AlterNet had a good line of stories this weekend to round up the old year and ring in the new. I’m running a little late on such things here at MaisonBisson, so let me just quote from theirs instead.
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Daniel Kurtzman’s list of The 25 Dumbest Quotes of 2004 includes this doozy at the number 12 spot:
“All of a sudden, we see riots, we see protests, we see people clashing. The next thing we know, there is injured or there is dead people. We don’t want to get to that extent.” -California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the dangers posed by gay marriage.
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Laura Miller’s 2004 Falsies Awards is a list of ten people and events responsible for “polluting our information environment.” At the bottom of the story, however, are two honorable mentions of people who went against the tide. Tami Silicio’s photos of coffins carrying US soldiers killed in Iraq were the first published — against Bush administration policy. It will be a long time before we understand the price paid for this war in Iraq in both financial and human terms, as well as its effect on our international relations. Here’s a link the Bush administration tried to hide, the Dover AFB Mortuary Services page, now found only at the Internet Archive.
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Lara Riscol rounded up 2004 as a Year Of Perversion. The story asks (but doesn’t answer) the question of why family values Republicans talk about sex more than Howard Stern. Good ol’ Herbert Hoover used to have his G-Men out busting porn producers in the years between World War I and World War II, but he collected the confiscated smut in his personal library. So what’s Lara’s message? When you hear somebody say “family values,” like Mike Hintz, the First Assembly of God minister that Bush put on stage as an example for all Americans to emulate, what you should think is “secretly perverted,”like Mike Hintz, the same First Assembly of God minister that was fired in December 2004 for sexually exploiting a 17-year-old girl in his church youth group.
Then there’s the sanctity of marriage, like Britney Spears':
In one year, the world’s most famous Lolita pop tart and self-professed virgin wedded and divorced in the same Las Vegas trip, and then blissfully became Mrs. Federline just after new hubby’s old live-in gave birth to their second child. See between breaking up families, raunchy photo shoots, and stripper stage moves, Britney’s a vocal Bush supporter and traditional values proponent, especially of saving, kind of, yourself for marriage.
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Finally, US Representative Dennis Kucinich showed up with an essay about Willie Nelson’s “Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth?”
Last year at this holiday time, Willie Nelson was sitting at the kitchen table with his wife Annie, reading the newspaper accounts of the war in Iraq. The season of contradictions was upon the country music master. “Babies dying . . .” he observed, watching pictures of Iraqi children and their mothers in the vortex of war. “Mothers crying. Whatever happened to peace on earth?” he asked Annie.