September 30, 2009

Gore Vidal turns against — among other things — Barack Obama.

The Times of London asked how he thought Obama was doing:
“Dreadfully. I was hopeful. He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time. But he’s inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.” America should leave Afghanistan, he says. “We’ve failed in every other aspect of our effort of conquering the Middle East or whatever you want to call it.” The “War on Terror” was “made up”, Vidal says. “The whole thing was PR, just like ‘weapons of mass destruction’....

Vidal originally became pro-Obama because he grew up in “a black city” (meaning Washington), as well as being impressed by Obama’s intelligence. “But he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star. Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”

Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.” As for his wider vision: “Maybe he doesn’t have one, not to imply he is a fraud. He loves quoting Lincoln and there’s a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it’. That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” Has he met Obama? “No,” he says quietly, “I’ve had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang.” He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. “Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.

Today religious mania has infected the political bloodstream and America has become corrosively isolationist, he says. “Ask an American what they know about Sweden and they’d say ‘They live well but they’re all alcoholics’. In fact a Scandinavian system could have benefited us many times over.” Instead, America has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together. Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is. Benjamin Franklin said that the system would fail because of the corruption of the people and that happened under Bush.”
Presented without comment. Say what you will.

163 comments:

rhhardin said...

He's still smarting from Buckley calling him a pinko queer.

Robt C said...

Just as Andy Williams' opinion means nothing, Gore Vidal's opinion means nothing. Why the spoutings of these withered husks is newsworthy is beyond me.

AJ Lynch said...

Can education be force fed to Americans?

wv = brappre [sound of kid barfing up force fed schooling]

PatCA said...

When I hear one of these grand laments about the world hitting the skids (or when I make one myself) I think of My Dinner with Andre, and their version of the lament.

I think the world has always been in bad shape; maybe it takes 50 years of living and observing to see it.

Paddy O. said...

Who cares what a square like Gore Vidal thinks?

We want a real rogue.

Daniel said...

He's so... uninformed. He should read a little.

Irene said...

"He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is."

It's nice to see another patrician pause to snear at the populace.

traditionalguy said...

Very interesting that it is the Left of the Left that now is designating President Obama for an assasination. What's up with that? Do they want to use him as a martyr for the cause since he is now withering away in power as we watch? The Secret Service had better watch the Lefties harder than they watch the Wing nuts. The Republicans just want an election.

AllenS said...

Gore Vidal: "Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is."

[Emphasis added]

Ain't that the fucking truth.

Stan said...

I'd suggest that he come back to the real world, but I don't think he could handle it.

Bizarre. Really, really bizarre.

David said...

Wonderful writer--his novel about Burr, for example, is fabulous. But by opining on politics he shows the same grandiosity he criticizes in other writers. He just shows it by talking about something out of his field.

Vidal is a good barometer of the literary left, though. Another Obama constituency disappointed.

Paddy O. said...

“He was a true patriot, a Constitution man,” Vidal claims.

Speaking of Timothy McVeigh.

I think Stan is exactly right.

Saint Croix said...

His name cracks me up. I think Al Gore, naked, holding a bottle of Vidal Sassoon. And practicing before a mirror. "Gore Vidal. For your hair."

Paul Zrimsek said...

Gore "51% of the budget goes to the Pentagon for procurement" Vidal knows a thing or two when it comes to ignorance.

madawaskan said...

traditionalguy-

The Myth would be better, hell would be The Left smacked in the face with reality.

Their theories are more powerful in just that-theory.

Actually make that-their hypotheses.

Kirby Olson said...

Isn't this racist of Vidal?

Steve in Toronto said...

As Mr. Vidal says intelligence is no substitute for knowledge and experience so it’s ironic how much of his rant betrays his appalling ignorance of the lives and experience of those Americans who vote republican. It’s sad but not surprising to see such a monumental intellectual waste his unmistakable gifts just because he is too lazy to talk to ordinary people.

Cheers
Steve in Toronto

miller said...

While Gore Vidal himself is of no interest to me, it is interesting to see how the Left is consuming itself.

Go Gore Vidal!

Roger J. said...

Mr Vidal has probably done one tea bag too many

Cedarford said...

Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is.

Gore Vidal is smart enough to see the problem - ignorant masses of Americans now form the predominant block in our national voting franchise - but not brave enough to suggest the solution - Which is to cull the ignorant and/or parasitical masses out of the voting franchise.

He is likely right about our democracy devolving.

Pogo, I believe, mentioned it earlier with regard to a "tipping point" reached when 51% of the voting age population pays no Federal income taxes.
And both Parties have their unthinking, perpetually angry and easily manipulated blocs of "herd people".

The Constitution is no Sacred Parchment guaranteeing an prosperous, democratic nation forever. We continue to go deeper in debt, and our cities and society deteriorates further...we may well indeed be forced to make major, even revolutionary changes to the American model.

Ten years ago, the notion of an America collapsing like the Soviets did..unable to compete, our currency threatened with becoming near-worthless..social anarchy..and an emergency dictatorship to stabilize things and address the problems the democratic system failed to cope with??

That was unthinkable.

Now, not so much.

scinfinity said...

The myth of Vidal being a great writer is more baffling as time goes on.

Crimso said...

"They’re not, they’re fascists."

How can someone so supposedly super scary smart be so ignorant? Or does he know full well what he is saying is wrong, thus making him a liar? Ignorant, liar, doesn't matter. His opinion is of no consequence to anyone other than the "dim-witted and ignorant."

SteveR said...

We should switch with Sweeden, we'll play golf, poker, hockey and drink, plus have free universal health care. They can take primary responsibility for protecting not only themselves but the rest of Europe and much of the rest of the world. We'll give them a pass of feeding the world and all that foreign aid stuff. Maybe Norway can do that.

Shanna said...

“Ask an American what they know about Sweden and they’d say ‘They live well but they’re all alcoholics’.

What the hell?

Are there Drunk Swede jokes that I have been missing all my life? American's just don't think about Sweden at all. Weird.

Balfegor said...

Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred.

Ironically, I think he has actually got this exactly backwards. Obama seems to believe that the Republican party is nothing more than a mindset, perhaps a kind of reflexive bitter clinging to guns and religion, etc. He doesn't realise that it's animated by actual principles (at least as much as any non-fringe political party is).

Sheepman said...

He's about as relevant now as Andy Williams.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How can someone so supposedly super scary smart be so ignorant?

It's been my experience that some of the 'smartest people' tend to be so fucking stupid it defies logic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ask an American what they know about Sweden and they’d say ‘They live well but they’re all alcoholics’.

