30 March 2005

Billmon's new technique

Once known as one of the funniest, snarkiest political commentators in Blogistan, Billmon of Whisky Bar has moved into humour so dark it no longer makes you laugh. His main technique for the last seveal months has been the simple juxtaposition of quotes. Here's an example.
One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today . . . Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom, " not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.

USA Today
U.S. students say press freedoms go too far
January 31, 2005

And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9/11 generation --- the kids who first became aware of the news under an "Americans need to watch what they say" administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment --- or the loss of your show on ABC.

Bill Maher
Kids Say the Darndest, Most Stalinist Things
February 18, 2005

Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party.

On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother --- it was all a sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals.

It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak --- "child hero" was the phrase generally used --- had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

George Orwell

Of course, this is a technique that I pioneered, and no doubt Billmon will we crediting me any day now.

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