PRESIDENT BARTLET DIE OR SOMETHING? I'm not claiming a
conspiracy here. I just think it's
interesting and suggestive. With the Democrat Party in the clear
ascendancy (sporting a 20 point lead in voter affiliation), you'd think
the cable channels would be glutted with reruns of The West Wing, just to remind us
all how marvelous it is to have a brilliantly intellectual liberal in
the White House. But where is it? Nowhere. TVGuide.com
couldn't find a
listing for its being shown at all.
I wondered for a bit if it had to do with the estrogen-soaked
final season, which seemed to be preparing us for a Hillary
presidency that the elite media libs suddenly stopped wanting sometime
last year. On the other hand, that season also
featured an attractive young non-white male coming out of nowhere to
steal the Democrat presidential nomination, as well as an unexpectedly
centrist Republican candidate running against him; these were really
quite good guesses. So what gives?
My theory is that forward-thinking liberals in the various network
programming departments are seeing some things in The West Wing that they don't want
to remind the voters about right now. Maybe later, but not now. Let's
forget that the Democrat Party subtly reconfigures its message and
image at regular intervals, and while their fundamental conviction that
bigger government is the answer to all questions remains a constant,
the specifics of their PR strategies at any given time vary
considerably. A party that's betting all the chips on infatuating the
electorate with a "rock star" candidate probably doesn't want to create
any thought-provoking contrasts between Jed Bartlet and Barack Obama.
Bartlet was, accidentally or not, an express opposite of George W.
Bush: a Ph.D. and former college professor from an historic New England
learned Catholic, a dextrous participant in the infighting between the
executive branch and Capitol Hill, and perhaps most importantly, a
near-encyclopedic policy wonk. In the context of this election,
ironically, comparing Obama to Bartlet makes Obama seem more like, uh,
Bush. Think about it for a minute before you howl in outrage.
Take away the differences in pure personality and political
constituencies, and you'll start to see that the Obama campaign bears a
strong resemblance to Bush's 2000 campaign. Time for a change from
eight years of a president who inspired bitter, destructive
partisanship. Tiime for a president who knows how to work with both
sides of the aisle. Time for an outsider who isn't tainted by a
lifetime of grubby inside-the-beltway wheeling and dealing. Yes, the
experience factor is wanting, but at this particular moment in time,
less is more, because we have seen for years now that experience is
more like corruption than wisdom. Trust my good intentions. No need for
lots of specifics. Much better to stick to glossy generalities that
give voters real hope for a desperately needed change in tone. In many
ways, the track records of the campaigns are also similar. A near
constant stream of gaffes, large and small, which betray a layer of
disturbing ignorance beneath the generalities that Jed Bartlet would
have exposed with witheringly sarcastic precision.
Indeed, the whole focus of The West
Wing show seemed to be on exactly the kinds of process issues
that encourage a view of the presidency as a skill position rather than
as a font of feel-good rhetoric. The president must have a grasp of
details, a thorough understanding of the complex interdependent
organizational structures inside, yes, the beltway, and a profound
understanding of history to keep him anchored against the winds of
political pressure and public opinion. It's probably the case that not
too many Americans know Obama's least favorite, and least studied,
subject in school was history, but they will come to experience the
inevitable effects of that hole in his education. His many blunders in
the state primaries are a direct consequence of the fact that he just
doesn't know much about the states, academically as well as personally.
And Jed Bartlet was an economist, fond of lecturing on the subject. He
would have been particularly scornful of Obama's fuzzy grasp of issues
such as the capital gains tax.
And there's also a ticking bomb inside The West Wing that is very specific
and relevant to a huge chunk of 2008 campaign rhetoric and its, well,
lies on all sides. The bomb is addressed directly but incompletely here:
Wing's Ethanol Problem
The West Wing is a smart television program, written by smart
people with access to an enormous amount of expertise. Part of the
show's appeal is its willingness to present both sides, even with
highly controversial issues like the morality and efficacy of the death
penalty or political assassinations. When it comes to ethanol, however,
The West Wing's writers apparently believe there is only one side and
it is exceedingly negative.
This was demonstrated a number of times in the show's early years, when
Aaron Sorkin was in charge. In the first season, Vice President John
Hoynes (Tim Matheson) was asked to break a tie vote in the Senate in
favor of extending the ethanol tax incentive. He balked, since he had
vigorously opposed that incentive when he was in the Senate. At the
show's conclusion, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) gives Hoynes
permission to kill the incentive, and confesses, "You and I agree on
ethanol, but you were the only one to say it."
The Jan. 26 episode, "King Corn" raised ethanol trashing to an entirely
new level. In this episode, one of the presidential candidates,
liberals as well as conservatives, and Democrats as well as
Republicans, strongly object to ethanol, although in the end all but
one ends up "pandering" to Iowa's caucus voters by endorsing the fuel.
The environmental site in which the above appears is pro-ethanol
-- as are both presidential candidates in 2008 -- and strongly objects
to the "King Corn" episode, which is summarized
at a West Wing fansite with more samples of dialogue:
...Josh and Santos go to Iowa... The
next morning each has a 5:45 wake up call and each immediately turns on
the TV to see the same news story, etc... Each of three candidates that
day (we follow Vinick through the same kinds of things after he has a
5:45 wake up call as well) deals with ethanol and what to tell the Iowa
Corn Grower's Expo about this product as each addresses the group at
different times this day. Even Russell, whose speech is first, tells
"It takes more oil to transport it and fertilize it
than we save using it"
"Sir, you're not considering changing the speech?"
"...Don't worry, I'm not suicidal. I'm going to take
The environmental site is absolutely correct about The West Wing's writers. Ethanol is
something of a running joke in the series, a kind of all-encompassing
symbol of the lies politicians on both sides of the aisle are willing
to tell for votes. With the Hoynes vote against ethanol mentioned above
occurring in the first season of the show and the "King Corn" blasphemy
in the last season, that's seven years of writer antipathy to a
linchpin of the "energy independence" and "decarbonization" policies of
both parties today. I haven't seen every episode by any means, but my
memory tells me that ethanol comes up more often in West Wing conversations than any
episode guide will reference.
