"It goes without saying that the largest Eurasian power is not a baby"

Via Broadsheet, Pravda explains Condoleeza Rice.

The funniest lines are as follows:

  • “Condoleezza Rice released a coarse anti-Russian statement. This is because she is a single woman who has no children. She loses her reason because of her late single status. Nature takes it all.”
  • “Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men’s attention. Releasing such stupid remarks gives her the feeling of being fulfilled. This is the only way for her to attract men’s attention.”

If this is what passes for thoughtful discourse about gender in Russia, it’s no wonder Russian women are willing to try their luck with the whole mail-order bride scheme.

In comparison to what they’re hearing at home, something like Fred Reed’s “By contrast foreign women are psychologically coherent. They are sexy because they are women and like being sexy, not as a Vaudeville act or marketing tool. Resentment is not their primary emotion. They love their children and regard raising them as a pleasure, not an imposition of which they are ashamed.” sounds practically feminist.

"He had only the oar to make them keep their distance."

from “The Second Voyage” by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain

I know what I’ll do he said;
I’ll park my ship in the crook of a long pier
(and I’ll take you with me he said to the oar)
I’ll face the rising ground and walk away
From tidal waters, up riverbeds
Where herons parcel out the miles of stream,
Over gaps in the hills, through warm
Silent valleys, and when I meet a farmer
Bold enough to look me in the eye
With ‘where are you off to with that long
Winnowing fan over your shoulder?’
There I will stand still
And I’ll plant you for a gatepost or a hitching-post
And leave you as a tidemark. I can go back
And organise my house then.

*****

“Oar” by Moya Cannon

Walk inland and inland
with your oar,
until someone asks you
what it is.

Then build your house.

For only then will you need to tell and know
that the sea is immense and unfathomable,
that the oar that pulls
against the wave
and with the wave
is everything.

*****
There’s this beautiful moment, early on in “The Second Voyage” where Odysseus longs for sentient waves, enemies he can name–“Saluting a new one with dismay, or a notorious one / With Admiration; they’d notice us passing / And rejoice at our shipwreck.”–opponents worthy of his labor, as opposed to the waves, which “Have less character than sheep and need more patience.”

Sisyphus gets the credit, usually, for being the perfect illustration of a man charged with a task he can’t accomplish. But both of these poets, I think, really get at why Odysseus is a man with a job he doesn’t know how to finish–with the waves or against the waves or walking off into the countryside away from the waves, he’s a man unsure of how to let go of the thing that’s carried him this far. Sisyphus can’t complete his task; Odysseus can but doesn’t quite know how.

You have to wonder what happens to a man who never runs into someone who’ll ask him, “What the fuck are you doing still carrying that around?”

Weather Dog

Mrs. Wigglebottom is like a primitive meteorologist. She’s only good for predicting two kinds of weather: decent enough to go out in and too scary to leave the bathroom tub for.

Nashville, right now, you’re having a bout of “too scary to leave the tub for.”

Poor Mrs. Wigglebottom. She really hates thunder.