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November 29, 2006


Wow. After that article, I can see why you had to respond as you did... there's no good way to engage that much crazy.

Sometimes it hurts to laugh.

It's one of those "you can't un-sh!t the bed" kind of things.

As was remarked in the previous thread, this is no put-on; Chait is being completely serious in this article.

[PS: apparently including a hyperlink in the title (or at least at the beginning of the title) breaks the linkyness in the sidebar under "Recent Comments".]

I like the first one best. Understated.

Is he REALLY serious? I saw it as...not quite a joke, but sort of free floating bitterness.

Long-time reader, first-time commentator.

Thank-you for this, Hilzoy. I've been walking around ever since I read that Chait insanity so filled with rage and dismay that I couldn't even think about it let alone write about it.

Wonderful also that you used a favorite poem to such satiric effect; that is William Carlos Williams' "This Is Just To Say" at the top? I know he'd have approved; a doctor who wrote poetry and made housecalls; what a different world from that in which the Chaits of the world appear to live.

I wish there was some formal procedure by which we could ask someone to leave off pretending they belong to the liberal camp; or perhaps I mean the humanity camp, some equivalent of epaulet removal and slaps across the face with regimental gloves.

Anyway, thank-you again, although rage and dismay are the only appropriate response to what we hath wrought in Iraq, we need to be clearheaded in the face of this disaster, and satire and humor are at least as wonderful a way to focus the mind as impending execution.

Hee. Hee-hee. Hee.

And I'm awfully proud of myself for recognizing the poem.......

i don't know how many times i've seen pro-war commenters challenge people with "so, you think we'd be better off with Saddam still in power?"

being able to reply "yes, because things have turned-out so badly in Iraq, on balance, Saddam would be better for the Iraqi people," isn't really a satisfying answer. but it's a valid one. but, to write a piece like Chait's unprompted ... well, that's just strange.

yes, "This Is Just To Say" is one of my favorites, too - though i like his Red Wheelbarrow best.

The ending is a bit too close to reality.

Some good links back to ObWi here.

Digby on Chait's I-didn't-mean-it-but-actually-sort-of stance.

Incidentally this embedding links in post titles thing breaks the recent comment feature for me.

I'm kind of partial to Gorbachev at this point, too.

Plus, I think I saw a guy walking backwards out of Iran with a cake in his hands and Oliver North was heard speaking backwards Robin Williams gobbledygook out of both sides of his mouth as bullets flew back into the barrels of the weapons he gave to death squads in Central America.

Children's corpses rose from the ground and backwardsly attended school and made up lost homework.

A ship, in the Gulf Of Tonkin, reassembled itself and sailed for Honolulu.

Pol Pot, backedpedaled to the fork in the road and decided eyeglasses were not a sign of bourgeoisie corruption and French pastries were actually pretty tasty.

Marie Antoinette's head flew out of the basket and reconnected with her neck, followed by her wig. Bread was substituted for cake.

The Lusitania bobbed to the surface and ocean-going love affairs reconstituted themselves in reverse.

George Martin backed away from signing the four genuises from Liverpool. Bobby Rydell, Ricky Nelson, and Motown breathed a reverse sigh of relief. The Kinks forgot where they were going.

The ice caps began thickening.

Bush quit quitting drinking.

Not to be a cock or anything, but:

did someone say Hussein ?


How long until the "unintentional" substitution of an "s" for a "b" in his name becomes a widespread meme? Or has it already and I just haven't noticed?

truly brilliant

Actually, I modestly (well) admit to predicting right here last year that the rhymesters in charge of projectile vomiting all over Democrats would find the "s" handy.

Now, we have "Hussein", too.

No doubt there is a Biblical concordance underway as we speak that this is a sign of the Endtimes.

The great thing is that every single Republican name floated for a 2008 candidacy is going to rhyme with "Bush". Rudy Bush and Newt Bush and John Bush and the Mormon Bushes.

FOX has got to get that mini-series off the ground in which a public figure named Hussein Osama ascends to the White House and christens a new cabinet agency: The Department of Dhimmitude.

If I were Mrs. Barack Obama, I would counsel my husband to beware of the nutcase crazy American in the book depository AND the real Osama on the grassy knoll.