Actually the first thing that came to my mind was that they have hot women. Now if you want to talk about alcoholics, look no further than the Russkies.

Joe said...

Gore Vidal has been, is and will continue to be an idiot.

AST said...

Gore Vidal is still alive?

All I know about Sweden is that it makes cheap furnishings and takes forever to walk through.

John said...

"Very interesting that it is the Left of the Left that now is designating President Obama for an assasination. What's up with that? Do they want to use him as a martyr for the cause since he is now withering away in power as we watch? The Secret Service had better watch the Lefties harder than they watch the Wing nuts. The Republicans just want an election."

This stuff is all just wish fullfillment on the part of liberals. They know Obama's policies are not popular and that the magic such as it was is gone. They know that if things don't change Obama's Presidency is going to end badley for them. But if Obama were assinated it would reaffirm all of their prejudices about their opponents. It would take an ineffective and increasingly annoying politician and turn him into a martyr. Obama's death would save the day.

It would also allow boomer liberals to relive their youth in the Kennedy assasination and give them a new Camelot to look back to.

For these people "politics is the personal". That politics are just a way to achieve personal fulfillment. When viewed that way, reality doean't matter anymore. What matters is how it allows you to achieve fullfillment and live out your fantisies. Looked at that way, Obama is worth more to them dead than he is alive.

Roger J. said...

Yeah--what Hoosier said--we all know its the Micks that are the drunks--the only swede I ever thought about was Anita Eckberg and that was when I was a teenager.

miller said...

AST, I laughed out loud. I think we spent an entire summer at IKEA while furnishing the boys' rooms and the media room.

Donna B. said...

OK, who started the "Obama is so intelligent" meme? Is he? I haven't seen any indication of it.

Nor have I seen any indication that he's well-educated. He just gets way to many historical facts wrong. I have an ivy-league educated brother who is both intelligent and well-educated and he never gets his facts wrong.

And what's this articulate stuff about? Obama is a great campaigner and spouter of meaningless vague euphemisms and comforting mush.

Does Vidal think Clinton is not intelligent? It really wasn't that long ago that he was president, was it? I wasn't a Clinton supporter, but his intelligence and education were obvious.

wv - disma. I sort of feel that way right now.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Buckly still makes more sense than Vidal, even after being dead a year.

madawaskan said...

What's the Obama Axiom-

They cling bitterly to their guns and their religion.

Well how about-

Democrats cling bitterly to racism.

Gore Vidal's little "daydream" here-

That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” Has he met Obama? “No,” he says quietly, “I’ve had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang.” He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. “Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.

Wouldn't that be his ultimate-a combination of racism and Kennedy all in one shot in Vidal's narrative.

Donna B. said...

"We'll have a military dictatorship fairly soon."

Gore Vidal has been reading too much Newsmax.

Roger J. said...

@ Donna: Possibly Obama would be even more intelligent had he learned to speak Austrian.

Gene N said...

Do you think he (Gore Vidal) would know how to use a grocery self-checkout line?? I don't think so. The news will not print the real opinions of intelligent oldsters, they denigrate them instead...like they did the 'Tea Baggers' and ‘Town Hall’ attendees.

bearing said...

This article makes him sound like an insane person, but I never discount the possibility that the writer of the article cherry-picked the quotes to make the subject sound like an insane person on purpose.

Happens on the left as well as the right.

Lem said...

The great Safire had the apt description for the Gore Vidals of America.

A nattering nabob of negativism.

wv - prown

William said...

Obama says "umm" and purses his lips in a pensive way before enunciating in iambic pentameter some Ivy League prejudice. Of course Vidal thinks he's intelligent.....Vidal is an ugly bigot. And no one on the left will condemn him for his vileness.

Scott M said...

I would love to see Vidal's definition of fascist. A believer in small-government is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the fascist.

This isn't, of course, to say that the GOP has been small-government-minded the past eight years or so...

I doubt very seriously that Americans would tolerate a military dictatorship without something truly cataclysmic to kick it into gear. I don't believe we'll see a dictatorship through the death-by-a-thousand-cuts mode.

On the other hand, a dictatorship wouldn't need popular will to annex Canada and Mexico...hmm....

Big Mike said...

America has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace".

He has it exactly wrong. American has a class that calls itself "intellectual," and they are the reason why we're "rotting away."

@traditionalguy, I'm with you. It was scary enough back in the summer of 2008 when so many leftist "intellectuals" and media people were openly opining that Obama would be assassinated before he could be elected (wrong about that!) or, later, assassinated before he took office (wrong about that, too!). And they're still at it. I'd really like to see the Secret Service have Gore Vidal picked up and brought here for questioning, if only to make it (as Dick Nixon would say) perfectly clear to these folks that fantasizing about the assassination of a president is taken seriously here.

@Hoosier, I think of the Swedish bikini team several times a day. Does that count, do you think?

(Just joking, Professor!)

WV: menize - the opposite of feminize.

reader_iam said...

Tim Teeman had a good time with this one.

ricpic said...

The old queen can't stand it that he didn't make it into the halls of power. After all, as a Gore relative a senate seat should have been his for the asking. What went wrong? "What went wrong?" he asks himself as he paces the marble floors of his sybarites apartment in distant Rome.

Lem said...

Its too bad his talents were never put to good use.

Gore Vidal’s doom and gloom would sack tsunamis and bed down volcanoes.

wv - morte.. I kid you not.

RuyDiaz said...

"He loves quoting Lincoln and there's a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. 'I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it'."

Lincoln, of course, was assassinated before the end of the civil war.

But, yes, he's a genius and we should all listen to him.

traditionalguy said...

Gore Vidal is enamored of the perfect sweet place where no one every wants the freedom that comes from a system that fights for private property rights. He wants a Messiah to bring Peace and prosperity by magic and he wants one now...but sadly ObamaMessiah has shown Gore that he has feet of clay. So gore Vidal resumes harshly damning all the failures of authorities to fulfill his dreams.

phosphorious said...

This is unsurprising. All of the serious criticism of Obama has been coming from the left: Glen Greenwald, Noam Chomsky, now Vidal.

To say nothing of the democratic congress that has so far failed to simply greenlight Obamacare.

While the right has been frothing at the mouth, carrying guns to townhall meetings, fabricating Kenyan birth certificates and, most recently, planning a military coup, the left has done the hard work of actually criticizing Obama on the issues.

I realize that this doesn;t fit in with the whole "Lefties worship Obama and do everything he says" meme, but I'm pretty sure that if the right wants to ever hold power again, they are goign to have to get a new meme.