The fact that ethanol is a symbolic litmus test of political integrity
in West Wing Land may very well keep the show off the air for a long
time to come. Maybe forever. Because ethanol is even worse than a
litmus test. It's also a highly visible thread that if tugged on enough
could lead to a complete unraveling of everyone's political plans for
dealing with energy issues and so-called climate change issues. Biofuel
mandates represent the first very large-scale attempt to address both
sets of issues by immediate government intervention in markets. If the
first such attempt should unleash a tidal wave of unintended negative
consequences, the twin identity of ethanol as a marker of political
dishonesty and as a headline for misguided government attempts to
manage the natural forces of the planet could prove the undoing of a
whole generation of politicians, in both parties.
Think I'm overstating the case? Are you sure? Then take the time to
watch ALL of this C-span
video of a speech by Robert
Bryce, author of "Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy
Independence." Yes, it's an American Enterprise Institute speech, but
as Bryce proudly proclaims at the beginning of his remarks, his
political roots are as a liberal and even a left-winger. (He even
begins with a set of Bush jokes.) Actually studying the energy industry
in depth, however, which has become his lifetime avocation, forced him
to accept that the laws of thermodynamics did
not conform to his political preferences. His presentation is stuffed
with facts even political junkies know little of, and what political
content he offers arises directly from those facts, not from his
advocacy of any politician or party. How can we be sure of that?
Because he can prove that they're all
lying to us. (The Flash Player works well once you figure out the
clunky controls, and there is a full-screen option as well.) As further
incentive, I'll dangle the news that he proposes a sensible and
dramatically improved solution for the 21st century with respect to
meeting fuel needs and
minimizing carbon output without crashing the global economy.
To end on a less serious note, those who have been missing The West
Wing might enjoy the following all-purpose episode produced by
Well, I enjoyed it anyway.
Nancy Pelosi Quits
"His name is Bruno... I think."
wobbly Speaker of the House resigned late Wednesday to pursue "the one true love of my
life, come what may."
XOFF NEWS. After
having gone missing for almost twelve hours during which her family
frantically sought her whereabouts, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
made a brief appearance before cameras Wednesday night to announce that
she was leaving Congress to "follow my man to Tijuana for the
Pan-American Tattoo Festival," because "he told me to -- or be ready to
get my ass kicked from here to Mexico."
Colleagues and friends of the Speaker expressed astonishment and dismay
that she would so suddenly abandon one of the most powerful political
posts in the nation. Her husband was reportedly so distraught that he
cancelled his entire round of appearances at San Francisco bathhouses
tonight. Senator Diane Feinstein was the only
Pelosi intimate on Capitol Hill to tender any word of support: "In all fairness," she said, "I've spent a weekend or two
myself in Oakland with a few dozen of my closest motorcycling
friends, and I
recognize that look in her eyes. When you've been well and truly, er,
befriended, within an inch of your life, it doesn't matter whether
you're a U.S. Senator, Speaker of the House, or Empress of Goddam
Japan. He snaps his fingers and you do what he says."
When asked for a comment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said,
"Damn." Moments later, he added, "Damn." Then he concluded, " If only I'd
have, well, you know, not wasted so much time talking about screwing
No party elections have yet been scheduled to determine a replacement
Speaker, although multiple party-type parties are in full swing all
across Washington, DC. According to party insiders, Senator Barbara
Boxer, also of California, is leading the swinging by a head and a
"surprisingly agile abdomen."
A spokesperson for the Hillary Clinton campaign dismissed rumors that
the former candidate had anything to do with Pelosi's resignation.
"Bruno is just a casual friend of the family," she said. "He has no
official duties in the campaign organization. What he does in his
private life is completely unrelated to any services he might perform,
if and whether he does, for Mr. and Mrs. Clinton."
The San Francisco office of the FBI was still printing out Bruno's rap
sheet at press time but estimated that the last page would be in hand
before the morning network shows went on the air at 7 am.
The XOFF News Team
Monday, June 23, 2008
Lowpoint in Sports
scene repeated all across sporting America this weekend.
TIGER BLUES The longest day of the year always kind of sneaks
up on me.
But this weekend was the summer solstice, which begins both summer and
the six-month long decline in the length of days. I was hardly
expecting a sudden, coincident, all-time historical lowpoint. But that
also occurred this weekend. Fortunately, there was plenty to keep us
busy about the household -- mowing the acreage, cleaning out the
garage, filling feeders to keep up with voracious goldfinches,
hummingbirds, etc, and grilling burgers and gorging on homemade
blueberry pie (w/fresh Jersey blueberries b'God) -- but in-and-amongst
and after the domestic fun, we began to be aware of the shocking
cultural milestone that had dropped on our heads.
Hockey is done, except for their utterly inscrutable draft. The NBA
season is over. The only NFL activity involves tracking which prima
donna athlete refuses to tie his shoes in minicamp (Chad Johnson), and
baseball entered the nadir of its season with a round of pointless
inter-league games even the SportsTalk lunatics can't bring themselves
to care about. Wimbledon wouldn't be playing out its boring early round
matches till Monday. The Tour de France hasn't started yet, and are
they really going to inflict that drug-infested scandal marathon on us
this year anyway? And now, for the first time in over a decade in this
customary dead spot of the sports year,there's no Tiger for the
announcers to talk about during soporific tournaments like the one
that's played a week after the U.S. Open. This is as close to zero as
the sports world can get, now or ever.
We looked in vain through the weekend listings for the usual glut of
sporting events covered by network and cable channels. Oh, indeed,
there was a plethora of sad substitutes as programmers tried
desperately to fill the void: Formula 1 racing, which hasn't raised my
pulse above a flicker since the days of Niki Lauda and Jackie Stewart.
Arena football -- who can watch that crap? -- it's like tabletop pool,
a novelty that wears off within minutes of a first encounter. Olympic
trials in judo (??) and women's gymnastics ("Oh, dear. She fell off the
beam. How sad." How usual.) One of the cable channels was actually
covering the NHL draft live! Live? Good God. ESPN was reduced to
running professional bowling, automobile shows from last year, and
promos for the -- wait for it! -- upcoming NBA draft! One of the
language channels was showing "futbol" eliminations for the 2010 World
Cup. 2010???!!! In what universe does that make any sense?
Which reminds me. Mighty ESPN also sank as low as devoting hours and
hours of its precious airtime to the 2008 European Soccer Tournament.
actually watched some of it. Mrs. CP got a modest kick out of watching
the hated Orangemen of Holland lose in the closing moments to Russia
while I was mostly busy grilling burgers outside. And, then, on Sunday,
out of a pitifully unfounded hope that something interesting would
happen in the Italy-Spain quarter-final, we actually watched our second soccer game in one weekend.
