...was great. As someone said, she should be the first woman president and she should have been the first black president. Anyway, those narrow-minded Republicans went wild for an African-American, pro-choice, high achieving woman last night. Here is why:
The transformation of Corrie’s life and death into a black-and-white morality tale – featuring a well-off white American who was pure of heart, poor little brown people who have no hope, and a Zionist entity that is supremely evil – sums up the boneheadedness of modern-day Palestinian solidarity.
Condescending and stupid.
I suspect Rachel Corrie was both of those things, as well. Probably also ignorant of history. I am sorry the poor girl lost her life, but it was clearly an accident that could have been avoided. Beatifying her does not help the Palestinians, or the Israelis (though I imagine most of her supporters wouldn't give a hoot about that) or the cause of creating a two-state solution.
Fenby actually gives us two books, masterfully intertwined, for the price of one. “The General” isn’t just the story of a 20th-century giant who captivated the public’s imagination even while he was still alive. It also traces the course of a great nation that refused to come to terms with the loss of the strategic pre-eminence it had once enjoyed. This is history with an almost literary flavor. Think of Booth Tarkington’s “Magnificent Ambersons,” which charts the waning fortunes of an aristocratic family in 19th-century America, and more particularly think of the movie that was made of it. Fenby hasn’t written a novel, but one can imagine how Orson Welles might have turned “The General” into a movie classic. Hollywood, take note.
I've come to admire de Gaulle so much over the years, for all his flaws and bigotries. His actions in 1940 alone place him head and shoulders above so many others of the era, not just in France but across the globe.
Niall Ferguson had the nerve to suggest -- in a Newsweek cover story -- that Obama was not the best choice for Americans in the upcoming election. The usual suspects -- Paul Krugman chief among them -- responded in the usual manner, though I would say with even a little more nastiness than one would have expected. Ferguson responds to them here.
What I find interesting about the deluge of grief Ferguson received was how much of it was personal. He was disparaged as a "celebrity historian" by at least one critic. Gosh -- would we be jealous? For heaven's sake. Ferguson is an Oxford graduate, a Harvard prof, the list goes on. He is no fraud.
Need it also be added that were Ferguson an Obama fan none of his current critics would resent his celebrity status?
I find this hysterically funny. An old woman decided to "restore" a fresco in a church in Spain and...Ecce homo! I think it looks like Christ is sticking out his tongue. Others have said he looks like he's at the dentist's office. Others say he looks simian. Authorities are considering legal action against the 80-something Spaniard-ista, but I suspect Jesus would just get a big laugh out of the whole situation. (And frankly, what kind of lax security is there at that church that no one noticed an old lady with, you know, scrub brushes and SOS pads and magic markers or something, hovering around that fresco?)
Is it just me or is there something odd about the fact that so many of the people who are outraged (as well they should be) by Todd Akin's moronic comments also feel that Julian Assange should be spared having to face the sexual assault charges from which he is on the run?
William Windom died this weekend which made me think of My World and Welcome to It, a show I watched when I was very young (probably in re-runs, though I am not certain). I looked up some clips on YouTube and found many, including this first part of a Christmas episode. It's quite witty and the first two minutes contain a reference to Uriah Heep.
I found myself thinking about a world in which TV writers assumed viewing audiences would get that reference. Wow. So not the case in 2012.
Here is the clip in question (and please take note of one Cheryl Tiegs in the Dentyne commercial!).
People, the Starbucks at Yonge and College here in TO has -- very kindly -- been showing some of my feral cat pictures this summer. In exactly a week I will take the pictures down, so if you are in the 'hood, please do drop by the shop and have a gander. And then please tell the barista you love the photos (even if you don't) and please DON'T tell her you know me.
I'm going to Italy for a bit and of all the stuff I thought I might have to worry about (thieving gypsy children, non-ethnically specific pickpockets, getting stuck in the middle of an anti-austerity protest, getting fat from pizza, pasta and wine, having a religious epiphany in Assisi and spending the rest of my life preaching to my woodland creature friends), scary tiger mosquitoes didn't figure high on the list.
On the bright side, Italian news ladies are way superior to the Canuckistani variety.
In last week's Italian class we had a replacement teacher who engaged in a little revisionism. We were discussing sites to see in Italy and I pointed out the number of Allied soldier cemeteries that dot the landscape there (and indeed, the landscape of all of Europe). And the teacher said that, yes, this was the case, because in 1943 (he got the date wrong and said September when actually it was July) the Allies invaded Sicily and then made their way into Italy proper and, and -- this is where he was artful -- freed Italy from "l'occupazione tedesca". The German occupation.
The German occupation? Really? I think the Allies freed Italy from itself and yes, German soldiers, too. It seems to me there was a little thing called the Axis, yes? I think Italy freely joined said Axis. His choice of words made it sound as if Italy was in the same position as, say, Holland or Belgium during the war.
I did not say a thing, though you can bet I was tempted. Do not want class to be figurative warfare. (On the plus side, the replacement teacher was cute.)
Today is August 15 and the Google doodle is a representation of Julia Child on what would have been her 100th birthday. Fair enough, but August 15 is also V-J Day, Indian Independence Day and Napoleon's birthday. Come to think of it, it is also the feast of the Assumption and a holiday in many countries (including Italy).
I can understand why Google wouldn't choose a religious holiday to celebrate (although they do Christmas and Easter drawings), but surely V-J Day or Indian Independence Day are kind of bigger deals than Julia Child? Maybe the person who makes these decisions really likes French cooking.
The first known use of "OMG" is from a letter written in 1917 from a British admiral to Winston Churchill.
Letters of Note curator Shaun Usher has pointed out what might be the first known usage of O.M.G., in a September 1917 missive from British admiral John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher (or Lord Fisher) to Sir Winston Churchill. In a letter to Churchill about some "utterly [upsetting]" World War I–era newspaper headlines, Fisher wrote, "I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis — O.M.G (Oh! My! God!)— Shower it on the Admiralty!!" To which we assume Churchill replied, "Oh Dear Fisher! I am laughing heartily out loud!!"
I feel a bit odd blogging about "normal" stuff again, after the post below. But if there is one thing of which Heather always approved, it was celebrating crushes. There is currently a great debate afoot on Twitter about Andrea's beard. I happen to love it. If anything, he is even more sex-god-like (that smile, those hairy forearms...) than before.
A dear, long-time friend died yesterday. Do not yet know the causes of death. She had a difficult past few months, struggling financially and emotionally but I spoke to her last Friday and she was optimistic and ever trying to encourage me when I whined about my problems. Nothing to be done, but this Edna St. Vincent Millay poem came to mind:
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you. Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.
The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love, They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
OMG -- I loved this movie. Bf and I watched it last night and 'twas fab. It's about two actors who go on the road to review fancy-pants restaurants in the Lake District for a London newspaper. The scenery is stunning and the dialogue is hilarious. So many scenes I adored, including this one, a tribute to ABBA's The Winner Takes it All:
The Italian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games made a noble gesture Sunday and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago, Voice of Israel radio reported Sunday.