Sunday, February 19, 2006

A thought experiment

Imagine for a moment: two men in their seventies with heart problems go out hunting quail that have been raised solely to be killed, a controlled hunt. In an unpredicted and tragic turn of events, one of the elderly men shoots the other in the face and chest. The shot man requires several days of treatment in the ICU and has a heart attack as a result of shot in his body moving into his heart.

The shot man in this thought experiment? The Vice President of the United States.

I have no desire for this to happen, as much as I abhor the VP, his views, and how the administration ministers and administers them. But imagine that the man who has shot the VP, instead of going to the hospital, goes back to dinner and receives a few updates on his good friend/acquaintance's condition (note that, in his interview with Brit Hume, another kind of controlled hunt, our VP once called Whittington his good friend, then emended him to an acquaintance). Also, the shooter decides not to go to the press and instead allows the owner of the land to present the story to a small local paper.

Imagine next that the White House Press Secretary laughs about the situation with reporters in the briefing room (on camera) just after learning that the VP has had a heart attack due to complications of the shot.

Imagine next the interview of the shooter on Fox News. If he constantly vacillated between concern for his good friend or acquaintance and his own feelings about the event (I don't even know if I got the quail), how would Mr. Hume respond? With concern, care, and more softball questions, or the indignity of "You accidentally shot the fucking VP! You shot another man, and now he's had a heart attack because of you!"

Given how difficult it is to imagine the above sequence of events, why aren't more people upset that the Vice President shot another man? Why do we elevate the VP to the stature of a man who can evade the media and choose the propaganda outlet to care about his feelings?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What Pound edited out

Recovered lines from T.S. Eliot's lost "The Love Song of J. Honus Wagner":

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Joe DiMaggio.

The yellow pole that rubs its back upon the right-field stands
The yellow pole that rubs its muzzle on the left-field stands,
Licked its net into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the beers that sloshed the fans...

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a swing to meet the pitches that you meet;
There will be time to check swing and debate,
And time for all the calls so wrong of hands
That lift and drop a call on your home plate...

For I have played them all already, played them all:
Have played the night games, day games, games at noon,
I have measured out my life with rain-out tunes.

I should have been a pair of batting gloves
Scuttling across the dirt of silent fields.

No! I am not Brad Radke, nor was meant to be;
Am a middle reliever, one that will do
To walk a batter, pitch an out or two...

Shall I turn my cap around? Do I dare to take a strike?

I have heard the catcher calling out the pitch.

I do not think that they will pitch to me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The company you keep

I'll have a short review of David Horowitz's putrid and sophomoric (i.e. I'd ask for a serious rewrite if he were in my class, and not because of the ideas) The Professors later this week, but I'd like to make a point, consider how he lumps together disparate figures and equates their acts and ideas without any qualification. Horowitz's new book is published by Regnery, which you may recognize from the spines of other awful books. Horowitz's friends at Regnery include:

  • Bill Bennett, who recently unveiled the thought-experiment about reducing crime by aborting black babies
  • Ann Coulter, who last week declared to applause at a Republican convention, "I think our motto should be post-9-11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'"
  • Pat Buchanan, who supports wartime propaganda and once claimed homosexuality leads to "a decay of society and a collapse of its basic cinder block, the family" (ah, yes, that heart-warming cinder block I see every Christmas and keep in constant, intimate touch with)
  • Maggie Gallagher, who will gladly defend any Republican policies if given the proper paycheck and claims that "too many orthodox feminists have made of feminism a dogmatic religion," a claim she backs up with zero evidence (I'm sure she could find an anecdote, which would, of course, mean very little)
  • Laura Ingraham, who claims that “Terrorists, and their facilitators and friends, aren’t jealous at all. Like our own self-hating elites, they genuinely detest democracy and the principles enshrined in the constitution.
I'll add more later; for now, I'm got to go pray to my God, Hatemen, while lighting candles with the original parchment on which the Constitution was written. All the while thinking of my loving cinder block.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The hot seat

I just watched the AKC Agility National Championships on Animal Planet, which was incredible fun, especially with my Great Dane lying next to me, occasionally raptly watching. But I'm posting because of a hilarious exchange between the two commentators. A husband and wife entered their dogs in the same category; early on, the wife's dog was in first place, which the commentators referred to as the hot seat. So here's the exchange when the husband comes up to run:

Announcer #1: He's hoping to get his dog into the hot seat.

#2: But if he outperforms his wife's dog, he'll really be in the hot seat.


#1: You mean with his wife.


#2: Yes.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Great intellectual fun

If you're unfamiliar with Michael Bérubé's weblog (, I highly recommend it, especially his current pissing match with David Horowitz. Quick background: Horowitz was a sixties liberal, but after the Black Panthers killed one of his friends, he became a rabid conservative. He's out to skew any observation made by a left-winger, and he's not afraid to lie (you'll see links to examples on Bérubé's page). Here's the link to the first of MB's postings; you can find the rest for yourself: . Enjoy.

(Please note: I'm new to blogger, so to copy the entire link, you have to go out beyond what looks like the edge of the page.)

Our first poetry parody (we're so proud)

I came late to Emily Dickinson (never read her in high school), but I love her work. Still, I can't resist. One note: the poetry parodies I'm most likely to lean towards revolve around baseball. The late, great relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry (sp?) published a couple of books of poetry, and seeing those on a store's shelves made us giggle. We looked briefly into the book and scoffed because we were a little more snobbish then and less likely to give the benefit of the doubt. So them's the roots. Onward and upward we go:

I heard a fly ball when I died;
The stillness round my glove
Was like the stillness in the stands
When KissCam catches love.

How easy

Welcome to another inane blog. We're here to serve your entertainment and (mildly) intellectual needs--political thoughts, links to great sites, parodies of poetry (done, usually, with love of poetry being parodied), thoughts about writing, thoughts about teaching, and goofy, goofy stuff. Most likely the last. So welcome again, and I hope you enjoy.