The shame of it. What can I say? I am personally fond of Italy. There
was nothing else on. The weather map insisted we were under imminent
threat from severe thunderstorms all afternoon (which never came). And,
yes, I should have known. As Instapunk regulars know, this
assessed the appeal of soccer in some detail. But I, personally,
never sat there and watched an entire game of world-class soccer.
You'll never know. Words are inadequate. They played the entire 90
minutes of regulation with no score. Then they played two 15-minute
overtime periods with no score. For the math-challenged, that's two full hours of "sport" in which
nothing whatever happened. There are no 'plays' to speak of. One team
starts out kicking the ball down the field, passing it to one another
as if they have something in mind. But the other team always takes it
way from them before anything can happen, and then they do exactly the
same thing. Every once in a while two players make contact, one of them
falls down and begins shrieking as if he's just been hammered into the
Brian Urlacher (no f'ing way, Jose) and the ref gives the guy who
touched him a 'yellow card.' Then there's a 'free kick,'
which is about as free as all other things European; the kicker faces a
solid wall of opposing players between him and the goal. So he kicks
the ball over their heads, over the goal, and into the crowd. Then they
The only entertainment value is a kind of expanding wonder. What do
they use for highlights on TV news/sports coverage? Crowd shots? Clips
of players rolling around on the ground pretending to be hurt? Refs
dealing yellow cards as deftly as Vegas poker sharks? All those kicks
go way left or way right or way o-o-o-ver that gigantic net? What
statistics do the soccer encyclopedias compile? There's nothing to
count or keep track of that might be a finite accomplishment or 'play.'
Number of pointless steals of a ball from the opposition? Number of
pointless losses of the ball to the opposition. The ratio of pointless
steals to pointless losses? And what do their career statistics look
like? A Hall of Famer like Beckham makes history by scoring, like, uh,
three goals lifetime? And, uh, he played 19,000 hours of goal-free time
I don't know. I don't know why the rules are systematically designed to
prevent scoring. I don't know why players and teams are disqualified in
the next game for routine
fouls committed in this game,
thus preemptively destroying the purity and fairness of tournament
don't know why the rules deliberately remove the suspense of a
down-ticking clock by adding unknown quantities of penalty time after regulation play, thus
ensuring a built-in, premeditated anticlimax. I don't know why
hundreds of thousands come to watch and weep and wail and sing and
cheer. I don't know why I
Somebody eventually won. On penalty kicks. Which, as far as I'm
concerned, they could have done without wasting 120 minutes of running
around futilely on the field beforehand.
Of course I do have some suggestions. I honestly believe, having
watched, that there is a good
game rattling around somewhere inside the boneheaded bore the current
rules mandate. Adopt hockey's penalty box/power play format (pay now,
not tomorrow), jettison the yellow card/red card bullshit, and penalize
fakers just as sternly as those who commit fouls. (Who really wants to
watch professional athletes making deliberate pussies of themselves?
Not even Europeans should get off on that...) Quit adding penalty
increments at the end of regulation. And, for God's sake, allow the
fast break that makes basketball such a volatile and momentum-driven
game. Let the lone superstar go
one-on-one with the goalie in the heat of play on the field, as
opposed to the artificial stasis of the post-game penalty-kick snore.
If your game can't be decided by being played with all players on the
field, it's not much of a game. It may be a kind of theater. But it's
not a sport.
is a sport. The kind of truly extreme moment soccer can never produce. Not without big rule changes anyway.
It can't come down to refs
and pussies. For example, in this one NFL play I can count three/four 'yellow cards,' easy.
Sorry. I know it's tres
inappropriate. But right now, I'm really missing sports.
Hey, though. I'm just a dumb American. An American who will remember
the summer solstice weekend of 2008 as the all-time worst moment in
sports in my lifetime.
Otherwise, it was a wonderful couple of days.
The Atheist Wars
more clearly by turning your back on everything.
FROM THE FRONT. Since we threw down the gauntlet, they keep coming.
Not in a wave but in fits and starts, solitaries that they are. I've
contended with a few in the comment sections, but it occurred to me I
should share the kind of high-minded debate customary with the hard
core; that is, those whose tone is consistent with what Rachel got in
the post that inspired my
intervention. Here is an exchange that began with this comment
(Yes, he calls himself "My Comment Name"):
IP sez: "There is nothing -- no
principle of science whatever --
to rule out the possibility that an intelligence capable of generating
the universe, from string or quark to multi-galactic infinity, would
not also be capable of observing or participating in everything, in
perpetuity, without ever violating the laws of his own creation and yet
accomplishing his will in everything"
There's also no principle of science to rule out the invisible
leprechauns dancing on my eyelids, but I don't see anybody getting rich
offa that shit.
You refer to "deists" quite a bit, but
I take it that we are talking about your belief in the Judaeo-Christian
deity in particular? Why not Mbombo, or Mangala, or Kamui, or Brahma,
or any of the multitudes of other cosmic individuals that have been
lumbered with responsibility for this crazy universe we ride around in?
After all, any of those
stories is as useful as an explanatory tool the one you currently
subscribe to; so why not?
worth thinking about, because only when you understand why you have
written off all the thousands of other gods, will you understand why
atheists have written off yours, too.
Basically, man, we are all
atheists. Some of us just believe in one less god than you do.
I chose to respond for reasons I made clear:
"You refer to "deists" quite a
bit, but may I take it that we are talking about your belief in the
Judaeo-Christian deity in particular?"
No, you may not. You didn't read the
post. Which is absolutely 100 percent typical of your ilk.
arrogance has replaced not only logic but the ability to read a
complete essay or a complete paragraph. You're an ignorant,
presumptuous, time-wasting fool. Learn how to read before you come back
I framed the argument carefully and
deliberately excluded -- in the first paragraph -- all matters of
specific religious preference. Your inability to perceive that is an
indictment of whatever you BELIEVE constituted your education.
Sadly I must inform you you didn't
receive an education -- merely a set of unthinking poses.
This made him angry, though it didn't change his argument by one jot
Instapunk: "I framed the argument
deliberately excluded -- in the first paragraph -- all matters of
specific religious preference."
