Re: Well, it's a post, at least.

1

After the convention I was pretty sure that McCain/Palin had very little chance of winning, and if they did it would be due to shenanigans so blatant the the Democrats in Congress would actually grow a spine and call the GOP out on it.

That said, I think Palin is going to be spending the next four years prepping for 2012 and she may be able to pull it off. If she knocks off some of her obvious idiocies (by learning how to speak without saying obviously stupid stuff, f'rex) and if the noise machine is able to wound Obama enough with phony 'scandals' we might have a chance to see President Palin make Dubya look like a man of vision approaching genius.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:11 AM
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My sister and her husband missed their flight back from my wedding on Sunday and was told that they couldn't reserve her a seat until tomorrow, the 24th. She managed to get a flight out at noon the next day after a too-short hotel night and much recrimination.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:14 AM
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Thanks. "At least McCain didn't win" and "Imagine how we'd feel doing this if Sarah Palin was about to be VP" have been the sanity saving mantras between me and one of my sympatico co-workers during a pretty effed up month of December.

Denver to Missoula non-stop, that'a a trip! Despite a lot of travels out that way, I still fall prey to everything being further than you expect even when you take into account that it is further than you expect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:24 AM
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3: So I guess I don't have anything bad that would have actually happened yet other than a deterioration in my mental and emotional well-being. Although I do suspect the general mood around here would have been much less congenial.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:32 AM
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The media are covering up the Palin Oxy story.

Sarah Palin had an interview with Rush on October 15. Were Bristol and Levi with her then? Maybe Limbaugh was Mrs. Johnston's original oxy connection, via Levi. Historically Wasilla has been more of meth and weed town, but they were due for an upscaling, with the next President of the US living there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:36 AM
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Hey! This morning's westbound flight only left an hour late, so if it doesn't get all screwed up again tomorrow we might have a chance. Forecast is somewhat encouraging. Unfortunately family health not quite so much, so fingers crossed on both hands (which makes it hard to masturbate type).


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 11:47 AM
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1: After the convention I was pretty sure that McCain/Palin had very little chance of winning

Yes, but I worried all the same. I guess I should learn to trust the polls a bit more. I was stupidly confident in 2004 despite polling to the contrary, and very nervous this year (and very glad to have folks like LB come to PA to help preserve what turned out to be a double-digit victory).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:21 PM
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I thought at the time that the Palin selection was the end of McCain's campaign. I was almost convinced otherwise by the initial response she got, and after 2004 I will never again believe the American people can be relied on to make even the most obvious electoral choice correctly, but that has to rank as one of the great WTF moments of recent political history.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:26 PM
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I referred to the Palin pick, at the time, as a surprisingly early concession by McCain. Rah was bothered by her potential for folksy idiot charm but my response at the time was, "Sure, they love her now, but wait until she's had six weeks to say stupid shit."

Given that my track record for predictions is abysmal (high-speed internet at home over copper wires? trusting the cable company to be an ISP? nobody's ever going to want those, what the fuck are they thinking?) I was quite pleased to be right.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:42 PM
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I originally thought the Palin choice was brilliant, and if she'd had halfway "decent"/consistent/McCainish content, I still think she might have been a great choice. But I also think the economy would have outweighed a well-spoken Palin. But it would have been narrower.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:47 PM
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McCain's base was the media. Palin poisoned that by being the kind of person the Village media simply cannot stand.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:47 PM
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she might have been a great choice

Her selection showed that the Great Maverick McCain™ was not in charge of even the most basic decisions in his own campaign. That's not the sort of impression a 74-yr-old candidate can survive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:52 PM
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I'm looking forward to finding out whether McCain survives Obama's first term, and if he does not I will feel even more joy for having avoided President Palin.

[For all of McCain's accomplishments, if he dieds in 2012 or earlier, the only thing anyone on the left or the right will talk about in the following days is President Palin.]


