Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 27, 2005

Billmon: Newspeak

Posted by Jérôme à Paris on January 27, 2005 at 16:41 UTC | Permalink


The sign is the site of all class conflict...--Volosinov

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 27 2005 17:05 utc | 1

you gotta hand it to these guys, they have an agenda and are sticking to it, come hell or high water.

goes to show just how independent the SCLM is in the US too.

Now that they have traditional media all sewn up, I bet there are a lot of bright young men working feverishly on how to control blogs....

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 27 2005 17:09 utc | 2

Alberto Gonzales is the best choice for our executive.

Condoleeza Rice character is beyond impugning.

Posted by: Citizen | Jan 27 2005 17:09 utc | 3

Language informs thought. Control the language. Control thought. As it was in the beginning, it seems, is now and ever shall be, world without end. (Amen)

I was part of a discussion with a group of writers more than ten years ago about the language-thought connection. The subject came up more than once at Billmon's bar. The subject I find endlessly fascinating.

Confucius said: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. hence, there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 17:13 utc | 4

If we could imagine speech that absolutely ignored the adressee (an impossible kind of speech, of course) we wold have a case of speech with organic partition reduced to a minimum.
Volosinov, p. 111

As anyone seen the drafts of the man's speeches? Are there actually paragraphs and punctuation on those cue cards?

Posted by: Citizen | Jan 27 2005 17:19 utc | 5

this just in... corporate news media found to have a vested interest in the corporate system... professional codes that journalists follow are revealed to be ideologically redisposed to further the political aims of their owners... more details following our feature presentation, groundhog day

Posted by: b real | Jan 27 2005 17:33 utc | 6


Posted by: b real | Jan 27 2005 17:34 utc | 7

I neglected to add "perception" above ... thought AND perception.

PR, marketing and advertising people understand how it works, too. ;-)

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 17:35 utc | 8

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think we should call them "broker's accounts," or "brokered accounts," because the term is exact, and designates the principle beneficiaries of the whole extraordinary scam. Like his father and grandfather before him, Bush is a whore for the Wall Street brokerage houses that spent so much in support of his last campaign. If we take our eyes off this very elementary fact, we're sure to lose the game.....

Posted by: alabama | Jan 27 2005 17:37 utc | 9

b real... LOL! ;-)

Phil: There is no way this winter is *ever* going to end as long as that groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any way out of it. He's got to be stopped. And I have to stop him."

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 17:40 utc | 10

The fact is the media are part of the establishment and being the sycophants they are, they will toe the party in powers line of bull shit. Luntz is a total sellout from his days with Ross Perot.

He's been getting very rich doing his magic with words and how they affect perceptions. But, I always thought the liberals were the force behind politically correct speech. Hmmm, presto change-o now the rethugs are correcting speech.

I must say, one of the most disturbing events in the last two days is the supreme court decision that even during a routine traffic stop its ok to have your car sniffed by a drug dog without probable cause. This is scary shit. Abortion and gay rights is not the only problem with Scalia and others, its that they do not believe in your inherent right to privacy. What was really disturbing though was that John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion and said the fourth amendment only applies to property, ie your home. So walking down the street a drug dog can walk up and sniff you and you can do nothing. Scary shit.

Posted by: jdp | Jan 27 2005 17:44 utc | 11

Couldn't we just call it "piratization"?

Captain Kidd DBA Brown Bros.Hatrriman

Posted by: | Jan 27 2005 17:49 utc | 12

On her second day as Sec. of Education, Margaret Spelling sent a letter to PBS, complaining about lesbian characters in an episode of "Postcards from Buster," after which a PBS spokesperson said that "the department's concerns align very closely with PBS' concerns, and for that reason, it was decided that PBS will not be providing the episode" to its 349 stations. ( today)

Wheee, here we go, back to the 1950's. Better buy your complete DVD sets of Buffy The Vampire Slayer folks, and store them away in a secure location in a plain brown wrapper, before all of Seasons 5 and 6 are put on the Index of Forbidden Video to spare us the unspeakable horror of Willow and Tara. Coming soon: "Angels in America" carefully edited to remove all gay themes, and La Cage aux Folles rescripted as a wacky comedy of manners full of hilarious misunderstandings between a WASP Methodist family and a WASP Episcopalian family when their kids -- despite their vast cultural differences -- fall in love.

How is it that the US -- sprawling diverse nation that it is -- can install people in high office who have all the cosmopolitan sensibility and tolerance of a nosy postmistress in a strict-Chapel Welsh mining village circa 1910, pop 500?

