Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

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Ancient History

|Nostalgia | Prudence Potpourri

The Law-Breaking Former First Lady

Jenny Sanford, who divorced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford when his affair with an Argentinian woman became public during his second term in office, has been fined $1,040 by the beach town of Sullivan’s Island because one of her dogs broke loose while she was away at a yoga class.

The Charleston Post and Courier reports:

Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says there’s no doubt her dog is guilty of running loose. But she plans to contest the $1,040 ticket the town’s police wrote, calling it way too steep.

“I’m not knocking the police,” she said Thursday. “But isn’t this being a bit over the top?”

Sanford has an April 3 court date for a ticket she received after her 8-year-old black Labrador, Julius, broke free the morning of Feb. 22.

The dog got out when she went to a yoga class. The property’s buried electronic fencing, meant to contain the animal’s movements to inside her Atlantic Avenue homesite, was broken. It was the first time he’d ever bolted, she said.

“He is guilty,” she said. “The dog wandered, and I know it is against the rules.”

The bigger issue, she contends, is whether Sullivan’s Island is being heavy-handed in its dog enforcement. “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” she said.

It turns out that Sanford and her pooches are repeat offenders, too.

Sanford conceded she’s had runaway dog issues before, including another pet Lab, Jeep, that got out twice before and finally was ticketed about $500.

For Julius, this was a first-time offense, she said. Her question remains: Is the town “putting (its) fines where they should be?”

Sanford does have a point. Sullivan’s Island seems to be hounding her. It’s not as if she hasn’t made a dogged effort to control her Labs. To fine someone a thousand dollars due to a temporary electronic fence malfunction is extremely excessive. So much for living in a small town where everyone knows your name.

|Nostalgia

The 2011 2nd Annual Sooper-Proodey Year In Review Awards

[Lights dim. Timpani drum roll. Baritone-voiced announcer booms throughout the auditorium.]

Ladies and gentlemen…welcome! to the 2011 Second Annual Sooper-Proodey Awards. Here are your hosts, SooperMexican and Prudence Paine.

[Curtains part. Sooper enters in a dashing black tuxedo and red cape, with Proodey in a matching evening gown, to uproarious applause. Soop smiles and motions for everyone to take their seats.]

Thank you, thank you. You are too kind. Gracias. Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to have you all join us once again as we take a moment on New Year’s Day to look over all the scandals, shenanigans, milestones and memories of the past year. As with our inaugural 2010 ceremony, we’ll mark our progress with comparisons to the previous year. Proodey?

Thank you, Soop. It’s such an exciting night! What a glamorous audience! So many glittering awards! Without further ado, let’s get the big show rolling with our first golden trophy:

[heralding trumpets]

THE FEDERAL BOOT ON OUR THROATS AWARD

In 2010, the Obama administration erected a federal caged wrestling ring and  demonstrated their cunning honey badger nature in carrying out their grudge match against Big Business. We all gasped at their audacity as Obama’s tag team threw the giant BP to the mat, cracked the Folding Chair of Due Process over its corporate corpus and placed their lead-filled boot on the company’s throat until it cried “uncle” and stuffed twenty billion dollars into the presidential unitard.

In 2011, the O-team has not let up on its full-scale assault on the engines of the US economy, breathing down Business’ back and picking its pockets, acting like they just don’t care as corporate America yelps for mercy. This year, the Obama crew has gone after private industry with a vengeance, smashing the beautifully inlaid neck of  Gibson Guitar with a piledriver maneuver and putting the Keystone Pipeline in a sleeper hold.

And this year’s winner…or more appropriately, this year’s loser of the Federal Boot on the Throat Award is…

[pops envelope flap open]

Boeing! [approving applause]

Obama’s union minions dizzied this behemoth with a lengthy airplane spin, until it begged to be allowed to use union labor forevermore. Congratulations, fellas! For caving in to the National Labor Relations Board‘s demands, your planes will being weighted down with a fat and nappy workforce for years to come. Come on up and claim your award, Boeing!

[The still punch-drunk Boeing staggers toward the stage but stumbles and falls into some starlet's lap. Audience gasps, giggles and guffaws.]

Ooof! Boeing’s gonna have one major hangover tomorrow! That’s okay, boys. We’ll send your award over to you, with an icepack and some bloody mary mix. Take it away, Soop! What’s up next?

[Sooper takes the microphone.] Thank you, Proodence.

On a more somber note, every year we see capricious mother Gaia strike down our fellow man for our sins against our emotional global mother. In 2010, Haiti experienced one of the worst nature-caused disasters, and 2011 had its own share of anguish and misery. A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, which triggered a disastrous tsunami. Storms hit Alabama with terrible results, flooding enveloped Thailand, and a 7.2 earthquake caused many deaths in Turkey.

