A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Friday, October 2, 2009

Noise of the Day 10/2/09

Mark Kleiman on Don't Ask/Don't Tell and why he thinks Obama has pursued a successful strategy to end it.
Just as the Republicans need to be reminded that the man whose character they’re trying to assassinate is the only President the country has, and that Putin and Ahmadinejad and bin Laden and Chavez will all be delighted if he fails, some progressives need to be reminded that Barack Obama is, for better or worse, the public face of the progressive movement, and that whatever damages his public standing damages the country’s chances of emerging decisively from the era of right-wing dominance that started in 1966 and (inshallah!) concluded in 2006.

David Sirota on the civilian government and the military.
By separating political from military power, and vesting our elected representatives with ultimate authority, the Founders purposely constructed a democracy that seeks to prevent the dictatorial juntas that often arise when no such separation exists.


Rachel Maddow on conservative glee over losing the Olympics. WTF?

I Can Live With That

I saw Dr. B today for the last time: He says I'm fine, and don't need to take antibiotics anymore. In fact, the ones I've been taking for the last three months were only precautionary -- just in case my brain abscess was caused by tuberculosis, which is still a possibility. He thinks that it was probably nocardia, though he wouldn't rule out TB completely -- in short, it's still a mystery, partly because there was no evidence that my immune system was compromised. But he doesn't need to see me again unless something new flares up.

I can live with being a mystery.