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:54 PM
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12: And W. was in charge of his campaign? You think Americans notice that kind of thing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:54 PM
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You think Americans notice that kind of thing?

About a candidate in his mid-70s? Yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:57 PM
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15: No one held Reagan responsible for his senility.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:58 PM
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My drive into Albuquerque last night took over four hours (it's usually about three). Highway 550 was a sheet of ice the whole way from Lybrook to Cuba (about 40 miles), with blowing snow on top of it. People were sliding all over the road. I put the 4WD on and was fine, but it was slow going. I was going to eat in Cuba, but when I got there it was snowing like crazy and everything was closed. I'm not sure if the closures were because of the storm or just because Cuba's the kind of place where everything closes at 8 (probably the latter). Shortly after Cuba the snow turned to rain and stayed that way the whole way into Albuquerque.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 12:59 PM
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16: Reagan was an incumbent whose senility wasn't on full display until the second term. However, Reagan's second term made McCain's job in 2008 all the more difficult.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:02 PM
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Also, Reagan's role was cheery grandpa who delegated the details to others. McCain was supposed to be the hard-nosed realist who bucked the political professionals and followed his own mavericky maverick sense of maverickishness. When it became clear that he'd been steamrollered into selecting a VP he obviously didn't know from Adam and didn't seem to particularly like, even, it was pretty hard to square with the carefully cultivated image.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:05 PM
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I totally agree that McCain's age was a big problem for him. But I think people were assessing him on something more visceral about his cadence of speech, white hair, swollen chin from the cancer bout, than on the legitimate evidence about how he was being steamrolled by his campaign.

Well, let me backpedal. He certainly alienated a ton of people by abandoning all his maverick stances the media had played up. I'm just saying the senility question in particular is not something that voters tie to policy or decisions; it's tied to woodeness and having a croaky voice, etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:07 PM
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Hadn't he already pretty much blown that image to pieces by running right/social conservative with his tail between his legs to get the nomination?

Basically, it was a pretty inept campaign. The fact the race was at all close speaks more to the polarization of the electorate than to anything McCain/Palin did right. Seriously. In a country with less fucked up identity politics, the GOP would have been absolutely slaughtered --- following 6+ years of incompetence with a bumbled and poorly focused campaign should be political suicide.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:10 PM
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The full report on the contacts between Obama's people and Blago is coming out in an hour.

I want to hear the tapes of Rahm Emmanuel and Blagojevich. I bet it sounds like a scene from The Sopranos.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:49 PM
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Also, Reagan's role was cheery grandpa who delegated the details to others. McCain was supposed to be the hard-nosed realist who bucked the political professionals and followed his own mavericky mavericious maverick sense of maverickishness mavericity.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:51 PM
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The shoe thrown at Bush is supposedly a Ducati Model 271, but Amazon reports that that is a motorcycle. Someone's fucking with me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 1:53 PM
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1: I wouldn't worry too much about the Republican noise machine. Presidential re-election campaigns are usually pretty simple. If the economy is decent by mid-2012, Obama will win easily. If it isn't, he will lose.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:06 PM
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The Ducati Model 271 thicksoled brogue is all over the internet, including legit sources.

Was it autofill? The shoe seems to be Model 271. Maybe the computer just filled in the "Ducati" and everyone picked up on it. Alternatively, maybe it's a shoe named after a motopsycho.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:07 PM
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They're apparently quite a heavy shoe, good for throwing. That establishes premeditation. I still don't get the Ducati part, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:11 PM
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John, Ducati is a high end Italian motorcycle. The Turks know all about expropriating a nice name for their product.

I'll miss Sherry Johnson showing up on furlough from the Pt. McKenzie Correctional Farm for Bristol & Levi's baby's christening in an orange jumpsuit with an armed escort from the Alaska Department of Corrections.


Posted by: shpx.ohfu | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:14 PM
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But once the market crashed, I personally felt pretty good for the last month.