In order to recognize that life has many trials and tribulations, we offer the following acknowledgement:

THE WORST GAIA-CURSED DISASTER TO BEFALL MAN FOR 2011

…and the winnah is…

[bongo beats]

The 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates!!!

[wild applause]

Yes, yes, even the most positive Pollyannaish pro-Republican ideologue could not but grimace at the stumbling and bumbling events of the 2012 GOP run to replace Obama. From Cain’s numerous “indiscretions,” which were obviously trumped up by pizza-hating conspirators, and Rick Perry’s marble-mouthed rhetorical skills, to Michele Bachmann’s flapping eyelashes, Ron Paul’s Paulophrenia, and Mitt Romney’s placid smile programmed and poll-tested by his Wall Street puppeteers, no one seems pleased by the debates. No one, that is, except the Democrats, as the venerable Thomas Sowell points out.

Let’s not forget whiny Rick Santorum, demanding attention like a petulant teacher’s pet, or Jon Huntsman, the only one running for European president of the United States, with his not-so-subtle condescension and clumsy attempts at edgy humor. There was the awful effort by Donald Trump’s toupee to moderate a debate in order to promote his show and advocate the bombing of China and the forced extraction of Iraqi children’s vital fluids.

Today the feeding frenzy will be consummated by the first caucus, in Iowa, and the circular firing squad will arm itself with automatic weaponry to take more victims on this bloody, weary road to challenge Obama. More and more, we, the conservative public, are seized with the boring dread of impending election acceptance. Perhaps this campaign season has done to us what 40 years of Europeanized social engineering could not do: afflicted us with existential ennui!

[Prudence emerges from the curtain and briskly joins SooperMexican at the microphone. Smiling she says:] *ahem* Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. I need just a quick word with my cohost here…

[With a clenched smile, she whispers into Soop's ear. The audience hushes to strain to listen to her barely audible words over the PA.] Mexy! While I can tolerate some gentle jabbing at MY Michele and the two Ricks, I did not know that you were going to protect one candidate from any lambasting. And how convenient that unmentioned candidate just happens to be YOUR candidate, the Noot!!!!

[Soop gently shoves Proodey behind curtain]

As I was saying… Not even Paul Krugman could see an upside to this disaster, and he’s a Keynesian! I need a tequila shot or three. Proodey, take away the next award!

 

Thank you, NewtperMexican.

[Proodey slips a mickey into Soop's drink while he's distracted by her dress.]

Last year, the Tea Party changed the face of Congress and put fear in the pants of big spenders. Did Time magazine make the Tea Party the Man of the Year, acknowledge that they had made the greatest impact on the events of 2010? Silly question, I know. Of course it did not. Because Time does not agree with the Tea Party’s objectives.

Yet Time had the brazenness to name a bunch of rock-throwing, raping, cop-car-defecating, lice-infested hipsters as its 2011 Man of the Year. It raised on to its liberal pedestal people who have no mission other than to provoke local police forces and municipal governments that have no means to resolve their unstated concerns even if they agreed with them.

Therefore, in honor of Time‘s glorification of civic inanity and hippie nostalgia, we present…

TIME’S SCAM OF THE YEAR AWARD!

We searched through all the Occupy Wall Street videos to find the one that best captures their purpose, their intelligence, their method of communicating to shine the light on Time’s vaunted Man of the Year.

And the winner is…..

Nightmare on Occupy Wall Street! [audience gives twinkles]

Ecce the prime example of what Time (the measure, not the magazine) will soon forget, if it ever took notice in the first place:

[applause]

Take it away, el Sooper! Not that I’m implying that you steal stuff. By the way, I’d like my hubcaps back, please….

They have been appropriated for the glorious Reconquista.

This year has seen the coming-of-age of that venerable social media microblogging platform that I like to call… el Twitter. We saw celebrities, sports figures, politicians, pundits all make headlines because of their inane and often incredibly stupid gaffes on twitter! In addition, we saw many bloggers and citizen journalists use this media to seize fifteen minutes of fame, and beyond!

Last year, we awarded this honor named for Meghan McCain to Keith Olbermann, the worst tweeter in the world; this year, we have many, many worthy nominees competing for the coveted:

MEGHAN McCAIN BOOBY PRIZE!

And the winner is… [breaks pinata… kids grab all the candies. Soop waltzes into the mexi-throng, grabs an envelope and opens it…]

The winner is Alec Baldwin!!

[the crowd goes wild, laughing and clapping and tweeting insults to the #AlecBaldwin hashtag]

Because he’s been committed to a sanatorium, to accept his prize is his interlocutor and twitter nemesis, SooperMexican!! [hands award to himself]

Only Alec Baldwin could carry the moron torch that hath been passed on by Keith Olbermann with his liberal twitter rant spurtings. He began his lonely drunken march into insanity by tussling with a very handsome and witty Sooper Mexican on twitter once, and then once again. He insulted America’s moms, and tried to mock conservatives on twitter by comparing his follower and tweet counts! Now there’s a man who’s secure with himself.

