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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 12:59 PM
Original message
So Bush Is Reading _The Stranger_?
Edited on Wed Aug-16-06 01:00 PM by Plaid Adder
I hear Tony Snow has informed us that Bush is whiling away his vacation time at Crawford--the world's most brush-free ranch--by reading Albert Camus's classic existentialist novel The Stranger.

That's supposed to make us feel better?

The Stranger is a popular text for French courses in high school and college, mainly because Camus's style is easier for students to deal with than, say, Proust's or Balzac's, and because the novel is relatively short, and because you can have a nice meaty intellectual/philosophical discussion about the world view it presents and Camus's protagonist's realization of "the terrible indifference of the world" to him and to humanity in general (an indifference that he seems to have internalized and extended to all the other human beings around him).

It is popular at Crawford, perhaps, because the reason the protagonist is in this existential plight in the first place is that one fine day he was walking along the beach in Algeria with a loaded gun and shot "an Arab" for no reason that is ever clear either to himself or to anyone else. When tried for the shooting, all he can come up with as an answer to "Why did you shoot him?" is, "Because of the heat."

I don't think most people who read The Stranger identify with the protagonist, who is meant to be alienated and alienating; but perhaps Bush will open a new chapter in that text's reception history.

I can't wait for his next press conference. "So, Mr. President, what do you have to say this week about why we invaded Iraq?" "Uh...it was because of the heat."

You think it's gotten weird enough, and then it just gets weirder,

The Plaid Adder
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. He heard the song "Killing an Arab" was inspired by it. nt
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Nice one!
I remember hearing that single for the first time in late 1990 and then the ill-informed uproar that followed in the wake of Gulf War I.

Ah, memories.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Kind of like the Brits in Basra playing "Rock the Casbah"
I'm sure this sort of thing is what the Clash had in mind when they wrote that song...

:rolleyes:
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warrens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Read, perhaps; comprehend, no way
I dunno who they think they're kidding. I doubt he could get through Stephen King without a tutor.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'll bet it's a "book on tape"
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Forgot to flip the tape. Complained that it didn't have an ending. There's
not much of a story there. Seemed to end right in the middle.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. He knows nothing about it and assumes it is a book about
a mysterious hard-to-find stranger who can be blamed for just about anything. He's looking for new techniques on how to find someone else (some mysterious stranger) to blame when he can't blame Osama or terruhists any more. He won't make it through the entire book, I assure you.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. It would have been more accurate to report that he had
"listened to part" of it.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
41. You are right.
He still hasn't progressed past "My Pet Goat." If you ask him about that though, he will blame September the 11th for the end of his reading lessons.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. No, that story is completely incorrect...
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Check out study question 8. You don't have a why not? option.
8. Mersault is described as a "social monster." Do you agree with this assessment - explain why.



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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. I hope this is true.
Perhaps it will give him pause to wonder about what "the heat" might be in his own life.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. hmmm.. it's not that long of a book... how long is it going to take him?
I mean, I think I read it in a few hours... mostly all in one sitting. :shrug:

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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. 144 pages listed on Amazon.com. n/t
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #17
38. yep... and big type, at that
I mean, it's a pretty quick read. :dunce:

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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. I said the other day that hearing Bush* had finally finished "The Pet
Goat" after 4 1/2 years and gone on to that massive "novel" by Camus reminded me of my granddaughter telling me, "Grandpa, I'm reading books with chapters now. I sure like those chapter books."
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. your granddaughter probably likes the chapter books
way more than chimpy. :rofl: :hi:

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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. Got lotsa purty pictures?
I just can't imagine him reading anything but comics.
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. He's got the graphic novel version. n/t
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
9. I highly doubt it. Snow is giving the old snow job again
if he's reading anything it's a bunch of comic books.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. He saw the Ricky Bobby movie and actually noticed that the
French race car driver was reading it while driving. Well, our POS (Prez of State) wants to have a handle on what terrrrrrrsts read, so he's having Laura read it to him, a page a night.

At least, that's what I suspect.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. I call bullshit.
No way Bush reads Camus. Not unless someone is telling him what it means. I teach high school literature, and I know the Bushes of the class and none of them would be able to get through Camus because it would make them think too much.

What an asshole.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Oh, come on--give him some credit
I imagine this reaction when the book was handed to him:

Bush: "Camus. Famous-Camus. That rhymes, get it? Heh heh."

Snow: "Uh, Mr. President, it's pronounced cam-MOO."

Bush: "Camel what?"

If he can read anything more complex that the dosage instructions on his anti-psychotic meds, I'd be amazed.
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Couldn't pour piss out of his cowboy boots with the instructions written
on the heel. Words are too big. Continued on next boot.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
31. Your post
is one of the few times when someone's sig line seems to be almost a seamless inclusion to the post.

