The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

0 Comments

  1. *laughs* *applause* 🙂

  2. For a while I was of the belief that while he was indeed a tool, in more ways than one… part of the problem with Bush was how integrated media is in our lives now. Not news. But media.

    I figured on some level, that a big part of his bad press was related to the times. How people need to know everything about everyone.

    Then Australia got a new PM and the new one’s hardly in the news at all compared to how often the old one was.

    So apparently they’re only in the news when the news can exploit them for idiocy or action. Over here at least. So… I guess I was wrong. Heh.

  3. That’s because the giants want to appear normal-height.

  4. When one is the size of an ant even a cockroach seems like a giant.

    Mr Rudd is not as noticed by the US media as Mr Howard was for a number of reasons. He hasnt actually done much yet and what he has done has been “uncomfortable” reading. He actually has done something that has been outstanding for generations, apologize to the Aboriginal People of Australia for what turned out to be a quiet attempt at genocide ( http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23206140-2,00.html ).

    Long overdue IMHO. At one point Mr Rudd was polled to be the most popular Prime Minister of Australia *ever*. Im not sure if thats still the case or not.

    Loth

  5. I suspect that all future Presidents will receive much the same treatment. The Media realizes their power to influence the vocal slacktivist community, and won’t be relinquishing that power soon.

    It’s all the rage to tear down those in charge rather than to examine their own behavior.

  6. … and now they’re trying to scrape him off of their shoes.

  7. Giants? What giants? He may be carrying pygmies on his shoulders. As has been truly said, “It must be late in the day when pygmies cast such long shadows.”

  8. This is not really amusing or profound. It was his choice to ignore terrorism threats on taking office, his choice to not follow through on the attack on bin Laden and his allies in Afghanistan, his choice to order the US into the role of aggressor in Iraq, his choice to devise, support and/or implement tax cuts and business friendly policies that have helped bring the economy practically to its knees, and if you wish to argue he was lied to by everyone he trusts, then he is guilty of being blind to his own and other’s faults and weaknesses to the detriment of the nation and the world.

    About the only thing he is not to blame for is that people, knowing his track record of failed businesses, lack of leadership skills and bloodthirsty ways, allowed themselves to be fooled into thinking him competent to lead a country.

  9. Actually, we could use a giant to step on Shrub — we’ll need to see how well Obama does in the crunch.

    I’m not so eager to blame “the people” for ShrubCo either — there have been some major conspiracies and betrayals of public trust over the past several decades, and Shrub is just the front man for what was probably meant to be the climax of the plot.

    Thankfully, even Grand Conspiracies don’t get everything their own way! Even so, they’ve done a hell of a lot of damage, to the point where it’s likely to take another half-century to get back on on even keel — if we can recover at all. We may yet need to invoke the concept of “odious debt” on our own behalf, and it’ll be a long time before the American people can trust their government again.

  10. Yeah, I have to say, there are no giants anywhere on the scene. A legion of evil dwarfs is better, I suppose.

    I’m willing to blame The People, though, because conspiracy or not, it’s the voters’ fault in the end, as there have after all been close votes in both the last two elections, and as MacLeod fantasized in The Execution Channel, it could easily have been Gore dealing with 9/11 instead of Bush. (Of course according to MacLeod, Gore would have screwed it up even worse :))

    I’m trying to work in allusions to Zork and They Might Be Giants, but the ones I’ve come up with are all tedious, so just assume there is something funny and clever there.

  11. corwin

    Interesting how some people are spinning this. The “giants” referred to both in my post and in the one I’m playing off of are those in the past.

  12. Steve, are you referring to past presidents?

  13. corwin

    Schmwarf @ 12: Yes.

  14. Well sunk or risen, I reckon he’s made his mark in history.

    I’ve always said to do so one has to have done something very very good or very very bad. Now I’ve discovered a third criteria: very very stupid with a little help from citizen apathy.