Well, that was always
the other option, but your macho posturing must have blindsided me for
a moment, because I momentarily considered that such a chickenshit
tactic was beneath a man of your pectoral magnitude.
Do you subscribe to any particular
creation story or not? Are you seriously telling us that you think all
of them are just dandy, provided that "god/gods did it" forms the basis
of that story? Do you expect us to accept that you subscribe to mere
Do you accept the story of Mbombo or
do you not? Am I really so worthy of your scorn for suspecting that you
do not currently worship, among others, Kamui? Or am I in actual fact
absolutely correct about this?
Deliberately refusing to
pin yourself down - or, in other words, failing to stand up for what
you believe - is not just a sneaky argumentative sleight of hand; it is
pure moral cowardice. The swagger of your response is belied by the
lack of balls shown in your original post.
Time for the slam dunk, plus some exposition that may be useful to
"Deliberately refusing to pin yourself down - or, in other words,
failing to stand up for what you believe - is not just a sneaky
argumentative sleight of hand; it is pure moral cowardice. The swagger
of your response is belied by the lack of balls shown in your original
Interesting. "Pure moral cowardice"? What does that term mean to an
The question I posed sits at a far more fundamental level than any
possible questions of morality. It's hardly swagger to point out that
knowing there is no god is just as much a declaration of faith as
knowing there is a god. What you don't like, and won't address, is that
it's every bit as impossible to prove there is no god as it is to prove
there is a god.
I'm fascinated by your insistence that I must reveal to you my specific
religious beliefs before you can seriously come to grips with the
rational basis of my argument. To me that's a sign that your own
convictions exist only in opposition to the convictions of others. If I
really were a religion-neutral deist who disdained all forms of
organized religion, the passion of your opposition would begin to go
limp. Which means it's necessary for you to evade the pure
philosophical argument and make of me a secret religious fanatic hiding
behind logic to prevent the death blows you can always wield against
the foolish faithful.
You see, you are deluded by an assumption that is probably invisible,
as deep assumptions often are, that specific sectarian religious
beliefs come first and then result in convenient answers to the
underlying philosophical questions. If this isn't the case, you're shit
out of luck, because all your arguments are based on that inference.
I'm afraid I must disappoint you in this regard. As a very young man, I
discarded anything like religious faith until I had taken the main
questions all the way to their most basic elements, the ones I
described in my post. All the steps toward what you would call religion
were taken only after I had wrestled with those basics. To this day,
whatever faith I have is a frail thing. I am no evangelist. The
argument I made is all I am sure of, which regardless of how you
deliberately misunderstand it, consists of asserting that atheists and
deists bear an equal burden of proof that neither can meet.
My own religious faith is irrelevant, because it is not constant, not
certain, not at times above the level of mere wistfulness and
speculation. It does contain beliefs about morality and divinity, but
these beliefs are subject to continuous questioning, doubt,
self-examination, and, yes, hope.
I suspect this is something you know nothing of. Your own certainty
sees its mirror image in those you despise the most. You demand that
others reveal to you an exact set of postulates to which you can
favorably compare your own. Then you feel prepared to go to war and
win. Like any goddam lawyer whose idea of intelligence is destroying
the other guy's argument by any and every means without actually having
a fully realized synthesis of
What you don't understand, and never will, is that those who aspire to
religious faith, in all philosophically honest traditions, are not
fixed and rigid cartoons of churchiness but constant questioners. They
know they do not know, and they know that faith is a choice which is
not made once but every day, every minute, every second, throughout
No thinking Christian would doubt that there are times when the Pope
himself does not believe in the God of the New Testament, the
resurrection, or even salvation. (Which does not make me a Roman
Catholic, btw, because I'm not). The nature of faith is that it IS
self-consciously faith, a matter of willing belief not certainty; a
choice made repeatedly, not a pigeonhole one falls into and defends
savagely against all comers.
You know nothing of this. How could you? Unable to confront or contend
with my logic, you CHOOSE to see the most elemental matters of
philosophy as a battle of balls. Which makes you a clown. With balls
like a pair of infected peas.
To the extent that I swagger, it's only because the very basic logic I
employ is incontrovertible. To the extent atheists are certain, they
are deluding themselves. More than deists. Because there are too many
primary questions no mere human being can presume to know the absolute
An example. One self-satisfied atheist (in the comments) cited as an
example of his superior knowledge context the fact that we still don't
know where the moon came from. He's right. We don't. It's the closest
object to our home in the whole incomprehensibly vast universe, and we
don't know for sure where it came from, why it's there, or why its size and
orbit are so oddly synchronized with the earth's orbit of the sun, and
he believes that's somehow proof that his atheism is scientifically
That's insanity. As is your pompous posturing. You know next to nothing
about the universe you live in. For you to claim otherwise (and I
suspect you're dying to claim you do) is proof of every point of my
Now. What of you? Who are you? What of yourself, your life, your
values, your own beliefs about life and meaning and morality have you
shared? Nothing. And I'm the
I hardly think so. I'm on record here with hundreds of thousands of
words about my beliefs, convictions, experiences, and tastes. You
arrive like a thief in the night, anonymous, hidden behind your bluster
and bile, and you point a headless, bodyless finger of accusation.
You're a joke.
So why did I respond? Because my considered response may be helpful to
other inquiring minds like my own. And because when an opponent goes
out of his way to give you a perfect setup for a spike, it's hard to
resist slamming it down his throat.
Now go away.
And so it goes.
Talk about drawing blood. 'My Common Name' felt obligated to respond to
his marquee status in this post and launched another verbose and
convoluted attack. So I smacked him. Which pissed him off. The text of
his explosion is quoted at the beginning of my response, which is,
again, not for his consumption, but for everyone who approaches these
questions not as an acid debater but as an inquirer.
"I don’t consider my position one of
certainty, either, even if you do. I’ve explained, very roughly, the
process whereby I have come upon my (current) position. I’m happy with
it, and really, that’s all that matters."
"Well, Jesus Mothercunting Christ. That… that’s truly awesome. I swear
to your god that that is the lamest fucking thing that’s ever been
addressed to me in my long and sordid history of internet roustabouts.
Pwn’ed in your bollocks, you ridiculous pissarse."
