May 7, 2017

Chelsea Clinton's dream literary dinner party: James Baldwin, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Jane Jacobs, and Jane Austen.

That's what she said, when asked which writers, dead or alive, she'd like at a dinner party. She also imagined they'd talk about "the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom, and how people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect and mutual dignity."

At The New Yorker, Josh Lieb provides the transcript. Excerpt:
Franz Kafka: I confess, I find this intriguing. What must the world be like outside those windows?

Clinton: Yes, it’s changed a lot since you were alive. But on a more interesting subject: What provokes or blocks the evolution of a community’s solidarity?...

Jane Jacobs: Please! Let me see my grandchildren!

Clinton: Maybe I will—after you tell me what the balance between social responsibility and individual liberty is.

Jacobs: Uh . . . forty-five per cent?

Clinton: Fascinating. What do you think, Franz Kafka?
ADDED: There are 2 completely different dimensions to the humor, and only one is about Chelsea Clinton — the ridiculousness of her topics and how out of place she'd be in the group she selected. The second one is something that's always a problem with these dinner party hypotheticals that involve bringing back the dead: You're expecting them to do dinner party conversation when they will have just had the mind-blowing experience of coming back from the dead and are also aware that it's only for this one dinner and then it's back off to death for you.

135 comments:

JAORE said...

Who would be the first to say, in a very literary fashion, "Have the dumb broad go get sandwiches"?

Clyde said...

The New Yorker must not think too highly of Chelsea's chances of gaining elective office, else they'd be fawning rather than fragging.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I could have written that Lieb stuff.!

[in case it's not clear, that's not a compliment, esp considering that this isn't his first pancake.]

Comanche Voter said...

Gag me with a spoon. This sort of fawning posterior osculation may be fed to the New York literati who are just dumb enough to believe that Chelsea actually thought this (I don't deny that she said it==reading from a script) but out in the hinterlands, it's going to be seen as pretentious twaddle.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm sure many of the commenters here could take the premise of the humor piece and write a funnier "transcript."

David said...

What an utter nincompoop she is. That's my attempt at humor today. Dealing with atrial fib. Not in a droll mood.

Earnest Prole said...

I think your dopey commenters wouldn't recognize satire if it bitch-slapped them.

madAsHell said...

Mr. Lieb is attempting to go full Laslo. He failed to mention anal sex.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

EP,

It's cause I was messing w/ the her imaginary BF, Antonin.

Fernandinande said...

Would urbanist Jane Jacobs have approved of Mpls. changes? New collection offers hints
By James Lileks Star Tribune

Spoiler: "Possibly."

richard mcenroe said...

They would have us ruled by college sophomores who bought their term papers, and it will be ugly.

Rene Saunce said...

Quick - hand Chelsea another award. Anyone have a golden statue and a glossy magazine photographer handy?

MayBee said...

I'm sure many of the commenters here could take the premise of the humor piece and write a funnier "transcript."

Yes! Please dear friends, give it a go!

Fernandinande said...

Is inviting dead people to a party Kafkaesque?

Possibly.

Rene Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

I do so love the mocking of Chelsea in that.

Rene Saunce said...

Shakespeare: Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Chelsea: Uh... Have we over-stayed our welcome?

David said...

Earnest Prole said...
I think your dopey commenters wouldn't recognize satire if it bitch-slapped them.


Thanks for your humorous and subtle contribution.

Earnest Prole said...

The New Yorker must not think too highly of Chelsea's chances of gaining elective office, else they'd be fawning rather than fragging.

See also Vanity Fair's recent article "Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton from Whatever She Is Doing."

robinintn said...

But she actually mouthed those words about solidarity and resonates and shit? My God, the Clintons can't hire better writers than that?? I've always need a little unclear on "turgid", but no longer.
The article is very funny.

Rene Saunce said...

Shakespeare: I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other.


Chelsea: Tell me about it.

Bob R said...

Franz, you can come back to life, but you have to have dinner with Chelsea Clinton...

MayBee said...

It would be more fun if you had to add another dimension to it- a Dead Author Dinner Date. I would start with Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway. Would they hit it off?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I do so love the mocking of Chelsea in that."

Right, writing that, regardless of its ostensible purpose, which is meant to make the writer (and knowing reader) feel less like losers is soooooooo awesome.

Earnest Prole said...

