They Speak Slowly to Her in BELGIUM, Bearing Beh-Beh-Coo on a Silver Platter

12 07 2009

While Young Son, his dad and I all were at the first matinee of “Titanic: the Musical” this afternoon (more later, it was amazing) we missed this great weekend update. Enjoy!

en route

“Beh-Beh-Coo à la Belge”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust) under Fayt-le-Franc

One of the interesting things about going somewhere other than America is that you get to experience first-hand the perspectives the rest of the world has about America, or, as we’re calling it this week, Les Etas-Unis.

Surprisingly, not everyone wants to spit in our drinks or light us on fire!

But you can understand why people in the “heartland” of the US don’t really understand what’s going on over here, because the thing is, every time Europeans try to express admiration for some part of our culture by duplicating it, it comes out…still European.

Arguably, this is the most charming thing about this whole continent of people – their firm desire to make us feel as comfortable as possible, inexorably tied to their strength of character.

Kiki’s extended family, who may well be the most charming people on the face of planet Earth, determined that there should be a grand barbeque to welcome us to their country, an event which they pronounced not as I am used to hearing it (”Bee-Bee-Cue”), but in the French way (”Beh-Beh-Coo”).

This was to be a true American “Beh-Beh-Coo,” complete with pool, hot dogs “and stuff.”

I suspected from the beginning that this was not to be a barbeque in the way I usually experience barbeques – but not because Kiki’s family are Europeans, but because they live further north than Georgia. I never expect barbeques to be my sort of barbeques when I’m away from home. Read the rest of this entry »

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Palin’s “Actual Responsibilities” for Race Resentment Politics

12 07 2009

Frank Rich today: She Broke the GOP, Now She Owns It:

Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity.

. . .The essence of Palinism is emotional, not ideological. Yes, she is of the religious right, even if she winks literally and figuratively at her own daughter’s flagrant disregard of abstinence and marriage. But family-values politics, now more devalued than the dollar by the philandering of ostentatiously Christian Republican politicians, can only take her so far. The real wave she’s riding is a loud, resonant surge of resentment and victimization . . .

That resentment is in part about race, of course. . . her state’s tiny black and Hispanic populations are unrepresentative of her nation.

. . . Her convention speech’s signature line was a deftly coded putdown of her presumably shiftless big-city opponent: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” (Funny how this wisdom has been forgotten by her supporters now that she has abandoned her own actual responsibilities in public office.)

The latest flashpoint for this kind of animus is the near-certain elevation to the Supreme Court of Sonia Sotomayor, whose Senate confirmation hearings arrive this week. Prominent Palinists were fast to demean Sotomayor as a dim-witted affirmative-action baby. . .

The politics of resentment are impervious to facts.

Last summer going into the Republican nominating convention when Hurricane Gustav crashed their party’s party, the time was right for the Right to put her money and mouth where their actual responsibilities claimed to be, which I enthusiastically suggested to the Right as Read the rest of this entry »