  15. And yet somewhere down the road we will be referring to these as the good old days. For example, how many of us would be happy to have things back the way they were when Ronald Reagan was in office. And yet, at the time, I saw some fellow college students actually cheering when he got shot because they were so upset about all the cuts to college aid.

    Noone is ever really happy in the present. All good things are memories.

  16. Bush’s legacy is that he was better than the other choices we had, but he was no Reagan.
    You can’t blame him on the voters, though, since we really aren’t given a choice.
    This year we get to choose from the crazy, the fraud or the Manchurian candidate. I’ll vote for the one that will do the least damage.
    It would be nice if the media would quit talking us into a recession. The joy they take in their sad dance is disgusting.

  17. The spin is kind of interesting in itself.

    The initial statement is broad. So, short of asking you what you mean (which would be the logical, accurate and boring method) we get to take what little we know of you and try to determine what your statement means.

    I didn’t think you were referring to the media as giants, but I felt GWW’s interpretation was worth discussing nonetheless.

    However you spin the initial statement, I think it retains a certain amount of “big picture thinking” that has some value.

  18. The current President will appear more competent in retrospect if the terrorists perform a large scale assault in America during Obama’s administration, especially after most of these horrific and civilization-damning security measures are lifted on his first day.

  19. “Bush’s legacy is that he was better than the other choices we had . . .”

    That statement is false even if the only other choices we had were Paris Hilton and a loaf of bread. Al Gore couldn’t have been worse. Hell, Al Bundy couldn’t have been a worse president than Dubya.

    “. . . but he was no Reagan.”

    And for that, I suppose, we can be thankful.

  20. Jason…
    Amen, but I just think bush is the culmination of Reagan.
    Reagan, only attacked a small island in the carribbean (ok… I know he did way more than that.)
    I never thought I would say this… but I wish bush’s dad was president.
    Or… wait…. Bozo the clown! He couldn’t possible be worse than cowboy bush.

    I think it was Reagan that started the slide of the country into unmitigated selfishness (yuppies, new conservative nazis… etc)

    sorry.. .yes.. giants…. we need some giants.
    And, I hope we don’t cut them down like we
    always do.

    Mr. Brust… where the hell is the next vlad book.
    I gained 5 kilos from your last book. I pray this book will help me take it off.

  21. >Mr. Brust… where the hell is the next vlad book.
    >I gained 5 kilos from your last book. I pray this
    >book will help me take it off.

    The South Adrilankha Diet

  22. it’s the voters’ fault in the end, as there have after all been close votes in both the last two elections

    Well, that’s the thing… there were also methodical “media assassinations” and carefully targeted fraud in both elections, not to mention the Harris/SCOTUS debacle. Reagan was a prior “front man”, and Bush Sr… well, Shrub’s most striking “achievement” was to make his father look good by comparison.

    My guess is that whatever Gore would have done would have been much more practical and to the point than Shrub’s behavior. As an example, we might well have offered Afghanistan to Saddam as a “protectorate”, in exchange for Osama’s head plus oil concessions. (Which wouldn’t be “nice”, but would have saved us a lot of trouble.)

    And meanwhile, he’d have been juicing alternative energy sources for real, not pulling this food-to-ethanol crap. Certainly, Gore wouldn’t have been so eager to jump into the quagmire, nor would Gore have turned us into the “bad guy” on the world stage.

    “The South Adrilankha Diet”: Just cut off the flab? Ouch!

  23. Gore is a clown. We wouldn’t be hated by the rest of the world, but laughed at…right after they bombed us.
    We definitely wouldn’t be worried about Iraq. We’d be worried about the foreign garrisons on our soil, while Gore was telling them that their carbon footprint was too big. What a fool.

