Tuesday, April 15, 2014


(Mild spoilers.) Don Draper remains a rock with a few cracks. I thought his breakdown at the Hershey pitch presaged a big change, and maybe it will turn out to have done. But this episode only suggests a change in his tactics: he's still copywriting, albeit sub rosa, which suits his hidden nature; he's still opaque with everyone; the only observable change is he hasn't balled anyone he isn't married to yet, and it's not entirely clear that he won't. I don't think his turndown of the widow on the plane (Neve Campbell, perfectly modish and intriguingly abstracted) was a sign of maturity. (Don can always talk to women.) I just think he couldn't take the distraction. I like that he says "I have to go to work" so often -- for one thing it reminds me of "Batdance"; for another, it makes me interested in his plan, which I'm guessing is bigger than sharing freelance money with Freddie; and for another, it's interesting that Don has always been better off in his work than at the agency -- now that the agency won't have him, maybe he'll do something interesting.

Have I just been mystified by the Don/Megan relationship too long, or are they supposed to be absolutely unsuited to one another?

Pete Campbell gets more interesting all the time. It makes sense that he's dressing like an ambitious casting assistant and talking about vibrations; he's always a little strained about finding his bliss. When's his orgy?

Speaking of which, I think Roger's pleasure chamber is looking a little sepulchral. He said something once about being a curious child. I sense him running out of curiosities. If his daughter's cult conversion doesn't do something profound to him I'll be disappointed.

I hope the Joan arc isn't "men are pigs" all season long.

Isn't it something that Peggy is so miserable, and looks for relief by selling a pitch she doesn't know is Don's? And that her and Don's miseries end the episode?


John Hinderaker further explains his support for the Bundy Ranch.
Some have claimed that Harry Reid is behind the BLM’s war against Cliven Bundy, on the theory that he wants the land for a solar project in which his son Rory is involved, along with the Chinese. I don’t believe this is correct. The solar projects are located north of Las Vegas, 30 miles or so from the area where Bundy ranches.
But the connection is nevertheless important in two respects.
Stop to take that in for a moment: Hinderaker says the militiamen's argument is insupportable, but now Hinderaker is going to tell you why the argument nonetheless remains relevant.

First, he says, the government's favored tortoise-protection area is where Bundy wants to graze without paying; "So it is possible that the federal government is driving Bundy off federal lands to make way for mitigation activities that enable the solar energy development to the north. But I don’t think it is necessary to go there." ("Don’t think it is necessary to go there," by the way, is Lawyerly for "I withdraw the question, I just wanted to smear the witness within the hearing of the jury.")

"The second and more important point," per Hinderaker:
...it is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administration’s BLM, and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects. No surprise there: the developers of such projects are invariably major Democratic Party donors. Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies, so influencing people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid is fundamental to the developers’ business plans. Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing from the federal government other than the continuation of their historic rights. It is a safe bet that Cliven Bundy is not an Obama or Reid contributor.
So though there's no proof that Obama and Reid illegally rigged it so Bundy would lose his access to the government land, the fact that something happened that Obama and Reid would like is proof of... well, that something happened that Cliven Bundy and John Hinderaker don't like.

The remainder is just old-fashioned ressentiment: "And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps... They aren’t illegal immigrants," etc. In the end, this argument isn't based on the law -- nor even, oddly, on the legitimate idea that the law should be changed -- but on the notion that if some rightwing sovereign-citizen nut dressed as Ronald Reagan feels bad about something, that proves America has gone all to hell.

I'm surprised that allegedly respectable writers (Time's Blog of the Year back in 1964) are embarrassing themselves this way. Maybe they think they'd better be nice to the nuts because they're all they have left.

UPDATE. Comments have gotten pretty good, with one fellow coming in to lay some Hard Truth on everybody -- apparently it's really all about water rights, which Bundy himself hasn't asserted (he's more voluble about not recognizing the authority of the U.S. government). As you might expect, the fellow winds up yelling about Al Sharpton and telling other commenters to "get on yer knees and do what ya do best." These guys really don't like being laughed at.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


...about the Bundy Ranch shenanigans and rightblogger reactions. I'm not sure which is the most fun part: watching the smaller bloggers holler for moar armed insurrection, or watching the top dogs trying not to get too far ahead of the curve lest they lose their shot at a walled garden at the Washington Post after this whole thing blows over.

Friday, April 11, 2014


When I was seven years old, a couple of kids in my neighborhood asked me who the ugliest girl in my school was. I unchivalrously told them, and they went into the middle of the street in front of my house, drew a big heart, and put the girl's name and mine inside it, and started chanting that I loved her.

So I can understand Jesse Walker's rage. He's probably a little older than I was when I got mad at those boys, but libertarians don't mature as quickly as the rest of us.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Shorter Aaron Goldstein: I apologize to readers of The American Spectator -- when I celebrated Hank Aaron's baseball career, I didn't realize that he was black.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Oh brother::
Kirsten Powers: Liberals' mob rule
Kickstarter's attempt to censor film about convicted abortion doctor is another example.
This is the latest entrant in the "Mozilla is liberal fascism" derby. Apparently some folks wanted to use the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to fund their Kermit Gosnell horror movie; Kickstarter had some trouble with the gruesome marketing copy that was to appear at Kickstarter's website -- not with the movie, though Powers labors to make that hard to notice -- and tried to work something out with them, which the filmmakers, who apparently know a great PR angle when they see one, found unacceptable.

