Friday, December 3, 2010

In the spirit of the season:

Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bad Company—

Daniel Crane (1983:  "...sexual misconduct involving a 17-year-old congressional page."
Gerry Studds (1983): "...engaging in sexual relations with a male congressional page."
Charles Wilson (1980): "...personal use of $25,000 in campaign funds and accepting $10,500 from an individual with direct interest in legislation."
Charles Diggs: (1979): "...indicted by a grand jury in 1978 on multiple charges, including taking kickbacks from his congressional staff."
Thomas Blanton (1921): "...abused the privilege granted to lawmakers of submitting items for the Congressional Record." (colleagues found something he had placed in the Congressional Record to be  “unspeakable, vile, foul, filthy, profane, blasphemous and obscene)".

Yesterday Charles Rangel was censured by the House for tax evasion and a bunch of other stuff that probably would have landed us mere mortals in the hoosegow. Instead he gets the equivalent of a finger wag, thus becoming the twenty-third Congressman in American history to be so honored. Those listed above are the five most recent cases, courtesy the Christian Science Monitor. Blanton may be the only person in American history to be censured for blasphemy. Don't we have an Amendment to prevent charges of blasphemy?

Jesus freaking Christ!* You really want to know what's unspeakable, vile, foul, filthy, profane, blasphemous and obscene? Congress, that's what. And the new majority in the House seems intent on keeping it that way.

Rangel takes his medicine.

*Editor's note: We know we probably should have said fucking instead of freaking, but this is a family publication and we try to eschew such vulgarity in case there are any adults who might be reading—even though they probably encounter that word half-a-dozen times a day. But we bet they won't run into the word eschew again any time soon.
You're welcome.

Wikiwool over our eyes!

Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader.

An Hour with Keith—

Richards at the New York Public Library. Keith talks about his love of reading, growing up in post-war England, racism in America, music, Mick, the Beatles, fatherhood, women, the damage drugs have done to his brain, the future of the Stones, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. OK, maybe not the last, but everything else.
Viewing time 1 hr. 5 min.

Like Keith, but don't have an hour?—he's not the most eloquent interview, after all. Fora TV has divided the interview up into titled chapters  just for busy people like you..

Einstein explains E=mc2

But it takes him almost a full minute to do it.

C'mon, Albert. Give us the condensed version. We haven't got all day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jim Morin, The Miami Herald.

The Titanic under construction,
Belfast (1911)—

Found at Open Culture.

The Honor System—1930s version:

Helen Hokinson (1893-1949), The New Yorker, April 2, 1938.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brother can you spare a billion?

For those of you having trouble figuring out what the hell's going on in the world, Clarke and Dawe sort out for you. You're welcome.
Viewing time 2 min. 35 sec.

For those of you filling out your scorecards, Who's on first, What's on second, and I Don't Know's on third.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kind of an Ode to Duty (1935)

By Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

O Duty,
Ogden Nash
Why hast thou not the visage of a sweetie or a cutie?
Why glitter thy spectacles so ominously?
Why art thou clad so abominously?
Why art thou so different from Venus
And why do thou and I have so few interests mutually in common between us?
Why art thou fifty per cent martyr
And fifty-one per cent Tartar?

Why is it thy unfortunate wont
To try to attract people by calling on them either to leave undone the deeds they like, or to do the deeds they don’t?
Why are thou so like an April post-mortem
On something that died in the ortumn?
Above all, why dost thou continue to hound me?
Why art thou always albatrossly hanging around me?

Thou so ubiquitous,
And I so iniquitous.
I seem to be the one person in the world thou art perpetually preaching at who or to who;
Whatever looks like fun, there art thou standing between me and it, calling yoo-hoo.
O Duty, Duty!
How noble a man should I be hadst thou the visage of a sweetie or a cutie!
Wert thou but houri instead of a hag
Then would my halo indeed be in the bag!
But as it is thou art so much forbiddinger than a Wodehouse hero’s forbiddingest aunt
That in the words of the poet, When Duty whispers low, Thou must, this erstwhile youth replies, I just can’t.

Broadcasting Hate—

Viewing time 10 min.

A tip of the Hokumburg Homburg to Bob of Gumm Creek for alerting us to this video, which—minus the somewhat intrusive text—was part of an installment of Bill Moyers Journal in July, 2009.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Keynes for Tea Partiers Dummies:

—Jim Morin, Miami Herald, via McClatchy.

The Jill and Julia Show

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule and solo performer/actress Julia Sweeney.
Viewing time 6 min. 18 sec.

From TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

About TED, from their website: "TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The View from Camberwell—

George Bernard Shaw
From the-more-things-change department: We found this at Andrew Sullivan's blog for The Atlantic. It is from George Bernard Shaw's play Geneva, written in 1938. It reminded us of someone and we wondered if it would do the same for our readers.

"What an amazing young woman! You really think she will get in?"

"Of course she will. She has courage, sincerity, good looks, and big publicity...Everything our voters love."

"But she hasn't a political idea in her head..[S]he is a complete ignoramus. She will give herself away everytime she opens her mouth."

"Not at all. She will say pluckily and sincerely just what she feels and thinks. You heard her say that there are lots of people in Camberwell who feel and think as she does. Well, the House of Commons is exactly like Camberwell in that respect."

Can you see Russia from Camberwell? Just wondering.

Frank Cotham, The New Yorker in 2007
Older Posts Home