November 11, 2007

"The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that killing doesn't seem to bother the conservatives at all."

"The liberals are chickenhearted about people dying."

Another Kurt Vonnegut quote from that interview. Thought you'd like to talk about it under a separate heading.

170 comments:

AllenS said...

"The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals want someone else to do their killing for them."

AllenS

EnigmatiCore said...

Conservatives bad, liberals good.

Or,

Liberals bad, conservatives good.

Or,

Both are right and wrong about various things, but for the most part I wish the overly passionate about their belief in one of the above statements would just shut up.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goatwhacker said...

By and large the liberals had no problem with killing during the Kosovo bombings. I think it's more like neither liberals or conservatives have problems with killing as long as they're the ones doing it.

Tim said...

"HELLER: I felt awful about the whole Gulf war. My feeling is that at that time Bush still hadn't figured out why he had invaded Panama, and he didn't know why he was making war in Iraq. And he still doesn't. I think it was an atrocity." ...

"VONNEGUT: The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that killing doesn't seem to bother the conservatives at all. The liberals are chickenhearted about people dying. Conservatives thought that the massacre, the killing, of so many people in Panama was OK. I think they're really Darwinians. It's all right that people are starving to death on the streets because that's the nature of work.

HELLER: Western civilization has made a pact with the Devil. I think the story of Faust has to do with Western civilization. You might say white civilization. The Devil or God said, ''I'll give you knowledge to do great things. But you're going to use that knowledge to destroy the environment and to destroy yourself.'' You mentioned Darwin. I think what we're experiencing now is the natural state of evolution. Half the society is underprivileged and maybe a third of the rest is barely surviving. The trouble with the Administration is that it doesn't want to deal with the problem. It doesn't want to define it as a problem because then it will have to deal win it."


The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals have endless compassion for all of America's enemies, save for conservatives, which liberals believe are America's biggest enemies. Conservatives, on the other hand, will volunteer in the nation's armed forces to defend to the death the right of liberals to hold and voice such idiocies.

Palladian said...

Everyone should just shut up. As Pascal writes [translated] in Pensées:

"When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber."

Of course, all the noisy, ugly arguments on blogs are, for the most part, written by people who do quite a lot of staying quietly in their chambers. Perhaps Pascal's definition of quietness extended to the mind as well.

jeff said...

Yeah, that's the big difference all right. I had no idea Vonnegut was such a shallow thinker.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.

Sounds like he hates Mexican food.

Doyle said...

When did wingnuts get squeamish about killing? The only people we're killing are terrorists, right? "Fighting them over there..." etc.

Spare me the indignation.

jeff said...

Doyle, what the hell you talking about? Do you bother to actually read what other people post, or do you just assume based on your warped world view.

I see no one making that point. Where do you see it?

Palladian said...

"I think they're really Darwinians" and "You mentioned Darwin. I think what we're experiencing now is the natural state of evolution."

Nonsense. Natural selection, Darwinian and subsequent theories cannot be properly applied to social constructs. Juvenile thinkers do so when they have nothing better to say. I don't really know what "conservatives" or "liberals" actually means. It's like making two giant bins, one marked "red" and one marked "green" and then expecting someone to be able to place everything in the world in one bin or the other. So in the red bin you end up with things like Ferraris, apples, stop signs, 10 million tons of coral, Donald Trump's nose; in the green bin, a trillion tons of grass, the Statue of Liberty, a million concerned German voters and the Jolly Green Giant. Yes, all these things do fit into their respective categories, but the distinction is meaningless in terms of discerning any real difference between the objects in the opposite bin, or any real similarity between objects in the same bin.

Binary politics is as boring as team sports and a threadbare vestige of tribalism. Where's the famous nuance?

If you must have a binary metaphor, how about this one: either you want to be the ruler or you want to be a subject. Some liberals (including Heller in this piece, with his idea that the "Administration" needs to do something for people) desire to be subjects, the subjects of a kingdom without a king. Some conservatives (the more libertarian kind) believe that the ultimate authority over their lives temporal should properly be themselves. You are your own highest authority, not a subject of a king, a potentate or a mothering bureaucracy. Of course there are both conservatives and liberals who would call this unrealistic, radical individualism. But it's a much more interesting thought experiment than the tiresome liberal-conservative shtick that we've all argued too many times.

Bob said...

I wonder if Vonnegut considered unborn babies when he talked about liberals and killing. Liberals have no qualms at all about offing unborn babies.

Luckyoldson said...

Allen says: "The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals want someone else to do their killing for them.

Right.

Could you name all of the "conservative politicians, neocons, and talking heads who are big time supporters of the Iraqi fiasco...who served...doing their "own" killing?

*Cheney...Rummy...Wolfie...Kristol...Rove...Hume...Cavuto...Hannity...Limbaugh...O'Reilly...Coulter...Savage...Beck...Carlson...etc., etc., etc...????

Typical right wing drivel.

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
It's a woman's choice.

Have YOU ever been pregnant?

*How many kids have you adopted?

Palladian said...

I imagine when Doyle comes here to burp out his dyspeptic cheers and jeers, he's shirtless, painted up in his team's colors, wearing a giant foam pointing hand on his hand, perhaps with a pennant covering his ass.

Doyle's a real team player.

Palladian said...

"It's a woman's choice."

Too bad the baby doesn't have a say in it...

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."Yeah, that's the big difference all right. I had no idea Vonnegut was such a shallow thinker."

Jeffery...telling people Vonnegut was "shallow."

You're even dumber that I thought...and that takes some doing.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeff,
I forgot to ask.

Have you ever actually read any of Vonnegut's books?

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian,
It's her life and her body, asshole.

If men got pregnant there would be no discussion of any sort.

rhhardin said...

Darwin in _The Expression of Emotion in Men and Animals_, I remember, remarks that he had heard Sydney Smith say placidly ``I hear that dear old Lady Cork has been overlooked,'' and he made quite clear to everyone that he meant the Devil had forgotten to take her, but how he did it Darwin could not say.

Wm. Empson _The Structure of Complex Words_ p.45

Bob said...

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
It's a woman's choice.

Have YOU ever been pregnant?

*How many kids have you adopted?



Lucky:

My ex and I had the regulation 2 children, after which I got a vasectomy. I don't make enough money to adopt more, even if I wanted them, which I don't, so trying to paint me with the family planning version of the chickenhawk argument won't wash.

jeff said...

"jeff said..."Yeah, that's the big difference all right. I had no idea Vonnegut was such a shallow thinker."

As I said, I had no idea. Anyone who can say "The big difference between a conservatives and liberals is that killing doesn't seem to bother the conservatives at all" is a shallow thinker. No matter who they are.

"Have you ever actually read any of Vonnegut's books?"

Yes I have. I read about anything I can get my hands on. How is that applicable to the shallow thinking that manufactured the statement in question?

"You're even dumber that I thought...and that takes some doing."

Yes, I love the mentally deficient making judgments about OTHER peoples intellect. It's so cute.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeff,
You can disagree with Vonnegut's comments or opinions, but referring to him as "shallow" is laughable at best.

Especially if you've actually read any of his books.

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
Adopt...then criticize.

It's HER body...not YOURS.

Bob said...

luckyoldson said:
Could you name all of the "conservative politicians, neocons, and talking heads who are big time supporters of the Iraqi fiasco...who served...doing their "own" killing?

*Cheney...Rummy...


Rumsfeld did, in fact, serve:

Military service

Rumsfeld served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957 as a naval aviator and flight instructor. His initial training was in the North American SNJ Texan basic trainer after which he transitioned to flying the Grumman F9F Panther fighter. In 1957, he transferred to the Naval Reserve and continued his naval service in flying and administrative assignments as a drilling reservist until 1975. He transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve when he became Secretary of Defense in 1975 and retired with the rank of Captain in 1989."[10]


Source: Wikipedia.

Want some salt and pepper with that crow?

jeff said...

"You can disagree with Vonnegut's comments or opinions, but referring to him as "shallow" is laughable at best."

It's a shallow statement. By any objective examination. He said it, he owns it. Now it may have been said off the cuff, with little thought, which would consist of shallow thinking.

