Monday, January 26, 2009

The Vatican vs. Gertrude Stein (Part XIX)

THE VATICAN: The Church holds that it is ethically unacceptable to dissociate procreation from the integrally personal context of the conjugal act: human procreation is a personal act of a husband and wife, which is not capable of substitution. The blithe acceptance of the enormous number of abortions involved in the process of in vitro fertilization vividly illustrates how the replacement of the conjugal act by a technical procedure -- in addition to being in contradiction with the respect that is due to procreation as something that cannot be reduced to mere reproduction -- leads to a weakening of the respect owed to every human being. Recognition of such respect is, on the other hand, promoted by the intimacy of husband and wife nourished by married love.

GERTRUDE STEIN: There is no pope.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The War on Terror, Moping in the Living Room

"Debord, I'm worried about the War on Terror," I said.

Soggy film from his Gauloises hung in the air. It drifted, tangling around Guy Debord's giant hands as he spoke. I thought I heard the bathtub spigot. It was a fire truck outside the living room window.

"She's not eating the food that tastes like Enalapril," I continued. Flashing lights through the window, on the walls. The febrile dogs upstairs barking; in the future all these little jokers will be studied in high schools and colleges. "If the War on Terror doesn't eat her medicine, her heart will shrivel like an artichoke."

"The War on Terror is the opportunity to go and see what has been banalized, Shimmy."

"It will wither," I said, "because President Obama signed an executive order affirming that 'individuals currently detained at Guantánamo have the consititutional privilege of the writ of habeus corpus.' The War on Terror's heart is a delicate instrument, a mushy avocado, a breeze of salmon gurgling in my mouth."

I heard a rumor someone found a rat in the basement.

"Shimmy, we made the War on Terror while there was still time to talk about it."

"What about her kidneys? The War on Terror isn't eating her special Renal LP kidney formula that gets squeezed out of a white packet in corky little squares and shiny gravy."

Debord licked his finger and rubbed his eye with it.

"The end of Guantánamo," he said, "manifests itself in its preservation as a dead object for spectacular contemplation."

"Debord, the War on Terror is all alone on the love seat, leaning against my favorite pillow. It does nothing all day but stare at the dormant laser-pointer because 'all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commissions Review' are now 'halted.'"

Debord's hands are made of small particles that look taller than they are.

"Guantánamo still has its wonderstruck face and its body, the best of promised lands," he said. "It is an unfinished adventure."

"I'm not giving up my Wastebasket Enemy Combatant just because the White House said so."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Muntadhar al-Zeidi!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

List XVI: Backwoods Galloping Inertia Spank

is an utterly
worthless measure
of a leader's behavior,
as characters
like Stalin, Idi Amin,
and Milosevic,
among others,
have proven"
(except when
National Public Radio
disproves it).

Here's what you do.
Get off the couch.
Walk into the kitchen.

"There is no doubt
he was tortured.

He has loss
of concentration
and memory loss,
and he suffers
from paranoia."

Funny, how Glenn Beck
talks a blue streak
about Jack Bauer
but says nothing anymore
about all those dogs
he tortured
and killed (pit bulls).

"We're getting
refugees now
who have never
used a telephone,
a toothbrush,
or toilet paper.
Then their children
It is a disaster."

Unlock the door.
Both locks.
Open it wide enough for me.
Open up the screen door.

"What happens
in war, happens.
It just happened
to be photographed
and come out."

Shut the door.
Don't come back.
Unless I'm hungry again.

Ann Coulter
on The View:
she talks about
Mein Kampf, of course,
but changes the subject
when asked if
she thinks about
dead people when
she's making love.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Episode Twenty-Eight: "The Greatest Generation Would Have Arrested Him"

MARY: He admitted everything, Rhoda. The Vice President of the War on Terror said that he authorized the torture of 33 suspected terrorists, including the waterboarding of three "high-value" prisoners.

RHODA: I'm listening to "The Sign of the Southern Cross" every day until he's arrested.

MARY: He admitted that he violated Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. If this were 1947, the Greatest Generation would court-martial him.

TED BAXTER: Cowries, cornucopia, crotchets, cuneiform, cistern, cognomen, concertina, cotyledons, cosine, creosote, Clytemnestra, Czolgosz, Blue Label catsup.

RHODA: In 1947, the Greatest Generation ruled that Yukio Asano committed "torture" when he waterboarded a U.S. citizen.

MARY: Is "enhanced interrogation" a natural phenomenon? It affects people, but it affects them only as alienated social beings. What is "enhanced interrogation"-in-itself? How does the laser-pointer dot climb up the ceiling?

RHODA: Suppose that at this moment someone on Alpha Centauri just authorized "enhanced interrogation" of a prisoner. Who would be bothered?

MARY: The Greatest Generation declared in 1947 that torture is a "Violation of the Laws and Customs of War."

TED BAXTER: Gimcrack, anacoluthon, thingamajig, socdolager, gazebo, sesquipedalian, yammer.

RHODA: According to the Greatest Generation, the "willful and unlawful mistreatment" of prisoners of war is defined as: "beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward."

MARY: By this definition, the Vice President of the War on Terror "did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture prisoners of war."

RHODA: "The War on Terror ended," Vasily Rozanov said, "and the audience got up to leave their seats. Time to collect their coats and go home. They turned around. No more coats and no more home."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hooray For Our Chains (6)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My Index

Estimated number of U.S. lives saved per month by running underneath the bed when you hear someone opening a plastic trash bag: 1,000

Number of U.S. gas stations where the group "Pray at the Pump" has gathered to ask the youngest ambulatory child to bring forth the Baby Jesus figurine from his/her Nativity Set and get it blessed before mass begins, after mass ends, or later in the day at noon or three o'clock: 12

Amount by which the per-gallon price declined the day they prayed at one Alabama station: 3¢

Amount by which the per-gallon price declined the day an empty Lafuma shoe box was brought home for me to sleep inside: 1¢

Percentage of U.S. students aged 12 to 17 who say they've used text-message slang for catarrh, cleanliness, cowbells, Chihuahua, Cochinchina, curlicues, crinology, cacchinnation, coterminous, cow-flop, cicerone, cockroaches, cemeteries, Crêpe Suzette, corn-fed hogs, and citrate of magnesia in their written school assignments: 38

Percentage of U.S. students aged 12 to 17 who think kids who wear glasses are smarter than anyone who thinks Bill Ayers picked Leon Panetta as CIA Director: 79

Percentage of Americans who believe that Michael Savage should have to carry a special I.D.: 39