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Postcards from Buster

So you’re wondering—at least four of you—just what it is I’m doing that’s so important as to prevent me from blogging about Harriet Miers and Fitzmas.  Well, I’ll tell you.

As a member of the Modern Language Association’s Executive Council and as a nonvoting member of the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee (2002-05), I attend a four-day meeting every year in late October, one goal of which is to plan for the meeting of the Delegate Assembly at the MLA Convention in late December.  Thanks to our painstaking efforts in this October meeting, the elected delegates to the December convention (roughly 300 of the 10,000 attendees) will be fully apprised of the difference between MLA motions and MLA resolutions, MLA moving violations and MLA parking violations, and (most important) MLA defensive holding penalties and MLA pass-interference penalties.

But here’s the really important stuff:  on Wednesday I realized that my right shoe had developed a tear in the vamp and would need to be repaired.  So I brought it to the cobbler at the southernmost subway entrance to Grand Central at 41st and Park, who informed me that he could fix it within 48 hours by replacing and restitching both soles for the price of $60.  While my shoes were in the shop, I spent my spare time tooling around New York in sneakers at a reasonably healthy clip, which reminded me about the days when I worked after school as a foot messenger.  How long ago was I a foot messenger?  So long ago that there were foot messengers in New York.  Almost thirty years ago, folks.  This would be long before the development of things like “e” “mail” and “facsimile” “machines.” And I learned, back in those days, that if you walk against the flow of traffic and the sequence of the traffic lights on Manhattan’s north-south avenues (in other words, south on Madison, north on Fifth, south on Sixth, etc.) at the rate of 45 seconds per block (or 4 mph, since there are 20 east-west streets per mile), you will hit one intersection just as the light turns green, the next just before the light turns red, the next just as the light turns green, and so on to infinity or until you hit a body of water. 

This principle still holds true today.  Just fyi, for those of you who are walking around Manhattan in a hurry—at least four of you.  Walk against the lights, 45 seconds per block.

You’re welcome.

Now, all the time I was walking briskly up and down the north-south avenues as a foot messenger twenty-eight years ago, my high school classmate Patrick Fitzgerald was preparing to embark on the college career that would prepare him for the law school that would prepare him for the Department of Justice job in which he would eventually prepare the indictment of one I. Lewis Libby on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, making false statements, and engaging in consensual extramarital oral sex (damn!  we didn’t get him for the really important stuff!).  And because I’ve been spending all my days in meetings whose purpose it is to keep track of how my professional literature-and-language organization keeps track of its scholarly enterprises and its members’ working conditions, my understanding of national news is necessarily fragmentary and incomplete.

So perhaps you all can tell me what it means that three people have named Karl Rove as Kid A?  Is everything in its right place?  Or should I wait for the next punch?

Posted by on 10/28 at 09:33 PM
  1. Well, Fitzgerald certainly has Knives Out for wrongdoers and wouldn’t mind hearing the National Anthem, I’m sure. Etc.

    Posted by  on  10/28  at  11:58 PM
  2. I hope when you go back for your shoe that you’ll stop in at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. We were in NYC for a week recently but I never got there. Had a fantastic lunch at Barney Greengrass the Sturgeon King though--scrambled eggs with caramelized onions and salty lox, onion bagel and cream cheese, coffee. The best. (Amsterdam between 86th and 87th, near where I grew up.)

    Posted by  on  10/29  at  12:22 AM
  3. Well you should thank your lucky stars, Buster.

    I’m lying in a pool of my own drool in the bathroom threshold, clicking on links like an operantly conditioned pigeon. Josh Marshall has me reading Byron York, fer chrissakes.

    Posted by  on  10/29  at  02:30 AM
  4. From your Jesuit and Latin accented education,you probably already have surmised where the true end of this investigation um lies.  KID A is but the antipenult.  There are two more syllables less stressed that remain to be spoken.
    Or that could be some Xavier by way of Seventeenth Street crosstown Manhattan spin.

    Posted by The Heretik  on  10/29  at  09:30 AM
  5. Let me throw this out. Ol’ Fitz is holding more serious violations over Scooter’s head to force a plea deal, with minimum jail time IF Scooter rolls over on Kid A. Most prosecutors worth their salt try to work up the food chain to land the biggest fish possible. Unlike what we saw in the
    torture going on in Iraq, where the only targets were the little fish.