The problem with your ferocious defense of him is that your past indicates that if he had swapped "conservatives" and "liberals" in that statement, you would have no problems what-so-ever in ignoring his past work and would brand him with far worse epithets than "shallow". So spare me the indignation.

rcocean said...

Vonnegut could be insightful on many subjects but not on politics and religion. On these subjects he was just part of the thundering liberal herd, and never wrote anything to shock or disappoint them.

Notice he didn't publish "Slaughterhouse 5" until the late 60s, when liberals were attacking the bombing of NV and we were in our anti-military phase.

But I always like him regardless.

bearbee said...

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf".

George Orwell

SMGalbraith said...

Well, conservatives have a darker view of human nature (Original Sin, the Christian Lusts, or History) and that because of that, are (perhaps) more willing to use force against perceived enemies. In other words, enemies can't be changed; it's their nature. And thus must be confronted with force.

That is, killed.

Liberals, with a view that human beings are more malleable, tend to believe that enemies can be changed. That it's not their nature but their nurture. And by using reasoning and other non-violent incentives, we may be able to change our enemies nature.

On the other hand, because liberals believe that human nature can be changed, they may be more willing to use force in order to affect those changes. Force in the sense of "forcing men to be free" as Rousseau called it.

On the other (third) hand, I, like Vonnegut may be talking out of my ass.

SMG

jeff said...

"Bob,
Adopt...then criticize.

It's HER body...not YOURS."

OK, let's run this one by the logic test. There has been a history of people dumping their aged relatives because they no longer want to take care of them. Would you be in favor of passing a law euthanizing these people? Or do you believe only those willing to take these elderly people into their homes and take care of them should be against that law?

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
Call me when you can talk to the fetus.

This is purely a religious argument.

What about the 100's of 1,000's of stem cells that are flushed every year?
Are those kids?

Daryl said...

The Communists' impressive death toll from the 20th Century doesn't seem to bother most liberals.

I'm not saying most liberals are in favor of it. I just mean they pay it approximately zero thought. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Especially the idiots who wander around in Che T-Shirts.

Liberals pretend to be bothered by killing. They act like they care about the situation in Darfur. They want to blame corporations and divest and march and yell slogans. But they don't want the U.S. to bomb the Arabs responsible for the genocide, or supply any sort of military aid to the victims. That is what the blacks need. Real, immediate intervention. Not "divestment" so some liberal prick can feel smug while he's sipping his designer latte. Liberals use genocide victims as props in their morality play.

P.S.: don't bother trying to debate Doyle or PluckyOldSon. Especially when they completely disregard the thing we're supposed to be discussing. In this case, the topic is killing. But they don't want to talk about killing. They want to talk about a woman's right to choose. That has nothing to do with the subject of whether abortion is killing and whether it bothers liberals. It's a total non sequitur.

It would be as if, in response to Vonnegut's claim that killing doesn't seem to bother conservatives at all, I said "but they're terrorists! We're only killing terrorists!" That only proves the original point--that the speaker isn't at all bent out of shape by killing.

Bob said...

Lucky, you aren't even man enough to say touché regarding your Rumsfeld error.

I'm not going to waste my time with someone who, when caught in error, pretends it didn't happen.

rcocean said...

The Communists' impressive death toll from the 20th Century doesn't seem to bother most liberals.

I'm not saying most liberals are in favor of it. I just mean they pay it approximately zero thought. It doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Especially the idiots who wander around in Che T-Shirts.


Yes, I always found that weird too. They'll shed tears about executing an ax-murderer but will go to Cuba and shake hands with the "great man".

And they seem to change from pacifists to blood-thirsty warmongers depending on who the POTUS and enemy is. One year its the "merchants of death" the next year its "saturation bombing" and the "Morgenthou plan". Even their opposition to the death penalty depends on who's being executed. Somehow it was OK to execute McViegh but not Tookie Williams.

christopher said...

AllenS said...

"The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals want someone else to do their killing for them."


How true. Especially liberals like Bush and Cheney who have no compunction about sending young men and women off to die in a bullshit war.

I hate fricking liberals like that.

Luckyoldson said...

Daryl says this about "liberals": "But they don't want the U.S. to bomb the Arabs responsible for the genocide, or supply any sort of military aid to the victims."

And you base this insane drivel on what?

Lying liars and the lies they tell.

Doyle said...

The Communists' impressive death toll from the 20th Century doesn't seem to bother most liberals.

Fascinating point. I think it's perfectly clear that with every sip of their flavored coffees they are tacitly saluting Joseph Stalin.

But they don't want to talk about killing. They want to talk about a woman's right to choose.

Boy do I ever! That's must be why I hardly ever engage in abortion debates.

ZPS said...

Gravel-Paul 08!

Love,
Maxine
(kidding)

Luckyoldson said...

Bob said..."Lucky, you aren't even man enough to say touché regarding your Rumsfeld error."

Show me my comment where I said anything about your Rummy planting a question.

You're a lying sack of shit.

SMGalbraith said...

Especially liberals like Bush and Cheney who have no compunction about sending young men and women off to die

Die?

You mean killed by al-Qaeda and other anti-American, anti-democratic Islamic groups?

I thought we had all agreed after 9/11 that we would go after al-Qaeda. Wherever they were.

Perhaps I was mistaken.

SMG

John Stodder said...

The usual suspects have turned this thread into a beclowning jubilee, but I want to respond to Jeff's statement:

I had no idea Vonnegut was such a shallow thinker.

You could call Vonnegut an artist or possibly a comedian, but I don't think even his fans go to him to find "thought." I'm a big fan of a number of writers, musicians and artists who, when interviewed, say things every bit as lame as what Vonnegut and Heller say in the linked interview. And believe me, Ann only highlighted one of many truly inane comments. Sometimes I feel embarrassed to be a fan of such numbskulls, but the source of artistic inspiration and aesthetic judgment is a different part of the brain than rational thought.

It's like being a sports fan. You wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays during their careers. They could be truly hateful people. Better to just appreciate what they do.

There is one subject on which Vonnegut is reliably interesting and instructive: Writing.

Otherwise, I suggest you avoid anything he said that doesn't involve fictional characters doing and saying things on other planets, German prison camps, car dealerships and other locales for his fiction.

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
Here's my entire comment regarding the :planting of questions...point out the part about Rummy:

Luckyoldson said...

Dick,
Get real.

The Bush administration has had all kinds of "plants at press conferences...and they've also stopped people from asking questions are even attending because they were wearing anti-Bush shirts or even bumper stickers.

Are you forgetting Mr. Jeff Gannon?

How about FEMA just last week?

Just another non-story.

christopher said...


I thought we had all agreed after 9/11 that we would go after al-Qaeda. Wherever they were.

Perhaps I was mistaken


Yeah, you must be. Al Qaeda were in Afghanistan. For some reason we attacked Iraq, instead.

I guess you missed the memo.

BTW -- how's the hunt for Bin Laden going?

Luckyoldson said...

John Stoddard with yet another completely groundless and inane comment:

"You could call Vonnegut an artist or possibly a comedian, but I don't think even his fans go to him to find "thought."

Kurt Vonnegut...a "comedian"???

His fans (millions of readers worldwide)...don't read his books to find..."thought"???

Can I assume you never bothered to read; Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions or many of his short stories, articles, editorials, etc.?

And you wonder why I think some here are dumb as a bag of rocks??

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
I'm waiting for you you to be "man enough" to admit you're wrong.

Cat got your tongue?

Bilby said...

After so many years reading what moonbats have to say Vonnegut's comments don't shock me one bit.

A side issue: Several years ago, before blogs were popular, there were certain people who haunted newsgroups called Trolls. The image at the link provides a handy description as well as advice for dealing with them.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard,
D you happen to have any of Vonnegut's comedy albums you want to sell?

I hear they're priceless.

*The one based on the Dresden bombings is supposed to be absolutely hilarious.

JimM47 said...

I'm with SMGalbraith in thinking that there is some basis for this observation in a way that doesn't just paint conservatism as evil.

Conservatives, at least theoretically, see the world and human nature as more constrained. They are likely to believe that many things involve a choice among two evils. For better or worse, they are likely to have come to some sort of acceptance of (be less bothered by) the fact that bad things (like killing) do happen.

