and his wife Toddy on several occasions. He was a great guy, but haunted by his own Viet Nam demons that eventually destroyed him. I’m sure being Chesty’s son was also a burden.

    I’ve got an entry up on my very ill tended blog in case some of you have a hankering to read something not quite as well-written as those of present company during Nancy’s absence (have a great vacation Nancy and Alan):

    http://tinyurl.com/6ac4oq

  5. brian stouder said on July 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

    moe – great story! – and I’d make the following addition to the moral of the story:

    “….or a partner in a law firm”

    Being a son of THE Marines’ Marine must have been a little like that Robert Duvall movie The Great Santini

  6. coozledad said on July 12, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I second Brian on that story, moe. I think another possible moral is it might pay to have people shack up for at least a couple of years, to figure out if they can stand each other, or if they’re even cut out for the prosaic life.
    I was a partner in one trial run where I was virtually certain I would wake up one day with a kitchen knife buried between my shoulder blades. I don’t think the woman was particularly violent by nature, but she did possess above average upper body strength.
    It’s more that when we stopped getting along, we stopped completely.
    Excuse me while I have a cold sweat thinking about it.

  7. moe99 said on July 12, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Brian. Went in and added “or an admiralty lawyer” because he left the partnership a year later as a result of his divorce. It was terribly sad–the wife was/is an alcoholic and he tried to get custody of the kids but lost after a long drawn-out trial that financially ruined him. And she punished him by turning the kids against him. One hopes that eventually they will make their peace with their dad when they become adults. This war is not over, even yet.

  8. Danny said on July 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Nancy, you all have a wonderful vacation! Remember to fit a hike in at Muir Woods is possible. The natural beauty out here can be astonishing.

    Dorothy, here’s hoping you house situation resolves itself very soon. So sorry to hear that.

    I know in these politically charged times, people can hold strong opinions, but I think Tony Snow was one of the good guys. RIP, Tony.

  9. Gasman said on July 12, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Danny,
    I’m not sure that I agree that Tony Snow was one of the “good guys” or not. I’m not putting him in the camp with extremist conservatives like Helms & Cheney, but he was more than willing to be a shill for the Dark Side. He was enough of a journalist to realize that this White House lies simply because it can. They lie even when they don’t need to, it’s just who they are. If we believe Scott McClellan, they even lie to their own press secretaries. Yet, Snow eagerly signed on to be part of this administration. Snow had to realize that he was part of that great disinformation machine that treated the American people as cattle that needed to be led by the nose, yet he willingly chose to be a team player. Ultimately, such a view is at it’s heart antagonistic to democracy.

    His trips in and out of the revolving door connecting the media and Republican advocacy should once and for all dispel any notion of the “liberal” press. In my mind, Snow merely confirmed the overly cozy – maybe even incestuous – relationship between the conservatives and the media, especially on the TV side. Do “good” men act as cheerleaders for those who would trade the integrity of the constitution for temporary partisan gain? Doesn’t necessarily make him evil, but it certainly makes me doubtful about his inherent “goodness.”

  10. MichaelG said on July 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    May the three of you have a great vacation! And may the airline gods be with you!

  11. Dexter said on July 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Coozledad,
    I fell asleep on the couch, hardly a sin or breaking of any marriage vows, but enough of a violation of she-code to warrant a hard kick to the base of the neck . I had been sound asleep , it was 2:00 A.M. and I woke to a woman screaming at me about something.
    Not wanting for a knife attack or a sailing-through-the-air pan, I assessed the damage…instant bad headache, seeing “stars”, and a what-the-hell thought pattern, I was out the door in three seconds flat, into the 1968 black VW Bug, and I started driving away. I had nowhere to go but I sure the hell wasn’t going back there that night, so I just set course westward for Chicago, 165 miles to the west. I drove to Fullerton Beach and walked around, then went to a diner, and then drove home to my sweet wife. It was as I had not left, and the entire incident never happened.
    Somehow we stayed together for another year before she opted to leave with a man for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
    Good bye .

  12. Dexter said on July 12, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Be kinda leery of the walk-away crabmeat cocktails sold from carts at Fisherman’s Wharf…they are about five bucks but well…one cost me a thousand dollars worth of misery.