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 18:19 utc | 13

more from cursor today: A report from the Committee on Government Reform calculates that last fiscal year, "the federal government spent $88.2 million on 60 contracts with public relations agencies," compared with $38.6 million spent in fiscal 2000 under the Clinton administration.

Media Matters reports that Talon News, whose "Washington bureau chief" gets called on regularly at White House press opportunities, "appears to be little more than an arm of the Republican Party."

Wow, the Bushies spend 50 mio more bucks per annum on spin control than the Clinton regime did. I guess that tells us something -- first, that government is the art of lying on a grand scale, and second, that BushCo feels a need to lie even more.

My tax dollars at work.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 18:23 utc | 14

* I'm only waiting to hear them call it "social security relief". I've heard

* dan of steele is right. Control is effectiveness. If you do not stick to the words and plans of the leader, you are sabotaging The Master Plan.

OTOH, unorganised insurgencies seldom have achieved anything. To counter this a synchronised effort is neccessary. But the Fainthearted Dems in the Senate are unfortunately synchronising themselves with The Mighty Terror-Fightin' Prez.

* And here comes the anwser to Hannah, who asked about the Orange Revolution: See, revolutions are like rock concerts. If there are people, who like rock music, they might spontanously gather one evening in the same place to play on the guitar, sing some songs and stuff. But if they have no sound equipment (capital), people in the last line won't be able to listen to the same song. And if there is no published agenda, many will go home the same evening and the concert will die off. A concert becomes a festival, when there is some organisator with enough money behind it. Only then can it last for several days and be an historic event.

Dissing the Ukrainians, like Raimondo is doing, is the equivalent of saying that rock fans who go to organised, well financed festivals "are just not keepin' it real, man". To Raimondo if it is financed, somehow organised and not spontanous, it is not a noble revolution, but a sell off, "'coz there is Big ShowBiz capital behind it". He suggests, that the Orange Ukrainians' demands are therefore not genuine, they are all manipulated pawns.

Well, do people, who go to commercial rock festivals somehow love rock'n'rock music less? It does not matter how well a festival is organised and financed, if people do not like the music (the issues that Yushchenko represents), the bands, they will simply do not go there at all. The West might have provided the sound equipment, but that does not mean that the music, the music band and the fans are not "for real". Shizzle dizzle?

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Jan 27 2005 19:57 utc | 15

* I'm only waiting to hear them call it "social security relief". I've heard they are already doing "tax privatization".

* That Ukraine/Raimondo issue was here.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | Jan 27 2005 20:01 utc | 16


The ukraine protests were fueled by capital/organization from u.s. state dept., etc. just as OTPOR in Serbia was financed and directed in many ways the same.

I myself am presently uncertain whether, even if the outcomes of such subterfuge produce democratic institutions (highly doubtful, imo), such 'support' is commendable. I don't know.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 27 2005 20:29 utc | 17

slothrop - did you even read my post about Russia and Ukraine?
A shorter version is here: The Ukrainian Orange revolution - a US plot?

I've even been called an antisemite for writing it. Who knew?

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 27 2005 20:43 utc | 18

Chained, gagged man dragged onto jet

By Andra Jackson
January 28, 2005
An airline passenger who witnessed a shackled and gagged asylum seeker being deported to Pakistan from Australia has spoken out against the man's treatment.

The 36-year-old environment consultant was on a flight from Thailand when the struggling man, with chains around his legs and wrists, was forced onto the plane at Sydney.

The man was dragged on board through the aircraft's rear door by burly men holding him on either side, Sonia Chirgwin said.

Ms Chirgwin was on the domestic leg of the flight to Melbourne before the plane returned to Bangkok on December 13.

She said she and another passenger were disturbed by the amount of restraint used on the man, "in particular the gaffer tape around his mouth. It was wound around his head three times and wound so tight it distorted the shape of his face," she said.

"He appeared to be in a state of terror. Our eyes met briefly. He was looking desperately for assistance, for people to see him."

The man was handcuffed. A chain ran from the handcuffs to a harness around his waist. Another chain linked to the shackles around his legs, Ms Chirgwin said.

When first seated between the two escorts, "he was shaking his head from side to side a lot", she said. "They put a blanket over him and they put an aircraft eye mask over him during take-off."

