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Thursday, July 12. 2012
"There are no people more fucking dangerous than posing, self-righteous do-gooders. So generous with other people's safety, other people's money, other people's neighborhoods, other people's time. They destroy the social fabric and make generosity less likely."
Here's another fun rant, but some readers might object to it:
A Rant To Top All Rants
I had all kinds of intentions of writing something dealing with the latest round of Chicago-style politicking from the Obama campaign, or about how the case for AGW is still falling apart (our 'local' heat wave notwithstanding), or how we...
Weblog: Weekend Pundit
Tracked: Jul 13, 23:59
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I'm not sure why that rant has gotten as much notoriety as it has. Because he says the US isn't the greatest country in the world?
We are, and most of the statistics he quoted are questionable. I say we are mainly because of a very vague and subjective point - would you prefer to live anywhere else?
I love Britain, lived there for a while during college. I've visited half a dozen countries (mostly in the Caribbean) that I'd love to move to (mostly because of the easy lifestyle and great diving). But when you talk about overall quality of life and balance of opportunity - the US wins hands down time and again.
So quote odd statistics like we're 186th in infant mortality, which isn't true, and even though the truth doesn't put us at the top, it also doesn't question WHY we're lower on the scale. Part of that is a result of how we treat human life - each one is worth saving. Here, efforts are made to save every child once it is born, thus each lost cause is counted as a mortality. Some countries don't include the lost causes, let alone try to keep them alive.
We may be lower than many other nations in math or science. This is a flaw, but not a devastating one. Math and science are often taught with rigid agendas elsewhere - curriculum which would fail here, because we favor creativity of thought and action. Richard Feynman once taught a class in Brazil and complained about their methods, saying they'd never amount to much in the field of Physics because they lacked flexibility and creativity.
The fact is, in the US we have people like a good friend of mine, who was a C student. He admits it. But he knew how to code. So he built a product, it worked, he executed a business plan, and eventually sold the product to CBS for a tidy sum of money. They still use it today, 13 years on. So we're a country of C students who know how to do things and execute.
I still believe in American Exceptionalism. I see it is eroding, slowly, but it's still there. We just haven't had an obvious challenge to our supremacy yet. It's coming. That day will arrive. Hopefully we will still be able to answer the call. I believe we will.
Henry Thoreau said to set about being good rather than doing good. I think he had it right.
Love it when the soft piano music comes up (gag) Daniels gets all serious and comon-sensical, soft voiced, as the camera slowly pans to a tight one shot......
What a crock o' shit!
This from the same guy who wrote the brilliant West Wing?
Aaron Sorkin, thy shark has arrived. Jump.
The Aaron Sorkin dialog coming out of Jeff Daniels' do-gooder mouth is what produced the social worker in your first link to Assistant Village Idiot.
Spare me the maudlin progressive liberal rationale, which is the cause of the erosion of American exceptionism.
The previous comments are breadcrumbs which clued me in to the author's identity of Daniel's dissonant rant.
In short, it confirms that my life is complete without a subscription to HBO.
An Aaron Sorkin Triumph of the Will moment. Set up a couple of patsies, that our hero then slays with his overwhelming brilliance and oh-so-rightness. The audience's [and the viewers'] understanding is just ... transformed, and his intellectual opponents are suddenly ashamed for their own views.
The mere fact that Sorkin did it this way, shows that he knows that what he believes, cannot withstand withering criticism.
And the falsity tell, is that nobody can ad-hoc like this. In real life this would have been a carefully-prepared and rehearsed rhetorical bomb, and since the dude thinks he has a winner, he throws it everywhere, and everybody recognizes it as a tired, stale, and ineffective fog machine.
Bird Dog ... [and Bulldog] I love this rant. I too stubbornly believe in and cherish American exceptionalism, which still exists here in flyover country.
By the way, Scullman, we watched West Wing for some little while, and then decided that we'd rather have a direct conversation with the writers than listen to their nuanced periods and not be able to respond. That's not a conversation, or a debate, it's a harangue.
We used to watch West Wing, up until they got rid of the token conservative lawyer. Emily Proctor I believe.
Bird Dog: excellent juxtaposition of Rants, allowing us to peer into the lefty psyche.
John A. Fleming: intuitive insight into how the Hollywood and Media crowd spins their yarns to fit their chosen narrative.
I found myself asking two questions: (1) Really? So which is the other country that doesn't do any of those bad things? - and - (2) Do you really believe there was a time in the past when America's domestic and foreign political will was purer and more moral?
The only way to remain blind to America's exceptionalism is to be hostile to the qualities that make it exceptional: a savage determination to keep government from getting too big for its britches.
Where did this come from? What's the background?
Clearly, somebody doesn't seem to know where our military came from.
Let me add that political cartooning works the same way - no criticism noticed (except when Trudeau tried to make substantive arguments and was neither funny nor correct) Just lame. Conservative cartoons have a harder time - they tend to try and reason with their audience, which is less funny. A shame, really. A few of 'em I know I could really enjoy having a beer with.
I was standing in a lunchtime line at a BBQ joint in Blanco, TX, back a dozen or so years ago, and just behind me is this striking-looking gal whom I just had to smilingly ask if anybody had ever told her that she looked just like Shelley Duvall. She said yes, and that it was no surprise because she is Shelley Duvall.
So, we fell to yakking about her films, or rather, me asking about how this was and that was. I told her that 'The Shining' made me jumpy, she said she too was jumpy shooting it because Jack Nicholson was trying to stay 'in character' around her and it kept her worried, and so forth.
Behind her this dude in baseball cap wearing shades kept asking me if i'd seen this movie or that, and i kept cutting him short so i could moon on Shelley Duvall.
I was telling her how her PBS kid's show was so good as i had youngsters who i didn't want watching trash, and so forth, and every time i'd stop for breath this guy would say, "take 'em to see 'Fly Away Home', take 'em to see 'Fly Away Home'!"
Then they called my number and i had to take my order and move on. Driving back to my dairy, it dawned on me, the guy was Jeff Daniels, and all those movies he kept recommending were HIS movies. Heh --had to laugh --he had to have been with Shelley Duvall, but neither of them had ever let on.
Turns out, she had bought a ranch in the area. Still dunno what he was doing there --maybe just romancing Ms. Duvall --but Blanco did start getting some bits of film business aroiund then. A good deal of the Coen Bros' True Grit was shot in the area north of town near Marble Falls --and the courthouse scene was shot in Blanco's old courthouse in the town square.
Goodness gracious --i watched the 'pet goat' advertised at the end of the vid --now i'm worried about being number 13 in the comments --wonder who 'heliofant' is --
Jeff Daniels' character is supposed to be a conservative. I detect a lot of tells that the rant was written by a liberal imitating a conservative:
(1) "Liberals always lose" A common refrain on Air(heads of) America
(2) The F word, again and again. As if a conservative politician who wants support from Christian conservatives would ever use the F word in front of an audience or before a live camera.
(3) The scorn for the belief that angels are real. See #2.
The thing was aimed at liberals tho --and the sad truth is, the great problem with them is, they can't turn their brains on without some signal --some sort of reassurance that it's going to be okay, that nothing is about to hurt them.