Thanks for your humorous and subtle contribution.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fernandinande said...

Chelsea is looking a lot like Chuck Berry - maybe her dad isn't Web Hubbell after all.

Jupiter said...

Cut the poor, silly little baggage some slack. Even if she had half the wits of her half-wit father, what is she supposed to do with a question like that?

"Byron."

"Byron?"

"Yes. Lord Byron."

"Ah. Hmmm. And, uh, who else? I mean, whom?"

"Just Byron. Me, and Lord Byron."

MayBee said...

Right, writing that, regardless of its ostensible purpose, which is meant to make the writer (and knowing reader) feel less like losers is soooooooo awesome.

Are we losers because we didn't get invited to the dinner party?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

MB,

My only point, from my first comment, is that I write stuff from a smarmy (but possibly justified) POV in these threads,

so I knows it when I sees it.

Fernandinande said...

Clinton: "Social responsibility evolve inclusive solidarity mutual dignity."

Shakespeare: “More of your conversation would infect my brain.”

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Totally unbelievable! Chelsea Clinton has no idea how to use a firearm.

Etienne said...

Maybe they can talk about her husbands father and his 69 felony charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

Maybe the ins and outs of how not to get caught like her mother.

rcocean said...

No exits? How existentialist.

buwaya said...

I need advice from Lady Murasaki (Genji) regarding plausible dialogue.

No doubt though that she would have some retainer remove me from her presence and have me beaten for my presumption.

eddie willers said...

I'd like to plop Churchill in the middle of that.

rcocean said...

Humor aside, I pity Shakespeare and Austen. They get called back from the dead to dine with Chelsea, James Baldwin and Jane Jacobs.

buwaya said...

Who she really needs, for the sake of a future work of fiction with reference to her family experience, is Robert Penn Warren.

n.n said...

She doesn't understand. Religious/moral (i.e. individual dignity, intrinsic value), natural, and personal imperatives. Go forth and reconcile.

Establishment of the Pro-Choice Cult, unprincipled and opportunistic, including selective-child (i.e. choice, conception, abortion), [class] diversity (i.e. judging people by the "color of their skin"), elective procedures (e.g. regime change), immigration reform (e.g. insourcing, demographic leverage), has been a progressive step for the minority rulers (a.k.a. "1%").

Mark said...

Franz Kafka: What must the world be like outside those windows?
Jane Jacobs: Please! Let me see my grandchildren!
Chelsea: Maybe I will —- after . . .


Chelsea: . . . it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

Kafka, Jacobs and the rest of the world: Please, please! Just let us go and leave us alone!!

Mark said...

Chelsea: And, I’d be tempted to ask Frederick Douglass and Jesus Christ to tea to ask similar questions.

"The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered him, 'I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.'" -- John 18:19-21

mike c said...

Benjamin Franklin and Casanova once met at a dinner party, and they talked about electricity. I would like to repeat that dinner but I would want them to talk about girls. I'm sure that I would learn something.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Was she born without self-awareness or was it trained out of her somehow?

William Chadwick said...

I wish she would invite Frederick Douglass. He was a proto libertarian who hated socialism.

TWW said...

Is this the seque3l to Forrest Gump?

traditionalguy said...

Somehow living Chelsea's life brings to mind Kafka's characters always trapped.

Michael K said...

Would any of them be allowed to leave early ?

For an important engagement?

Skip dessert ?

Virtually Unknown said...

The story is that Casanova didn't have a whole lot on Franklin.

As for the Clintons, ridicule until the rubble bounces.

David Begley said...

Karl Marx, Larry Flint, Joan Collins and Freud.

dbp said...

"You're expecting them to do dinner party conversation when they will have just had the mind-blowing experience of coming back from the dead and are also aware that it's only for this one dinner and then it's back off to death for you."

That, plus do they all know English? Even Shakespeare would not be readily understood by modern speakers of the language. I think most of the dinner party would be Kafka trying in vain to get Camus to pass the peas.

Zach said...

"So you tell The New York Times that your dream dinner party would include James Baldwin, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Jane Jacobs, and Jane Austen, and discussion would be about how “people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect, and mutual dignity.” You almost have to bow down before someone who could host Shakespeare for dinner and make the agenda wind up sounding like a brochure for the Altria Group. At least Kafka would be on hand to capture the joy of the evening."

