"This is a chronicle of the Bush Era with no colour-coded Terror Alerts; no Freedom Fries; no Halliburton; no Healthy Forests Initiative (which opened up wilderness areas to logging); no Clear Skies Act (which reduced air pollution standards); no New Freedom Initiative (which proposed testing all Americans, beginning with schoolchildren, for mental illness); no pamphlets sold by the National Parks Service explaining that the Grand Canyon was created by the Flood; no research by the National Institutes of Health on whether prayer can cure cancer (‘imperative’, because poor people have limited access to healthcare); no cover-up of the death of football star Pat Tillman by ‘friendly fire’ in Afghanistan; no ‘Total Information Awareness’ from the Information Awareness Office; no Project for the New American Century; no invented heroic rescue of Private Jessica Lynch; no Fox News; no hundreds of millions spent on ‘abstinence education’. It does not deal with the Cheney theory of the ‘unitary executive’ – essentially that neither the Congress nor the courts can tell the president what to do – or Bush’s frequent use of ‘signing statements’ to indicate that he would completely ignore a bill that the Congress had just passed. It is astonishing how many major players from Bush World are here Missing in Action. Entirely absent, or mentioned only in passing, are Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Yoo, Elliott Abrams, Ahmed Chalabi, Ayad Allawi, Rick Santorum, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Richard Armitage, Katherine Harris, Ken Mehlman, Paul O’Neill, Rush Limbaugh. Barely appearing at all are John Ashcroft, Samuel Alito, Ari Fleischer, Alberto Gonzales, Denny Hastert, John Negroponte and Tom Ridge. Condi and Colin Powell are given small parts, but Rummy is largely a passing shadow. No one is allowed to steal a scene from the star. The enormous black hole in the book is the Grand Puppetmaster himself, Dick Cheney, the man who was prime minister to Bush’s figurehead president."
- From Damn Right, I Said, Eliot Weinberger's post-modernist tinged review of George W. Bush's autobiography, Decision Points, for the London Review of Books. It's so pomo, even Foucault makes an appearance!
SUGGESTED READING LIST
1. They found it! Long considered a “lost film” (defined as a known work with no surviving copy), 1962’s Pages of Death was ranked number fourteen in Gambit magazine’s list of fifteen “lost” films.
A 16mm print of the film was recently discovered in the collection of the Portland, Oregon based Oregon Historical Society. Writing in Vintage Sleaze, Jim Linderman describes Pages of Death as the story of a teenage boy who “hung out reading pornography at Baker’s Variety Store until he couldn’t stand it any longer and murdered a girl in a whipped up frenzy of smut inspired rage.” And now you can watch it, here!
2. I find it oddly delightful that Brave New World author Aldous Huxley and Nineteen Eighty-Four author George Orwell had arguments debating the comparative merits of their speculative dystopias that were not unlike the arguments my fellow students and I had while undergrad English students. This Open Culture essay, Entitled "My Hellish Vision of the Future is Better Than Yours", begins:
In 1949, George Orwell received a curious letter from his former high school French teacher. Orwell had just published his groundbreaking book Nineteen Eighty-Four, which received glowing reviews from just about every corner of the English-speaking world. His French teacher, as it happens, was none other than Aldous Huxley who taught at Eton for a spell before writing Brave New World (1931), the other great 20th century dystopian novel. Huxley starts off the letter praising the book, describing it as “profoundly important.” He continues, “The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it.” Then Huxley switches gears and criticizes the book...
Click on the link for the rest.
3. Beauty, brains, natural talent, and now, Star Wars money (and immortality). Wow! Saara Forsberg... It's not fair!