To add insult to his own mental injury, he caused a scene on an airplane, had to be tossed off by the captain, and tweeted arrogantly about it. He then shamelessly portrayed the pilot apologizing to Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, showing the entire world his smug vainglory cannot be quelled! Thankfully, the ridicule he received made him recede from the twittersphere at least

Finally, as a Christmas gift to America, Alec sadly announced that his dream had died of rising above a bit character on a sitcom with poor ratings and running for mayor of New York City.

As the writer of the twitter pebble that got the big idiotic elitist rock rolling towards the abyss, I’d like to say, “Thank you, Alec. Thank you so much.”

[Sooper bows to a standing ovation, breaks the award over his knee, and motions to Prudence.]

That was quite a sooper smackdown! And the bad behavior continued all over the world all year long—and not just by celebrities. Politicians competed to see who could crash and burn in the most dazzling sex scandal. In honor of 2010′s most bizarre sex scandal leading to the resignation of a political figure, we present…

[tambourine shake, shake, shake, thump]

THE ERIC MASSA “TICKLE ME” AWARD!

And our nominees are…

[chorus of bleating vuvuzela horns]

Arnold Schwarzenegger! He admitted to his mistress and his 13-year-old love child. Since he waited until after his term as a liberal Republican governor of California ran out before he revealed this teenage tidbit, he didn’t lose his job—-but he did lose a wife…maybe.

Then there’s John Edwards. Fortunately for us, he never made it into the Pennsylvania Avenue job for which he tried to sell his soul on Ebay, so it wasn’t his to lose. Yet there was enough proof that an old woman (and others) bought him, so he could pass her money on to hush up his pregnant honey. After years of his running from the law and paparazzi, a grand jury handed down an indictment earlier this year, leaving him to insinuate that he was contemplating suicide and begging his mistress to marry him or move in so that she can’t testify against him.

Across the pond, there was Silvio Berlusconi losing his long-held job as Italy’s Prime Minister for his hosting teenage prostitutes at his “bunga bunga” sex dinners. (Guess even Italians that elect a porn star and a pre-op transgender communist to their parliament have their limits for political propriety.)

Straddling the pond, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, got accused of rape by a hotel maid, only to have the New York district attorney drop the charges against him when the woman’s accusations seemed to fall apart, but not before DSK resigned from his job and a French journalist claimed he tried to rape her during an interview in 2002.

Businessman Herman Cain’s train to the White House was quickly derailed once decade-old charges of sexual harassment turned into the revelation of a 13-year mistress. (Wonder if a numerologist would connect him and Arnold on that?)

And last but not least, we have the Three Lustkateers: Chris Lee (R-NY), he of the bare chested Craigslist ad that turns out of have been seeking transgendered hookups; David Wu (D-OR), happily insane he of the footie tiger suit and affair with the underage daughter of a supporter; and Anthony Weiner (D-NY), he of the underwear tweets who apparently was also trying to arrange a male-dominated menage a trois with women he was sexting around the country.

Trannies and tigers and trios, oh my!

Out of all of these philanderers, the one that tickles us the most, and therefore the winner, is….may I have the envelope please…

[Andrew Breitbart moseys out and over to the microphone, carrying the award envelope. He addresses the surprised audience, as their bewilderment turns to excited cheers of recognition.]

I’m here coincidentally. I just arrived at LaGuardia and at the media’s request, I came on over. I didn’t know they were going to be announcing this. I’m staying at a hotel about three blocks away, so I decided to come on by and see who the winner was. [Audience murmurs. Breitbart rips open the envelope]

And the winner of the Tickle Me Massa Award is…

…for perpetuating a false malicious meme in blaming the messenger, blowing up his own job while still keeping his Twitter open (unlike Alec Baldwin doing the reverse)

WeinerGate!

[Thunderous audience applause]

Thank you, Andrew Breitbart for stopping by. [Audience applauds and stands, as he walks off the stage]

Let’s use this moment to present our new…

LIGHTNING AWWWWWWWAAAARRRRDDDDD!

This special prize goes to our favorite RedEye correspondent on the Fox News late night show. We completely neglected this prestigious award last year, so this fella will be forever known as our first recipient. [audience shifts nervously in their seats]

And the winner is… [maracas shake]

Flamenco Chihuahua!!!!!

[Audience erupts into cheers and begins a conga line through the auditorium to Juanlu Montoya's "Ana Maria"!]

But now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, and here’s SooperMexy with another major award!

[Sooper saunters out, margarita in hand, as a mariachi band plays a peppy tune.]

I’m not sure what’s in this drink. Or what’s going on at this awards show.