  24. wow robosapien you have completely bought into
    “everything is OK… as long as we let greedy-corporate-thugs ™ run everything.”
    Amazing!
    911 wouldn’t have happened if bush jr. had paid the slightest bit of attention to those national security advisories he kept getting.

    iraq was a fustercluck from step 1…. and
    where the hell is bin laden… priority #1…
    Oh… and we did a bang-up job with new orleans
    too. …

    don’t drink the cool-aid robosapien… really.

    south-adrilanka diet… we don’t look at the bad spots on the onions, we don’t sell them, we just eat them.

  25. “At one point Mr Rudd was polled to be the most popular Prime Minister of Australia *ever*. Im not sure if thats still the case or not.”

    Actually, his polling has *risen*.

    And yeah, I agree with the “stood on by giants” phrase. I thought neo-conservativism hit rock bottom with Reagan. Then Bush Jnr came along with a jack-hammer.

  26. Remembering times past: Wasn’t a the Bush Jr policy of Iraq a legacy of Clinton’s policy which in turn was a legacy of Bush Snr’s policty? If so, going from that I would say there still would of been some action on Iraq if Gore was in.

    As for “greedy corporate thugs”, from where I stand from the other side of the world, the Democrats is little difference from the Republicans when it comes to the mighty $. Do you really think that Gore is some kind of socialist saviour? The only noted difference I see between the two parties is the Big Church’s support of the Republicans.

    Getting rid of Bin Laden will do next to nothing but make the man some kind of matyr.

  27. Poirotskull: I’m actually waiting for Rudd to do something. And I don’t meen 20/20 summits, world tours, mandarin speeches, “apologies” or GG appointments.

    I mean something with substance.

  28. Schmwarf: tired, going to sleep so may not make too much sense…..
    I agree, with a lot of what you said.
    In America people tend to see me as far, far left.
    In most other parts of the world, I am considered a moderate or even slightly to the right.

    Iraq: would have been a pain in the ass, but we wouldn’t have invaded and taken Sadam out… there was a reason daddy bush didn’t do it the first time. (note: I am not saying Sadam was a good guy by any means.)

    Bin Laden: We invaded afghanistan to take him out… didn’t we? Are we that inept? Or was it just slight of hand like everything else (WMD, bringing democracy, terrorist threat,… whatever) . That was actually my point.

    Gore: not a socialist saviour. By any means, but at least he says good things, if not does them.

    There are differences between the parties at least at the rhetoric level.
    It still comes down to voting for red a**hole or blue *ss**le.
    Or as a friend of mine used to say….
    Picking between the evil of two lessors.

    On a side note: I never really saw Jesus as a conservative. I really have NO idea where they get that from.

    South Adrilankha Diet: also includes an exercise program, running from thugs, hiding from assasins, and getting out of intricate plots

  29. Of course if we had just listened to George “Stay out of foreign entanglements” Washington we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  30. The worst that would’ve happened under Gore is that we expired from boredom. No, I don’t see that Gore could’ve handled 9/11 any worse that Bush (assuming he decided to ignore all the warnings and it had actually happened). He certainly wouldn’t have picked Roberts as chief political judge and he’d’ve actually followed the constitution. Incidentally, why isn’t anyone suggesting impeachment of Bush for lying under oath (to protect and defend the constitution). Would make an amusing spectacle and been something worth have an impeachment.

  31. I’m not drinking the kool-aid that Gore was served at Oprah’s whacko church.
    You’re also jumping to conclusions. I’m not in the W cheering section, just pointing out how ridiculous Gore is. The Nobel prize is now pointless and senseless for awarding that loser for all his lies. It’s HIS kool-aid you need to be careful of.
    Things are most definitely not OK.
    There is way too much hate between the parties/races/classes/you name it for things to be OK.

  32. I’ll jump on this derail as well. My only first hand experience with Al Gore was as a federal employee when he was Vice President. I blame him for his “Reinventing the Government” initiative.

    It would take pages to explain what he did wrong specific to this program and I won’t clutter up this weblog with it. In short a man with zero business experience attempted to oversee massive organizational change with predictable results. I wouldn’t let the man run my lemonade stand.