Ms Chirgwin said she was shocked to see that level of security in Australia. She said she was speaking out because "what I saw was brute force" and "to increase awareness that this is how people leave Australia".

Amnesty International and The Refugee Action Collective yesterday condemned the man's treatment.

Acting Immigration Minister Peter McGauran said the man had applied for political protection in Australia but was refused.

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 27 2005 20:44 utc | 19

Principles of Newspeak, from Orwell's appendix to "Nineteen Eighty-Four".

Excerpt: "So did the fact of having very few words to choose from. Relative to our own, the Newspeak vocabulary was tiny, and new ways of reducing it were constantly being devised. Newspeak, indeed, differed from most all other languages in that its vocabulary grew smaller instead of larger every year. Each reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought. Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak, meaning ' to quack like a duck'. Like various other words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when The Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment."

Seymour Hersh's interview with Amy Goodman, Wednesday on Democracy Now: (transcript) HERE.

Quote: "e have a President that -- and a Secretary of State that, when a trooper -- when a reporter or journalist asked -- actually a trooper, a soldier, asked about lack of equipment, stumbled through an answer and the President then gets up and says, “Yes, they should all have good equipment and we're going to do it,” as if somehow he wasn't involved in the process. Words mean nothing -- nothing to George Bush. They are just utterances. They have no meaning. Bush can say again and again, “well, we don't do torture.” We know what happened."

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 20:52 utc | 20

yesterday's 31 (plus 4, plus 4 - can't keep up) barely lasted 24 hours on-line at and now they're just a footnote in the Great Dictator's bio.

...The cause of the chopper crash is under investigation, but it appears to be weather-related, said Gen. John Abizaid, who is in charge...

bad weather, heh...

for those of you who don't want to click over to STRATFOR...

SITUATION REPORTS - January 27 2005
2043 GMT - Jaish al-Khak, a previously unknown Iraqi insurgent group, says that its fighters shot down a U.S. military helicopter Jan. 26 in the area of Ar Rutba, Iraq, near the border with Jordan. Al Arabiya TV reports that the group promises to show a videotape of the attack soon.

Posted by: esme | Jan 27 2005 20:57 utc | 21

Jérôme I said, I don't know.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 27 2005 21:18 utc | 22

Bushspeak also has the quality, much more so than even Reagan, of the aestheticization of politics--that instead of challenging the social relations leading to the annihilation of capital by war, the war is made to be a beautiful eventuality; war, our common fate; we're going to make every brown man in the world free.

Really, how much different in form is Bush's inaugural to Marinetti?:

For twenty-seven years, we Futurists have rebelled against the idea that war is anti-aesthetic.... We therefore state: ... War is beautiful because-thanks to its gas masks, its terrifying megaphones, its flame throwers, and light tanks-it establishes man's dominion over the subjugated machine. War is beautiful because it inaugurates the dreamed-of metallization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine-guns. War is beautiful because it combines gunfire, barrages, cease-fires, scents, and the fragrance of putrefaction into a symphony. War is beautiful because it creates new architectures, like those of armored tanks, geometric squadrons of aircraft, spirals of smoke from burning villages, and much more. ... Poets and artists of Futurism, . . . remember these principles of an aesthetic of war, that they may illuminate ... your struggles for a new poetry and a new sculpture!

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 27 2005 21:34 utc | 23

per Paxton, an endorsement of "the beauty of violence" is one of the defining traits of fascism.>Brian Cloughley quotes, and comments on, Tim Ryan's oughta-be-infamous rhapsody:

"The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction."

How poetic. How liberating. How psychotic.

is there really anything much more to this than a more terrifying grown-up version of the mindless glee with which little boys wreck other people's (or their own) sand castles or forts?

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 27 2005 21:40 utc | 24

Or from: Addicted to War

Chapter Five:
"Since 1948 the U.S. has spent more than $15 trillion to build up its military might.  Just how much is $15,000,000,000,000 worth? [94]

Lemme see.

My God!

It adds up to more than the cumulative monetary value of all human-made wealth in the U.S.! [95]

In other words, the government has spent more on the military over the last four decades than the value of all the factories, machinery, roads, bridges, water and sewage systems, airports, railroads, power plants, office buildings, shopping centers, schools, hospitals, hotels, houses, etc., in this country put together!"

