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I’ve often found Camille Paglia to have both interesting and thought-provoking things to say about art, but for her to suggest that the greatest current artist is……..George Lucas?  I think somebody is playing Jedi mind tricks on her.

(Of course, “greatest current artist” isn’t exactly saying much.)

Anyway, Han shot first!

Over the weekend I noticed a very favorable review in the WaPo of a book that might interest certain friends of the decanter, entitled Mao:  The Real Story.

Written by Alexander V. Pantsov and Steven I Levine, and apparently based in large part on a Russian language study of Mao recently written by the former author,  the book evidently provides a lot of documentary evidence of the marching orders Mao received straight from the Kremlin and establishing him as a first class rat-bastard Stalinist.

Not that I personally think Mao was especially ideologically driven.  Stalinism was a means to him, not an end.  And the end had nothing to do with the transformation of a backward medieval empire into a glorious workers’ paradise but was instead really nothing more than a psychotic “will to power”.  Mao was all about Mao and to hell with everybody else.  (Which, come to think of it, also describes old Uncle Joe himself pretty well.)

It never ceases to beggar belief, at least my belief, that while everyone agrees on the eeeeevilness of Hitler and even most soft lefties have come to grudgingly admit that Stalin had problems, there is still a very large group of people who ought to know better who continue to view Mao as hip, who think of him as a visionary and even think him kinda cute and adorable.    I certainly hope that I never get to the moral state in which I can justify, apologize for or dismiss the champeen genocide of world history so lightly.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No doubt many friends of the decanter are staring at their computer screens this morning and asking  themselves, “Selfs, what is this?  Did Tom completely forget that yesterday was Trafalgar Day?”

Well, I can assure you all that the answer is no.  The memory of the great Lord Nelson is never far below the surface of the Robbo mind.  However, I was so busy yesterday scuttling about hither and yon, transporting various gels to their appointed places, that I simply didn’t have time to sit down with Mrs. R’s laptop and fritter away the schedule running  up a suitable tribute.

Indeed, there were times as I dashed from one pick up/drop off to another that I felt not unlike a panicking French admiral trying to transfer sailors among Men o’ War as his fleet sank under him.

So you see, I was at least thinking nautically.

UPDATE:  Let me hasten to add that Mrs. R’s schedule was as full as my own, so don’t get the wrong ideas about weight-pulling and sitting about in fuzzy pink slippers eating bonbons.  It was just one of those days.  Indeed, the only time we actually saw one another from before dawn to late afternoon was when we happened to pass each other at an intersection in the outer ‘burbs.  She actually flagged me down so that we could confer on some updated logistics.

UPDATE DEUX:  Let me also hasten to clarify any ambiguity in the title by stating unequivocally that no, there are no little Robbo v.4’s anywhere on the horizon.


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October 2012