    Suffice it to say, if Gore were elected I would move my family out of this country.

  33. I will attack you with a barrage of quotes!

    “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” –Emma Goldman

    There is more truth in this than we may realize. While every four years, we dutifully count up the popular vote, it is not the popular vote that gives us a new president. It is the electoral vote. We are a republic, not a democracy.

    Therefore, do not blame the voters for the Shrub.

    We only attempt to impeach people for screwing their interns, not for grossly illegal activities against the State. That should let you know where, exactly, the minds of the masses lie. I was bombarded on national television for far too long over the Stain of Shame, but the only place I hear anything about both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights being systematically dismembered is over the internet.

    There are many that believe that 9/11 was caused by the U.S. government, and that is why Bin Laden has yet to be apprehended even though he requires daily dialysis. I do not have enough facts to have an opinion one way or another; however, I do think that *three* buildings falling straight down is a challenge to both physics and my ability to suspend my disbelief….by the neck until dead. Still, I do not have enough uncontroversial data to debate the point.

    Gore over Bush…well, I might have been bored to death by the politics, but I prefer boredom over fear. *IF* 9/11 was, indeed, a conspiracy, it would have been unlikely to happen under Gore. If it were not, it still would have been unlikely to happen under Gore. Since I am in favor of the air I breathe, the water I drink and the land that I walk upon not poisoning me, I am in favor of green energies.

    Still, my thoughts are that the Shrub is just a step, a bloody, turbulent step, towards a change in the systems we currently live under. Neither our system of government nor our system of economics is the be-all-end-all of human civilization, any more than feudalism and serfdom were several centuries ago. Dissatisfaction with what we have will fuel ideas for what we can become.

  34. There is a chance that Bush wouldn’t be in if voting was compulsory in America.

    Making people who don’t like any of the major parties go to the polling booths will force them to put forward their own candidates and bring diversity in political representation in compared to what you have now which is a choice between the right and the very right.

    Also I believe its one’s civic duty to vote but I guess making it mandatory infringes on American Civil Liberties and parts of the “warm blanket” Americans like to snuggle in for security – the constitution.

  35. I think that mandatory voting would be a rather ironic thing in a supposedly free country. I’d go with the black flag candidate myself in such a case.

    “EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY” — T. H. White

  36. Back in my USAF days we had a system to encourage attending scheduled meetings–anyone who didn’t show up was the ‘designated volunteer’ for anything and everything that came up in the meeting that needed voluntary participation. Perhaps something similar could be devised for voting, maybe those who can but don’t vote could be presumed to volunteer to be taxed one bracket higher than they would have if they’d bothered to show up.

  37. It would require a great deal of cynicism to believe our own government would want to kill that many people, and send us into the recession that went along with it.
    To say 9/11 wouldn’t have happened if Gore was in there is, I guess, partisan, is the least negative word I can come up with. It would have been worse, most likely, due to his higher level of ineptitude.

    Also, the green movement is a farce. Ethanol is taking food out of people’s mouths. It also burns more cleanly, but it causes more pollution to make in the first place. We’re damaging progress and our economy by with the carbon allowance insanity.

  38. As a conservation biology major I can agree with you greenie: using crops to make fuel is one of the worst examples of big business (agriculture, in this case) using “environmentalism” as a cloak for increasing the demand for their product. Just please, PLEASE, don’t confuse it for the green movement.

  39. You mean like when he presumed that W has a lower level of ineptitude than Nobel prize-winner Al Gore? Al knew that terrorists were planning attacks on the US, so I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t have ignored the warnings until it was too late, as W did.

  40. Bawrence: Your arguement doesn’t wash.

    If Al Gore knew the terroists were planning attacks on the US then what, as capacity of being the former Vice-President did he do during 2001 do to warn and advise the current administration about it?

    If he knew something that Bush and the intelligence departments and didn’t act then I find that incredible.