  13. brian stouder said on July 12, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Dexter – I was born in 1961, so I vaguely remember my mom and dad being happy when Zeiss went out and Lebamoff came into office; and I further recall when the News-Sentinel weilded genuine power in this town, and was solidly Republican, and published well-timed (just before the election) front-page above-the-fold pictures of city trucks on Lebamoff Cap ‘N Cork parking lots – doing paving work(?)….thinking back on it, whatever the deal was with the pavement, it was surely brassy to run marked city trucks out there!

    I remember Bob Armstrong personified a Fort Wayne archetype….a genuine Frank Burns (as in MASH) sort of Fort Wayne personage, including the rodent eyes and the receding chin.

    I would have been 18 in 1979, and I recall Steve Shine toying weith the idea of running (“Steve Shine in ’79”) – and I recall DISliking Win Moses intensely (the whole Sharon Lapp fiasco came to pass, and back then I ascribed the mishandling of that investigation to him) ….and when the News-Sentinel went after him over campaign finance violations, and he did the plea deal with the prosecuter wherein he resigned, only to successfully play the “Reelected-by-Precinct-Committee-People” gambit (Kwame oughta try that one!) I was never going to like him.

    But he did handle the loss of IH as well as anyone could, plus the big flood back then.

    By way of saying, I vaguely recall big crackdowns on massage parlors in the news…all I know is that when I was 18 or 19, my buddies and I had no trouble getting into Mad Anthonys or Poor Johns or Gibson Girl and seing the naked women dance, while we ordered up $8 pitchers of beer. And they left nothing unexposed, through the course of their performances, if you tipped them.

    (I think my whole nudie bar phase lasted one summer, and then the shine was off of it; as soon as you start to think about how the individuals up there came to be up there, let alone what their career path could possibly be, that’s the end)

  14. beb said on July 12, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I was also going to mention the passing of Tony Snow but Danny beat me to it. I’m with Gasman, tho in thinking that Snow was a bad man. For most of his career he posed as a journalist but constantly advocated conservative, even extremely conservative positions. That doesn’t just make him a bad journalist, it’s why he is a bad man.

    Was he as bad a Jesse Helms? Helms was upfront about his racism while Snow hide his behind a wink and a nod. The smiling devil is always worse then the one with the pitchfork.

    But to listen to the media eulogize Snowyou would think he was a saint.

    Nancy picked a good time to go on vacation, Saturday in Detroit was hot and muggy. Not a pleasant day to be outside.

    Speaking of vacation, a couple years ago we went to Chicago to visit the museums. One night my wife and I were sitting on a two floor patio at our hotel watching a storm come on off the lake. To the north of us were the skyscrapes of the Miracle Miles, brightly lit by a variety of lights. As we watched low level clouds would blew through the ‘scrapers momentarily obscuring them in gauzy mist. It was so incredibly beautiful. A highlight of our week there.

  15. Bill said on July 12, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Another great way to spend a summer night in Chicago. We saw it last night and it was terrific. BTW, Maudits Sonnants translates to “Accursed Chiming”

    http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2008/07/maudits-sonnant.html

  16. Gasman said on July 13, 2008 at 12:11 am

    brian,
    We’re about the same age, as I graduated from Harding H.S. in 1980. I remember a certain whoreatorium on Wayne Trace right near the old Clark gas station. The building was a restaurant, various other businesses, a residence, but most memorably a house of ill repute. I especially liked their sign out front which read, “Parking In Rear.” No kidding. Being the wag that I am, I REALLY wanted to add “or for $20 more, any other orifice.”

    Back to Tony Snow. Let’s hope that the media forgoes the weeklong sackcloth and ashes routine that they gave us after Tim Russert died. It was bizarre and embarrassing. At least with Snow they can’t pretend like his death was a surprise.

    beb, I’m more in your camp than my previous post might suggest. I was merely trying not to speak too ill of the dead. I won’t miss him.

  17. Dexter said on July 13, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I can’t remember any developing weather pattern that brought joy to me, only fear. One such episode occurred about fifteen years ago in Kissimmee, Florida. By good fortune our motel had a carport , saving our vehicle, sorta…a vicious storm blew up and you know how how you hear of baseball-sized hail but never see it?—I didn’t see it either. What I saw were millions of tennis ball-sized chunks of ice smashing into everything. Right beside the Larson Lodge where we were was a Mercury car dealership. Every car had severe hail damage , I’d guess seven of every eight cars had total glass destruction and consequent water damage. Water got so deep it flooded into my car engine, but I was able to hire a wrecker and had it towed to get it dried out and fixed…it took a whole day. The hail looked like snow for a few seconds in the vegetation areas but instantly melted. All over Kissimmee people were driving with busted-out glass.