Liberals may agree in principle that we must accept bad things in general. But I recall a recent study that looked at the function of cognition that determines whether an instance of data fits into the subject's established rules, or whether it presents an exception. The study found that liberals were more likely to see an exception. So perhaps liberals are more likely to have their consciences pricked by knowing too much about an instance of suffering.

Which bias is right, obviously depends on the circumstances, but I know I wouldn't want to live in a world of just liberals or just conservatives.

reader_iam said...

So it goes.

Bob said...

Lucky, look at your 12:16 comment, which I quoted earlier.

Act honorably and honestly, ok? It's not necessary to hurl epithets. Just acknowledge the error.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

LOS,

That you think Vonnegut is a deep thinker just says it all.

reader_iam said...

Let's do two in one, instead:

Jump to conclusions if you like, "Will," but that says more about you than it does about me.

Jason said...

Count me in as a Vonnegut fan who never thought Vonnegut was a "deep thinker."

Vonnegut was creative and provocative, and a good man for imagery. But he was a surface writer, really.

I mean, here's a guy who bought into the whole Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent bullshit, so that shows how 'deep' he really was.

One of the problems with intellectualism and the left today is that they've become so wrapped up with one another that the left can't tell where disciplined inquiry and thought ends and the left begins.

So they confuse shallow thinkers who agree with them with deep thinkers. But they're so intellectually stunted they can't tell the difference.

Vonnegut was a provocateur and an entertainer with empathy for leftern causes (like Sacco and Vanzetti).

For deep thinking? He was no Dostoyevski.

reader_iam said...

rcocean: Through his work, Vonnegut offered some key insights. It's not an "either/or," much less an "all or nothing" thing, or at least it doesn't have to be.

Does it? (That question is addressed more generally.)

Job said...

Jeff is absolutely correct: Vonnegut was shallow, shallow, shallow.

I thought his books were terrific when I was 13 -- and they often were entertaining.

But--as a thinker--he is a cookie sheet: War bad! War bad! War bad!

Also, I'll buy the "it's her body" argument when there is only one body involved. So far as I know, there are at least two.

Can't talk to fetuses? So what? Humans are defined by their functionality.

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
This is what I said:

"Could you name all of the "conservative politicians, neocons, and talking heads who are big time supporters of the Iraqi fiasco...who served...doing their "own" killing?

*Cheney...Rummy...Wolfie...Kristol...Rove...Hume...Cavuto...Hannity...Limbaugh...O'Reilly...Coulter...Savage...Beck...Carlson...etc., etc., etc...????"

Where am I in error? Did any of them serve?

Bob said...

Lucky, at least read down through the thread. Rumsfeld served honorably as a US Naval officer from the 1950's through the 1980's, retiring as a captain. Look it up in Wikipedia, if you don't want to read the thread.

reader_iam said...

I don't get reading lit the way you'd approach any given state's drivers manual, in anticipation of the test that'll determine whether you get to drive or not (you gotta pass! you gotta drive! you gotta job! and a car! and just paid the g'd'd premium)!

But it seems that's the way that some proportion of readers--on both sides [!] (how odd, to me, to put it that way, in terms of lit)--insist on doing the thang.

But, as I've noted many times before:

So. It. Goes.

Jason said...

Yeah, it occurs to me I can't have a conversation with an infant, either. Or a severely retarded individual.

This is not an argument against providing each with the protection of law.

Well, I guess except if you're a libtard. They can justify anything.

John Stodder said...

John Stoddard with yet another completely groundless and inane comment:

"You could call Vonnegut an artist or possibly a comedian, but I don't think even his fans go to him to find "thought."

Kurt Vonnegut...a "comedian"???


LOS, I assume that, along with everything else you've tried, you failed that Evelyn Wood speed reading class you took. Go read what I wrote again, slowly. Comprehend the words. You completely misunderstood me.

Sadder than that, you completely misunderstand Vonnegut. Thanks to Amazon, I guess you were able to list some of his book titles, but you clearly haven't read any of them. Virtually every book he wrote is primarly a book of humor. Some of it is black comedy, but that kind of stuff might be too subtle for you. Vonnegut's books are entertainments underscored by a strong moral point of view that is conveyed sometimes emotionally and sometimes ironically; but they are not arguments for a particular point of view. In context, I clearly meant "thought" in the sense of a rational argument such as an essayist might make. Vonnegut rarely exposed his ideas so explicitly except, as I said, with regard to the craft of writing.

In that, Vonnegut is like most successful novelists. Norman Mailer, who clearly had lots of ideas, was a much better non-fiction writer than novelist because he was at his best discussing and illustrating his ideas. His novels were weak because he was, in a sense, too much the rational thinker and not enough the artist. Likewise, the plays of George Bernard Shaw. They're fascinating, but they're "talky." They don't grab you emotionally the way, say, Ibsen does.

Vonnegut is more like Harold Pinter. Harold Pinter wrote some of the greatest plays of his era. Now he spends most of his time talking about politics and his politics are basically a harangue straight out of Ramsey Clark. Luckily, at least in his prime, Pinter was able to keep his two-bit politics out of his plays. They are clearly written by the same guy, but the artistic side of his brain wrote the plays, while the "rational" side of his brain wastes our time with boring speeches about politics.

Y'know LOS, for a guy who in about 2/3rds of his posts boasts about his "superior intelligence," I just have to say, you make me laugh with how basically illiterate you are. Is this all an act? You display so little intelligence, your lack of humility about it becomes perversely fascinating. It's like those scenes in the Andy Griffith Show when Don Knotts would brag about how tough and brave he was. Good times.

Luckyoldson said...

It's intersting to see how many idiots here denigrate Kurt Vonnegut for not being a "deep thinker," with idiots like Stoddard saying he might just be a "comedian." (When has anyone...ever...heard the name Vonnegut and comedian in the same sentence?)

This is why I think many here are so dumb it's hard to imagine what you must be like in the same room where you have to look someone in the eyes while utterly such thoroughly ridiculous statements.

Ask some of your friends (if you have any) what they thought of Slaughterhouse Five or Breakfast of Champions or Cat's Cradle...see if they think he's a shallow...or nothing more than a comedian.

99% of the drivel here is directed at Vonnegut because he's a dreaded "liberal" and we ALL know we can't have any discussion or opinion here that doesn't conform to the pack's right wing beliefs.

*While we're at it...why not post some of your own major publications or accomplishments in life.

Ann Althouse said...

Vonnegut was quite brilliant. You can see in that interview that Heller is awed by him. V had an artistic frame of mine that might seem naive on some political issues, but that's the way it is with art.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard sys: "Y'know LOS, for a guy who in about 2/3rds of his posts boasts about his 'superior intelligence,'"

Show me a post where I've anything of the sort.

I said YOU were an idiot...and you are.

P.S. Bob...How many people do you think Rummy killed?

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
Rumsfeld: Rumsfeld served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957 as a naval aviator and flight instructor.

Do any of his "own" killing?

Where did he "serve?"

PatCA said...

"HELLER: I felt awful about the whole Gulf war."

How precious!

They're not shallow, they're juvenile, very deeply thinking children.

rcocean said...

"rcocean: Through his work, Vonnegut offered some key insights. It's not an "either/or," much less an "all or nothing" thing, or at least it doesn't have to be."

Hey, I LIKE some of Vonnegut. And what's wrong with being "Shallow" but entertaining and/or making a few simple points in an effective way (i.e war is bad)?

But let's not make him out to be what he isn't -i.e a deep thinker. And its not just Vonnegut.

As someone just wrote, don't look for deep insights into Politics and culture from 20th century novelists. Most of these guys couldn't even stay sober. H*ll, Vonnegut tried to commit suicide and Mailer almost stabbed his wife to death.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann Althouse said..."Vonnegut was quite brilliant."

And one hell of a comedian.

Slaughterhouse Five had people literally rolling in the aisles.

Ask Stoddard.

reader_iam said...

I read Dostoevskii before I read Vonnegut (which is startling only because of the age[s]) involved. Suffice it to say that it was young.

And more. More.

Shallow, deep, whatever ... one thing is clear: I was a slut from an early age.

Heh.

reader_iam said...

"Will": Irony as a device?

Jeez, no bitter humor to be found in that. As you should know.

