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  • Lance Mannion
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I feel a glistening coming on...

You are absolutely right about Boehner's tears being a key source for Nucky's bottling operations over at the Boardwalk Empire. I had always thought he was merely stealing - nay, paying homage - to Glenn Beck's own fake tears. There's all that talk about a GOP civil war between Jim Demint (God's own patriot) and people like Mitch McConnell and Boehner that I figured he was just aping their thunder for their base. But I've read Common Nonsense by Alexander Zaitchik, which is an investigation into Glenn Beck's past, and it has all the details about how Mormon leaders would do the fake tears thing to prove their super-duper manly machismo (why else would you deserve so many wives?). I neglected to think of the drinking side of sentimentalism, maybe b/c Boehner seems less orange, and I guess I thought that itself was kind of a cover for red-faced-ness.

Truly though, and more to your point, all politics is local. The Tea Party types aren't all sociopaths, they just lack empathy for anyone who isn't part of their tribe. They're obeying all the chimpanzee rules with none of the Sunday School ones. I grew up Lutheran, and my times at church were pretty much Mr. Rogers to the core, but what you say about getting old rings so true about their movement. Solipsism so severe, I tell myself over and over again, must have a root cause besides bitterness.

Not true. Though I placed the bitterness more on your moving description of New Deal/Union creation of good wages for oneself and one's peer group. Of course, for those who were white males, but, as you say, that is a whole nother monster to tackle. But you're right about youth being the key. It's just so tragic that, of all the thousands of years of civilization (6000, right? about that, whenever Noah did his thing w/ the dinos), it's this one that is so ready to throw the rest of us into the line of fire that is Global Warming and Peak Oil over something that's been discussed and lamented for so many years. I mean, Jesus, haven't these fools watched their own iconic movies? The Graduate, anyone?

All that said, I love that Rudolph movie, and grew up with it as well. Of course, I work in retail, so those songs play over and over (and over and over) ad infinitum, so I doubt that I can ever watch the movie again w/o triggering violence. Though of course they don't play my favorite song, which is Yukon Cornelius' Silver and Gold, not Burl Ives'. My Christmas movies are Christmas Story, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Bad Santa. Oh, and if True Grit or The King's Speech is playing nearby.

PA Reader

Especially nice work today, Lance.


Damn. You rang so many bells for me today. I had a similar wave on Sunday listening to my daughter perform Xmas with her mid-school orchestra.

Wishing you a holly jolly.


Boehner and Beck cry for one reason and one reason only: the rest of the country doesn't see them for the gods they "are".

That's all.

Mygirl Bill

This time of year I feel that kind of nostalgia for my childhood. I still have my Lionel electric train set that I received new when I was two and a half years old all of forty-five years ago. The engine doesn't run, because I thoroughly ran it into the ground by the time I graduated from high school. This week I found the exact same train set, same box and all, on eBay. It eventually sold for a bid of $130, but not it wasn't my bid. My boy is getting a new train, but I'll probably let him have the old one to play with if he wants it. Time marches on etc. These baby boomers of Boner's ilk, they've poached the country and served it to the oligrachs -- they cry because they loath who they have become and they cry out of guilt for their perversity. They are going to die and as that day creeps closer and closer, they cower in fear and regret.


Good post, Lance.

Maybe I was just a bit more advanced or perverse but when we hid under our desks during the practice drills at school (circa 1957) I thought of how much better it would be to be at the Empire State Building and be incinerated in an instant by the Soviet bomb. (To me that is ground zero and always will be.) It's amazing the TV shows I watched as a child, pretty freely in fact with no to little parental oversight: Open Mind with David Susskind, Jack Paar, Mort Saul, That Was the Week That Was, Brother Theodore. There was also Sky King, Rocky and His Friends, Soupy Sales, a few more child-aimed shows. But I watched a lot of adult shows and what I didn't understand then, I remembered later and went "Aha, that's what he (whoever) was talking about". Some things did get better as I got older, but now things are headed down and backward and I miss the more open future that was once possible. But never has going back to the 1950s seemed to be the answer to today's problems.

Dr X

Don't you know, we're fine because Tyler Cowen is comfortable?

While Cowen isn't whining, I think he presents a variant of the egocentric whiner's perspective.

Michael Bartley

To pick up on Mygirl Bill, I’ve just finished Lehane’s wonderful The Given Day. In it Lehane describes a character as having "the air of self-loathing and misanthropy that lived in him so fully it colored his flesh like a virus." "Such men fiddle while cities burn." "Such men love ash." These quotes, taken out of context and order but faithful to the story, illustrate, I fear, much of the generation now leading our country.

I weep Lance. On a wet cold grey December day, I weep. I stand upon the good earth and taste the salt and feel the cold line across my face. The weight of the greed and fear so close to the heart of it all bows my head. All is still. My eyes blink in a flash of light and I raise my head to the narrow band of blue at the far edge of the western sky. The sun drops quickly behind the mountains and the sky shifts into a light known as alpenglow. A light of profound grace envelops me and brings forth new tears of wonder and of hope. Silver and gold indeed…

minstrel hussain boy


good sutff maynard.

Cleveland Bob

Just got around to reading this today, Lance. It's some of your best work both in its content and in the overall theme.

Mourn for our country. It's come undone.

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