Scroll down for Amygdala archives! You know you want to. [Temporarily rather borked, along with rest of template.]
Amygdala's endorsements are below my favorite quotations! Keep scrolling!
Amygdala will move to an entirely new and far better blog template ASAP, aka RSN, aka incrementally/badly punctuated evolution.
Tagging posts, posts by category, next/previous post indicators, and other post-2003 design innovations are incrementally being tweaked/kludged/melting.
Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
Commenting Rules: Only comments that are courteous and respectful of other commenters will be allowed. Period.
You must either open a Google/Blogger.com/Gmail Account, or sign into comments at the bottom of any post with OpenID, LiveJournal, Typepad, Wordpress, AIM account, or whatever ID/handle available to use. Hey, I don't design Blogger's software: sorry!
Posting a spam-type URL will be grounds for deletion.
Comments on posts over 21 days old are now moderated, and it may take me a long while to notice and allow them.
I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.
"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
NOT FADE AWAY. David Remnick's epic -- and I mean climb-every-mountain epic -- profile of Bill Clinton at this moment in his post-Presidency is up (curiously, the New Yorker site claims it was posted 2006-09-11, and I'm pretty sure that's not right).
It's fairly long, so just a few quotes that struck me, for one reason or another:
[...] Clinton was instantly forgiving of Zidane and wondered what would become of him. He recalled Gao Hong, the goalie for the Chinese women’s team, who, in the 1999 World Cup final, gave up the decisive penalty kick to Brandi Chastain, of the American team. Gao had played brilliantly until that point, but, like Zidane, she had to return home and endure the consequences of her defeat.
“I identify with people who get beat up,” Clinton said. “I remember that game like it was yesterday.”
Through the open door, I could see him doing three or four things at once: telling old war stories, eating a yogurt parfait, drinking coffee, glancing at a stack of Xeroxed press clippings, playing cards. This was around one in the morning. The day had begun in Colorado; we were now somewhere over Algeria, headed for a refuelling stop in N’djamena, Chad.
Nearly all Clinton’s younger aides refer to their boss as “the President,” but they also “do” him. They do the scratchy high-in-the-throat drawl, the run-on pronouncements studded with arcane facts and statistics (“And with every ten per cent of cell-phone penetration G.D.P. goes up point six per cent ”), and the trademark exclamations (“Isn’t that fascinating?”).
Clinton sat down on the arm of the seat and eased his way into a near-soliloquy that lasted two hours. First, he talked about light bulbs—their history, their physical properties, their contribution to greenhouse gases, the latest developments in bulb technology. He talked about alternative fuels, ethanol research, the politics of ethanol, the value of tar sands, the near-inevitability of hundred-dollar-a-barrel oil. He talked about the relative virtues of hybrid vehicles and electric cars and whether Detroit had conspired to kill their development. He pronounced oil depletion an opportunity: “But we need to make fixing climate change as politically sexy as putting a man on the moon.”
“I am sick of Karl Rove’s bullshit,” Clinton said. And yet there was a trace of admiration in the remark, a veteran pol’s regard for the way his rival had packaged a radical brand of American conservatism as “compassionate conservatism” and kept on pushing it long after its sell-by date had passed.
“Nixon was a Communist compared to this crowd,” Clinton said.
We had started out on light bulbs and, with hardly a question, landed within putting range of the Iowa caucus.
At around four-thirty, with Chad still in the distance, Jay Carson finally managed, with a series of coughs, stifled yawns, and expressive chin-lift gestures, to cue Clinton to call it a night. “Well, O.K., you guys,” Clinton said. “Good talking to you. We’re going to have a great time in Africa.”
What this really needs isn't David Remnick, fine reporter though he is, but Hunter S. Thompson.
But dodging into seriousness for a moment, this really is praiseworthy:
[...] Clinton began to focus on trying to drive down the price of drugs for people with AIDS in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean; he has helped reduce the cost of treatment from sixteen hundred dollars to a hundred and sixty dollars a year by lobbying heads of state in Europe and Canada to donate funds, by pressuring generic-drug manufacturers to cut prices (with the hope of making money on higher volume), and by working to set up treatment and distribution centers with Third World leaders, the United Nations, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and nongovernmental organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Clinton has helped get cheap drugs to nearly half a million patients, and he hopes to increase that to two million by the end of 2008.
Good works, indeed.
And this is an interesting point that seems obvious, but isn't generally highlighted:
[...] Clinton is the first post-President to tap into the newer generation of wealth—the hedge-fund and retail moguls, who have bigger planes to lend and more cash to burn than their upper-class predecessors ever had.
Of course, you get to be friends-with-benefits:
[...] Clinton’s appeal for these tycoons is obvious: in exchange for giving money to a good cause—the Clinton Foundation’s budget last year was thirty million dollars—you not only have the usual tax break and the knowledge that you are doing good but also get to play Oh Hell until five in the morning with a two-term ex-President who knows how to have a good time.
If you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Clinton may be right about this:
[...] He admires this in himself; he believes it’s what set him apart from Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry. “We’ve got to be in the winning business,” he would say, “because without winning”—without taking power—“it’s the other guy, and the other guy’s ideas, that prevail.”
All too true (if faintly incomplete; one can lose and still influence; sometimes a person can lose, but their ideas win; there are also Pyrrhic victories; that said, such wins-through-losing tend to be fractional and infrequent, and too often the Democratic sort in recent decades).
Continuing jumping about, here's a thought I find comforting:
[...] Then he shrugged and said, “You have to bloom where you’re planted.”
