Friday, February 01, 2013

Thoughts of the morning-loosely-defined

-Ed Koch, whom I felt fondly towards (the first mayor I remember, and one with a striking physical resemblance - correct me if I'm wrong, relatives who read this - to my maternal grandfather), but whom I'm apparently not supposed to remember fondly a) because he was more center/contrarian-left than left-left, b) because he messed up wrt AIDS, c) because he advised Jews not to vote for a politician who'd made at least one famous anti-Semitic remark (from the NYT obit; unclear why this was a problem - Koch seems to have alienated black New Yorkers in other ways, which I'd be curious to hear more about, but this one seems an odd thing to criticize him for), and d) because he never came out, which is assuming he was, in fact, in.

-The car I saw being pulled over by the police down the street. Who knew the police ever came here? I wonder what that was about? (If I had to guess, it was about the 15mph speed limit that none of the cars follow.)

-How Bisou responded to my leaving her (for a minute! in the other room! at her sleepy hour!) by yanking down a glass of iced coffee from the table, one that was I suppose sitting on a paper towel, one that had some pumpkin muffin on it, and I'd forgotten that when Bisou can smell a trace of food, this miniature poodle becomes seven feet tall and can reach anything. She's fine, and the apartment's vacuumed, but ugh.

-How sometimes I have so many tabs open and worry I'll copy and paste the wrong one into the wrong thing. Like, instead of linking to some op-ed, I'll share the jeans I'm thinking of buying, or the episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show I was watching last night.

-How Obama denounced the Holocaust (yes, very controversial), and a National Review writer, Eliana Johnson, found a way to object. And the rest of the internet tries, fails, to make sense of the, uh, senseless. Johnson at first seems to be defending Nazism, but then, on closer reading (as well as, consider the source) appears to be claiming that because Obama didn't condemn the Holocaust in exactly the same language the author would have used, the president is basically a Nazi sympathizer. At first I thought maybe, buried in some of the most profound nonsense I'd seen in a long time, was a point I do agree with, one I even made here at WWPD: anti-Semitism, including the Holocaust, is far too often discussed as if it were a natural disaster. But no. This wasn't what Obama was saying - if anything, the aha! moment Johnson gives us, where we learn that Obama used "senseless" to describe Benghazi and the Holocaust, tells us that he uses the term as a synonym for "bad." Which, well, yes.

1 comment:

Petey said...

Koch was a complicated guy who was a lovely retail politician. But I most certainly wasn't a fan.

It's not just that he was "more center/contrarian-left than left-left", though he was. It was that he endorsed quite a number of Republicans, including for Federal office, which is more than a slight bit of a no-no in my book. It's bad enough to endorse R's for city office, but going Federal with that stuff makes you utterly treyf.

Also, there is no sin in wanting a genuine D mayor for NYC, considering the electorate. And there is no sin in finding a guy who would be a fine D for West Virginia to be a severely lacking D for NYC.

Also, also, he really was atrocious on AA racial issues, though Giuliani obviously outdid him. The famed Jesse Jackson rhetoric was pretty minor compared to the rest of his administration.

Finally, he pretty much destroyed the NYC D machine, which is why the city has struggled under non-D leadership for the past couple of decades. Wondering why only bankers can live in Manhattan unless you can find a rent-regulated apartment? Blame Ed Koch and his destruction of the NYC D machine.

Like I say, not a fan.

(But what do I know. I voted against Mike Bloomberg every time, so I'm obviously out of touch with the will of the electorate...)