Saturday, October 11, 2008

No ma'am, no ma'am

An unusual moment in this election race: a candidate comes face to face on television with one of his own supporter's credulity and prejudice, in such a way that he can't let her stupidity pass. And the prejudice just happens to be one which the candidate's campaign has been encouraging, in this case, the racist lie that Obama is some conflated variety of Arab-Muslim-Terrorist.

At a rally in Minnesota on Friday, a woman told McCain: "I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's a... a... an Arab."

McCain shook his head and said, "No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man...[a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about."
As McCain shook his head, the woman said "No?" falteringly, as if relieved to be corrected about something she scarcely believed herself. Alternatively, her "No?" could be interpreted as her saying, "Oh, I just realized that in raising the Obama-Arab prejudice I've put you on the spot, and you're having to deny it."

Well, at least he came right out and corrected her. But actually, he could have been much more emphatic.

As McCain said no, weakly meaning 'Obama is not an Arab or a Muslim,' the crowd, his own, booed at him.
Politicking for the (allegedly) most powerful job in the world has always been intoxicating, and brings out the best as well as the worst in candidates. But it seems that this race has driven McCain out of his mind.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quality of Life

Jake Dobkin takes striking photographs of the less-trodden paths of the five boroughs. An exhibition of his work will open this Friday, October 10th, at Factory Fresh, 1053 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237; L train to Morgan Avenue.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bounding through Bluebells

bounding through bluebells, originally uploaded by lightxposr.

It's Winter already in New York City... *sigh*... (well, it sure isn't Summer, even if it's not quite Winter)... so here is a reminder that another Spring is on the way.

Coming soon: Orkney Onanists

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Special One (a thought from the Bood Gook)

And He spake this parable unto them, saying:

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

-- St Luke's Gospel, chapter 15.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Obama and Baldwin

My fellow countryman, Colm Toibin, finds remarkable similarities between James Baldwin and Barack Obama:

" They both came to see, in a time of bitter political division, some shared values with the other side. They both used eloquence with an exquisite, religious fervor. As Northerners, they both were shocked by the South. They both had to face up to the anger, the rage, which lay within them, and everyone like them, as a way of taking the poison out of themselves."

Meanwhile, Seattle-based British journalist Jonathan Raban finds remarkable similarities between Sarah Palin and Pierre Poujade, the far-right French politician, anti-intellectual and champion of the 'little guy:'

"When she said, ‘Difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick!’ even in the liberal redoubt of Seattle I thought I heard a roar of delighted recognition coming from my neighbours on the hill. Palin doesn’t need to say what Poujade used to tell his listeners, ‘Look me in the eye, and you will see yourself...’"

Poem for Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Lines for a new Amazing Grace

I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place
Where I was lost alone
Folk looked right through me into space
And passed with eyes of stone

O homeless hand on many a street
Accept this change from me
A friendly smile or word is sweet
As fearless charity

Woe workingman who hears the cry
And cannot spare a dime
Nor look into a homeless eye
Afraid to give the time

So rich or poor no gold to talk
A smile on your face
The homeless ones where you may walk
Receive amazing grace

I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place
Where I was lost alone
Folk looked right through me into space
And passed with eyes of stone

--Allen Ginsberg, April 2, 1994