I just can’t get all that worked up about the Texas Board of Education replacing Thomas Jefferson with John Calvin. Bit of a fait accompli, wouldn’t you say? Or, wait — to use a more folksy phrase since this is Texas we’re talking about, ain’t this a tad like closing the barn door after the hoss done long skedaddled? For years, I’ve told anyone who would listen, and many who wouldn’t, that Calvin should be considered one of the Founding Fathers for the influence he’s had on what it means to be an American. I mean, really — a France-loving polymath, a cosmopolitan intellectual on the one hand, and a grim religious lunatic on the other. Which one do you see grinning back at you from American society today?
It’s an old joke in the blogosphere about Thomas Friedman and the way he can always find a taxi driver in the course of his world travels who just happens to provide quote-worthy material that reads like, well, Thomas Friedman with a foreign accent.
As a result, one has produced a fuel cell that can turn natural gas or natural grass into electricity; the other has a technology that might make coal the cleanest, cheapest energy source by turning its carbon-dioxide emissions into bricks to build your next house.
Wait…am I reading the Onion?
Tiger Woods’ performance yesterday drew mixed reviews from some image professionals in the area.…Stuart rated the performance a B+.
…However, Ernest DelBuono, who handles crisis-management services for Richmond-based advertising and public-relations firm Neathawk Dubuque & Packett, said Woods did not need to show such public contrition and questioned why he did it in the first place.
…At the Martin Agency, Woods’ appearance drew a crowd around the TVs. Though the Shockoe Slip-based ad agency did not have clients tied to Woods, the company’s director of marketing communications, Dean Jarrett, and others were curious how Woods would handle himself as a brand.
For more in-depth exploration of the nuances of the public apology of a ravenous, insatiable fuckmonster, please see this helpful diagram.
I saw both of these articles hours ago, and I just cannot stop laughing. I might just have to tune into cable news to see if they have any high-tech presentations to help me better understand all the details.
Synchronicity, baby. I swear by the feathers of Quetzalcoatl, just yesterday I was trading emails with a dear, sweet friend, and I was assuring her in one of them that she hadn’t missed anything at all by not subjecting herself to reading any of Ayn Rand’s novels. At one point in the afternoon, though, I stopped my typing and looked up, a quizzical look upon my face.
I said to myself, I said: “Self? Did you hear something?”
“Maybe… I’m not sure. What did it sound like?”
“Well…sort of like the collective strangled gasp of thousands of frigid, heartless Randroid fanboys and fangirls finding a momentary release from hating everyone else in the world through a simultaneous orgasm, despite the ironic fact that the thought of doing anything collectively would have spoiled even that meager pleasure for them.”
“Ah, yes, that was it. I was going to say it was just the neighbor’s dog making noise again, but no, you’re right.”
I shrugged and returned to my correspondence. Later on, I finally got around to reading the news headlines and noted that a crazy dude in a plane had gone all kamikaze on an IRS building in Texas. Ohhh, that explained it. Hell, even a name like “Joe Stack” sounds like a Rand character; straightforward, firm and rugged! Do we have a rambling fuck-the-gummint stemwinder? You know it! So there you go, my dear, sweet friend. All we need is a rape scene somewhere in there, and you’ve got one of her novels playing out in real time. See what you’re not missing?
I happen to be related to a few Randroids, so I’ve had ample opportunity to observe them in their native habitat. I was curious to see if they would, indeed, be all giddy with joy over this blow struck for freedom. So I solicited their reactions. Would they let puny obstacles like ideological consistency or fear of being called “terrorist sympathizers” stand in their way? Well, would John Galt have let that stop him? Of course not, you stupid, weak, girly-man commie. They were proud to claim this freedom fighter as one of their own (even as they claimed he was actually a leftist, trying to have their cake and smear it too).
I didn’t bother trying to point out that “It’s only terrorism when it’s done by people we don’t like for reasons we don’t agree with” is not a very sturdy ethical foundation. I didn’t ask if it was really only a few short years ago that simply calling the president a liar meant you were guilty of treason. I just promised to get my fellow bleeding hearts in the ACLU and Amnesty International to try and spring them from whatever secret prison camp they end up in under some hidden clause in the Patriot Act, and that I would send them Korans and pornography while they were there.
