Quote of the Day postsWednesday February 10, 2016
“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.”
-- Pres. George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
“It's one of the few regrets of my presidency — that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.”
-- Pres. Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, 2016
“We are going to start winning again. We don't win anymore as a country. We don't win on trade. We don't win with the military. We can't beat ISIS. We don't win with anything. We are going to start winning again. And we're going to win so much, you are going to be so happy. We are going to make America so great again.”
-- Donald Trump, victory speech after winning the Republican New Hampshire primary Tuesday night
PARIS REVIEW: I once interviewed Allen Ginsberg, and asked him why he wrote the way he did—to which he replied, “Just because I do!” Is there much more to be said by poets about why they write the way they do?
SIMIC: Probably not. I write to annoy God, to make Death laugh. I write because I can’t get it right. I write because I want every woman in the world to fall in love with me. One can try to be clever like that, but in the end it comes down to what Ginsberg said.
-- from “Charles Simic, The Art of Poetry No. 90” in The Paris Review
The Origins and Ironies of the Tea Party
“Critics would later point out that [Rick Santelli's] indignation had not been similarly stirred by the Bush administration's bailouts of the country's largest banks, about which he had grumblingly conceded, 'I agree, something needs to be done.' Yet when Obama proposed help for the over-extended underclasses, Santelli looked into the camera and shrieked, 'This is America! How many of you people want to pay your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom, and can't pay their bills? Raise their hand. President Obama, are you listening?'
”As his fellow traders whistled and cheered, he went on to say, 'We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm gonna start organizing.' From the start, the analogy was inapt. As Michael Grunwald, author of The New New Deal, a richly reported book about Obama's stimulus plan, observed, 'The Boston Tea Party was a protest against an unelected leader who raised taxes, while Obama was an elected leader who had just cut them.'"
Hail, Joel and Ethan!
From an interview with Joel and Ethan Coen by Ramin Setoodeh in Variety:
Has [the movie business] gotten more or less crazy with time?
Ethan: Probably less crazy, sadly.
Is that because studios are less inclined to take risks?
Joel: Is that what it is? I’m not so sure, to tell you the truth. Studios have always been, in a certain way, risk-averse.
Ethan: I agree — I wouldn’t blame the studios. Like Barney Frank once said: “People talk about how horrible politicians are. Sometimes the electorate is no prize either.” The audience for movies, their tastes have gotten more homogeneous. Mainstream movies used to be more adventurous because people went to them.
As someone who pays attention to box office, all I can say is: Amen.
Quote of the Day
“Blaming Obama for the GOP diehard strategy. Like blaming the town's first black family for the burnt spot in their front yard.”
-- Illustrator Eric Hanson, on Facebook, responding to the book “Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down,” which includes a blurb by Sen. Bernie Sanders.