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/please-god-stop-chelsea-clinton-from-whatever-she-is-doing

Leave aside how Chelsea would fit into this group, why would they spend an entire dinner talking about such an insipid subject? Except for Jane Jacobs, they're all professional writers. They didn't even write about "people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect, and mutual dignity."

I predict that this dinner party would end up with Chelsea cornering Jane Jacobs and droning on about the Upper West Side, while all the writers form a fan club around Shakespeare.

Never invite a guest who is far more interesting than you are!

FullMoon said...

Earnest Prole said...

I think your dopey commenters wouldn't recognize satire if it bitch-slapped them.
5/7/17, 3:56 PM


Ha! You spelled Sartre wrong. Who;s dopey now?

Mary Beth said...

How to have everyone at your dinner party united in the single thought, "What fresh hell is this?".

Lewis Wetzel said...

You could do it where the dinner guests thought that they were dreaming.

Ken B said...

Where's Laslo when you need him?

tcrosse said...

Back in the late 1970's Steve Allen did a TV'er called Meeting of the Minds, in which famous dead people would have a round-table discussion. One of these was always played by Jayne Meadows. Lots of pretentious twaddle and posturing.

Quayle said...

Let me play the Laslo too: I will write, that I will
do any man's heart good to read it; I will write,
that I will make the duke say 'Let him write again,
let him write again.'

tcrosse said...

It's the Muggeridge Effect, where the reality is so ludicrous that satire becomes pointless.

David Begley said...

And Hitler. He wrote a book. Bestseller.

DanTheMan said...

>>the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom

Balance?

Mary Beth said...

More of her answer to that question - "And, I’d be tempted to ask Frederick Douglass and Jesus Christ to tea to ask similar questions, and also about their respective resurrections."

Is that supposed to be witty?

Earnest Prole said...

How to have everyone at your dinner party united in the single thought, "What fresh hell is this?"

Zactly.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Earnest Prole said...
How to have everyone at your dinner party united in the single thought, "What fresh hell is this?"

At least it would be a dinner party and presumably Chelsea wouldn't serve them spinach pancakes:

https://twitter.com/ChelseaClinton/status/839261470047240192

Imagine looking forward to your first good meal in, well, an eternity and finding those pancakes on your plate.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It would be smart to invite Jesus to your dinner party. He would be very helpful if you found yourself running low on wine..

Bay Area Guy said...

It's a good exercise. I think I'd go with Tom Wolfe, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Roger Kahn and John Kennedy Toole.

I don't to excessively bag on Chelsea. I just want her to fade away, like Carolyn Kennedy. Just go.

The Cracker Emcee said...

" so I knows it when I sees it."

Given that you struggle with writing a coherent sentence, I doubt it.

twinsdaddy said...

Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mantle, John Belushi, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, JFK
Liz Taylor, Lucky Luciano, Jimi Hendrix, fully stocked bar, Franklin BBQ
and let the good times roll

The Cracker Emcee said...

Orwell and Cormac McCarthy. And C. P. Snow as the obligatory bloviating Leftist gasbag.

William Chadwick said...

"Back in the late 1970's Steve Allen did a TV'er called Meeting of the Minds, in which famous dead people would have a round-table discussion. One of these was always played by Jayne Meadows. Lots of pretentious twaddle and posturing." I used to like the show and don't recall lots of pretentious twaddle and posturing--unless one of the dead famous people had said or written a lot of pretentious twaddle, or was given to posturing. As I recall, what the historical figures said was largely based on what they said or wrote when they were alive. Or was I fooled?

Jupiter said...

DanTheMan said...
>>the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom

"Balance?"

Good catch, Dan. Of course, she knows next to nothing about either one.

Leigh said...

@robinintn -- she has to talk that way, to make sure she never actually says anything. It's called "liberal speak."

Using "liberal speak," liberals can safely speak all day, for hours on end. (e.g., "a community will thrive and flourish when its government forges private partnerships with participants that are able to synthesize their varied skill sets to raise awareness about the value of women, promote work/life balance, celebrate cultural tolerance and diversity, embrace the rich tapestry of the gender spectrum, advance child enrichment, and enable increased individual empowerment.")

@michaelk -- the guests would be told, ahead of time, not to interrupt Chelsea. She's not used to be interrupted.