Clearly, liberals hate America.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:33 PM
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This is a clear intellectual property violation. Ducati should insist on a cut of the profits.

Amazon still isn't carrying the Bush Shoe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 2:59 PM
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But now one of the jounalist's brothers is disputing whether that is in fact the shoe and calling it "exploitation".

But Meanwhile, another of Mr Zeidi's brothers has defiantly claimed that the 28-year-old journalist did not regret his attack on Mr Bush and would do it again - despite having been forced to write a letter of apology after being tortured in jail.

Thanks for helping, bro.

And, Mr Zeidi is due to go on trial on Dec 31 charged with "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit", an offence that carries a prison term of between five and 15 years under Iraqi law.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:05 PM
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I need a pair of those shoes.

I know why Hilzoy is so excessively normal, BTW. She was freaked out by her wacko uncle, Jan Myrdal. You heard it here first.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:05 PM
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The brother is obviously in the pay of an Iraqi shoe company to be named later. He's bidding them up as we speak.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:09 PM
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Hey! I got dis-Flickr'd. Can someone fix that for me? The Flickr ID is DominEditrix.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:13 PM
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Clearly, liberals the markets hate America.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:15 PM
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||
My grandfather told us all a story last night that didn't include much by way of character development or plot, but did include this really excellent sentence:

"In Victorian times you were either a Victorian or a cad, and if you were a cad, that meant you went off and drank alcohol and did strange things with women."

Montana is really cold.
|>


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:32 PM
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36: Montana is really cold.

And a river runs through it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:36 PM
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MN is cold too. And we have the nicest snow I've seen here in decades (granted that I wasn't here during several of those decades).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:37 PM
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34: I think you need to go through Armsmasher.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:54 PM
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39: and then, once she's through him, she must defeat the GORGON!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 3:56 PM
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Mr Zeidi is due to go on trial on Dec 31 charged with "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit", an offence that carries a prison term of between five and 15 years under Iraqi law.

Why do I suspect that the law creating that offense is a very recent development?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-23-08 5:35 PM
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Heebie, what are the dynamics of the decision-making process on the size and membership of the party who will be part of getting the car back to Denver? I assume you get to opt out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 7:23 AM
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Well, the other two of our party live in Denver, so our choices were to do a one-way-rental and all four of us fly home, or to take their car, which is what we ended up doing since the rentals were $900/day. So the decision was made back at the airport that Jammies and I would keep our original flight back on Thursday and the sister and her fiance are stuck driving back by themselves, (since they weren't going to fly back until the weekend anyway.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 10:20 AM
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$900/day? That's hyperbole, right?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 10:33 AM
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Nopey-bole. Most of the car companies we called wouldn't do one-way rentals to Montana at all. The exact quote was $921/day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 10:35 AM
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Jeez. For that price, you coulda bought a car and sold it for a tidy profit, if you coulda got a really good car for only $921.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 10:37 AM
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One-ways are really annoying for them to do, so they do discourage it. Unlike, say, U-haul, typical rental companies end up paying two guys to drive out and get it back, or fly one out (whatever is cheaper).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 10:39 AM
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I thought they were just tired of losing cars to the post-apocalyptic Road Warrior-type gangs that populate the abandoned copper mines near Butte.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 11:58 AM
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I hate Air Canada. My flight to Ottawa was delayed several times, because the crew was late, and they were having engine trouble. We were supposed to leave at 1:50, but at 4:40 they cancelled the flight. The evening flight was full, so they booked us on a 7:55 flight to Montreal that was going to get in after all of the flights to Ottowa were done. The earliest we could leave Montreal was 12:15 today.

If we had luggage, we were supposed to leave security and check our bags again. They offered people without baggage the chance to fly standby on the 5:15. The BF claimed that our luggage was liquid free, so he got our bags and took them to the gate. TSA confiscated my contact lens solution and the bag with the case plus an expensive shampoo and conditioner and some soaps that were a gift. I think they got a tube of shaving cream too. I would have preferred to wait so that I could have kept my stuff, but our ride had driven 4 hours to get to Ottowa. Air Canada wouldn't book us on a plane from Montreal to Ottowa in Boston.