  18. Danny said on July 13, 2008 at 10:17 am

    CNN’s Ed Henry gives a pretty good remembrance of Tony Snow. In contentious times where demonization and vitriol rule the day, he was a distinctly cool, well-humored and intelligent voice. This article regarding a recent speech President Clinton gave on the increasing polarization in this country kind of resonates with this idea that we ought to act more civilly to one another regardless of our disagreements.

    As many of us have noted, this is one of the reasons, Nancy’s blog has worked well as a comfortable home for many of us over the years. We disagree, but in general, we do so respectfully and sometimes we even (gasp) come around to one another’s way of thinking on things.

    That said, you two, gasman and beb, are total a-holes who are full of it…. Just JOKING.

    Seriously, though, I do disagree that Snow was a shill. He was very critical of this administration and I truly believe that he got involved to help influence it for the good. And beb:

    For most of his career he posed as a journalist but constantly advocated conservative, even extremely conservative positions. That doesn’t just make him a bad journalist, it’s why he is a bad man.

    Um, wow. There are so many whom fit this indictment in the “Liberal” sense that it would be ridiculous not to mention them. David Gregory and Helen Thomas come to mind. And furthermore, it is incorrect to say that Snow posed as a journalist. He mainly did conservative commentary. Big, big difference.

  19. moe99 said on July 13, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Frank Rich has a sobering piece up comparing the Bush Administration’s crimes to those of the Nixon administration in today’s New York Times.

    http://tinyurl.com/5tmvz9

    Anyone associated with the Bush Administration with very few exceptions, does not come out looking good, shall we say.

  20. del said on July 13, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Today’s Detroit News includes the following editorials on its website:

    Tony Snow was a Family Man First.

    America’s Military Power Works — With Little Thanks.

    Military Lesson: Willpower Often Works.

    Obama Sends Shivers to Liberals.

    Is there any newspaper in the country that spews such unvarnished propaganda, left or right-leaning, anywhere?

    My neighbor lived in a house with Tony Snow and liked him as a person but disagreed with his politics. Snow seemed to me to be cool, and well-humored too. But very unwise.

  21. Danny said on July 13, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Hey, del. Long time, no see. I was wondering where you’ve been. Hope your summer is going well.

    Hey, when you mention your neighbor “lived in a house” with Tony, what was it? A college frat house or a roommate situation for young politicos in DC? Just wondering. And any humorous anecdotes that you could share from that?

  22. caliban said on July 13, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Anything you say.

    Can’t say, What you say.

  23. caliban said on July 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Before and after

  24. coozledad said on July 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I’m just sorry to see larger market papers hewing so close to the administration’s line. The small town papers have mostly been snapped up now, but that was a given.
    The closer you get to DC and New York, there’s a new species of journalist insider cult that hinges on food and beverages, and apparently, being able to actually sit in the presence of the new Republican.
    When my grandfather started hoarding food underneath his bed, and would occasionally offer us ancient chicken legs, or boxes of mildewed Christmas candy, we knew how to respond.
    And the thought never crossed our minds that the correct response was to suck his dick.

  25. Dexter said on July 13, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I watched Generation Kill, Part One, and contemplated blogging about it over at The New Package, but didn’t feel like ranting.
    My war started for me in 1970…a long time ago, and this war is a whole ‘nuther animal. A couple things were just like my personal Vietnam, though…racist US military personnel and blow-hard first sergeants who thrived on chickenshit like shirtails and “moose-stashes”.
    I’ll watch the series but this is my first and last commentary about it.

  26. Gasman said on July 14, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Danny,
    My complaint about Tony Snow was that by willingly being part of this administration, he knowingly and actively became part of the White House team of liars. I defy anybody to name a single issue that the Bush administration has been entirely truthful about in the entire time in office. I’m willing to bet, you name the issue, and I can fairly easily document a pattern of deception. Snow knew of their mendacity and signed on anyway. That is not a ringing character endorsement. Conservatives (and many liberals) were mad as hell at Bill Clinton for far more inconsequential lies. Why the double standard?

