Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, August 18, 2005


What is underwriting?



"Go in fear of abstractions," he said.

I'd consider it, if that sentence weren't so scarey.

"No ideas but in things," he said.

Is that a thing?



What is the thing of it?



Heard that song on the radio tonight, some sultry sounding woman I don't know. Music by the great Michel Legrand, words by the Bergmans. The summer knows my doubts and fears. My fears that summer won't last forever. The deliciously sultry heat, the ripeness and ease. I want it to last and last. It won't.

The pained consciousness of change's inexorability -- you can hear it in the crickets' chirping, in this song, in Brian Wilson's sweetbitter falsetto. The summer knows.

Michel Legrand isn't as famous as Burt Bacharach or Antonio Jobim but he should be. Fewer hit songs than Bacharach; hits not as big as either of the others. Many parallels with Bacharach: Educated as classical composers, lovers of bebop; Legrand an accomplished jazz pianist who has played with many of the greatest names, such as Miles Davis. Bacharach an expert small-band colorist as arranger; Legrand as arranger comparable to Gil Evans, Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, Les Baxter, and wider ranging with a richer harmonic palette than any of them. Legrand wrote fewer hit songs but a lot of great ones. "Windmills of your mind" and "If it takes forever I will wait for you" probably the most famous. More famous for his soundtracks: "Summer of '42," "Thomas Crown Affair," "Brian's Song," that movie famous for making little boys secretly cry as they pretend not to -- that's what I did (a relief to grow up and not be ashamed of crying) -- many other movies.

The summer knows. The livin' is easy. Your mama's rich and your dad is good looking. Nothing lasts forever. The summer KNOWS.



Cindy Sheehan struck a nerve. She asks Why, Why did my son die, Why did we go to war? The Republicans lose their poop, because there is no good answer -- they don't even try to answer.

Here is the answer.

They thought it would be easy and that it would bring them glory.

They thought the Iraqis would turn out secular, humanistic, unified, friendly with their oil, and friendly to Israel.

They thought the democracy would inspire democratic movements throughout the Middle East and North Africa and Central Asia.

Wrong on every count.

The WMD thing and the purported connection to Al Qaeda were conscious, bald-faced lies; all evidence points to this being the case.

These might not be the real reasons, but they are the most creditable I could consider. The other possibility is that they just wanted to run the thing as a way to loot the treasury, spread money around to their friends, and destroy America's military and standing in the world. Certainly the evidence would support that supposition. But I really think they thought it would easily turn out well and bring them glory.

Because they are more interested in projecting an air of mastery than in dealing with the truth, they will never admit wrong. Interesting parallel: In this week's New York Review of Books, liberal columnist Michael Kinsley writes to complain of the criticism he has received for downplaying the importance of the Downing Street Memos. His complaints just discredit him; the more he complains, the wronger he gets. He says they aren't important because they won't convince the not-yet-convinced that Bush lied. Unfortunately for Kinsley, and fortunately for the country, they have convinced a lot of thitherto unconvinced that Bush lied. I can't know whether Kinsley digs his hole deeper out of a pathological fight instinct, or because it's all showbiz, and a showman doesn't admit he's wrong. I hope it's the former.

Delusional Republicans running the country; AND owning the absurdly credulous press; AND cowing the eminently cowable Democrats into going along with monstrousness. Feb 15, 2003, millions of people in the street, vainly protesting the impending catastrophe. The press and the Vichy Dems can join the Republicans in hell.

What a mess.

Here's hoping the Democrats don't blow it in 2006.

Oh, and by the way -- filibuster Roberts. Don't let that criminal seat one single Medievalist freak on the Supreme Court.

Thank you very much.
I would imagine being a guy who had almost everything you ever wanted handed to you since birth with minimal effort on your part, who has been bailed out every time you screwed up, who was able to steal an election without a revolution in the streets following said theft, and who has been carefully kept away from any negative opinions would tend to make you believe in your own invincibility. Who was it that said George W. Bush was born on third base and believes he hit a triple? That pretty much nails it.



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