Magazine | October 19, 2009, Issue

Literary Classics

The Official ACORN™ editions --

From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain:

The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I did what the lady at ACORN told me to: I lit out. Tied her up, gagged her with an old belt. Took the TV, took her jewelry, took most of the silverware she had in the sideboard. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. Lit the house on fire on my way out. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back and be respectable. Didn’t seem like much fun, so when Tom’s back was turned I removed the old butter knife from my blue jeans and . . .

From The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

It rained. The procession of weary soldiers became a bedraggled train, despondent and muttering, marching with churning effort in a trough of liquid brown mud under a low, wretched sky. Still, a lot of them had valuables on their persons, which could be easily lifted from their lean and sickly frames. Wedding rings, belt buckles, picture frames, all of these were worth grabbing as they passed by. The youth smiled, for he saw that the world was a world for him, though many discovered it to be made of oaths and walking sticks. He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past. He had been an animal blistered and sweating in the heat and pain of war. Thanks to ACORN, he turned now with a lover’s thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks, profitable enterprises of prostitution and tax evasion — an existence of soft and eternal peace.

From The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James:

Madame Merle had not made her appearance at Palazzo Roccanera headquarters of ACORN on the evening of that Thursday of which I have narrated some of the incidents, and Isabel, though she observed her absence, was not surprised by it. The madame in question was running a highly lucrative prostitution ring out of her government-provided home, and when she was not busily burying the cash proceeds in the back yard, she was dedicated to ensuring the safe passage of young girls from the south into the hands of her talented pimp. Things had passed between them which added no stimulus to sociability, and to appreciate which we must glance a little backward. It has been mentioned that Madame Merle returned from Naples shortly after Lord Warburton had left Rome, and that on her first meeting with Isabel (whom, to do her justice, she came immediately to see) her first utterance had been an enquiry as to the whereabouts of this nobleman, for whom she appeared to hold her dear friend accountable, and who, it emerged, owed her a great deal of drug money. “Where’s the Lord, be-atch?” she asked. And it was then that Isabel produced the shiv. It was on.

From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

I took a huge swig from my Colt 45, and as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s Glock 9mm. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night, and in the backyard, buried in an old tin box, the cash he saved from the deal with the Mexican drug gang that ACORN had set up. ACORN! 

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, get more from the government . . . And one fine morning – 

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, into next year’s appropriation bills.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Typology of Tyrants

Sickly, half-lame little Josep Jughashvili grew up to be the terrible and terrifying Joseph Stalin — gangster, egomaniac, mass murderer, diabolical titan. His statues once dotted town squares throughout the ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Iran Outlook: Grim

The week of September 21 was supposed to be multilateralism on parade for President Obama: attending the Climate Summit, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, chairing the Security Council, and celebrating ...
Politics & Policy

Romney Reboots

In the early stages of the undeclared race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney is the frontrunner. The former governor of Massachusetts has the best-developed national network of supporters ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Parallel Lives

  In February 1946, George Kennan despaired that the U.S. government, mystified by Soviet unwillingness to cooperate in its plans for shaping the post-war world, understood neither the nature of Stalin’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Wrong Man

Another Steven Soderbergh movie already? It was only last winter that the prolific director was inviting audiences to endure the turgid Che, his two-part, four-hour Che Guevara passion play. The ...

Sections

The Long View

Literary Classics

From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the ...
Politics & Policy

Letter

Populists Are Sometimes Right Normally I look forward to Florence King’s “Bent Pin” column, but her commentary on the recent town-hall protests, “Put Down That Pitchfork” (September 21), disappointed me. Perhaps ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The difference is, the Dancing with the Stars judges have a solid case against Tom DeLay. ‐ In a matter of about three weeks, the Left’s view of Afghanistan has ...
The Bent Pin

Gone with the Windbags

Like eager children clamoring to know “Are we there yet?” MSNBC’s news anchors always seem to be asking “Is it racism yet?” We can tell from their unrestrained glee that ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Culture

Max Boot’s Dishonesty

Before yesterday, my primary criticism of the Washington Post’s Max Boot was political in nature. As I wrote in a recent book review, I found it regrettable that Boot’s opposition to the president had not prevented him from “succumbing reactively to Trump’s cult of personality, or from making Trump the ... Read More
Elections

A Brief History of Election Meddling

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the second in a series of excerpts. ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Thus spoke President Barack Obama just a couple of weeks before ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More