Category Archives: Miscellany

Is Your Hate Pure?

Can’t help but pass this along:

My favorite Cockburn passage and something we do at Jacobin, as well.

I asked the future leader what I asked all interns as a matter of form, “Eddie, is your hate pure?”

The man who first asked me that question was the late Jim Goode, editor ofPenthouse.

Like PlayboyPenthouse would pay good money for long articles about the corruption of America, thus giving the pointyheads an excuse to thumb through the pinups. Goode, tall and cadaverous, was gay, clad in black leather as he crouched on the floor of his office, gazing morosely at hundreds of photos of bare-breasted women.

As I entered with some screed about corporate and political evil, he’d snarl, “Alex, is your hate pure?” “Yes, Jim, my hate is pure.”

It was a good way of assaying interns. The feisty ones would respond excitedly, “Yes, my hate is pure.” I put the question to Eddie Miliband. He gaped at me in shock like Gussie Fink-Nottle watching one of his newts vanish down the plug hole in his bath. “I…I… don’t hate anyone, Alex,” he stammered.

It’s all you need to know.

(In commemoration of the recent passing of journalist Alexander Cockburn)

Image via Wikipedia


If there is a true Žižekism…

…it must be a betrayal of Žižekism in the name of Žižekism’s subversive core.

The whole thing is great; check it out.

(h/t zunguzungu)

It’s hard to talk about dreams

Michael Chabon hates dreams, and I think he gets this in particular quite right:

Whatever stuff dreams are made on, it isn’t words. As soon as you begin to tell a dream, as Freud reminds us, you interpolate, falsify, distort; you lie. That roseate airplane, that wide blue arc of cold water: no, it wasn’t like that, not at all. Better just to skip it, and pass the maple syrup.

Image via Wikipedia

Ray Bradbury died

Ray Bradbury died today at age 91 [io9]:

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury, Author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury — author of The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked this Way Comes, and many more literary classics — died this morning in Los Angeles, at the age of 91.

We’ve got confirmation from the family as well as his biographer, Sam Weller.
His grandson, Danny Karapetian, shared these words with io9 about his grandfather’s passing: “If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s memories about him. He influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories. Your stories. His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know.”


But how fast can we recover after being kicked in the balls?

Alright, I get that this Foreign Policy post on the preparedness of Earth for an alien attack is mostly in jest. Still, my problem with this list is that in all likelihood an alien force would either destroy us or decimate a good chuck of the planet’s population so having a few super advanced toys wouldn’t really make much of a difference. A real, feasible defense would be some kind of plan for when a cataclysmic disaster occurs. Is Earth prepared for some kind of huge catastrophe? How fast can it turn things around if there is a surprise attack?

Look, I take it as a given that if an alien attack happens, we’ll get our asses kicked initially but that doesn’t mean we’re doomed, as all mediocre action movies tell us.


I’d like to come out and introduce myself as a new member of this blog.  My name is Aaron, and I’ll be joining my buddy Hotch here at Blue Rondo.  We’ll use this space to talk about politics, culture, and any other interesting tidbits we pick up on our radar.

A little about myself: I’m a twenty-something Michigan native and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where I studied History and English and minored in Philosophy.  I was recently selected for a Fulbright grant, so, provided the last few pieces of that process continue to fall into place, I’ll be studying in France for ten months come September or October.

In the event that I end up discussing France-related things down the road, here’s a little disclaimer: this is not an official State Department website.  Whatever I say on here represents my own thoughts and feelings and is not representative of the Fulbright Program or the State Department.

I like to keep these things short, so there you have it!  I’m excited to be here, and I hope you’ll enjoy what we have to say in the months to come.

This is how you lose your knighthood

In case, ya know, you ever wanted to get rid of that pesky “Sir” at the front of your name:

LONDON — The British government announced on Tuesday that Frederick A. Goodwin, the former chief executive of the now-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland, would be stripped of his knighthood.

The announcement comes after the country’s prime minister, David Cameron, said on Jan. 19 that he supported a review of Mr. Goodwin’s knighthood, which he received in 2004 for his service to the British banking industry.

That honor now looks woefully out of place. The bank, based in Edinburgh, is 82 percent owned by British taxpayers after receiving a multibillion-dollar bailout in 2008. Mr. Goodwin, who gained the nickname “Fred the Shred” for his cost-saving efforts, left the bank after the government took control of it in 2008.

The decision to remove Mr. Goodwin’s knighthood has to be ordered by the queen after receiving advice from the so-called forfeiture committee, made up of high-ranking government officials.

In a statement, the committee said Mr. Goodwin’s decisions while chief executive of the bank “meant that the retention of a knighthood for services to banking could not be sustained.”

The committee said its decisions were not usually announced in advance, but the scale and severity of Mr. Goodwin’s actions made this an exceptional case.

The removal of his knighthood places Mr. Goodwin alongside other notable individuals. Robert G. Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, had his honorary knighthood annulled in 2008 because of violence ahead of a presidential run-off election. Jean Else, who helped transform a failing British school, had her damehood revoked last year for ignoring some standards and promoting her twin sister.