By Randy Cohen
"Those who walk slowly and timidly through life for fear of taking the wrong step might very well achieve their goal of not taking the wrong step, but what have they achieved?"
Above, idiotic drivel from New York Gov. George Pataki's commencement address at Siena College last Sunday. You are invited to devise a brief sample of equally fatuous pap some other public figure might ladle out to graduates this weekend.
by 5 p.m. ET Monday to e-mail your answer (NewsQuiz@slate.com).
Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 53)--"I Got U2, Babe":
Fill in the blank. In Belfast Tuesday, a spokesman for Bono said, "U2 are a rock band; they're not a __________."
"Singular collective noun."--Jack Hitt
"Good band, I'll grant you that, but they are a rock band."--Nancy Franklin (Steven L. Smith, Andrew Solovay, and Dan Simon had similar responses.)
"Doctor, Jim."--Tim Carvell (similarly, Jeff Schnitzer)
"Bunch of self-important musicians with a spokesman."--Cliff Schoenberg
"Lubricant, chocolatey beverage, or Himalayan peak."--David Rakoff
"Not in possession of any relevant information in the Lewinsky matter. So would you please leave us alone, Mr. Starr?"--Adam Bonin
"Bit near Dover. Dover is W2. How do you get from U2 to W2? That's a good 400 friggin' miles. You're holding the map all crooked, you sod!"--Charlie Rubin
"15th century Italian poet, much to the dismay of certain editors who repeatedly bemoan the shallowness of contemporary society's cultural references."--Daniel Radosh
Click for more responses.
Such rabid hostility toward the Irish rockers. (I am so old I'm still steamed at those ponderous pseuds Vanilla Fudge.) If only there were a chant that might effectively advocate the band's dissolution. Something canine and paternal. Something taxi drivers might chant to New York's mayor when they peaceably assemble to petition for a redress of grievances. Which they won't be doing. The police have barricaded the bridges, blocking cabs from entering Manhattan. Isn't this the sort of loutish response to dissent that we associate with the Philippines, Tiananmen Square, Jakarta, General Electric? How is this policy working out for Suharto, by the way? That's one scary dog.
Note to DR: Dante's not 15th-century; he's late 13th-early 14th, as they showed so playfully in this week's Dharma and Greg.
Augmented Quotations (final sentence added by "News Quiz")
"I learned a lot from Cube about Snoop. Much as Leonard Bernstein once learned from Janis Ian."--Warren Beatty, re the kids and their music
"I think it's really a shame for him to be name-calling like that, particularly since he's a religious person. OK, boys, let's teach the reverend some manners."--Rudy Giuliani, re the Rev. Calvin Butts
forms of entertainment referred to over the last five quizzes
Movies ---------------------------- 16
Television -------------------------- 12
Popular Music----------------------- 5
The Broadway Stage ---------------- 2
Capering Costumed Animals --------- 2
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