Thus 2012, the least productive year on the blog, comes to an end,
And the passage of time cannot help but remind us:
It will never be 2011 again.
The year of the Arab Spring, the Israeli Summer, the American Fall, the Russian Winter, and the Chinese New Year,
The year of Occupy Wall Street and the murder of Osama bin Laden,
The year the sea swallowed Japan, and Iran swallowed Jafar Panahi,
When the Republican primaries were still in their earliest, most experimental and fruitful days,
When the mania of our sexual deprivation was at its most delirious, and resignation only a distant eventuality,
When a black man could not walk to the bodega without being stopped by the cops and, crucially, no one yet cared,
When planking was the new vuvuzela,
When the Higgs Boson was still just a theory,
and we were just friends with The New Inquiry,
When Terence Malick was but a glimmer in Jessica Chastain's eye,
The year History came back to collect,
the year of kings laid low by dreams
and dreams laid low by philistines
backed by force of arms.
That was our year. When shit was real.
One day graduate students scavenging from the dustbins of culture will write universally ignored monographs citing, in passing, this bunga bunga blog as an essential cultural expression of the year 2011. A phenomenon truly, irrepressibly, irresponsibly of its moment--a moment now forever past.
That's why we're giving up.
Our world-historical mission has been accomplished, and after the long, hard comedown of 2012, we've realized that we'd be kidding ourselves if we thought we could ever match that incandescence again. Our man on the West Coast is heading off to convalesce in Mexico after a bout of brain fever. Our Brooklyn personnel were last seen somewhere in the Meadowlands, jabbering on about Elysium. And our Nashville office has been burned to the ground so that nothing shall remain for those who survive.
And you, dear reader... You have our thanks and our pity. What have we given you all these years but lies--bread and circuses!--petty amusements that, by soothing your wounds, have only enabled you to endure yet more of lifes countless indignities?
Do not forgive us. Hate on, you crazy diamonds. As they say in Mexico, the night is always darkest just before it is black forever.
Long times have passed since last I wrote. That is my way to avoid you being in the pain we suffer here. It is not any lack of concern for keeping you informed and in the family reach. Your ma and I are most proud of all you have managed and only rue our own suffering crowds out much joy.
Grampy sits in a daze. We thank God for the freeze because it keeps the flies away from the spittle caked around his bloodless lips. Never have I been so grateful for such cold. Your sister claims to be returning for the upcoming season from her time with the ancient people but the ancients have fallen to sin and appropriations are properly taken from them. They cannot escape justice. Yea, we pray she will escape to us.
Your uncle is gone. Rumor is he is rutting in the woods with the free and wild women but folks talk too much and think too little. Your mother cares for my injury with ability, candor, and only rare cruelty. That is my burden and hers.
Do not believe what they say son boy. It is liars and Pharasites who claim Christmas was derived from the pagans. They are filled with sin and the evil of the world that oozes out from its dirt, its trees, and the sapped, sordid, skin of its creatures. I feel that evil stirring even under the ice and I am afraid.
But do not let the children of Hell steal Christmas. Do not allow it. Rise to smite them. Smite their filthy souls—may that I would have had the strength the world needs you to summon but I did not. Now I lie in the filth.
"It's not the guns, we need to hunt these damn Asperg sociopaths down in their holes!" - Wayne LaPierre
"If these shootings continue unabated, soon we'll be out of whites!" - a moderate Republican
"Shootings? People are just prairie dogs to me anyway." - Rep. Louis Gohmert
"This country has to choose: the deaths of more innocent whites at
the hands of the deranged, or the deaths of more de facto guilty blacks
at the hands of law enforcement." - Ross Douthat
"I am living proof that gun control and big money do not have to be at odds with one another." - Michael Bloomberg
"I've got such a Control Boner." - Ray Kelly
"I wouldn't go to public school if you put a gun to my head." - Davis Guggenheim
"What's missing from the media circus is the gun's story. Where is its voice, its rights?" - Chuck Norris
"If there is no freedom to kill, then there is no freedom." - an AR-15
"I despair the conception of gun rights in terms of negative liberty, the highest expression of which is Security, total freedom from all forms of risk and danger. Real liberty is not freedom from, but freedom to. It is power, capacity. Only a human thinks that a bird is free from gravity, rather than that it possesses the power of flight. Against Security, which is nothing else but freedom from the World, we must oppose Terror, the freedom to make a World through violence." - Bobby Seale
"I have a certain admiration for murderers: they seize the freedom that the rest of us are too frightened or weak to seize. That is what makes these massacres perpetrated by the insane so tragic: there is no agency involved." -Ted Kaczynski
"The further away it is, the more it looms." - a dehydrated Barack Obama
"It's like you work in a mine but your own shit is the mountain." - a rash-covered Congressional Page to an empty Chamber, C-Span
"What about this fiscal cliff? What the fuck are we going do? People could fall off and die."