And I bet Bush will tell us that the second book he read was that "Crispy Mountain book by Alexander Dumbass."
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. I second that
No way he read Camus on his vacation.

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mtowngman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. What was the book he was reading while we were
being attacked. So now he's an intellectual?
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Cygnusx2112 Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
16. One quote from that book has stuck with me since ...
high school.

Maybe strangely appropriate to the person reading it now.

As the main character is shooting the Arab he says:

"And each successive shot was another loud, fateful rap on the door of my undoing."



;)
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. You may be onto something Cygnusx2112...
this could be some sort of message or code, it seems to be an awfully "strange" announcement, and I don't believe for a second that he is actually reading that book.

:tinfoilhat:
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
24. It's hilarious how they always scream "Bush is reading a book, Bush is rea
reading a book. The necessity to tell everybody that he is reading a book just goes to show that he USUALLY DOES NOT read, and his reading is such a big deal that they feel the need to promote the fact.

If you don't read, it is the same thing as you can't read. (Quote found in my library)
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Yep, see post #23...n/t
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Exactly
Why don't they tell us what he is reading while he isn't on vacation. OK, OK, it often seems like he is always on vacation, but most intelligent people are constantly reading. We only hear of Dim Son's reading when he has time off from his "hard work."
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
26. I thought he was going to listen to "The Stranglers"
Because I was going to suggest either The Gospel According to The Meninblack or No More Heroes.

Actually, when I first heard Bushie was going to be reading The Stranger, all I could think of was Reagan's horrible mispronouncation of Camus' name.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
28. This is Just Too Weird, Is It Some Sort of Deliberate Message???
First of all, I doubt he's really reading the book. This is some sort of propoganda ploy, the overt meaning is of course "See, Bush is NOT an idiot! He reads! Really, he does!", as they always go out of their way to mention he's reading SOMETHING.

But as you pointed out, the plot is bizarrely relevant to current events considering the wholesale slaughter of Arabs currently transpiring for a similarly "no damn good reason". So what's the UNDERLYING meaning of this propoganda??? These scumbags ALWAYS send veiled (or not so veiled) messages about their intentions, policies, philosophy etc. via "code" talk. What's the code here? :shrug:
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Sort of like this code. Substitute an invasion of Lebanon?
Edited on Wed Aug-16-06 01:38 PM by shain from kane
"... in 1944, the code message sent by the French service of the BBC to the resistance movement in France to warn them of the Normandy landings was two of the famous lines of Verlaine. 'The long sobs of autumn's violins wound my heart with a monotonous languor,'" de Villepin said."



Kill as many Arabs as you can. If 1 bullet doesn't do it, use 5. We'll be on the sidelines cheering for you.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
30. Reading 'The Stranger'? How surprising!
He's more of a stranger to reading.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. When he identifies with the protagonist, Bush can be an avid reader
This is one of those rare cases.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
33. The gay-friendly Seattle weekly rag? Awesome!
There's a lot he could learn from it!

:rofl:
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SeattleVet Donating Member (708 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
34. Is he trying to get some tips from Dan Savage's column,
or just browsing the dominatrix ads?

http://www.thestranger.com

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eliphaiku Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
35. We know it won't be Chomsky!
Or anyone else that would prompt him to think for himself.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
36. Ya would think he would read something serious...LIKE GLOBAL WARMING
All his boots have TGIF on it.....

Toes Go In First
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
37. If Bush ever reads "To Everest And Beyond" by Sir Edmund Hillary
he may yet again change his reason for why we invaded Iraq: "Because it was there".
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
39. Snow meant to say that Bush was *giving* himself a "stranger"
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. His idea of "stranger" is when he switches hands in mid-stroke. n/t
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
45. Anyone For An Oral Bookreport?
When a kid tells you they have read a book that they have not read you can generally tell within about 15 seconds.
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
46. For those interested in the political context of Camus' post war novels

Read "The Left Bank" by Herbert Lottman

I contains the best analysis of Camus' writing.
In it Lottman makes a convincing claim that Camus
was not an existentialist but continues in the tradition
of the French 'Romantic Moralists'

The book also goes into great detail regarding Camus'
disdain for Sartre who he viewed as a collaborator
and closely aligned with the notorious Stalinist
Louis Aragon.

Camus worked with the Trotskiite wing of the resistance
movement who staunchly opposed and did not trust the Stalinist
Aragonist wing.

They had good reason not to since the Aragonist's, according to
Lottman's research, either betrayed Trotskiite resistance fighters
to the Nazis or failing that kidnapped and hung them in the
Fontainebleau Forest outside Paris.

If Camus was alive today and wrote a moral allegory featuring
Bush it would not be flattering. As one poster previously stated
Meursault, the main character in the Stranger lacked all the essential
features of a moral subject; conscience, emotional empathy and self
reflection.

Bush is Meursault pure and simple
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