Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Cat/Paul Wolfowitz Blogging


Here's one of the thousands of nameless cats my wife and I encountered last month in Kusadasi, Turkey, halfway through a twelve-day Mediterranean cruise. Feral felines were everywhere to be found in the eastern Mediterranean, as was the pulverizing scent of cat urine, which seemingly coated the bottom two feet of every building and alley wall in the Greek islands and the Turkish mainland. It smelled remarkably like our own living room, where our three cats and two dogs joust for recognition by soiling the floors and bookshelves with pungent regularity.

On the subject of my recent cruise, I have been spurred into action by a gruff e-mail received today from one of my academic mentors — a scholar who has published on Theodor Adorno but whose intellectual life will evidently lack fulfillment until I blog about my vacation. To wit:

[I]'m gettin' profoundly sick of reading all the current shit on your blog . . . [W]hen in hell are you going to do us all a favor and tell us what really happened on The Voyage To Nowhere or whatever that cruise was. We're starving out here; we need the skinny. . . .

The administrative process is pretty murky, but I'm pretty certain this person is in a position to revoke my Ph.D, which I earned mostly by plagiarizing material from the back of cereal boxes and transcribing the assorted ravings of Minneapolis' most articulate street wastrels. With that in mind, I have vowed — by Monday, by Christ — to begin posting a series of short entries about the gluttonous days I spent aboard the Grand Princess.

Until then — and so long as we're thinking about the smell of cat urine — I give you the comic stylings of Paul Wolfowitz:

"Promoting democracy requires attention to specific circumstances and to the limitations of U.S. leverage. Both because of what the United States is, and because of what is possible, we cannot engage either in promoting democracy or in nation-building as an exercise of will. We must proceed by interaction and indirection, not imposition. In this respect, post-World War II experiences with Germany and Japan offer misleading guides to what is possible now, even in a period of American primacy. What was possible following total victory and prolonged occupation—in societies that were economically advanced but, at the same time, had profoundly lost faith in their own institutions—does not offer a model that applies in other circumstances”

— "Statesmanship in the New Century" (2000)

Oh, Paul, you stupid fuck.