As for satire, sarcasm ... all that: let's ignore that. Also the whole history and tradition of tragi-comedy. Etc. Etc.

When you're "Will," only "won't" barks.

Luckyoldson said...

PatCA said..."They're not shallow, they're juvenile, very deeply thinking children."

Heller and Vonnegut aren't shallow...they're "juvenile"..."children"????

Heller?

Vonnegut?

Who ARE YOU people...and where would you possibly come up with this insanity???

rcocean said...

John S. - brilliant post.

christopher said...

PatCA said...
"HELLER: I felt awful about the whole Gulf war."

How precious!

They're not shallow, they're juvenile, very deeply thinking children.

100 years from now, people will still be reading Heller's "Catch-22," still marvelling at Heller's wit and courage and humanity. You, on the other, will merely be worm fodder somewhere, unmourned by anyone and totally forgotten.

Ironic, isn't it...

Bob said...

Lucky, you were making the Chickenhawk argument, your point being that men who didn't serve sent other men who do serve off to war. I pointed out that Rumsfeld served, not only active duty, but also in the active reserves, which ran into the 1980's. The active reserves can and do see action, and are doing so in Iraq daily.

Now you try to argue that only those in the military who personally killed someone suit your standards for leading the country. By this measure, probably Eisenhower doesn't qualify, and perhaps Grant, also. Do you really expect readers here to believe such a ridiculous argument?

In any event, I'm not going to continue with this. You aren't arguing in good faith, you hurl epithets, and otherwise act like a child, not an adult. All of Ann's readers know it.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard,
I've read every book Vonnegut's ever published.

And you did say "You could call Vonnegut an artist or possibly a comedian..."

Correct?

Luckyoldson said...

Bob,
Move on, Dude.

Cheney (4 times) and the rest of them dodged the draft or hooked up with reserve units...and you know it.

I get it: YOU LOVE THEM.

Let's leave it at that...and be sure to send Christmas Cards to the families of the fallen.

Luckyoldson said...

Job said..."Jeff is absolutely correct: Vonnegut was shallow, shallow, shallow.

And you're dumb, dumb, dumb.

*And suddenly Jeffrey is the local writer's critic?

Duh.

reader_iam said...

Just to clarify for this thread (and I will continue to clarify, wherever necessary), "Will" is my new nickname for LuckyOldSon.

Suits him. He's full of it.

(I recently awarded him the nickname when I came to the conclusion that even when and where you agree with him, in whole or in part, he just can't bring himself to get his mind wrapped around it, because it's all about the narrowest of tribe for him, the easiest of assumptions, the simplest of world views (worlds viewed). Well, who can blame him? From thence his confidence wells (wills).

John Stodder said...

LOS, you obviously only know enough about Slaughterhouse-Five to know that it concerns, in part, the firebombing of Dresden.

As grim and bleak as that element of the book certainly is, much of the rest of it is comic fantasy. Even the Dresden scenes are presented with a kind of ironic distance, with Billy Pilgrim's fellow soldiers and their German captors presented humorously.

Perhaps Cliff's Notes didn't quite convey the humorous undertone throughout the book. Reading just a summary, it probably loses something of its humor. Vonnegut's humor was often a matter of style and characterization more than plot.

Among his other books, Breakfast of Champions is a gut-bustingly funny, one of the funniest books I've ever read. God Bless You Mr. Rosewater is very funny, Slapstick, dedicated to to Laurel & Hardy, is funny in parts, Cat's Cradle is a satire, wildly imaginative.

That you deny Vonnegut's humor is a terrible disservice to him as an author. He worked very hard to convey his ideas through humor and fantasy. You, who claim to be a fan, are saying he failed to such a degree that you are willing to argue publicly that calling him a comic writer is a sign of stupidity.

I hope no young potential readers of Vonnegut take LOS seriously. He's faking his knowledge of the author. You can read Vonnegut and enjoy him!

PatCA said...

Oh, boo hoo! Chris and Lucky are dipping my braids in the inkwell!

Speaking of juvenile...

John Stodder said...

TC and LOS, sitting in a tree...

Yachira said...

"The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that killing doesn't seem to bother the conservatives at all."

Wow, I'm sure glad Kurt's dead.

reader_iam said...

For "Will."

Luckyoldson said...

PatCA,
Anybody who has the gall to call Heller and Vonnegut "juvenile"...is obviously not someone who reads.

Did you even attend high school?

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard says: "That you deny Vonnegut's humor..."

I didn't do anything of the sort, you moron.

A writer exhibiting a sense of humor doesn't a comedian make.

jeff said...

*And suddenly Jeffrey is the local writer's critic?"

I would be incredibly interested if you could point out where I critiqued anything other than that one statement. Thanks.

Palladian said...

""V had an artistic frame of mine that might seem naive on some political issues, but that's the way it is with art."

Well, I have an "artistic" frame of mind and I don't think that I have particularly "naive" political views, at least about the few things I actually have political views about. Many artists that I know (or know of) are apolitical. They may hold the obligatory left-liberal viewpoint about one thing or the other, but that's usually the result of their very limited contact with anyone outside New York and other large urban centers and from listening to NPR all day in their studios. The obligatory lefty viewpoint smooths social interactions and is strictly perfunctory.

Many artists tend to be romantic and cynical at the same time, a disposition that is like freshly tilled, fertilized soil for the seeds of leftyhood to sprout. But ultimately artists are too self-involved to care about politics very much at all.

Nothing stinks as bad as political art whose use-by date has passed. An expired mackerel would be more interesting and less embarrassing than yesterday's political art.

I don't think any of this is naivety as much as it's simply lazy, half-involved thinking; as I said, the product of an idealistic, romantic cynic.

christopher said...

Palladian said...

Well, I have an "artistic" frame of mind and I don't think that I have particularly "naive" political views, at


Said by the self-hating gay guy who refuses to believe that the Republican Party hates his fricking guts.

Yeah, not too naive...

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard says: "I hope no young potential readers of Vonnegut take LOS seriously. He's faking his knowledge of the author. You can read Vonnegut and enjoy him!"

Thank you, oh wise one.

Suddenly, after saying; "You could call Vonnegut an artist or possibly a comedian"
("possibly" and artist...and maybe a "comedian"), then being called out as an idiot, Stoddard is now recommending Vonnegut as someone to "enjoy."

*And don't forget those albums...HILARIOUS!!

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian: "...the self-hating gay guy who refuses to believe that the Republican Party hates his fricking guts."

Ain't that the truth.

Lawgiver said...

“The suckfest continues," Lucy chanted. It was her mantra and she continued as she had countless times before, "Bush has killed millions and all these racist assholes can do is piss and moan about Vonnegut," she gibbered. She hated the hating, haters. Today was Veterans Day, she hated the veterans who didn’t agree with her and she hated the hating haters who made her feel so miserable. Tomorrow was a federal holiday so she opened a new liter of Jim Beam and typed BLOW ME.

From Eighteen of “Hate Me, Hate You, A Tale of Despair and Loathing in The 21stCentury.)

reader_iam said...

rcocean: I'm familiar with the personal histories of a variety of writers, not just limited to 20th century figures ...

... or those of my beloved Russian writers (though not limited to those) ...

jeff said...

Well, I am still registered Republican and I don't hate Palladian's guts. I am amazed that the Republican party doesn't listen more to christopher and lucky about what they believe so they can get the memo out to the rest of us. Actually, seems like lucky, at least, likes to hurl the gay card when he gets cornered. Didn't you offer to send pictures of yourself doing God knows what to some of us, there by making the implication that we are gay, which you intended to be a slur? Or is it because you do it in a good cause, it's ok?

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."It's a shallow statement. By any objective examination. He said it, he owns it. Now it may have been said off the cuff, with little thought, which would consist of shallow thinking."

Oh, so if someone utters what YOU perceive or anyone perceives...as being "shallow"...they are now "shallow.?"

Wouldn't that mean, based on Bush's many idiotic statements, that he is indeed...an "idiot?"

Finally...we agree.

John Stodder said...

Stoddard says: "That you deny Vonnegut's humor..."

I didn't do anything of the sort, you moron.

A writer exhibiting a sense of humor doesn't a comedian make.


Wait. You're kidding, right.

All this faux outrage because you think the definition of comedian is limited to "stand-up comic?"

