The only change this week in the Rapture Index was a bump in category #37,
a strong 8.2 earthquake shakes the Kuril Islands.
Category of the Week:
[In the Bible,] Mark 13:8: that God used earthquakes to show his disapproval of man’s sinfulness. It is wise to look for more earthquake activity as the return of Christ draws near.
Once again, the categories of Liberalism (Democrats take control of US Congress) and Satanic attacks on farm animals remained stable.
The total score of 161 is still in “fasten your seatbelts” range. I somehow don’t think that seatbelts are gonna make any difference, but maybe that’s just me.
I was kind of expecting to see something related to George W. Bush’s warmongering with Iran, but I guess there just isn’t a category suitable for that. I am thinking I will email in a suggestion for a new category: Emptyheaded frat boy and American monarchist from Wyoming given free reign to fuck up the world. I realize this category title is somewhat long, and I will give my consent that they shorten it.
The other possible category that I am gonna suggest is Bush unpopularity/crises. I mean, now that the Libby trial is on, we are seeing more of the ugly, traitorous, corrupt side of the administration, it may be that Bush and Cheney will attempt some sort of “wag the dog” maneuver to divert attention.
My perspective on the book is not that of a typical listener, because my father, like Morrie, had Lou Gehrig disease. I think it is important to state that, because it might be that others would find Morrie’s story more compelling. But I found most of the story to be boring descriptions of Morrie’s physical condition. Very few insights are actually provided by Morrie, one being “when you’re in bed, you’re dead.” Hardly the stuff of legend. No, unfortunately, Mitch Albom, the sports writer, writes a rather superficial account of Morrie’s impending death. A fair amount of the book describes Mitch Albom’s life and times, in which I have zero interest. I have to give the book a 2, and that is being generous.
Mitch Albom is the author of the book and also the reader. Unfortunately, he is no actor, but he tries to be. His other handicap as a reader is the uncanny resemblance of his voice to that of actor James Woods; the result is very distracting. I give the performance a 2, again that is generous.
Overall, I gave the audio book a 4 out of 8. I can’t recommend it.
click to enlarge: one of Cheney’s DUIs
Last week I raised the question of whether the Vice President of the United States is losing his grip.
After his weekend performance, others are asking the same question. Cheney told Wolf Blitzer:
Bottom line is that we’ve had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes.
Cheney’s statements about Iraq are not rational. Whether he has resumed drinking, or whether he has some organic brain syndrome, or whether he simply thinks he can tell baldfaced lies and get away with it, the man’s actions are not befitting the Vice Presidency.
On another front, testimony in the Scooter Libby case indicates that the Vice President was at the heart of the plot to expose CIA agent Valerie Plame, and also directed Libby’s attempts to cover up the scheme.
The Vice President should resign.
click to enlarge
This is something not to miss. The noted Columbian artist adapted his style to the depiction of the tortured prisoners of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The exhibit is at Doe Library on the UC Berkeley campus, through March.
More than once in looking at Botero’s pictures I thought of Willem de Kooning’s remark that “flesh is the reason oil painting was invented.” With none of de Kooning’s impasto, Botero seems to have tried, and even succeeded occasionally, in reawakening that primal connection and recharging it with moral energy.
Scale in the paintings and drawings also accounts for some of their power. In the largest of them, the bodies approximate life-size, as do some of the figures — a rope-bound, bloodied hand or foot, a snarling dog’s head — isolated on small canvases or pages. (Botero’s attack dogs are true hellhounds.)
I find most compelling the images that put us close to a hooded, bleeding face or a lashed hand curled in desperation, where part of a body stands for a victim’s whole being and fate.