Friday, May 30, 2008
Dollars To Donuts
So, last weekend, I thought Michelle Malkin had finally jumped the shark. She and her fellow flying monkeys had latched onto Dunkin' Donuts for supporting terror. And how does Dunkin' Donuts support terror? Simple; spokesperson Rachael Ray wears a scarf that looks vaguely like a keffiyeh. Yes. That's right. Because a woman was wearing a black-and-white scarf with a checkered pattern around her neck, then that automatically means she's wearing a keffiyeh and lending support to the terrorists.
Now, I'd still be laughing about this, if Dunkin' Donuts hadn't honestly given in to Malkin's paranoid concerns. I can understand that Dunkin' Donuts probably didn't want to get into a hassle over a fucking costume element in one ad, but for God's sake, it's Michelle Malkin. The woman sees jihadis around every corner and under every bed. To yield to her madness means you've just given legitimacy to her crazy moon logic. I honestly expected better out of Dunkin' Donuts.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I'm Perfectly Satisfied With My Complete Failure
As we all know by now, Scott McClellan has become the latest rat to desert the sinking ship (if that metaphor fits; by now, the ship should have hit the bottom of the Mariana Trench), publishing a book where he reveals that he knew all about the shit that was going on in the White House, and how he had been told to spin like a top and deny, deny, deny it all to the press. And while I'm amused by Karl Rove trying to attack McClellan by comparing him to "a left-wing blogger" (why thank you, Karl), all I can say is: What, you expect a fucking medal, Scott? You knew this was bullshit when you stood up there and threw it out to the public. You defended an administration you knew was in the wrong, one you knew was lying to the American public. And am I supposed to believe that Jeff Gannon just let himself in?
But there's something else to this whole story that fascinates me. Here's Scott McClellan, the man who fed the press corps poisoned apples for years, telling the media that he expected better of them. Hell, he openly attacks the idea of "the liberal media." Now, in all fairness, Katie Couric and Chris Matthews, of all people, have come forward and admitted their complicity. But even then, you have people like Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams, big veteran news casters heading up the nightly news on the major networks, praising the job they did covering the run up to the war. You even have Charlie Gibson, a so-called fucking news man, saying that "it is not our job to debate them."
You. Are. A. Journalist. You are not a town crier. You are not a publicity man. You are a mudraker, a pest, a hemorrhoid in the ass of the American system. You are the person who digs through the trash bins, looking through truth. You could have changed this. The Bush administration would probably have gone to war anyway, but you could have exposed their falsehoods and stopped this shit carrying on for four more years. Instead, you sat there and you took it like a whore, and then spread it all over the papers so that we'd all be waving little flags instead of middle fingers. And when we -- the people who realized from the beginning that Bush was fixing the facts, who realized that something very wrong was happening -- spoke up, you ignored us.
The man who spread the lies you fed on has admitted his complicity, and still you deny your faults. What will it take you to realize that you have done something wrong?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Something Poisonous Has Taken Root
The Assassins numbers will continue until this bullshit stops.
First it was a half-hearted joke from Mike Huckabee about Barack Obama's fear of assassins. Then it was Hillary Clinton evoking the RFK assassination to say she wasn't out of the race. And now it's this crap.
In case you missed the pertinent part, that was FOX News talking head and former Washington Times bureau chief Liz Trotta saying that it would be nice if someone took out Obama. Of course, it's said with a laugh, which is pretty much a defense mechanism in and of itself ("What, can't you liberals take a joke?").
Mind you, Liz Trotta is supposedly apologetic about all this, but look at that, it's our old friend, the non-apology apology:
“I am so sorry about what happened yesterday with that lame attempt at humor…I just really fell over myself in making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate for that matter. I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I’ve offended. It’s a very colorful political season, and many of us are making mistakes in saying things we wish we hadn’t said.”
"Making it appear"? You didn't make anything appear to be anything else, you idiot, you cracked a clear joke that it would be nice if someone took out Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama in some sort of two-for-one package. At least she says she said something stupid, but she couples it with an apology to "anybody I've offended," which shifts the dialogue away from "I said something stupid" to "I'm sorry you were so offended by my comments."