"Bollocks?" "Pissarse?" Gordon Ramsay, I presume? You're just another foul-mouthed
Brit (I include Aussies and all the various disaffected Celts in that) (and btw, haven't seen 'cunt' used as a verb since that literary giant William Peter Blatty introduced it in 'The Exorcist.' Hmmm. Is that what the limeys call contextual irony?) jacking off with words about ideas
you don't really care about except as a demonstration of your
assumptive superiority. Reversion to precious homo-erotic Brit slang is
the indelible stamp of of an impotent 'arse' pining for lost days of
And you talk about lame.
What you'll never be able to see in a thousand years is that there's no
point in talking with you. Because the only thing you're about is
scoring points. And that really IS an atheist preoccupation.
Your rhetorical winding and twisting is very much like the last video
from 'Love and Death' Wade
Pelham posted here. You don't have anything against religious faith
per se, but but But BUT... the faithful really do all have to admit that you are
smarter. You have nothing against morality and if pressed, you will
admit to moral feelings yourself, but, But BUT... that doesn't mean
anything except when the moral outrage is expressed by you.
You are an atheist within limits,
you say, with no presumption of certainty, because you're basing your
lack of belief on the math of probability, but you're still superior to
agnostics because their agnosticism exists only within limits which are
(presumably) not based on the same understanding of mathematical
probability you have achieved. And math, lest we forget, is a human
invention which has a certain utility but no meaning and blah blah blah
but but but. Aaaagh.
You exist in a vacuum. Your dudgeon is a meaningless artifice. Your
life is a meaningless sequence of masturbatory gestures. YOU'RE NOT IN
THE GAME. You're a pissed-off referee with a pocketful of yellow
cards and red cards you fling about as if your rules were something
other than a dry cough between the lines of 'Being and Nothingness.'
You're a (what do you chaps call it?) wanker. That's why I say you're
pwn'ed. You're not at all interested in the deep questions; you're just
fighting. Because you can. And because you have resentments so deep
down in your nature that you can't resist roaring into the fray. Which
means you're a fucking boring waste of time.
I'll grant you one nugget of response to your mumbo-jumbo creation
question. My creation story, the one I believe, lies in the field of
potentialities between Hawking's possibly nonexistent (because always
-- Zeno's Arrow-like -- infinitely approaching the unreachable limit)
Big Bang and Roger Penrose's quantum mind. There is a space in that
conceptual interval which leaves room for all presently conceived
possibilities and innumerable ones we can't conceive of. It may allow
for all kinds of relationships that science cannot presently
comprehend, including a universe in which ideas, art, poetry, symbols
and allegories -- and Jung's synchronicity -- interact seamlessly with
the physics we keep trying to reduce to (mere) math. In this context,
there might be a place for humanity's many metaphorical creation myths
and its curiously parallel religious convictions to be something more
than fairy tales, fallacies, jokes, proofs of mankind's talent for
self-delusion, and catalysts for your contempt. The continuously
unfolding and infinitely reinterpretable story of Christ's sacrifice on
the cross may -- may, I say
-- actually be of a piece with the universe itself. These are
conceptions which have the potential to expand minds and deepen the
most minute aspects of human experience -- without consigning us all to
fanaticism or irrational denial.
But every word you write demonstrates that you're not interested in
such possibilities, even though you confessedly cannot rule them out.
Worse, there's no way you could ever understand the dimensions of such
a universe. Which would be like string theory rendered in an
umpty-dimensional hologram embodying emotions and thoughts as well as
particles and their components. I'm talking about a kind of imagination
you're too smart to realize you're too damaged to aspire to.
You arrive here to deliver a series of sanctimonious jabs. I respond
with one unanticipated uppercut, and you are shocked, shocked that
anyone could dismiss your sheets of verbal diarrhea as, well, diarrhea.
Got news for you, mate. Life ain't about taking the integral of all
equations to arrive at a bunch of falsely reassuring straight lines.
Life is fabulously, wondrously, beautifully, even miraculously
mysterious and interesting. All the stuff we don't know is a ticket to
the most exciting ride any form of life has ever taken. But you'd rather
be the smartest paramecium in the petrie dish. Excuse me. A Brit paramecium. That would be
kind of the dictionary definition of a condescending, unimaginative
I repeat. Go away.
InstaPunk is a persona of this website. If you did any research, you'd
find that most of the regular commenters think they know who he is in
terms of a real-world identity. But they're wrong about that, sometimes
to their discomfiture. His is a virtual identity, an emergent
electronic property of this website, and his name is InstaPunk.
It's true, my friends. I am, on these screens, only electrons and
thought forms. Forgive me for any misunderstandings and hurt feelings
that fact sometimes causes.
Brilliant. The myth of superior Brit education.
Okay. This thread is all done now. I
Hugh Douglas Files: Only NFL and NBA players are athletes. Right.
Driving these things is exhausting, dangerous, and, yes, an athletic
OVERSTATING THE CASE. Okay. I made a joke yesterday about Formula 1. I was going for a
laugh. Truth is, I have always been mesmerized by Formula 1. They're
the ultimate competitors in all of human sport. As a boy, I had the
privilege of watching Mark Donohue when
he was still an amateur. He drove an Elva numbered "000," and in a 20
lap race on an incredibly narrow 1.2 mile sports car track he lapped
everybody. Everybody. He was also a Brown-educated engineer, which to
Douglases of this world probably means that he simply outsmarted
the competition with a lot of tech trickery and hand skills. But
nothing that required the talents of an athlete. I was a fan of Mark
Donohue. I was in awe of Jimmy Clark and Jackie Stewart.
Two of the three died in cars. It doesn't get much more serious than that.
It's a funny thing. InstaPunk (The Boss) has been having his fun with atheists
of late, sending them into predictable spins of illogical,
emotional self immolation. But it takes a blizzard of words and days of
osmosis for him to do his damage to the callow pretenders who think
their Internet experience qualifies them as philosophers. The amazing
thing about cars is that they can make you confront God in an a split
second. I literally could not list every internal combustion engine
powered vehicle I have driven (or ridden) at one time or another -- Dodge
PowerWagons, John Deere tractors, Triumphs, Nortons, Harleys, BSAs,
Jags (a bunch), Bugattis, Cobras, Chrysler 440s, Trans Ams, ChrisCrafts, 60 mph speedboats,
airboats -- and I have streaked across the land and watery expanses of the rural
southern counties of my state at speeds which, at my present age, make
me blush. In those mad rushes I have had occasional brushes with the
prospect of sudden death, but there was only one experience that made me
appreciate the true stature of professional race car drivers.