Fred4Pres said...

Gore Vidal says the Republic is rotting, but I would say that comment is more appropriate to Gore himself (based on the photograph in the Times article).

We are all getting older and it sucks. But Gore Vidal is not aging with grace. I guess there is really nothing graceful about it, physically, but mentally he is a mess too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gore Vidal is an idiot who couldn't find his butt with both hands.

miller said...

I love how you post opinion as fact, phophor.

Lem said...

What was it that Bush 43 said about another vaudevillian?

If I start acting like that have somebody put me away.

wv gramud.. excellent

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are there Drunk Swede jokes that I have been missing all my life? American's just don't think about Sweden at all

Acutally, when I think of Sweden, which is almost never,I think of
This guy and Swedish meatballs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

most recently, planning a military coup,

WHAT! We are planning a coup. I must have missed the memo. As a registered NRA member I should be informed of this.

/miffed

miller said...

DBQ, I got the coup notice in the mail saying "You may have already revolted and overthrown the government -- see in side for details."

miller said...

phophor has gone from mere snark to posting fantasy.

Not much of an improvement.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Do we really want a Swedish health-care system run by dumb ignorant Americans? We'd just blow all the money on Laetrile and copper arthritis bracelets.

Robert Cook said...

Phosphorious tells it like it is.

As for Vidal, while allowing for his tendency for hyperbole, he pretty much nails the state of things.

When you have a state of affairs where cops apply tasers to 70 year old women stopped for traffic violations, to students asking questions at a college forum, or to legless men in wheelchairs, and where protesters in an American city are met with military sound cannons, we're on our way to becoming a full blown police state.

miller said...

You know, you're probably right.

I had a cop in my rear view mirror the other day. He was probably getting ready to use his truncheon on me for having bad thoughts.

Police Squad!

John said...

"When you have a state of affairs where cops apply tasers to 70 year old women stopped for traffic violations, to students asking questions at a college forum, or to legless men in wheelchairs, and where protesters in an American city are met with military sound cannons, we're on our way to becoming a full blown police state."

There is some truth to that. Of course that doesn't mean we will have a military dictatorship anytime soon. And the other problem is that you and certainly Vidal is that you don't seem to realize that much of what you are talking about is coming from your side. I mean it is not conservatives who are telling people what kind of light bulbs they can use, that they can't watch their neighbors kids, or that they can't own guns. And it is both parties who are supporting the drug war. So, you might want to look in the mirror a bit.

Robert Cook said...

I don't support the drug war, and I don't excuse either party for their part in taking us down this road. Both parties essentially have renounced their obligation to serve the public, and they serve the corporate interests. The police are essentially security guards for the property owners of this country.

That said, I've never had anyone tell me what kind of lightbulbs I can us and I'd be surprised if anyone is prohibited legally from watching someone else's children. This would make babysitters into a criminal class!

Kirby Olson said...

Donna B.'s right to question the intelligence meme. He went to college and "sought out Marxist professors" -- as he himself put it. Hadn't he heard of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge? Couldn't he put two and two together?

Now it seems this whole healthcare thing is going to be scuttled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional under the commerce clause.

Does this guy ever really check anything?

Did he know anything about Wright, Van Jones, Acorn?

He not only doesn't have facts, he doesn't seem to have the kind of intuition that tells most people something's fishy.

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ:

There is a reason you are unaware. If the coup is successful, you are our 1st choice to be the new govt's exalted leader. But we could put you at risk until the coup works!

Do you like your new title? Has a certain ring to it, right!

paul a'barge said...

Everyone who voted for Obama, raise your hand.

Now, how's that working out for all of us?

Henry said...

The kind of attitude that would generate a dictatorship would be that of Gore Vidal. Most Americans, especially the dimwitted fox-hunting kind, are pretty happy with America and would prefer that the country not go to extremes.

It is the bitter idealist that dreams of the guillotine.

Larry J said...

As Mr. Vidal says intelligence is no substitute for knowledge and experience so it’s ironic how much of his rant betrays his appalling ignorance of the lives and experience of those Americans who vote republican. It’s sad but not surprising to see such a monumental intellectual waste his unmistakable gifts just because he is too lazy to talk to ordinary people.

Vital is yet another leftist who fails to grasp that education does not equal intelligence. There are a lot of educated people who are intelligent in their fields but dump as rocks on everything else. For all of his alleged intelligence, Obama is woefully ignorant on history, economics, the military, and a host of other subjects. I've yet to see much intelligence in him on any subject. For all of his supposed speaking ability, he's little more than a babbling idiot without a teleprompter. I can't help but wonder who writes the words Obama reads from the teleprompter. It seems apparent those words aren't his own.

John said...

"That said, I've never had anyone tell me what kind of lightbulbs I can us and I'd be surprised if anyone is prohibited legally from watching someone else's children. This would make babysitters into a criminal class!"


You are just not paying enough attention.

http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=10321

A West Michigan woman says the state is threatening her with fines and possibly jail time for babysitting her neighbors’ children.

Lisa Snyder of Middleville says her neighborhood school bus stop is right in front of her home. It arrives after her neighbors need to be at work, so she watches three of their children for 15-40 minutes until the bus comes.

The Department of Human Services received a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home. DHS contacted Snyder and told her to get licensed, stop watching her neighbors’ kids, or face the consequences.

“It’s ridiculous.” says Snyder. “We are friends helping friends!” She added that she accepts no money for babysitting.

Mindy Rose, who leaves her 5-year-old with Snyder, agrees. “She’s a friend… I trust her.”

State Representative Brian Calley is drafting legislation that would exempt people who agree to care for non-dependent children from daycare rules as long as they’re not engaged in a business.

“We have babysitting police running around this state violating people, threatening to put them in jail or fine them $1,000 for helping their neighbor (that) is truly outrageous” says Rep. Calley.

A DHS spokesperson would not comment on the specifics of the case but says they have no choice but to comply with state law, which is designed to protect Michigan children.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59298

Congress banned incandescent lightbulbs in 2007. So, yes the government does tell you what lightbulb you can use in your house.

Shanna said...

where protesters in an American city are met with military sound cannons

What is a military sound cannon?

Alex said...

Theoretically even if phosphorous is right about some of the "bitter clingers" shouting bad slogans at tea parties - what does it have to do with me? I've never been "bitterly clinging" to my gun or attended a tea party. Am I to be as easily ridiculed?

Henry said...

