Sunday, December 24, 2006

Quotes of the Year, 2006

This year represented my third full calendar year of blogging. It was also the year I suspended the Daily Aneurysm in favor of doing all my current-events blogging at Best of the Blogs because the traffic is higher there. As usual, the funniest, most pointed, most revealing, and/or truest stuff to appear on my blog came from the mouths, pens, and/or word processors of others. Here are the Quotes of the Year, in chronological order.

The Buffalo Beast, suggesting an appropriate punishment for Barbara Bush, Number 12 on its list of the 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2005, for downplaying the significance of Hurricane Katrina: "Bound and thrown into Lake Pontchartrain. If she floats, burned at the stake. If she drowns, even better."

P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula, on Bush's opposition to human/animal hybrids, announced in the State of the Union address: "It's pure political calculus. He throws away the mad scientist and pig-man vote, and wins the religious ignoramus vote . . . and we know which one has the majority here."

Russ Feingold: "This administration reacts to any questions about spying on American citizens by saying that those of us who stand up for our rights and freedoms are somehow living in a 'pre-September 11th, 2001 world.' In fact, the President is living in a pre-1776 world."

Journalist Michelle Goldberg, contemplating the march of theocracy: "A feeling that the world is falling apart is usually associated with neurosis; now, it's possible that it's a sign of sanity."

The Rude Pundit, on the mysterious "they" who have promised that further terror attacks on the United States are only a matter of time: "Who the fuck is the 'they' there? Intelligence analysts? His cabinet? Or are 'they' the terrorists themselves? 'Cause, like, that'd mean that a bunch of sexually repressed crazed religious fundamentalists are setting our foreign policy and dictating massive spending and loss of life on the part of the United States and . . . oh, fuck, the irony just made the Rude Pundit's nuts retreat into his body cavity in fear."

Stephen Colbert, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: "Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

Daily Kos diarist WorldCan'tWait on the culture wars: "At its most basic level it's a lot of lazy fucking parents who need the government to bring up their kids for them. Too bad they don't get a clue and take personal responsibility for it. Hint. If you don't want your kids being 'manipulated' by junk mass culture, take them to a museum, buy them copies of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, take them camping. You don't need a theocracy because American Idol sucks."

Tom DeLay, explaining the Columbine massacre: "Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."

Anonymous Liberal at Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory (which is quite likely the best blog on the Internet--either that or Pandagon): "[A]ccording to one study, there were only 45 reported flag burning incidents in the first 200 years of the republic. . . . That means there are probably more historical incidents of witch-burning than flag-burning. Maybe we should start debating the Witch Protection Amendment."

Daily Kos contributor Thereisnospoon on Ned Lamont's primary victory: "In one corner, you had a bunch of unpaid volunteers, Internet rabble-rousers, and an inexperienced politician whose highest post had been County Selectman. In the other, you had the three-time Senator, former vice-presidential candidate, visible party statesman, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer . . . the slick ad money, the top DLC consultants, and a 3 to 1 budget gap. I'm sorry. That's not David vs. Goliath. This isn't even the NBA champions versus a rec league team. That's more like an ant vs. my shoe."

Garrett Epps, in Salon: "George W. Bush is Lincoln the way Dan Quayle is Jack Kennedy."

Charlie Crist, Republican candidate for Florida governor, in a debate: Marriage is a sacred institution "like I had, before I got divorced."

Tristero at Hullabaloo, on the difficulty many American leaders seem to have with the concept of traveling abroad: "[W]hy on earth would you want to do that? Something wrong with the USA? You're in the best country in the world! And you want Italian, hey, we got Domino's Pizza, fine American pizza just as good as that fancy stuff they make over in Rome or Barcelona or wherever. And Domino's delivers."

The top Quote of the Year--the one that encapsulates the year just past better than any other--comes from journalist David Samuels, in Harper's, backstage at the Super Bowl: "[The] free-floating weirdness of American life will always escape any attempt to make us seem like a normal country rather than a furious human-wave assault on the farthest shores of reality."

We may have to retire the title of "top quote of the year"--Samuels' observation is likely to resonate for many years to come.

(A roundup of my favorite posts of the year is coming later this week.)

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