September 13, 2009

"God bless America, my friend."

Said by a bicyclist to a pedestrian, outside my Madison, Wisconsin window just now. He added, "You going to work?" and the pedestrian, apparently someone he knew, said "yeah." That was the entirety of the conversation.

I thought you'd like to know what people are saying in Madison this morning.


Bissage said...

[Our scene is a home office in USDA Zone 6b. The time is five minutes ago.]

MRS. BISSAGE: I’m taking the dog for a walk.

ME: Okay.

MRS. BISSAGE: We’re going over to the bike path so she won’t get muddy.

ME: Okay.

MRS. BISSAGE: You sure you don’t want to come?

ME: Thanks, anyway.

* type, type, type, type, type, type, . . . *

Lem said...

Whenever I read that common phrase (I never hear it in person other than at the end of a political speech) it sounds as though is being said sarcastically.

Florida said...

I question this supposed estimate that you have provided concerning the number of people who were involved in this "alleged" conversation.

Where is the photographic evidence? You frequently have pictures on your website and you expect me to believe that there were two people conversing nearby and you didn't take a photo of them?

How convenient, Ms. Althouse ... if that is your real name.

According to the NY Times, there was only one person in attendance in Madison, Wisc. So, there could hardly have been a conversation, now could there Missy?

One person can't have a conversation, experts say.

Look ... over there ... a unicorn!

Florida said...


Baltimore, MD – September 13, 2009 – We have received inquiries from citizens and the media asking whether the Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office would initiate a criminal investigation for a conversation allegedly committed at Ann Althouse' home office located in Madison, Wisc.

The only information received in reference to this alleged behavior was a blog post. Upon review by this office, the post appears to be incomplete. In addition, the post could possibly have been obtained in violation of Wisconsin Law, Annotated Code of Wisconsin Courts and Judicial Proceedings, which requires two party consent to the recording of said conversation.

If it is determined that the post now being read on was illegally obtained, it is also illegal under Wisconsin Law to willfully use or willfully disclose the content of said conversation. The penalty for the unlawful interception, disclosure or use of it is a felony punishable up to 5 years.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Where I grew up, "God bless America!" was sometimes used interchangeably with "Good gosh!" or "Lord have mercy!"

Don't know how widespread that was or is.

William Faulkner, we are told, would scribble bits of conversation he overheard while standing around on a street corner in Oxford, MS.

peter hoh said...

Per commenter Quayle: I want a picture, and prof that the bicyclist is not a plant.

Pogo said...

An enigmatic converstion; like a David Lynch movie where odd comments are spoken, apparently pregnant with meaning, but ultimately no explanation ever comes and the viewer feels tricked by this random performance art.

I grew to detest "Twin Peaks".

montana urban legend said...

Working? On a Sunday? Already?!

It's like the marchers/protesters put the economy back on track!

Woo Hoo! Right On! Go Glenn Beck!

rhhardin said...

Nine Mile Walk was a nice mystery based on an overheard idle line.

Meade said...

Where I grew up, "God bless America!" was sometimes used interchangeably with "Good gosh!" or "Lord have mercy!"

I remember that too.

But in this case, I have a feeling the bicyclist was using the invocation ironically, maybe even sarcastically. I imagine him thinking to himself: "Ooh, there's [my pal]! I'll spook/startle him with a BOO! No, wait... I know what I'll say. (heh heh heh)."

Meade said...

My guess: Socialist lefty bicyclist.

ricpic said...

Yes We Can

Woke up this mornin'. Didn't feel alone.
We got the numbers. Let the liberals moan.
Let's celebrate. C'mon Conservatives. Let's go get stoned!

former law student said...

Barista meets patron.

rhhardin said...

Normally the subjunctive mood is only used for buying time (``What if he were?'') and moral posturing (``If there be justice'').


EDH said...

Joy to you, friend.

Althouse, are you of the body?

It's almost the Red Hour. Do you have a place to sleep it off?

Flee now, while you have the chance!

See if the following video reminds you of the Southpark's Landru, er, I mean Obama riot.

The Return of the Archons

In an episode of the old Star Trek, Captain Kirk and crew beam down to a planet that looks like an old frontier town. Its people wear 19th-century attire and walk slowly along the sidewalks. They carry books that look sacred, call everyone “Friend,” and ask outsiders if they are “of the Body.” When the clock tolls six, however, these uptight townspeople suddenly become a raging mob. They tear off hats and coats, and start fist-fighting, throwing stones through windows, screaming “Festival! Festival!” As Kirk and his men soon learn, the Festival—“the Red Hour” it’s called—is a twelve-hour, all-hell-breaks-loose outlet for the normally reserved, controlled inhabitants.

More, from Wiki...

