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• • •
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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

May 05, 2010

Oh Good


—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at May 5, 2010 12:36 AM

The Pakistanis hate the US for its freedoms.

Posted by: NomadUK at May 5, 2010 08:00 AM

Specifically, for our freedom to murder them.

Posted by: The Medium Lobster at May 5, 2010 08:03 AM

Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Posted by: joel hanes at May 5, 2010 11:11 AM

I've already had words with NE about quoting that poem.

Posted by: godoggo at May 5, 2010 11:37 AM

I wish their disgruntled elites would target our elites.Hint,our elites don't hang out in Times Square. Try some up scale private clubs.

Posted by: par4 at May 5, 2010 01:51 PM


i think you simply requested a moratorium, which I have honored with a heavy heart. How about The Second Coming? Fern Hill? Or my all time favorite, This be the Verse by Philip Larkin, which has its own wiki page that states that it is quoted in full on more than a thousand web pages. Here's a url for just one of them in case anyone has missed this inspirational gem:

Posted by: N E at May 5, 2010 02:10 PM

Speaking of inspirational gems, there's a page with a link to a number of familiar ones:

America (My Country, 'tis of Thee)
by Samuel F. Smith

America the Beautiful
by Katharine Lee Bates

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe

by Max Ehrmann

God Bless America
by Irving Berlin

Happiness Is A Journey, Not A Destination
by Father Alfred D'Souza

by Rudyard Kipling

In the absence of light, darkness prevails...
Derived from Buddhist sayings

by William Ernest Henley

Irish Blessing (May the Road Rise to Meet You...)
(A Blessing from St. Patrick)

The Man In the Arena
by Theodore Roosevelt

The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
by Christopher Marlowe

The Power of One
Author Unknown

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Selected quatrains as translated by Edward Fitzgerald

The Serenity Prayer
Author Unknown

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
by William Shakespeare

She Walks In Beauty
by George Gordon, Lord Byron

Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key

To Everything There Is A Season
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To See A World In A Grain of Sand...
by William Blake

When, In Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes
by William Shakespeare

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at May 5, 2010 02:54 PM

If you all are not careful I will start quoting the poetry of Robert Lowell.

Posted by: F.H. at May 6, 2010 01:04 AM

No, no, anything but that!

Posted by: Nathan Myers at May 6, 2010 01:41 AM


Posted by: buermann at May 6, 2010 03:54 AM

Pardon, I've gotten carried away and gone and quoted poetry without attribution. Jonathan Williams, Paint Sign on a Rough Rock, Yonside of Boone Side of Shady Valley.

Posted by: buermann at May 6, 2010 04:34 AM

A place without a feature, bare and brown,
No blade of grass, no sign of neighbourhood,
Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down,
Yet congregated on this blankness stood
An unintelligible multitude --
A million eyes, a million boots in line
Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as blank and level as the place
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.

Posted by: The Creator at May 6, 2010 05:07 AM

Prepare to meet in ev'ry nook and cranny
Of Hell a disgruntled Pakistani.

Posted by: seth at May 6, 2010 09:25 AM


- Muhammad Ali

Posted by: godoggo at May 6, 2010 10:03 AM

hey, this is pretty good, though we're accumulating a lot of unattributed Auden, who was so good that SOME people (you know who you are!)are sick of him.

Still, his Auden fatigue aside, I'm with godoggo. I have to vote for Mohammad Ali as my favorite poet, because he could take punches in the gut from George Foreman, refused to fight in Vietnam, probably invented rap, and raised the blood pressure of fifty million old white bigots. Not bad.

Posted by: N E at May 6, 2010 10:20 AM

Ali in his own words......
"Muhammad Ali...Recipe for Life"

Posted by: Rupa Shah at May 6, 2010 11:01 AM

@Jon: This TPM profile of Faisal Shahzad makes no mention of the info in the Moore site post about his father, only that he was an officer in the Pakistani air force. It might be worthwhile emailing Zachary Roth directly and encouraging him to add the significant info, with credit to MMpire.

Posted by: Nell at May 6, 2010 11:24 AM

Rap was invented by Meredith Willson, in the first five minutes of the broadway musical The Music Man in the song Rock Island

Cash for the merchandise, cash for the button hooks
Cash for the cotton goods, cash for the hard goods
Cash for the fancy goods
Cash for the noggins and the piggins and the firkins
Cash for the hogshead, casks and demijohns
Cash for the crackers and the pickles and the flypaper
Look whatayatalk. whatayatalk, whatayatalk, whatayataalk, whatayatalk?
Ya can talk, ya can bicker,
Ya can talk, ya can bicker
Ya can talk talk talk talk, bicker, bicker bicker
Ya can talk all ya wanta
but it's different than it was.
No it ain't, no it ain't, but ya gotta know the territory.
Shh shh shh shh shh shh shh
Why it's the Model T Ford made the trouble,
Made the people wanna go, wanna get,
Wanna get up and go
Seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, fourteen,
Twenty-two, twenty-three miles to the county seat
Yes sir, yes sir
Who's gonna patronize a little bitty two by four kinda store anymore?

Posted by: joel hanes at May 6, 2010 12:05 PM

Hey, despite Lowell's reputation as a navel-gazer, I always liked For the Union Dead:

"He rejoices in man's lovely, peculiar power to choose life and die"

But more to the point:

"only her shoe remains,
she kissed it,
and dipped it in her blood,
and I threw it in the face of Arab rulers."

The Olives Have Not Departed, Ghassan Matar, translated by As'ad AbuKhalil


Posted by: pulaski at May 6, 2010 12:17 PM

My fave Auden is the one about limestone. Also, I like the one about the 6 crippled beggars, because it sounds like Bobby Dylan.

Posted by: godoggo at May 6, 2010 09:54 PM