And, as icing on the cake, it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite comments ever on ObWi, posted by st back in April 2005:

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the eco-tourist
that was in
the river

and whom
you were probably
relying upon
to pay your guide fees.

Forgive me
he was delicious
so crunchy
and screamy.

-- Obviously Not William Carlos Williams

"crunchy and screamy"...that still makes me chuckle uncontrollably

hah. that's awesome. "screamy"

Hey, Edward_, nice to see you round these parts. I linked st's version indirectly above, but it's worth pulling up.

Of course you can un-shit the bed, it's just that the Administration is doing it like Spud did at his girlfriend's house in Trainspotting.

I had forgotten about 'crunchy and screamy'. Thanks ;)

Perhaps I'm missing something, but isn't Chait's piece a bit of kidding-on-the-square satire? The point that Saddam isn't obviously worse than the current situation is worth making, and Chait's modest proposal is an excellent way to make that point.

Hey Rilkefan,

I see I wasn't the only one tickled by that parody...Hil, thanks for the much needed break from the insanity.


The point that Saddam isn't obviously worse than the current situation is worth making, and Chait's modest proposal is an excellent way to make that point.

Yeah, that's what I thought, too, but apparently Chait wasn't kidding.

togolosh, "kidding-on-the-square" means to mean it to some extent, so I don't think "modest proposal" works here. Really I think he's rather muddled on this issue - I think the term is "cognitive dissonance".

Are we sure Chait didn't suggest we eat the Iraqis?

The Iraqi diet by Chait? I don't buy it.

Even ignoring the likelihood that reinstalling Saddam would lead to even more brutality, who in his right mind would think that a U.S.-backed Saddam could rule effectively now that he has been so utterly humiliated both militarily and personally, now that his papier mache weapons programs have been thoroughly picked over by gullible neocons, and now that his army and security forces have forged new allegiances to men who haven't yet been pulled out of spider holes and prodded on TV?

I'm Sorry

I'm sorry I came in your shoes.

I'm sorry I hung your teddy bear from the light fitting and then pointed the anglepoise lamp at it so the first thing you saw when you came home was little Bear Paws swinging from his noose in silhouette on the wall.

I'm sorry about that thing with your chinchilla and the bellows. But I have to point out that it was me who wiped everything off the wallpaper, and your sister did get the fur out of her teeth.

I'm sorry I pissed in the steam iron.

I'm sorry about putting that half a horse from the road accident in the back of your car. But in my defense I thought you might, I dunno, find it useful for something.

I'm sorry I left that half a horse in the back of your car for two weeks.

I'm sorry about your mother almost choking to death on the condom, though I still don't think it was my fault.

I'm sorry about your mother almost choking to death on the used condom a month later. That might have been my fault, yeah.

I'm sorry I pissed in the washing machine.

I'm sorry about that whole thing with the harpoon gun, the fishing line and the, you know, the string of dogs.

I'm sorry I made you help me stand the dogs in line.

I'm sorry I threw up in the carrot bread mix and didn't tell anyone.

I'm sorry about exploding those frogs with your drinking straws and then putting them back in the drawer without telling you. Or rinsing them.

I'm sorry I pissed in your sister. On your sister. On. Really. On your sister.

I'm sorry about all these things, and anything else you can think of, and I really really love you and I want you to take me back.

And, um. I'm sorry the back of your house is on fire.

(c) Warren Ellis 2004

Hm. Credit due perhaps to Kenneth Koch? Or was he not the first one, either?

Anderson: I think there have been a lot of parodies of Williams' poem.

"crunchy and screamy"...that still makes me chuckle uncontrollably

Thanks for putting that thought into my head, Edward_.

Have none of you heard of Jonathan Swift or Swiftian parody?

At any rate, can any of you answer his question? Is Iraq not so fucked up now that putting Saddam back might actually stabilize the situation and lead to fewer deaths? Well, at least after the civil war that would follow upon his re-insertion into Iraq.

Is Iraq (and are sane, publicly acknowledged American/Western interests in Iraq) better off than it was four years ago? Come on.

I interpreted it the way Katherine did. Stephen Colbert had a segment just like this a few months ago.

baldie: Have none of you heard of Jonathan Swift or Swiftian parody?

Yes. It was discussed on an earlier thread, but apparently Chait was quite serious.

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