What a sexist list! No Kate Chopin? Or Edith Wharton? Or the Bronte sisters? She needs to read Ozymandias and then go away.

Michael K said...

An entire act of Shaw's "Man and Superman" was called "Don Juan in Hell."

It sounds like this dinner party but was much more interesting.

THE OLD WOMAN I tell you, wretch, I know I am not in hell.

DON JUAN How do you know?

THE OLD WOMAN Because I feel no pain.

DON JUAN Oh, then there is no mistake: you are intentionally damned.

THE OLD WOMAN Why do you say that?

DON JUAN Because hell, senora, is a place for the wicked. The wicked are quite comfortable in it: it was made for them. You tell me you feel no pain. I conclude you are one of those for whom hell exists.

THE OLD WOMAN Do you feel no pain?

DON JUAN I am not one of the wicked, senora; therefore it bores me, bores me beyond description, beyond belief.

THE OLD WOMAN Not one of the wicked! You said you were a murderer.

DON JUAN Only a duel. I ran my sword through an old man who was trying to run his through me.

THE OLD WOMAN If you were a gentleman, that was not a murder.


Freeman Hunt said...

The funniest thing about her comment is the juxtaposition of her guest selection with her topic selection.

DanTheMan said...

>>Good catch, Dan.

That jumped off the page at me! I don't care which dead people Chelsea wants to pretend she's interested in.
I do care that our God-given rights, proclaimed in the Constitution, now are somehow in "balance" with whatever the current fashion is. And that the thought of this fatuously false equivalence can now pass as an acceptable idea.

Appalling.

Freeman Hunt said...

The idea of this dinner party certainly sounds Kafka-esque. Maybe that's why he was invited.

DanTheMan said...

I suppose the modern left SJW-types would redraft the first 10 amendments as the "The Bill of Your Responsibilities to Others, and the Rights of the State to make you Obey"



Beldar said...

She assumes they would feel out of place. They aren't royalty, are they? They're subjects, but the most amusing ones.

EMyrt said...

Political Couples Party: Make sure they get briefed on the Clintons first.
Cleopatra & Julius,
Augustus & Livia,
Justinian & Theodora,
MacBeth & Lady Groa,
Henry II & Eleanor,
William & Mary
John & Abigail
Cal & Grace

Henry said...

Chelsea Clinton would be good material for most of those writers.

William said...

She should have gone with Dante and not Shakespeare. The Italian vote is very important in NY.

exhelodrvr1 said...

So those writers are all in hell.

Henry said...

If, for reals, you wanted a successful dinner party, I'd invite all the inklings and just sit back and enjoy. There's a lot of ego involved in treating your literary dinner party like a tapas menu.

William said...

I'd go with Anais Nin, Edna St Vincent Millay, and Dorothy Parker. They were kind of hot and with only one corporeal night on earth who knows what their festive minds might think of....... Of course with my luck they'd probably come back as flesh eating zombies. On the plus side, I could invite Virgnia Woolf and say afterward that she desired me for my brains.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Shouldn't they all be reviewing Obama's latest book?

Michael McClain said...

Really? Who gives damn!?!

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

She didn't name him, but I'd imagine were Nietzsche there the conversation would go like this.

Chelsea: "So, is God really dead?"

Nietzsche: "He is surely alive and woe is me, I am dead."

Chelsea: "What's dead being like?"

Nietzsche: "Ever heard the expression hot as hell? It's an understatement."

Chelsea: "Oh dear."

Nietzche: "Yeah, anyway, gotta run. See you again soon."

Chelsea: "Gulp"

exiledonmainstreet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

If I were Chelsea and wanted an interesting dinner party, I would invite Gerald and Sara Murphy.

They knew everybody and were the most interesting people I have ever read about,

Picasso was in love with Sara and, when she would not cheat on her husband, painted himself out of a painting of her.

One of his four paintings of her.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Freeman Hunt said
"The funniest thing about her comment is the juxtaposition of her guest selection with her topic selection."

Ha! You're right.

Covering the stage with dead bodies was Shakespeare's way of developing a greater and broader sense of community solidarity.

"what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect and mutual dignity."

Not any of Kafka's.

jerpod said...

I wish I'd gotten here earlier. Somebody upstream wanted Karl Marx to be invited. Close! Make it Groucho Marx and I want an invitation too.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Henry said...
Chelsea Clinton would be good material for most of those writers.