"Senator Bilbo, during my time in Indonesia the people had a saying."
"What was that?"
- Sen. Bacchus
"What has this Congress accomplished, Senator?"
"We stopped the damned cripples from walkin' over us!"
- Sen. James Mountain Inhofe
"Plan B, okay, I keep my job?" - Boehner rallies the troops
"These men, doctor, their skin is foul and green and their eyes are sick as those who take drink."
"Yes, General, all these men have brucellosis..."
"Brucellosis! But only cows can get that!"
- Mitch McConnell and the Blue Moon Army fail to retake Western Kentucky
"What sound does the Night make when it overtakes the Day?" - Joel Osteen to a whetstone as he sharpens a knife lingeringly
"The sun hates us! Repent!" "Speak not to me of piety! The sword!" - David Brooks and Paul Krugman battle on the last iceberg
"This world is a sea of blood..." - Bob Corker, dealing with his daughter's menarche
"What is the Republican war on women compared to Woman's war on Man?" - Rep. Strindberg, R-MI
"Every sperm is sacred." - Peter Jackson
"I'm like a red hot stone in a field of snow." - Jack Welch making snow angels
"Robots can function independently in conditions that no human body could bear, but I wonder if they do not feel the cold." - Kathryn Bigelow on the set of Drone
"Night strangles the day and cold reclaims the land. A bus hurtles through the black, trailed by bats at the woods close in. The headless horseman's one headlight jangles in the dark like the pen of fate writing on the wind..." - Scott Brown on a Peter Pan bus to Springfield, MA, talking aloud to no one, pressing his bags to his chest despite the empty overhead bins...
"Let's go see it together and jerk each other off, our dicks will be like the Twin Towers!" - Eric Holder to Alberto Gonzalez
"Is that supposed to be good? It has the Mother from Malick's Dream in it, she plays the Ginger Drone!" - Joe Biden
"A war film that does not take sides is simply an ode to the Warrior." - Kathryn Bigelow
"I think it's important that, before we get our knickers in a twist about Zero Dark Thirty, we remember that Hurt Locker
was also a filthy piece of ideological shit. Say what you want about
how 'ambiguous' it was, the only thing anyone remembers about it is
Marines doing hard shit." - Roger Ebert
"It did not interest me, no. Why did not the filmmaker show us traditional Pakistani folk dancing? Why not stage the climactic assault with trained chimpanzees? Do SEALs dream, and, if so, then what of sharks? We may never know." - Werner Herzog
"Dare we dream of a golden day when the bestial War shall rule no
more? But instead--the gentle Prince in the Hall of Brotherly Love in
the City of Peace." - D. W. Bigelow
"Hurt Locker made selective use of celebrity
actors to send the message that there are no heroes in war (except
for filmmakers and, by analogy, those other off-stage producers of non-ideological, expertly crafted, technically-advanced, violent spectacles: politicians). By contrast Zero Dark Thirty features the thousand-watt superstar Jessica Chastain in the central role, symbolizing Bigelow herself, globe-hopping imperial adventuress, leader and nerve center of a group of specialist tough guys, shattering the glass ceiling of the male fantasy industry." - Maureen Dowd
"The most important part of Jessica's character is that you really want to fuck her. For that matter, every character has to be really fuckable. Because, while we're not trying to make an explicitly political film, it's important that all the people are attractive (but in a gritty way, symbolizing the ugly necessity of political violence) and the equipment is cool and everything is generally awesome." - Mark Boal
"Did your relationship with Mark Boal affect your work?"
"I don't see how, outside of the thrall of a passionate sexual relationship, we both could have committed so totally to the irrational intensity of war worship."
"What about torture?"
"Regarding the 'torture' 'controversy,' I think there's been a misunderstanding. When I said that we were taking a 'journalistic approach to film,' I did not mean that we were taking a journalistic approach to historical events, but to historical desires. What the film shows is not how things actually went down, but how we all dreamed they would."