Of course, some won't welcome this:
[...] “This deal with Iraq makes me want to throw up,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of being told that if you voted for authorization you voted for the war. It was a mistake, and I would have made it, too. And Congress made it once before, at the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.” The blame was with the White House: “The Administration did not shoot straight on the nuclear issue or on Saddam’s supposed ties to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11.”
Here is a sweet moment (that will undoubtedly drive the Clinton-haters nuts):
[...] After Clinton was introduced, he stripped off his jacket and sat on a high stool. “When I was a little boy,” he said to the kids, “I was bigger than almost all of you. Now there are more kids like I was.” He told them about learning to exercise more and suggested they watch a show on Nickelodeon called “Let’s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge.”
When the question period began, a chubby kid, no more than seven, nervously held the microphone and asked Clinton, “What if you don’t have the channel?”
His quavery voice betrayed such a sense of terror and deprivation that a lot of the kids laughed. What? No Nickelodeon? It’s basic cable!
Clinton had clearly heard the laughing and seen the terror in the kid’s eyes, and he sensed the embarrassment that would likely haunt his nights, and so he said, “A lot of people don’t have the channel. So that’s a good question. A great question.”
The jaws of life! The boy smiled. His whole body seemed to relax. The laughing stopped. It was a great question! And while Clinton went on to talk about other ways kids could learn about eating more sensibly, it was easy to believe that this kid—still a little shaken, but relieved of his shame—would vote for a Clinton one day if he could.
I can hear the mockery already, but, y'know? I'm gonna care about the little kid afraid of being mocked, not the bullies who mock those who care.
And for a change-up, a story about someone besides Bill Clinton!
[...] During the lunch, Mandela told a story about being released from jail during the apartheid era to meet with South Africa’s leaders. Prison officials came to his cell to fit him for a suit, he recalled, because it would not do to meet the white politicians in his prison clothes. When they dressed him, they grew frustrated that Mandela didn’t know how to tie the laces of his new dress shoes properly. Mandela was pleased to see the chief of the National Intelligence Service on hands and knees tying his shoes.
I believe the word is: heh.
A point editors everywhere will appreciate:
[...] As he was leaving office, Clinton told friends that he hoped to write a great book of his own, something approaching Grant’s memoirs. He had admired Katharine Graham’s autobiography, and so he sought out her editor at Knopf, Robert Gottlieb, who once ran the house. (Gottlieb was also, from 1987 to 1992, the editor of The New Yorker.) At an early meeting to talk about the book, Clinton informed the editor that he was actually very easy to work for. Gottlieb interrupted, saying, “You’re working for me now.”
Change-up: hee. (And Gottlieb, by all accounts, is a terrific editor.)
Another couple of editorial anecdotes:
When he handed in the first hundred and fifty pages of the manuscript, Gottlieb said, “This is a really good story, but let me ask you something: Are you running for anything?”
“No, I’m done,” Clinton said.
“Good,” Gottlieb said. “You cannot put the name of every person you’ve ever met in this book. I do not care what happened to their children and grandchildren, and it bothers me that my President had enough room left in his head to remember what happened to the children and grandchildren of every person he ever met.”
So, Clinton said, recounting the story, “I said, ‘Look, Gottlieb, I’m from Arkansas. That’s what we do, that’s what we care about—I can’t help it. That’s who we are.’ ”
Clinton sent another hundred pages or so, this time on the American South of his childhood. Gottlieb called and said, “I really like this.”
“Well, you got any questions?” Clinton replied.
“What is it?” Clinton asked.
“Did you know any sane people as a child?”
“No, but neither did anybody else,” Clinton said. “I was just paying attention more than most people.”
Pick an "h" word.
An interesting Bill moment, re Hillary:
[...] Before another dinner, where she was the guest of honor, he muttered to himself on the way in, “Don’t talk too much—keep quiet.”
Way to spin this:
[...] Hillary has got skills and capabilities that are different from his. She is an exceptional listener.
One senses that Bill is, perhaps, not. Certainly all accounts feature him talking. And talking. And talking. And talking.
[...] She can be quiet and be happy working with her papers and books, where he is the Energizer Bunny and always has to have people around.”
I don't know if Hillary is an introvert, but she's certainly more one than Bill is.
Interesting quote Remnick rushes by in passing:
[...] but pretty quickly he seemed eager to talk about more distant subjects: wind and solar power, the frustrations with the Gore campaign in 2000 (“But he won, that’s crystal clear to me”) [....]
Worth having in the record.
And now I await my invitation to a blogger dinner with Bill.
Thanks for the delightful excerpts. The Big Dog has a great deal in common, in personal qualities rather than political ones, with Fidel Castro. I intend that as a compliment.
A friend and I were talking yesterday about what Hillary Clinton could do in the next administration that would use her strengths but not require her to be on the ballot. I say "attorney general". We've never had a woman AG before, she's up to the demands of the job, and it would make heads explode. Hee.
If she's not going to run for President (and like many people, I have mixed feelings at best as to whether I'd want her to, which tend to boil down to "only if she can win, and we don't have a better person winning," though naturally, Absolute Knowledge of the Future would be rather helpful in making that evaluation), it seems fairly clear that having her stay in the Senate and become Majority Leader seems like the best use of her talents.
"We've never had a woman AG before...."
Nell, Nell, you're about to slap yourself upside the head for not having had coffee yet (or preferred equivalent).
Who was vilified over Elian Gonzalez and Waco and so on during the Clinton Admin? Initials "JR"?