One of the definitions of "comedian" is "a writer of comedies."

As you would know if you'd actually read him, the majority of Vonnegut's well-known books are comedies. He came of age during the period when "black comedy" was the predominant style, i.e. joking about deadly serious things like war and nuclear annihilation. But they were comedies nonetheless, and I think he would have no problem with being called a "comedian."

I still maintain you haven't really read Vonnegut. Maybe you saw the movie of S-5. But I think you're a Cliff Notes/Wikipedia guy when it comes to these books you claim to read, and there's pretty much nothing you can say at this point to alter my view. You've never said one thing that demonstrates knowledge of any author, or familiarity with what the rest of us would call an "idea" expressed by an author. You get you knowledge of literature and current events second- or third-hand. It is painfully obvious. You don't have to pretend anymore.

My advice: Go to another blog and exhort the readers there to READ A BOOK. Your act has been thoroughly exposed here.

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."Well, I am still registered Republican and I don't hate Palladian's guts."

Well, first of all you really don't KNOW him, and if you did, maybe you would...gay or not gay.

As for the Republican bullshit...that's exactly what it is: The Republicans have NEVER been the party of inclusion when considering gays.

*Accept for Foley, Craig and a few others that stumble out of the closet from time to time.

jeff said...

"*And don't forget those albums...HILARIOUS!!"
I missed where someone said he made comedy albums. Can you provide that cite?

Actually, in the world most of us live in, "comedian" is another word for someone with a healthy sense of humor. Which I find it hard to believe you deny Vonnegut had. His small appearance in "back to school" was not just hilarious, but showed he had a sense of humor about himself as well.

Palladian said...

"Said by the self-hating gay guy who refuses to believe that the Republican Party hates his fricking guts."

What the flying fuck do you keep saying this for? I've said here, repeatedly, that I'm not a Republican. But even if I were, you can go fuck yourself for thinking that you can herd gay people into your political plantation.

You're pulling things out of your soggy ass that have nothing to do with my comment. You don't know what my political beliefs are. You're just assuming things because, well, because I write comments at this blog? Well, honey, so do you. Are you a Republican? I think you are. Since we're obviously just making shit up, little christopher is a Republican! A self-hating liberal in the belly of the Republican cesspit that is Althouse's blog!

And as for Lucy, who is like the restless spirit of long-dead Usenet trolls, I've already pronounced him an anti-gay bigot who resorts to insults based on the premise of various male commenters having sex, as if two men having sex is the worst insult he can think of. He sure comments an awful lot here. He's a Rethuglican too! Perfectly fitting, since he's a gay-basher.

Luckyoldson said...

Stoddard,
The next time you're with friends...see how many off them would refer to Vonnegut as a "comedian."

Do you also consider Hiaasen or Bruen "comedians" because they write funny stories or stories with funny characters or stories with funny story lines?

Get real.

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian calls me (about as far to the left poltically as one can be)...an "anti-gay bigot??"

For what reason, who knows?

The dumb just keep getting and sounding dumber every day.

*And why a gay man would possibly want to admit that they're a Republican is downright creepy.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeffrey,
Let's take this one real S-L-O-W...

"Comedians...make comedy albums.

Stoddard feels that Vonnegut could be considered a comedian.

Got it?

*Ask your friends if they would consider him a comedian and get back to me.

Luckyoldson said...

Maybe this is the comedian kind of thing Stoddard meant:

The Comedy of War

Vonnegut's not a joke snob. In Slaughterhouse-Five, he uses humor's lowest common denominator, the gross-out joke, in a scene where a group of soldiers has become ill from a recent meal:

An American near Billy wailed that he had excreted everything but his brains. Moments later he said, "There they go, there they go." He meant his brains.

That was I. That was me. That was the author of this book.

John Stodder said...

The next time you're with friends...see how many off them would refer to Vonnegut as a "comedian."

To the best of my recollection, every time I referred a Vonnegut book to someone (usually S-5 or Breakfast), if they liked it, the first thing they commented on was the humor. He's usually associated with Joseph Heller, who is clearly a comic writer, Thomas Pynchon, who in his weirdly private way is also a comic writer and Tom Robbins, also clearly a guy going for the laughs. Vonnegut makes you laugh sometimes with the craziness of his sci-fi elements -- very different from, say Heinlein, who is deadly serious all the time. Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut's recurrent character, is a comic alter-ego.

Do you also consider Hiaasen or Bruen "comedians" because they write funny stories or stories with funny characters or stories with funny story lines?

Hiassen, absolutely. His books are comic, satirical novels of corrupt Florida powerbrokers, with the "thriller" or "mystery" aspect just something to hold it all together. His newspaper columns are also written in a comic vein.

Bruen, couldn't tell you. I don't pretend to read authors.

jeff said...

Well, first of all you really don't KNOW him, and if you did, maybe you would...gay or not gay.

I appreciate your self refuting. You said Republicans hate him. I say I dont. You respond with what would have been my argument. Thanks Lucky!

jeff said...

"Jeffrey,
Let's take this one real S-L-O-W..."

why would I need to bring myself down to your speed?

"Comedians...make comedy albums."
Some do. Some don't. Or are you saying you can't be a comedian unless you release a album?


Is this the best you can do?

jeff said...

Oh wait. I get it now. The books don't come with a laugh track. No wonder Lucky is confused.

John Stodder said...

Jeffrey,
Let's take this one real S-L-O-W...

"Comedians...make comedy albums.


Okay, so we've established that dictionary definitions aren't authoritative in your lexicon. You decide what a word means, and then everyone else who doesn't stick to your meanings is stupid.

You will not find a dictionary that narrowly defines a comedian as "one who makes comedy albums." If you had a dictionary, you'd be able to check for yourself.

So, I'm with Palladian. When talking to LOS, words mean what we decide they mean, dictionaries be damned. Lucky Old Son is an anti-gay racist Republican bigot. I "asked my friends," to use another LOS-approved method of inquiry, and they all agree.

jeff said...

Lucky, you probably don't consider Twain to be a comedian either do you?

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."Some do. Some don't. Or are you saying you can't be a comedian unless you release a album?"

Jeffrey...I didn't say ALL comedians make comedy albums...did I?

I said comedians make comedy albums.

As far as I know...Vonnegut never even considered making a comedy album.

*And the dumb just keep on getting dumber.

jeff said...

"Jeffrey...I didn't say ALL comedians make comedy albums...did I?

I said comedians make comedy albums.

As far as I know...Vonnegut never even considered making a comedy album.

*And the dumb just keep on getting dumber."

Wow. Just....wow. You understand you just refuted your entire argument there right? And we are in total agreement on that last line. How do you type and breath at the same time?

rcocean said...

Conservatives have never been anti-gay. Conservatives just don't want government endorsing Gay marriage or Government hate speech laws. Or Gay sex in public bathrooms.

Keep what you do behind closed doors and no one cares. We don't hate you, just stop talking about your sex life. We don't want to hear about it or anyone else's sex life. Unless your interesting, like Maxine.

And don't scare the horses.

Lawgiver said...

Trooper,

I would really enjoy a good German wheat beer.

In Vegas there used to be a couple of places that had Kronnenborg on tap. I like that also.

Thanks in advance!

reader_iam said...

It's not escaped my notice who's conspicuously "not noticing" my posts.

LOL.

jeff said...

"Kronnenborg"

I have heard of that, but never had one. How is it? Worth hunting down?

dick said...

LOS,

Sorry but you lose. The statement was about Rumsfeld supposedly planting a question from a soldier at his press conference. The question was planted by a reporter from the Knoxville newspaper, not Rumsfeld. That had nothing to do with the planting of a question by anyone other than Rumsfeld that one time that someone was caught planting a question. You are trying to palm it off on someone else because that fits your agenda but as usual with your statements it is a big fat unsourced lie and when you get called on it you try to expand the question or change the subject. Stick to exactly what was the subject and then maybe you can get away with it but you really need a new MO. Your present one got old a long long long time and many many comments ago.

Lawgiver said...

"The Sirens of Titan" blew me away in the early 70s.

John Stodder said...

Jeffrey...I didn't say ALL comedians make comedy albums...did I?

Actually, you did. Several times. Here's one of them:

Luckyoldson said...