"How do you explain your film having been met with such universal acclaim before even being released?"
"How do you explain the enthusiasm of a small child watching it's favorite movie for the hundredth time?"
"What's your next project?"
- Charlie Rose, Kathryn Bigelow
"Can't fuck no more... a'tall...." - Matthew McConaughey as Gray Fox
Metal Gear Solid
dir. Kathryn Bigelow
Keaunu Reevees as Solid Snake
Gary Busey .......................... the Colonel
Adrian Pasdar .................... Liquid Snake
Jessica Chastain ............................ Meryl
James Mountain Inhofe ... Revolver Ocelot
Anthony Mackie .......... the DARPA Chief
Dick Cheney ...... the ArmsTech President
Ralph Fiennes ................. Sec. of Defense
Jay Carney ................................... Otacon
Susan Rice .................................... Naomi
John Yoo .................................... Mei Ling
Chelsea Clinton ............................. Natasha
Matthew McConaughey ............ Gray Fox
Vladimir Putin .................... Vulcan Raven
Marina Abramović ................... Sniper Wolf
Patrick Swayze's corpse .... Psycho Mantis
Meryl Streep ............................ Metal Gear
"Gentlemen do not read each others' mail." - David Petraeus to a highball
"To his great disappointment, the General's heart was not made of stone. Cupid's
arrow had struck him with the devastating precision of a drone
strike." - from Tampa Bay Fuck Den: History of an Indiscretion by Newt Gin Ginch
"Losing an election is worse than not makin' it with a lady."
"I don't understand."
- Dennis Quaid as Scott Brown as himself and Martin Short as David Petraeus 007 in Skyball
"I'm just glad that the scandal got so much attention while the rampant sexual abuse in the military continued, even at the highest levels, to be passed over in silence." - Jay Carney on Frost Over the World
"I believe there may be a force that binds
people across great distances, something like psychism, yes." -
Petraeus gets distracted at the Congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks
"You were wild like chrysanthemum..." - Obama caressing Petraeus's face one last time
"Security doesn't just mean military security, it means energy security, economic security, sexual security." - Pat Robertson rides to Petraeus' defense
"It's more dignified to be doubled over, masturbating in the blue light of a computer screen than do what you have to do for sex these days." - General John Allen
"Love is a struggle to become not the master but the slave." - Paula Broadwell
"The trouble with pornography is not that it substitutes images for bodies, it's that it substitutes images for fantasies." - Special Agent Frederick Humphries II
"One day a General found a woman on the subway whose face and body were gnarled with deformity. He took this woman by her knotted and cankered hands and told her that she was beautiful. The words stung her sharp as thorns. All the faces that ever puckered and winced upon sight of her flashed before her eyes. But not his face: he seemed to look not just past the forest of growths obscuring her eyes, but past her eyes and into her very soul. 'What do you mean?' she asked. He told her that he could see she possessed inner beauty, an inner beauty so great it surpassed even her outer hideousness, and that having discovered this inner beauty, he could never look away. With his power and his connections, he said, he could give her a body worthy of her inner radiance and make her the greatest beauty in the Homeland. That night he took her to her home and made love to her with such warmth and tenderness as she had never even known were possible. It made her feel like a real person. For months she endured the most painful operations, convalescing only just enough after each procedure to prepare for the next. And the General was there by her side the whole time, holding her hand, changing her bandages, cleaning her wounds, trimming her nails, brushing her hair, whispering in her ear, 'Not yet, my darling, not yet.' Until at last the day came when the bandages were removed, and they fell soundlessly at her side to reveal that she had indeed been transformed into the greatest beauty in the Homeland. That night the General took her to his home, an apartment with glass walls perched high atop a gleaming, steel tower that could not but remind her of the surgeon's instruments. And there he ravished her, as conqueror ravishes a city. His lovemaking (if it can be called that) was brutal. All of his tenderness, all of his love and warmth were gone. She was his thing now. She felt fear, then terror, then panic, and finally numbness. She turned cold felt as though she was watching the act, in all its violence, from outside her own, now unrecognizable body. When she woke, the General was gone. She knew that she would never see him again. Her reflection stared at her in the mirror. She tried to remember their first night together, but couldn't. She thought of smashing the mirror and slicing open a vein. She didn't have the strength." - from the diary of Jill Kelley
"The birth is over. It's a war criminal." - Dr. John Boehner