Eight and a half years and one Democratic president. That’s all it took before I heard Republicans, newly infatuated with moral relativism, start shamelessly arguing that crashing planes into government buildings in the hope of killing civilians was a legitimate act of political protest. If it hadn’t been so goddamned achingly predictable, it would be really funny.
The Beast is back with their 50 Most Loathsome. I was glad to see Joe Farah of WorldNutDaily on there, given that an acquaintance kept tormenting me with their fucking “articles” about Obama’s death panels last summer, but I have to quibble with this:
Sentence: 2nd place in a John Stossel lookalike contest.
John Stossel? C’mon. Look at his picture —
Anyway. Thanks to the magic of DVRs, I’ve never actually seen a Shamwow commerical, but I have to say that this was probably my favorite sentence on this year’s list:
Sentence: Coke stash raided nightly by the shouting ghost of Billy Mays.
More importantly, at what point do people begin to recognize that because sending money to Haiti is the root of the problem, it cannot be part of the solution?
[…] The earthquake is not a sign that people should begin helping Haiti. It is entirely the opposite. It is a powerful warning that people must stop trying to help Haiti. Instead, they must leave the Haitians alone to help themselves, which, of course, it is possible they may not be willing to do after decades of dependence on external support.
Hey, it hurts him more than it does them, remember. Anyway — it’s safe to say that WorldNutDaily’s readers are no doubt nodding along, feeling smugly superior to those voodoo children who are too stupid and immature to be trusted with money, and too lazy to find the severed lower halves of their legs so they can start pulling up on those bootstraps.
Meanwhile, if you click through to his column, you’ll be greeted by ads that promise to teach you how to build a solar panel in ONE DAY to save 99% on your power bill, and how to discover what self-defense masters and the Army DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW. I’m tempted to see if refreshing the page will give me the inside scoop on how to add three inches to my equipment, make a hundred bucks an hour stuffing envelopes at home, get a master’s degree online, and create a perpetual motion machine from the parts of that junked car on my front lawn. I mean, if I’m going to get that solar panel done in one day, I might as well find something to do on Sunday!
So while your initial reaction might have been to gasp in shock that anyone could be so heartless toward victims of a horrific natural disaster, I think it’s far more understandable when you realize that these people have probably already given tons of money to Nigerian princes-in-exile; in fact, that’s probably where they developed a suspicion about foreign black people supposedly needing money to begin with.
Apparently we’re all shocked now because some Fox News personality departed from the standards of professional journalism that are the network’s stock-in-trade in order to tell Tiger Woods to get right with Jeebus. Am I the only one who finds this immensely amusing?
Jowly talking basset-hound says:
“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith,” said Hume. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, ‘Tiger turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”
But lo! A rejoinder comes by way of a, uh, jowly, gravel-voiced, mumbly-puss shock jock and noted theologian:
The Don Imus show crew reported that Hume doesn’t quite have his facts straight on Buddhism.”
According to Imus, “Well, we checked this morning and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately if you are a Buddhist, there is a path to recovery and redemption. Right? Well yes there is. The idea of redemption — nirvana under Buddhism — is achieving the state of being freed from greed, hate, and delusion.”
Now, it should be said that Hume is probably correct. After all, the Christian God famously knocked up another man’s wife, so if anyone would commiserate with Tiger’s wanderlust, it would be him. Though, really, if being a man-whore is your thing, you should probably look to the Greek pantheon for sympathy. Who didn’t those gods sleep with?
However, I have to nitpick with Imus’s “Buddhism in 30 Seconds” seminar too — it’s my understanding that the whole thing about achieving nirvana is the realization that there is no one to be forgiven or redeemed in the first place. The self is a fiction, the ultimate delusion. People don’t have permanent essences.
But perhaps that will all be covered in depth on Glenn Beck’s next show.
After her appearance in which she dubbed King “inappropriate” and attempted to exit the set, Prejean accused the staffer of lying to her, saying King’s producers promised no phone calls. She belittled McAusland saying, “Is the intern talking to me? Oh look at the little intern, look at the little intern trying to explain!”
“I’ve never been treated so poorly in my whole life,” McAusland, who recently accepted an executive producer position at Newsie.com of Media Convergence Group, said.
