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I will so take away your gusto

I’m writing an important, paradigm-shifting post addressed to Sarah Palin’s supporters, and of course I’m getting my initial briefings from Obama HQ on how to implement my part of the Stealth Agenda™, but I’m also sitting around and goofing off today.  And that’s how I learned that

If Michael Berube teaches English Lit, you are not going to sing the Star Spangled banner with gusto

and that I am “always maledicent,” though I have to say that’s a little over the top.  When I gave last year’s Hierth Lecture at Texas A&M, for instance, I wasn’t maledicent at all.  So it’s really more accurate to say that I am sometimes maledicent.  At least the bit about the Star Spangled banner has the virtue of being completely true.

Posted by on 11/05 at 04:24 PM
  1. Now, I’m not a Palin supporter.  However, it may very well be the result of my being sick after getting a flu shot, but I do feel my paradigm shifting.  I have the urge to kiss a moose.

    Posted by Dan  on  11/05  at  05:45 PM
  2. Palin supporters said this morning:

    NBC’S TOM BROKAW: This country, even with the election of Barack Obama last night, remains a very centered country, or maybe even center right in a lot of places. 
    Over on MSNBC (on Morning Joe), Brokaw said:  America is a center-right country because a majority of land area in the United States, if you measure it on the county level, voted for McCain.”

    KARL ROVE: Barack Obama understands this is a center-right country and he smartly and wisely ran a campaign that emphasized it.

    Thank gawds that even you, oh most dangerous one, couldn’t make this most bizarre shit up.  Land mass as a voting constituency (did you check your yard for its preferences?), what’s next Karl Rove changes his middle name to Marx???

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:00 PM
  3. Is it merely that you don’t teach your students to sing the anthem—or do you go so far as to (maledicently) teach them not to sing?

    Captcha: floor, as in “there is no f. beneath which they will not sink”

    Posted by Vance Maverick  on  11/05  at  06:01 PM
  4. Vance, I’m even sneakier than that.  I make my students sing all four verses.  By the time they get to “And where is that band who so vauntingly swore/ That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,/ A home and a country should leave us no more!/ Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution,” all the gusto has pretty much been sucked right out of the room.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:10 PM
  5. Losing has its consequences.
    Heh heh.
    Oh god how they have it coming. I am beside myself with glee.

    Posted by Hattie  on  11/05  at  06:16 PM
  6. Maledicent?  Sure.  But what about anaspeptic, frasmodic, even compunctuous?

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:23 PM
  7. Karl Rove is a Georgist?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  11/05  at  06:26 PM
  8. Spyder, we’re in trouble. That’s the next big plot being hatched by the GOP—the enfranchisement of all acres. When Wyoming adds its acre-votes to its three electoral votes, look out.

    Too bad cities are so awesome. Otherwise, we could take a million city dwellers and resettle them in more rural states to slant the elections in our favor. Really, NYC could spare a million people easy. If you can make it in New York, after all, you can make it anywhere. Even North Dakota, Utah, or Kentucky. It’ll be like the Dominionists, only with enough people to actually work.

    Posted by Orange  on  11/05  at  06:26 PM
  9. Gusto?  Gusto?  It’s not supposed to be sung with gusto. 

    It’s not like it’s some fucking drinking song!

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:38 PM
  10. Ralph Nader is running for “Sore Loser of the Year”:


    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:39 PM
  11. "Gusto” isn’t quite the word, but this little ditty has a bit of style: Don’t speak for me Sarah Palin:


    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:44 PM
  12. Whoops, here’s the full URL.

    “Gusto” isn’t quite the word, but this little ditty has a bit of style: Don’t speak for me Sarah Palin:


    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:45 PM
  13. Ok, class, once more with listlessness!

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:50 PM
  14. Ralph Nader is running for “Sore Loser of the Year”

    Holy fugging shit almighty.  The exchange at 3:10 - 3:20 really says it all.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  06:57 PM
  15. What people don’t understand about Nader is that Nader is Lieberman.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  07:12 PM
  16. Nader is Lieberman


    Posted by  on  11/05  at  07:24 PM
  17. And you can take my gusto when you pry it from my cold dead, uh, tongue, I guess.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  07:27 PM
  18. Gusto. Gusto. Haven’t I heard that name before?

    Posted by Hattie  on  11/05  at  08:36 PM
  19. No, Hattie, that’s Musto.  I will make you sing the Star Spangled Banner with Michael Musto.

    Posted by Michael  on  11/05  at  08:41 PM
  20. "Either you celebrate an electoral victory, which means that you respect the legitimacy of the winner, or you don’t...”

    ...which, through the miracle of not affirming the consequent, means you can still respect the legitimacy of the winner.*

    On the other hand, Bérubé, you really should be reproached for your maledicence.

    * Except in the case of Stevens, of course. No way that’s legit.

    Posted by Michael Drake  on  11/05  at  08:45 PM
  21. Does the Stealth Agenda include a position dedicated to shifting the paradigm of center-right? I mean, I think this has possibilities. For example, lack of gusto when singing the Star Spangled Banner should be the center-right way to sing it. Likewise, the center-right is always maledicent when it comes to Norm Coleman and opponents of gay marriage. It’s just who we are as a nation.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  09:02 PM
  22. Gusto. Gusto. Haven’t I heard that name before?

