Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reading

Most of you know that I'm avid reader and a huge advocate of reading, especially for children and young adults. In the Wall Street Journal the other day, Karl "Goebbels" Rove, makes the case that George "The Decider" Bush should be well-regarded because he reads. Seems the good ol' boy from Tex-ass (which reminds me of a joke. I'll tell it here*) is just being all "aw shucks" as a ploy. According to Rove, Bush is actually an intellectual.

Pardon me while I walk into the other room and die of unabashed laughter...

*Que Jeopardy Music*



Okay, I'm back. Fortunately, we have Richard Cohen of the Washington Post to balance out Rove's last ditch effort to paint his former boss and friend, "The Leader of the Free World", as a smart guy. Cohen, to put it mildly, isn't impressed with Bush's choice of reading material over the last three years. In fact, he sums it up like this:
[T]he books themselves reveal -- actually, confirm -- something about Bush that maybe Rove did not intend. They are not the reading of a widely read man, but instead the books of a man who seeks -- and sees -- vindication in every page. Bush has always been the captive of fixed ideas. His books just support that.
Hm. Seems to be little surprise in that. Not exactly what I would consider the hallmark of an intellectual. Then again, we're talking about Republicans here who view the word intellectual with as much disdain as the rest of us view doggie doo-doo on the bottom of our shoe: unpleasant, messy, and stinky. Ergo, is Rove's Bush really an intellectual or is he merely a guy who reads? Call me a cynic, but I think he's just a guy who reads. And only that which, as Cohen more adroitly points out than I can, underscores his sense of divine mandate and democratized self-righteousness.

*****

In other snort-worthy news, Bristol Palin had her baby. Congratulations. And named it Tripp. Poor baby. What is wrong with those people?! And, as the daughter of the supposed "Savior of the GOP"--that bastion of morality and family values--why hasn't this girl married her baby-daddy yet? Oh never mind. Who are we kidding?

*****

On a brighter note, here's a tribute to a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, who passed away this week. I don't know why this struck me especially. Maybe because Mr. Aanenson's sense of morality is in stark contrast to Bush & Co.'s appalling lack of the same. Here is WWII Fighter Pilot Shared Haunting Story with the World.



* Okay, so the joke I alluded to earlier... First, some background. My mother married a man whose parents migrated from Texas to California during the Depression in search of jobs. Despite living in California three times longer than they ever lived in Texas, my grandparents still strongly identify as Texans.

Not long after they were married, my parents were having dinner with my dad's mom and dad. A discussion arose about Lyndon Baines Johnson and my mother, in all of her 18 years of youth and naivete, told this joke:

"Did you know they've shortened the name of Texas to Tex?"

Incredulous looks ensued, but Mom plugged right along. "Yep," she said, "Seems they dropped the ass off the end and sent him to the White House."

My grandfather's reply, directed to my father, "She's not one of us."

True story. In hindsight, Mom says she probably should have sought an annulment then and there. Forty years later, we sometimes wish she had, too.

19 comments:

lacochran said...

I think you're on to something... in Republicanspeak "intellectual" is an insult. Rove is just nailing the coffin shut.

Cele said...

Oh I so totally love the joke.

I don't think I need a reading list to solidify my opinion of a shrub from Ass.

word verification: diflim
totally speaks for itself

Katherine said...

So, um I wonder what it indicates if you devour trashy romance novels right along side actual literature? And also, am I the only one who finds it interesting that Laura Bush used to be a librarian?

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Lacochran: Ironically, I've met an intellectual Republican or two in my time. They're decent people you can have a reasoned calm conversation with about opposing viewpoints and issues. This is why I don't believe Rove-Goebbels when he says Bush is an intellectual: there's no reasoning with that village idiot!


Cele: Yeah, we still laugh about that in my family. Love my grandparents, but Lord, Lordy, Lord could they use a little lightening up. (Actually, my grandfather has been six feet under for more than 25 years. Perhaps he's learned to have some levity in his spirit since them. My grandmother, OTOH, could use a little laughing gas now and then. At 95-years old, though, you'd think she'd have loosened up a bit by now.)


