Thursday, May 31, 2007

More on Mitt

I fear for the future of this planet. This guy is a candidate for president. The following is mostly based on an article in Time Magazine.

Someone asked Mitt Romney to name his favorite book. He replied Battlefield Earth.

Forget for a moment that Battlefield Earth was written by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. Forget for a moment that a presidential candidate is citing an inane science fiction piece as his top choice in world literature. I’m not saying literary taste is a prerequisite for the job, but this book is CRAP!!

I can understand a conservative Christian developing an appreciation for the works of CS Lewis and his Christian themed novels, such as the Space Trilogy or the Narnia Chronicles. Like them or not, they have literary merit. His Mere Christianity is also a respectable piece.

I will criticize no one’s orthography, but Battlefield Earth is garbage. If the dear reader does not believe me, spare yourself the book and rent the movie, produced by John Travolta, who after trying for ten years finally had enough clout to produce the cerebral sewage. The film is considered one of the worst movies ever made, described by one of the IMDB comments as "mind-bendingly stupid."

Then, after remarking he had been a hunter all his life and called on it since he’d never had a license, Mitt downgraded his blood lust to rodenator status: I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times.

That his wife gave some money to Planned Parenthood many years ago is no big deal. More disturbing is the complete lack of hesitation in dismissing her views: Her positions are not terribly relevant to my campaign.

Speaking at a commencement at Regents University, Romney declared that in France marriages came in seven year terms. The guy has a thing about France, actually voicing a desire for the Romney campaign slogan to be, "First, not France" until campaign staff pointed out that it was stupidest f***ing campaign slogan in the history of American politics. The seven year marriage term is complete fiction, of course, written in (you guessed it) a science fiction novel penned by Mormon author Orson Scott Card.

So if we elect this guy, we are transitioning from a president who cannot read fiction to one who reads fiction, and not just fiction, but BAD FICTION, and then confuses it with reality.


Anonymous the doctor said...


Really pathetic.

Perhaps I should run for office. If a guy that thinks Battlefield Earth is a great book can become governor of a state, I should be able to take the White House.

You do realize tomorrow is 6/1/07? I believe certain promises were made.

I will give Liza and Sirocco until Saturday night to claim the prize, although I don't remember what the prize is.

I don't know exactly what you are going to do, but almost.

5/31/2007 4:32 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Eh...I don't care about his choice of reading in this case...not that it doesn't matter. I can't wait for conservatives to start delving into his record as Governor...for instance the healthcare plan. Although, they will find a Governor Mitt who went to great lengths to stop Goodridge Gay Marriage case. At one point, he went as far to use a Jim Crow law that was on the books from the early 1900s to say that people from other states cannot come to Mass to get married. That statute, I am told, was intended to keep mixed race couples from coming to Mass to be married and to return to their states where it was illegal.

5/31/2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous the doctor said...


I do think x4mr has a point when a presidential candidate points to a very trivial and empty publication when asked to name his favorite literary work.

He didn't cite the works of any influential author, any publication of any significance at all. If you were running for president, and someone asked you to name your favorite literary work, what would you say? A romance novel?

JFK, Nixon, Lincoln, Clinton, Carter, Jefferson, Roosevelt, all had read works of substance and referred to these works throughout their presidency.

Mitt Romney names "Battlefield Earth"?

x4mr has a point, and I am not detracting from the points you have made, which are valid and should surface if Romney continues, which he will.

x4mr, noticed that you kept your promise. I knew you would.

5/31/2007 10:32 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

I keep my promises.


5/31/2007 11:36 PM  
Blogger Framer said...

None of you have read Battlefield Earth. It may not be my cup of tea, but I see nothing wrong with reading and liking science fiction. For the record they asked for his favorite NOVEL, not book. I would suppose NOVEL meant something light and not pretentious or made up, like you would normally get when you ask a politician that question. Moby Dick was a good read, but if anyone claims it is their favorite novel, they are lying.