5/7/17, 7:33 PM

Not Chelsea. Her mother would be, although Shakespeare would think, "I've already created Lady MacBeth."

Faulkner would recognize Billy Jeff as one of the Snopes.

Howard said...

I think the writer imagined she shot Camus with malt liquor. Because I doubt he has any realistic concept of an actual Colt .45 revolver. It's a little obscure as a reference.

Paddy O said...

Not a single Asian or Hispanic writer? Why is Chelsea so racist?

Paddy O said...

If you had to have a conversation with Jaden Smith or Chelsea Clinton, which would you pick?

Alex said...

I wouldn't trust Chelsea with making the sandwiches. Think she'd manage to order pizza?

Henry said...

@exiledonmainstreet -- Jane Austen delighted in the parodying of nitwits.

Henry said...

As for Shakespeare, Bottom could just as well be played by the eternal debutante.

Lewis Wetzel said...

No Kunta Kinte?

Big Mike said...

I'd prefer Kit Marlow to Will Shakespeare. I'd like to know who killed him and, if he knows, why. Agatha Christie. Her mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926, not to mention how she invented so many different, memorable characters. Edith Roosevelt -- not Teddy. She must have been quite some individual to have coped with life with a force of nature like him. Edith didn't write a book, but she was a "prodigious" letter writer. I assume that counts. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Any of the four great Greek playwrights. Aristophanes for preference. Did he really hope to get Socrates tried and executed?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Perhaps the best way conservatives can imagine the current angst driven madness of liberals would be to imagine themselves awakening on November 4, 2020, and discovering that Chelsea Clinton had been elected president.

JohnAnnArbor said...

If you had to have a conversation with Jaden Smith or Chelsea Clinton, which would you pick?

Severe laryngitis.

Rabel said...

I have a theory. There has recently been a good bit of pushback against the Chelsea juggernaut from unexpected sources on the left, as exemplified by the New Yorker article quoted here. That "humor" piece is based on an interview in the NY Times book section on Feb. 23, 2017. It is in their "By The Book" series which asks a common set of questions to selected thought leaders. I assume that the questions and answers are submitted in writing and made to appear spontaneous. Maybe not.

Anyway, I followed the Jesus quote to Chelsea's responses in "By The Book" and as I read I found myself repeatedly splooging out the expressions "Oh, Bullshit" and "what a pompous, disingenuous ass you are Chelsea." (That last one may not be an exact quote.)

So, my theory is that that particular interview was a bridge too far for many of the well-read and intelligent readers of the Times and set off, in part, the pushback. That is, they too were splooging out "Oh, Bullshit" and were offended by the idea that the 37 year old Chelsea, despite her relatively young age and very busy life, had read and comprehended the breathtaking range and depth of the works she (or her writers) cited in her supposedly spontaneous responses. It put their own readings to shame and elicited a negative reaction.

While I don't see Chelsea as the dumb bunny that some do, I have seen her onstage and I haven't seen anything that would indicate that she is the Sheldon Cooper of the literary world. But, though I am a regular reader, I haven't led a life of the mind (as has, for example, Professor Althouse) so I could be underestimating just how far I am behind my betters in America's elite leadership.

Perhaps a more well-read commenter could...comment.

Michael K said...

Aristophanes for preference. Did he really hope to get Socrates tried and executed?

His hands are not clean with the writing of " The Clouds."

The Clouds was chiefly a general exhibition of the corrupt state of education at Athens, and of its causes; it was a loudly uttered protest on the part of Aristophanes against the useless and pernicious speculations of the sophists, and was not intended, as some would have us believe, to pave the way for the accusation which was many years afterward brought against Socrates as a corrupter of youth, whatever may have been its effect upon the verdict of the dicasts at the trial.

He was one of those who murdered Socrates. With words.

Lewis Wetzel said...

What you need to know about Chelsea Clinton:
She has a graduate degree in public health. This means that while she is not qualified to put a bandage on a scraped knee, she is qualified to direct health care delivery systems.

Rabel said...

Disclosure:

I am currently re-reading an adventure novel by Jules Verne about some Yankee guys who crash their hot air balloon on a South Pacific island. It's targeted at a younger audience, but it works for me.

Spoiler-

The mysterious and helpful stranger is Captain Nemo.

chuck said...