Once we landed in Montreal, we tried to make a train, but we only had 15 minutes to get there, and there were no shuttles nor cabs in sight.

We got in line at the ticket purchasing place where the line was moving like molasses. There were seats for 6 agents, but there were only ever 3 there, and one of them would get up and leave for long stretches at a time. At one point, when there were only two agents and the other agent had spent 15 minutes with one couple, the second agent jokingly put up his closed sign as a new customer was walking up to the desk. After an hour and 40 minutes of waiting, we left and took the bus to Ottowa. Since Ottowa's city buses are on strike and it was late, we took a cab to the BF's brother's place and spent the night there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 12:55 PM
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That sucks BG. Fwiw, air canada seems to be about par for the course. I keep having similar experiences with various (north american) companies, swearing to never use them again, then finding the next ones are just as bad.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:12 PM
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I'm told that West Jet is supposed to be better, but they don't fly to Boston. In the US I've heard good things about Jet Blue.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:19 PM
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51: Yes, west jet is pretty good. A lot of these small regional ones are, actually, as that's how they compete. But mostly, airlines suck.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:21 PM
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My mom and dad flew from Boston back to St. Louis last week. They had bought a nonstop, at a much higher price, because my mom doesn't like transferring.

And then their flight was canceled for "weather" in St. Louis. When no other flights from anywhere else in the country to St. Louis were having any problems. And they couldn't complain, because it was a problem with the "weather". Many hours and two unplanned airport meals later, they made it to St. Louis. Where there was no inclement weather to be seen.

I don't remember what airline it was on, but as soup said, it really doesn't matter these days.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:31 PM
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I'm taking three flights over the next two weeks on three different airlines, so I'll get to sample a wide variety of holiday horrors. Yay!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:33 PM
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The 21st century model of American customer service: "Fuck you, what're you going to do about it when the other guys are as bad or worse?"


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:35 PM
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Except, I hope, the airline with which I'm probably going to have to try to negotiate the rebooking of two members of my travel party later today. They're nice! Really!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 1:42 PM
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There was a military policeman in line on leave trying to get to his mother-in-law's in Quebec city to surprise his family for Christmas. They had screwed up his family's flight from Nova Scotia, and he'd managed to expedite a few issues with their lost luggage when he called from Afghanistan. They admitted that the reason our plane never came in from Ottowa was engine trouble, so we're hoping to try to get the cost of the bus out of them.

Can anyone recommend a good Margaret Atwood novel for someone who's never read any of her stuff? I don't think that the book selection in the house is going to be any good. There's John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. There are also some books by Maeve Binchy and a Ken Follet book with a blurb from Cosmo. I figure that they or the public library will have something by Canada's most famous novelist.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:03 PM
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Can anyone recommend a good Margaret Atwood novel for someone who's never read any of her stuff?

I prefer her poetry.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:28 PM
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Marrying the Hangman

The Circle Game


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:34 PM
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"Surfacing" was recommended to me and was pretty good. "A Handmaid's Tale" made a big splash as feminist dystopia. "Oryx and Crake" has a great title. I also prefer the poetry.

If you're looking for a deeper understanding of Canadian culture and the life of ordinary Canadians, Mary Catherine has recommended Marian Engel's "Bear".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:36 PM
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Air Canada has had all sorts of problems this season. Hundreds of flights canceled. shiv's flight would have made it too late for his connection, and they wouldn't put him up in a hotel in Toronto because it wasn't their fault there was a snowstorm, so he had them route him through a different airport entirely. Nuts.

The only way to deal with flying around the holidays is to drive.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:41 PM
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Can anyone recommend a good Margaret Atwood novel for someone who's never read any of her stuff?

