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November 15, 2006


Barry: Perhaps you were out of the country for the past six years, Slartibartfast; I understand the news doesn't cross water well (oh, if only there was some way of instantly transmitting news across the world!).

There's these amazing inventions that Slarti may not make use of: they consist of flat pieces of wood pulp, printed with text, bound together using card and thread and glue. What I love about them is that you can read them anywhere - on the bus, on the train, on a plane - even if there's no Internet access and no electricity. Amazingly, you can buy them almost anywhere, too. That's how I first got to know and love Molly Ivins.

'Because Beck did not say he considered Ellison a traitor'

'Yes, he did.'

... in Humpty-Dumpty world.

Having finally watched the snippet, I think it more likely that Beck's sincere. Ellison certainly reacts as if I'm correct.

Having finally watched the snippet...

Wait, what?

in Humpty-Dumpty world.

That would be the world where when eggs fall off walls they break? Yeah. Beck said Ellison was likely to be a traitor because of his religion - and it really doesn't matter how diplomatically/politely Ellison reacted to that: it's still offensive.

Sorry - Beck accuses Ellison of being a likely traitor because of Ellison's religion and his political party. Muslim and Democratic Congressman: potential traitor, in Beck's eyes, someone who must "prove" his loyalty. Offensive not only to Ellison - who I've no doubt handled that comment with expert diplomacy, having undoubtedly heard worse - but to every American Muslim who votes Democratic.

Anarch, I'm a bit constrained by having a job in a public space and having a little baby who needs his sleep. I made it clear above repeatedly that I was relying on the transcript.

Jes, the H-D world is the one where words mean what you say they mean. An important part of my self-awarded poetic license is to defend the language against people who do what you're doing. "Feel" is not "consider"; "I know you're not x" is not "you're likely x"; context is not irrelevant. You can argue Beck insinuated x if you like - I think that's an unobjective conclusion, but it's in the right universe.

Complete transcript of Ellison interview.

I'm a bit constrained by having a job in a public space and having a little baby who needs his sleep.

Of course; I had simply missed you saying that you hadn't yet seen the video and therefore was reading your comments in a different light.

From the Beck transcript:

BECK: You know, I think -- honestly, I thought of this during the election. With Vermont -- is it Vermont? Which is the one that just elected the first socialist...

GRAHAM: Vermont. Vermont. Right up the road here, yes.

BECK: I believe we should take the ice cream factory without the two fat guys, and we should vote them out of the union. I think you should have a renewal period on every state. I think the rest of the country should vote whether you`re a state or not anymore.

Yes, the Republic should be more like Survivor. That'll teach them LL Bean-wearing hippies to elect a socialist!

What a maroon.

the H-D world is the one where words mean what you say they mean.

Yes, I'm familiar with Through the Looking-Glass. I'm also familar with the Humpty Dumpty strategy which Beck is using here: calling Ellison a traitor because of his political party and his religion, while bracketing this offensive insult in such a way that if Ellison had responded in anger at this insult to himself, his religion, and his political party, Ellison, not Beck, would have looked (to people unfamiliar with Beck's strategy) like an asshole. One can either respond to this kind of insult by dissecting it out, explaining in detail exactly what Beck is saying and how insulting he's being (I heard on the radio a British feminist doing this once to a man who evidently wasn't in the least bit used to being called on his behavior - it was beautiful how he huffed and he puffed and he claimed he hadn't said what he had said or hadn't meant it): or, more diplomatically, you can pretend you believe the bigot's goodwill and respond on his own terms. For a politician with a long career ahead, Ellison's choice was probably the wisest one - especially given that you and many other Americans are evidently unable to figure out how offensive Beck was being.

"we should vote them out of the union"

I hope he said that with a smile. We tried something along those lines in 1861 and the experience was less than pleasant.

Of course I myself have been amused by the idea of dropping Jesusland from the U.S.

Beck is a trained flea, jumping on command. Let's be clear: CNN is responsible for this little outrage. Consumers should punish them directly, not waste their anger on Mr. Beck.

Rilkefan. What do think about Hogans point above that Beck was misusing the word 'feel'? Can one really feel a statement of fact?