I don't think Shakespeare would be a good fit with the others. Too earthy, a writer of genius, but not intellectual or given to abstractions. Maybe if they all compeated at telling jokes it would work.

Earnest Prole said...

Rabel:

On the left there are two main currents of anti-Chelsea thought, aesthetic and political. You nail the aesthetic objections; for the political, see Vanity Fair’s “Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton from Whatever She Is Doing”: “The last thing the left needs is the third iteration of a failed political dynasty.”

“God has decreed that American political dynasties decline sharply in suitability for office with each iteration. Call it the George H.W.–George W.–Jeb rule. Quit after the first iteration. Don’t trot out the second one. And, for the love of God, don’t trot out the third. Forgetting that rule harmed the Democratic Party in 2016 and blew up the Republican Party entirely.”

The piece has many delightfully catty lines, including:

“Amid investigations into Russian election interference, perhaps we ought to consider whether the Kremlin, to hurt Democrats, helped put Chelsea Clinton on the cover of Variety.

“What comes across with Chelsea, for lack of a gentler word, is self-regard of an unusual intensity. And the effect is stronger on paper. Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books—is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping.”

Earnest Prole said...

Perhaps the best way conservatives can imagine the current angst driven madness of liberals would be to imagine themselves awakening on November 4, 2020, and discovering that Chelsea Clinton had been elected president.

Boom!

Lewis Wetzel said...

Rabel said...
. . .
The mysterious and helpful stranger is Captain Nemo.


Myaterious Island. It was made into a campy movie in 1961. The whole thing is available on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/Br6a_Ilhngk

Freeman Hunt said...

I'd want to go to the dinner party where they talked about having gone to the Chelsea dinner party.

Rene Saunce said...

>>>>>the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom.

Balance?


The balance between skimming Clinton Foundation money for Chelsea's extravagant wedding - (which is really for *charity* *wink*) social responsibility and individual chutzpah.

Rene Saunce said...

E Prole

Quoting your quote - because THAT right there is funny.

"Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books-- is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping."

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I'd want to go to the dinner party where they talked about having gone to the Chelsea dinner party."

Do you really think that they'd waste the breath? Would you want them to do so?

Presumably there's better chit chat to be had.

Rene Saunce said...

Chelsea: My mommy was gonna social engineer you. Ungrateful deplorables. *hiccup*

Big Mike said...

Shakespeare had a very low sense of humor. Witness these lines from "As You Like It":

He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love's prick in Rosalind.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I would invite the authors I thought I would become when I was but a wide-eyed child.

They would all be fabulous!

Also Carol Kane, Sun Tzu, Pericles, and Nicole Brown Simpson, who wrote O.J.'s name in blood as she lay dying, from what I speculate.

wildswan said...

Hi, I'm your hostess, Chelsea Clinton. People recognize me. Most people are really nice. Sometimes people say, 'Hi, Chelsea. I live in a city and a state and a country where I support my elected representatives. I have never thought of my life as being an enigma; I do really well in the traditional board games: Backgammon, Checkers. But recently I realized that running is the one part of my life in which I fundamentally feel like the observer instead of the observed and so I'm going to run for President but first as Maypr of New York. That will be a good training run. My Mom and Dad have run lots of times and they always always start by fundraising. And so I thought I'd gather a diverse group of thinkers - men, women, white, black, straight, gay, Midwestern and other foreigners - and learn some thoughts. It's a a sort of spiritual fundraising. Jane Austen, though you are a woman, I want you to go first. talking about the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom

Jane: For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?; I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. Business, you know, may bring you money, but friendship hardly ever does.

(Bill Clinton: I did not have sex with that woman. )

Chelsea: I hope telling stories which are inspiring non-profit stories such as the Christian myth will help me to live my grandmother's adage of 'Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you.' James Baldwin, what do you think?

James Baldwin: Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.

Chelsea: James, you seem to be saying that changing laws and changing the political dialogue, while necessary, is insufficient to ensure that bullying stops. Kafka, do you have some deep Jewish Czechoslovakian thought on that?

Kafka: Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.

Chelsea: Well, I for one am excited to work with NBC News and other agents of change to continue to highlight stories of organizations and individuals who make their communities and our world healthier, more just and more humane.

Kafka: Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.

Chelsea: Yes, Kafka, we have to do whatever we can to ensure that no child dies of diarrhea.

