"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, September 25, 2004

"Let's Go Sexin!"

John Waters's A Dirty Shame is much better than many critics are saying. Tracey Ulman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair and Chris Isaac are all hilarious. "Carnivalesque" is the best term to descibe it. The film's subversiveness is debatable given how sex and combating the "squares" are now common in the Entertainment Trust's products and regularly mined for profits. Yet there really is a constant struggle between the libertines and the humorless/joyless, between those who want to spread the joy and those who want everyone around them to be miserable, because misery loves company.

Shaun of the Dead looks good too. One of the characters has a line "As Bertrand Russel said, humanity's survival depends upon cooperation." Or something like that.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Rabbitblog dialogues with her readership.
Forgive me for getting personal, but this is a freakin' blog, right? I was fortunate enough to grow up in a nice, white, upper-middle-class Republican suburb of Chicago, but as far back as I can remember my politics tilted left. It probably had something to do with being raised by enlightened parents who never forced their kids to attend church, nor did they ever talk or act in any way racist or anti-Semitic or bigoted. (A fond memory of my childhood was my mother making breakfast on a Sunday morning with Soul Train blasting on the TV. "The Sooooouuuul Train!") But if forced to point to one thing, it might be the issue of race that predominantly shaped my politics. Driving with my mom into the city to get allergy shots on a weekly basis in the late 70s, I'd ponder the black ghetto we'd drive through often when taking a short cut.

This past week Henry Louis Gates wrote about how the Republican party lost the black vote:
the moment when the Republican Party lost black America can be given a date: Oct. 26, 1960. Martin Luther King Jr., arrested in Georgia during a sit-in, had been transferred to a maximum-security prison and sentenced to four months on the chain gang, without bail. As The Times reported, John F. Kennedy called Coretta King, expressing his concern. Richard Nixon didn't.
Gates mentions that his colleague Michael Dawson places it at a later date
The real watershed, in his view, was the 1980 election. Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford tried to build up, and win over, a black middle class; the Reagan team figured they could do better by shutting out the black political establishment and mobilizing white conservatives. "Black elites were shocked to find out that with Reagan and his advisers, there were no longer 'good Negroes' and 'bad Negroes,'" Dawson says.
It's not apparent to me that the Democrats have served blacks well, either. Particularly egregious was Clinton's support for the "War on Drugs." Jesse Walker has an inteview with David Simon, the creator of HBO's stellar show The Wire, which just started its third season last night.
Joseph Stiglitz, Brad DeLong, and Aaron Edlin have launched an
online economics magazine titled The Economists' Voice.