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Flashbacks: Why we should invade France, confessions of a pâté girl and a local campaign spy sounds off on Watergate

5 years ago
May 23, 2003 | Steve Almond asked that Bush and Co. consider invading France.

“What the Bush regime needs to realize (and I think, deep down, it does) is that Americans are ready for a war against France. The recent squabble over Iraq is really just a symptom of a bone-deep, longstanding hatred between these two nations.

“I would remind those of you with a less-than-awesome historical grasp which side France supported in the Civil War...

“Maybe more important, France — and, more specifically, the French — are really annoying. A brief list of annoying things the French do:

1) Speak French. Spanish I could see, because Spanish is useful. The only reason to speak French is some lame effort to impress chicks.
2) Make depressing films. What is it about this whole cinéma de bummer? Are these people allergic to fun? Do they assume that doom and gloom automatically convey depth of intellect? And, if so, how does one explain the Jerry Lewis thing?
3) Sell weapons. If anyone’s going to be selling weapons to unstable despotic rulers, it’s the US of A. Got it?” Read Full Article

10 years ago
May 22, 1998 | Ellen Barry discovered that technology brings nuance back into our lives.

“The world changed the first time someone wrote down a domain name on a cocktail napkin. When I realized this had begun to happen, it was at the end of a long party in a strange part of town, and I had an icy feeling that the exploratory phone call had been replaced by an exploratory e-mail. I was right. Over the past year or so, my friends and I have spent untold hours trying

“For one thing, we have been forced to develop a whole new repertoire of passionate gesture. The moment of slit-eyed fury when you delete a name from your address book! The terror of realizing it's too late to unsend! The new romantic clichés: the relationships that lived and died without face-to-face contact! The ability to document every tiny shift in dynamics! The condensed time scale! The subject line!” Read Full Article

20 years ago
May 20, 1988 | According to Caroline Knapp, growing up in Cambridge could be both a privilege and a curse.

“Ah, growing up in Cambridge.

“A New Yorker subscription to go along with your birth certificate. A special set of bumper stickers for your first red wagon: BORN TO BE IN THERAPY and I BREAK FOR LIBERALS. And, along the privileged path that eases you from one higher-than average student/teacher ratio to the next (private kindergarten, private elementary school, private prep school, and thank-God-Dad-paid-for-this private college) a procession of strange contradictions. You eat tofu with your turkey at Christmas, which explains the tendency among some of your childhood friends to rebel by becoming Republicans. You are introduced to pâté and public television before you learn about Coke or cartoons…And, like people from hometowns everywhere, you end up, oh, a little screwed-up.”

35 years ago
May 22, 1973 | In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Martin Lomansey Jr. talked to local campaign spy, "Thomas.”

“ ‘The trouble with those guys,’ says Thomas, ‘is that they got caught. You’d think they teach them better at the CIA, wouldn’t you?’ Thomas, who now works in state government as a reward for good and faithful service to a prominent elected official during a recent election, finds the failure of the Gemstone team the most repugnant aspect of the Watergate affair. He simply cannot believe that the men who planned and executed the break-in and related espionage could be as stupid as they were.

“ ‘I was only almost caught once,’ he recalls. ‘Back in 1971 I broke into a campaign trailer of Louise Day Hicks for ---------. Someone saw me and I almost got nailed. Even then I managed to get away with some good stuff and still make it look like a burglary not anything political.’ It was a break-in that received some coverage from the local press - a mayoral campaign sidebar at most. No one attributed anything political to it. And it is doubtful that Hicks ever suspected who did it. Thomas remained a top campaign aide to the very end.” Read Full Article

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