    Michael, there’s a Mr. Hazlitt on line 2. He wants his word back.

    Posted by peter ramus  on  11/05  at  09:15 PM
  23. I love that Fox News is all offended at Nader. That’s right Fox News, stand up for Obama. Mr. $600 billion who isn’t going to withdraw from Iraq, who wants to expand the military, who might be even more conservative than Bill, really needs your help there.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  09:45 PM
  24. This whole center-right business will be easily corrected when Sean Carroll is Secretary of the DODE (department of dark energy) He will invoke some super-symmetric transformation and what people think of as center-right will become just slightly to the left of Mao. That’s the hidden beauty of moving up the energy scale.


    Posted by  on  11/05  at  09:59 PM
  25. "Dark” energy?! Bloody racist…

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  10:58 PM
  26. If Michael Berube teaches English Lit, you are not going to sing the Star Spangled banner with gusto

    That’s true, you know.  I have it on excellent authority that Prof. Berube brings in Harpo, Chico and Groucho, but definitely not Gusto, to sing with his students.

    Thank heavens for people like the watchdog who wants to protect children from thinking that their country is always right and never wrong and that’s what I learned in school today, that’s what I learned in school.  If it weren’t for them, how would I know to appreciate people like those who make up my family - people who have the knack of loving something (or someone) who is good but flawed?  So bless all those people who need a little, ok a lot of, hypocrisy to cope with life.

    Imagonna go read Dickens now.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  11:10 PM
  27. sorry, that should be - country is anything but always right and never wrong

    Well, that’s why pencils have erasers and good blogs have edit features.  Great blogs, of course, can do without the edit features.

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  11:12 PM
  28. Hey now!

    I was maledictorian of my graduating class.  And I sing everything with gusto!

    But enough about me.  Let’s talk about what kind of celebration cake we’re going to eat now that Obama has been elected!  Streudel?  Red Velvet?  Bundt?  Pineapple Upside-Down?

    Posted by  on  11/05  at  11:31 PM
  29. Any kind of cake is OK with me—just so long as it faces Mecca and it’s in the shape of a crescent.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  12:09 AM
  30. Oh, I had some apples and some butter & cream and baked me a big Obama cake.

    Posted by Hattie  on  11/06  at  12:13 AM
  31. ’“The country must be governed from the middle,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. Repeating themes from election night, she said she plans to emphasize “civility” and “fiscal responsibility.”’

    Yes, that’s exactly what everyone wanted!  More civility and fiscal responsibility.  Amazing that “change” and “hope” meant “I hope that we’re going to change back to Hooverism”.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  01:06 AM
  32. But not my pesto.  And when my flight was delayed Sunday the gate agent kept blaming “gutsy” winds.  Re maledicent, I call thesaurus abuse.

    Captcha: “center,” just to piss off Rich.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  02:47 AM
  33. Hattie # 18:  “Wait! I know Gusto, the body-snatcher.  He owes me a favor.” -A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  04:55 AM
  34. If Michael Berube teaches English Lit, you are not going to sing the Star Spangled banner with gusto

    Folks are misunderestimating what this says; if MB teaches English Lit to somebody, somewhere in the world, then “you”, the universal reader, are not going to sing the SSB with gusto. And I for one believe it. Kind of a dangeral butterfly effect.

    Captcha the. “The”? Really? Am I being patronized here?

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  06:14 AM
  35. Ow! My paradigm!

    Posted by Jason B  on  11/06  at  08:40 AM
  36. MB @ 4: I am shocked. I feel robbed.

    All this time I’ve had the radio version crammed down my throat. I was never introduced to the extended club remix.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  09:20 AM
  37. I had some pretty damn funny things to say about singing the Star Spangled Banner with gusto, but you folks got to them first. Today I’m laughing at everything with a sense of superiority and beneficence. It might last until tomorrow, but I doubt it. Rumor has it John Kerry will be the next Secretary of State.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  10:06 AM
  38. Pssst, Michael, fellow Stealth Agendaists ... this is a secure channel, yes?  OK, good.  I don’t want to get all concern trollish on you, but our Anti-Gusto Plan does not appear to be working.  Also, two words: Larry Summers.  Please tell me these are actually signs that the Plan is working, trial balloons floated to throw off those clever Gustoists who have correctly identified our Stealthy Socialist Islamist Etcetera Tendencies.

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  10:21 AM
  39. Heck-of course now that Obama has been elected, and Michael has been allowed to teach English Lit to any students, anywhere, the SSB is forbidden.

    What will replace it is, of course, “Les Marseilles”.  It’s been a while, but I did do my high school in Montreal, and as I recall the third verse has some lines celebrating how ‘the gutters of our cities will flow red with the blood of the Republic’s enemies’. 

    I’ve too much a cold to go verify the exact words.  But reading a lot of the panicked wingnut bloggers, I have no doubt that that is, in fact, the likely outcome of all this.  Or so they worry.

    Captcha “wrong”, like they might be?

    Posted by  on  11/06  at  11:43 PM





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