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and here's something
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Saturday, October 29, 2005
 
Colonel Larry Wilkerson is totally fucked, career-wise, but he's my hero of the week. He's Colin Powell's former chief of staff, and he gave a "talk" at some DC organization called the New America Foundation. I have no idea what the NAF is about, what they stand for, what they believe in, who they give money to, or who they try to bribe for a good seat at the fancy restaurant. I don't even have the energy to check out their website, because I spent all my energy formatting the transcript of Col. Larry Wilkerson's talk so that it looks nice. I made it that way so you could read it, so go ahead, right-click and download this Word doc: Col. Larry Wilkerson's talk.
     Just cuz I formatted the whole thing doesn't mean I read it, but the whole reason I got interested in the first place is that Jon Stewart played a video clip of him saying this:

COL. WILKERSON: ...Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, whom most of you probably know Tommy Franks said was the stupidest blankety-blank man in the world? He was.
[nervous laughter from the crowd]
Let me testify to that. He was. Seldom in my life have I met...[pause]... a dumber man.

Woo hoo! Awesome! Not the wisest thing to say, maybe, and he frets at one point that he maybe is being a little too candid, but then he's like "fuck it" and keeps going. I think it's a case of a dude playing to the crowd in front of him without proper regard for any cameras pointed at him. Don't we see this all the time? It's amazing, maybe, that people in positions of power could be so un-media-savvy, but half the hilarious clips on The Daily Show's news segment are the result of this syndrome.
     It's a scary thing, public speaking, and the desire to entertain is powerful, powerful stuff, and it makes people say the stupidest, awesomest, most ill-advised things. Executives read little books so to better prepare churchy ice-breaker anecdotes or slightly dirty jokes, depending on whether they're addressing the entire staff or just the board. The podium makes demands. You gotta make the people laugh, and if you don't have a store of jokes, you've got to resort to embarrassing personal stories, juicy gossip, or nasty snaps on, say, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. The actual President does this all the time; he's not comfortable with formal ANYTHING, especially press conferences, so he tries to turn everything into chatty, jokey little bull sessions, like he's pals with the press corps. Have you seen this? It's fucking embarrassing -- he still thinks he's the life of the party, and he still thinks that that's something to aspire to, even in his position. Oh God. Rove and Cheney must look at each other with wonder ever day, still amazed that they passed off a monkey for a human being and the American People bought him.
     Back to Colonel Wilkerson: it's too bad if Larry's desire to entertain costs him socially or professionally in DC, but it's so goddamn refreshing when somebody tells the truth about the people in charge (and it'll happen more and more often now that the ship is finally sinking; the rats will squeak as they climb the ropes to the dock). Maybe it won't hurt him that much. After all, Doug Feith resigned in August, and if anybody deserves a heaping helping of shit, it's him. Look at his picture -- he looks like an honest-to-god, old-fashioned village idiot. Seriously, doesn't he look like he's about to ask for pie? And then ask for pie over and over again for half an hour? During a cabinet meeting? Like this secret recording from a meeting during the run-up to the war:

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Thanks, Wolfy. We'll have the legal boys flesh that out and dash it over to the hill. Anything to add, Doug?
UNDERSECRETARY FIETH: I want pie. I want pie. Is there pie? Cuz I want it. Pie. Pie pie pie pie pie! Where's my pie! I want pie! Dougie want pie! Pie Pie! Dougie pie pie!

...and etcetera. Sorry about the partisan content, folks. I usually refrain, for the sake of those readers who like to pretend that I don't hate everything they think they stand for. But I couldn't not get political today. Like Del said: Hats off to Larry. Boo-yaa.

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MY IMAGINARY GIRLFRIENDS

Chan Marshall
Rotem of the IDF
Eleanor Friedberger
Amy Goodman
Bernardine Dohrn ('69)
Maya Rudolph
Joanna Newsom
Imogen Heap
Caroline Dhavernas

Shana Rae Ray

DISALLOWED FOREVER

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you!"
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"from whence"
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"...the exception that proves the rule"
-
any use of the question "spit or swallow?"
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the phrase "drop trou"
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fake-o reviewer verbs:
"penned" for wrote
"helmed" for directed
"lensed" for whatever
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"expat"
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the euphemism
"passed away"
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pronouncing merci beaucoup as "mercy buckets!"
(see also: "grassy-ass!")



PET PEEVES

"confinscated"
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trying children "as adults"
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"drownded"
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misuse of reflexive pronouns, as when someone says "Please talk to Bob or myself." Come on people now. "Myself" is not just a fancy version of "me"! LEARN IT.
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tattoos in the Courier font
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any use of Comic Sans