Thursday, December 23, 2004

'Round Midnight at Kurdo's Wild West Saloon

I wuz playin cards with Yosemite Sam and Sheriff Lee C. when Kurdo stoppt kleaning glasses behind the bar an' tuk out a big sheet a cardbord an' nailed it rite above the cash rejister. I lookt at Sam and Sam lookt at Sheriff Lee C. an' I kud tell Sam an' Sheriff were none too pleazed. I kopied it down on a napkin. Here's wut he rote:
This coming election will not, under any circumstances :

1. Will not Make Iraq any safer.
2. Will not stop terrorist attacks on US soldiers and innocent civilians.
3. Will not provide security, oil, and electricity to normal ordinary people.
4. Will not stop terrorists sabotaging the pipelines.

Sheriff Lee C. sed fukt if we do fukt if we don't. Yosemite Sam tuk out his six-shooter an' laid it on the table an' looked Kurdo rite in the eye.

I sed nuthin.

That Kurdo shure kan rite tho.


2Slick asks why it seems that the AP slants their coverage in favor of the terrorists in Iraq. 2Slick is not the first to notice this and, unfortunately, he will not be the last.

UPDATE: Wretchard at Belmont Club takes another look at the photo that just happened to be snapped exactly when the terrorists killed those three Iraqi election workers. Thirty armed terrorists all around and the photographer stands up and snaps a photo?

2Slick, guess who? Yep, Associated Press once again.



As someone who teaches direct and indirect speech and the niceties of attribution and citation every semester, I have been more than a little amused by the overuse of quotation marks in recent writing of all kinds. Let's take a look at the first two paragraphs from an article in the Guardian:
The two French hostages just released from captivity in Iraq spoke of the "tough experience" at the hands of their Iraqi captors who held them in captivity for four months.

Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, said they were "happy" to be back but they had experienced enormous pressures at the hand of masked gunmen.

The first use of quotation marks for a partial quote is, to my mind, reasonable. "Tough experience" is the exact phrase -- a translation of the phrase in French, we assume -- used by the two ex-captives to characterize their ordeal.

But why, I ask you, does the reporter put quotation marks around the adjective in the second paragraph? Here's the problem. We also use quotation marks to suggest that the word may NOT reflect reality. Yeah, my friend said he was "happy" -- in solitary confinement. Here, I think, the use of quotation marks works against the reporter's intention.

Any other examples? Any thoughts?

But the use of quotation marks as sneer quotes is best exemplified by the online Al-Jazeera. I would suggest checking in each day and watch how they work. The funniest was when during the Falluja operation their sneer quotes started to work against them. I'll see if I can find a few examples.


Is it just me, or do any of you miss Salam Pax?

I do.

Here's what I wrote earlier about three friends from what seems like now a long time ago.

The Story of Three Iraqi Friends.
Raed does not have the English-language skills of Salam or Ghaith. While Salam Pax has always been an ironist and Ghaith the most passionate critic of the Saddam regime, Raed has been the most unpredictable and unstable, sometimes writing like an inebriated Italian futurist while at other times like a slightly medicated and thoroughly paranoid Hunter S. Thompson.

I wrote that back in June. Now, at the end of the year, Salam Pax has been silent for months. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has become a fine reporter. And Raed Jarrar has become completely unhinged, now supporting the insurgency, armed with his Geiger Counter, wandering the Iraqi sandbox taking readings and writing numbers down in a small notebook.


Since my return to blogging, I have come across many new Iraqi voices. One of the most articulate of this group is the Iraqi exile called Iraq Pundit. Check out his blog. It's one of the best we have. Of course, he's on my sidebar too.


Catherine Seipp, over at NRO, updates us on l'affaire martini-cole.


Kevin from Boots on the Ground is getting ready to go back to Iraq with his unit.
I'm finally home for the holidays. I got here about a week ago. One thing I've noticed over the years, when you reach a certain age, Christmas loses its glamour. The only thing I look forward to is seeing my family. Soon, after New Years, I will be back in Iraq involved in combat operations. So, I'm trying to make the most of the time I have back with my family. It seems it's already starting to effect my mother, she keeps saying all she wants for Christmas is me to come home safe. So, I know when it's time to get on that airplane and leave it's going to be really difficult to say goodbye. Being home, makes it feel like Iraq is so distant and far away. I've already had my taste of war, I don't look forward to going back there. However, the funny thing is, if my unit said I could leave the Army instead of being stop loss, I would request to extend my enlistment to goto Iraq. No matter what, where my buddies go, I want to be there with them and face the same dangers with them.


Ray D. over at Medienkritik looks back at one battle in WWII.


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