    Snow may have been good looking, charming, an OK garage band musician, and loved his family, but he was a liar and was willing to knowingly go to bat for and protect other liars. I still maintain that lying is a character flaw not to be overlooked, especially when these lies have real consequences. These lies have cost lives, weakened our reputation abroad, and weakened our democracy at home. I don’t think that I need to justify why I am as mad as hell at anyone and everyone who has helped to try and paint a smiley face on the excesses of George W. Bush.

    If lying about a blow-job is an impeachable defense, what should be the response to what Bush has done?

    One further thought on the ridiculously overwrought sentimentality regarding the death of Tim Russert. Will MSNBC/NBC be devoting 1/10th as much airtime to the death of Dr. Michael DeBakey, pioneering heart surgeon and medical inventor? Who actually contributed more to society? DeBakey’s work has saved tens of thousands of lives, yet what is the total of airtime alloted to his passing? There will be no empty chair retrospectives, no mournful music, no televised memorials. Part of the handwringing after the deaths of Russert and Snow seems to be due to their status as TV personalities, not any objective measure of their relative contributions to humanity. Dr. DeBakey’s work was far more important and so was his passing.

  27. moe99 said on July 14, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Amen, Amen brothers.

    How about a song or two from the past?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=SYXIVOnzYVU&feature=related

  28. Gasman said on July 14, 2008 at 2:15 am

    My above post should have read “impeachable offense” not defense. Oops. My bad.

  29. alex said on July 14, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Bad or no bad, Gasman, I think you captured my sentiments as regards the passing of both Snow and Helms. It’s been a good week. I won’t say God rest their souls because they haven’t any.

  30. coozledad said on July 14, 2008 at 9:24 am

    That was nice, moe. That stuff still sounds edgy to me.
    Oddly, it reminds me of “Last Kind Words” by Geechie Wiley.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=og3sYXJW-Ow

  31. del said on July 14, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Danny, my friend is a lawyer at a big Detroit law firm and lived in a flat in Grosse Pointe City with Tony Snow when he was with the Detroit News. They weren’t in the same unit but my friend went to his wedding and said Snow’s wife was lovely. That’s about it.

  32. moe99 said on July 14, 2008 at 10:16 am

    CD: Your youtube led me to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93v6eoTjpig&NR=1

  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Alex, they all gots souls, you just disagree on where they end up. (i’m a modified limited unreconstructed universalist, so i disagree with your disagreement either way!)

    Glad Nancy survived being j’poosa-ed; happy to report i survived church camp. Waiting for the post filed by b-berry from Fisherman’s Wharf . . .

  34. alex said on July 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Jeff, I’m a believer in universal salvation. To the extent I believe at all.

  35. Dexter said on July 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I used to work with a woman whose husband got all kinds of frequent flier miles…they would fly to Alaska on a long weekend just to catch a salmon…one time they just decided to fly into San Francisco International and take a whirlwind tour of The City. She said she was disappointed when Alcatraz tours were booked solid well in advance.
    So they flew back the next weekend , tickets booked, and toured the former home of pelicans and Robert Stroud.
    Hey, I’ll fly when I have to, but c’mon! geez!

  36. beb said on July 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    This was interesting, “Nakes at the Pyramids,”
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcb_jerusalem/20080714/wl_mcb_jerusalem/nakedatthepyramids;_ylt=As2jRROMAbnW_K9yAi8fLvQUewgF
    although the picture attached to the story is strictly “G” rated. For those who don’t RTFA, many parties reserve time touring the pyramids, occasionally for their own eccentric purposes. One group did in fact reserve time inside the burial chamber so they could conduct their ritual naked. Hope they were on the look out for scorpions!

    My dad served in the middle-east during WWII, assembling airplanes for Russia. As part of his demobilization his group was sent to Egypt. Since he didn’t drunk, gamble or whore around there wasn’t much to do except wander amid the antiquities with a like-minded sober friend. He has pictures his friend took of him standing on some of the sphinxs in one of the great temples. Dad also mentioned climbing to the top of the Great Pyramid. He was going to carve his name on the top, only he couldn’t find a clear space left.

    These days you are not allowed to climb the pyramid or casually stand on the antiquities. Were attitudes different about antiquities back then, or could G.I.’s get away with anything?

