Friday, September 09, 2005

Fiction vs. Reality

Susanna Clarke
"'Perhaps it is the age. It is not an age for magic or scholarship, is it sir? Tradesmen prosper, sailors, politicians, but not magicians. Our time is past.'"


"Mr. Robinson was a polished sort of person. He was so clean and healthy and pleased about everything he positively shone -- which is only to be expected in a fairy or an angel, but is somewhat disconcerting in an attorney."


"The war destroyed every present comfort and cast a deep gloom over the future. Soldiers, merchants, politicians and farmers all cursed the hour that they were born, but magicians (a contrary breed of men if ever there was one) were entirely delighted by the course events were taking."

--Susanna Clarke (photo at right, by Sigrid Estrada), from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel (2004)



"My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents."--Right-wing nutcase, NRO Online columnist and chickenhawk Jonah Goldberg, to the people suffering in the Louisiana Superdome

"We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City."--Two French paramedics who were stranded in New Orleans

"If we had opened the bridge [to the evacuees and tourists], our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged."--Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson to API

"What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."--Barbara P. Bush, former First Lady of the United States and mother of W

"That Americans would somehow in a color-affected way decide who to help and who not to help - I just don't believe it."--Secretary of State, former National Security Advisor and Shoe-Shopper-par-excellence Dr. Condoleezza Rice

"Now tell me the truth, boys, is this kind of fun?"--House Majority Whip, gerrymanderer and anti-judicial activist Tom "Bug-Killer" DeLay, to three young evacuees in the Houston Astrodome

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach in the levees."--George W. Bush, 43rd PResident of the United States (pictured above)

"What didn't go right?"--ibidiot to Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California)

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."--ibidiot

"Mike [Brown] used to handle a lot of details. Every now and again I'd ask him to write me a speech. He was very loyal. He was always on time. He always had on a suit and a starched white shirt."--Bill Dashner, former City Manager, speaking of fantasist, serial incompetent and FEMA chief (still), Mike "Brownie" Brown

"Go f*ck yourself."--Vice President Dick Cheney to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), on the floor of the US Senate

"Go f*ck yourself!"--A Mississippian to Vice President Dick Cheney, in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged city of Gulfport, Mississippi

"Mayor Nay-ger..." --drug addict and radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh Limblatherer

"Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically....I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we've been living is not going to happen again, or we're out."--James Reiss, "descendent of an old-line Uptown [New Orleans] family" and Chairman, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." --Rep. Bob Baker (R-Louisiana)

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