This has been the most awesome opening to a United Nations session ever! Mahmoud Ahmadinejad goes Page Six on America! President Bush still somehow thinks that we defeated the Taliban! Hugo Chavez wants Kofi Annan to hire an exorcist! What a trio! Is there any doubt that those three have already reserved a suite in the afterlife together, Jean-Paul Sartre-steez? The only thing left to determine is which one gets to be the lesbian.
Everyone is still just a bit vertiginous at the dramatic way the Venezuelan President cashiered his nation's chances at joining the Security Council yesterday, pretending to smell sulphur and referring to Bush as "the Devil" in one of the most hilarious feints at statesmanship we'll likely ever see again. Bush is the Devil? Talk about over the top. Bush doesn't even know how to read!
Speaking of, the other part of Chavez's speech that the media made careful note of yesterday was the care he took to mention that he's been reading Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival. (Next week, he'll be on the The View discussing Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life.) Apparently, Chavez's namecheck has already given Chomsky's book a boost on Amazon's sales, which can only be a good thing, as it may one day inspire someone to ask Chavez exactly what it is about his vision of governance that is about something other then hegemony.
However, it's a pity that media consumers were not treated to a full translation of Chavez's remarks, because he didn't simply recommend the Chomsky book and move on. He actually settled into an extended harangue about literary and popular culture, doling out recommendations and heaping scornful criticism. For your benefit, here are some of the translated highlights of Chavez's speech.
- "Like all of us in the community of non-aligned nations, I, too, was shocked and saddened by John Spencer's untimely death..."
- "When will imperial America wake up and face the fact that J.D. Salinger was vastly overrated? Franny and Zooey my ass! And have you ever met anyone under thirty who claimed to identify with Holden Caulfield who wasn't just a raging dick?"
- "Sure, the new Scissor Sisters jawn tends to go in a more pop direction. Still, it is impeccable. And I spit on those who say otherwise."
- "Seriously, would it kill Tom Hanks to just make a funny movie?"
- "America, your ignorant unwillingness to fully appreciate the comic talents of Fred Armisen both confuses and enrages me."
- "Why on Earth can't you Hollywood devils get your act together long enough to greenlight A Confederacy of Dunces? This is only one of the finest novels of the last century! I thought Will Ferrell was attached? Let's make a movie, people!"
- "And don't EVEN get me STARTED about The Women!"
- "Surely this speech has clearly demonstrated that I am having the Best Week Ever. I demand that VH1 acknowledge this"
"Death to Kasabian!"