Jeffrey,
Let's take this one real S-L-O-W...

"Comedians...make comedy albums.

Stoddard feels that Vonnegut could be considered a comedian.

Got it?

*Ask your friends if they would consider him a comedian and get back to me.

5:57 PM


You didn't qualify it at all. You could have said "some" comedians, or in some other way modify it, but you, oh brilliant one, chose not to. The dictionary definition doesn't even mention making albums as a requirement for being a comedian. However, the definition does include "a writer of comedy," which is clearly the sense I meant.

Just give up, LOS. You've been exposed. You can stop now.

Palladian said...

"Conservatives have never been anti-gay. Conservatives just don't want government endorsing Gay marriage or Government hate speech laws. Or Gay sex in public bathrooms."

Ah! Good, a working definition of "conservative". I suppose I'm a libertarian type then because I don't want government endorsing any marriage or Government hate speech laws. I don't want any sex in public (read: state owned, if you have a private bathroom and want it to be a sex bathroom, that's fine as long as it's labeled as such)

"Keep what you do behind closed doors and no one cares. We don't hate you, just stop talking about your sex life. We don't want to hear about it or anyone else's sex life."

Ok, those have nothing to do with government at all. We don't care if you hate us or not. That's freedom. We will talk about our sex lives (in an appropriate venue, of course) if we wish. If you don't want to hear about it then stop listening. I also don't want to hear about your sex life, but if you wish to talk about it, it's fine, I'll just stop listening. I wish you could do something about keeping your wedding rings and children and hand-holding out of sight, however. It justs makes me think about you fucking. I wish you people would stop shoving that unpleasantness in our faces.

jeff said...

For anyone expecting Lucky to admit anything, your in for a disappointment. The only two reasons to engage him is to put your viewpoint out for other people readying this and have them compare your argument with his. It's almost like cheating. The other is to practice for when you have these discussions face to face with friends or acquaintances. Lucky rarely fails in parroting the party line, so you get some practice in shooting it down. It's like playing a tune up game against the junior college before you play the actual game against Division I varsity. But don't expect him to respond to reason and logic. Those terms are meaningless to him.

jeff said...

"Ok, those have nothing to do with government at all. We don't care if you hate us or not. That's freedom. We will talk about our sex lives (in an appropriate venue, of course) if we wish. If you don't want to hear about it then stop listening. I also don't want to hear about your sex life, but if you wish to talk about it, it's fine, I'll just stop listening. I wish you could do something about keeping your wedding rings and children and hand-holding out of sight, however. It justs makes me think about you fucking. I wish you people would stop shoving that unpleasantness in our faces."

Why is everything black and white?
Don't scare the horses refers to, say some of the more outrageous gay pride parades. You want to hold hands, be my guest. You want to get married? I voted for it when I lived in Ohio. You want to adopt kids? Fine by me. Titus wants to give us details on this blog? We can skip by that. Titus wants to give us details while in line at the grocery store? Would rather he didn't. The hetro stud giving details in line at the grocery store? Rather he didn't do that too. Guy I work with wore a wedding ring. So did his partner. Can't say he got ANY static from anyone about that.

christopher said...

Palladian said...
"Conservatives have never been anti-gay.


Oh lordy.

Said by the self-hating gay guy who apparently has never read a back issue of National Review.

Palladian said...

"Palladian said..."Conservatives have never been anti-gay.

Oh lordy.

Said by the self-hating gay guy who apparently has never read a back issue of National Review."

Um, darling, you're really making shit up now. I didn't say that, I was quoting another commenter. Please look up quotation marks and find out about these useful bits of punctuation. Geez, what are they teaching you in community college?

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"Many artists tend to be romantic and cynical at the same time...."

A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist. ;)

And what Jeff said, I don't hate Palladian either.

Luckyoldson said...

John Stodder,
You're as dumb as Jeffrey...which is hard to believe.

You post this comment by me: "Comedians...make comedy albums."

Where doe it say ALL COMEDIANS...??

Right now there are 1,000's of wannabe comedians across the country, almost none of which will NEVER make an album, but...being a comedian...if they did...it would probably be...A COMEDY ALBUM.

Why not just list the titles of Vonnegut's comedy albums and get it over with?

DUH....again.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
First all, "hate" is an overused expression...and how could anybody, here at least, hate anybody else?

I personally don't hate anybody here.

Wouldn't want to spend much time with most...but hate?

I leave that to the far right wing in general...and of course, those good Christians who hate damn near everybody who doesn't believe what they themselves believe.

As for Palladian referring to me as an anti-gay bigot, methinks he confuses my slams at Fen, Sloan, Pogo and others for constantly sucking up to each other or being so unified in their opinions they might as well be bunk mates...and may very well be...but I could care less who's doing what to whoever.

jeff said...

As you can see, those last comments are pretty much his MO. As I said, he represents the 3rd string of the JC. When confronted by facts and reason he goes to the tried and true insults. It's like the kid on the short bus yelling at Hawking for being stupid. You just kinda laugh.

jeff said...

"You post this comment by me: "Comedians...make comedy albums."
Where doe it say ALL COMEDIANS...??
Right now there are 1,000's of wannabe comedians across the country, almost none of which will NEVER make an album, but...being a comedian...if they did...it would probably be...A COMEDY ALBUM."


I give you the convoluted logic that IS LOS.

Caroline said...

Vonnegut experienced war first hand, so I respect his anti-war views; even if I may not always agree with his politics.

As for the quoted statement, he was an old man entitled to his opinion, however provocative it may be.

FWIW, I consider the works of his that I have read to be thought-provoking satire. He definitely had a sense of the absurd. Galapagos is wonderfully absurd. Although someone told me they found it the most depressing thing they had ever read. To each his own.

An aside- why waste time commenting at a site written by someone you think a fool, and read by those you think to be fools? Is it not foolish trying to impress fools?

For that matter, why argue with someone you believe to be an idiot? What does that make you? ;)

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luckyoldson said...

Caroline said..."For that matter, why argue with someone you believe to be an idiot? What does that make you? ;)"

An idiot savant?

John Stodder said...

LOS and Christopher can act like a couple of junior high school kids who read Wikipedia and think that makes them intelligent all they want...and that's fine...the world is full of harmless stupid people.

But I'm surprised that Christopher is getting away with the "self-hating gay" libel against people I presume they have not met. In fact, it's a massive category, to them. Any gay Republican or conservative.

I could be wrong, but I don't think either of you guys are gay. I'm not gay either. Difference is, I wouldn't dare presume to write off hundreds of thousands of gays as "self-hating" because they happen to disagree with my political views or belong to a different party.

This is so elemental.

Do you understand the history of political parties? Do you understand the genesis of political ideas and beliefs? To impute a deep psychological condition to someone based on their party or political philosophy is to deny their essential dignity as human beings. What gives you that right?

You don't think gay Republicans and conservatives are aware there are Republicans who are anti-gay? Of course they are. But perhaps you've got the wrong idea about the Republican party or conservative believers. Maybe they're not all bigots. My experience is, Republicans are no more bigoted on this topic than than Democrats, but I haven't met all members of either party.

Compared with you guys, I'm sure Republicans and conservatives look like Oxford professors to gays and straights alike.

I presume you are both Democrats, as am I, but I don't consider myself "self-hating" just because I'm in the same party with a couple of cretins like you.

Sloanasaurus said...

Cheney...Rummy...Wolfie...Kristol...Rove...Hume...Cavuto...Hannity...Limbaugh...O'Reilly...Coulter...Savage...Beck...Carlson...etc., etc., etc...????"

That's a great list Lucky. Here is a better list:

Seward, Chase, Stanton, Bates, Welles...etc.. How many of them were chickenhawks?

Didn't you read some book about them? maybe not...

Sloanasaurus said...

I think Vonnegut's list is definately misguided. Liberals have no problems killing lots of people. They just do it for different reasons. Oddly, the war in Iraq is as liberal a war as they come. Roosevelt/Wilson would have greatly approved.

Today's liberals oppose the Iraq war because they hate Bush. They don't want Bush to succeed at anything even though a President's success is generally equivilent to American success.

Today's liberals are classic nihilists.

Sloanasaurus said...

