I tought I was in a cage at de Zoo; but de apes don’t talk, do dey?

Malcolm X was killed in Harlem 21 February 1965,

“I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return the treatment.”

— Speech, Dec. 12 1964, New York City

Lolita a book where a pleasant, well mannered, obsessive man makes a fool of himself with the help of a young woman who possesses too much guile for for her own good. Its a mistake to read it as an endorsement of some of the behaviors depicted, on the contrary, its comical, but very damning of Humbert and men that think like him.

critic Graham Greene, in an interview published in the London Times, called it one of the best books of the year. Greene’s statement outraged John Gordon, editor of the popular Sunday Express, who responded in print, calling “Lolita” “the filthiest book I have ever read” and “sheer unrestrained pornography.” The British Home Office ordered customs officials to seize all copies entering the United Kingdom and pressured the French Minister of the Interior to ban the book. On December 20, 1956, the Paris police did just this, and Lolita remained banned in France for two years.
Alerted to the controversy, American officials initially withheld two copies of Lolita, but the U.S. Customs Bureau soon released the confiscated copies to their owners, an act that effectively authorized publication of the novel in the United States. The first American edition was issued without incident by Putnam’s in 1958. “Lolita” was an enormous success, the first book since “Gone With the Wind” to sell 100,000 copies in the first three weeks of publication. The lack of outrage over the book in America might be attributed to the tenor of the times: sex, and even teen sexuality, was ‘in.’ Elvis Presley was gyrating to the top of the pop charts and films like “Blackboard Jungle” were glamorizing youth and even juvenile delinquency.

1962 wasn’t exactly the Victorian era, but studio guidelines reflected at least some over sensitivity to matters sexual and how that might effect box office reciepts if nothing else. While not a general fan of censorship self imposed or otherwise, it did force Stanley Kubrick to use quite a bit of symbolism in the 1962 film version of Lolita, which turned out to be impetus for both creative dialogue and camera work. The cinematography turned out to be as much of a character as the roles of the players.Some more background on Kubrick and the 1962 film version here

In later scenes, this comic movement within a maze of private passions takes darker and more poignant courses. And more successfully than in any of his previous films, Kubrick demonstrates in Lolita a remarkable talent for directing his actors and developing a profound emotional content within the larger structures of an ironic distance. In a motel, he shows a tearful Lolita walking through another bathroom, this one separating her room from Humbert’s, to seek comfort (Humbert has told her of Charlotte’s death) on a bed in semi-darkness, illuminated from behind by the light from the bathroom. Humbert consoles her with promises to restore her life to normality and never to leave her (“cross my heart and hope to die”) as we see the child in Lolita break through the mask of teenage precocity. In a moment that is both touching and satiric, Lolita clings to her middle class belief that normality can be measured in the continuity of such objects as records and record players, while we fully appreciate the tragicomic nature of Humbert’s obsession..

A dim bulb or two on the right asks, “Why Is Profiling Only OK for Port Ownership?” and equates racial profiling to security of our ports. I could ask why a GOP president and his party do not believe in racial profiling when it comes to trade legislation and economic aid to countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or China. Maybe I’m just being too rational, but why is it that conservative options seem to be open ended, one group of conservatives says sale of the port operations to an Arab state is no big deal, while another group is adamantly against the sale. Both sides seem to be respectful of the other, but Democratic opposition is in some bizarre twist of logic hypocritical because some on the right sees oppostion to the sale as internationally applied racial profiling, which they’re all for when profiling suits the agenda. Democrats are also not allowed to say anything because they’re “grandstanding”. The exact Amendment escapes me, maybe its 16 or 21 that says any American suspected of grandstanding on an issue shall have all rights accorded in the 1st Amendment revoked. A consistant application of this dictum would have made the 2004 RNC presidential convention impossible to stage. For those moderate minded folks that day dream of a constructive dialogue between left and right; how can you have a constructive dialogue with whiffs of shifting smoke. It probably doesn’t really matter to the right what position Democrats takes on the sale to Dubai Ports World as much as it matters that conservatives own the issue. Eliminationism anyone ?

We’ve all heard of the Big Lie by now and how the Bunnypants Administration lives by it – example – WMDs WERE JUST A PRETEXT

In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: “He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.”

This is the very opposite of what Bush and Blair said in public.

Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of “containment” that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi dictator – again the very opposite of what Blair said time and again. On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to “build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction” for “the last 10 years”. America, he said, had been successful in keeping him “in a box”.

Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. “Saddam does not control the northern part of the country,” she said. “We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

So why change now, Accuracy in Guilt By Association

The visits came as the ground war escalated. The National Jewish Democratic Council reported Sunday that Kerry campaign signs were defaced with stickers reading, ”Arafat Endorses,” suggesting Kerry has the backing of the ailing Palestinian leader.

Bush’s campaign has looked to siphon off traditionally Democratic-leaning Jewish voters, and the stickers echo a Republican Party of Florida mailer that also suggests Kerry is being supported by Arafat.

Kerry supporters have pointed to the senator’s 100 percent pro-Israel voting record to rebuff the Republican claims that Bush is a stronger supporter of the Jewish state.

Republican voters received a torrent of negative anti-Kerry campaign mailings Saturday, some from an organization with strong Republican ties, the Florida Leadership Council.

The group is headed by Cory Tilley, a former aide to Gov. Bush, and David Johnson, former executive director of the Republican Party of Florida.

The mailings range from images of the party’s stalwart leaders — like Ronald Reagan — to more ominous pieces that equate a vote for Kerry as the first step in leading to a terrorist attack on South Florida.


The most negative mailing from the Florida Leadership Council has a fake newspaper story from the year 2007 underneath a photo of children in a classroom wearing gas masks.

The dateline is ”Florida Red Zone,” and the fake story reads: ‘President John Kerry warned parents and children in South Florida that mandatory radiation and chemical gear would be required to be worn `for the foreseeable future’ since the Suitcase Dirty Bomb terrorist attack on South Florida in the spring.”

On the reverse side of the mailing, it says “The last line of defense must be stronger than John Kerry.

As Digby says,

These are the people who run and win on “moral values.”

Sometimes I get criticism from my readers for suggesting that the Democrats must play on the same playing field as the Republicans. They say, “we shouldn’t become them.” But I never suggest that the Democrats should lie, cheat or play dirty as the Republicans do. I suggest that they wise up and stop pretending that Republicans are anything but ruthless adversaries and adjust accordingly

Two short updates:GOP Achievers Want to Compile $5 Million for Libby Defense

A Who’s Who of Republican heavy hitters and Bush administration supporters are lending their names to help raise $5 million for the defense of Vice President Cheney’s former top aide in his criminal trial.

more at The Stakeholder, La Famiglia

and this story from NYT, Furor Over Cartoons Pits Muslim Against Muslim

The heated emotions, the violence surrounding protests and the arrests have sent a chill through people, mostly writers, who want to express ideas contrary to the prevailing sentiment. It has threatened those who contend that Islamic groups have manipulated the public to show their strength, and that governments have used the cartoons to establish their religious credentials.

“I keep hearing, ‘Why are liberals silent?’ ” said Said al-Ashmawy, an Egyptian judge and author of books on political Islam. “How can we write? Who is going to protect me? Who is going to publish for me in the first place? With the Islamization of the society, the list of taboos has been increasing daily. You should not write about religion. You should not write about politics or women. Then what is left?”

Note how moderate Muslim associate moderation with liberalism. I think to a large degree that moderates have been there and not gotten coverage from the press, since burning buildings and riots make a juicier story. Then there have probably been Muslims just keeping their heads down looking out for their families hoping that things calm down. A far right blogger wrote “Denmark has done more than expose media and Muslim hypocrisy, it exposed fault lines within the Muslim community. We need to put pressure on those fault lines and allow whatever moderate voice there is to speak out.” Who would we be; the fighting keyboard commandos like himself or their president who said he didn’t think it was a good idea to publish the cartoons. At least he acknowledges that there are moderate Muslims.

YANK-(Suddenly starting as if awakening from a dream, reaches out and shakes the bars-aloud to himself, wonderingly.) Steel. Dis is de Zoo, huh? (A burst of hard, barking laughter comes from the unseen occupants of the cells, runs back down the tier, and abruptly ceases.)

VOICES-(Mockingly.) The Zoo? That’s a new name

for this coop-a damn good name!

Steel, eh? You said a mouthful. This is
the old iron house.

Who is that boob talkin’?

He’s the bloke they brung in out of his head.
The bulls had beat him up fierce.

YANK-(Dully.) I musta been dreamin’. I tought I was in a cage at de Zoo-but de apes don’t talk, do dey?

VOICES-(With mocking laughter.) You’re in a cage aw right.

A coop!

A pen!

A sty!

A kennel! (Hard laughter-a pause.)

Say, guy! Who are you? No, never mind
lying. What are you?

Yes, tell us your sad story. What’s your game?

What did they jug yuh for?

from the play The Hairy Ape(SCENE SIX) – by Eugene O’Neill