DFW Memorialized, Homer Endorses Obama, Sarah Palin Is Never in on the Joke, and Hope for a New Zeitgeist

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So let’s just say we’re too anxious around here to run a proper book review, okay? I promise to have reviews of new books up after Election Day. In the meantime–

Great, thorough, and touching essay by David Lipsky at Rolling Stone: “The Lost Years and Last Days of David Foster Wallace.” Check it out. Also, there are plenty of online accounts of the DFW memorial last week at NYU’s Skirball Center, but I thought Andy Battaglia’s eyewitness account was pretty moving.

Also–

It leaked a few weeks ago, but it was nice to see Homer Simpson endorse Obama on this year’s Treehouse of Horror episode–

(The best part of the episode was the Mad Men parody, though).

Speaking of election humor, Sarah Palin continues to be a comedy goldmine. How could she be so readily duped by a French Canadian pretending to be President Sarkozy? She’s fucking stupid, that’s how. I’m reminded of her appearance on SNL a few weeks ago–unjustifiably lauded–where she smirked along as if she were actually in on the joke, and not being simply mocked.

Speaking of ignorance and ugliness, the aughties in America have been culturally and politically awful. Beginning with the one-two punch of the 2000 election debacle and the nightmare of the 9/11 attacks, this past decade has been an embarrassing series of disastrous blunders for the United States government, coupled with a spike in civic apathy at home. The results: our stock has fallen in the rest of the world’s eyes and a large portion of Americans have found solace and even pride in ignorance and xenophobia (what else could explain the ascendancy of an ignoramus like Palin?)

And for all the great things that I’ve experienced in my personal life this past decade (marriage, fatherhood), the idea of another decade like the aughties–selfish and cruel and ignorant–seems miserable. The Bush administration–and the American people who supported them–has been working hard to usher in a New Dark Age. Yet in the past few days I’ve seen some of my cynicism fall away, as I see friends and acquaintances and complete strangers excited about the prospect of change for this country. Watching Obama in Cleveland tonight, I found myself moved and excited and hopeful, not just for Tuesday, or for a new President in January, but for a whole new spirit in this country, one that embraces progressive ideals and puts them into action.

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7 thoughts on “DFW Memorialized, Homer Endorses Obama, Sarah Palin Is Never in on the Joke, and Hope for a New Zeitgeist

  1. You know, I really enjoy this blog most of the time. You’re above calling Sarah Palin “fucking stupid”. There’s no doubt she’s an easy target and plenty of others out there are taking the low route. If you are going to discuss politics, at least be thoughtful about it. I really hope Obama wins tomorrow and I really hope this country becomes a bit more progressive under him. That includes the cessation of petty namecalling and the constant wallowing in one’s own perceived intellectual superiority that has become the trademark of the Democratic party over the last eight years. Seriously, you’re better than that.

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  2. Is it the swearing, Lou, the use of the word “fucking,” or is it the word “stupid”–because she’s pretty fucking stupid, by any rational definition of the word. Or is it the combo?

    I don’t think calling her “fucking stupid” is petty or is namecalling–I think it’s an open and honest (if somewhat coarse) evaluation of Palin’s intellect and character. Palin, unlike me, is not open or honest. Check her coded language–her claim for “tolerance,” for example, when she really would rather say “I hate fags.” I’m not going to code or curb my opinions about Palin or any other nitwit just to satisfy some (imaginary) line of “thoughtful” discourse. We *should* mock Palin for getting duped. She’s trying to dupe America, so the right response is to ridicule her when such golden opportunities present themselves. Palin likes to hunt wolves from helicopters–fish in a barrel–so anytime she leaves herself so open to such easy attacks, I say go for it.

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  3. I want to go on record:

    I went to Nancy Goldfarb’s mendacious post about Ayers and Obama (she’s so scared that she’s already imploring her readers to take action toward impeaching Obama from not only the Senate, but also the Presidency!)—

    –anyway, I went to her silly site, and responded to her comment thread. And she didn’t approve my comment. Her entire thread is one-sided.

    Now, on this thread, there are people who claim that Obama is the anti-christ (they mean this seriously, not just figuratively) and people warn against the inevitable race riots a’comin’ (no matter who wins! Better arm yourself!)–

    –nutty stuff.

    But hey. I won’t censor her. As Lou argued (in a completely different context and for different purposes), I’m fucking better than that.

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  4. As much as the vulgarities seem like they don’t fit, especially coming from the erudite author of this blog, I think they actually do.

    Mrs. Palin, as a construct, is exactly what’s wrong with American politics. The idea that “small town values”/thinking is what’s necessary to solve some of the most complex and global crises is beyond foolish. And her proximity to actually being President of the United States of America illuminates the general public’s apathy and ignorance.

    On a personal note, I gladly welcome the end of this election. The ugliness I’ve seen, especially in the Northeast Florida region and throughout the US has really depressed me. From people carrying stuffed monkeys to McCain/Palin rallies — blatant open racism — and the coded racism — McCain and his supporters calling Obama “socialist” and “redistributionist” — to the demonization of all Arabs and Muslims, I have lost a lot of faith in the general voting public.

    I hope there are enough people out there that truly believe that we need to remake this country into a green, Energy Technology powerhouse and end these wars.

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