Rumsfeld: Rumsfeld served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957 as a naval aviator and flight instructor.

Do any of his "own" killing?

Where did he "serve?"



Lucky, do you think people who don't pay income taxes should be allowed to argue for laws that raise or cut income taxes? At the very least you must despise such people (the bastard poor!).

These types of arguments reveal how much of a nit wit you are.

Go read a book and learn something.

MadisonMan said...

Liberals have no qualms at all about offing unborn babies.

Yes, conservatives never abort their children. The rare time when it's medically necessary, they're all qualmy about it.

Disclaimer: I've never read a K. Vonnegut book, but I've read articles by his brother Bernie.

tc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jeff said...

John Stodder:
One of these days we are have to debate something that we disagree on. Show Lucky and christopher how that is done.

John Stodder said...

Today's liberals are classic nihilists.

I'd not thought of that before. You're right. I've spent four years trying to appeal to reason, and that's exactly the wrong direction to argue with them. Every principle involved in the Iraq war and the overall war against the jihad is simply negated.

Don't talk about democracy. Don't talk about security. Don't talk about encouraging moderates among the Muslims. Don't talk about precedents. Don't talk about credibility. And, certainly, certainly, don't talk about patriotism.

Don't talk about any principle at all. They're against all of them, without being in favor of their opposites. They don't want to be confined by any beliefs or principles. Having principles means applying them to particular circumstances even when it is inconvenient, and that's a major responsibility they don't want.

The motto of this generation of liberals should be: "Don't Hold Me To It."

Principles are talking points, completely disposable once they've done their job. If the next circumstance requires that you argue from the opposite principle, no problem. And, in fact, they'll say fuck you for bringing up what they said last time and using it against them this time.

I hope the next Democratic president can chase these nihilists out of the party.

Caroline said...

Inspired by Stodder:

"Warped and bigoted with preconceived illusions of justice, freedom, and consistency, they cast off the old lore and the old way with the old beliefs; nor ever stopped to think that that lore and those ways were the sole makers of their present thoughts and judgments, and the sole guides and standards in a meaningless universe without fixed aims or stable points of reference. Having lost these artificial settings, their lives grew void of direction and dramatic interest; till at length they strove to drown their ennui in bustle and pretended usefulness, noise and excitement, barbaric display and animal sensation. When these things palled, disappointed, or grew nauseous through revulsion, they cultivated irony and bitterness, and found fault with the social order. Never could they realize that their brute foundations were as shifting and contradictory as the gods of their elders, and that the satisfaction of one moment is the bane of the next. Calm, lasting beauty comes only in a dream, and this solace the world had thrown away when in its worship of the real it threw away the secrets of childhood and innocence."

HP Lovecraft, The Silver Key, written in 1926

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"conservatives never abort their children. The rare time when it's medically necessary, they're all qualmy about it."

While it's true that there are pro-choice conservatives and pro-life liberals, I think that it's generally true that if all you know about a person is whether they would describe themselves as liberal or conservative, you can make a fairly safe bet as to where they stand on abortion, MM. And speaking for myself, if it's genuinely medically necessary to abort to save the life of the mother, I have no objection to that - let's just remember that the key term is "mother," for what that connotes. Being pro-life "is a statement that the child's life has some worth to be considered, not a statement that in any way reduces the value of the life of the mother ... I may, in the end, prove a faint-hearted pro-lifer, since I would suggest that the doctor should without exception err on the side of the mother's life."

christopher said...

John Stodder said...
I'm surprised that Christopher is getting away with the "self-hating gay" libel against people I presume they have not met. In fact, it's a massive category, to them. Any gay Republican or conservative.


Here's the short version. I don't have to meet them -- any gay person who votes Republican is by definition self-hating , given that the Republicans are the Official Party of Homophobia.

Quick: name an out Republican with a position of power in the Republican establishment. Name an out Republican in Congress.

Better yet: What's the possibilithy that there could even be an out Republican with a position of power in the party establishment, or an out Republican in Congress?

Bottom line: If you're gay and voting Republican you're in bed with the party that hates your fucking guts. Definition of self-loathing.

Oh, and BTW -- that liberals are nihilists nonsense you keep repeating as if you have OCD?

Stupidest rhetorical trope ever.

Let's see:

Opposition to death penalty -- nihilist.

Opposition to immoral illegal war -- nihilist.

Opposition to bogus free trade laws -- nihilist.

Passionately in favor of environmental protections -- nihilist.

Passionate committment to civil rights -- nihilist.

Passionately anti-torture -- nihilist.

You're a sick joke, Stodder.

jeff said...

christopher-what do you suppose would be your side's response if there were a openly gay member of the administration? Would you mark it as a move in the right direction? Or, more likely, would you viciously attack them as "self-hating" and "hypocritical"? Perhaps you are one reason we don't see more outed folks on that side. In your mind, what is a gay person to do if they believe in a strong defense budget? In interpreting the constitution the way it is written rather than the way we want it? In privatizing Social Security? In limited federal government? You think they should just abstain from their right as American's to participate in their beliefs or you will brand them as Gay Uncle Tom's. You are comfortable disfranchising them because they might have different political beliefs as you. And then you condemn others because of your perceived notions of them doing exactly what you are doing.

christopher said...

eff said...

christopher-what do you suppose would be your side's response if there were a openly gay member of the administration?


Ask me when it happens.

Which it will at approximately the same time trained polar bears in black turtle necks pilot the bullet train.

Let me repeat -- the Republicans are the Official Party of Homophobia.

If you're gay and want to be in bed with them then mazel tov, but you're still a self-loathing idiot.

jeff said...

" christopher-what do you suppose would be your side's response if there were a openly gay member of the administration?

Ask me when it happens."

Why? You've made it pretty clear what you would do. As I stated, perhaps that's part of the reason it doesn't happen more.
Oh, wait. You already answered the question:

"If you're gay and want to be in bed with them then mazel tov, but you're still a self-loathing idiot."

"Let me repeat -- the Republicans are the Official Party of Homophobia."

I will check my bylaws, but I am reasonably certain we are not defined by you.

christopher said...

jeff said...
I will check my bylaws, but I am reasonably certain we are not defined by you.


Fine.

Get back to me when the Republican party has actually made some real steps toward not being virulently anti-gay.

Electing an out gay person would be a start.

You know -- in this century.

jeff said...

Be more than happy to. Just need to find someone willing to stand up to the vicious, personal attacks from folks such as yourself.

Simon said...

christopher said...
"[N]ame an out Republican with a position of power in the Republican establishment. Name an out Republican in Congress."

Exactly what is the relevance of this? the problem is you're working from a flawed predicate: the GOP is not anti-gay. There are homophobes within the GOP, but there's nothing inherently anti-gay that says that all Republicans must be, and the existence of numerous Republicans who aren't falsifies your claim.

And are you really saying that the Democratic party is anti-death penalty and protectionist (the idea that the democratic party is "committ[ed]" to civil rights is too laughable to mention give that it is the official party of trating people according to their race)?

John Stodder said...

Christopher, arguing with you is too easy.

You cannot be a "passionate advocate of civil rights" and then dismiss an entire group of people's beliefs as "self-hating." Have you ever asked a gay Republican or conservative why they think the way they do? No, of course you haven't. You'd rather stereotype them with your cheap armchair psychology. That's the definition of bigotry.

So much for your "passionate commitment to civil rights." Your kind of prejudice is why we need civil rights laws -- and free speech laws. You kind of remind me of the old Soviet Union, when it declared dissidents to be mentally ill and locked them up in "hospitals."

As for the rest of the principles you outlined...again, too easy. Here goes:

Opposition to death penalty -- That is not the position of the Democratic party. The last Democratic president was pro-death penalty. As governor, he executed a retarded man during the 1992 campaign just to score political points. Likewise, the last Democratic governor of California. Speaking for myself, I'm opposed to the death penalty, but it is not notably a position of the Democratic party anymore. They'd rather not be seen as "soft on crime," so they've dumped that principle.

Opposition to immoral illegal war A bit of a loaded phrase, and it's not a principle unless you want to rephrase it as "pacifism." Neither party is pacifist, although the Dems pay lip service to pacifists when it suits them. In reality, Democratic and Republican presidents have all waged war. Democrats even supported the current one, until it became unpopular. The arguments made by Democrats at the time still hold up, in my opinion. But you're saying, essentially, that they didn't mean them. They were pro-war out of expediency. Sounds like nihilism to me.