Vidal made his reputation getting inside the psyche of Lincoln, one of our greatest and certainly most complex presidents. Since then, every president has disappointed him. He's America's jilted lover, looking for pet rabbits to kill.

Alex said...

Robert Cook:

Phosphorious tells it like it is.

Oh please, you lost all credibility right there. Stop digging.

John Lynch said...

Hmm a military dictatorship.

How would that work?

I think when people get old they mistake their own decline for that of their country and the world.

All these boomers getting old has a cumulative effect, which may be why all the apocalyptic rhetoric is so popular.

Paddy O. said...

"we're on our way to a full blown police state..."

On our way? I'm spending the day reading 17th and 18th century American history.

Have you heard what authorities did to people in those days? Or after?

American history is full of being "on our way..." in one way or another. Only we haven't gotten there yet, and probably aren't. Because we tend to get feisty.

Not like those communists, who institute a good police state almost right off the bat.

We like our rogues after all.

Henry said...

When it comes to America I prefer expansive thinkers over nihilists like Vidal. One of my favorite quotes about America is by the artist Man Ray:

"America is just a very big place and you'll be surprised how much room there is for doing things and even thinking about them."

Every time you here a litany of frustration with America like that of Vidal or Robert Cook above, remember that what they are doing is making a big place small. They see the worst and try to prop it up as if it stood for everything.

Pelalusa said...

I'm glad Vidal recognizes Obama's incompetency but he is clearly blind to certain aspects of the Messiah's schtick too. For example, this quote caught my eye:

"He retains some optimism about Obama 'because he doesn’t lie.'"

Obama doesn't lie? I think the more apt question is, when does he ever utter the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth?!?

Hoosier Daddy said...

we're on our way to becoming a full blown police state.

You know Cookie, if the liberals like you get their way and shred the 2nd Amendment then you may have a point.

But right now you might want to crack a history book and see that those two paragons of American history, Lincoln and FDR took this nation closer to a police state than the current dipshit in office could imagine.

Hoosier Daddy said...

where protesters in an American city are met with military sound cannons

What is a military sound cannon


Cookie is referring to those 'youths' protesting in Pittsburgh at the G20 I think. You know, those protests which involved rock hurling and, overturning cars and dumpsters. Exercising thier rights to dissent you know.

Unlike those Nazi teabaggers who marched on Washington.

John Lynch said...

Tom Wolfe said something to the effect that "Fascism is always descending on America, but lands on Europe."

John Stodder said...

Just as Andy Williams' opinion means nothing, Gore Vidal's opinion means nothing.

Yeah, but I'd like to see how many people would come to Branson, MO to hear Gore Vidal sing "Moon River."

Synova said...

"Do you think he (Gore Vidal) would know how to use a grocery self-checkout line??"

I refuse!

Dangit, I spend enough on groceries that they can get someone to run them over a scanner for me and put them in bags.

Synova said...

Oh, and best comment so far was the one that asked how all these incredibly stupid people were supposed to implement government health care so it worked.

And YES the absolute elitist disdain for *people* is what leads to dictatorship and tyranny. Anyone who believes that people are that stupid is also someone who believes that they need to be RULED.

Chip Ahoy said...

Still making friends after all these years.

My favorite book of his is Julian.

John Lynch said...

It's hard for me to listen to Europeans (and Gore Vidal effectively is one) lecture us about fascism and police states WHEN THEY INVENTED BOTH.

Just Lurking said...

Has he met Obama? “No,” he says quietly, “I’ve had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang.” He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. “Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.

What a creepy, bizarre snippet of conversation.

Something doesn't follow in that conversation if it happened as relayed. I mean, is that not a weird response to being asked if he met Obama? Is Vidal implying he would attempt to shoot Obama if he met him? Is he picturing himself as the "mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital"?

If I were interviewing the old coot and he responded that way after I asked him if he had met the President, I would've thought, "Ok, the old fart has lost it..." But the interviewer accepts the "wry, dreamy" assassination fantasy like it's a perfectly rational response to the question "have you met Obama?" WTF?

Some of O's disappointed "supporters" sound like they are coming unhinged.

AJ Lynch said...

Synova:

I always use the self-checkout machine. When it asks "English or Spanish" I push Spanish just to have a bit of fun. Course I don't know a lick of Spanish.

AJ Lynch said...

Henry:

That is how I thought when I read the obits for Borlaug. Contrary to the enviros mindset, men and women like Borlaug and science and big thinkers will solve many of today's problems.

I guarantee it.

John Lynch said...

All these stupid Americans built the richest and most powerful country ever.

David said...

Isn't what most Americans think of Sweden that it's Switzerland?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do you like your new title? Has a certain ring to it, right!

Why, yes..yes I do. :-D

I believe I'll start using that instead of "Queen of the World" when asked for my title when I have to fill in stupid applications and when registering for website access.

Some of O's disappointed "supporters" sound like they are coming unhinged.


Coming? I would say they've been unhinged for some time now.

Jason (the commenter) said...

America has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace

The way this article makes Gore Vidal sound I would suppose if one existed it would try it's damnedest to keep away from him.

His entire manner of speaking is ridiculous. Literary fiction is dead: it's been done, it's boring, it's over. And so is saying shocking things to get attention. You at least need to be pretty to even try to get away with that now-a-days.

Diamondhead said...

"There's nothing to figure out General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic."

Greg Hlatky said...

No doubt the President is saying, "If I've lost Gore Vidal, I've lost Middle America."

reader_iam said...

Robert and John:

Regarding babysitting (or childminding, depending)

See this news article.
See this commentary piece.

I realize those refer to a case in the U.K., not U.S. But as with the issue of HPV vaccines (discussed in another thread), there is some usefulness, at least in my opinion, in comparing situations and trends in England with those in or own, given our own current political and cultural debates.

Sloanasaurus said...

The quote from Lincoln doesn't at all sound like Lincoln - it sounds more like TR. I am surprised Lincoln said it (or did he?). If Lincoln did say it maybe Lincoln had changed with the office but was killed before he was allowed to change completely.

Funny that Vidal points out that Obama needs to remind the masses of his Imperium. This shows what Leftists really care about. What ever happend to the visions of the founders that our president would be one of the people - that is why they are "president" and not king.

phosphorious said...

"Some of O's disappointed "supporters" sound like they are coming unhinged.


Coming? I would say they've been unhinged for some time now.
"

So the consensus is that it is the left that is currently "unhinged"?

Paul Zrimsek said...

If Robert Cook and Gore Vidal would spend less time obsessing about the Imaginary Nazi Hell Government, they might have a better handle on what the Real Bossy Incompetent Government has been up to.