Text of other chapters HERE

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 21:42 utc | 25

Slothrop: Yep, the neo-con language is so close to Italian fascist-leaning futurists it really creeped me out the first time I read stuff like "creative destruction" and "we create a new reality". In fact, it creeps me every time I read such stuff from Perle, Rumsfeld and the others.
Alas, it's only when you know the numerous historical (nearly-)parallels that you begin to see how huge the abyss before our feet may really be.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 27 2005 21:50 utc | 26

OT - I see over at the Whiskey Bar that Moon of Alabama is now included in the blogroll, which I think is fairly recent. Did anyone else notice when it was added?

We are being listened to...

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 27 2005 22:14 utc | 27

Curiouser and curiouser... ;-)

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 27 2005 22:45 utc | 28

"and the largest recipient of government PR contracts was Ketchum, with $97 million"

ketchum? you bet. now what will be done to stop 'em...

Posted by: | Jan 27 2005 23:04 utc | 29

'twas me above

Posted by: b real | Jan 27 2005 23:05 utc | 30

Jerome, I noticed it today. So that means it was added before today and after, well, sometime in october.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Jan 28 2005 1:13 utc | 31

"per Paxton, an endorsement of "the beauty of violence" is one of the defining traits of fascism."

I had once tried to engage a blogging Bush backer in a senselessly sensible conversation about the horrors of war. This fellow haa a three and nine year old. I described the following:

Maybe some 9 year old's last memory of having legs or arms or a face is of suddenly being enveloped in the fine reddish pink mist his limbs become after accidentally stepping on "scissors" an adult had thrown and left carelessly about.

When the 3 year old slowly wakes up, she smells the BBQ and hopes dad put a hotdog on for her before shrieking in excruciating pain as she realizes her insides are spilling out the gaping scratch that was her tummy. She tries to push them back in but can't because her right arm has bones sticking out in two places. She doesn't know where her left arm has gone or why what is left looks like bloody raw hamburger.

She remembers reaching to play with a shiny pair of "scissors" an adult forgot to put away and then a bright flash like fireworks.

She screams out for her mom and tries to run to her, but nothing happens. With her one remaining ear, she hears nothing but strangled wet gurgling coming from what used to be her pretty face. A piece of the "scissors" ripped through her jaw and bounced down through her chest, severing her spine on its way out of her body and into the skull of her new puppy, now behind her yelping and flopping about like a fish out of water as its mind leaks out the hole with its brains.

The scissors refer to the unexploded cluster bomblets that kids end up playing with and the useless analogy the "parents" used to describe the situation to their boy.

Rather than being repulsed, I think he came. He was strangely... energized.

Posted by: gmac | Jan 28 2005 1:23 utc | 32

gmac unf your attempt to write a truthfully graphic account of a cluster bomblet's effect on a living child reads not unlike the "graphic gore" school of horror writing. in other words, we in the industrial english-speaking world have already made an art form -- a genre -- out of the dispassionate, meticulous description of mutilation and hideous death. imho we only have to recall the success of American Psycho -- admittedly boosted by carefully orchestrated controversy -- to realise how many people will pay money to read this kind of stuff. we needn't scrape so close to the bottom of the pop lit barrel, even: reputable SF author Harlan Ellison was a leader in the graphic-violence trend. whether he was attempting to awaken compassion in the reader or merely jacking off and inviting the reader to join him, I have never really figured out... there is something undeniably and awfully compelling about the written record of an atrocity, whether real or imaginary. as they say, "it's hard to look away."

which leaves anti war activists and reporters in a real bind. we are up against two mutually exclusive cultural targets: first the dippy romanticisation of war and "beautiful violence," and then, if we try to bludgeon that sick fantasy out of the way with realistic descriptions of carnage, we encounter an even sicker reality -- that many people have innately, or develop socially, a taste for images and clinical descriptions of the destruction of human bodies, and will consume such text and images eagerly, with relish.

it is hard to remember from where we now stand, that at one time official censors might have blocked publication of matter too "shocking," too "ghastly" for "decent people" to read. mind you I am not claiming this cruel fascination with abomination is anything new -- the crowds at Madame Tussaud's, the popularity of Grand Guignol, the Roman Games all testify to this corrupt and corrupting appetite in us for shock-schlock. but I think in our contemporary culture we have reached a difficult point...

the suppression of the details of the real horror enables a continuing insane fantasy about "Good/Clean War"; but the revelation of the details risks their consumption as entertainment or pornography, by the same demographic that adores "slasher movies," "Mondo Cane,", and various web sites specialising in imagery of the grotesque and the horrible. graphic war images become just one more carny sideshow.

moreover the existence of a genre of literature and film in exactly this style seems to "fictionalise" the real report or description, undermining any attempt to "make it more real". it's hard to win.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jan 28 2005 1:54 utc | 33

We are being listened to...