For the record, Mitt's favorite BOOKS from his My Space page:

Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
What It Takes – Richard Ben Cramer
Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris
The World Is Flat – Thomas Friedman
1776 – David McCullough
The Battle For Peace –Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz
The Business Of Winning – Robert Evangelista

P.S. Mine is "The Great Gatsby," but I am a solid exception, being an English major. My snob answer would be "Anna Karenina" in the original Russian.

6/01/2007 6:46 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I have, in fact, read Battlefield Earth cover to cover years ago ... it certainly qualifies as crap. I never saw the movie, because I knew the book was awful.

I _like_ the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre as well. It's what composes the majority of my light reading.

6/01/2007 8:08 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...


You were an English major? I would never have guessed. Although I cannot recall (or they weren't posted) the details, I do know that you have spent time in Russia.


I am somewhat shocked that someone of your intellect has read Battlefield Earth cover to cover. Why did you persist?

Regarding favorite books, I've posted quite a few at my profile, but in terms of novels, nothing has ever really topped West's Miss Lonelyhearts. It is amazing and so intense he had to keep it very short (only about 34,000 words).

There is also Joseph Heller's fabulous Catch 22 and Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum.

Does Snowcrash or Neuromancer count as Sci-Fi? I would say yes.

Sorry, Framer, Battlefield Earth is for morons, and I also enjoyed Gatsby. In particular, I love the ending where he talks about the rich (Tom and Daisy) being sloppy people who make messes for others to clean up.


6/01/2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Well, my all time favorite work of fiction is "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" so I guess that Mitt Romney and I have something in common. "Crime and Punishment" is a close second. My older sister used to give me all the books she had read for college classes and discuss them with me. I was 14 years old when I read "Crime and Punishment." A few months ago I asked my sister if she remembered Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov and she didn't have a clue. I almost cried. I don't think she remembers that I read all of those long, Russian novels so that we could talk about them.

With "Huckleberry Finn", of course, the underlying message is so powerful and at least a century or so ahead of it's time.

x4mr, I haven't found anything different on your website today. I'm still looking.

6/01/2007 11:05 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

What can I say -- I was in junior high I think, and I just hated not finishing a book I had started, but BE was a long, miserable experience. These days, I don't have the extra time to waste on things I don't enjoy, and would not finish the book.

Snowcrash and Neuromancer both qualify as Sci-fi, and I preferred Snowcrash.

Huckleberry Finn is great, of course, one of my all-time favorite reads as well. I'm really not sure I could pick an overall number one.

6/01/2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

If you look at x4mr's favorite movies, one of them is "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Isn't that one of those movies that was so bad it became a cult film kind of like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?"

Sirocco, do you see anything new on this website? Is there something new under "other sites?" Are there new pictures?

6/01/2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Yeah, he has a link to a new site he is developingunder "other sites" ... check the "sustainability, Equity, Devlopment link there. :)

6/01/2007 11:44 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Oh, Liza, you must watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

There are distinctions to bad film. There are films that are just plain awful and not worth seeing, like "Battlefield Earth" or "Prophecy."

Then there are films that appreciate how bad can become phenomenal. Have you seen George Romero's Dawn of the Dead in the shopping mall?

Well, I hope to propose a taxonomy for the stratification of humor this weekend, and one of the higher levels is "wicked funny."

The part in Tomatoes where the giant tomato is wearing ear muffs to protect itself from the lyrics of "Puberty Love" is borderline wicked funny.

Yes, Sirocco, and also note the website has been added to the profile under the email address.

You will be duly recognized and wished good fortune the next time I perform my secret ritual to the blogger goddess.

Mark Twain was an absolute genius, and I think The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was his finest, a masterpiece to be read many times.

Crime and Punishment was also fantastic. It doesn't get much better, period, than the part where Raskolnikov confesses to Sonia.

