You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"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

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"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

January 08, 2009

Serious People Successfully Avoid Non-Serious Cooties

I love this picture. I plan to refer to it frequently during the more brutal moments of the Obama administration.

Be sure to click it to get the pop-up in its full glory.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 8, 2009 03:37 PM

Freaking perfect. Kind of says it all, eh?

Posted by: Rob Payne at January 8, 2009 03:49 PM

Tailor, likely Jewish, forgot to shorten cuffs on Carter's pants. If I wrere Jimmy, I'd be embarrassed too.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2009 03:52 PM

Looks like the four on the left are conspiring against Pres Jimmy Carter, kind of isolating him!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 8, 2009 04:06 PM

donescobar, the anti-Carter animus is getting a little obsessive.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 8, 2009 04:13 PM

A joke about his cuffs and the alleged Jewish tailor is "anti-Carter animus?"
Well, all right, then. Hope somebody dug him a "defensive tunnel" to get out of there and preserve the non-obsessive animus, er, criticism emanating from Jimmy.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2009 04:19 PM

I saw that last night and it struck me the same way, but I only noted Carter's prudent separation and didn't catch all the other wonderful symbolism in it. For instance:

- Obama stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Republicans
- one remove from anyone who might be perceived as "liberal"
- Clinton is just barely to the left of George W. Bush

That picture is certainly worth the full 1000 words.

Posted by: John Caruso at January 8, 2009 04:21 PM

How'd that guy get elected anyway?

Posted by: MR ECKS at January 8, 2009 04:30 PM

Anyone up for getting a pool together to buy this place:

Posted by: darrelplant at January 8, 2009 04:50 PM

Gotta side with Jon, here, donescobar. There's a nice list of things to bash Carter with (going by geography, they're called East Timor, El Salvador, etc...), but he's a frigging saint compared to the rest of that crowd and anyway, what's with the Jewish tailor?

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 8, 2009 05:03 PM

donescobar, Carter does a million different things with his time. To say he some sort of obsessive focus on this issue is false, and saying so indicates you're not paying attention.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 8, 2009 05:17 PM

When I first looked at the picture, I thought Carter looked photoshopped in. It is like the other guys are afraid of Carter's "cooties" with how they are positioned.

Posted by: Gakko at January 8, 2009 05:41 PM

Look,his cuffs looked like they were not cut right compared to those of the others. The Jewish tailor--a joke, maybe not a good one.
I think he's filled with resentment, writes abysmal poetry and is totally humorless. You think he's a good and serious man and possibly a competent carpenter. I sure ain't gonna comment on his views on current or past events.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2009 05:44 PM

I sure ain't gonna comment on his views on current or past events.

Yeah, why ruin your trenchant analysis of Carters cuffs n' poetry with petty nonsense like that?

Posted by: SteveB at January 8, 2009 06:44 PM

Well, you got the petty part right.
But hey, you go and celebrate Carter.
On the dread topic, as the movies tell us, silence is golden.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2009 08:20 PM

whats with the rug in the oval office? i never noticed it before but seriously... it makes all the POTUSes look like they are about to slide down into some sort of centralized pit.

not, of course, that there would be anything symbolic in that, or anything.

Posted by: raincoat at January 8, 2009 08:23 PM


I do like Carter as an ex-President. As President, well, he has the same bloody human rights record as all of them. Anyone who wants that job has something wrong inside, or alternatively is wildly deluded about what it entails, or both.

Even as President he was good on some things. That malaise speech, which he was shredded for, was exactly right. If people had followed him on that we would have been less prone to think it was our God-given right to drive gas guzzlers and think the planet was put here for Americans to rape.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 8, 2009 09:56 PM

I agree on some points, esp. "anyone who wants that job..."
Problem was, still is, many people sniffed just "too much goodness" about him, and they didn't really want a Sunday School teacher/preacher as their president. And even if there was more to him than that, he pushed that part of his persona. Too much of the goodness thing,perhaps. Many liked the rascally twinkle in JFK's eyes and tone. Maybe Carter was too much a Johnny-One-Note. Just fading recollections.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2009 10:26 PM

THE FRANKENSTEIN QUINTS. (to rule frankensteinland UR first name pretty much has to be victor)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 8, 2009 10:33 PM

I imagine he didn't want to be there but figured that if he was invited and didn't show the beltway would immediately start gossiping about his health or some other wild and frivolous angle.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at January 8, 2009 11:16 PM

Raincoat - the rug really brings the room together.

Posted by: A Different Matt at January 8, 2009 11:47 PM

"whats with the rug in the oval office? i never noticed it before but seriously.."

His wife designed it. Bush used to brag about the rug.
And --
"Presidents are able to pick their own rugs or design their own rugs."

Consider this guardian quote --
"In his latest PR offensive President Bush came to Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday to answer the paramount question on Iraq that he said was on people's minds:

"They wonder what I see that they don't."

Then picture this. A big decision has to be made. A prayer is called for.
The men bow their heads, mumbling a good while, gazing fixedly at the yellow-sun rays of the president's "optimistic" rug.
Then they raise their heads -- a glowing vision hovers in the room.
"Let's go fer it."

The quote is about the "Apocalyptic president",,1737163,00.html
But I think it's all down to the rug.

Posted by: dizzy at January 9, 2009 03:04 AM

Look, the cuffs crack was just that, based on my glance at the picture. It has nothing to do with his embrace of the Palestinian cause or his kerfluffle with the Joos here.
As for his poetry, he published it, so he and his fans (you) should be prepared for response from the public. (Me, in this case, since I read most of his stuff at Borders.)
Also, not related to his stance on ME issues.
Got it?

Posted by: donescobar at January 9, 2009 10:35 AM

"OK, all unitary executives and wannabees to the right of the seal, presidents on the left. Never mind that other rag."

Posted by: ~ at January 9, 2009 01:51 PM

How about appreciating Frederic Remington's "The Broncho Buster" on the left side under the painting rather than looking at the "cuffs" or the "carpet"? Someone did have good taste!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 9, 2009 02:32 PM

Lotta dirt swept under that rug

Posted by: par4 at January 9, 2009 03:17 PM

As for his poetry, he published it, so he and his fans (you) should be prepared for response from the public.

Why are we talking about this? Of all of the thousands of things one could say about Carter, I choose to focus - at this moment, when the Palestinians are being slaughtered like sheep - on the fact that he is the one American politician of any stature who has spoken out on their behalf.

I don't think you're a trivial person, so why you're raising trivial criticisms of Jimmy Carter is a puzzle to me.

You say your criticism is "not related to his stance on ME issues," as if that's some sort of defense. But it's precisely because they bear no relation to a staggering war crime that is going on at this very moment that I find them so unfunny and contemptible.

I know, I'm lacking in humor, just like the guy I'm supposedly a "fan" of (another trivialization). Too many photos of legless Palestinian children, I guess.

Posted by: SteveB at January 9, 2009 06:04 PM

Because the picture is funny. (Among other things)
I wouldn't expect that any of them, including Jimmy, gave a rat's ass (or gives) about legless Palestinian children, blown to smithereens Israeli girls on a bus, burnt to a crisp Cambodian kids etc etc etc
I don't believe anhything anyone of them says. I votes for Carter in '76 and Clinton in '92. I may be forgiven, or not.
Five suits embodying the System.

Posted by: donescobar at January 9, 2009 07:59 PM