RIP Arthur C. Clarke 1917-2008

by matttbastard


(click image for BBC obituary)

“All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.”

The City and the Stars (1956)

Update: Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Gerald Jonas on Clarke’s passing.

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The Speech

by matttbastard

Seems like everyone and their dog has something to say about The Speech, including nu-school academic racist Charles Murray, who *gasp* loved it (buh?!):

Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I’m concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we’re used to from our pols…. But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

The end is nigh.

John Derbyshire, responding to a portion of Obama’s speech that references school segregation, provides a more traditional National Review perspective on race (h/t Mini-Marty @ The Plank):

It’s true that there is widespread school segregation today. In my state, 60 percent of black students attend schools that are at least 90-percent black. From what I can see, the main reason for this is the great reluctance of nonblack parents to send their kids to schools with too many black students (emphasis added). Do you think that they — actually we, as my wife and I share this reluctance — are wrong to think like this?

Perhaps sensing that he may have crossed the fine line between dog whistle and rape whistle (oopsie), Derb has since quietly updated his post:

From what I can see, the main reason for this is the great reluctance of nonblack parents to send their kids to schools with too many black students, which they assume are beset by all the problems associated with poorly run public schools.

O…k…thanks for clearing that up. Now step away from the shovel, asshole–slowly. Oh, and put down the well-thumbed copy of Lolita too while you’re at it.

Best comment goes to DDay @ Hullabaloo (h/t Tom Watson):

I have a problem with these expected blog posts on expected speeches that the dynamics of 21st-century campaigns demand. This election has turned into some kind of bizarre series of rituals, like an season of Greek theater where everybody knows the plot and the audience is left to judge the work on the presentation. The parade of comment, counter-comment, conference call about comment, distancing from comment, and major speech incorporating remarks about comment is the real distraction in this campaign, diverting from a looming economic recession (a recession at BEST) and a tragic stalemate in Iraq. Rarely does anything good for the country come out of this exchange.

Furthermore, I’m sick and tired of this “action figure” conservatism where a bunch of stay-at-home bloggers decide for others what they should do in particular situations. “If I were Obama, I would have stood up during the sermon and fired a poison dart at Rev. Wright and talked about the need to cut the capital gains tax!” The imagined fantasies of these clowns resemble a Chuck Norris movie, when the realities involve far more Cheetos and nasal spray.

Can I get an amen?

Elsewhere: More analysis from Pam Spaulding, Melissa, Kyle, dnA (who was pleasantly surprised by the content of The Speech), publius, Steve M., Taylor Owen, Steven Taylor, Jill Hussein C. and the usual shit-load of citizen pundits @ Memeorandum.

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