There used to be a franchise called Malibu Grand Prix. You piad your
money for five or ten laps on a tiny but demonically intricate course behind the wheel
of an open-wheeled, under-powered race car for the privilege of having
your lap times displayed to everyone as you drove. Initially, it was a
blast. Those of us who knew something about driving turned in stunning
lap times that impressed our girlfriends and even the girlfriends of
other less fortunate drivers. But after the third lap there is a
fourth, and a fifth, and a sixth, and your timing starts to stutter,
and your body and brain grow weary, and what was once exuberant fun
becomes work. Labor. Then you begin making mistakes. You're actually
out of breath. The legs you never gave any thought to at all are
suddenly leaden, slow to do their automatic business with the pedals.
Your arms, hands, whatever, aren't quick enough with the steering
wheel. And here you are -- a guy who risks his life successfully every
damn day on real world roads at much higher speeds than this --
gradually losing control of a vehicle on a f___ng carnival ride.
I'm not up to discussing philosophy at the level InstaPunk has set. But
here's what I know. There are flashes, somewhere between the crises you
create for yourself at free high speed and the exhaustion of trying to
do it in a disciplined state of endurance, that put you face to face
with death, eternity, and your own shortcomings. I'm thinking the
atheists who are so damn sure InstaPunk is a fool haven't experienced
moments like this.
Is that the 'foxhole' argument? Maybe it is. I don't know. I really
don't care. I'd settle for Hugh Douglas
watching the YouTube video up top and then reassessing his bullshit
position that race car drivers aren't athletes. Of course, he'd
probably be willing to make an exception for Lewis Hamilton, once he finds
out who he is. Any progess is still progress after all. Hugh concedes
that Tiger Woods is an athlete, though all other golfers aren't. And
when he looks into it, Lewis Hamilton might be an athlete, too, though
all other race car drivers obviously aren't. We're waiting for the next
step of your enlightenment, Hugh.
Talk About God.
Or, How do we teach people what life is all about fast enough for them to actually live
Thanks to Rachel Lucas's little fracas with her blog and InstaPunk's conviction that he can reason the
atheists off of their atheism (Here
and here.), I've been
asked to say a few words on behalf of God.
As you may have noticed from my previous post, I'm Catholic. So, I must have something to say about God, His existence, and what that means for you.
InstaPunk's effort is laudable and noteworthy in that none of his critics address the three areas to which he confined his argument. Three areas that a rational, honest proponent of atheism would have already considered and should be able to articulate why they pose no difficulty.
I find the topic much less interesting so I'm much less apt to provide a comprehensive treatment of it. There are others who go after the whole thing with more energy and more enthusiasm. Allow me to contribute a thought that may cast a shadow of doubt over the rationalists' enterprise – both those with faith, and those without.
Lately, I've been thinking about a question. Perhaps it will shed some light here – “How do we teach people what life is all about fast enough for them to actually live one?”
Rick in the comment section gives us a chronology: 24 years of real belief in God; 11 years of searching; and seven years of contentment – as an atheist. Now he is 42.
I'm going to fictionalize him into Roger so he'll be less likely to take offense. Roger will also be given three kids and a wonderful, supportive wife. Let's take a look.
Roger got married as a real believer, began searching when the kids were born and laid the “There is no God” speech on the wife and kids just as they're getting ready for middle school.
What happens to them? Does the wife follow along? Maybe she made all the turns with the eleven year search and agreed with the shifting conclusions as they were determined. Maybe not. The kids have been watching TV and playing video games during the search so the entire enterprise was probably lost on them and the conclusion seemed really exciting or really boring to them depending upon the temperament of each.
Eleven years is really quite an insignificant time relative to geological time or even in the context of say, 6,000 years of recorded history. Hell, 6,000 years is insignificant in geological time.
Roger admits as much when he reports that his physics knowledge needs a tune-up after a 13-year hiatus. This will mean a few more years of running down the books on physics and evaluating the possibly conflicting interpretations of the theories and then incorporate the new found knowledge into his life. The result? Who the hell knows.
What about the kids? Well, now they're at the university where they are learning . . . and incorporating that into their life. They will understand – after tens of thousands of dollars – that there are no answers only questions. Questions that really shouldn't be asked if you want to make a lot of money.
The bad news of course is that Roger will be about 45 or so once the physics stuff is looked into and, let's face it, Roger's time is almost up. Maybe he can pass on his insight to the grand kids. Really, if he's honest, he'll have to tell them that he is still searching and still investigating and that there have been many new developments that must be incorporated into his views and what they need to do is to keep an open mind and keep learning and keep researching – unless they need to make a living, then they should get a job that pays really well for a minimal time commitment.
Looking at this fictional Roger let's us see what the scientific-objective-rational-figure-it-out-for-yourself crowd really has in store for everyone. A lifetime of confusion.
In this confusion, inter-generational transmission of value and direction is lost. It must begin again with the next generation because they have learned never to accept anything which they themselves have not verified and researched.
My point is that this project is extremely difficult to sustain across time. Consider passing the quest to your children. You may be a reader and a thinker and may also be willing to spend three to four hours a day reading books – eight to ten on weekends wrestling with the nature of truth and how to apply it to your life. But, most people are not. They won't read. They don't read.
For people that don't read, they get the idea that it is all bullshit anyway from the people that do.
My first thought of the juvenile nature of such a quest came to me while reading Freud. He was regaling himself over the purity of his quest and his disengagement from all that had come before him and how he set out without a single conclusion to observe the facts as he found them. It was too loud of a toot on the horn. I thought, “What utter bullshit.” What an impossible dream. Nothing? What about his language? Surely he'd take that along. And, for the readers out there, you know all the perils of value and direction found embedded in a single word let alone a sentence or a paragraph.
No. Freud wasn't going anywhere without all the conclusions already formed in his mind long before his investigation was even begun.
This hints at the nature of reality itself. The nature of truth.
Nietzsche asked, “What if Truth is a woman?”
We can wonder, “What if reality is actually created by belief and not the other way around?”
If this is the case, the Creator no doubt knows it. If the Creator is benevolent He most likely told us.
Tiger Woods has decided to have surgery
on his left knee, which will end his 2008 season.
said on his Web site that he will have surgery on his anterior cruciate
ligament. He also wrote that he needs time to rehabilitate a double
stress fracture of his left tibia, which he said was discovered just
before the Memorial Tournament in late May.