  37. ellent said on July 14, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Beb – attitudes toward antiquities were different, and still are in many places. I visited Petra (the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where they come through the canyon and temple that holds the grail is revealed was shot there) about 10 years ago, and tourists were allowed to climb anywhere, even if it was quite dangerous. Lots of graffiti inside the buildings. Smelled a bit like some people had peed on the interior walls. Lots of ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Cyprus, Syria, and Jordan were the same way. Nearly unattended and you can do whatever you want. I have mixed feelings about it. Sad, in terms of the random damage caused by callous visitors. Cool, in terms of how close you can actually get to such amazing structures.

  38. brian stouder said on July 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I apologize if several posts similar to this one suddenly appear; I seem to either be afoul of the proprietress’s filters and safeguards, or else in some other way unable to post.

    That said – what about the ridiculous New Yorker cover?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25673296/

    Given the somewhat over-done reactions that some have for people with differing political agendas, how do we view this low-brow affront, from the leftist New Yorker? Is it too-clever-by-half, or dryly humorous – or simply Obamaphobic tripe that will be posted on gas station walls and pool halls across the country, as an emblem of truth?

  39. Dexter said on July 15, 2008 at 12:04 am

    brian , I have been viewing Barry Blitt’s illustrations for many years and I am a 40-year subscriber to The New Yorker.
    Blitt illustrates Frank Rich’s NYT columns weekly and of course he contributes regularly to the magazine.
    I truly don’t get all the commotion. My God, even Randi Rhodes ( Air America) says it will be taken literally by too many potential Obamites.
    I think it’s hilarious and is strictly poking fun at all the crap the anti-Obama factions are spreading around…so what if 26 % of rednecks think Obama is a Muslim? If they think that, they are so uninformed and plain stupid that nothing will instill the truth into their skulls.
    I won’t even get my copy in the mail for 4 more days, but I have that cover many times already.
    It is just like the lie-machine convincing the American public that a war hero , who risked his life on very dangerous river boats in Vietnam, was really a coward who phonied-up his Purple Hearts. That still bugs me.
    I knew it was coming, though, I have seen these tactics before. It’s amazing how people will believe what they want to believe.

  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 15, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I’m with Gene Weingarten — the problem with the cartoon is that it ain’t funny. Where’s the laugh? Now, put John and Cindy in exactly those outfits and background, and i’d laugh, plus it would affirm Obama’s non-relation to all the silly low-brow myths the cartoon tries to debunk. But as it is, ’tis creepy.

    Oh, and i sit typing tonight at my in-laws in Indianapolis, after having spent 36 hours trying to talk my esposa’s pater out of his insistence that “you can’t rule out” that he’s a secret Muslim. And he can’t even tell me where he got the idea from, either.

  41. moe99 said on July 15, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Remember that Saul Steinberg cover of the New Yorker from back in 1976–where the map of the US is entirely dominated by Manhattan?

    http://tinyurl.com/6ejvue

    Well that’s the fishbowl view and attitude that is present in the current cover. The New Yorker does not get that the rest of the country is not as sophisticated in their understanding of Obama and racism and hatred of Moslems. They are tone deaf on that and it is hurting Obama with just the sorts of folks in the heartland where either most of us live or still have relatives there. I fully expect my Saturday conversation with my mother will be to try to emphasize that yes, Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim and he is a patriot and would be very good for the country. Sometimes it feels like being the little kid with his finger stuck in the dike. But one has to try.

  42. alex said on July 15, 2008 at 5:41 am

    I don’t see what the fuss is all about, except that a lot of people obviously don’t “get” the New Yorker’s sensibilities.

    I thought it was funny as hell and I’m disappointed in the Obama campaign for being so humorless about it. They’re already showing grave signs of siege mentality and the race to the finish has barely begun.

    If Barack had handled this with the same good sense and grace that he showed during the flap over his minister, this could have been a “teachable moment” and put to rest the silliness about him being a secret muslim.

  43. brian stouder said on July 15, 2008 at 8:37 am

    I want to agree with Alex about ‘the joke’ – but this whole thing is trying to remind me of something, and I haven’t recalled it yet; a case where a clever political name or phrase was proudly used by one group, and was turned into a derisive term by another – heedless of the original cleverness.

