…but some are more equal than others

While Facebook allows its users to avow inspiration by Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tong, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milošević, Pol Pot, Vlad III the Impaler, and Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, those attempting to testify likewise on behalf of Adolf Hitler are redirected to the page entitled Justin Bieber’s voice is higher than Adolf Hitlers gas bill.

your christmas message

I am about to write the world’s profoundest poem, with apologies to William James, the only one who has touched my my level of genius:

Hogamus, higamus,
God is polygynous.
Higamus, hogamus,
Christ was androgynous.

— Northrop Frye, Late Notebooks, 1982-1990

(William James, the author of Varieties of Religious Experience, was frustrated by the impression that he had forgotten numinous insights achieved while inhaling nitrous oxide. He finally resolved to write his thoughts down. A profound poem ensued: “Hogamus, higamus, / Men are polygamous. / Higamus, hogamus, / Women monogamous.”)

— Что такое женитьба с точки зрения физики процесса? — вопрошал один. — Это когда человек взял с собой в будущее поебаться, а оно по дороге протухло.
—Именно, — хихикал второй, тревожно косясь на Олега. — Женщина предлагает крайне некорректный контракт. Купить на все деньги много-много этого самого продукта, оптом на всю жизнь. Но продукт-то скоропортящийся! Даже если сначала будет хорошо, очень скоро станет плохо. А мужчине надо немного, но чтобы свежее и разное. И это, кстати, указание природы, требующей распространения генома, а не мнение какой-то там церковной общественности или климактериальных феминисток, которых в этой жизни не трахнет уже никто кроме инсульта. Короче, совсем разные бизнес-планы…

— What is marriage from the standpoint of process physics? — asked one of them. — It is the case of a man stocking up on fuck fodder for his future use, and then it rots along the way.
— Exactly — the other one giggled, glancing anxiously at Oleg. — A woman offers a highly improper contract. Spend all your money on lots and lots of the said product, wholesale for a lifetime. But the product is perishable! Even if at first it is good, very soon it will turn bad. And a man needs only a little bit, but fresh and assorted. And this, by the way, is a mandate of nature, which requires dissemination of the genome, and not some sanctimonious parochial notion or conceit of menopausal feminists no longer fit to be fucked in this life by anything other than a stroke. In short, very different business plans…

— Victor Pelevin, Pineapple Soda for the Lovely Lady

woolly bully

Thus spake this year’s Nobel and Y2K’s Ig Nobel Prize laureate in Physics Andre Geim: “Instant information about everything and everyone often allows an individual opinion to compete with consensus and paranoia with evidence. It is a time when one blunt honest statement can finish a life-long political career, and one opinionated journalist can bully a government or a royal family. […] And we sink deeper and deeper from democracy into a state of mediocrity and even idiocracy.”

Geim is on record taking the side of the Chinese government against fellow Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, even as Russian president Dmitry Medvedev’s office has been heard from nominating Julian Assange for the next Nobel Peace Prize. It remains that one man’s valiant dissident is another man’s cyberbully. Perhaps at 52, bound to evidence by his profession in the natural sciences, the inventor of graphene should not be faulted for identifying with an oppressive consensus. But there is no shortage of reasons to prefer a digital conduit of individual paranoid discontent to the dagger of a François Ravaillac, the infernal machine of an Ignacy Hryniewiecki, the Browning of a Gavrilo Princip or the Carcano of a Lee Harvey Oswald. Our tutelary champion of a new kind of “scientific journalism”, Assange is the only Voltaire we need and deserve for the XXIst Century. We can only hope that neither our Maximilien Robespierre nor our Napoléon Bonaparte will be long in coming.

out of the wilderness

Democrats gained seats in the House and (now, thanks to Biden) a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate because they were seen as more willing and able to work seriously on the problems facing the country. Here again the public was right — the Democrats are making tough policy choices and even playing their role as a check on the administration, especially in economic and financial policy, while the Republicans have become not just an ineffectual out-of-power party, but a parody of an ineffectual out-of-power party, spouting mean-sounding nonsense on major policy issues (“Government spending doesn’t work!” “There is no such thing as global warming!” “Hunger is a good motivator!”), and taking hypocrisy in their personal lives to new levels of self-indulgent weirdness (“It wasn’t just an affair, it was a love story!”). It’s as if they’re trying to get a head start on another 40 years in the wilderness.

David Epstein, Political Economist at Columbia, “Palin Proves Voters Were Right in 2008”,
The Huffington Post, 6 July 2009 11:49 AM

Political science professor David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with having a sexual relationship with his daughter, 24.

—Sarah Darville and Leah Greenbaum, “Professor David Epstein charged with incest with his daughter”,
Columbia Spectator, 10 December 2010