Thursday, December 20, 2007

Train Wreck 2007

This was supposed to be an article about watching the New York Knicks lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Last night I attended the game with a friend, and I was excited about seeing the scene of Knicks fans booing Isiah Thomas, the head coach of their team.

Surprisingly, the Knicks beat the Cavaliers handily and the only anti-Thomas display took place after the buzzer when I saw a post-pubescent boy hold up a "Fire Isiah" sign (now common at Knicks games).

Things have gotten so bad for Thomas at Madison Square Garden that security has started ejecting hometown fans who verbally berate Thomas from their $200 seats.

That didn't happen last night, though. I witnessed no heckling, no booing of the home team, and no anti-Thomas hysteria.

Still, the quote of the year in New York City is "Fire Isiah"! No other sentiment is expressed more regularly, more consistently, by more people in the city than "Fire Isiah."

The Yale Book of Quotations has released its list of the most memorable quotes of 2007, but "Fire Isiah" is not on the list. Their list of verbal train wrecks is:

10. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." President Jimmy Carter discussing the Bush Administration in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette interview.

9. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." The unfortunate remark of Sen. Joseph Biden, candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, describing Barack Obama.

8. "[I have] a wide stance when going to the bathroom." -- Republican Sen. Larry Craig, of Idaho, explaining why his foot touched an undercover policeman in the next stall. Craig didn't say that verbatim in the police interview, however. When asked how he positioned his feet in the stall Craig said that he is "a fairly wide guy." The editor has actually printed an inference that he generated from the question asked by the detective and the answer provided by Craig. Close enough for me!

7. "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talking about Vice President Dick Cheney. I didn't know Cheney's approval rating was that high!

6. "There's only three things [Rudy Giuliani] mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11." Joe Biden. Please note that Giuliani's noun of choice is usually some form of the pronoun "I."

5. "I don't recall." U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' response to questions at congressional hearings about the firing of U.S. attorneys. For an attorney, this guy doesn't remember very much.

4. "That's some nappy-headed hos there." Don Imus live on the radio discussing the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team. What we heard on the radio, however, was usually Reverend Al Sharpton repeating the quote, not Imus himself. Boy, oh boy, there's a couple!

3. "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University in New York City. I guess their homosexuals are more Iranian, unlike our homosexuals who are more American.

2. "I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us." Miss South Carolina during the Miss Teen America pageant. I have more questions for her! She should be a one-woman game show where contestants get to ask questions and then try to interpret what the hell she is talking about in her response.

1. "Don't tase me, bro." Shouted by University of Florida college student Andrew Meyer, followed by screams as electric shock was administered by taser. Meyer had the audacity to ask Senator John Kerry a hostile question, which the Senator wanted to answer, but which dialogue school security officials deemed should be repressed by doses of electric shock. Now there's freedom of speech for ya!

See the Reuters report at Yahoo!

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Wake Up, You're Liberal!
Ted Rall

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