    W’s dad was the ex-director of the CIA and as former president he exercised is right to access intelligence reports from them (more so than any other former president) I believe. Are you saying that Bush Snr either knew less than Gore or that Bush Snr knew some stuff and didn’t tell Junior? Unlikely.

    And I don’t recall Gore yelling up and down “I knew it! I told them so!” on the 12 September.

    So I don’t thing Gore knew any more than W. I think it was more a matter of where Al-Quaida was on the priority list (somewhere under the Iraq methinks).

    I still think 9/11 would of happened regardless of who was in Oval Office. The causes go beyound the incumbent and what was his early months of his first term.

  41. Condi Rice was briefed on the threat of al-Queda on 7/10/01, by then-CIA Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, per published reports. Failure to act on the information led to the attacks on 9/11/01. But you knew this.

  42. I don’t dispute the failure to act was led to attacks.

    What I find very hard to believe (published reports or not) is that for nearly 7 months into the administration’s first term Rice, Bush or any of the cabinet members remained igorant of the threat and Gore was aware of it. That does not make sense. If Gore and Clinton fully appreciated the magnitude of the threat at the end of their term that information would definitely passed onto Bush. I know Clinton told Bush that Osama was a priority threat but that in itself means nothing.

  43. I do not recall stating green energies as turning food products into bio-diesel. However, I will clarify: I do not consider ANY energy that puts carbons into the air during production or use to be “green” or “earth friendly”. This includes burning off dead wood in one’s fireplace. Turning food into fuel for more SUVs when there are people on the reservations living in Third World conditions does not even come close to the list.

    As for 9/11, I do not believe that any of us simple peons have enough uncontroversial information to make an informed decision one way or the other. And why should we? We’re peons. Can anyone here state flatly, with indisputable facts, who killed JFK? A public assassination filmed on National Television? If not, how can we claim to know all of the events and information that was available, both classified and unclassified, that led up to 9/11?

    Was Randy Johnson, in his prime, a better pitcher than Babe Ruth, in his prime, was a batter? While we may speculate endlessly and point to this bit of knowledge or that bit of trivia, the truth is, we will never know. Our position in that debate would depend upon whether we personally favored the Big Unit or the Babe.

    Neither Al Gore nor George W. are as good at being leaders as the former gentlemen were as baseball players. My own opinion is that I have yet to see a truly great leader emerge during my lifetime. I can hope that statement does not continue to be true.

    It is very easy to point fingers and lay blame over past events, but does anyone have ideas on how to insure past events do not repeat themselves? Or, perhaps, ideas on how to make changes in government/economics/society so that such events are looked upon by future generations in the same was we view the Inquisition and slave based economies?

    We are not finished evolving in so many areas, why should we assume that this is the very best we can can come up with?

  44. There are so many layers to this, hm, where do I start?

    I agree with Caliann’s point about this being a turbulent, bloody step. Every time I hear him – and it’s painful for me to do so – I can’t believe that he was elected by my fellow citizens! My next thought, tripping on the heels of the first is, “Are you happy now?” (Yes, a variant on “are you better off”.) The answer to the last had better be a resounding “NO!” Then I can only hope those who made the horrific mistake of voting for him, and who answered “no,” have the courage to admit it to friends, family and loved ones, and never ever do this again…

    As to listening to him, and by that I mean the physical act of receiving sound waves into the ear, I simply can’t do it without squirming. C’mon, where are the people out there with musical training, or who have taken communication courses? (I’ve the training and a BA in comm sci.) His inflections, his pauses, his tones of voice – don’t they scream liar liar to you? I realize the words are most likely written by speechwriters, but even they cannot deliver the garbage to the masses.

    Hey! There’s our biomass supply answer!

    So does that make the Shrub a glorified garbage man? Or in “PC” parlance, a “sanitary technician”?

    (Heck – I even hate calling him the “shrub” as it insults all my shrub roses, especially the prize-winning ones …) 🙂

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