Alex said...

reader_iam - Britain has already capitulated into Orwell's Oceania. It's over.

Mark said...

Something doesn't follow in that conversation if it happened as relayed. I mean, is that not a weird response to being asked if he met Obama? Is Vidal implying he would attempt to shoot Obama if he met him? Is he picturing himself as the "mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital"?

I read it as Vidal assuming the opportunity will soon be gone; that some "lone gunman" will kill Obama.

What's scary is (and again, this assumes the account is accurate) that Vidal seems to approve. Previous commenters are correct; Obama has far more to worry from fanatics who want to preserve "hope and change" than from any other direction.

The Secret Service probably has the fate of Western Civilization in its hands. God help them and us.

reader_iam said...

Sloanasaurus: I have yet to find that quote independently, myself, and I too am skeptical.

That said, I must also note that Lincoln did say and do other things that are hardly evidence for the proposition that it's impossible he'd have said something like that (except for the part about it taking place after the Civil War).

I won't take the time to write about that myself, since someone I know already touched upon it, here in 2005 and here in 2008, among other examples.

Seven Machos said...

Here's the Wolfe quote and, of course, it's perfectly apt:

The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

Is there a more annoyingly preening intellectual than Gore Vidal? Paul Johnson wrote a fascinating book on these bloviating pests.

Seven Machos said...

...Also, yes, Gore totally badgered the quote from Lincoln. I am virtually certain.

And, Phos, is there any other way but "unhinged" to describe a group of people which possesses the levers of government but cannot create law?

Synova said...

"What's scary is (and again, this assumes the account is accurate) that Vidal seems to approve. Previous commenters are correct; Obama has far more to worry from fanatics who want to preserve "hope and change" than from any other direction."

I find the notion that Judas was trying to do Jesus a favor persuasive. He believed Christ was God and that his actions would lead to the political revolution that he and many of those waiting for the Messiah thought would happen... despite Jesus saying that his kingdom was not of this world.

And when he realized just how badly he misunderstood, he killed himself.

Pretty much after the fact, though, we understand the power of martyrs in a way that Judas may not have done.

Seven Machos said...

Here's the Wolfe quote in context...

The next thing I knew, the discussion was onto the subject of fascism in America. Everybody was talking about police repression and the anxiety and paranoia as good folks waited for the knock on the door. . . I couldn't make any sense out of it. . . . This was the mid-1960's. . . . [T]he folks were running wilder and freer than any people in history. For that matter, Krassner himself, in one of the strokes of exuberance for which he was well known, was soon to publish a slight hoax: an account of how Lyndon Johnson was so overjoyed about becoming President that he had buggered a wound in the neck of John F. Kennedy on Air Force One as Kennedy's body was being flown back from Dallas. Krassner presented this as a suppressed chapter from William Manchester's book Death of a President. Johnson, of course, was still President when it came out. Yet the merciless gestapo dragnet missed Krassner, who cleverly hid out onstage at Princeton on Saturday nights. . . .

Support [for Wolfe's view that fascism wasn't coming to America] came from a quarter I hadn't counted on. It was Grass, speaking in English.

"For the past hour, I have my eyes fixed on the doors here," he said. "You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow."

Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, "You really don't have so much to worry about." He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: "You American intellectuals — you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!"

He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

Not very nice, Günter! Not very nice, Jean-François! A bit supercilious, wouldn't you say!...

Robert Cook said...

"Congress banned incandescent lightbulbs in 2007. So, yes the government does tell you what lightbulb you can use in your house."

How come everywhere I go they're still on sale?

John Lynch said...

Thanks, 7m

miller said...

Robert,

I generally skip over your posts, but are you really that uninformed that you don't know about incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs in America?

It was one of the stupider things Congress and Bush did, and they celebrated.

And it's one of the reasons I would not support Bush for a third term.

TosaGuy said...

google "incandescent lightbulb phaseout" before you post anything further.

wv: dings

David said...

I'm so tired and saddened by the never ending accusation of hatred. What petty minds that propagate those thoughts.

In the case of Vidal there doesn't seem to be a filter on his mouth at all.

SMGalbraith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Hoosier Daddy said:

"You know Cookie, if the liberals like you get their way and shred the 2nd Amendment then you may have a point."

What makes you assume I want to shred the second amendment?


And:

"Cookie is referring to those 'youths' protesting in Pittsburgh at the G20 I think. You know, those protests which involved rock hurling and, overturning cars and dumpsters. Exercising thier rights to dissent you know.

Unlike those Nazi teabaggers who marched on Washington."


Of course, it was the teabaggers (to use your term) who carried signs about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants, (from Jefferson, of course). Are you saying they're full of hot air and don't really have the cojones to back up their brave words with righteous action?

As for the G20 protesters, I don't believe there was much in the way of property destruction or rock throwing, although there certainly was some. Not that any is acceptable, but my point was more about the response of government. Look how swiftly tasers went from being a "non-lethal" (although sometimes lethal) alternative to firearms to the default response of many cops to virtually any situation, including the three examples I provided. The cop in San Francisco (?) who killed a man on the subway platform because he pulled his firearm instead of his taser is another case in point; the man he shot was prone on the ground...why would even a taser have been appropriate or necessary to apply to him? By the same token, if the authorities marshall military sound cannons against protesters they fear will become violent or destructive, it's only a few steps to their marshalling such weapons against public gatherings and demonstrations of all kinds...even tea party gatherings where peaceful protesters gather and enjoy the exercise of their 2nd amendment rights to carry their automatic rifles in public.

Seven Machos said...

Yo, Robert, you are expounding on the tyranny of government. Yet you support all manner of government economic tyranny.

That makes you, by definition, a tool.

jr565 said...

Gore Vidal wrote:
"He (Obama) doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is."


All true. But Gore Vidal doesn't realize or doesn't say, that his audience is the same as Obama's. So by extension, is audience is also dim witted and ignorant. And he's either pandering to their dimness or they are agreeing with him because he is made of the same cloth.

I vote for the latter.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
As for the G20 protesters, I don't believe there was much in the way of property destruction or rock throwing, although there certainly was some. Not that any is acceptable, but my point was more about the response of government. Look how swiftly tasers went from being a "non-lethal" (although sometimes lethal) alternative to firearms to the default response of many cops to virtually any situation, including the three examples I provided.


Do you think the fact that the response of govt might be dicated by the fact that the tea baggers are essentially non violent whereas the G20ers are breaking stuff? So right there is your proof that the "tea baggers" are not violent to the degree say the anarchists are.

