Kaelian frogs and Obama's pot

Speaking of political surrealism, did you know that if you boil Pauline Kael slowly, she won't jump out of the pot?

And no frog ever knew a frog that actually voted for Nixon!

Both statements are absolutely true.

Honestly, I don't see why people have to be so nit-picky, but Glenn Reynolds was taken to task for citing the apparently apocryphal anecdote about Pauline Kael. The whole thing reminded me that it's sometimes tough to blog about anything. You can't just speak your mind and be done with it.

(I've had repeated trouble with slowly boiled frogs, but I got away with Kaelianism. Twice! And it's too late for nitpickers to correct me as the comments expired long ago. Nyah nyah!)

OTOH, I did get in trouble for quoting a famous Churchill remark (about "fearful fatalistic apathy") that was supposedly later retracted. And because he retracted it, I was told I shouldn't cite it! Nor should I have called Ann Coulter a "cute blonde bombshell!"

As to why the Kaelian frogs refuse to jump out of Obama's pot, I'm thinking it has something to do with fearful fatalistic apathy.

posted by Eric on 09.15.09 at 09:45 AM


I don't really understand the Kael quote controversy. Even though Nixon won in a landslide, Kael said she only knew one person who voted for him:


So what's the big deal, the fact that she never said "I can't believe he won"? Seems a bit nit-picky. Doesn't every journalist regularly paraphrase quotations? Why single out this one quote?

SteveBrooklineMA   ·  September 15, 2009 12:09 PM

Heck, I'm with Instadude here. For one thing, the quote perfectly encapsulates a certain mindset. It is by no means reserved for the left, but it does typify the behavior by and large of lefty pols and opinion makers.

And Reynolds is absolutely right - The Kaelian Surprise sounds like a classic Trek episode title.

Steve Skubinna   ·  September 15, 2009 1:39 PM

The Kael quote is, dare I say, "fake but accurate"?

Rhodium Heart   ·  September 15, 2009 2:35 PM

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