As we peer glassy-eyed through the hazy margarita glass of news stories past, we’re reminded of the domestic terror attack way back in February 2010 on the IRS building in Austin, Texas. The media took no small measure of glee in quickly connecting it to every conservative they could think of, short of claiming it was an inside job organized by Abe Lincoln. 2011 saw its own share of some of the worst knee-jerk media reactions to underdeveloped stories. But with the emergence of New Media, the common person has been able to define for himself the context of the news he reads, and even craft his own headlines! In fact, pinko commie media has gotten so bad, conservatives have gotten tired of hearing about it; it’s the same old story, over and over.

In that spirit, let’s delve into boredom once more, and see the worst…

KNEE-JERK MEDIA REACTION of 2011!

[tweets out to the prize committee from his iPhone. Receives a direct message… reads:]

And the winner is.. whoah! This unprecedented!!! A Three-Way tie!!! [confused applause]

The winners are… the pathetic media coverage of the Arab Spring in Egypt, the tragic shooting of Gabby Giffords, and the Oslo shooter!

The supposed Arab Spring in Egypt was lauded by media pundits as a democratic uprising against a Middle Eastern tyrant, Hosni Mubarak. As the coverage continued, as much as news outlets wanted to assign credit to their saint and savior Barack Obama, he would not speak out in favor of the revolution, nor would he send any support. The days ticked by as his bony, gangly finger stuck stubbornly in the air, trying to sense what wind of fortune would direct his vague and ill-conceived foreign policy. Meanwhile, the media, and later, the Occupy protestors, gladly embraced the overthrow, with not a thought to the chance that maybe this pro-Western despot might be the only thing keeping the extremist Islamo-fascists from power.

Now, in an incredible effort to backpedal, the Left is trying to rebrand the Muslim Brotherhood as moderates, since even more extreme Islamists seized power in recent elections. It’s tough to stay intellectually honest while justifying your discredited biases!

Second, just to be fair, is the knee-jerk reaction of conservatives, including myself, when the horrible news of the Oslo shootings came out. Immediately, and I think reasonably, many conservatives posited that this was an Islamist attack. As the details came out, we realized that this was the shooter the media was waiting for: Caucasian, supposedly Christian, easily labeled as a right-wing extremist. Then, surprisingly, as more details came out, he seemed to end up being some weird mix of European nationalism and Nietzschean power-of-the-will atheist existentialism.

Finally, the terrible shooting of Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) provided us with the worst and most maddening of knee-jerk reactions by the media. Before the victims’ blood could dry, the media had already gleefully pinned this on Sarah Palin and other conservatives. Markos of the Daily Kos broke the speed of sound while running to type this accusation: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” They voraciously reported on any tidbit of insinuation that the insane shooter, Jared Loughner, was a Tea Partier (he wasn’t), a Rush Limbaugh enthusiast (nope, not that either), or a rabid conservative (wrong again). As it turns out, he was obsessed with a grammatical conspiracy that brainwashes Americans.

Far from admitting his insanity, and their culpability, the media will allow the occasional vague attribution of guilt to Sarah Palin, the lightning rod of liberal criticism. This was so egregious that it occasioned an famous opinion column by Jonah Goldberg entitled “To Hell With You People,” wherein he documents instance after instance of Democrats calling conservatives terrorists, and then claiming the high ground when accusing us of violent hate-speech that supposedly led to the Giffords’ shooting.

So to you, the gutless, idiotic, double-faced media, we give you this award. We’re sure there will be many more to come!

Ahhh, what a show! *hic* As this ceremony and what’s left of my sobriety come to a close, I’d like to thank everyone for such a great year in twitter politics! Oh the hashtag games, and snarky political commentaritweets that we had! And a great big thanks to guest bloggerette Prudence Paine!!

And thank you to my debonair guest blogger, SooperMexican. What a night it’s been! Your chariot awaits, Mexy. [loads him into a wheelbarrow and starts rolling him out]

[SooperMexy calls out over his shoulder:] But before you go, vote on the last GringOpinion poll of 2011: which one of the awardees should win the grand prize? Write-ins welcome!

 

[curtain closes. orchestra begins the recessional music. audience meanders out in a daze...AFTER casting their poll vote!]

|Nostalgia | Prudence Potpourri

Bits From My Time at Ground Zero

I had intended to do a post today about the three months I volunteered for the American Red Cross and Salvation Army at Ground Zero following the World Trade Center attacks. But I have waffled all around the emotional map today, from sadness and remembrance to annoyance and anger and back again, partly due to some of the television coverage, partly due to some of the politicians’ speeches, and partly due to unpacking a box I had sealed up long ago and stuck in the back of a closet to await this 10th anniversary.

Ultimately, my experiences of 9/11 were much the same as everyone else’s because even though the burning towers could be seen from the corner of my block in Brooklyn, I chose to stay glued to the television and phone for most of the day, watching the horror unfold as the tower dust drifted throughout the city and across the river to my own door.

