September 12th, 2005

hello?

Well, that's all right, then.

YOU HEAR THAT, KANYE WEST? K-OTIX? YOU CRAZY RAP NUTS? YOU CAN SHUT UP NOW

NEW ORLEANS - President Bush denied Monday there was any racial component to people being left behind after Hurricane Katrina, despite suggestions from some critics that the response would have been quicker if so many of the victims hadn't been poor and black.

THE RESCUE EFFORTS COMPREHENSIVELY FUCKED EVERYBODY, AND THEY JUST HAPPENED TO BE POOR AND BLACK

"The storm didn't discriminate and neither will the recovery effort," Bush said. "The rescue efforts were comprehensive. The recovery will be comprehensive."

OH, SURE, NOW HE DUCKS

Bush made the remarks to reporters at the end of a tour that took him through several flooded New Orleans neighborhoods. Occasionally, Bush had to duck to avoid low-hanging electrical wires and branches.

SOMEHOW, HE MANAGED TO AVOID MENTIONING FANTASTIC TRENT LOTT'S NEW HOUSE

It was Bush's first exposure to the on-the-ground leadership of his new hurricane relief chief.

FOR THE FIRST TIME

Bush said Congress should consider whether the federal government should have more authority to step into disaster areas without a request from the states. "All of us want to learn lessons," he said.

THERE WERE PLENTY OF TROOPS! WE JUST DIDN'T SEND THEM IN, THAT'S ALL!

Bush rejected suggestions that the nation's military was stretched too thinly with the war in Iraq to deal with the Gulf Coast devastation. "We've got plenty of troops to do both," the president said. "It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there weren't enough troops."

THE IMPORTANT THING IS MOVING ON, INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME NOTICING EVERYTHING THAT WENT WRONG AND HOLDING PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE

"We're moving on, we're going to solve these problems," he said.

SEE, WHAT I MEANT WAS SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I SAID

Bush also clarified his now-criticized remark that no one had anticipated the levees being breached. He said he was referring to that "sense of relaxation in a critical moment" when many people initially thought the storm had not inflicted heavy damage on the city.

LEST YOU MAKE ANY FOOLISH ASSUMPTIONS, LET ME BE CLEAR: I THINK THIS STATE AND THIS CITY ARE REALLY IMPORTANT

Amid the ongoing rescue and recovery effort, Bush said, "We're beginning to think through how to reconstitute this really important state and city."
fight the machine

Shearer and shearer

Got that, America? We're beginning to think about how to help New Orleans. WHO SAYS OUR GOVERNMENT ISN'T ON THE BALL, HUH? Shut up, Kanye, you kooky nut, you don't know what you're talking about.

Hey, if you like my pointless, snippy, dry-as-bitter-herbs carping about our culture, or even if you don't, why don't you listen to Harry Shearer's Le Show? Irony won't be well and truly dead until he is, and he's being doing it for over 20 years. The guy is just an absolute pleasure to listen to, and there's jillions of episodes of this hugely entertaining, sharp-as-a-razor-across-your-jugular show at his website. He's who I wanted to grow up to be when I was just a fat little baby ironist. Give him some eartime.
the one with your name on it

Juicy shadows of another creation

rum_holiday’s husband Doug loaned me this book called Murder for Profit, by one William Bolitho. The author, who died at a young age, was a journalist who, while recovering from wounds suffered in WWI, started researching the killer Desiré Landru. “Returned soldiers,” he writes, “followed with delighting recollection the accounts of Landru’s crimes. This host, back from killing, or suddenly relieved from the fear of being killed, with the taste of despair still under their tongues, learnt with a roar that a little funny man had all these years behind their backs been conducting a private war of his own, earnestly mimicking theirs, even to the casualties.”

The subject matter itself, though well ahead of the curve in its anticipation of the public fascination for serial killing (it was written in 1926), isn’t covered in a particularly insightful way – it’s typical dimestore psychology, right down to an introduction by Dr. Frederic Wertham of Seduction of the Innocent fame. It’s also a product of its time, with plenty of snobbish class elements and an ugly helping of racial taint early on (in discussing Burke and Hare, the infamous West Port body-snatcher murderers and the inspiration for Dylan Thomas’ The Doctor and the Devils, he calls great attention to their Irishness as if it were explanation enough for their low character).

But, o God! The prose.

It’s a real thing of beauty. Bolitho’s writing style is just tremendous, elegant and complex without being too prolix, amazingly sophisticated and clever while still eminently readable, very old-seeming but never dated. It’s really just magnificent writing, in service of such an odd topic; Doug nailed it right on when he said that regardless of what you think of the content or tone, one look at a single paragraph of prose and you’re hooked. I almost wish the thing was longer so I could keep on reading it: I’ve never heard of him before and have no idea if his other books (of which there are few) are this good, but I’m surely going to find out.

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