Sure, people may use this construction, but it seems to me they are saying "I feel bad, because I think you are a traitor, even though I know I shouldn't". How can a person prove someone's feelings wrong? I think you can only prove someone's feelings to be based on incorrect thoughts. That is, if you can prove to them that what they think is wrong, their feelings will take care of themselves.

OT. Rembeber how Moe lane used to do poetry slams? They don't have those at redstate. I wonder how they would go. I'm imagining Kipling translated into klingon.

Pb, I'm sure there's such a misuse of "feel" out there - probably a passive-aggressive sort of misuse - but it seems relatively clear to me in context that Beck is saying he has a biased, irrational, emotional reaction to Ellison, a reaction shared by many citizens, and that it's worth discussing. He seems from the snippet to be a wingnut but not the evil variety.

I don't think Kipling would have had much tolerance for Redstateism.

The Fifteenth Century

AT two o'clock in the morning, if you open your window and listen,
You will hear the feet of the Wind that is going to call the sun.
And the trees in the shadow rustle and the trees in the moonlight glisten,
And though it is deep, dark night, you feel that the night is done.

So do the cows in the field. They graze for an hour and lie down,
Dozing and chewing the cud; or a bird in the ivy wakes,
Chirrups one note and is still, and the restless Wind strays on,
Fidgeting far down the road, till, softly, the darkness breaks.

Back comes the Wind full strength with a blow like an angel's wing,
Gentle but waking the world, as he shouts: "The Sun! The Sun!"
And the light floods over the fields and the birds begin to sing,
And the Wind dies down in the grass. It is day and his work is done.

So when the world is asleep, and there seems no hope of her waking
Out of some long, bad dream that makes her mutter and moan,
Suddenly, all men arise to the noise of fetters breaking,
And every one smiles at his neighbour and tells him his soul is his own!

I don't think Kipling would have had much tolerance for Redstateism.

IMO it would strongly depend on when in his life you were to ask. Later Kipling wouldn't, I agree, but it's much less clear if we're talking early Kipling.

Later Kipling wouldn't, I agree, but it's much less clear if we're talking early Kipling.

Neither late Kipling nor early Kipling was Islamophobic, though. While Kipling (early as much as late)well-comprehended the ignorant prejudice of many white Christians against any other race or religion, it is one of Kipling's more likeable aspects that he recognized that as ignorant prejudice and worthy of mockery. What he would have thought of Beck accusing Ellison of being a traitor because of his religion and party could have made one of his more spectacular occasional pieces - I treasure Cleared as a lovely example of outraged contempt for public figures who incited hatred and then claimed a shocked innocence when people acted violently on their incitement.

"Cleared", honourable gentlemen! Be thankful it's no more: --
The widow's curse is on your house, the dead are at your door.
On you the shame of open shame, on you from North to South
The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.

"Less black than we were painted"? -- Faith, no word of black was said;
The lightest touch was human blood, and that, you know, runs red.
It's sticking to your fist to-day for all your sneer and scoff,
And by the Judge's well-weighed word you cannot wipe it off.

I wonder how long it's going to be before some wellknown liberal or centrist gets shot. The right has been preparing the ground for assasination for years. The demonizinng, eliminationist talk, the white stuff in letters sent as a "joke", the speculations that the country would be better off if someone would kill a Supreme Court Justice or blow up the State Department....poison cookies for the Supremes. The hatemongers have been stirring up nutcases for years, but up until the election, the haters and nut cases thought they were winning. Now that they are losing I really do think some promenent liberal or centrist is going to be killed.

Thanks for the reply. Point taken.

I've seen plenty of Kipling, CS Lewis, and Hayek quoted over at redstate. I never meant to imply that the quoters understood or that the quotees would approve.

I mentioned earlier that I was surprised by Jes' love of Kipling and so I've set up an open thread at TiO for her (or anyone else) to expound on why they like poet X.

Flight attendant offended by a breastfeeding mom.

I botched the link in my comment, it is here (With a special hat tip to rilkefan for commenting on the thread even though I screwed it up)

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