This is not a joke. There is an honest-to-God fear, thanks to the level of discourse and the rise in the number of hate groups over the past year, that someone will honestly try to assassinate Obama. These comments that play on this fear are not shining pearls of political wisdom, nor are they great examples of wit. They are filthy, dirty tricks that poison the political discourse. On any sane network, Liz Trotta would have been drummed out the door and told never to return before the day was through. But then again, she had the good luck to speak on FOX News.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Look, I'm Just Saying...
"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.
Not only were her comments -- what's the phrase -- "horribly fucking inappropriate," but they touched on something that shouldn't have been touched. Most people who support Obama have this fear in the back of their heads, what happens if someone really doesn't like the idea of a black guy for president? It's been debated on message boards, covered by the media, and so on. And for Clinton to touch that nerve, even unintentionally, belies an absolute lack of tact.
I know I haven't really gotten on this train yet, but: please, Senator Clinton. I know I'm just some punk college student with a near zero readership blog, but please. Step out. This is obviously taking some form of toll on you.
Friday, May 23, 2008
And Sometimes, You Have To Call A Black Man A Thug
As has adequately been noted by other bloggers, Hillary Clinton has received a lot of crap from the media that no male candidate would likely receive without the benefit of being caught with a sex midget. From being told her senatorial accomplishments are the results of Bill putting it in Monica to having Chelsea campaign for her compared to prostitution to calling her a "she-devil," Clinton has been ridiculed, mocked, and isolated for the fact that she is a woman.
And guess what! According to Republican media consultant Alex Castellanos, we can do this, because she's so disagreeable:
CASTELLANOS: “Her problem is she’s Hillary Clinton. And some women, by the way, are named that [bitches] and it’s accurate.”
Let's pretend, let's just pretend, that we're talking about John McCain here. He's received some crap for being old, but has there been anything, anything approaching the tide of bile Clinton has received? Has he been called "the AARP candidate"? Have there been 527 groups called "G.E.E.Z.E.R." dedicated to "demonstrating who John McCain really is"? Has Chris Matthews regularly called him "Grandpa"?
As much as I dislike McCain, candidates are beholden to a certain amount of respect in the media. Clinton has not received this respect because, well, sometimes you need to call an accomplished politician a bitch.
The Internet, Where Everyone Has Duct-Taped Glasses
Rule of law: If you're posting something on the Internet, you do not get to belittle your opponent by calling them a nerd. Because if you are posting something on the Internet, either on a message board or a blog that you check regularly, then you are, to some degree, also a nerd.
It's not just this case, where I find Mightygodking awesome and think that Cory Morgan can go take a flying fuck off a short pier. I've seen posts on Sadly, No! that mock the right-wing nutcase of the week for looking like a D&D player. In cases like that, what happens is something that makes the geek hierarchy chart look like an animated GIF: "I play D&D, but at least I don't play those White Wolf games!" "Hey, I play those White Wolf games, but at least I'm not one of those LARPers!"
This isn't about ad hominems; God only knows how many times I've launched into ad hominems on this blog. This is about lazy ad hominems. This is about emulating the high school hierarchy that we've had etched on our brains by every teen movie ever and not wanting to be the nerd. Guess what; if you regularly maintain or visit a message board or blog, you are, to some degree, a nerd. Accept it. Live with it. And stop trying to pretend you're above someone else because they are, also, a nerd.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Still No Funny Videos
Well, son of a bitch. There's still a good chance he can fight it off, after all, he's an ornery guy with the money to buy the best health care... but still. He's over 70, and he's got a malignant brain tumor. That ain't exactly a guaranteed success.
Best of luck to you, Senator Kennedy.
Best of luck to you, Senator Kennedy.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Nothing Like Sunday Morning Gay Bashing
You know, it's not even like I expect the Washington Post's editorial department to show any sense of neutrality any more. Between Howard Kurtz's glowing article on Michelle Malkin and Charlotte Allen's "I am woman, me am dumb" column-length turd, I have abandoned all sense of optimism and viewed the Post's editorial section as a clearinghouse for Republican screeds.
But Jesus Christ, guys, if you're going to host Republican commentary, you could at least host decent commentary. Instead, I get the mulch heap of recycled Republican talking points, delivered to me by Kathleen Parker. Let's see... the Democrats are out of touch with America (because they think there's something wrong with it, those predictable fools), Edwards is a trial lawyer who hurts people by standing up for them, and Edwards spends money on haircuts. Oh, and Edwards and Obama are totally gay lovers who no doubt gave each other hot karls* before the announcement, where they almost totally made out. Are you disgusted yet, Middle America?
