24 April 2007

And Finally The Miscellany

And on this day of non-stop (read in: compensatory) blogging, a few short-takes on Recent Things:
  • Some of us remember too well the terrible insecurity when Mikhail Gorbachev was ostensibly ousted all those years ago. Insecurity is a bit of an understatement. I remember watching the TV without stop, wondering if we were witnessing a giant leap back in time. Then Yeltsin happened. He literally "happened." And from there, the rest is history, even if his successor, Mr Putin, these days sounds and acts more like a mafioso Secretary-General than a President. For whatever his faults, for whatever his inadequacies as a reformer and/or statesman, Mr Yeltsin stood up and said, defiantly, that there was no going back, there was only going forward. That, my friends, took courage. Let that be what he's remembered for.

    And, to all you right-wing Reaganite nutjobs: Gorbachev and then Yeltsin ended the Soviet Union, so stop taking credit for something you didn't bloody well do. Let us pray (pray, pray) we're finally near the end of this age of willy-nilly historical revisionism.

  • Yesterday was Saint George's Day-- and as I meant to note, the date of Shakespeare's death. (Some claim it as his birthday, too, but the evidence for that's iffy at best.) So, go celebrate by reading, and ideally viewing, some Shakespeare for the rest of the week. And please, please, please, don't just reread Hamlet. For God's sake, don't. Try King John or Cymbeline, just for a change.

  • 24 continues its full-throttle dead-slowness in resolving a season best forgotten, like that thing you did with the gerbils, a tuning fork and the cast of Oz. For those of you not watching, as if you should, there are still a stabbed President, a murderous Farmer Hogget and a one-armed Russian terrorist unaccounted for. Oh, and a story that, I think everyone agrees, sucks bloated, muddy donkey balls. Or so say the show's fans. Those of us more critical would say much, much worse.

    (Correction: I was wrong. These preening, clueless dunderheads disagree. Then again, they use the word "significant" where most of the rest us would use the words "laughably ridiculous.")

  • I imagine Sylvia is ecstatic that I mentioned her specifically in my earlier re-crud-escent post. I assure all of you, she is NOT the first person of whom I think when poop comes to mind. I also imagine Syl's equally thrilled I've felt the need to qualify this. ;-)

  • If I hear one more thing from CNN about the Virginia Tech massacre, I think I'll beat my TV into a mass of busted circuits. The ghoulish, pretentious, manipulative "all-massacre-all-the-time" coverage has finally waned, but the cheap cynicism of their reportage remains shameless. I won't even begin to comment, so of course I will, on its "show-the-Cho-tape-ad-nauseum" day-later reversal as it feigned sensitivity to viewer disgust. Once it had decided to air the material, it had to stick to its journalistic guns, arguing relevance. But it didn't. So, beyond being pandering and exploitative, it's also gutless and unprincipled, which renders it lower-than-Mitt-Romney-low.

  • Opening line for a Cohenesque novel, if one can still be written in this tsk-tsk-tsk-ing age: "She was a damsel in gossamer, but only because of the cobwebs that had formed permanently around her dank and forbidding cu...." [Stop! Stop! We interrupt this sickening, sexist perversion to protect you, the genteel and possibly innocent readers of this blog. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blathering.] Okay, maybe more Mailer than Cohen, but six, half-dozen and the other....

  • Andrew Sullivan offers an interesting but nearly-hagiographical assessment of Obama-mania. (As Homer Simpson would say, "Patent pending, patent pending, patent pending.") Obama, for now, is getting the RFK man-who-would-be-king treatment, but I remain skeptical. He can't, at least, be any worse than the current President. Inanimate carbon rods, however, couldn't be any worse.

  • And two items, both brought to my attention courtesy Hockey Jones. First, evidently "old, inefficient bulbs" in Ontario will be reduced to running for parliament, with the dimmest and most wasteful vying for the Premiership. Secondly, this link will provide you with some of the most disturbing images you'll ever see. Gives new meaning, however, to Phil Collins' "Coming In The Air Tonight." *shiver*
Okay--- enough. Some stuff on the burner now, so don't be too surprised if I go quiet for a bit. Until time avails itself again. Best.


RK said...

Title for Cohenesque novel: Under Miss Havisham?

sylvia said...

And, to all you right-wing Reaganite nutjobs: Gorbachev and then Yeltsin ended the Soviet Union, so stop taking credit for something you didn't bloody well do.

Did I ever tell you, back when we were Foundlings, about the indignant letter my father wrote to his campus newspaper, announcing that he was boycotting the graduation ceremonies because the university were giving Gorbachev an honorary doctorate? (My stepmother wrote one as well, cunningly using her maiden name so as to conceal the fact that two of the three "decent people" offended by said invitation were married to each other.) I quote: Mikhail Gorbachev did not intentionally contribute to the downfall of the Evil Empire. [...] Gorbachev was and is a Communist [...] Decent people will boycott this hypocritical ceremony; or, better still, they will picket it. From my stepmother's contribution: Why is it not understood that the honouring of Mr. Gorbachev is as offensive to the victims of communism as the honouring of a Nazi would be to the victims of Naziism [sic]? (FTR, this was 1993; also FTR, my journal also records an informal poll of my immigrant-from-communist-country friends, all of whom thought my dad and stepmother were off their rockers. "Is she confusing Gorbachev with Stalin?" I wondered.)

(Sorry, that wee digression went on a bit longer than I meant it to...)

I also recall, a day or two after the JFK Jr plane crash, a friend of mine saying "If I see the footage of JFK Jr saluting his father's coffin, I will vomit." Different crisis, same obnoxious CNN behaviour :P

I've been meaning to thank you for the poopy shout-out -- how often does that happen to a person? ;^)

John Mutford said...

I agree the news coverage is bad, but at least they're not gone back to Imus.

j said...

actually thought the yeltsin and clinton combination made the '90s a lot more colorful than it might have been

mind you, yeltsin probably reminded people more of winston churchill; in this modern capitalist age they should be earning royalties as ads for alcohol companies - no disrespect meant

Paul said...

Forget Imus. A woman was insulted by her couch.

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