It wasn’t until 9/12 that all my pent-up anxiety and anger and patriotism and desperation culminated in a frantic search to find some way to contribute to the rescue and clean-up efforts. So maybe I’ll get that tale out tomorrow on that anniversary.

For today, here’s a couple photos of small items left from my time spent at Ground Zero: my Red Cross and Salvation Army volunteer vests; a couple of my ground zero access badges and the hardhat I had to wear (such an attractive fashion accessory but so nice that many of the guys working on—and around—the pile with whom I had became friends ended up signing it on the night the Red Cross closed the last respite center); and many of the pins that everyone handed out and traded (including a few “jewelry” items from some firefighter and police uniforms, and pins from the Secret Service and Red Cross workers from around North America).

 

 

My heart goes out to all those that were lost on that tragic day and those that they left behind to carry on their legacies. My hand goes out to all those that put in so much blood, sweat and tears in trying to find anyone to rescue—and then continued on and cleaned the place up in record time, all with aching hearts and blistered hands and feet.

America is a country worth saving, worth fighting for.

Update: The photos are clickable to enlarge them if you would like a closer look at some of the items.

|Greetings | Media | Nostalgia | Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri | Tea Party | The Left

Another Casualty of Sarah Palin Rhetoric

Unfortunately there is no new clever, or serious, or boring post on The Prudence Paine Papers tonight. In honor of the determination of the Left and the media to blame Sarah Palin’s “violent rhetoric” for the mass murders in Tucson, the right wing of Twitter was all atwitter today with a new hashtag game: #BlamePalin.

And so, I spent the evening fishing through the entertaining Twitter stream of all the numerous events and items for which Sarah Palin is surely to blame—according to the laws of liberal logic.

As a result, there is one thing for which I know Sarah Palin’s rhetoric is definitely to be blamed: no new Prudence post. #BlamePalin

Therefore, in substitution, I present some of my more favorite #BlamePalin hashtag game entries:

From @PruPaine:

  • the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs #blamepalin
  • oops… broken link [in that last tweet]. sorry! #blamepalin

From @SooperMexican:

  • @BarackObama‘s failure as a President #blamepalin
  • Fall of Rome #blamepalin

From @leahblizz:

  • Naked Rahm yelled at me in the shower #blamepalin

From @Dtindle:

  • Snuggies, Chia Pets and Mr. Microphone. #BlamePalin

From @ZephyrK9:

  • Continental Drift #BlamePalin

From mybrandieb:

  • The toilet seat was left up and I #BlamePalin

From JonahNRO:

  • My annoying habit of tapping my ballpoint pen against my glass eye when doing crossword puzzles? #blamepalin

From @iowahawkblog:

  • Driving troubled lunatics into insane fits of rage, causing them to get primetime host jobs at MSNBC #BlamePalin
  • Destruction of the Aztecs, Creation of Pontiac Aztek #BlamePalin
  • [NYTimes columnist] Paul Krugman’s confusion whether this hashtag game is sarcastic or not #BlamePalin
  • 36 of Keith Olbermann’s last 43 nervous breakdowns #BlamePalin

********************************

Another clever hashtag game that was popular earlier in the day was #NewTone: gentle mockings of the media’s and the left’s hypocritical call to eliminate all “vitriolic” language, to adopt a new politically correct, Big Brother double-speak tone for public discourse.

From @PruPaine:

  • All episodes of William F Buckley’s “Firing Line” to undergo editing to rename as “Skip Thru the Meadow With Bill” #newtone
  • “screen capture” will now trigger an Amber alert (in reply to @LHphotog: oops, I used “ScreenShots” in my last #tech tweet #NoMeta4s #Dupnik #newTone)

From @rsmccain:

  • I just hit deadline for American Spectator. But I guess “hit” and “deadline” are both violent rhetoric. #NewTone

From @jimgeraghty:

  • U2′s album [War] will now be called, “Disagreement.” #NewTone

From @BrewingAle:

  • “Crosshairs” are now to be referred to as “Orthogonally aligned filamentous biomaterial” #NewTone

From @alexashrugged:

  • In the spirit of a #newtone and getting rid of violent, overheated rhetoric, I call on Rep. Louise Slaughter to change her name

From @diskinetic:

  • WiffleBall, with Chris Matthews! #newtone
  • “Give me liberty, or deeply inconvenience me!” #newtone

From @iowahawkblog:

  • Johnny Cash rewrite: “I hugged a man in Reno / just to watch him smile” #newtone

From @SooperMexican:

  • @KeithOlbermann‘s “Not the best person in their general vicinityyyyyy” #newtone
  • “Death Panels” to be referred to as “life-challenged panels” #newtone
  • White House will be repainted and renamed Off-White House to dissuade ‘black and white” thinking… #newtone
  • UN passes resolution for Islamists to use Environmentally-Friendly and Low-Decibel Suicide Bombs #NewTone

Th-th-th-that’s all, folks.

|Nostalgia | Prudence Potpourri

Pictures Tell the Story: Decline and Devastation Wrought Under Democrat Rule

As the wealth stampeded out of Detroit mid-dance, they left behind all their trappings, as seen in the ballroom of the Lee Plaza Hotel, a 15-story art deco luxury, full-service apartment building built in the glory days of 1929 and abandoned in the 1990s.

