Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Romney eats shit

Couldn’t Write a Damn Word Today, So: Links!

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* Capitalism didn’t liberalize China; it made America more authoritarian. More on that first one here, more on that second one here and here. When you’ve got me rooting for South Park things have gone very wrong.

Sad Dad Space Movies: A Taxonomy.

* Tananarive Due: Inside My 90-Minute Visit With Octavia Butler.

* Think I forgot to promote this one: Call for papers: UC Riverside Symposium on speculative futures and education.

* On good science fiction.

* Get ready for the next recession.

* John Henry vs the steam engine, 2019 edition.

* The looting of higher ed.

* Dive deep into the latest Elizabeth Warren controversy.

Poll: Majority of Americans say they endorse opening of House impeachment inquiry of Trump. Romney v. Trump.

* A truly heroic commitment to corruption at every scale.

You don’t have to work for ICE. We will help you find a better job.

* Greta Thunberg Heads to Standing Rock to Support Indigenous Activists.

Set in 2053, Carbon Ruins inhabits a near-future world where we managed to get our collective shit together, reaching global net-zero carbon dioxide emissions goals in 2050.

* News of the weird! This nearly fatal shooting may have you barking with laughter.

* Cancel billionaires.

* The Obamanauts.

* For $29, This Man Will Help Manipulate Your Loved Ones With Targeted Facebook And Browser Links.

* The Concern Troll in Everyone.

I think this is all tied to the much more abstract, multivalent erosion of 19th and 20th Century conceptions of publics and citizenship in the direction of the constellation of ideas and practices that we often call “neoliberalism”. The advantages of this deferral of direct responsibility for advocacy are obvious for individuals and institutions. David Brooks or Bret Stephens can throw up their hands and say that they’re not responsible for gross errors of fact or tendentious constructions of argument, because they’re only serving as a messenger for what is said and claimed by others that they believe their readers should know about. Institutions can shield themselves against risk and liability if they are only conforming to or compliant with decisions and practices adopted elsewhere. The failure of solutions can be blamed on the subcontractor that supplied them or simply on the intractability of the problem itself without putting any values or beliefs in danger.

* The Comic That Explains Where Joker Went Wrong.

Pope Francis considers lifting celibacy requirement for priests.

* every time i think about this poem i need to lie down.”

* The Supreme Court has told Domino’s they have to stop suing over an accessibility issue that would have cost them $40,000 to fix.

* Don’t Be Fooled. Chief Justice John Roberts Is as Partisan as They Come.

* I can’t buy pizzas for an event without three signatures and I’m not allowed to tip over 16%, and I once exchanged an hour of emails with our accounting office over (literally) four cents, but ex-prof’s strip club habit sticks Drexel University with $190K bill.

* Against automated hiring.

Lyft and Uber Are Having a Terrible, Awful, No-Good Time.

* What can’t we remember our earliest years?

* And this gender reveal party has so much to teach us.

Great Moments in Presidential Inaugurations – 1

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The shittrain began on November 22nd, 1963, in Dallas—when some twisted little geek blew the President’s head off … and then a year later, LBJ was re-elected as the “Peace Candidate.”

Johnson did a lot of rotten things in those five bloody years, but when the history books are written he will emerge in his proper role as the man who caused an entire generation of Americans to lose all respect for the Presidency, the White House, the Army, and in fact the whole structure of “government.”

And then came ’68, the year that somehow managed to confirm almost everybody’s worst fears about the future of the Republic … and then, to wrap it all up another cheapjack hustler moved into the White House. If Joe McGinnis had written The Selling of the President about good old Ike, he’d have been chased through the streets of New York by angry mobs. But when he wrote it about Nixon, people just shrugged and said, “Yeah, it’s a goddamn shame, even if it’s true, but so what?”

I went to Nixon’s inauguration. Washington was a sea of mud and freezing rain. As the Inaugural Parade neared the corner of 16th and Pennsylvania Avenue, some freak threw a half-gallon wine jug at the convertible carrying the commandment of the Marine Corps … and as one-time Presidential candidate George Romney passed by in his new role as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, the mob on the sidewalk began chanting “Romney eats shit! Romney eats shit!”

George tried to ignore it. He knew the TV cameras were on him so he curled his mouth up in a hideous smile and kept waving at the crowd—even as they continued to chant “Romney eats shit!”

The mood of the crowd was decidedly ugly. You couldn’t walk 50 feet without blundering into a fistfight. The high point of the parade, of course, was the moment when the new President’s car passed by.

But it was hard to be sure which one it was. The Secret Service ran a few decoys down the line, from time to time, apparently to confuse the snipers and maybe draw some fire … but nothing serious happened: just the normal hail of rocks, beer cans, and wine bottles … so they figured it was safe to run the President through.

Nixon came by—according to the TV men—in what appeared to be a sort of huge, hollowed-out cannonball on wheels. It was a very nasty looking armored car, and God only knows who was actually inside it.

I was standing next to a CBS-TV reporter named Joe Benti and I heard him say, “Here comes the President…” “How do you know?” I asked him. It was just barely possible to detect a hint of human movement through the slits that passed for windows.

“The President is waving to the crowd,” said Benti into his mike.

“Bullshit!” said Lennox Raphael standing beside me. “That’s Neal Cassidy in there.”

“Who?” said Benti.

“Never mind,” I said. “He can’t hear you anyway. That car has a vacuum seal.”

Benti stared at me, then moved away. Shortly afterward, he quit his job and took his family to Copenhagen.

When the Great Scorer comes to list the main downers of our time, the Nixon Inauguration will have to be ranked Number One. Altamont was a nightmare, Chicago was worse, Kent State so bad that it’s still hard to find the right words for it … but there was at least a brief flash of hope in those scenes, a wild kind of momentary high, before the shroud came down.

The Nixon Inauguration is the only public spectacle I’ve ever dealt with that was a king-hell bummer from start to finish. There was a stench of bedrock finality about it. Standing there on Pennsylvania Avenue, watching our New President roll by in his black-armored hearse, surrounded by a trotting phalanx of Secret Service men with their hands in the air, batting away the garbage thrown out of the crowd. I found myself wondering how Lee felt at Appomattox … or the main Jap admiral when they took him out to the battleship Missouri to sign the final papers.

Hunter S. Thompson on the 1968 inauguration, from his book on the 1972 election, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 20, 2009 at 4:45 am

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