Because the cops with riot gear are not generally needed to quell grandma and grandpa teabagger who stand around peacefully maybe holding a sign from throwing rocks through windows. Whereas the guy wearing the black anarchist mask and throwing stuff at cops might require a bit more in the way of force to deal with. Though maybe that;s just me. It just seems like anytime there is a G20 there is a protest that requires riot gear and brooms to clean up all the broken glass.

DrSquid said...

"Dreadfully" is the only accurate word of assessment from this arrogant asshole. After that he must struggle to explain how such and enlightened mind as Obama's has turned out to be such a diappointment; the only answer can be that we, the subjects of this virtuous ruler, are morons unable to see the brilliance of his plans for every aspect of our lives. Yeah, we're stupid, and Obama and Gore Vidal are just on a different level of intellligence we just can't fathom. Besides that his books are for shit.

Christopher said...

Robert Cook wrote:

"[T]he authorities marshall military sound cannons against protesters..."

What the hell is a military sound cannon? Is it merely a reference to the fact that LRADs were originally developed for the Navy?

If so, then when I break something and use super glue to fix it, I'm using "military adhesive"? If I use a GPS to figure out where I am, am I using a "military navigation aid"? How about the internet? That would be a "military computer network", right?

Synova said...

"He was saying: "You American intellectuals — you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!""

This is so true. Still and on... all the time. I think it's part of the left's assassination fantasies, too. Or the hyperbole about the pending theocracy or Cheney leading the National Guard down Pennsylvania Avenue or Pelosi fighting back tears or any of the numerous Truthers insisting that Bush murdered 4000 citizens, but for some reason no one comes for them in the night.

The world is too civilized for some people. They don't feel alive without anything real to strive against.

Crazy survivalist wackos do it too, perhaps just different sides of the same coin.

Synova said...

Although, the crazy survivalist wackos seem better prepared to make it if their fantasies turn out to be true.

The intellectuals (faux and otherwise) seem to keep their violent fantasies about for titillation purposes only.

Jeremy said...

So now Gore is the beacon of light for the local wing nuts?

I swear...you idiots would latch onto something Charles Manson had to say if it was something negative about President Obama.

Anything to keep the "hate" alive, huh...Ann? (Oh, and anybody who believe Ann voted for Obama is brain dead.)

Jeremy said...

jr565 "All true. But Gore Vidal doesn't realize or doesn't say, that his audience is the same as Obama's."

I have a feeling Gore wasn't referring to the people who actually read books and are intellectually inclined.

I think he's referring to people who like to tea bag...and not just at the crazo political gatherings.

*Hoosier is constantly asking me to tea bag him.

And if Gore's such a fool...why is Ann posting what he has to say about Obama?

Other than, of course, the fact that he's saying something negative.

Jeremy said...

Gore did get one thing right: "Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”

Alex said...

Jeremy - fuck off.

Seven Machos said...

Suck my dick, you motherfuckers!

Jeremy said...

Alex - Are you implying you want me to tea bag you?

Does Hoosier or Seven (I think I'm a scary terrorist) Nachos know?

They may be jealous...asshole.

John Lynch said...

Jeremy needs cheetos.

Eric said...

Isn't Vidal the guy who thought Bush was going to cancel the 2008 election and declare martial law? Oh yes, here it is:

Martial law, that's next. Bush is like a plane of glass. You can see all the worms turning around in his head at any moment. The first giveaway of what's on his mind -or the junta's mind.

The world in Gore Vidal's head has only very tenuous connections to reality? The one thing that was obvious to any fool in 2008 was Bush had no interest in being president past the end of his term.

Pogo said...

If only America had better voters.

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

If only we were more like the Europeans, who bravely dispatched the Hun and walled off the Bear, all alone.

reader_iam said...

I believe Althouse voted for Obama (or, at least, linked the arrows or punched the card, or whatever, next to his name) last November.

I prefer to be addressed as Ms. Brain-Dead. No need to abandon the formalities, thank you very much.

jr565 said...

To Jeremy:
Gore VIdal wrote - "Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn’t realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is."


Ah, so Barack Obama is an elitist, and the american populace is a bunch of dumb hicks who love their guns and religion. Gotcha, check. That Vidal may have a point.

As far as the focusing on education at least there Obama has got it covered. mmm mmm mmm.

gk1 said...

Who cares what this dried up old queen has to say anyway? I just wish W.F. Buckley really did punch this douche bag in the face when he had the chance, after Gore called him a "crypto-nazi"

knox said...

I'd like to see how many people would come to Branson, MO to hear Gore Vidal sing "Moon River."

LOL


There have been some really great threads on the Althouse blog lately. This is one of them.

montana urban legend said...

And, Phos, is there any other way but "unhinged" to describe a group of people which possesses the levers of government but cannot create law?

I thought the way to describe people who cannot create regulatio -- sorry, "law" when they possess the levers of government was with the words "conservative ideologue".

Bleepless said...

So Vidal is in a wheelchair because of hypothermia he got during the war. Which war was that? When?

montana urban legend said...

You know, Tome Wolfe must really be regreting his comment. Everyone knows that the Framers predicted how the country would not truly be free until incandescent light bulbs were invented. Why, back before Thomas Edison came up with the idea, the U.S. was ruled by communists, vegetarians and atheists. They shackled the country with high taxes resulting from candles and gas lights. Those were truly tyrannical times.

But then, along came Edison, who not only came up with thousands of inventions, but was a prominent Republican representative and brilliant political reformer/theorist along the lines of such illuminaries as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Palin! He smiled at people as they passed by along the street under those gas lights, winked, and said "You betcha!" Little did those peon Democrats, living under the shackles of 19th-century American socialism, realize that right around the corner was a goal that others had only hinted at through the dim light at the end of a dark tunnel: True, American FREEDOM!!!


So the lesson today is obvious, folks. Once we go to a lighting source made of mercury vapor instead of tungsten filaments, all our freedoms will be lost. There will be no more democracy, no bill of rights, no second amendment (it's dangerous to possess weapons in the vicinity of fluorescent bulbs), and Joe Stalin's clone will be installed as the next Chief of State. It's all written in the Constitution - in backwards code on the opposite side of the parchment.

So, listen up, Freedom Fighters! Avert Red Dawn. Remember that if we stockpile our sources of tungsten, it will become a magical source of freedom power, doing to Democrats what kryptonite did to Superman. It will sap them of their socialist strength and implant itself into every nearby piece of cylindrical glass - forming a magical (R) sign on the surface. It will be used in gigantic outdoor Klieg searchlights, as a signal of the resurgence of freedom across the night skies - beckoning Republican True Americans the way the Bat-Signal was used to dispatch Batman.