Huh. A shallow hypochristian who’s been treated like royalty most of her life because of her looks has no time for the little people. The hell you say. Well, I’m convinced. She’s the lowest of the low. I fart in her general direction and all that.
The thing about the intern reminded me of something else, though…
WHAT LIBERAL DICKWAD? Milhouse is all grown up: He has a goatee, a PhD from Stanford and an online diary where he proclaims his love for Jackson Browne. Liberal bloggers are holding it up like the fucking Alamo, but his run-in with Dennis Miller last month left Alterman looking like he was about to get his head dunked in the toilet for the third time. Even if you agree with him about Ann Coulter and Alexander Cockburn, it’s hard not to root against this smirking, center-left prick who likes his dinner dates rich and famous and his fois gras seared. “He constantly wants to remind you that he’s Eric Alterman,” one of his interns revealed in a rumor-confirming Village Voice hatchet-job, “[and] that he knows a lot of important people, and that you’re a lowly intern.”
Goodness gracious! And as far as I’m aware, Carrie Prejean hasn’t knowingly repeated baseless slanders against Noam Chomsky, or resorted to bullshit Nader-bashing the way Alterman has. And I doubt she makes Bruce Springsteen (or is it Bob Seger? John Mellencamp? All those nostalgia-rockers run together in my head. Their songs all make me think of middle-aged men, Chevy trucks, and shots of prairie grass waving in the wind against a sunset. Anyway, he slobbers all over one of them.) an object of cult worship either, so that’s another point in her favor.
I also had to laugh, given that Digby had just posted something a day or so earlier fawning over the great pwoggie hope Al Franken. Guess what Dennis Perrin can tell us about him?
I’ve seen Franken in action up-close, and he seems to revel in being an asshole. Plus, I’ve been told all sorts of stories about his abusive behavior from various sources, including those who worked intimately with him, his ex-comedy partner Tom Davis chief among them. Tom probably knows Franken better than anyone other than Franken’s wife, and while some of the stuff he told me about his old partner didn’t surprise me, I did wonder how Tom put up with it for as long as he did. Still, the two of them produced some really funny bits on the original “SNL”, so I will give Franken that. But a Minnesota Senator in the mold of the late Paul Wellstone? Don’t make me laugh.
Well, obviously, she didn’t get it. In fact, the experience rattled her in a way I’d never seen before. And who was her main tormentor? Al Franken! Sharon said that she would begin a character monologue as requested, but before she got 15 seconds into it, Franken would shout in that annoying voice of his, “NEXT.” Franken also talked to other people while Sharon tried to perform, telling jokes and not paying attention to her efforts. Then he would stop, clap his hands sarcastically, then grunt “Got anything else?” After maybe 10 or so minutes, the audition was over, and Sharon was led out while Franken completely ignored her. She got her first serious taste of the pricks who run much of American comedy, and it deflated her.
Good thing we enlightened
liberals progressives know how to keep someone’s personal churlishness separate from their thoughts and ideas, huh?
The point is this: Prejean was asked, for some incomprehensible reason, what she thought about gay marriage. She gave her opinion —
“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”
D’oh! My mistake! That was Barack Obama in an interview with the Chicago Daily-Tribune, so, uh, that makes it totally different! Anyway, Ms. Prejean gave her opinion —
“Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”
— which, to my coarse sensibilities, is so mundane and anodyne as to be worth no further attention. Last time I checked, beauty contestants didn’t influence anyone’s politics or make decisions regarding public policy. All people really want to do is watch them sashay around in bikinis. No one gives a fuck what they think about anything. No one would even remember this if a certain gossip-blogger, notorious for being a gigantic asshole (and a dishonest one at that) hadn’t gone ballistic about it. And here we are, still hearing about this trivia like it matters, and hearing about her personal behavior as if it has a fucking thing to do with civil rights for gays. She gets to look like a victim of uptight p.c. bullies to those who follow politics, and after her nude photos and videotaped self-diddling, she could probably run for president and win with the 18-24 year-old male turnout alone.
Bravo, everyone. Bra-vo. I take it it wasn’t enough you helped make Sam the Plunger a fixture in the news for months on end by dissecting his every inane utterance? Well, at least this shiny object is easier on the eyes, I guess.
Corporate journalists are invariably sycophantic hacks. No, it’s true! They’re often members of the same social class as those in positions of power to whom they’re supposedly implacably opposed! They attend the same cocktail parties and send their kids to the same private schools and everything!