Cry, our beloved Detroit. It’s so easy to forget your heyday, when you rivaled other major cities with your grand architecture and the wealth coursing through your streets and powerful offices, the shining example of industry and efficiency.

The desolation of Detroit has previously been compared pictorially with the aftermath of Nagasaki. However, a shocking new book of photos, The Ruins of Detroit, taken by 20-something French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, show the truth of such analogies. Picture after picture in this book tells the heartbreaking story of a city soiled and abandoned.

In the biology classroom of Highland Park's George W Ferris School, one can almost hear the echoes of the droning instruction moments before everyone fled. It's hard to tell who ran out first: the students or the teachers. It is evident that even the janitorial staff was too fearful to ever return again.

It’s as if the occupants grew disgusted and simply walked away, leaving all their possessions behind to rot and fester.

The moldering remains are emblematic of a society that grew lazy and couldn’t bother to fend for itself. The photos show it was even too much effort to try to salvage what’s left.

These photos present a cautionary tale, which will likely continue to go unheeded. Detroit has been under Democratic rule since 1962, nearly half a century. And yet, the residents, seeing their city fall to the ground around them, continue to elect Democrats and expect a different result.

The remnants of the closed Highland Police Station illustrate the absolute neglect and chaos of the city and its utter disregard for law and order. It's clear that no one saw anything worth saving here, from the furniture and fixtures to the victims who cried out for their help.

The BlogProf has a eye-popping collection of links that demonstrate the absolute devastation that Detroit has given itself over to.

This story wasn’t run in the American mainstream media, where the shame of Detroit is swept under the obituary page. Instead it was told in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which offers a fuller selection of the photos from the book. The book itself is not readily available in the US, though it can be purchased at the UK Amazon site.

Built 100 years ago, the Gothic Revival--style Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church quietly falls into shambles with no parishoners left to pray for it.

The equipment remains plugged in at a forsaken dentist's office in Detroit's Broderick Tower.

The Guardian describes the book saying:

This sense of loss is what Marchand and Meffre have captured in image after image, whether of vast downtown vistas where every tower block is boarded-up or ravaged interior landscapes where the baroque stonework, often made from marble imported from Europe, is slowly crumbling and collapsing. The pair have photographed once-grand hotels that were built in a carefree mix of gothic, art deco, Moorish and medieval styles, as well as countless baroque theatres, movie houses and ballrooms —the Vanity, where big band giants such as Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey played in the 1930s; the Eastown theatre, where pioneering hard rock groups like Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 held court in the 1960s.

They have also captured for posterity the desolate interiors that once made up the city’s civic infrastructure: courthouses, churches, schools, dentists, police stations, jails, public libraries and swimming pools, all of which have most of their original fixtures and fittings intact. “As Europeans, we were looking with an outsider’s eye, which made downtown Detroit seem even more strange and dramatic,” says Meffre. “We are not used to seeing empty buildings left intact. In Europe, salvage companies move in immediately and take what they can sell as antiques. Here, they only take the metal piping to sell for scrap. In the Vanity ballroom alone, we saw four giant art deco chandeliers, beautiful objects, each one unique. It was almost unbelievable that they could still be there. It is as if America has no sense of its own architectural history and culture.”

In the story, the two young photographers, Marchand and Meffre, and how they stumbled upon Detroit from Paris were described thusly:

Marchand (29) and Meffre (23) have been taking photographs together since they first met in 2002. They are both children of Paris’s banlieue, hailing from the southern suburbs of the city. Without formal training, they describe themselves as “autodidacts who share an obsession with ruins”, which, says Meffre, “allow you to appear to enter a different world, a lost world, and to report back from there”.

Having photographed old buildings – “mainly disused theatres” – in Paris, they happened upon an image of Michigan Central train station in Detroit while surfing the internet for pictures of abandoned buildings. “It was so stately and so dramatic that we decided right then we had to go,” says Meffre, “but we were naive; we had no idea of the scale of the project, of the vastness of downtown Detroit and its ruins. There is nothing comparable in Europe.”

The books await patrons that will never come again to the East Side Public Library.

Poor Detroit. The last one out didn’t even remember to turn off the lights or close the door.

|Nostalgia

The 2010 Sooper Awards Ceremony

As the internet rolls over into the New Year, I have joined with a highly entertaining guest blogger to present the 2010 Sooper Awards Ceremony. Please give a hand of applause to my friend and partner in political roasting, SooperMexican. We hope to make this an annual event, as we impart awards to political events of the past year through the rosy-colored lens of the year previous! Confused yet? Hang in there and it will become clear. (We hope.)