As I said, it's all written in the Constitution. Or maybe the Illuminati. Something like that.

Robert Cook said...

"...the cops with riot gear are not generally needed to quell grandma and grandpa teabagger who stand around peacefully maybe holding a sign from throwing rocks through windows."

Then why must they resort to use of tasers against septuagenarian women stopped for traffic violations, or college students attempting to ask questions at a speech by John Kerry, or legless men in wheelchairs, and so many other equally needless situations?

Either the cops are cowards or they're authoritarian bullies, or both. I'll go with both.

montana urban legend said...

Oh, I forgot. The incandescent bulb was also used to manufacture the searchlights that guided Paul Revere across the countryside as he warned of the encroaching British. Our freedoms are going, fast. Maintain the faith. Praise the Lord, Pass the potatoes and tally up your tungsten!

It's the new precious fluid.

Synova said...

"I swear...you idiots would latch onto something Charles Manson had to say if it was something negative about President Obama."

Charles Manson had his family kill Sharon Tate to frame blacks so that The Man would fully express racism in crackdowns, unjustly, upon the black race, at which point the oppressed would rise up together and overthrow the government in a violent rebellion.

This isn't to say, at all, that Manson was truly on the side of the oppressed. Maybe he just thought that getting everyone to kill each other was... what did Bernadette Dorn say about the blood licking thing?

Gore Vidal is a loon. I doubt that any of the "Hitler Youth" who comment on this blog actually think he's representative of liberals, unlike Jeremy who thinks that he's right on the money with his off-hand slander. Funny thing that the "haters" see him as fringe and Jeremy sees him as correct.

And really... fascist? In order to bring in dictatorships or tyranny the attitude necessary is that of Gore Vidal who thinks that he, and Obama, are so very much better than the unwashed masses who obviously can't manage their own business and own lives.

And look who *here* is defending that elitism.

You all who are doing that don't *have* to do it to stay "liberals" you know. It's entirely optional.

Synova said...

"Then why must they resort to use of tasers against septuagenarian women stopped for traffic violations,"

You ever see the video of the old lady who got out of her car and attacked someone (I don't recall if it was a cop or just another motorist) and beat him with a 10 pound study Bible?

"or college students attempting to ask questions at a speech by John Kerry,"

Don't taze me Bro! Are you really defending the guy as merely attempting to ask a question? He got his time at the microphone to do that, he did that, and then he decided that he was the most important person in the room and didn't have to let anyone else speak and when *asked* to leave he did not. When physically restrained to usher him out he fought back. And THEN he acted like he was innocent and put upon when they did tazer him because nothing in his entire life had led him to think that he had to consider others or follow rules.

How about... instead of a tazer... a 250 pound bouncer clocked him one in the jaw, carried him out over a shoulder, and dumped him in the bushes.

"...or legless men in wheelchairs, and so many other equally needless situations?"

No doubt there are needless situations, but a tazer is seen (probably wrongly) as safer for everyone involved than trying to man-handle a belligerent person. And since you've made clear in the past that you expect your servants to stand and be abused, I hardly think that you're a good judge of "needless."

Synova said...

And MUL... you know better. I can't believe that you are arguing that it is not a violation of liberty just so long as the prohibitions on our lives don't include things that existed in 1776.

In that case women and blacks could be denied the vote and it would only remove something that didn't exist way back then anyway.

The issue is control... not light bulbs.

And you know it. Making an argument because you CAN because you've seen a flaw in someone elses statement, even if the flaw is really there, doesn't automatically make your argument less ridiculous.

reader_iam said...

Once we go to a lighting source made of mercury vapor instead of tungsten filaments, all our freedoms will be lost.

Well, no, Montana Urban Legend, not exactly.

What MIGHT be a flashing warning light is if people stop calling out such statements as "once we go to..." put forth by people who know full well that it's not just a matter of "once we go to," as if there's some sort of spontaneous, or organic or evolutionary movement toward that choice. What MIGHT be a flashing warning light is if no one points out that, in fact, we're going to that because legislation was passed stating that will be so.

Still, I agree, that the regulation of mere lightbulbs does not mean--just like that! in a flash!--ALL our freedoms are lost, just like that, in the snap-poof of a dead incandescent (or silent-signoff of the sanctioned type, dying long before the promised many years--and yes, I absolutely do know by long experience whereof I speak).

No *one* thing in isolation can possibly mean that.

Except, perhaps, the persistent dishonesty in how such statements as yours (highlighted at the top of this comment) are framed *so disingenuously*, coupled with a failure to call such out.

That unholy alliance, in isolation, does indeed allow for the possibility of some one thing, some day, some way, being the final straw which serves as the perfect tinder for a "constructive total loss" fire.

Robert Cook said...

The guy at the Kerry speech most certainly did not "fight back" when asked to leave the microphone. He may have been overbearing, and he did not immediately shut up and walk away from the mic, but he behaved lawfully and nonviolently. There was no basis to tazer him. Those who applaud his treatment are the "good germans" who will welcome fascism into their homes and then be shocked when the guest assaults them.

The 72 year old women I am referring to--which was seen widely on video--was also in no way violent or threatening, although she was bellicose...but there is no law against being bellicose. She was also half the height and probably a third the weight of the muscled cop who tazered her for no reason.

The case of the legless man in the wheelchair just happened last week. A cop who cannot handle a legless man in a wheelchair without resorting to electrifying the man is a thug.

These incidents are mushrooming and are harbingers of rampant police brutality to come. The use of tazers constitutes assault, if not outright torture, and it has been and will be lethal.

Maguro said...

These incidents are mushrooming and are harbingers of rampant police brutality to come.

Nonsense, there's not one shred of evidence that the cops are any more brutal than they were 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 years ago.

You're talking out your ass again.

Henry said...

Robert Cook -- It's a big country. Sometimes bad stuff happens. You should really try out a wider lens for your connect-the-dots camera.

Henry said...

Also, book recommendation for you: Blue Blood by Edward Conlon. It's not pro or anti cop, just a detailed account of how most cops, most of the time, work very hard to do their jobs.

montana urban legend said...

It's ok. The government will provide happy pills for the satirically challenged.

Talk about a BIG flaw...

reader_iam said...

LOL, MUL.

Ah, but I don't want them and actually don't need them, and in any case won't take them "just cuz I oughter". Most important, it won't be easy for others to *make* me without my acquiescence.