    If a bullshit broadside like this was put out by the opposition press (say American Spectator), the ‘clever satire’ would disintegrate, yes? Or, to make the parallel, if the American Spectator had a cover with a high-heeled Cindy McCain busily pumping Budweiser into her breasts while McCain tries to pull one foot back out of his grave, and with some Manchurian puppet master pulling his wires from above (etc etc) – some might say “it’s funny” while others would wonder if this wasn’t an inter-nicene hit job by some elements of the right against others.

    Alex has a point though; it would have been a beautiful riposte if Obama had held up that New Yorker rag (ala Harry Truman) with a big smile, while standing at some suitable Chicago backdrop

  44. del said on July 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I agree with you Alex. And moe99 you recalled the New Yorker cover from 1976? Beautiful. In ’76 I was a 12 year old living the life of one of the Bad News Bears — a movie that we recently rented and remains on our mantle. The kids won’t be seeing it as I showed some of the scenes privately to my wife (who picked it up) and they were too raw. The movie’s rated PG13 but has been radically edited. All sorts of curse words have been taken out, along with Tatum O’Neal’s reference to “putting out” as an incentive to get the eventual star player to join the team. She did, however, tell of an 11 or 12 year old friend who was on the Pill. Sexuality is often on the minds of the tweeners. Something else I remember about 76? A Merv Griffin guest billed as “Chesty Morgan and her 76er’s.” The mind of a 12 year old boy.

    I’m reading the book on Nancy’s nightstand, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It’s very good though I’m somewhat put off by what one critic referred to the studied “self-important ennui” of her writing — a bit too much, we were being profiled in People Magazine, or, I was talking to my editor, Louden Wainright, etc.

    Thanks for the pyramid stuff Beb. I could not find a link on youtube to the studio version of the B-52’s Mesopotamia, but that is the song it brought to mind what with your reference to nakedness and pyramids. The sexual double entendres in the song are rich.

  45. Connie said on July 15, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Totally unrelated. I am reading “1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina” by Chris Rose, columnist for New Orleans Times-Picayune. It is a collection of his columns after Katrina and I am finding it compelling reading.

    Not totally unrelated if you count last week’s posts on favorite columnists.

    Four more days till Glen Lake.

  46. Gasman said on July 15, 2008 at 10:37 am

    On the New Yorker cover: At what point does satire become indistinguishable from the ignorant views that are ostensibly being pilloried? It reminds me of someone wearing a sheet saying, “This isn’t what I wear, but what the ignorant folks wear.” However, if the sheet is being publicly displayed, isn’t the racist message being given a forum anyway?

    Other than condescendingly mocking those who actually believe such nonsense, to the extent that it is even perceived as satire, it is highly unlikely to achieve its goal of changing any minds. Such mental pygmies are incapable of critical thought and will continue to believe such ridiculous hyperbole. The cover is already being used as “evidence” to buttress their views. That was entirely foreseeable and should have been considered by the New Yorker.

  47. LAMary said on July 15, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I remember we had that New Yorker cover framed on the wall of the New York Times Rocky Mountain Bureau office in Denver. Having moved to Denver from the NY area a couple of years earlier, I thought it summed things up nicely.

  48. Sue said on July 15, 2008 at 10:55 am

    On a lighter note, what does the rest of the country think about the Brett Favre situation? In spite of what you are seeing on TV, the folks around here are very, very quiet about their opinions on this one. Plus, it hasn’t really been the lead story on the news – it shows up second or even third. If you live in WI, you know that speaks volumes. I think people are actually embarrassed. And while I’m asking, would you snap him up as your team’s starter, should he become available?

  49. coozledad said on July 15, 2008 at 11:03 am

    My biggest beef with the cover is that the conceit was stolen wholesale, without attribution, from an old issue of Nest magazine. It was a cartoon picturing two households- one Arab-American, One Jewish. It centered on popular perceptions of how the two groups would decorate their homes. It was funny, that first time. This is clearly a ripoff, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a plagiarism suit.

  50. brian stouder said on July 15, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I think people are actually embarrassed.

    Sue – I think that captures the thing, exactly. He has been the admired hero for so long, and personified the invested hopes of so many, that this slow-motion personal implosion of his has got to be almost unwatchable.

    Frank Deford could write a tremendously incisive, universally recognizeable column about the human frailty on display here – if he hasn’t already (and Nance’s favorite Albom could do the Top-40 version!)

    edit: forgot to answer the question And while I’m asking, would you snap him up as your team’s starter…?