And he revealed that
he originally ruptured the ACL in 2007 while running at his home in
Orlando after the British Open. He said he decided not to have surgery
at that point, and he went on to win five of the next six events he
entered (through his Target World Challenge in December).
Woods said no date has been determined
for the surgery, which will be the third in five years on Woods' left
said doctors have assured him the outlook is positive. Doctors have
told him that the stress fractures will heal with time.
Of course, the PGA is gamely trying to cope. Regularly scheduled
tournaments will be played as exhibitions for the rest of the year
since the results obviously won't count. There's no guarantee, however,
that any of the events will be televised; the networks are businesses,
not charities for sports without viewers. Otherwise, we'd see a lot
more coverage of curling.
Sorry. Best wishes to Tiger.
Hope you get well soon.
Britain is redoubling its efforts to stop young people carrying knives,
after a volley of fatal teenage stabbings and headlines warning that
the country is in the grip of a knife-crime epidemic.
Too many stabbings. That's a drag. My heart would, er, bleed for them
if I didn't delight in the chance to see that famed Brit intellect go
to work solving this problem. "Can't stab if you've got no knife, can
you, bloke?" some Great Expectations-looking
twit thinks. "Get rid
of all them knives, then. Righto!"
Police have embarked on a stop-and-search operation to retrieve
weapons; the government has warned of tougher sentencing for teenage
culprits, and a "youth summit" has come up with a $6 million [537
British Pounds- Ed.] ad
campaign to warn of the perils of carrying a knife.
Uh, shouldn't that be "the perils of not
carrying a knife"? It's not as
if each knife is some kind of unstoppable projectile, flying like Robin
Hood's arrow toward a young hooligan hundreds of yards away carrying
another knife. Unless they're referring to the risk of puncturing your
scrotum with a knife in your pocket, like Mr. Bean with a Sheffield
steel fountain pen.
Youth summit. They didn't make any actual young people attend, did
they? Now I'm feeling pangs
The name sounds lofty, doesn't it? Summit. The handful of kids in the
nation who don't carry knives are led to expect an event that's part
think-tank, part Woodstock. What they get is closer to a goddamn DMV
seminar, where the pressure on everyone to pretend they're having a
good time and saving the world kills their youthful enthusiasm
stone-dead. Like a load of buckshot to the face.
I'm irritated. Let's skip to the punchline:
Another medical expert, Dr. Mike Beckett, argues that it is time to
remove sharp knives from kitchens altogether. He says there is
for the pointed tips that make knives fatal. "What people want in a
kitchen knife is the edge," he told the BBC. "The point on the end of
the knife actually serves little culinary purpose, but it is the point
that kills people."
That's some mighty big stupid, doctor. Leaving aside the idiocy
of "only the point can kill" for the moment...
KNIFE CAN SLASH AS WELL AS JAB, TURNS OUT.
Or is that not taught in Brit medical schools anymore?
...can you see the implications of this "logic"? If not, come with me
into the terrifying mind of Lord Bottingham, future Minister of Public
Safety. Watch how his deformed, anemic morality cuts the rights of
man to ribbons, like Helen Keller pushing a lawnmower through a
rose garden while wearing one of those electric dog-shocking collars.
"Murder is dreadful. Simply unspeakable. Guns are used to kill. Outlaw
guns. Problem solved! No further thinking required! Time for a snort at
"Wait. Now kids [the most
prominent group of murderers, evidently] are using knives instead of
guns. Outlaw knives-- at least the keen ones. They don't need to be
quite so keen, after all. Set a legal cap on how sharp a knife may be.
Require all knife sharpeners to be rigged so they hone a knife only to
an edge that can slaughter butter...
"What's this? Kids are using rope to strangle each other now? Guess we
have to get rid of rope, too. II know, I know. I don't like the idea
either, but we have to protect the beastly
little bastardskids, don't we?
the other ghastly,
common larvaekids, all of whom want to kill each
frantically that inventiveness in homicide is the only sort of
creativity they express anymore. The only way to stop them is to
inhibit them, to render them physically
unable to enact their fervent
bloodlust. So rope's right out of the picture. Bungie cords too. You'll
have to use
something else, mate. But nothing that can ever harm a human being in
any way. That's why we replaced all the real motorcars with dodgy
electrified golf carts a few years back. Getting out and
walking across every road with a greater than one-degree incline is a
small price to pay for keeping the repellent
low-bred spawn of cockney verminkids safe. Isn't it? Brilliant.
Why are the kids so homicidal when
they have this to look forward to?
"Bollocks! Now the monstrous
are using cricket bats,
paperweights, and grandmama's objets
d'art to bludgeon random
passers-by to death. We've got to ban EVERY OBJECT WEIGHING MORE THAN A
KILOGRAM! Excluding, of course, nature and whatnot. (After all, igneous
rocks have more right to this planet than
we do, being way more natural.
By far.) We'll have to put spool after spool of razor
wire around each
tree-- to protect them, as well as us. From their heavy limbs and pokey
branches. And it's
high time to finally take down all those public sculptures of the
"heroes"-- Ha!-- of Brit military imperialism...
"Bugger! Now every bloody bastardchild under 18, without exception, is pushing
his closest relatives into the
razor wire! Bugger our war-mongering,
imperialist heritage! We've got to cork all the razor wire... except we
can't make corks anymore, because most of the equipment is illegal and
our cork colony is right down the drains. Bugger the universe's random,
cruel wit! Bloody hell.
"But... WHAT WHAT! We can still make Nerf. The Nerf works converted
to all-Nerf production some time ago.
"We could Nerf everything! Nerf police boxes, Nerf carriageways,
Nerf pencils and office cubicles, even Nerf kitchen bits!
"And everything we can't make out of Nerf will have Nerf padding,
applied with super glue, so it can never be removed, for any reason! Brilliant!
"Finally, a consequence-free Britain! Utopia! An orange-coloured
paradise! Island Nerf!"
Hey, Mal: There's a sliver of hope. You know the great thing about
with no stomach whatsoever for a fight? They have no stomach whatsoever
for a fight. Thank GodAllah.
Something important has gotten lost in the American experiment.
Something we used to know deep down but seem committed to forgetting.
