Friday, August 31, 2007

"Honey, could you pass the KKK and Pepper?"

Okay, so these little hugging salt and pepper shakers are everywhere around Paris. I've been seeing them at the market, in little boutiques and the like for about a year now.

Precious, oui?

I didn't really give these cutesy home accessories a second thought until yesterday when I noticed a...ahem...differently attired figurine.

"You've got to be kidding," I thought. "Is that a Klansman shaker? Should we assume it is to be filled with salt only?"

My friend Q, who was with me, examined the shaker and stated "In France we would think of this to be a ghost and not so much associate it with anything else." Okay...then why is he wearing a belt?

What do you guys think?

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

le modernisme

While on a photography assignment in the 12th arrondisement, I came across some architecture that really makes me wonder about the frenchies continued adoration of le corbu....
Gimme some Belle Epoch and a nice Haussman boulevard any day.

A Man of Peace

Rush Limbaugh, 8/21/07:

LIMBAUGH: Here's [caller] in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thank you for calling. Great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. It's great to talk to you. I talked to you once before. I've been listening to you for a couple of years now, and I think I'm getting brighter, but there's a lot to be learned. I know I'm no expert in foreign affairs, but what really confuses me about the liberals is the hypocrisy when they talk about how we have no reason to be in Iraq and helping those people, but yet everybody wants us to go to Darfur. I mean, aren't we going to end up in a quagmire there? I mean, isn't it -- I don't understand. Can you enlighten me on this?

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. This is -- you're not going to believe this, but it's very simple. And the sooner you believe it, and the sooner you let this truth permeate the boundaries you have that tell you this is just simply not possible, the better you will understand Democrats in everything. You are right. They want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur.

CALLER: Right.

LIMBAUGH: There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur?

CALLER: Uh, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble.

CALLER: Yes. Yes. The black population.

LIMBAUGH: Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.

CALLER: It's just -- I can't believe it's really that simple.

Whenever Limbaugh croaks forth this sort of refuse I always think back to this gem:

                                                February 1, 2007
Professor Ole Danbolt Mjos
Norwegian Nobel Institute
Henrik Ibsens Gate 51
Oslo, Norway

Dear Dr. Mjos:
Landmark Legal Foundation herewith submits the name of Rush Limbaugh as
an unsolicited nomination for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
We are offering this nomination for Mr. Limbaugh's nearly two decades
of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all
mankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. We
fervently believe that these are the only real cornerstones of just and
lasting peace throughout the world.
Rush Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host in the
United States and one of the most popular broadcasters in the world. His
daily radio show is heard on more than 600 radio stations in the United
States and around the world. For 18 years he has used his show to become
the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today.
Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual
opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law -- and it is
fitting the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a
truly peaceful world for future generations.
Thank you for your thoughtful and serious consideration of this
nomination. Should you require additional information, please don't
hesitate to contact me.

Mark R. Levin

Which "Mark R. Levin" would that be? This one, former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese and currently a right-wing radio talk show host. Unfortunately for this dingus, the Nobel Peace Prize is by committee nomination only.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two Conceptions of History

‘One of the most remarkable characteristics of human nature,’ writes Lotze, ‘is, alongside so much selfishness in specific instances, the freedom from envy which the present displays toward the future.’ Reflection shows us that our image of happiness is thoroughly colored by the time to which the course of our own existence has assigned us. The kind of happiness that could arouse envy in us exists only in the air we have breathed, among people we could have talked to, women who could have given themselves to us. In other words, our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption. The same applies to our view of the past, which is the concern of history. The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply. Historical materialists are aware of that.

--Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History", 1940

The 'historian' adores the past; but the world today has perhaps less place for those who love the past than ever before. Indeed, it is determined not to allow events to remove themselves securely into the past; it is determined to keep them alive by a process of artificial respiration or (if need be) to recall them from the dead so that they may deliver their messages. For it wishes only to learn from the past and it constructs a 'living past' which repeats with spurious authority the utterances put into its mouth. But to the 'historian' this is a piece of obscene necromancy: the past he adores is dead. The world has neither love nor respect for what is dead, wishing only to recall it to life again. It deals with the past as with a man, expecting it to talk sense and having something to say apposite to its plebeian 'causes' and engagements. But for the 'historian,' for whom the past is dead and irreproachable, the past is feminine. He loves it as a mistress of whom he never tires and whom he never expects to talk sense. Once it was religion which stood in the way of the appearance of the 'historical' past; now it is politics; but always it is this practical disposition.

--Michael Oakeshott, "The Activity of Being an Historian," 1955

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wahhhhhh Ahmadinejad

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"I Love Bush (the Pussy, not the President)"

I found the following paragraph from an interview done with a woman who works in the publishing industry. She talks about a post-9/11 run-in with Premier Bush in NYC.

A few days after September 11th, a few friends and I made it into the sealed-off downtown area to try to volunteer at one of the hospitals. We ended up sitting in a waiting room for hours, not being of any help to anyone. The whole front glass wall of the waiting room was covered with missing-person fliers. While waiting there I saw, on the fuzzy local TV news (all the TV towers had been knocked out, remember) President Bush boarding a small plane to come to New York. [Eventually] we gave up waiting around to help and headed out. I peeled a scrap of paper from a car that was covered in that damp, gray-white dust that was made up of the collapsed buildings and humanity and planes. It said “Appendix,” and I kept it in my pocket. As we walked uptown we were stopped by a cop, on a corner across the street from City Hall. All pedestrian traffic was stopped on all corners at that intersection, though we weren’t told why. Finally a succession of black SUVs and other Secret Service vehicles with tinted glass came around the corner heading down to Ground Zero…it was the Presidential motorcade. New Yorkers on each corner of the intersection stood silent as the motorcade slowly proceeded by, then we saw President Bush’s grinning monkey face at one window, and he waved and gave us the thumbs up. The fucking thumbs up?! Was he joking? Nobody waved back, cheered, booed, or said much of anything, really. It was just like, Holy shit; that was the President.

There are at least one and a half things that Bush can be criticized for during his presidency; Obviously, the inappropriateness of smiling and giving a thumbs-up to NYers after 9/11 isn't anyone's largest concern. But... holy shit, this president is such an out-of-touch arrogant moron!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

30% of girls on Myspace are bisexual