Thus, Powers says Kickstarter was "blocking the movie," because they love abortion. My favorite nonsense phrase in the story is "Kickstarter, like too much of the news media, wants only one version of the late-term abortion story told." That's really a tell: By bitching about liberal bias in the media, these guys have made major press outlets too shit-scared to assert anything without letting a wingnut rave alongside it in the name of "balance." Powers seems to think the same racket -- show up, fall down, start crying, collect settlement -- will work elsewhere. So she talks about this incident as if setting guidelines for service is media bias. The company's not just supposed to provide its offered service, it's supposed to tell the filmmaker's "story," and any limitation on that is censorship.

The connection with the Mozilla bitchfest is obvious, but I also see a relationship with the religious-freedom cases the brethren have been crying about, in which a few bakers and wedding photographers have been sued for not serving gay couples. These guys hear the civil rights, public accommodation arguments against denying someone services based on their sexual orientation, I'm guessing, and think, "Oh, well, so we'll go where you libtards work and make you do what we want."


Hmph, says National Review's John J. Miller:
A subscription offer for Poetry magazine showed up in the mail yesterday. The outside of the envelope carried a big quote: “New editor, new life, new kickassery.” A card on the inside repeated the quote. I’m all for useful and clever neologisms, but would you subscribe to a magazine about poetry that thinks “kickassery” is its great virtue?
John J. Miller is the author of an essay on "the 50 greatest conservative rock songs." Also, here's something else he wrote about poetry:
Yesterday, I offered qualified praise on the selection of W.S. Merwin as poet laureate. Well, I probably should have qualified it even more! At First Things, Joseph Bottum exposes Merwin as a crazed Bush hater...
Since all us liberals are supposed to be bullies now, I ask the politburo to see that Miller is silenced on matters of poesy. C'mon, I know he's not a millionaire CEO but it'll still be fun!

UPDATE. Commenters feel the sprung rhythm of laughter! "Poetry Magazine was been around since 1912," says (the good) Roger Ailes. "As far as I can tell, it hasn't had to resort to beg-a-thons, bamboozle-the-elderly cruises and Koch kissassery to stay in business." There are also some Michael Berube tribute locutions, e.g., "I used to read the humanists, but ever since the Sicilian Vespers I've been outraged by Dante Alighieri," and God help us a Seamus Heaney parody by coozledad:
The tightness and the nilness round that space
when your car stops in the road, the poets inspect
your Bush/ Cheney sticker and, as one bends his face 
towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond. Gelignite, ticking
to sell you an arts magazine, or give you an ass kicking 
and everything is pure condescension
until a poet motions and you leave
after Joseph Bottums is mentioned— 
a little nervous, pulse slightly quickened
as always by that quiver in the shorts
ready to fuck that chicken.
Silent upon a freakin' derr, I am.

Monday, April 07, 2014


...about the Mozilla/Brendan Eich thing. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it looks -- especially when you consider most of the guys weeping over this displaced millionaire CEO wouldn't piss on a low-wage at-will worker if he were on fire.

UPDATE. Kevin D. Williamson has addressed the issue but, frankly, his post reads as gibberish to me; can any of you make out what he's trying to say? The best I can figure is, he's vaguely admitting that sometimes he's pleased when market and social punishments fall upon individuals, and sometimes he isn't, but that's irrelevant because liberals are fascists and America is turning into a fascist state in which the U.S. Supreme Court "increasingly" resembles an "American version of the Iranian Guardian Council." Maybe you can do better.

Friday, April 04, 2014


Back when Paula Deen got fired or whatever it was, I thought it necessary to remind the world (blind and uncaring as ever, alas!) that Deen was not fired-or-whatever by black people and liberals; she was fired by corporations, sociopathic entities that (or is that who?) care only about increasing shareholder value. By doing what they did, these corporations were not being bien pensant nor trying to make themselves more comfortable at cocktail parties with Ellen Degeneres. They were trying to defuse what they perceived as a blow to their public image and a risk to profits.

The same thing is true of the firing-or-whatever of Brendan Eich. Every wingnut in America will tell you he was fired-or-whatever, not by his company, but by gay people and liberals in a homosexualist conspiracy against godly millionaires. They probably think it's easier to put that bullshit over in this case than in the Deen case because the world of Silicon Valley douchebags is more rareified than that of the Food Network. But it isn't, really; as the Pando coverage of the Computer Gods' power-politics games shows, Silicon Valley is as much of a snake pit as any other corporate district,  black turtlenecks notwithstanding. If Mozilla thought Eich was worth the hit, profits-wise, they'd have kept him. So what if they caught some shade from some gay waiter -- or gay relative? Millions of dollars cuts an awful lot of family ties.

As I thought was amply demonstrated yesterday when every conservative in America raced to kiss Charles Koch's ass, it is not the rich who do our bidding.

UPDATE. I see the top pants-pissers are still talking about this as if The Left, and not Mozilla, fired Eich. It's at times like this that I particularly miss Norbizness' The Left Is Attacking The City series.