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"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

April 02, 2005

Chris Floyd & The Snarling Rictus

The writer and journalist Chris Floyd has a new website, which you should immediately visit and bookmark.

I'm a longtime fan of Floyd's writing. He combines literary flair, historical awareness and opinions I agree with. You can find out more about him at another website, this one about his book Empire Burlesque.

Some of Floyd's recent columns can be found here and here, as well as sprayed across the internet. Be sure not to miss one of my favorite pieces of all, "Animal House":

Every now and then the mask slips, and we see the true face of the system that marshals the world. For an instant, the heavy paint of sober wisdom and moral purpose falls away, and there, suddenly, with jolting clarity, is the snarling rictus of an ape.

Last week gave us two such moments: a quantum collision, where past and present co-exist temporarily, their overlapping images phasing in and out of synch, now Nixon now Bush now Kissinger now Rumsfeld, mouths, eyes, snarls morphing and shifting, with only one image holding constant between the eras—the twisted, shivered bodies of dead innocents...

Yet there's nothing uniquely "American" in these criminal policies, and the hypocrisy surrounding them. It's how elites have behaved from time immemorial, from the days of the apes: baring their teeth and pounding their chests, ruling through fear and violence, beating, biting, raping, whatever it takes to keep them at the top of the tree. They disguise their savagery—even from themselves—with masks of pomp and piety, but what moves them is the spirit of the beast, the blind gut-lust for dominance, the ape-remnants that live on in our brains. They're too weak, too stupefied with corruption to rise above this inherent bestiality.


Posted at April 2, 2005 12:44 PM | TrackBack

You really made my day with this one, Jonathan. I, too, am a big fan of Chris Floyd.

Posted by: Harry at April 2, 2005 01:23 PM

Thanks for the link. I'd never heard of the guy. His writing's da balm.

Posted by: bmo at April 2, 2005 05:29 PM

To be fair, if it wasn't for the fact that ape remnants live on in the followers, would we all have made such monkeys of ourselves in our sordid history?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at April 3, 2005 09:31 AM


How happy that makes me!—particularly considering how many times your site has made my day. Perhaps we can band together with others and all exchange such information in a mutually beneficial "day-making" economy.


Is "da balm" your own creation? If so, I simultaneously congratulate you and curse you for thinking of it before me.

En Ming Hee,

Agreed. There is considerable ape-ness in both, the leaders and the followers. One side bellows as the other cringes pathetically.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 4, 2005 01:53 AM

To be both chimp and chump is a tragedy. We can avoid this by moving swiftly to a day-making economy. Ownership Society professors with tenure will resist. They know their likely fate; a life spent holding signs "will immiserate entire populations for food".

Posted by: Harry at April 4, 2005 06:07 AM

Hey, good for you, Chris Floyd is one of my favorites too.

Posted by: abb1 at April 4, 2005 07:49 AM

BTW, if you want to read his old columns but too cheap to buy Moscow Times subscription (like I am), you can find them here:

Posted by: abb1 at April 4, 2005 07:55 AM

Thanks for the heads up.

I can't think of a single reporter I hold in higher esteem. Chris Floyd wields truth like a Louisville Slugger with nails in it. Like me, he's unapologetically caustic. Unlike me, he actually works and, to my knowledge, does not use his God-given talents in the lowly capacity of an unpaid restaurant critic scheming for a free dessert.

Pity his timing with Blogspot, though. It served me well until mid March, but is now as reliable as the electricity in Baghdad. El Trasho Heapo. The bane of a gazillion obsessed, self-important bloggers. A mass exodus in the making. A deep and lasting stain on the Google Myth. Not that I'm bitter about it.

Posted by: Arvin Hill at April 7, 2005 10:43 PM