What triggered my own memory was Mark Steyn's last post before he went
on hiatus to mount a new offensive against the forces which no longer
believe in freedom of speech. He wrote this about
Obama and McCain:
Sen. Obama has learned an old trick of
Bill Clinton's: If you behave like a star, you'll get treated as one.
So, even as his numbers weakened, his rhetoric soared. By the time he
wrapped up his "victory" speech last week, the great gaseous uplift had
his final paragraphs floating in delirious hallucination along the
"I face this challenge with profound
humility and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with
limitless faith in the capacity of the American people … . I am
absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look
back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to
provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the
moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began
to heal … . This was the moment – this was the time – when we came
together to remake this great nation."
It's a good thing he's facing it with "profound humility," isn't it?
Because otherwise who knows what he'd be saying. But mark it in your
calendars: June 3, 2008 – the long-awaited day, after 232 years, that
America began to provide care for the sick. Just a small test program:
47 attendees of the Obama speech were taken to hospital and treated for
nausea. Everyone else came away thrilled that the Obamessiah was going
to heal the planet and reverse the rise of the oceans: When Barack
wants to walk on the water, he doesn't want to have to use a stepladder
to get up on it.
There are generally two reactions to this kind of policy proposal. The
first was exemplified by the Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder:
"What a different emotional register
from John McCain's; Obama seems on the verge of tears; the enormous
crowd in the Xcel Center seems ready to lift Obama on its shoulders;
the much smaller audience for McCain's speech interrupted his remarks
with stilted cheers."
The second reaction boils down to: "'Heal the planet'? Is this guy
nuts?" To be honest I prefer a republic whose citizenry can muster no
greater enthusiasm for their candidate than "stilted cheers" to one in
which the crowd wants to hoist the nominee onto their shoulders for
promising to lower ocean levels within his first term. As for coming
together "to remake this great nation," if it's so great, why do we
have to remake it?
Uh, yeah. Obama's a great talker. McCain's a great self-promoter. But is
either of them great in the
sense of the word that we all know underlies its constant overuse? No.
They're not great. They're politicians. Both of them. Which is mutually
exclusive with the real meaning of the word 'great.'
That's what Steyn is reminding us about. He explains in a later
Speaking personally, I don't want to
remake America. I'm an immigrant, and one reason I came here is because
most of the rest of the Western world remade itself along the lines
Sen. Obama has in mind. This is pretty much the end of the line for me.
If he remakes America, there's nowhere for me to go – although
presumably once he's lowered sea levels around the planet there should
be a few new atolls popping up here and there.
What is American exceptionalism? The notion, the conviction, that we're different
from every other nation in history. On what was this conviction
founded? In terms of politics, it was founded on the brand new idea
that a nation's political leaders were not to be blindly followed but
continuously suspected. Indeed, our best presidents have been those
who were self-consciously plain, keenly aware that their power was
largely an accident of timing and circumstance, that they themselves
were merely reflections of a national mood that could have been
exemplified by many others. They did not see themselves as messiahs.
And if they suspected other people did, they worked to disabuse the
majority of that impression. Washington set the precedent of retiring
after two terms in office, after
having turned down a proffered crown. Jefferson was too shy to play a
charismatic executive. Jackson was too human, too flawed to play at
being a savior. Lincoln probably came the closest to being truly great,
but his press -- the world over -- was every bit as bad as Bush's, and
he never knew he was being groomed for sainthood. And the record of the
"phantom amendment" proves that the Great Emancipator was also a sly
and potentially unscrupulous politician.
It's only since the advent of mass media that we have begun to see
presidents as mythological figures -- Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin
Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and now Obama
-- as larger than life figures, larger even than ourselves. It's all
hogwash. The partisan critics of these icons have all been right to
some degree. TR was a cartoonish personality, a blustering braggart
making up for a sickly youth with oceans of overbearing bravado. FDR
was an arrogant, ignorant snob, dumb as a brick about economics and
blind to the sedition and treason in his own inner circle. He never did
directly what he could do by stealth and sneaky tactics. Truman was a
lifetime politician who lucked into the biggest political deal ever.
JFK was a sex- and drug-addicted Irish mobster, heir of a ruthless clan
that accumulated power with no thought about the values of democracy.
Reagan was an actor who found a different way to be the star his talent
couldn't achieve in Hollywood.
I've been thinking about such not just because I'm concerned about the
cult of Obama. I've been watching the new attacks on Winston Churchill
by Pat Buchanan and others, for example, which was at first surprising
because I grew up in the generation which deemed Churchill the "Man of
the Century," and then not so surprising as I remembered that Churchill
was a politician, meaning that at least part of him was low, mean,
unscrupulous, and self-obsessed.
It is an American act to
challenge the putative greatness of the so-called great, especially
when they're politicians. That's how we've avoided monarchy and
aristocracy for close to a quarter of a millennium. It got me thinking.
About greatness. Nobody who aspires to so much power and control can
ever be truly great as a person. How do I know that? Because I've had
the privilege of knowing -- in my entire lifetime -- two truly great human beings. I've
known many more good human
beings, but greatness is its own category. It's the kind of human
quality you find yourself measuring yourself against, even when it
doesn't seem relevant, and the measurement always makes you feel
inferior. You know what I'm talking about. None of the excuses work
when you're talking about real greatness.
So I've known two. My paternal grandfather. And my wife. Which makes me
blessed among men. I've had the honor of knowing two people who were
always who they were, without doubt or apology, and whose singular
goodness survived every temptation and became, instead, an example of how one should respond to life's trials.
Interestingly, the quest for power and authority never figured into
their life plans. Instead, they managed somehow to do things for
others, serve as un-self-conscious examples of virtue in its purest
form, and enjoy the simple pleasures of a life that could not be
summarized in a bumper sticker. I've known good men who were good
executives, but greatness is always an impossibility. They make choices
the great ones would never make. Because when it comes down to it, the
career matters more than, well, other things. I'm not accusing. I've
been there. But I don't like to think I could go there again. When life
gives you a second opportunity to learn, you're worse than a fool if
you don't try to take in the lesson.
If you want Obama or McCain, cast your votes accordingly. But please do
it the American Way. Knowing that they're both damned dirty politicians
who can't be trusted any farther than we can throw them.
I'd say the same thing if Abraham Lincoln were running again. So help
She was the best. Ever. Now she's gone. But you can read
about her here.
But this is all you need. There was a time when young women were sexy.