Friday, May 11, 2007

Hand on heart

It seems to be naked art week here in the WIIIAIosphere. This 70-foot balloon is a self-portrait of Pawel Althamer on display in a park in Milan. And yes, the only picture I found had this strategically placed bicyclist in it.

(Update: an alert reader has sent me the URL of some better pictures of the balloon [from this Flickr account). This is precisely why I have a blog: so that people will provide me with pictures of anatomically-correct balloons.)

In the last days of his premiership, Tony Blair is still focused on the one thing that really matters: his personal reputation. “I ask you to accept one thing. Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right.” Hand on heart? After ten years in power (and with more power than was exercised by any previous prime minister, Thatcher included), his greatest worry as he leaves office is that people believe he was not sincere. Don’t know, Tony, don’t care.

Bush gave a speech to a Republican party fundraising gala tonight. He gave the traditional Republican party salute.

$10.5 million was raised. So Bush delivered $10,500,000 worth of speech:

“The enemy we face is fearless. They’re mean. They know new -- they know new -- they know no boundaries of civilization as we know it, see.”

“[T]he enemy that is causing the spectacular deaths of the innocent is al Qaeda, the very same people that launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 citizens on our soul -- soil.”

On AIDS assistance to Africa: “People have questioned, is it a necessary action to take. I say it’s necessary.” Who exactly questioned whether giving antiretroviral drugs to people with HIV is necessary? I want names. “I say it’s necessary to help relieve human suffering. I also say it’s necessary to make sure our soul is strong.” Or possibly our soil.

“There would be a vacuum in Iraq, and in that vacuum would flow extremists.” Honestly, I thought I knew how a vacuum worked. My 11th-grade physics teacher really should have covered the flow of extremists through a vacuum.

If Blair is still protesting his sincerity, Bush has to continuously reassure us that he “understands” things. “I understand the consequences of this historic moment.” “I understand the consequences of a pandemic like HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa.” Of course you do, George. Call up Tony. Maybe if you tell him you believe he always did what he thought was right, he’ll tell you that he believes you know what the word “pandemic” means.

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