Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New York Magazine Poses a Key Question:
Which of These Loose Cannons Is Louder?

Bill Clinton or the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Can you believe these pathetic narcissists? I'm considering taking up a collection to send them off together on a months-long vacation, so the rest of us can put our focus back where it belongs, on the candidates. But where do you think we should send them?

13 Comments:

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha! Beautifully put together piece and VERY entertaining as well. Reminded me of the days of Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy.

Hope your day went well yesterday, Mr. Moderator, and that you have an "idyllic weekend." :)

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks. It did, and I will. Yesterday was a blast. The panel was wonderful, the crowd larger than usual (nearly 100 for lunch) and the Q&A invigorating. All in all, a great event. There were a couple video cameras going, so I'll be sure to post video of it when it's available.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Both egos are huge, for sure, but Clinton's motivation is the harder to figure. A presidency for Hillary would cement his role in history as much as hers. Rev. Wright is a little different. He may actually be serving the interests of his church and its people in the only way he knows how -- although one would think he'd realize an Obama presidency would serve those interests even better. But someone like Rev. Marvin McMickle or Rev. Val Lassiter is more qualified than I to critique the pulpit of Rev. Wright.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Interesting points, Mike. Great to see you back here in the comments, and congratulations on your daughter's wedding. Please give my best to MB.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Phil said...

Basra.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Not bad. But we don't really want to see them injured, do we? Just disomforted perhaps. Any other destinations?

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Bolivia looks nice ... in the movies anyway ...




"Kid, the next time I say, 'Let's go someplace like Bolivia,' let's GO someplace like Bolivia."

-- Butch Cassidy

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You just know that if the lovely Katherine Ross is available (as she was in that movie), Clinton will surely be interested. Now that I mention her, I'm wondering what ever happened to her. Ever seen her in a movie in the last 20 years?

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

I prefer to deal with loose canons. That's right, I am the Anti-Harold Bloom! *evil laughter*

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

If that seems a tad cryptic to me, Art, I'm sure it's at least cryptic if not downright confusing to most. So by all means, please do expand on what you mean by that, if you care to. When you're through strumming that guitar, of course.

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

It's a Chapman Stick, actually, and you tap it rather than strum it. (www.stickent.com)

Well, you have just been subjected to the way my mind tends to think sideways and outside the box. It's an occupational hazard. It tends to be more exaggerated when I'm in a loopy frame of mind (due to being utterly stressed out about moving and other Things), and puns are typical. Many of my puns are obscure enough to be head-scratchers, I admit. Not even all of my closest friends get all of them.

I was thinking first about how irrelevant all the current round of political posturing is, how unlikely it is that the sidebar commentaries by Bill and Rev. Jeremiah are going to derail any of the process, and how unlikely it will be that anything they do will affect the outcome. It's absurd that people even think it matters. (Then again, on more cynical days, it's hard not to feel the same way about the entire Presidential election, period.) It's fun to think that we can affect the political process, but this campaign has already gone on way too long, and I suspect a great deal more people already have their minds made than usual. The rest of the time until the election will be a sideshow, and whatever side-issues distract from the process are sidebars.

We're in a deep hole and getting out of it is going to be hard and painful. Whoever the next President is, that person will have a difficult, unenviable job ahead of them. One was hoping for change when the Democrats re-took Congress—but nothing happened. One was hoping for change when many of the illegal shenanigans the current White House administration have undertaken were revealed—but nothing happened. The disconnect between all this and ordinary folks is very real. The mainstream media is so complicit in all this, they're not even remotely trustworthy anymore. Journalistic integrity seems like a myth from a forgotten era.

That got me thinking about the pun between "cannon" and "canon." And that got me thinking about the Canon Wars, i.e. the academic dispute over what constitutes the essential historical literary canon. Harold Bloom is an arch-conservative professor in Chicago who has written numerous times about how the Canon of Great Books has been degraded by political correctness and post-modernism. And he's right—but only to a point. He would role the clock back to the days when every student was required to read Latin and Greek. I prefer the open free-range discussion of many aspects of multiculturalism and open-minded exploration that is a result of the end of the Modern era, leading into postmodernism. I am an intellectual progressive in contrast to Bloom's intellectual conservatism. I prefer an open and unbounded literary canon.

Hence, "loose canons." A moment of silliness. Sorry.

Doesn't explaining a pun just kill it? Or not.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Now I got it. As puns go, that was a hell of a learned pun, so I congratulate you, Art. Doubly so for being so learned on a Friday. I remember first reading that Bloom book, The Closing of the American Mind, out on the porch of our newlywed apartment, and being struck by it in an odd sort of way. Though I didn't agree with much of it, I thought he made a powerful case for himself, and I almost came away liking the guy. It was even odder to learn years later that he was a close friend and almost something of a protege (despite being contemporaries) of his Univ. of Chicago colleague, the novelist and Nobel laureate Saul Bellow. And then the weirdness all converged in a grand fashion when Bellow wrote a novel, Ravelstein, about a character based closely on his buddy Bloom.
I hadn't thought of any of that in quite some time, so thanks for bringing it all up again for me today. Have a great weekend, gentle readers, and GO CAVS!!

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

A Chapman Stick? Never heard of it, but I learned something today.

 

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