A movie log 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, January 4, 2013

"To Be Publicly Mean and Stupid"

The reason I value Charlie Pierce's blog so much is the way he has of getting at the essence of things:

One of the last actions of the last useless majority of the House Of Representatives was to allow the Violence Against Women Act to wither and die ....  One of the first actions of the new useless majority of the House Of Representatives was to continue to fund legal actions in defense of the Defense Of Marriage Act. There is no reason to waste money on this kind of thing — The question of same-sex marriage is currently before the Supreme Court — except to be publicly mean and stupid.... This is the kind of thing to keep in mind whenever a member of the new useless majority goes on your electric teevee set to talk about The Deficit. They won't spend money to ease the lives of the old and the sick. But they'll spend it to be mean and stupid. The ignorance subsidy is untouchable.

I mean, has anyone since H.L. Mencken been so skilled at reducing a political stance to such a withering epigram? "They won't spend money to ease the lives of the old and sick. But they'll spend it to be mean and stupid."