The entire culture is ruled over by cloaked and cowled "lawgivers," controlled by a reclusive dictator known as Landru. The only time the people "let loose", and become randomly violent and sexually aggressive, is at the striking of "The Red Hour" (at 6:00pm), starting a festival which apparently is the only time Landru does not exercise control over them.

Kirk's landing party beams down just before the festival, and they seek shelter from the mobs at a nearby boarding house. Landru seems to be "all-seeing" and "all-knowing" with spies everywhere, one of whom turns in the party when he does not recognize them as members of "The Body," the telepathic collective being, symbiotic with Landru, that most of the inhabitants belong to.

Kirk and his team are eventually captured. However, Reger, the owner of the house, is a resistance member and offers protection to Kirk and his team. Reger reveals that Landru "absorbs" selected people into The Body, which was the fate of the Archon's crew, and will also be the fate of the Enterprise's landing party. The Enterprise itself is now stuck in a decaying orbit as intense heat beams prevent it from using its engines.

Kirk and Mr. Spock, his first officer, discover that the reclusive Landru is actually a computer sealed inside an ancient chamber, created 6000 years ago by a Betian scientist also named Landru. The Landru of that time only wished to create a way to help his failing society achieve peace. The computer was the solution but it performed its job soullessly and ruthlessly.

Kirk and Spock manage to convince the machine that running the planet as it has been is wrong and the people are being kept as meaningless slaves. They manage to convince the machine that it has violated its own prime directive. The machine realizes its mistake and self-destructs, thus freeing the people of Beta III. Kirk agrees to leave Federation advisors and educators on the planet to help the civilization along free of Landru's dominance.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Woke up this mornin', myself a gun."

The Macho Response


former law student said...

In Wisconsin, the Doors lyrics are more apropos:

Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future's uncertain, and the end is always near

Chip Ahoy said...

Your cynicism this morning cuts like a knife straight to my heart. No wait, it's not that bad, it's more like a paper cut. No wait, wait, wait, it's not that bad either. It cuts like a near-miss with a chefs' knife while closely chiffanade slicing a bunch of basil that thankfully gets stopped by a thumbnail. Yeah, that's what it's like, a nick to a thumbnail.

I'll have none of it, because I know people are naturally this lovely especially people of liberal persuasion and especially on Sunday and other special occasions.
‹supporting anecdote›
As you probably already know the Democratic National Convention attracted a large number of liberal types to Denver. I walked around with my camera hoping to shoot something possibly a little bit weird. I was looking for strangeness but all I kept seeing was perfectly normal vignettes and lovely activities. The first street I crossed I encountered a man setting up a booth, a hippie type assessing by his appearance. Upon seeing me approach the man chirped, "God bless you," and I hadn't even sneezed.

I continued along perambulating reconnoitering the area for several blocks. A line of women walking the opposite direction fell into single file as if choreographed so I could pass with ease without stepping off the sidewalk and without missing a step. They all smiled gracefully and greeted me as we passed one another. I thought, "How charming." This characterized may other similar encounters along my way.

Fleets of stretch limousines passed in unusual number, paused at the crosswalk so I could pass ,while helicopters swarmed continuously overhead ferrying notables. But nothing at all sufficiently strange to photograph.

I continued along by the Mint where a crowd compressed for the purpose of levitating the building. As it turned out they underestimated the weight of the building, coins in bulk do weigh an awful lot, and the building in its restrained Renaissance decorative armorial classicism taking up the whole block remained unbudging. They must have been unaware of the additions made to it in the back, and of the several subbasements. At any rate, while this was going on, someone in the crowd noticed Michelle Malkin on the periphery and shrieked with alarm, "Hey! There's Michelle Malkin!" Immediately a large brutish fellow, a gorilla of a hairy bloke wearing a Hawaiian shirt and short pants and Teva sandals, swiftly took up position and hovered menacingly over the diminutive Malkin and threateningly barked her off the premises effectively clearing the area until only lovely gentle elevating people remained.

On the way back, and a little bit disappointed by the lack of photographable strangeness, I noticed a line of policemen standing in the shade leaning against the Courthouse with their bicycles and eating sandwiches scanning the Civic Center for signs of possible trouble. I thought, "Now there's an interesting picture." I asked. "Sirs, my I please take your picture?" They looked at each other quizzically, then then largest one answered, "NO! Now, piss off." Apparently Republican. Crestfallen, I continued on my way. A passerby who overheard the exchange, another lovely gentle fellow, whispered in passing, "How rude." I go, "Yeah, that was a bummer." Then he stopped and said, "Just go a distance and use your telephoto there, take whatever picture you want." I was cheered and encouraged by this helpful and supportive unsolicited advice, a patriot he was, but by the time I had sufficient distance the grouping of police had disbanded and the one interesting picture was lost.
‹/supporting anecdote›

traditionalguy said...

Sudden thought: God will bless America again when we acknowledge Him again.