Well, that’s about all there is to say about that. To my chagrin, I admit that being unable to act surprised anew by that fact every day helps keep me from ever attaining the page hits and blog-ad revenue of all the big pwoggie-bloggers. But we must be true to ourselves above all, and I simply have no interest in joining the chorus of short-sighted people pissing and moaning about this or that particular reporter or pundit who’s a little too cozy with this or that Republican, blah blah blah.
That said, sometimes even I can’t help but enjoy munching on a Comedy Gold-en Delicious apple that falls into my open hand.
So, I’ve spent the last several weeks watching the entire series of The Wire via Netflix, and just finished it over the weekend. The fifth and final season focused to a large degree on the media, based on executive producer David Simon’s experience working for the Baltimore Sun. The DVD had a bonus feature that contained a bunch of people associated with the show, along with assorted journalists, giving their two cents on the state of print media, journalism, the Internet, all that good stuff.
Somehow, out of all the people they could have picked to offer some words of wisdom about the Meaning of it All, they got Joe Klein.
The depths of his incredible hackitude have been thoroughly navigated, explored, and mapped elsewhere, so I won’t bother rehashing all that. Go plug his name into the “search this blog” function on anyone from Eschaton or Hullabaloo or Greenwald on down if you need to refresh your memory. I just want to share this amazing tidbit here:
“I’m entirely depressed about the state of my craft. Newspapers and magazines are losing readers, young people aren’t reading them. You know, I watch as my colleagues get laid off and fired — it’s kind of like being gay in 1982, half the people I know are dying, they’re being, you know, they’re being cut off.”
Now, I understand that the whole point of analogies is to (skillfully) compare apples to oranges, basically. And it’s a longstanding pet peeve of mine that people constantly hyperventilate over touchy analogies by focusing on the two examples rather than the common theme or thread between them: “Ohmigod I can’t believe he just totally compared X to Y get me the smelling salts AIIIEEEE…” But still, some images are just too incongruous to make the analogy work. For example, pretty much anything being contrasted with Hitler/the Nazis. Leaving aside the whole aspect of it being utterly, utterly overused, almost anything you’re seeking to call attention to for its awfulness is going to suffer in comparison to the Nazis, and you’re just going to look like an unimaginative idiot.
So while I have to give it up to Joe for coming up with a new one here, I still have to say: Really? That’s the best image you could think of? Watching your profession change beyond recognition, watching colleagues lose their jobs…that’s “kind of like” wasting away from a mysterious, horrible – incurable – disease at a time when no one in power wants to acknowledge it, and many of them actually see it as just retribution against you for thwarting God’s plans? That’s “kind of like” literally dying? Really? So…I guess all the massive unemployment we have now, all the ordinary people who don’t have enough education, special skills or connections to land on their feet somewhere else, all the people who are losing everything they own because people far above them in another world played games with imaginary money on paper…that’s kind of like the Holocaust, isn’t it?
Shit. Just violated my own rule.
Well, if there’s ever a holocaust of Jewish snails, gypsy earthworms, leftist aphids, and socially degenerate toads, we can’t say we weren’t warned. On the bright side, they don’t require nearly as much lebensraum, so maybe the Russian butterflies have nothing to worry about.
“I want to show that there is far-right thought in the heads of all of us,” he said, adding that gnomes were a particularly fitting method for conveying his message “in a lighter and unpatronising way, at the same time as being strong enough to provoke a reaction.
Wow, that’s deep. Seriously, if our avant-garde hero hadn’t come along and peeled back the layers of propaganda, thought control, and stultifying social conformity that prevent us from grasping such esoteric truths, I might have needed to find a teenager who had just discovered the History Channel, Lord of the Rings and marijuana to share this insight with me.
“As long as I manage to polarise, I’m on the right track,” he added.
Right, because sycophantic adulation and vehement opposition are so hard to come by. You know, sometimes when people are uproariously laughing at you or staring at you in bewilderment, it’s not because they’re trying desperately to mask their fear of the painful truth you bring, it’s just because you’re a fucking idiot and completely unaware of it. Rule of thumb: if you can imagine your art ending up on Regretsy, you’re not anywhere near the station, let alone on the right track.