Katherine: I could ask a similar question. What does it mean that I'm reading Harry Potter and Obama's The Audacity of Hope at the same time? In your case, your choice of reading material means you're well-balanced. As for Laura Bush, I am also fascinated by the fact that she's a librarian. I'm also morbidly curious how she stays married to that man and doesn't hit him in the head every morning with a shoe. (That's probably why she's upset at that Iraqi journalist. She wishes she'd thought of that course of action first.)

Herb of DC said...

Oh my, an LBJ joke! Extra points for that one!!!! Loved it!

lacochran said...

Happy 2009, Jayem! So glad we got to meet and I hope we can tag up for more shenanigans in the new year!

Katherine said...

Forget the shoe. Somebody needs to give her a frying pan.

D.C. Confidential said...

Herb: I'm all about the points!


Lacochran: Happy New Year to you, too, LA! Here's hoping for a get together or two or three in 2009!


Katherine: And the Dixie Chicks to serenade her a la "Goodbye Earl" as she's whacking him with suggested cooking implement!

Virginia said...

Ya'll are cracking me up. "Goodbye Earl" and the frying pan. Good riddance.

Bristol hadda baby.... wasn't that a song a long time ago? No, sorry that was ANNIE. And right, what about that baby daddy that they paraded all over the free world? I will put money on the fact that that boy will NEVER enjoy unprotected sex ever again..

Virginia said...

OK what does OTOH mean? Just when I learn that LOL means Laughing out loud and not Lots of Love like it did in the 5th grade, you pull a new one on me. I can't keep up with you young people. You are just to sharp for me.

As you can see, I have no date (DUH!) and no New Year's plans for tonight so I am blog surfing to amuse myself.

LiLu said...

Oh, that joke is priceless... and so many years later; it never goes out of style.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Virginia, OTOH means "on the other hand."

Bush reads the little joke books in the nook next to the toilet. I'm sure of it.

Tewks, as my uncle once said, "There's no accountin' for why some people get married." He's on his second marriage; this one fit him well. I guess Laura likes the money and the attention, but I wonder how she's going to weather it with George home all day -- bored and hitting the bottle again.

Signed,
Catty Phoebe

Maya said...

Hahahahahahaha! Your mom seems to have a good sense of humor.

D.C. Confidential said...

VJ: Mr. Bristol Palin will be lucky if he ever has sex again with the governor's daughter! And honestly, if those two actually wed, I'll eat oatmeal from one of those nasty instant packages as penance. (If you knew how I make oatmeal, you'd understand why that's such a sacrifice for me.)


LiLu: Happy New Year to you, too. I wasn't around when LBJ was president, but I still enjoy a good laugh at LBJ jokes.


Pheebs: If I was Laura Bush, I'd be cryin' in my coffee every morning and popping Prozac.


Maya: My mother has a wicked, wicked sense of humor! We love it!

Virginia said...

I know I should be able to let go of this by now but they pranced him all over the stage from coast to coast as the heir to the Palin throne. All but said, "Come on up here boy, and let the good people see who knocked up our virgin baby girl. Now you're gettin married now aren't you? YOu betcha!" But golly gee whiz, we lost the election so now that's not number 1 on the list BEFORE the baby arrives? Did you say his name was TWIG??? Oh geez. My head's spinning again. I need some of Laura Bush's Prozac.
I am through with the Palin Baby Daddy thing I promise.

Liz said...

an intellectual? i don't know what's funnier- that or the LBJ joke.

D.C. Confidential said...

VJ: Yeah, the whole Palin thing is a joke. I think they named the baby Tripp. His uncle is named Trigg.)


Liz: Tough call, isn't it?

foundinidaho said...

Yeah, I just about puked when I got back in the States last night and read my People Magazine. Tripp. Nobody will make fun of that kid for his name, will they? Or for the fact his grandma deals crack.

That poor kid.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

FII: The whole Palin-Naming-Machine reminds me of a family I knew growing up in Provo. All of their children, including the boys, had names that had a "Y" in them. Even names like Deryk or Dayne. It was kinda annoying. When children grow up and start having kids, they should break these kind of silly trends their parents started. For instance, if I ever had children, none of them would have the name "Jane" anywhere in their name. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but my dad thought it would be great to take that part of my mom's name and make it part of my name and my sister's. So not helpful when you're applying for a home loan or some other financial something or other that requires a credit check.

P.S. My word verification is "basto." Hm...