    YES! If you ran da Bears or da Vikings, grabbing the guy just for the in-your-face factor would be good enough….and if you had almost any other team (other than, say, the Patriots & Brady, or the Colts and Manning) the turnstile/TV effect would be plenty of justification

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 15, 2008 at 11:51 am

    May i proudly note that Obama has tapped Unidue Purversity, my alma mater, as the site for tomorrow’s much needed (by both parties, by the whole frickin’ world) conference on nucular weapons and materials management, with the magisterial Sam Nunn and other luminaries gathered with His Barackness and Evan “Prince Charming” Bayh at the Purdue Memorial Union, where i proudly flipped burgers and made carmel corn in copper kettles for many years.

    If the tall, lanky railsplitter from Illinois is head-faking for Indiana, he’s leaving lots of R’s shaking right out of their shoes. Meanwhile, if Obama can bring more attention to the need to nail down and control fissile material around the world, this GOP-er says “huzzah!”

    Brian, don’t give the Bears any ideas. Here in Indy, Obama in West Lay-flat is utterly overshadowed by the grim news that Lord Payton has basic medical needs which may keep him out of . . . exhibition games. Heck, they may make a plea for Favre to get a release so they can get a back-up.

  52. Sue said on July 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    “Heck, they may make a plea for Favre to get a release so they can get a back-up.”
    Jeff, that’s the problem. Brett is coming back as a starter. He will not discuss anything less with the Packers. Apparently he expects them to throw Aaron Rodgers under the bus, with the blessings of the whole state of Wisconsin.

  53. Danny said on July 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    You know, one final note about Tony Snow. I reflected on the negative comments from a few of you yesterday and have come to the conclusion that (surprise!!) you are all wrong. Incredibly so.

    He was a gem of a human being and just because you disagree with him on issues does not give you license to besmirch his name. Anyone taking joy in his passing, I have to wonder how puny their soul must be to be to have no room in it for the truth of this man’s humanity, but only for the empheral bullshit partisanship of the modern political circus.

    Shame on you. I expect better. Maybe in the future.

    That is all.

  54. moe99 said on July 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    So tell me Danny, do you think Clinton should have been impeached?

  55. Danny said on July 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    No, moe. I do not. And I know that Tony did and sadly became invested in that process to too high a degree, imo. But he was also opposed to the border fence and I was not and he brought me around on that issue. Going after employers is the way to curb immigration of the illegal variety. The drug runners are another issue altogether that a fence will not cure.

  56. del said on July 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Sue, send Favre to Detroit. My little connection to the Packers (think LA Mary), my great-great uncle was a publisher of the Green Bay Press Gazette (Andy Turnbull) who co-founded the Packer corporation in 1922, and, more recently, I attended a current Packers’ coach’s wedding. Favre seems to provoke some ambivalence among the locals I’m told. They love him, but because he keeps his family in Baton Rouge he’s perceived as aloof.

  57. Dexter said on July 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Fuck Brett Favre. Strong commentary to follow.
    (apologies for style to Dick Cavett)

  58. Gasman said on July 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Danny,
    I don’t know if anyone is still reading this besides me, but I must assume that I am included in those writing “negative” comments about the apparently now sainted Tony Snow. How were my comments “negative?” Merely because I was not a fawning sycophant? Because I had the audacity to recall his 20+ year service to the arch conservative lie machine? Thank goodness that you cleared things up by pronouncing me wrong. You could have done so earlier and saved me from writing so much.

    I don’t believe for a moment that there is a conservative who would be content to read an obituary of Teddy Kennedy that failed to mention Chappaquiddick and Mary Jo Kopechne. How about a Clinton obit with no mention of bimbo eruptions or Monica Lewinsky? Why were so many right wingers content to gloss over the less than flattering aspects of Snow and Jesse Helms? Could it be that it is much easier to pronounce them great if we forget their flaws, even major ones?

    We will all be remembered, like it or not, for the sum of our lives, not just the best parts. I cannot remain silent as many practice a very Orwellian retroactive editing of history to suit someone’s “preferred” memory of Tony Snow.

    On immigration: As someone who lives in a border state, any “solution” to immigration that does not take into account our dependence on cheap immigrant labor and does not help to buttress economies south of us is doomed to failure. We’ve been addicted to cheap immigrant labor for centuries. It’s not just employers.