    Posted by  on  10/29  at  11:14 AM
  6. Mnsr Mk t Cmpn Hdqurtrs s t wr:
    Th ML. ’v hrd f ‘m: Mdrn Lsbns, ssctd. My sggst y rrng lv wb strm? Sknk-Vsn! ’m sng lk tht wrd-cw ln Shwltr nd n f th Glbrt-Gbr brds n mjr spphc mbrc. r ths tw Hh-vwd gnss, Grbr & Jhnsn, n Lvndr Lc. Mk t hppn fr d hms, Mkstr: P. M. P.!

    Posted by Mister Toad  on  10/29  at  11:21 AM
  7. Now, all the time I was walking briskly up and down the north-south avenues as a foot messenger twenty-eight years ago, my high school classmate Patrick Fitzgerald was preparing to embark on the college career that would prepare him for the law school that would prepare him for the Department of Justice job in which he would eventually prepare the indictment of one I. Lewis Libby on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, making false statements ...

    So there is a network to discover after all!

    Posted by  on  10/29  at  12:53 PM
  8. I agree with many others. There’s more coming from Fitzgerald.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  10/29  at  12:58 PM
  9. Your old classmate hit a triple but stopped at first base.

    Posted by Mitchell Freedman  on  10/29  at  01:06 PM
  10. The MLA:

    Misanthropic Lascivious Anarchists

    or

    MLA: Many Lying Assclowns

    etc.

    (10,000 Per-fessional Comma Correctors and doubtful any have yet made it to a categorical syllogism)

    Posted by H. Alceister Rigorswirth  on  10/29  at  03:31 PM
  11. Bush’s next Supreme Court pick?  You heard it here first: Patrick Fitzgerald.  He seems to have gotten to know the administration fairly well already.  Solves a couple of problems with one swoop, a couple of birds with one stone, a couple of ... oh, never mind.

    Posted by  on  10/29  at  08:19 PM
  12. Woah - Radiohead refs on your blog.  Cool.

    And dammit, your tales of rapid walking in NY made me homesick and nostalgic.  I was the queen of getting places fast when I was a NY paralegal. You may be stuck in dull bureaucratic meetings, but at least you’re in New York. Sigh.

    I have nothing intelligent to say about Fitzgerald that the other commenters haven’t already said.  all I can add is that I like his good Irish name. smile

    (Yes, I changed my alias, but I’ve been here before.)

    Posted by Dr. Virago of Quod She  on  10/30  at  04:20 PM
  13. Oh, and I miss NY shoe repair shops.

    Posted by Dr. Virago of Quod She  on  10/30  at  04:21 PM
  14. Michael—I see you disemvowelled your friend Mr. Toad above and that he came back again under yet another name.  But I’m surprised you haven’t figured out who he is, all this time.  Think about it.  Someone who’s obsessed with you.  Someone who hates literature professors, calls them fascists and collaborators, accuses them of graft and murder.  Someone who’s independently wealthy.  Someone who gets seriously unhinged in eight different ways at the slightest little thing.  Someone who doesn’t mind embarrassing himself repeatedly in public forums.

    Michael, you’re clearly dealing with David Horowitz.  Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing to see. . . .

    Posted by  on  10/30  at  06:52 PM
  15. Holy Jesus in a rickshaw, Mole.  And as it happens, his main IPs are from southern California, to boot.  Talk about hiding a letter in plain sight!

    Now, this “Dr. Virago” here—I have no idea who she is.  But I’ll be glad to challenge her to a walking race in midtown at noon, any weekday.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/30  at  08:15 PM
  16. Not only a comma-corrector, pro schports fan, Harry Potter reader, and MLA associate, but IP cop: Yr so, like, deep Mike. Posting a few critical comments here and there is not a crime, Crimefighter. 

    A MLA convention is about as scary and irrational as a Baptist convention.

    Posted by SoCal  on  10/30  at  09:33 PM
  17. No one said it was a crime, David.  You can relax.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/30  at  11:08 PM
  18. I slipped away
    I slipped on a little white lie
    Kid A lyrics:

    We got heads on sticks
    You got ventriloquists
    We got heads on sticks
    You got ventriloquists

    Standing in the shadows at the end of my bed [x4]

    Rats and children follow me out of town
    Rats and children follow me out of town
    Come on kids…

    Posted by  on  10/31  at  01:43 AM
  19. You know, you *might* be able to beat me in a walking race, Michael, but be careful when challenging marathoners to races of any kind—they might take you up on it!

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  10/31  at  12:21 PM
  20. This is strange. My request includes the word eggs, but I was expecting receipt of other information.
    But okay, we will read it.

    Posted by Computers Software  on  01/05  at  05:32 PM
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  22. I realized that my right shoe had developed a tear in the vamp and would need to be repaired.  So I brought it to the cobbler at the southernmost subway entrance to Grand Central

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