Grateful for the Well-Spoken and Annoyed
October 11, 2006
Toothless I remain (not literally, thanks to Dr. Polansky), but where has all the invective gone?
My god, things have come to such a pass that I am reduced to spluttering. Which is why I don’t post much here, in the place I thought I would do my political ranting. Take Bush in his press conference today, going on about the dire, most serious, portentious, and did I say dire, situation in regards to Korea (a.k.a. part of the Careen Peninshla). Trying to look like a responsible leader. Here’s a snippet:
[THE PRESIDENT:] Kevin.
Q Thank you, Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: If I might say, that is a beautiful suit. Q Thank you, sir. My tailor appreciates that.
THE PRESIDENT: And I can’t see anybody else that even comes close. (Laughter.)
Q Thank you very much. I’ll be happy to pass along my tailor’s number if you’d like that, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll take that back. I will recognize that — please.
Q On May 23, 2003, sir, you said — you effectively drew a line in the sand. You said, “We will not tolerate a nuclear North Korea.” And yet now it appears that they have crossed that line. And I’m wondering what now, sir, do you say to both the American people and the international community vis-à-vis what has happened over the last 48 hours?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I appreciate that, and I think it’s very important for the American people and North Korea to understand that that statement still stands, and that one way to make sure that we’re able to achieve our objective is to have other people join us in making it clear to North Korea that they share that objective. And that’s what’s changed. That’s what’s changed over a relatively quick period of time. It used to be that the United States would say that, and that would be kind of a stand-alone statement. Now, when that statement is said, there are other nations in the neighborhood saying it.
And so we’ll give diplomacy a chance to work. It is very important for us to solve these problems diplomatically. And I thank the leaders of — listen, when I call them on the phone, we’re strategizing. This isn’t, oh, please stand up and say something; this is, how can we continue to work together to solve this problem. And that is a substantial change, Kevin, from the previous times.
Suzanne. First best dressed person here. Sorry.
Q Kevin and I coordinated.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. He actually looks —
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Back on Iraq. A group of American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war. That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December, at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure, and do you consider this a credible report?
See, where do you begin? Well, in truth, I begin by appreciating those with the stamina to give voice to their outrage. Even if it feels it has no effect, it does no good to stop, right? I think I’ve mentioned The Disgruntled Chemist in here before. Did I mention Arse Poetica? Just a likeable soul who appreciates good things (say, food and praying mantises, though not together), suffers with others, and excoriates public idiocy (say, questionably elected leaders).
You can always find something good, if more intellectual than visceral, on 3 Quarks Daily. For example, you can’t beat a headline like this:
The Return of Henry Kissinger: Will We Never Be Free of the Malign Effect of This Little Gargoyle?, which links to a column in that vein by Christopher Hitchens in Slate.com.
One Good Move is a good compendium of outrageous observations, remarked upon with a blandness that accentuates the beyond-rage quality of outrageousness.
I’ll try to keep sharing the voices that in some way or other say what I would have said if I were half so clever. Or profane. Or not beaten down by the disbelieving dread of it all.