Re: AM radio


I wonder how long the Clinton jokes will last. Maybe there will be some guy 50 years from now making the equivalent of Calvin Coolidge jokes today.

Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
Fun Fact: Calvin Coolidge, a president of few words, was so famous for saying so little that a White House dinner guest made a bet that she could get the president to say more than two words. She told the president of her wager. His reply: "You lose."

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 1:38 PM
horizontal rule

Dorothy Parker on the death of Coolidge: "how can they tell?"

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 1:43 PM
horizontal rule

Conservative firebrand and kung-fu master John Derbyshire wrote a smashing novel which doubles as an apologia for Calvin Coolidge. Highly recommended.

By the way, Fontana, did you like "Straight Man"?

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 2:08 PM
horizontal rule

That said, as an occassion for the wit of others, Coolidge has few peers. Here's Mencken:

"Democracy is that system of government under which the people, having 60,000,000 native-born adult whites to choose from, including thousands who are handsome and many who are wise, pick out a Coolidge to be head of state. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies"

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 2:11 PM
horizontal rule

Ah, Mencken, my homey. My favorite quote, which I once was inclined to scribble parts of on restroom walls in places as far afield as Dayton, Ohio, and Worcester, Massachusetts:

From "On Being an American":

Here the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head, and is thrown willy-nilly into a meager and exclusive aristocracy. And here, more than anywhere else I know of or have heard of, the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly—the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat-slittings, of theological buffooneries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villainies, imbecilities, grotesqueries and extravagances—is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only the man who was born with a petrified diaphragm can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night, and to awake every morning with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-school superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows.

Were he alive now, Mencken's diaphragm wouldn't last a week.

Posted by: peter snees | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 4:55 PM
horizontal rule

That's red state, baby.

I'll do ya one better, brother. I spent today at the North Carolina State Fair with the kids. Goddamn but this state is packed with rednecks. Also, whoever invented the bare midriff fashion for teenagers should be given a medal.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-05 8:41 PM
horizontal rule

i'm sorry apo, but i wouldn't award him a medal, because the same innovator who gave us slim, sleek midriffs gave us fat bellies that should forever be hidden, but, sadly, are not. lest i be accused of sexism, i don't wear clothes that accentuate my corpulence, do I?

Posted by: peter snees | Link to this comment | 10-23-05 4:44 PM
horizontal rule

This isn't you?

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 10-23-05 5:07 PM
horizontal rule

You don't need to visit Red states to do this. There's a reason I listen to my iPod, not radio, when I drive Highway 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

(And if you are making that drive, halfway between the two is a town called Kettleman City. This has a restaurant-diner type place called Mike's Roadhouse cafe which is worth visiting for two reasons. The first is that the food is surprisingly good --- every time I've stopped there I've been pleasantly surprised. But the second reason is that next to the bathroom is a remarkable poster with pictures of various Americana, most noticably a picture of Theodore Roosevelt, and the prominent words "God has blessed America. That is why we are number one.", along with a few paragraphs in smaller print justifying these assertions.)

Posted by: Maynard Handley | Link to this comment | 10-24-05 6:29 PM
horizontal rule