Yesterday, thanks to Russell Brand's tedious shite, Richard Littlejohn's mask slipping into downright homophobia and Robert Peston's rather goodness (but above all the kindness of fellow bloggers linking here), this site had its most successful day in terms of visitors ever. Hooray! Crack open the crack of Advocaat and pour me a large schooner.
Unfortunately, today may well be rather more devoid of content, as it's an extraordinarily busy day. But I have time to plonk down some links for things I've enjoyed reading lately:
Fucking hell, I agree with the Hitch. What the jiminy's going on? Oh well, I'll just have to enjoy it while it lasts. This reminds me of the good old days of Hitchens:
It is not snobbish to harbor grave doubts about somebody who seems uninterested in reading for pleasure or recreation and whose only interest in her local public library is sniffing round its shelves for books that ought to be removed for expressing impure ideas.
It all rather reminds me of the "What you reading for?" waitress in Bill Hicks's comedy routine.
I was in Nashville, Tennesee last year. After the show I went to a Waffle House. I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me: "
Hey, whatchoo readin' for?"
Isn't that the weirdest fucking question you've ever heard? Not what am I readING, but what am I reading *for*? Well, godammit, ya stumped me! Why do I read? Well... hmmm... I dunno... I guess I read for a lot of reasons, and the main one is so I don't end up being a fucking waffle waitress.
Tim at Bloggerheads draws parallels between Sarah Palin and Nadine Dorries, while on a similar theme, here's George Monbiot grumbling about the anti-reason stance of some US politicians, and how being bright can be seen as a weakness to be seized upon by your rivals:
There have been exceptions over the past century: Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton tempered their intellectualism with the common touch and survived; but Adlai Stevenson, Al Gore and John Kerry were successfully tarred by their opponents as members of a cerebral elite (as if this were not a qualification for the presidency). Perhaps the defining moment in the collapse of intelligent politics was Ronald Reagan’s response to Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential debate. Carter - stumbling a little, using long words - carefully enumerated the benefits of national health insurance. Reagan smiled and said “there you go again”(2). His own health programme would have appalled most Americans, had he explained it as carefully as Carter had done, but he had found a formula for avoiding tough political issues and making his opponents look like wonks.
Speaking of anti-intellectualism, Mutantblog has stopped finding Mad Mel's sheer witless insanity, particularly with regard to Barack Obama, as funny as it used to be:
Now like many of us Mel is avidly following the Americal presidential contest and I think it’s fair to say that a careful reading between the lines reveals she is not a fan of Obama. Pieces entitled “Fraud we can believe in” and, even better, “Stasi tactics from Camp Obama” give the general impression. Her recent effort “Is America really going to do this?” takes the biscuit though. In it she expresses her fear that
"if he wins, US defences will be emasculated at a time of unprecedented international peril and the enemies of America and the free world will seize their opportunity to destroy the west".
Fucking Chicken Oriental. I feel almost sorry for Melanie Phillips. She probably thinks she's a Cassandra warning a world too blind to see what's happening, whereas in fact she's a poisonous idiot, too nasty to be a figure of fun, too stupid to be taken seriously by anyone except the irretrievably thick.
Septicisle, meanwhile, looks at the calm shrugging of shoulders that has greeted the latest US invasion of a sovereign nation and the deaths of human beings that resulted from the oopsy:
Whatever the case may be, innocents have once again been killed for no great reason. Again, for no great gain anti-Americanism has been inflamed. Again, those recruiting to extremist causes will be praising the actions of those that care only for the short-term. And no one has any hope that this will be anything like the end of it.
And that's about it for now. Back later hopefully.
*update* I've just seen this wonderful piece by St Charlie of Brooker about Kerry Katona. It reminds me of that bit in Flash Gordon - the best film in the history of the world ever - where our hero helps Timothy Dalton up rather than condemning him to death. Mad hawkman Brian Blessed barks: "What's this?" and Dr Hans Zarkov exclaims: "Humanity!"