Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the March 2009 issue

Send to Kindle

ew Yorker

The suave New Yorker catches Congressman John Lewis in another spasm of trite soap opera:

Obama's promise to shut down Guantánamo, to outlaw torture and begin reversing immediately some of the most egregious policies of the Bush era, gave Lewis hope that "the movement" had finally come to the White House. "People have been afraid to hope again, to believe again," he said. "We have lost great leaders: John F. Kennedy, Martin, Robert Kennedy. And so people might have questioned whether or not to place their full faith in a symbol and a leader. The danger of disappointment is immense, the problems are so big. None of them can be solved in a day or a year. And that's the way it was with the civil-rights movement. This is the struggle of a lifetime. We play our part and fulfill our role."
(February 2, 2009)

 

Washington Post

Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, passes the cup for The Arts Community, where cow manure is the new tempera and urine can be the medium for religious bliss, and a bull whip affirmatively placed in an….enough, enough! Mr. Kaiser is an idiot. The Arts Community is an asylum:

We are losing the entertainment and inspiration we need more than ever during this terribly scary time. As we try to rebuild America's image abroad, we are losing our most potent goodwill ambassadors. As we reshape our economy, we are losing the organizations that teach our children to think creatively. And as we celebrate the diversity of our nation, we are losing the voices that have traditionally helped change society's thinking….As we print billions of dollars in bailout money, isn't it time to ensure that we are saving our soul as well as our economy?
(December 29, 2008)

 

The Nation

Despair in Kooksville, after the Prophet Obama is caught flagrante using the hated "s-word":

For women who care about women's equality, the jury is still out on Obama. They voted for him, but they don't trust him to do the right thing for women. Left feminists aren't impressed that he's nominating Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. Mainstream feminists like Salon's Rebecca Traister are disquieted by the "momification" of Michelle. No one has forgotten that Barack called a reporter "sweetie" months ago at a press conference."
(
December 3, 2008)

 

The Progressive

After all the Porta Potties have been removed from the National Mall and the heaps of refuse are on their way to the recycling center, comes the wake-up call from a Citizen of Conscience immured in Amerika:

The election of Barack Obama has poked the racist beehive, and we can expect a lot of buzzing around in the months ahead. Rightists, ranging from neo-Nazis to mainstream conservatives, are eager to reframe issues in ways that invoke racialized fears among some white voters: affirmative action, poverty, education, language, terrorism, and national security all have potential.
(January 2009)

 

Mother Jones

The election of Barack H. Obama triggers still more esoteric gibbering from columnist Debra J. Dickerson, about to be swallowed whole by "the biggest delusion in world history," perhaps with the assistance of LSD:

America's election of its first black president has to be followed by a demonstrated and pragmatic drive to improve race relations, or we'll have fallen prey to the biggest delusion in world history. For all the racial ugliness this campaign has exposed, though, and for all that will no doubt follow, it's not only whites who will imperil this process. Obama will have to lead both races in redefining blacks in the American mindset. Unless I'm much mistaken, blacks will face the greatest crisis of imagination.
(January/February 2009)

 

Good Morning America (ABC)

George Stephanopoulos, clearly in the raptures of the Obama Thrill, the psycho-sociological condition first experienced by Chris Matthews:

"Well, one Obama advisor told me what they like is a combination of Team of Rivals and The Best and the Brightest, which is the David Halberstam book about the incoming Kennedy Administration….We have not seen this kind of combination of star power and brain power and political muscle this early in a cabinet in our lifetimes."
(
November 24, 2008)

The Early Show (CBS)

Harry Smith, contemplating adultery and apparently necrophilia:

"As the Nation prepares for President-elect Barack Obama to move into the White House, many Americans can't help but draw similarities between him and the late President John F. Kennedy….The similarities are striking. JFK was 43 when he was inaugurated. Obama is just three years older, bringing a certain youthful vigor to the White House—including young children.…Kennedy had more than his share of charisma and Obama knows how to light up a room. But it's their wives who might be the real superstars."
(
November 7, 2008)

 

Reuters

After 34 years the truth wins out and the band plays on!

"Cello scrotum," a nasty ailment allegedly suffered by musicians, does not exist and the condition was just a hoax, a senior British doctor has admitted. In a letter to prominent medical magazine, the British Medical Journal in 1974, Elaine Murphy reported that cellists suffered from the painful complaint caused by their instrument repeatedly rubbing against their body. The claim had been inspired by reports in the BMJ about the alleged condition "guitar nipple," caused by irritation when the guitar was pressed against the chest.

But Murphy, now a baroness and a former professor of psychiatry of old age at Guy's Hospital in London, has admitted her supposed medical complaint was a spoof. "Perhaps after 34 years it's time for us to confess we invented cello scrotum," she wrote with her husband John, who had signed the original letter, which was published in the BMJ on Wednesday. "Anyone who has ever watched a cello being played would realize the physical impossibility of our claim."

Murphy, who said the couple had been "dining out" on their story ever since they made it up, said they had decided to reveal the hoax after it was referred to in a recent BMJ article on health problems associated with making music. She also said she suspected "guitar nipple" had been a joke.
(
January 28, 2009)

 

From the Archives

Timeless Tosh from Current Wisdoms Past

 

New Republic

Observations of a sociological nature from Miss Margaret Carlson, tomorrow's Mother Teresa:

I went to visit one of George Bush's thousand points of light three weeks ago bearing blankets and canned goods collected in the neighborhood. I was hoping to play Lady Bountiful for a moment but instead I got a look at Yuppie Philanthropy in action. All around were people like myself thirsting for a season fix, reassurance that their lives of wretched excess and self-absorption had not drained them of all mercy. Soup-kitchen turns as a way of making reparations aren't to be discouraged just because they make yuppies feel good. They are better than nothing at all. But as you see leather-bound datebooks being pulled out to make lunch dates, and overhear conversations about the best frequent-flier programs, you know how slim Bush's vision thing really is. The light of those to whom much has been given is a low-wattage bulb at best. It's no substitute for government programs to feed and clothe and house people.(January 23, 1989)

 

New York Post

A magisterial new film, elucidated by the philosophical John Carpenter, its Shakespeare:

"I had this idea for a pair of sunglasses you could look through and see the truth," says the 40-year-old Carpenter, who based "They Live" on an early '60s science-fiction tale.…"The sunglasses show things in black-andwhite," explains Carpenter, sitting in his hotel suite. The so-called real world is in color. "Sort of like Ted Turner colorizing the classics. You see, the aliens have colorized us.

"Then I thought, why not just do this message about the Reagan Revolution being controlled by free-enterprising aliens from outer space? They're dismantling the middle class, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. Planet Earth is the Third World to these people. They're Republicans.(November 2, 1988)

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article