October 31, 2010

"Her womb was a barren desert in which my seed could find no purchase."

April finally comes up with the quote that my quote from Larry Tribe reminded her of. I was riffing on "Neither Steve Breyer nor Ruth Ginsberg has much of a purchase on Tony Kennedy's mind." The quote that had found purchase in April's brain was from from "Raising Arizona."

What if the odd and arch use of the word "purchase" gained purchase in Larry Tribe's brain because he'd watched "Raising Arizona." Suddenly "the idea of the image Tribe had of Kennedy's brain" is funny in a whole new way. "Justice Kennedy's brain/womb was a barren desert in which Breyer/Ginsburg's seed could find no purchase." Tribe thought Elena Kagan would be much better at.... what?

But it's not such an odd image. We speak of fertilizing minds and seminal ideas and gestating thoughts and mindfucks.


Richard said...

These balloons blow up in funny shapes?
Not unless round is funny.

Calypso Facto said...

My favorite line from, IMHO, Nick Cage's best movie! The only other one that sticks is when Leonard Smalls says, "Price. A fair price. That's not what you say it is, and it's not what I say it is... It's what the market will bear.'

Scott M said...

Raising Arizona was unquestionably Cage's best work. He peaked early, lol. Sardonic humor that truly stands the test of time is extremely rare. Raising Arizona had it in spades.

Calypso Facto said...

Although, technically, I think the seed quote is actually: "Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase."

So Tribe is calling Kennedy a rockhead?

Lucien said...

Well, it's certainly common for ideas to seem to have an organic quality about them, as though starting with seeds and developing into full-blown creatures/trees/things; and it's a rhetorical truism that people will cling more tightly (not bitterly) to conclusions that they think they have deduced on their own than to those fed to them overtly.

So the image of planting seeds in another's mind that will eventually bear fruit in the form of a fifth vote is provocative.

I'm not sold on the idea that Tribe meant to use "purchase" thus, but it sure is a good word to have resort to -- at once concrete and abstract.

The quote from Raising Arizona, though, mostly humbles (and inspires) me as someone who tries to express themselves in English (especially in writing).

EDH said...

"Justice Kennedy's brain/womb was a barren desert in which Breyer/Ginsburg's seed could find no purchase." Tribe thought Elena Kagan would be much better at.... what?

Makes me think of another 80s movie, The Terminator.

Elena Kagan: Are you sure you have the right person?

Larry Tribe: I'm sure.

Elena Kagan: Oh, come on. Do I look like the mother of the future liberal block on the court? I mean am I tough, organized? I can't even balance my checkbook. Look Tribe, I didn't ask for this honor and I don't WANT IT, ANY OF IT!

dogzilla said...

This use of the word "purchase" must be the new word du jour for liberals:

“The young generation is just by the numbers the most diverse generation in American history,” Levine said. “You can‘t get that much purchase on this generation if you look like you’re all white.”

Harvard: Tea Party Movement is Alienating Young Voters

A bit elitist and affected, but that's nothing new.

EDH said...

Ooops, I'm sorry, under the metaphor suggested by Tribe's comment Kagan would be the one to provide the seed to the mother womb of Kennedy's brain?

And here’s a picture of Larry Tribe giving Kagan some advice on how to get started "using the cup."

Fred4Pres said...

That is a great line. I laughed hard the first time I heard that while watching that movie in the theater. BTW...

Get Him To The Greek was only mildly funny overall, but Sean Combs is actually pretty good in describing what a mindfuck is. Combs is actually pretty good in that movie.

Ann Althouse said...

@Calypso I was trying to figure out which was the right quote. The Google was confusing about that.

Emil said...

I dunno - but I am glad that Larry Tribe missed his chance to sit on the SCOTUS. A guy like that, we don't need.

Revenant said...

Calypso's right about the quote.

Belkys said...

Ginsburg was Scalia´s best friend in the Court.He sees her as the only match to his mind . I have only read Breyer´s work and regulation and it is well balanced .
Kagan is one of the culprit of Harvard been bade into a house of second rate minds( that is what you get if you get rid of grades)

Michigan and Trumbull said...

Calypso and Revenant are correct about the quote- it's "Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase," and confirmed at IMDB.

Also, there are about 100 hits on the Google for "her womb was a barren desert," as compared to about 8,000 for "Edwina's insides were a rocky place" (and thousands more for "her insides...")

Gabriel Hanna said...

Raising Arizona is one of the funniest movies ever, I think, and the only one I can stand to see Cage in.

I particularly liked it when the remorseful convicts went back to prison--they went back in through the same hole they escaped from, instead of just knocking on the gates.

Man #1: You're not just tellin' us what we wanna hear?
Hi: : No sir, no way
Man #2: 'Cause we just want to hear the truth.
Hi: Well, then I guess I am tellin'you what you wanna hear.
Man #1: Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that?
Hi: Yessir.
Man #1: OK then.

Prison Counsellor: Most men your age, Hi, are getting married and raising up a family.
Hi: Well, factually they...
Counsellor: They wouldn't accept prison as a substitute. Would any of you men care to comment?
Gale: Well... sometimes your career's gotta come before family.

Gale: Alright you hayseeds it's a stickup! Everybody freeze. Everybody down on the ground.
(Long pause)
Hayseed: Well, which is it Young Feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? I mean to say, if'n I freeze I can't rightly drop. And if'n I drop, I'm gonna be in motion. Y'see...
Gale: Shut up!
Hayseed: Ok then.

michangelo said...

'Seed', 'purchase'? There is always the Parable of the Seed and the Sower from, I think, Matthew's gospel.

Writ Small said...

Maybe Tribe was a Crash Test Dummies fan.


Lyrics, which can be hard to understand from video:

When I'm sampling from your bosom
Sometimes I suffer from distractions like
Why does God cause things like tornadoes and train wrecks?

When I'm swimming in
When I'm swimming in your ocean
Floating aloft on creams
An scented lotions
I can get pretty side-tracked
I hope you'll understand

When I kneel before your bounty
Sometimes I wonder if there could be really
UFO's that come from other planets

And when you let me taste your fingers
I take them like fruit and as I linger I
Wonder if my seed will find purchase in your soil ...