Curiouser and curiouser... ;-)

Jerome, I noticed it today. So that means it was added before today and after, well, sometime in october.

You think you know so much--You great French detective--Jerome of Paris.

And Ms. Marple, it's been fairly obvious--not "curiouser" for eight months.

It is refreshing that the Swedish detective, at least tries to put a time line on it, however incompetently.

I have been watching you through the eye of the mousse, in this room, since 1 July.

Allow me to introduce myself.

Murder By Death(1976)

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 2:15 utc | 34

is there really anything much more to this than a more terrifying grown-up version of the mindless glee with which little boys wreck other people's (or their own) sand castles or forts?

From an add for a video game shown regularly on ESPN voiceover in bold:

Take any vehicle you want. (Vid of Terminator-Type throwing little guy out of HumVee)

Take any weapon you want. (Vid of Terminator-Type firing weapon in all directions while walking straight ahead)

Blow stuff up. (Vid of explosion)

Blow it up again. (Vid of bigger explosion)

Blow the snot out of it. (Vid of yet bigger explosion)

Blow the snot out of it some more. (Explosion covers the screen)

(Vid of game title):
Mercenaries -
Playground of Destruction

Who wants to play with sand castles anymore when we can enjoy delusions of military power? We are feeding the emotions of a generation of adolescent boys with crap like this. I wonder how many parents who were offended by Janet Jackson's boob will buy this "game" for their kids.

Posted by: lonesomeG | Jan 28 2005 3:02 utc | 35

Brilliant marketing there, putting the words "playground" and "destruction" together. Also sick as hell.

Posted by: lonesomeG | Jan 28 2005 3:05 utc | 36

Kids just want to have fun I guess.

Older kids would prefer latching on to Janet.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 3:07 utc | 37

lionel twain

cool. how abstract. like a 2 year old.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 3:12 utc | 38

Too bad about sic transit and his previous highly devious, but painfully truthful screed...hope he comes back.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 3:15 utc | 39

Intellectual treason

Posted by: Eric Blair | Jan 28 2005 3:24 utc | 40



Hope so too.

The only point I was trying to make there, is that if you take things too seriously, you might blow a gasket.

And you my friend take yourself seriously to the point of parody.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 3:25 utc | 41

@Eric Blair:

I've bookmarked it. Will read it tomorrow.

Thanks for posting it. Looks interesting.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 3:30 utc | 42

I'm funny. truly, funny.

The task for me here is an occasional attempt at beauty & truth, which is all too serious.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 3:33 utc | 43

Lionel "Twain", how cute. Toot, toot! I think I can, I think I can. My curiouser comment was pretty tongue-in-cheek. I should have used more emoticons and snark labels. Billmon gives us pieces on his blog or he doesn't. It's for me more an object of curiosity than anything else.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 28 2005 3:38 utc | 44

Wow, just looked back in the comments to make sure I'd read everything... and found "Eric Blair". Very nice.

Posted by: Kate_Storm | Jan 28 2005 3:48 utc | 45

Let's forget about it Sloth.

This thing in Iraq hurts me more than you can perhaps ever imagine.

I used to rant about this. I wrote letters, marched etc. To no avail.

My country is going down a shithole, and dragging the rest of the world with us.

And if you've been driven halfway lunatic by the absurdity, you've got to laugh.

Believe me.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 3:49 utc | 46>Now, this is funny

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 3:59 utc | 47

No irony, no laughter.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 4:00 utc | 48


The fact is that laughter-according to Bergson, the restoration of life from its conventional hardening -has long become the conventions' weapon against uncomprehended life, against the traces of something natural that has not been quite domesticated.

The whole inauguration the power's laughter at the vanquished opposition. hahaha.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 4:08 utc | 49

Like those craven rednecks kicking in the head of the arab.

Now, that's funny.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 4:10 utc | 50


You are at this point, obnoxiously not funny.

Why don't you write several more paragraphs of your normal obtuse prose and just put us all to sleep.

@ Kate

Saw a mystery was afoot, and remembered that movie. Just having some fun.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 4:39 utc | 51

Lionel Twain

It has come to this.

I recall nothing contributed by you. And now, this grand flowering of admonishing wisdom!

Please, change your name to The Blue Flower. Your mystery is what I have always sought.