Jane Jacobs: Look here, Chelsea - there is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.

Chelsea: Exactly, Jane. As we all know at the fourth grade level, girls at the same percentages of boys say they're interested in careers in engineering or math or astrophysics, but by eighth grade that has dropped precipitously. Thank you for your contribution

Jane Jacobs: What I mean, Chelsea, is that the trouble with paternalists like you is that you want to make impossibly profound changes, and you choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.

wildswan said...

Kafka: In other words, Chelsea - Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. We all have wings, but they have not been of any avail to us and if we could tear them off, we would do so.

Chelsea: I hope telling stories though 'Making a Difference' - as in my academic work and nonprofit work - will help me to live my grandmother's adage of 'Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you. Thank you for dialoging with me tonight on the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom and on how people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties and what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect and mutual dignity.

Jane Jacobs: Well, there it is. As in all Utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belongs only to the planner in charge.
Chelsea: The first sort of big present I remember getting from Santa Claus was quite a small telescope that I remember going into our backyard with my parents and figuring out how to assemble, and staring at the night sky, just for hours, with both of my parents.

Camus: You know, I think that's Shakespeare over there. [excited cries]

Chelsea: My earliest memory is my mom picking me up after I had fallen down, giving me a big hug and reading me 'Goodnight Moon.' From that moment, to this one, every single memory I have of my mom is that regardless of what was happening in her life, she was always, always there for me.

Overheard: ... and so is it "too, too sullied" or "too, too, solid" ...

Chelsea: My dad had always been a big decaf coffee drinker. But my mom had always been more of a tea drinker. So I grew up around a lot of tea. And I also really love tea. But I'm not one of those people who has ever felt the need to choose between coffee and tea. I think that is a completely false dichotomy. When I am President we will serve coffee, tea, chai, hot chocolate, yerba mate and kimche juice at every meal.

Rabel said...

"...we would talk about the questions each author grappled with — the balance between social responsibility and individual freedom..."

There's laws against abusing a corpse.

Gretchen said...

My idea of a perfect dinner party, everyone slaps Chelsea and she shuts up.

She does bring out my violent side.

Johnathan Birks said...

Kafka: Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected.
Shakespeare: Parting is sweet sorrow. Coming back sucks.
Baldwin: Who the fuck is Jane Jacobs?

exiledonmainstreet said...

Camus would be pissed. Chelsea wouldn't let him smoke at the table. You're dead for over half century, this is your chance to kick back and enjoy a few Gauloises and this prissy little American gives you a lecture about passive smoke.

Yancey Ward said...

Too bad Buddy Rich couldn't show up to Chelsea's dinner party.

Yancey Ward said...

Too bad Laslo was around for this thread, that is all I have to say.

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AllenS said...

She's supposed to be the future of the Democratic Party.

Virtually Unknown said...

I'd bring back Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot, just to watch them die again after desert.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It is good to remember that Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is a failed investment banker (he went long on Greek bonds) who used his Clinton Global Initiative connections to snare clients.
Mezvinsky's father, Edward Mezvinsky, was an investment adviser who served five years for ripping off his customers. Ed Mezvinsky fell for a 419 "dirty money" scam and gave his investors' money to Nigerians.

Virtually Unknown said...

If Shakespeare was there, nobody could talk about anything else, unless Chaucer was also invited.

Rene Saunce said...

Lewis

It is good to remember that Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is a failed investment banker (he went long on Greek bonds) who used his Clinton Global Initiative connections to snare clients.
Mezvinsky's father, Edward Mezvinsky, was an investment adviser who served five years for ripping off his customers. Ed Mezvinsky fell for a 419 "dirty money" scam and gave his investors' money to Nigerians.



Corrupt money grubbers like to stick together.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Do you really think that they'd waste the breath? Would you want them to do so?"

Yes, because then they'd talk about the horrors of modern culture, and that would be grand.

Bill said...

Would her little dog Søren be stationed under the table, begging for scraps?

Portlandmermaid said...


Let's go imaginary and add Auntie Mame. She'd have them in a drunken conga line before the main course.

Kevin Walsh said...

I'd put Lovecraft and James Baldwin at the table and watch them go at it.

Unknown said...

Remind me not to have dinner with her. On top of that at least 4 of her authors are real downers. You want to have dinner with Kafka? Really?