October 19th, 2006

callas

Utilitarian

Found almost at random:

President Bush, First Lady Laura and Dick Cheney were flying on Air Force One. George looked at Laura, chuckled and said, "You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out of the window right now and make somebody very happy."

Laura shrugged her shoulders and replied, "I could throw ten $100 bills out of the window and make ten people very happy."

Cheney added, "That being the case, I could throw one hundred $10 bills out of the window and make a hundred people very happy."

Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to his co-pilot, "Such big-shots back there. Shit, I could throw all of them out of the window and make 56 million people very happy."

If you're one of those 56 million, re-post this.
callas

Two stories, good and bad

First the bad: when I read this story in the last issue of the New Yorker, it struck me as more of the same stuff I've disliked before from Joyce Carol Oates: exploitive, maudlin family drama with some lurid violence thrown in, and in this case a serious off note in the ethnic background. Then in this issue I read a letter from someone in New Jersey who says the story is identical to a real tragedy that was in the news there recently, except that the kid was Italian-American and not Latino. I think that puts an end to any time I might have had for Joyce Carol Oates, and it never was much to begin with.

Then there's the good: This story is an awesome new entry in one of my favorite genres, something I call "White Folks Get Down in the Tropics". Think Graham Greene, Apocalypse Now, and Out of Africa. I've been meaning to read Aleksandar Hemon for a while now. This was a good way to start.
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