6/01/2007 12:12 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

"And there in the dimly lit room sat the murderer and the prostitute..."

Thanks, sirocco. I failed to check that link.

Very nice looking site, x4mr. I like the colors.

6/01/2007 12:28 PM  
Anonymous the doctor said...


Listen to you guys!

Does a person have to take a test to read or post at this blog?

x4mr mentions two books I have never, ever heard of, and Sirocco writes back about preferring the second one?


You guys LIKED Crime and Punishment?

I am an educated, intelligent person, but I recall hating the books we had to read. I can understand having to slog my way through The Scarlet Letter or Kafka. A person that enjoys the experience is just weird.

6/01/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Well, there is no reason someone who doesn't read Sci-fi would have reason to know about either Neuromancer or Snowcrash.

Neuromancer was written by William Gibson back in the mid-80's, and was seminal in launching a sub-genre referred to as cyberpunk, in which individuals and software become fused, and data is capable of being interacted with almost visually/physically. Movies like the Matrix series or Johnny Mnemonic would be considered cyberpunk (the latter is actually based on a Gibson short story).

Snow Crash was written by Neal Stephenson in the early 90's. A lot of Stephenson's early books were cyberpunk (he's branched out since), and this was the best of the bunch, really.

6/01/2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks, Liza. Obviously the site is in its infancy. As the doctor has figured out, the site gives me full Internet functionality.

I will second Sirocco's remarks, Doctor, although your not having heard of William Gibson is a little surprising. Gibson is credited for coining the phrase "cyberspace" and has a short cameo role in the overlooked and fabulous tv series "Wild Palms" which is probably the best acting Angie Dickenson EVER did.

Some of the moments in "Wild Palms" are SPECTACULAR, such as the rotating camera scene where Harry and the Senator are in the garden that ends with the Senator ripping off Harry's cast, "Is that what ETERNITY is, a cyst?!"

On The Scarlet Letter, we are on the same page. I find Hawthorne unreadable. Regarding Crime and Punishment, I sympathize if you read this pinnacle of achievement and found it less than extraordinary. I could not agree more strongly with Liza. It is one of the finest literary works in the history of humanity. If you were forced to read it as a seventh grader, suggest you take another look. Read it as an adult.

Finally, Kafka. Well, It was late in the evening when K. arrived. The village was deep in snow. The Castle hill was hidden, veiled in mist and darkness, nor was there even a glimmer of light to show that a castle was there. On the wooden bridge leading from the main road to the village, K. stood for a long time gazing into the illusory emptiness. . .

6/01/2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Framer said...

I'm going to make a bold, generalizing statement that anybody who not only watched the entirety of "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" but actually LIKED it is disqualified to cast aspersions on the artistic or entertainment tastes of anyone.

And sirocco shouldn't be too dismissive of Neal Stephenson's later works.

6/01/2007 7:11 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Haagh!! Huwaaaagh!!
Haagh!! Huwaaaagh!!

Not only have I watched it's entirety and enjoyed it, but I have purchased the DVD, watched it repeatedly, and shown it to friends.

Then, when thieves broke into my home and stole it, I replaced it at once, along with the copy of J-Men Forever that they lifted.

I will acknowledge that Tomatoes does require a certain degree of cinematic sophistication and a more refined set of distinctions to be properly appreciated.

My question, Framer, is how many times you have watched the stunning sequel Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

6/01/2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a great sci-fi spoof and always fun to watch. Another great movie and one of my favorites is Dr Strangelove. Aside from Crime and Punishment, Catch 22 is one of the best novels and also a great movie..

Based on all I have read Mitt is one candidate for President that I hope has now risen to his level of incompetence and is not nominated. However , we will have to try very hard to find someone worse than the current President.
Great blog.....Dave W..

6/05/2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks, Dave. Agree with you about the films and delighted you like the blog. Enjoy!

6/05/2007 9:02 PM  

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