Archive for September 17th, 2004

Harvard Community Museum Day

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You know how you always find out about the GOOD stuff after its already
over, by hearing someone bragging or reading a review in the paper? Well,
no excuses this time. This Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm, ALL 8 OF THE HARVARD
MUSEUMS ARE OPEN FREE OF CHARGE.

This includes the Fogg
Art Museum
, the Sackler
Museum
, The
Busch-Reisinge
r, the Semitic
Museum
and the Peabody Museum,
where I plan to take my class next week.

Maps and refreshments will be available
outside the Semitic Museum, at
6 Divinity Ave. Harvard has a
good map
on their web site. This is a great opportunity, many treasures.

On a related note, anyone who doubts Harvard folk have a sense of humor
need to check out the web site for the Primate
Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
and check out the Morphing Monkey
in the upper right corner. QUICK before the drones make them take it
down!

 

Clinton Agonistes

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The
Dowbrigade finds the present electoral season disappointing in so many
ways. One of the featured acts we were really looking
forward to enjoying was the display of political contortionism and dissimulation
expected from the Dems Royal Family, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

According to our penetrating if paranoid political analysis,
the Best Behavior of America’s premier power couple during this campaign
would require an exquisite touch and consummate acting skill, but we
had every
expectation
that the
Clintons
were up
to it.

The reasoning goes as follows. If Kerry wins the election,
then he is in a good position to repeat in ’08 and leave a mature and
leveraged John Edwards as heir apparent in ’12, pushing Hilary’s window
of opportunity well into her Golden Years of AARP activism.

On the other hand, if Kerry were to go down to a hard fought
and honorable defeat in November, and the economic and war chickens flapping
around the landscape come home to roost during a second Bush period,
then the
Republicans will be ripe for the plucking in ’08, and Hilary will be
primed to re-take the throne.

On the other other hand, however, we are dead
certain that with every liberal bone in both Clinton’s bodies they believe
that four more years of Bush would be a disaster for the country, and
a blow to all of the political principles they espouse. Who know what
kind of Faustian deal with the devil, what internal moral contortions
will be necessary for them to successfully rationalize that a Bush victory
will be better for the country in the long run, as it would
usher in the Shangrala of a second Clinton presidency?

We have limitless faith in the ambition and moral ambivalence
of the former First Couple, and are confident that in their hearts they
are pulling for another underhanded Bush victory. Yet they must at all
cost avoid even a whisper of a hint that they are doing anything less
than their utmost to get their party’s candidate elected THIS time. Anything
less would brand them as opportunistic political traitors and doom them
to irrelevance in future election cycles. Thus we were looking forward
to a lively lesson in the Arkansas two-step, stump-speech doubletalk
and political posturing, subtly erroneous advice and exquisitely "accidental"
campaign faux pas.

What a difficult position the Clintons were in! How to
get out of all of that embarrassing and stressful multiple role playing
and constant calculation? We know it is cruel, cheap and incredibly cynical
to suggest that Bill’s heart trouble was in any way staged, but it certainly
is convenient, isn’t it?  Now both Clinton’s have a perfect excuse
to sit this one out, amid an outpouring of concern and well-wishing from
BOTH parties and campaign camps.  Brilliant! And of course we wish the ex-President a swift and complete recovery.

However, since our reputation for callous cynicism couldn’t
be much worse, let us confess that we also wonder if Hilary, that marvelously
conniving caldron of political calculation, is mulling over how Bill’s
different prognoses will affect her chances in four years.  Our
advice to Bill is to be very careful in picking your doctors.

Fox Fight Grips Britain

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In a startling move into the 20th century, and after
multiple unsuccessful attempts, the British House of Parliment banned
the ancient sport of Riding After the Hounds, in which a raucous posse
of hundreds of humans, horses and dogs race around the countryside after
a single furry fox, running for its life. These odds make a typical Spanish
bullfight seem like an even matchup in comparison. So much for the vaulted
British sense of fair play.

We were not exactly sure which side the protester pictured
on the left was on, until reading the Reuters
caption
, which read, "Pro-hunting
demonstrators gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London, September
15, 2004. The centuries-old pursuit of fox hunting takes centre stage
in Britain on Wednesday when parliament votes on a ban against a backdrop
of noisy protests and political wrangling."

On a telated note, the Telegraph
of London r
eports that
Fox Hunting is not the only sport endangered by this alarming wave of
politcal correctness…

Now they want to ban the ancient pursuit of MPs

Another grand old British sport came under threat yesterday as Labour
MPs called for an immediate ban on the hunting of themselves. They said
acute mental distress had been inflicted on them when they found themselves
hunted by five young men who ran into the House of Commons on Wednesday
afternoon.

Peter Hain, the Leader of the House, endorsed the call for an immediate
ban, telling MPs: "It is obviously unacceptable for whatever happened
yesterday ever to happen again."

from the Telegraph