Let’s roll!

First up….

THE BEND-OVER BARACK AWARD

Last year, we saw a slew of Obama bending over backwards, forwards, and all over the place in order to placate our international detractors. He bowed to the Japanese Emperor, deeply bent for the Saudi King, and even made obeisance to the Tampa mayor. Fortunately for our weak stomachs, his prostrations before the unions and tort lawyers went un-photographed.

This year, the Bend-Over Barack Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Mid-Term Election of 2010!

[surprised applause]

Yes, that’s right. The “Election of Recovery,” as they like to call it over at  SooperMexican Central, was a deep repudiation of all the slings and arrows that our fair president has flung at us, the common rabble, from atop his ill-gotten, gilded throne on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The unwashed, bitter-clinging masses have grown tired of his budget-obliterating spending, his vindictive, arrogant attitude, and his flaccid, inept execution of his elected obligations.

While his unapologetic bending over for foreign potentates and domestic opportunists took mere seconds, we hope and pray that this latter bending will continue well into the 2012 election!

NEXT!

THE STIMULATE AMERICA AWARD

The Obama administration got off to an aggressive start, manhandling the public assets in the most egregious way in the Great Stimulus Boondoggle of 2009. Joe Biden is still working on counting all the waste, fraud and abuse that was shipped from the public coffers to FOOs (Friends of Obama) around the world. Yes, world—-as in funding, say, a $832,200 genital-washing study in South Africa to stimulate the US economy.

This year, the Stimulate America Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Transportation Safety Administration!

[applause, while removing shoes and belts]

Yes, the TSA has gone far beyond the call of duty—-and the 4th Amendment—-for getting up close and personal in their efforts to stimulate the public’s peace of mind by groping all their bits and pieces. f keeping the list of all the terrorists she catches with explosives in their pants. Of course she won’t catch any, because terrorists have myriad ways to go through all TSA procedures without having their bomb materials detected.

At least she’s done an excellent job keeping up the pretense that government-mandated sexual assault of the American public will keep us safe, while giving perverts and Gloria Allred a thrill. Just what a Secretary of Homeland Security is supposed to do.

OTRO MAS POR FAVOR!


THE PIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY AWARD

In 2009, we saw the beginning of the end for our favorite anti-American, government-subsidized community organization organizing the community for social injustice: ACORN, aka the Atheist Commie Organization for the Redistribution of NeoSocialism. The unlikely and surprising architects of its demise were the spunky and gaudily dressed James O’Keefe and his saucy accomplice, Hannah Giles. You all know the story by now, so let’s fast forward to the awardee for this year….

and the Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Death of the DREAM Act!

[sleepy applause]

In one of the most obvious and detestable shows of political pandering in recent memory, Harry Reid and the congressional Democrats concocted a bit of political theater for the birds – mashing up the freshly plucked wormy legislation we call the DREAM Act in their mealy mouths and force-feeding their gluttonous, self-serving constituents, the Hispanic supporters that kept a few of them in office.

Luckily for our stalwart Republic, this hastily written bill was only half-heartedly pushed by our Leftist friends, just enough to secure another election cycle’s worth of pigmented votes without actually effecting any change for the downtrodden serfs to whom they give only lip service.

Harry Reid out-pimped James O’Keefe by whoring out the Latin vote, taking it for all it’s worth, and spanking it on its bottom as he kicked ’er to the curb! Good job, Harry!

ORALE!

THE TWO-FACED JANUS AWARD

In ancient Greece, some citizens adorned the top of their doorways with the image of Janus, the double-faced god, symbolizing that every entry is also an exit. In 2009, it would have been appropriate to decorate the entrance of the Senate with the gnarled, wrinkly, grotesque image of Ben Nelson, leader of the Blue Dog Democrats, who promised to uphold their moral objection to the federal financing of abortions by refusing to vote for ObamaCare. Pro-life supporters wasted much effort calling to urge them to stick to their guns, but they chose to stick out their hands instead, accepting sleazy payoffs once Barack named the right price to purchase their principles.

For 2010, the only comparable competitor for the Two-Faced Janus Award is….

[opens the envelope]

The lame duck GOPers!

[applause as feather confetti flutters down]

After scoring an unprecedented victory in the 2010 elections, seizing the House of Reps and evening up the Senate, the Republicans decided to act as if they had been struck with amnesia, teleported themselves back to November 4th 2008, and eagerly re-assumed the role of defeated losers.

Once again, the GOP filled the Christmas season with the essence of lame. The American public gave them a mandate to reject the socialist, budget-busting, impotent policies of the Democrats, but the Republicans behaved like a cheap date, hardly even bothering to feign resistance while granting Obama another nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill, as described by Chuck Krauthammer.