P.S. You don't do that meme anywhere nearly as well as those who have come before. Only sayin'.

; )

montana urban legend said...

What MIGHT be a flashing warning light is if people stop calling out such statements as "once we go to..." put forth by people who know full well that it's not just a matter of "once we go to," as if there's some sort of spontaneous, or organic or evolutionary movement toward that choice. What MIGHT be a flashing warning light is if no one points out that, in fact, we're going to that because legislation was passed stating that will be so.

Still, I agree, that the regulation of mere lightbulbs does not mean--just like that! in a flash!--ALL our freedoms are lost, just like that, in the snap-poof of a dead incandescent (or silent-signoff of the sanctioned type, dying long before the promised many years--and yes, I absolutely do know by long experience whereof I speak).

No *one* thing in isolation can possibly mean that.

Except, perhaps, the persistent dishonesty in how such statements as yours (highlighted at the top of this comment) are framed *so disingenuously*, coupled with a failure to call such out.

That unholy alliance, in isolation, does indeed allow for the possibility of some one thing, some day, some way, being the final straw which serves as the perfect tinder for a "constructive total loss" fire.


Errr... interesting explanation.

Please allow me to be just as vague and qualified.

I hereby humbly submit that the government can lead a widespread effort to convert the country from using incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, and that any relation to America remaining a free country or not in any meaningful sense of the word will be so tenuous and marginal as to not matter. Any relation to America remaining a free country or not will be so tenuous and marginal as to make the use of light bulbs as a rallying cry for "freedom" look so ridiculous that even the right will realize it.

Come on. Light bulbs? Toilets? The fact that the satire came as easily as it did means that you guys must know who's leading the way to make this "Freedom as an exercise primarily in consumer choice and household appliances" movement into a parody. Hint: It's not really the left.

You guys really need to learn how to pick and choose your battles.

reader_iam said...

Neither do I, in relevant (though different) parallels.

Synova said...

Yes, of course, Cook. The old lady should have been jacked up against the car and cuffed.

You keep on insisting that people can be as abusive as they like, as unsocial as they like, and just as long as they don't... what? At what point does the right to be "bellicose" become assault? And at what point will you admit that you feel you've a right to abuse your servants?

There are things to complain about but *growing* police brutality is not one of them. Earlier someone mentioned the romance of the oppressive police state. You're a romantic.

reader_iam said...

Whoops! Cross-posting leading to out of order stuff.

**
Thanks for the "you guys," Montana Urban Legend. I'll savor the sense of belonging, however fleeting and however absurd, bless your heart.

montana urban legend said...

As long as you appreciate good satire then I'll always find a place for you to belong, iam.

;-)

But honestly, who did this type of satire better than I did, before I did? I honestly didn't think the "freedom bulbs" idea had been fully tapped - as a source of humor, that is.

montana urban legend said...

I think that once the Republican party has been outlawed, and all gun owners are rounded up and in prison, a widespread effort will be made to collect incandescent bulbs as a show of support. Anti-socialists from everywhere from in this great land - or at least, from Atlanta to Alabama - will show up at the political prisons constructed en masse for our dissenters, and offer the bulbs up in raised hands as a show of solidarity. Much the same way fans of a rock show wave lighters in the air.

That's what I envision. Well, minus the political prisoners nonsense.

reader_iam said...

My gracious, Montana Urban Legend, surely you're not proffering this particular love song to me, are you?

(More likely that I'm punk'd, and have been for a very long time, than that.

Which thought, among others, has made me laugh aloud tonight, as well as ponder seriously.)

reader_iam said...

This one's for you, Montana Urban Legend.

Holy Shit!--wf: "methode"

careen said...

I know I should know who this guy is, but I don't, not really. I know I should Google right now to cover myself, but I'm past the age where I care about blue books and finals and pretending I know things I don't. I vaguely associate him with Joan Didion - but I don't know why.

So...coming from relative innocence and going just by this article, he sounds insane. I'm serious. Both pampered and batty. If she were still alive, I'd like to oil them both up and sic Oriana Fallaci on him in a basement usually reserved for cockfighting. I'm sure she'd win.

rhhardin said...

Once you start down one slippery slope, you're soon going down all of them.

Robert Cook said...

"At what point does the right to be "bellicose" become assault?"

When the bellicose person moves from merely shouting or cursing to becoming physically violent or threatening.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When the bellicose person moves from merely shouting or cursing to becoming physically violent or threatening.

Cookie, you refer to a couple of incidents where a tazer was inappropriately used. Is this the best you have? I mean grandma got tazered is a sign of the imminent police state? Are you serious?

You know there was actually a time in this country when cops actually did beat the living piss out of people using a wooden stick. Now understand I don't condone police brutality in any circumstance but you'll have to forgive me for not thinking that 3 incidents of tazer use is a sign that we're on the way to the 4th Reich.

As for the protests, well you go ahead and get the vapors over someone's sign about blood and tyrants. Fact of the matter is, everytime there is a lefty protest, windows are shattered, cars overturned and rocks are thrown. If you want to justify that because 'well it wasn't that much property damage' then you go boy. I'll be content with law abiding protestors who quote old Presidents...woops I mean war criminals.

Robert Cook said...

Hoosier Daddy, please read more carefully. I don't justify any violence or destruction of property, as I stated in my original post. You refuse or are unable to see the point, which is the OVER RESPONSE of government to public protest. It's perfectly appropriate to detain and arrest protesters who endanger public safety or who damage property. Blasting a sound cannon is not meant to deter the few lawbreaking protesters but to disrupt the entire protest. And, while you obviously deplore the protests at the G20 conference, you seem to admire the Tea Party protesters.Well, here's a news flash: in the eyes of the government, all are fair game. If we excuse or applaud or ignore the disproportionate response of authority to protests we don't like, we invite the free use of such disproportionate means to protests we do like.

All it will take will be for the authorities to begin viewing the Tea Partiers--some of whom carried weapons and others of whom carried signs promising to "water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants"--as potentially dangerous, and we'll see these tactics employed against them.

Clyde said...
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Clyde said...

I think I know who will be the pinhead on Bill O'Reilly's "Pinhead or Patriot?" segment tonight.

montana urban legend said...

I actually liked that Badfinger song for quite some time. It's a well written piece of pop; a great way to start off the musical history of the seventies.

And a talented band and group of songwriters, too - from what I'd heard. Pity that there was so much tragedy mixed up in their rise to early fame. They could have been the next decade's version of The Beatles.

Thanks for the link, iam.