I really really adore The Robber Bride and The Blind Assasin, but I don't know how universal the appeal of these is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:42 PM
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No one could have expected it would snow in Canada in December.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:43 PM
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57: An Handmaid's Tale is pretty good, they ought to have it. She doesn't have anything terrible that I recall, but some are a bit weak (Oryx and Crake).

She's written other `Ontario gothic' stuff, e.g. The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, The Robber Bride are some of her better ones, iirc.

In a similar vein, Timothy Findley e.g. Headhunter, he's worth reading. I remember "Not wanted on the voyage" being really quite good.

If you're looking for random Canadian lit :

No great mischief : Alistair MacCleod
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: Moredecai Richler

etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:49 PM
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I just read Alias Grace. It was totally engrossing -- after finishing it, I felt compelled to read it again, immediately -- but I felt kinda ambivalent about it overall. I think I liked it. It had some problems.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:49 PM
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I think I liked it. It had some problems.

Not a bad descriptor for a lot of her writing, for me.


by Canada's most famous novelist.

Add "living novelist" and maybe.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:54 PM
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I liked Richler's "Barney's Version" a lot, but it's definitely a grumpy old man book.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 2:58 PM
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Also, if you like short stories, Alice Munro has written some great ones.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:01 PM
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Who's Canada's most famous dead novelist?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:16 PM
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Saul Bellow.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:19 PM
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Robertson Davies actually lived there.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:20 PM
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69: Roberson Davies was mentioned. Timothy Findley and Mordecai Richler both died somewhat recently, who were I suppose arguably as famous as she.

For that matter, William Gibson probably out famouses the lot of them, but a) he's half american if I recall correctly and b) that wasn't really what she meant, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:26 PM
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70 feels like a cheat. Or at least a technicality. It's an association that tells us very little about Saul Bellow or Canada.

Though my USAvian sense is that Canadianness, perhaps by design, is an association that tells us very little about the person or the country.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:26 PM
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Bellow is more than a bit of a stretch. I wouldn't consider him a `Canadian author'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 3:30 PM
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73,74: Your mistake is a common one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 5:09 PM
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75: It's tenuous. Russian-Jewish family, he was born in Quebec but mostly grew up in Chicago, lived and worked in the US. By accident of birth he's a "Canadian writer" but that's about it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 5:47 PM
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You people have no understanding of the importance of roots. Once you understand that Bellow was Quebecois, you understand everything.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:00 PM
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I think the fact that Bellow sucks puts him below Atwood in any event.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:20 PM
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I blame the blog's recent slant towards Canada on Emerson. And I do so notwithstanding my forthcoming (stateside) visit with eekbeat's Canadian relatives, which is to occur on Friday.

I do plan to bring up, on John's behalf, the dispute regarding Hans Island with her relative who's in the Canadian Navy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:24 PM
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I blame the blog's recent slant towards Canada on Emerson.

I just assumed it was due to lingering differential crustal rebound from the most recent glaciation. Don't all blogs slant towards Canada?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 6:54 PM
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It's Mary Catherine and Ari. And Yglesias. Not me.

There's no dispute about the suckage, but, Nobel Prize. What can you say.

Do you realize that Canada leads the world in the production of sunflower seeds? Well, they're not, so you shouldn't have.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 7:22 PM
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69; L. M. Montgomery is Canada's most famous author, living or dead.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 8:51 PM
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81: I'm going into a meeting with an important Canadian Naval officer. I don't need misinformation right now.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 9:12 PM
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Ask him about the novel "Bear". Better yet, buy a copy and give it to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 9:17 PM
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Colder than Winnipeg.

Note that the source is Welsh, so the information should be verified before it's passed on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 9:22 PM
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I'm flying tomorrow, confident that everyone has figured everything out. Although no one can give a good reason why the Air France website won't let me check in online.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-24-08 9:30 PM
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But when we got to the gate, they promptly upgraded us. All's well that ends well.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-25-08 3:11 PM
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