At least good ol’ Nelson teased us a little before screwing us, but the GOPers made all the right noises, and gave it up to Barack only weeks later. Then to add insult to injury, they let him pass his ridiculous START treaty, allowing his sycophantic press to reenact the leg-tingly adoration and unearned esteem they lavished upon him two years ago.

Congrats, GOP. You sold out the country, but you won a coveted Janus award. Keep it up, and in two years, you’ll find out how easily an entrance can also be an exit.

Wait, There’s MORE!

THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN ACTION FIGURE AWARD

In 2009, Barack Obama chin-jutted his way through the dense jungle of prescient criticisms of his inexperience, arrogance, and unpreparedness. Still, he held out the dim candle of historic hope, and like voting moths to a flame, the American public flitted and followed him towards the radiance he claimed was the light at the end of the tunnel.

And still the gaudacity of hope sustained the hope-springs in the heart of man—earnest-sounding promises were made and swallowed, and everywhere a cult of Obama sprung up, selling icons of our savior borne of mystery.

As we all know, a prophet is always derided in his own hometown, and so this year, this Revelatory Icon Award goes to….

[opens envelope]

Alvin Greene!

[applause and fist bumps]

South Carolina’s leading Democrats howled when the unknown, unemployed man became their nominee to the US Senate seat, and they vigorously decried the legitimacy of his nomination. He beat the establishment democratic nominee without any campaigning, without any yard signs, prompting some to doubt whether he honestly won the nomination.

While running for a senate seat in the greatest country in the world since its inception 6,000 years ago, Alvin was also fending off prosecution for a felony obscenity charge, wherein he is accused of showing pornographic images to a unwilling 18-year-old woman. In interviews, he was as disjointed as Crispin Glover on the David Letterman show, and at his lowest (highest?) point, he actually said that his answer to solving his state’s budget woes was to sell action figures of himself.

What better exemplar of the fall from glory that Barack Obama has experienced than that of a man who actually thinks he can save the government budget by producing little action figures of himself? This is the delusion that the American voter was sold unawares, and now is waking up to.

2009 began with a praised political figure pretending to fulfill the image of an action figure. 2010 ended with a failed political figure sticking to a ridiculous hope that his image as an action figure might save him from his ineptitude and political inexperience. Oh, also there was Alvin Greene….

…AND Finally!

The Meghan McCain BOOBY PRIZE

Last year, Meghan McCain gifted the world with a booby prize in the form of a Twitter avatar filled with boobage and, appropriately, a biography of Mr. “15 Minutes of Fame,” Andy Warhol. She protested the avi-inspired guffawing heard around teh internets by claiming she hadn’t meant to be sexy at all—-she always looked busty and bimbo-ish. When that induced ROFL hilarity, she huffily threatened to delete her account, then apologized and promo’d her new column.

Without further ado, the MeggieMac Booby Prize passes on to the 2010 winner…

[opens envelope, upside down]

Keith “MeggyBigMac” Olbermann!

[stunned silence...uproarious applause]

Yes, the Vegas bookmakers all had Georgia representative Hank Johnson as the odds-on favorite for his concern that adding more military to the US territory of Guam would cause the island to tip over.

But no, in a late year rush to snag the award, Olbermann has gone out of his way to become a master loco tweeter: Melting down, blowing up, quitting his account in a bluster and, like his award’s namesake, returning to the glory of public abuse and mockery.

To seal his emergency bid for the award, Olby’s ratings went to the bottom of the tank and inspired a series of wild twitrants against his nemesis and ratings powerhouse, Fox News. Thusly, he clinched the award for 2010‘s Booby of the Year and shall henceforth be known as OlberBoob.

…se acabo!

Thank you all for joining us on this whirlwind tour of some of the more embarrassing and brain aneurysm-causing events of this last year through the eyes of 2009′s events! Once again, I’d like to thank my brilliant guest blogger, SooperMexican! Visit his site, buy his cartoon t-shirts, and follow him on Twitter! You won’t regret it because he mostly just uses my ideas!

Have a great New Year! (and forgive the Sooper-excessive use of exclamation marks found in this post…)

– Prudence

|Nostalgia

Those Were the Days

Still on Sale July 2010 (pic via Michelle Malkin)

Ahhhh. Sweet remembrances of when it was no surprise to see a current president’s image unattractively presented on a crass novelty product.

The maker of these fireworks surely intended them to be a slam against Bush, but the unsold inventory is just yet another “Miss Me Yet” bit of nostalgia.

Yes, those were the days, when a $435 billion deficit would invoke outrage.

Now it’s just an ordinary “emergency” spending bill outside the confines of paygo–practically a rounding error.

[See the full story by Doug Powers, guest blogging at Michelle Malkin’s site.]