"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

Friday, November 27, 2009

Victoria was my Queen

Slate is publishing some good writers:

Katha Pollitt on Gail Collins and the Secret History of Feminism.
Women needed their husbands' permission to start a business, get a credit card, or even rent an apartment as a separated spouse. In some states, women were barred from serving on juries. (After all, as Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren was advised in a memo from his clerk, letting women serve "may encourage lax performance of their domestic duties.") Marital rape? Legal. Sports for girls? Forget it. That women were the weaker, dumber, more boring sex was a given.This elaborate structure of law and custom had been in place seemingly forever. And yet within a few decades it was shattered so completely that young women today can be forgiven for thinking it sounds like some science-fiction dystopia.
Dana Stevens writing about popular culture:
Sometimes a critic's aesthetic judgment is impossible to extricate from what you might call her cinematic libido. There are movies that bring us a pleasure that's neither definable nor defensible. These used to be called "guilty pleasures," but that phrase seems too judgmental, too pre-Vatican II, for our postmodern era of omnivorous cultural consumption. The distinction between high and low culture, between what we're allowed to enjoy publicly and what we must sneak off to savor in private, has effaced itself to the degree that "guilty pleasures" needs to be replaced by a more morally neutral term. For our purposes here, I'll go with a term that a friend and I coined in college and that I still deploy on occasion: movies we couldn't intellectually defend but still unapologetically loved we called "juicebombs."
Michael Bérubé reminds us of what National Review editor Rich Lowry once wrote about that juicebomb Sarah Palin now that she is back in the news with the publication of her new book and kinky behavior of her family unit.
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
I've always given Lowry some grudging respect because he'll argue the conservative side of issues with a lawyerly professionalism and is smart enough to see when his side is losing. So it's funny to see him write something like this, especially after dissing the celebrity aspect of Obama.

And though I don't agree with Lowry about Palin, the room did darken and my heart started beating like a hammer when I witnessed Tina Fey do her famous Palin impersonation live on TV. I've always had Fey up on a pedestal, but to see her hit a home run caused - in Lowry's words - starburst neurtinos to shoot out of the boob tube and melt my inner core and cause my tectonic plates to shift. I believe Ray Davies and the Kinks said it best:
Long ago, life was clean
Sex was bad and obscene
And the rich were so mean
Stately homes for the lords
Croquet lawns, village greens
Victoria was my queen
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria

I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow, I shall fight
For this land, I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria