Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SLOUGHS OF DESPOND.

'Round rightwing world, there has of late been much lamentation and weeping over the ruin Obama is alleged to have made of America. This is of course just their way of trying to distract the rabble so they might forget who George W. Bush was and let the Republicans get back into power, whereupon they will begin a war with Iran, force paupers to subsist on protein powder (but not the good kind the yuppies get!), institute the Yacht Needs Cleaning Income Tax Credit, and generally complete the neo-feudalization process. But right now they're really gnashing their little teeth out and it's fun to watch.

Take the ultimate wingnut Memorial Day essay by Town Hall's Slaverin' Kurt Schlichter:
Like everything about the Community Organizer-In-Chief and his cronies, everything about the carefully choreographed charade we’ll see this Memorial Day is a lie... 
It’s a pose, an act, a scam. You can see it in the faces of the liberal politicians as they are forced to stand there onstage each last Monday of May, pretending they wouldn’t rather be anywhere else in the world than in the sun listening to people talk about what, at best, liberals consider suckers, and more often consider outright babykillers.
(His readers nod sagely from their Barcaloungers and wash down another burger with another craft beer.)
Look at Obama’s face as he walks behind the floral tribute in front of the cameras at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Tell me he’s thinking about the men who stormed ashore at Normandy and not about getting out of there and teeing up.
He’ll talk a good game – they all will, but it’s all a lie. If he cared, he wouldn’t have squandered the victory in Iraq to satisfy his America-hating pals on the left. ISIS, the JV team? Obama lied, and tens of thousands died – and those were the lucky ones.
The whole froth is a delight -- some sections, e.g. "They spit in our warriors’ collective face every time Jenjis Kerrey’s equine mug flashes across the TV screen as he rushes back to the Middle East to tongue kiss the Iranian Islamonazis..." you can easily imagine being read by Patrick Magee in A Clockwork Orange. But "and those were the lucky ones" is sublime -- her heroes spent, America  cowers before the coming reign of Hitlery ISIS!

At National Review Victor Davis Maximus Super Hanson brings the back of his wrist to his forehead, flutters his eyelids, and mourns the wreck Obama has made of the Middle East to which C-Plus Augustus once brought order and stability. Also unlike Bush, Obama won't suck up to the Saudi pashas  -- and have a care, soothsays Hanson, for "their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars" (also, they share our values!) -- plus Obama hates Israel, perhaps because "it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization," but he loves his fellow black people, whom he and "the elites" subsidize with "huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city." You see the problem: Obama gives more attention to America's despised underclass than to Arab sheiks and Israel. Vanitas! 

Hanson's colleague Quin Hillyer, who actually revives the #Benghazi-is-worse-than-Watergate thing ("a few goobers rifling through the office of the opposing political party" etc) and denounces the Clintons in general for "putting all the rest of us at substantially greater risk of annihilation" (hysteritalics his). But it's the American people who seem most to disappoint him. "A goodly number of Americans apparently are aware of the scandal yet still fall at [Hillary Clinton's] feet," he gasps. The punters also "believe quarterback Tom Brady cheated but say in the next breath that he’s a good role model for children." Of course, dummy, you want to say to him, how long have you lived in this country, Brady's rich and butch! But by then Hillyer is on about our "culture" and how it "celebrates depravities" and  "we're now told that we can't spank a misbehaving child; that we can't read Huckleberry Finn because it features the 'n' word; that we can’t name sports teams in honor of Indians" etc. and eventually Hillyer is holding his knees to his chest, rocking and reminiscing on Pat Moynihan and the Moody Blues.

The best, however, is Rod Dreher having the expected 100,000-word meltdown over gay marriage in Ireland. Here is, in every sense, the nut graf:
Understand that by “liberalism,” [Matthew B. Crawford] means not the social politics of the Democratic Party and its supporters, but the entire Enlightenment framework of social and political ideas. All of us Americans, whether we call ourselves liberals or conservatives, are liberals in this sense. I am no different. I believe in free speech, freedom of religion, civil rights and the other hallmarks of liberalism. Now that liberalism has evolved into hostility to what I believe to be true about religion, morality, and human nature, I — like all orthodox Christians — have to face the fact that liberalism, which all of us Americans took in with our mother’s milk, may ultimately be alien to our faith, because in the end, it enthrones the choosing Self over God or any conception of external, transcendent Truth.
Keep this in mind when they come whining at you about gay wedding cakes -- these guys think that the Enlightenment, whence came the American idea of freedom, is anti-Christian. And you know what the next step would be. I'm beginning to think Dreher's half-hearted praise of the "hallmarks of liberalism" is just so much taqiyya.

Friday, May 22, 2015

FRIDAY 'ROUND THE HORN.



Mama had this record. Whole thing's great, but I particularly like the part
with the Leslie'd organ and what I believe is choked-pick percussion git.

•   National Review's John Miller is again pimping Liberty Island, the website whose politically-driven belles-lettres we've examined before, so I figured I'd have a look. Among recent offerings is the winner of its recent Memorial Day writing contest, a story called Bait, in which he-men with Marine training use a sissy Hollywood actor to break up a super-sophisticated dogfighting ring, and then see to it that the sissy gets beat up because he's a sissy. The author demonstrates a great deal of knowledge about armaments, and sympathy for dogs if not Hollywood sissies; if you're going to be cruel at Liberty Island, it pays to be sentimental, too. Fave line: "Hell, there was even the rock god my kid sister had worshipped in high school [at the dogfight]. I guess meat was only murder sometimes." Picture Morrissey crying "ten thousand quid on the pitbull with the faraway eyes." Also in rotation: "WILL YOU SURVIVE IF (WHEN?) THE POWER GRID GOES DOWN?" which I think is sponsored content but with this bunch you never know. Oh, and an announcement for a new Book of the Year contest, sponsored by the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance, for people who like their art-product vetted by ideologues.

•   Elizabeth Warren says "the game is rigged" and she's right, says National Review's Jim Geraghty, "but she’s off-base in her assessment of how it’s rigged" -- it's you liberals and your so-called "education" that rigged it! Geraghty points to an article in The Economist called “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege," and tells us,
...the liberal-dominated world of higher education has turned itself into the exorbitantly expensive entry gate to the middle class, setting aside quite a few slots for the offspring of current elites.
Wait a minute -- colleges are expensive, and the children of the rich get unfair advantages in them? This is brand new! Thanks, Obama! Wait, it gets worse: Geraghty says the article also tells us
...law firms, investment banks, and consulting firms tend to hire applicants from well-known universities who were already “culturally similar” to the institution. “Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity.” In other words, if you don’t remind the elite employer making the hiring decision of himself, you’re less likely to be hired for the big job.
It sounds as if Obama has changed human nature itself! In the old days, you could just search the candidate's chest for the right class pin or school tie; now I suppose you have check out his "self-presentation style" -- to see if it's liberal! Next Geraghty will read somewhere and rush back to tell us that under Obama rich people eat fancy food while ordinary Americans eat sammiches. This could break the election wide open for whichever rich theocrat the GOP nominates!

•   I'm tired of doing all the hard work around here, so I'll just point out that in this Michael Brendan Dougherty column the job of proving, or even making an argument, that letting all kinds of people (including gays and singles) have babies will lead the disaster is entirely left to the framing device, which talks about an abandoned baby left in a bag -- another thing that never happened before Obama! -- and then shock-cuts to the tale of a child-support suit against a sperm donor and proceeds to other such curiosities, none of which, so far as the column tells, are related to the abandoned baby except in that abandoned babies are bad and these things near it are, in Dougherty's view, also bad. I knew these guys were feeble in the logic department, but couldn't they take a weekend course and learn something about metaphors at least?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HEY, I READ SOMEPLACE LINCOLN WAS GAY.

Remember Stella Morabito, covered here last year for a magnificent column in which she compared advocates of gay marriage to Symbionese Liberation Army members raping and brainwashing Patty Hearst? Sample passage:
If we step back and take this all in, there should be no question that coercive persuasion can happen on a mass scale in America. Those pushing the [gay marriage] agenda first cultivate a climate that creates social punishment for dissent and social rewards for compliance. Label anyone who disagrees as a bigot or a “hater,” a non-person. Reward those who agree with public accolades. Before you know it, even well-known old conservative pundits who fear becoming irrelevant sign on to it, and thus contribute to the juggernaut.
Soon we'll have Pat Buchanan in assless chaps! Well, Morabito is still writing, and still obsessed with guess what and conservative treason to the cause:
LGBT Activists Arm For Further War On Free Speech
Apparently Morabito read a story about some folks who are campaigning for "a major federal nondiscrimination bill that protects people from prejudice based on sexuality and gender identity," and has decided this means homosexualists will ban Americans from saying things like "we don't serve your kind here, faggot." The whole thing's a joy -- Morabito's writing style remains fever-pitched and prone to metaphor metastasis ("There’s so much to unpack here, but if pressed to dissect this vat of worms...") -- but this is my favorite part:
The LGBT lobby has always known that it needs to get Republicans, conservatives, and evangelicals on board—through their leaders—because they still command a wide swath of America, and, worse, some people might not be intimidated enough to refrain from saying things not in line with the lobby’s agenda. 
Hence, there are infiltration efforts like “Log Cabin Republicans,” whose sole purpose has been to promote the LGBT lobby while claiming to be conservative.
The Log Cabin Republicans! Most of us think of them as charmingly ineffectual, but we're apparently just brainwashed by the liberal media, who cover for their true Mattachine machinations. I like to imagine them back at their founding in 1977, no doubt in some tastefully-appointed sex dungeon, rubbing their hands with glee and telling one another, "yessss, it's a long game, but the rewards will be sooooo-cialistically delicious!"

A wonder who's doing more to hurt the anti-gay-marriage campaign: the LCR, or stuff like this? Or maybe Steve Wiles is a double agent. This thing goes deeper than we imagined! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ALSO, WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP TELLING ME TO LOOK UP "LEMONPARTY"?

Pretty much everyone has noticed that violent mass events starring white people get handled differently in the press from violent mass events starring black people, and Waco/Baltimore comparisons seem to fit the pattern. Surely you must have been wondering: what is the libertarian position on this? Take it away, Ed Krayewski of Reason:
The comparisons to the police reform protests are the more problematic of the two. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates seemed to make that comparison in a series of tweets Monday night that emulating right-wing reactions to the police protest movement. One curious tweet asks "Why won't America's biker gangs be more like Dr. Martin Luther King?" What is the comparison Coates is trying to draw? If there were violent protesters in Baltimore with legitimate grievances—and they were urged by some to be more peaceful—does Coates believe the bikers, too, had some kind of legitimate grievances at the Twin Peaks restaurant? If he doesn't believe so, does he believe there are white people out there who believe that? I certainly haven't heard or read anything about either the bike gangs allegedly involved or anyone in the press trying to ascribe legitimate grievances to the thugs at the restaurant.
In other words, the libertarian position is they don't understand jokes unless they're in Klingon.

UPDATE.  Kevin D. Williamson does a version of this at National Review, with arguments on the order of oh, you're against calling black rioters "thugs" well what about Tupac libtards etc. Also, why doesn't "America’s most stridently progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio" shut down the Hell's Angels clubhouse on East Third? I might tell him that the Angels have been keeping that block clean and righteous for decades, as opposed to shooting it up Waco-style, but then I'd be playing Williamson's neither-Holy-nor-Roman-nor-an-Empire dork game with him, and life is too fucking short.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A SUREFIRE WAY TO GET CONSERVATIVES TO STICK UP FOR YOU.

A Duke professor wrote comments on a New York Times editorial that got negative attention. Sample:
So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard. 
I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white. 
It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.
Never mind that you can see that and worse in the comments of any online article that mentions race -- in fact, look at the comments under this story at WorldNetDaily and elsewhere -- the point is that Hough's an academic and from the left, so needless to say conservatives have a new hero. Ole Perfesser Instapundit:
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER... Even being an old commie apologist isn’t enough to keep you from being savaged over this badthink.
"Savaged" means, in this context, some people disagreed publicly with his comments and he wasn't fired. (Hough was on leave working on a book when this thing blew up, though some of the usual suspects have sought to convey the impression that Duke pushed him out after the fact.) Don Surber:
Telling the truth online gets you in trouble in America. Consider Duke University political science professor Jerry Hough made the mistake of pointing out that Asian-Americans are as a race doing better than African-Americans in general. For that people are calling him racist. 
Part of the reason is Asian males are not shooting one another up like inner city black males are.
Surber knows how it is to be vilified for what folks 'round here jes' natchurly knows. Nicholas Stix at more-mainstream-conservative-by-the-minute VDare:
As a result of the school’s racist hate campaign Hough’s life is in danger on and near the North Carolina school’s campus. During the 2006-2007 Duke Rape Hoax, which was also rabidly promoted by the school’s administration and faculty, racist blacks in Durham exploited the hoax as a pretext to commit violent hate crimes against white students, simply for breathing while white.
He's like MLK in Selma except, you know. Maybe Stix can get up a posse from the Bundy Ranch to protect him. The libertarian position is expressed by Robby Soave at Reason:
These are gross, nonsensical statements (Asian names are better geared for integration than black names? What?). But to say that they have “no place in civil discourse” is going too far. Is hearing, contemplating, and rejecting his claims not a worthy exercise for university students?
The problem with higher education is that Harvard students are not exposed to the opinions of Professor David Duke, that they may wrestle with them to their intellectual profit.  How will they defend their mollycoddle anti-racism when confronted with an argument on the order of "nigras has funny names"? Liberalism has much to answer for.

You know, I'm beginning to think that these guys weren't really into Charlie Hebdo for the free speech part.


Monday, May 18, 2015

SEASON 7, EPISODE 14.

Is the ending a joke?

Actually, the whole thing is. Someone on Twitter said, as if surprised, that she was laughing more at the Mad Men finale than she had at any other episode. Part of that, I assume, was the petit finales for the other principals' stories, which came off fairly breathless, not to say rushed, like the wrap-up of a Sixties sex comedy. The Peggy and Stan resolution in particular seemed like fandering (THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR), but sure why not, especially with Elizabeth Moss and Jay R. Ferguson so game about the funny romantic stuff. (From her phone takes especially, it would appear Moss has been studying Ross Hunter.)

Surewhynot, too, with Joan bravely going it alone with her wimmyn-owned company and Roger and Mrs. Megan in Paris Quebec. As I've said before, these characters were never going to achieve enlightenment: They were just working out career and personal issues, and though the times a-changin' made their challenges and opportunities bigger than they might have been, in the end they're no more fraught with meaning than any other TV officemates, just better written than most. (Betty and Sally are a slightly bigger deal, but that set-up came last week. Nonetheless I appreciated their Don scenes as fine examples of that other type of TV staple, the emotionally purgative phone call.)

The real story has always been Don Draper, and after all that drama, all that identity crisis, and all those harbingers of bardo, it was a shock to find, first of all, people from Don's Old Life not only talking about him ("He's not dead! At least I don't think so") but also chatting with him on the phone, and secondly, after a few rounds of Don doing Don stuff -- fucking a stranger, barking life lessons -- to come to that cynical comedy ending. But the thing that saves it is Leonard. How this Joe Average got to Thinly Disguised Esalen I can't guess, but when he started talking about his dream of being in the refrigerator and Don went to embrace him, you could be forgiven for thinking Don had learned some new kind of empathy that would help make him whole. After all, he had just cut all ties with his Old Life people; he gave Peggy the same spiel on the phone that he'd given her, basically, in "The Suitcase" (she even responded the same way: "That's not true"), and then hung up; even Stephanie, his last link to Anna Draper, took off and left him with hippies. And here he was, not working out his angst with a sexual conquest but in the embrace of Leonard, another desk guy who can't quite believe in love even when it's at the table with him.

But surprise, it's not a new empathy for a new life, it's the same empathy that made Don great at selling cigarettes to potential cancer victims and plastic wheels to sentimental families. Don has always been an empath who, because of his emotional damage, is uniquely attuned to the pain of average citizens, and when he sees a valuable crop of it he gets in there and grabs and holds it close to drain its essence. And then turns it into a commercial. He is what America has instead of artists. And that's why, despite all the historical signifiers that made the show look like the chronicle of a New Day Dawning, nothing much has really changed. Don has not rediscovered Dick Whitman -- he has, after a crisis of confidence, rediscovered Don Draper. And gone back at work.

Friday, May 15, 2015

FRIDAY ROUND-THE-HORN.



•    You may remember him for his later, lush 'n' luxe blues stuff, and that's all very fine. I love B.B. King, now passed, for his slightly cheesy "B.B. 'Blues Boy' King" stompers from the 50s like the one above. Sure sounds like him and the "Orchestra" are having a good time. I expect some of my readers have their own favorites to recommend.

•    Many conservatives, even ones who are not Rod "The Get-Ready Man" Dreher, are bitching about that poll showing a slightly smaller percentage of Christians in America than once there was. At National Review David French knows why: "Why Does ‘Organized Religion’ Get a Bad Rap? Because the Elite Lies About It." Evil liberals say Jesus people are obsessed with cultural issues like gay marriage, but the truth is Christians contribute heavily to charity. Yes, it's the old "society claims I'm a pedophile, but I bought twenty tickets to the Policeman's Ball" argument. More interesting to me is this claim:
Sexual politics is simply not a dominant topic compared to scriptural study, discussions of family, or exhortations to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged members of the community. If I were to critique the church, I’d say we need to discuss the sexual revolution issues a bit more — to equip kids and families to face the cultural onslaught.
Don't talk about it enough, huh? Let's look at the past few examples of French's own writing at National Review. What picture of Christianity do you get from it? There's not a lot about charity in there -- in fact, I found no David French posts at all promoting alms to the poor. (Come on, it's National Review!) Here's what I did see:
"The Clintons, Tom Brady, and the ‘Scoreboard’ Life" (Shorter: Libtards cheat because they don't have Jesus);
"When Crusades Meet Courtrooms" and "Three Recent Lawsuits Challenge the ‘Rape Crisis’ Storyline" (Shorter: Rape is not the fault of the men lying bitches falsely accuse of raping them, it's the fault of the sexual revolution);
"Why a Huckabee Loss Would Be a Win for Religious Conservatives" (Shorter: Because all the other GOP candidates hate gays and fornication as much as Huckabee does. Eat it, libtards!);
"Obama’s Crackdown on Dissent Has Made Conservatives a Little Paranoid — and Rightly So" (Shorter: If Ted Cruz was President libtards would so be just as paranoid about Jade Helm as we are, except we aren't paranoid because Obama really is a monster);
"Comedy, Cowardice, or Both?" (Shorter: SNL libtards didn't draw Muhammed! Sure, it was funny, but what's that got to do with anything?);
"Liberals Peer into Your Heart and See the Darkness Inside" (Shorter: Libtards are mean and hateful. Not like us!)
Etc. And here are the records from the other times we've caught French's culture-war act. (This one will do if you can't read them all.) All told I'd say the biggest PR problem Christianity has isn't "Elite Lies About It" -- it's people like David French.

•    OK, here's the advertising portion of the program: A friend of mine in New York is between freelance gigs DON'T RUN AWAY SHE DOESN'T WANT A HANDOUT only another freelance gig. M├ętier includes branding, marketing, research, strategy, communications, social media, digital product development, content and product creation, etc. Drop me a note if you've got something for her.

•    Melissa Langsam Braunstein of The Federalist testifies to "listening to a panel at AEI on Monday night, during which several contributors to The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love discussed their take on fatherhood." Sounds like a corker:
I cannot imagine a similar panel of mothers laughing as they described purposely breaking their child’s leg, as P.J. O’Rourke’s son believed he did, while regaling the audience with the saga of teaching that young son how to ski. The experience taught O’Rourke that he’s better off being the breadwinner who can afford ski lessons.
And this:
Tucker Carlson’s presentation may have been the most different from what a panel of mothers might offer. Amidst his lighthearted remarks, Carlson repeatedly mentioned that he’s not reflective about his parenting and takes no responsibility for any of his four children’s failings; he believes any mistakes his children make are strictly their own, and he does never holds his wife or himself liable.
And this:
Jonah Goldberg sounded endearingly clueless...
Stop to take a breath here.
.... – since we gather his daughter’s alright now – as he described a fall she took during toddlerhood that resulted in a sizable forehead gash. Apparently, Goldberg was still new enough to parenting that he didn’t realize his daughter’s bloody face needed to be stitched up professionally. Luckily, his sister-in-law was able to advise via telephone and pass along the good advice to wait for a plastic surgeon at the hospital.
Braunstein's conclusion:
This is all to say: fatherhood sounds rather liberating. Whatever our cultural expectations of men, it seems our standards for fathers are less exacting (and crazy-making) than those for American mothers. Having listened to the fathers on this panel, I dare say that difference is largely driven by the fact that men aren’t critical of one another’s parenting in the same way that women can be...
Either than or these guys are just a bunch of fucking idiots.