With liberal media like the New York Times, who needs Fox?
Let's just not put this on a stamp anytime soon, mmmkay?
[From the NYT]
"My name is Sue; How do you do? NOW YOU'RE GONNA DIE!"
At the Albertville winter Olympics, condom machines in the athletes’ village had to be refilled every two hours. And in Sydney the organisers’ original order of 70,000 condoms went so fast that they had to order 20,000 more. Even with the replenishment, the supply was exhausted three days before the end of the competition schedule. (For the record, athletes who were in Sydney report that the Cuban delegation was the first to use up its allocation.) Salt Lake City in 2002 went even bigger: 250,000 condoms were handed out, despite the objections of the city’s Mormon leadership.And let's hear it for our good friend, booze, helping us all speak the international language:
The latest attraction is free internet service, which Marco Buechel, an alpine ski racer who competes for Liechtenstein, put to good use in Salt Lake City. "You can contact any athlete, even if you don’t know them at all," says Buechel. "They give you a list when you get there. Everybody uses it. I saw this beautiful ski racer, from Greece of all places. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I saw her at the village and sent her an e-mail, in English. Her reply was very short: ‘Not good English. Want meet you.’"But more than that, it sounds to me like a sexier version of band camp, where we all sat around (looking hot and sexy) trying to guess what instruments the other campers played. Olympians do this too!
According to Buechel, he and the Greek beauty made arrangements to meet soon after. "We tried to talk, which wasn’t very successful," says Buechel, "and then we started to drink, which was much more successful." And? "It was very beautiful," he says. "A beautiful international incident."
Kent remembers sitting in the village, watching athletes walk through the door and playing a game of Guess What They Do. "The bikers have skinny little upper bodies, farmer tans and massive, clean-shaven thighs. Invert them and you get the kayakers, who have skinny little legs and massive backs and shoulders. The seven-foot-tall giant who ducks under the doorway entering the cafeteria is probably from basketball. The seven-foot giant who smacks his head on the door frame is definitely a rower; they don’t have that hand-eye co-ordination thing. The kids running at the rowers’ ankles with the high-pitched voices are gymnasts. It just goes on and on. Being at the village is like taking your place in a wild anatomical parade seen nowhere else on the planet."Except for us, it was like "that snooty bitch is totally a flute player, the pretty boy is first trumpet, and the guy in the Primus shirt is either trombone or percussion. And plays bass in a band."
Dick Roth remembers Tokyo in the 1960s, a time before sex studies and internet hook-ups - and yet still very much alive. "It was a lot more innocent back then," he says, "but not only did I see it, I participated in it. You’ve been working so hard, and everybody is so in the absolute prime of life, and everyone looks so good. This was before the sexual revolution, and it was discreet. But it was happening."
Then he pauses for a moment. "I know I have to be careful when I talk to a journalist, but I can say this: It wasn’t the f**k-fest it is now."
In a rare rebuke of an ally, the Bush administration announced yesterday that it will cut $18 million in military and economic aid to the authoritarian government of Uzbekistan because it has failed to take a series of promised steps to improve its human rights record.
So the GOP outreach strategy for November focuses on conservative churchgoers far more than anyone else. The Republican National Convention will showcase the party's otherwise marginalized moderates -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain -- for the great moderate audience. But I doubt the convention planners really believe that this late in the game they can fool anybody. The Republicans' campaign is all about scapegoating John Kerry for the ills of modernity. It's about exploiting homophobia, provincialism and cultural insecurity. Or, as they put it, values.
"Make it new," [Ezra] Pound insisted. How much pale ink continues to be spilled in the service of that demand. I, for one, would like to see an unofficial ban on the following things: stories in which the author shows up as one of the characters, stories built around lists, or with the marginalia of writing moved to the center (dedications, errata, footnotes, etc.). I would like to see mere cleverness and innovation removed from the practice, along with all cheap ironies, second-guessing, meretricious tricks with time (stories written in the present tense, narrative running backwards, games with simultaneity, and so on), the substitution of swaths of facts and factoids for inspiration and invention … and so on.
Above all, I would insist that novelists who think they're smarter than their characters, and more sophisticated than the idea of the novel itself, and who cannot resist the temptation to demonstrate as much, ought instead to find deeper characters and better stories to write. I want a book to break my heart; everything else is television.
As for me, after we saw the movie I was curious enough to read the dang book at last, and I was fairly impressed. I've since heard that Harold Bloom, that learned old gasbag and self-designated arbiter of all written words, despises the book and has said so at least once every six months for the past five years. Well, alas, Bloom, my good man-- leave aside the sorry spectacle of the world's most famous literary critic spending some of his dwindling energies trying to squash J. K. Rowling like a bug, all because of a series of books whose readership extends to eight-year-olds, for god's sake (would Lionel Trilling have behaved this way with A Wrinkle in Time, do you think?), and let me put it this way: you style yourself after Falstaff, but you have no sense of humor whatsoever. You never did-- and your Rowling snits seal the deal. Now, what do we call people who think of themselves as latter-day Falstaffs, but who have never uttered a funny thing in their lives? Don't think Shakespeare-- think Restoration comedy.