Magazine | July 08, 2019, Issue

Sound: Coughing

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

Deleted Material,
December 7, 1941:

“Totally lousy day. Just . . . just like the totally worst day. And in the future, people will be, like, That must have been a crappy day for those people and — ”

Sound: coughing

“Are you kidding? Can you please — who was that? Was that Stimson? Stimson? Can you just — can somebody get Stimson a Sucret or something? No, no, we need to do this again, okay? I’ll tighten it up, too. Just feels, just not like, like, stirring enough, you know? It’s just flabby and I just want it more like, like crackly radio noises and then I say something like, ‘Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.’ Oooh. That’s good. Give me a sec to write that down. And then we’ll do another take. Okay?”

Unusable Material,
March 15, 44 b.c.:

“Can I have everybody’s attention, please? Just for a moment? And then I promise I will let you guys go back to your whatevers and . . . Hello? Can I just . . . Hello? I just have a few short prepared remarks — ”

Sound: hand under armpit, laughter

“Okay, who was that? That’s just rude. If you don’t want to be here, there’s the door, okay? No one is forcing anyone to — hello? Can I just . . . Come on, guys! Seriously? Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your — ”

Unused Audio, Thursday,
November 19, 1863:

“. . . let me see, maybe 80-plus years? I want to say, 80 and some change years ago? Don’t quote me on the exact dates — dates aren’t my thing, but I know we can say it was a long time ago, okay? When the country was made by the guys back then and the Constitution and the whole bit, that shebang, with the Bill of Rights, which was a very good document, really a superb . . . I mean, just as a piece of writing, am I right? And then they were, it was liberty, that’s what it was all about — ”

Sound: Horse whinny

“ — can you please, what? Can you just . . . What’s the horse doing here? Steve? Can someone tell me what the horse is, why there’s a horse right here making all the noise and . . . Keep going? Keep going? Doug, I don’t know where I was, okay? The horse and the . . . Okay, let’s start again, can we do that? Let’s just start again. Okay, cleansing breath. Cleansing breath. Coming down in three, two, one. Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth . . .”

Removed from Official
Account, Year 26, day and
date unknown:

“You know who’s great? The poor! So great. So, so, so great. Totally going to be in heaven with the angels and the whole thing. Not just the poor, it’s not a money thing, but also the poor in spirit, and I know you know who you are, plus which the meek, they’re also totally going to make out in the whole deal and — ”

Sound: olive branch waving in wind

“Excuse me, you with the olive branch? I am not trying to single you out, but it’s very distracting, you waving that. Can you just . . . thanks. No, no need to apologize, I totally get it, it’s hot out here and the sun can be a killer, it’s just that there are people around you and . . . no problem. Thanks so much. Okay, where was I? Did I do the poor? No? No, I did? Let’s just start again. Okay. So. Now. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven . . .”

Outtake, Reel #2,
June 12, 1987:

“. . . and people are always saying to me, since he took, you know, that job over there — and it’s been confusing, let me tell you, what with all of the various leaders there and so forth, the, the, the Chernenko and the Andropov and what have you, it’s been a real challenge just to keep up with all of that, and people say to me that this new person, his name is just right there on the tip of my tongue, the new one, what’s his name? No, don’t tell me. It’ll come. Anyway, so the wall behind me, if someone like the new person over there really means what he says then maybe he should just, you know . . .”

Sound: Imperceptible chewing noise

“I’m sorry. I just . . . is that gum? Is someone chewing gum? It’s very rude. The smack-smack and the lip noise and it’s very distracting. I don’t even know . . . Gorbachev! I got it! Mikhail Gorbachev! Right. Can’t believe it slipped my mind, but I got it now. Can we restart from one? Tell me when you’re ready? Where’s the light? Yes? Okay, you got the part before and then I looked over here and you can match cut right into this and . . . Mr. Gorbachev! Tear down this wall! Wait. Let me do it again, it didn’t have the intensity.”

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