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January 30, 2003

Stress symptoms: Neil Gaiman gets loopy.
I know that at this time of international tension, it’s completely inappropriate for me to see the headline on Excite News: Bush to Argue Saddam ‘Is Not Disarming’ and find an imaginary conversation going through my head along the lines of:

“But George, you were dancing with Saddam all night. You must think he is the most disarming man on the planet.”

“I do not. That man is not disarming. I was only dancing with him to please papa.”

“George Bush, I do declare that you have started to blush! Mary Lou said Saddam Hussein was the most charming man at the party.”

“I am not blushing. He is not disarming, and he is not charming, and he, he’s a terrible dancer. Now leave me alone, or I shall tell papa!”

Good night.

[11:54 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Stress symptoms::

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 12:03 AM:

OTOH, I'd be delighted to start living in a Jane Austen novel right around now. I'd much prefer to see W and Saddam straighten out the misunderstandings and tie the knot than what they're currently up to.

Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 03:24 AM:

This qualifies, hands down, as the strangest slash story I've ever encountered.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 07:40 AM:

Good gracious, Glenn, I do believe you are correct.

Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 10:11 AM:

That "disarming" remark has had me giddy for days. But then, I can't read the lead sentence in the WSJ's coverage of the State of the Union address..."President Bush accused Saddam Hussein of having 'utter contempt' for world opinion"...without wondering if the man ever, ever, has the slightest comprehension of just what it is that he's saying.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 11:23 AM:

Richard: No, I don't believe he does. There's been argument back and forth about how dumb or smart Shrub is, my personal take is that he's both dumb and utterly confident in himself and his ability to do no wrong. There's another word I need, but I've been having worse than usual noun problems all week. The inability to see one's behavior objectively and to relate to anything outside one's own desires.


Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 11:43 AM:


Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 12:01 PM:


Scott ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 12:04 PM:

"Sheriff of Tombstone"

501 days since he said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 01:32 PM:

I'm disarming, oh disarming, it's alarming how arming I'm dis-,
And so nutty, that I hardly can believe I'm boss.

Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 02:40 PM:


That, too.

Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 03:09 PM:


Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 04:28 PM:

I think maybe narcisstic is it, only I was going for the noun version. ( I hate this noun thing I've got going.) I don't know that I'd go as far as sociopathic as I've seen people I really like and respect do the same sort of thing on a much smaller scale. I've watched over and over as friends rant about the terrible thing that X does without for a moment seeming to realize that they do the exact same thing themselves. It's as if they can't see themselves and their own actions for what they really are. Now, of course, many of you out there are wondering how often I do this myself. This can only lead to neverending loop of post-modern self-conscious self-referential irony. Let's not go there. (Okay, probably I do, but I try really hard, when condeming someone's actions to be aware fo whether or not such might also apply to me. Honest I do.)


Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 07:01 PM:

So which of them has been dancing with Death?

Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2003, 10:14 PM:

So I'm listening to BBC World Service, and at every news break I get the giggles 'cause the newsreader keeps saying "President Bush says, 'Saddam Hussein is not disarming'".

Jane Yolen ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2003, 07:31 AM:

He dissed me.

George Bush as playground bully.


peggy ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2003, 10:23 AM:

I, too, am bitter about his use of "disarming."

peggy ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2003, 10:30 AM:

Please excuse my silly last comment posting. Just heard about the shuttle.....

Helen Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2003, 04:48 AM:

I had noticed on my stats page that someone had done a search on "saddam is not disarming" +neil --now I know why, as i tend to not get to his blogs on the weekends--though now that I have a cable modem, all bets are off and I may cruise my favorite writer/editor blogs at all hours of the morning. (Looks at clock, sighs.)

But I had the same thought not too long ago--and it occurred to me that with regard to Saddam Slash, South Park was ahead of its time.

Kip ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 02:21 PM:

ooh, funny type...
How's this? I'm disarming the mouseovers. Can't temm from previewing, so I'll post this silly thing and see if it stops that silly thing. (I got the idea from studying foreign policy over the years.)

Kip ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 02:24 PM:

Now it seems that just posting my mighty name was enough to stop it. I'll go study how to post in English now. What's "temm?" (Tell, tell!)

mark ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2003, 11:54 AM:

Mary, I think you're after "narcissist": "George Bush is an archetypical narcissist; unable to think objectively about his own actions or view the world as something apart from himself."

Eh? Eh?

Mr Ripley ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2003, 08:23 AM:

There's the psychoanalytic term "borderline" (used as a noun), introduced, IIRC, by Otto Kernberg in the Sixties as an alternative to "psychopath." Symptoms --again, I'm a little fuzzy on the specifics-- include seeing everyone in dichotomous terms, as a friend or an enemy ("If you're not with us, you're against us"), incapactiy to feel shame ("Fool me twice, you . . . you . . . I won't get fooled again"), and the tendency to think of other people as extensions of oneself and to react with rage and contempt when they don't conform to one's idealizations or act as instruments of one's will. "Grandiose fantasies", "pathological narcissism", and "infantile omnipotence" are terms that come up in discussions of the condition. It becomes rather scary when you're dealing with a guy whose conviction that he has global power is not just a fantasy and who can think of other countries as extensions of himself.