Opposition to bogus free trade laws . Does the word "bogus" modify all free trade laws? If you're against badly-written trade agreements fine, but that's not a principle, that's a preference for competence over incompetence. If you're against free trade, period, that would be a principle. However, it is not a principle universally held within the Democratic party. NAFTA was dying until Al Gore argued for it brilliantly against Ross Perot. In fact, historically, Democrats have tended to favor free trade and it was Republicans going back to Lincoln who liked tariffs because tariffs were pro-business, while free trade was pro-consumer and pro-farmer, and still is.

Passionately in favor of environmental protections Perhaps. One major reason I remain a Democrat is their superior position on the environment. But the Cape Wind episode shows me there might be less than meets the eye in the Democratic commitment to the environment. There's an unfortunate footnote: Passionate commitment to the environment, unless that commitment interferes with Kennedy yachting routes.

Passionate committment to civil rights That used to be true, but I hear more intolerant comments these days from Democrats than Republicans. Passionate lip service to civil rights, for sure. But in practice, not so much. Or else why would you stand for appeasement of some of the most backward and bigoted societies on earth? You won't even accept that Iran's Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization -- even though they slaughter gays and ethnic minorities in Iran.

Passionately anti-torture Stop kidding yourself. You are only selectively anti-torture. You are not anti-torture when it comes to dealing with Iran. You are not anti-torture when it comes to dealing with Cuba. Those countries practice torture and their leaders, who sanction the torture, are greeted by the left as heroes for standing up to Bush. By the way, do you challenge your friends who wear Che Guevera T-shirts, which is all the rage now? Guevera was a sadistic torturer.

These might be your personal principles, although just judging from your posts, you're inconsistent in honoring them. But even if you were a model of principled consistency, you identify with politicians who only honor your list when it suits them, and go the other way when it suits them. Which is a form of nihilism.

Sorry you find my "rhetorical trope" not up to snuff, but I have to say, it kind of works. Like I told Palladian, it had never occurred to me before, but deep down, any expedient politician who embraces a principle as a principle and then disposes of it when it becomes an impediment to their political goals is a kind of nihilist. (There are obviously Republican nihilists too.)

christopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
christopher said...


Opposition to death penalty -- That is not the position of the Democratic party.


Thanks for switching the goal posts.

The argument isn't whether the Democrats are nihilists -- it's whether liberals are.

Enjoy your disingenuous dickweedery.

Palladian said...

John, you're too smart and reasonable to argue with little christopher.

I love that he couldn't even bring himself to rebut your points. He chose one, wrote some half-hearted twaddle and then realized that it was easier to simply say "fuck you". In reality, people like christopher and Lucy are not here for a debate. Everything they write is simply an overly complex way of saying "fuck you".

Better to just get it over with, as I did earlier in the thread, than waste your time and talent.

Little christopher is still feeling burnt because he didn't know what a quotation mark meant.

And as for "passionate" (notice how many times he uses the word), the last people we want in positions of government leadership are people who are "passionate". We need reason and competence, not passion. Hopefully we will get reason over passion in the next election. And competence, something that we haven't seen in the American Presidency in quite a long time.

John Stodder said...

The argument isn't whether the Democrats are nihilists -- it's whether liberals are.

Go fuck yourself.


No frankly I prefer fucking with your ill-defined beliefs, your hypocrisy, your mean-spirited bigotry and your pretensions. I don't know what you are, you don't know what you are, but you are no liberal. Being a liberal is about more than hating Bush, hating conservatives and making ad hominem attacks.

FYI, according to Gallup, 54 percent of self-described liberals favor the death penalty. That's a lower figure than moderates (68 percent) or conservatives (74 percent) but it's still a majority of liberals.

jeff said...

"And competence, something that we haven't seen in the American Presidency in quite a long time."

Ahhhhhh, not sure if I fully agree with you there. I think the last incompetent president we had was Carter. I think all since then were competent, but different times require different skills. Leadership, original thinking, and the ability to rally the country, to use the bully pulpit to push or justify their agenda. The only two Presidents that had those skills were Reagan and Clinton. While I never voted for Clinton, I give him props for all that. This next president has to be really good at all this, since everything is completely politicized to the point of EITHER black or white, with no shades of grey.

jeff said...

"The only two Presidents that had those skills were Reagan and Clinton."
Since Carter I mean. Sorry. Didnt mean to slam all the other Presidents. I wish everyone could look at the type of man George Washington was. Now THAT was a president. Inspiring example. Or should be.

John Stodder said...

I love that he couldn't even bring himself to rebut your points. He chose one, wrote some half-hearted twaddle and then realized that it was easier to simply say "fuck you".

And hey, didja notice. He took down the "go fuck yourself" and replaced it with a phrase -- "disingenuous dickweedery" -- and I have no idea what it means.

You're right. Normally I just ignore LOS and Christopher. I never let them get me mad. But sometimes, it's interesting to see where they go when they're challenged to defend themselves. There's so little there!

It's strange. I want to be challenged in a way to change my mind on issues. That's why I try to provoke them past their reliance on ad hominem and what they proudly call "pivoting" to the 'so's your old man' arguments. I want to find out why they think what they think, to see if there's something persuasive there. But it always ends the same way. They stamp their feet and walk away. It's disappointing.

jeff said...

I sometimes wonder if those two are "moby's" working on my side. I hope not.

Nichevo said...

Could we just substitute "humorist" for "comedian" in the field of literature and move on? But yes, "comedian" is "writer of comedies." Just like "tragedian" would be a writer of tragedies. Shakespeare, as it happens, was both a comedian and a tragedian. Read "The Taming of The Shrew" if you don't believe me.

Is it so hard to grasp that one person can be more than one thing? Like that gay faggot homo (dk if he was Republican or not, though I would guess he opposed slavery) Walt Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes." LOS, when you play the sophist here, you are a LOS-ER.

Oh and tc, do you ramble like that in court? If so, do you win?

Justin said...

Luckyoldson said...

(When has anyone...ever...heard the name Vonnegut and comedian in the same sentence?)

Well, they didn't actually call him a comedian, but The Atlantic Monthly thinks he's funny:

"OUR FINEST BLACK HUMORIST.... We laugh in self-defense." --The Atlantic Monthly

Quoted on the first page of my copy of Cat's Cradle.

Jason said...

"The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that killing doesn't seem to bother the conservatives at all."

--Kurt Vonnegut



"F*ck them. I feel nothing."

--Markos Moulitsas, proprietor of the Daily Kos, on the slaughter and mutilation of four American citizens on a Fallujah bridge.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Simon, my point (inelegantly put) was that knowing a person is conservative or liberal in no way allows you to know whether they've had an abortion themselves.

I concede that it does allow you to decide whether or not they will judge the behavior of others who seek an abortion, for whatever reason.

Jason said...

I don't think it does, at all.

Rather judgmental of you to say, though, no?

MadisonMan said...

jason, I'm obviously becoming more Conservative with time. Soon I'll fit right in with the Bill Bennett wing of the Republican Party that has nothing better to do than tell me how wrong various aspects of my behaivor are.

Trooper York said...

It has been my experience that people who have had first hand experience with violence, particularly lethal violence, don't have much to say about it. The dividing line shouldn't be between liberal and conservative, but between those who know and those who don't. The fear, waste, sense of loss, and personal damage that lethal violence inflicts on the participants gives a perspective that should be heard from more often. But as is often the case, the people who know the least about a subject, are the ones who have the most definitive unshakeable opinions. Just sayn'. Now back to you regularly scheduled political invective.

MadisonMan said...

people who know the least about a subject, are the ones who have the most definitive unshakeable opinions.

The people with the most definitive opinions since they've not experienced the violence somehow invariably are politicians.

Trooper York said...

Madison Man is right on the money.

rsb said...

Labels. Homo Sapiens are on the way out. I find your chatter humorous.
Bunch of monkeys.

Luckyoldson said...

Justin,
You just made my point.

Vonnegut would certainly be considered a unique "humorist," much like Art Buchwald, but never a "comedian."

Thankzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.