You must know something, like the hefty aperçus of a Radiohead song, somewhere, down there, as you sway gently, looking at your shoes.

Not Blue Flower.

Sad Punk. Yes. That's it.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 4:57 utc | 52


Well at least now you've tuned down your verbage so the average person with post-secondary education can understand what you are saying.

Now that's a start.

And if you continue in this vein, you can call me your little Passion Flower , if you so choose.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 5:06 utc | 53

ok...truce...please offer insight in the future, not fucking snark. thanks.

Posted by: slothrop | Jan 28 2005 5:08 utc | 54

slothrop - nice catch with the Cardinals - maybe the pope should do the same?

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 28 2005 7:02 utc | 55

Lionel Twain - I have looked at the bar snacks previously, specifically looking for MoA, and never saw it. I am willing to say I missed it, but my information I provided above was correct, to my knowledge - i.e. I did not see it even recently.

Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 28 2005 7:04 utc | 56


Seems I noticed it, I think a week ago.

Posted by: anna missed | Jan 28 2005 7:33 utc | 57

welcome mr. twain, i recognize the expertise

Posted by: annie | Jan 28 2005 9:09 utc | 58

That link was certainly added recently. Is the XML feed new as well, or did I simply manage to miss it previously?

Posted by: Colman | Jan 28 2005 9:26 utc | 59

billmon has a new post

Posted by: annie | Jan 28 2005 10:25 utc | 60

Has anyone noticed that the clock has gone crazy?

Very Strange.

Posted by: Lionel Twain | Jan 28 2005 11:26 utc | 61

i will have to read the book

Posted by: annie | Jan 28 2005 18:09 utc | 62


Thanks, I see your point. It is hard to win when people have become so dispassionate.

The noodnik on whose blog I was trolling (quite politely BTW, until he insinuated I was a delusional drunk) actually said "given the choice, I'd rather die honourably, gloriously in battle rather than by an illness like dysentery..." He ignored my gentle prod to hurry and volunteer while he still had the choice and before he fell prey to one of those humiliating diseases.

Violence sickens me, so I guess I find it hard to understand that others might find it beautiful.

For all it's Speilbergian sentimentality, I was horrified by Shaving Ryan's Privates to realize that my father, many relatives and their friends had to endure what amounted to about an hour or so of screen "battle" time for 11 months or more. If he were alive to see it, Dad would have said as he always said to cinematic violence, "not violent enough."

I finally understood their alcoholism and insanity which hid their pain of slaughtering others. They felt used and found no honour and glory in war. Just unspeakable horror...

People that can't feel or imagine the pain of others are broken. People that revel in it are insane and people that blithely accept it are drinkin kool-aid.

Posted by: gmac | Jan 29 2005 0:20 utc | 63

DeA: How is it that the US -- sprawling diverse nation that it is -- can install people in high office who have all the cosmopolitan sensibility and tolerance of a nosy postmistress in a strict-Chapel Welsh mining village circa 1910, pop 500?

Unconventional behaviors, particularly: sexual; freely agressive (even if unharmful); body / cleanliness related behaviors, wild arty actions, immediately garner disaproving attention. The basics of belonging to a group rests on those behaviors; non-conformism can be alarming signs of deviance.

That attention is then exploited by leaders. (Vote agains abortion, drugs, etc.) The mechanism called up ensures that people forget about justice, law, long-term plans (politics) and act on gut reactions, and continue to do so, provided some rationale is offered. (The unborn have souls, Jesus will you love if..)

In the jungle - in the savannah - in the caves, unconventional or new behaviors had to be, first, controlled and suppressed (too many of them), and only second, adopted and disseminated for innovation, when the occasion arose, the behavior 'fitted' and new horizons seemed a possibility.

Right now, everyone is hunkering down.

Protective hats (tin foil too!) and tin-pot dictators pullulate.

The US has clearly given up Science and Innovation. (see also the link posted by Eric Blair - Orwell.)

Congress just refused to further fund the Hubble telescope.>Link

Posted by: Blackie | Jan 29 2005 22:07 utc | 64

"OT - I see over at the Whiskey Bar that Moon of Alabama is now included in the blogroll, which I think is fairly recent. Did anyone else notice when it was added?"
billmon no longer has the backtrack feature that always linked to our site. that just started around the time of this thread. now that is
"Curiouser and curiouser... ;-)"

Posted by: annie | Jan 29 2005 23:41 utc | 65

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