September 22, 2006


Have you been reading the blog Political Bite, which is "hosted" by Ana Marie Cox (formerly of Wonkette)? Well, go read it now, because I just wrote something for it: here.


SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernst Blofeld said...

I notice that the graphic for Ann Marie features a squirrel.

Will the squirrel menace ever abate?

George said...

A solid essay; however, Time stopped being ‘must’ reading around the time Uncle Walter set sail.

For fun, I keep handy the September 10, 1965, issue of Time. (Cover price—35 cents.) It features a five-page, densely written cover story on Treasury Secretary Joe Fowler and U.S. monetary policy that is as spicy as an Econ 101 textbook. In the lead graf alone, Time refers to “the ancient Lydians,” Adam Smith, and quotes the classic poet Bion. (“Money is the sinew of affairs.”) Other articles concern Kashmir, Greece, Singapore, Zambia, the Seychelles, and Brazilian art.

The masthead lists about 50 foreign correspondents, an equal number of U.S. reporters, and at least 100 editorial researchers and editors. That’s more than 200 editors and reporters!

Today Time boasts Wonkette, and its big money makers are People and In Style.

On Olympus Luce weeps.

Eddie said...

So, I just went to the grand opening of the new Whole Foods store in Milwaukee. It was OK, pretty much what I expected. I like organic vegetables only because they tend to be fresher than other stores, though I am not an organic crazed person.

Ann, you seem like a Whole Foods shopper. What do you think about the store?

Dave said...

To George's point this is why I read the Economist, not Time.

Eddie's comment seems a non sequitur???

Abraham said...

"Organic foods" is the biggest scam since "alternative medicine."

Ann Althouse said...

"Eddie's comment seems a non sequitur???"

Must have been the "biting."

knoxgirl said...

Here's another non sequitur: I am reading "Tender at the Bone" by Ruth Reichl; Ann, did you go to school with her at Michigan, by any chance?

S.T. Steiner said...

I guess what comes to mind are our actors/actresses who represent a character in a film, and sometimes never seem to ever lose the image of that character. ie. Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones' Diary. For me it was tough to accept her role in Cold Mountain, regardless of how great she actually was in the film, opposite Nicole Kidman, which inevitably won her an Oscar. So in this case, we take Renée's character role, her quotes, as "Bridget Jones" as a part of her and her identity, and it's difficult to move on from that characterization. Has anyone seen Fonzie in anything other than "Happy Days"?

So yes, indirection can be effective to establish a message, but it carries with it a sense of endorsement and responsibility.
And I still agree with Dolan from the Sept. 19 Althouse post on the Pope's Speech in Regensburg, Germany, whereby he stated,

Dolan: "It's hard (indeed, impossible) to believe that the Vatican would ignore the entirely predictable consequences that would (and now have) followed from the Pope's quotation of obviously controversial views about the Prophet (even dated ones from the 14th century). Benedict XVI and the members of his inner circle are just not the kind of men and the Vatican is not the kind of organization that make naive mistakes or fail to consider the consequences and ramifications of every Papal pronouncement, from every angle, before it is ever made. It is also a certainty that the Vatican is both informed and concerned about the persecution of Christians in the Islamic countries."

Richard Dolan said...

It's interesting that you decided to write about "indirection" for Time. It got me thinking about the New Criticism (not so new any more) and all that. With respect to expository writing, it's perhaps less complicated, although you take a hard example when focusing on an essay writer's quotation of someone else's views which the author disclaims as his own. For authors of imaginative literature, in whatever form, I don't think there is any general proposition that's likely to hold true, other than the truism that an author means something by what he writes (or quotes or has his fictional characters say).

Your essay in says that authors can't really deny the connections between controversial stuff they quote, or have a fictional character say, and whatever message those authors are trying to convey. I was trying to figure out whether the idea of "connectedness" you were talking about is anything more than the truism that an author always intends something by what he writes, including whatever he chooses to quote from another. So it's just a special case of figuring out purpose and intent, and on that, a lot will depend on who is doing the figuring and why and what they deem to be the moral of the fictional story at hand.

You're certainly right that the use of quotations can be an indirect way of floating an idea or opinion without expressly subscribing to it. But is this all just another way of talking about irony, parody, allegory and like categories, and how they can be woven into a narrative? I think it probably is. Of course, it's all bound up with the particulars of the text (speech, novel, film, whatever) at issue. At bottom, I think the New Critics were right that the text is more interesting when taken on its own terms, without trying to force it to fit into some cultural or political agenda. Worrying about an author's purpose or intent in quoting controversial stuff is a bit different than that, but not all that different.

Doyle said...

Ann -

I agree with your point that Ratzinger can't plausibly disavow the thrust of the Manuel II quote.

On the Turkish law, though, I think our more vocal enemies have a point when they question our credibility on matters of human rights.

How much better if Turkey could discover its own love for individual free expression and relocate national pride in a willingness to hear debate and criticism, which is, after all, a mark of strength.

Members of Congress, among others, were calling for the prosecution of journalists who reported on the NSA wiretapping and Swift programs.

Short of that, accusations of treason are pervasive on the American right.

There haven't been any such prosecutions, of course, but then there's the torture thing and the unprovoked war thing.

We've got some housekeeping to do before we sweat Turkey too much.

David said...

The Pope chose his words with skill and precision. He tweaked the Muslims and left himself an avenue of escape through plausible deniability. He exposed the wounded pride sensitivity of Muslims in general, proved that Islam is not a religion of peace, and said he was sorry that they failed to understand what was to be inferred from the quoted text.

Then he administered the coup-de-grace by inviting them to discuss their differences.

Benedictus is signalling that Catholics are losing patience with Islam and signalling to Catholics and Christians worldwide that change is in the wind. He is also telling Bush that the Vatican may not be in agreement with some of what the Bush administration is doing, it agrees with confronting Islam.

Doyle said...

He exposed the wounded pride sensitivity of Muslims in general, proved that Islam is not a religion of peace, and said he was sorry that they failed to understand what was to be inferred from the quoted text.

This is so disgusting. You know they killed a nun behind this bullshit, don't you? Forgive me if I take you to be implying this was a net positive.

This radical Islamic movement is a fairly recent phenomenon. Like, mid-twentieth century recent.

The Catholic Church has a lot more blood on its institutional hands than Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas put together.

[fwiw I'm Irish Catholic]

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle: I originally had some material in there about how we don't always live up to the free speech values we profess, but I edited it out to deal with my word limit. I agree that we should set an example on this score and show the world how great it is to love free speech.

Mary said...

Maybe you could start by not deleting comments that are not vulgar, or truly off topic but merely question the consistency of your points of view. MEG

Fenrisulven said...

Such remarks are almost always from some loser trying to settle a personal grudge, Mary. I'd rather she delete the bs and ban the loser.

amba said...

"Aloof the fray"?

Tim said...

The Catholic Church has a lot more blood on its institutional hands than Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas put together.

So, no matter how far in the past that happened, no Pope from here to the end days has any moral authority to point out the historic fact that Islam was spread by the sword?

Very nice. You are one Irish Catholic well prepared for Dhimmitude. Congratulations. You must be so proud.