“Space rhetoric cannot help but be romantic; the gaps are so wide, the voids so vast—and filled, with cruel meagerness, by objects we laughingly named for gods—that the only way it can be comfortably expressed and understood is through either math or poetry, both of which are known for their simple complexity and necessary shattering of the real into vicious abstractions.”
“The halftime pause provokes thought, a searching for a psychic niche within which to fit this freak contest. From the unheralded names of the sport have come the moments that will define the first half of this decade in college football; the great whirling maelstrom of this contest and the 734 yard performance of Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday should mark 2014 as the epitome of the offense-first era, the high water mark for the huddle-less blurs currently in vogue, and the general feeling in the Ernie Salvatore Press Box is one of seeing the pendulum swing, swing so high and violently it may invert.”
“The current state of vast swaths of the Levant resembles, from the outside, a ball of asps, strange entanglements—Iran on the side of the Iraqi government, and both in bed with the U.S., say—baring fangs and discouraging untangling. And it is here where author Patrick Cockburn comes into play, drawing and pinning the various venomous heads and revealing, with terrible clarity, that what seems a ball of snakes is … in reality … a hydra.
Although in possession of many heads—which, coincidentally, famously sprout, two anew, from the stump of its neck when guillotined, a bizarre, extremely sadistic sexual life analogous to the jihadis’ own, reproduction via decapitation—the hydra comes as just one beast; so, too, can the Islamic State and other related jihadi militias be considered a reflection of Sunni Muslim extremism.”