Quote of the Day postsWednesday March 20, 2019
“Twenty years ago, if you saw something on TV that offended you and you wanted to let someone know, you would‘ve had to get a pen and paper and write, ’Dear BBC, I'm bothered.' But you didn't do it because it was too much trouble. Now with Twitter, you can just go, ‘[Expletive] you!’ to a comedian who's offended you. Then a journalist will see that and say, ‘So-and-so said a thing and people are furious.’ No. The rest of us don't give a [expletive] and wouldn't have heard about it if it hadn't been made a headline. Everything is exaggerated. But everything's also an illusion. No one would talk to you in the street like they do on Twitter. They'd never come up and say, ‘Your articles stink.’ They'd never do that because they‘re normal, but they’re not normal on Twitter because there's no nuance, no irony, no conversation there. ...
”It's like going into a toilet stall and arguing with graffiti.“
Ricky Gervais, ”Ricky Gervais on Provocation, Picking Targets and Outrage Culture," by David Marchese, in The New York Times
Nunes So Blind
“Rep. Devin Nunes, who is bringing a $250 million suit against Twitter because he has been the subject of mean tweets, is not an obscure kook. He is a famous and highly influential kook who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. ...
”Nunes provides almost no arguments to support his demand, which would overturn decades of well-settled legal precedent. In place of the extremely novel Constitutional case he needs to make, his lawsuit asserts that the existence of very mean tweets ‘runs contrary to every tenet of American Democracy, including the guarantees of both the First Amendment and Article I, § 12 of the Virginia Constitution. In the words of the late United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., “If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”’ ...
“You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that this quote—defending the existence of speech from those we hate—supports the exact opposite position from Nunes.”
Jonathan Chait, “Devin Nunes Files Bonkers $250 Million Lawsuit Over Mean Tweets,” New York Magazine
Tweet of the Day
Today, Trump retweeted:— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 18, 2019
1. A Pizzagate conspiracy theorist
2. A Qanon conspiracy theorist
3. A conspiracy theorist who believes the New Zealand massacre was a plot to limit gun rights
He's elevating the most unhinged, deranged voices
By tomorrow we'll forget it even happened
Where the Gods Live
“A novel is like a mountain. Like Mount Rainier. You ever seen Mount Rainier? It’s like you’re looking at God.”
—Walter Mosley, The Paris Review
I used to think something similar. In the 1990s, I'd be biking along 45th street from Wallingford toward the University district, and I'd be stopped at the stoplight just before the freeway, and if it was a clear day you'd have this great view of Mount Rainier in the distance. It loomed big there for some reason. I'd be hanging and looking at it and just mesmerized. And I'd think, ”If I lived here centuries ago, I'd assume that's where the gods lived."
If I had to choose a Great American Novel, it would be either “Huck Finn” (rural, poor, doing the right thing despite mores and one’s own inclinations) or “Gatsby” (urban, rich, remaking oneself to fit a dream). Both speak the American vernacular. Both are in the first person. Maybe the Great American Novel has to be in the first person because we are.
Pick up “Gatsby” and read that first page. It'll be 100 years old in 2025 and it sounds like today.