I've given up expecting any balanced political commentary coming out of the Post. Looks like I have to give up on finding anything coherent coming out of the paper, too.
*If you don't know what that is, for the love of God, don't look it up.
Bad Bay Stater. Bad.
So, yeah. Ted Kennedy had a
stroke seizure over the weekend, and I said nothing about it. I guess it's because by the time I could blog, he was up and watching sports. Still, I let it slide, which is not what a good wannabe journalist (or two-bit blogger, even) does. My bad.
Oh, and no video for this one, if only because my temptation to post a Dead Kennedys song would push the boundaries of good taste.
Oh, and no video for this one, if only because my temptation to post a Dead Kennedys song would push the boundaries of good taste.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Why, Oh Why, Is There No Godwin's Law For National Office?
Okay, enough of the feel good stuff. Back to the righteous indignation.
You know, even after eight fucking years of Bush and his cronies politicizing the War on Terror, politicizing torture, politicizing judicial nominees, politicizing federal judges, and politicizing criminal prosecution, you would think there would at least be one occasion, one proper situation, where he would remain tactful and realize that some places are not the right places to throw out talking points.
You'd think, but you'd be wrong:
As the workday began stateside, Bush gave a speech to Israel's Knesset in which he spoke of the president of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally. Then, the president said: "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."
"We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," Bush added.
In case you missed that, the President of the United States took the opportunity of Israel's 60th anniversary to accuse a nominee for his office of appeasing terrorists. Because the US obviously has class and prestige to burn at this point. This bullshit was foul enough when cronies like Rumsfeld were throwing it out. Now Bush takes it upon himself to claim that people who want to come up with better plans for Iraq than "Stop the bullshit" are on par with Neville Chamberlain trying to cut a deal with Hitler. I guess when you've hit rock bottom, the only thing to do is keep drilling.
And just to show how deeply wrong this whole thing is, here's Chris Matthews honestly making a decent point about it.
So Open Up That Golden Gate...
...California, here I coooooome!
California's Supreme Court declared that gay couples in the nation's biggest state can marry — a monumental but perhaps short-lived victory for the gay rights movement Thursday that was greeted with tears, hugs, kisses and at least one instant proposal of matrimony.
Same-sex couples could tie the knot in as little as a month. But the window could close soon after — religious and social conservatives are pressing to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would undo the Supreme Court ruling and ban gay marriage.
This isn't over yet. Our brothers, sisters, and allies in California are going to have to fight to preserve this decision; at least Schwarzenegger's on record as saying he won't challenge it. Meanwhile, the candidates who are best supposed to represent us, Obama and Hillary, are turning out tepid press releases that mark them as being vaguely in favor of the decision but not willing to go out of their way to send flowers.
Still. This is an incredible landmark. And it's good to know that when I head out to California and find the guy of my dreams, I'll have all the legal protections afforded to me as to my straight friends and family. Thank you, California.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Vast Gulf Between "Iconoclast" and "Fuckstick"
Sorry if I've been absent lately. Squirrels ate my Internet connection. No, seriously.
There seems to be a recurring theme in our national dialogue that, just because you're being all contrarian and edgy, you're "speaking truth to power." Like I said before, its major resurgence seems to be tied to South Park blending its typical foul-mouthed humor with the creators' libertarian beliefs -- it's a lot easier to paint Al Gore as a raving, Ahabesque lunatic than to concretely refute global climate change, after all. But it's always been there, in some way or another, from Andrew Dice Clay on down. We've only really begun to notice it now that people have decided to make a career out of attacking "political correctness" (which, one could argue, was a conservative attempt to reinterpret what had theretofore been a self-mocking liberal buzz word so that they could get away with making fun of multiculturalism).
Needless to say, this is one of those cases.
Yes, that's a T-shirt comparing Obama to a monkey. Yes, it is incredibly racist.
Or is it? (Answer: yes, it totally is.)
Norman acknowledged the imagery's Jim Crow roots but said he sees nothing wrong with depicting a prominent African-American as a monkey.
"We're not living in the (19)40's," he said. "Look at him . . . the hairline, the ears -- he looks just like Curious George."
That's right; we're not living in the 1940s. Which means that when someone breaks out the tired old canard of African-Americans resembling various species of ape and monkey, we are expected to figuratively beat them with reeds.
But here, of course, is why shit like this still happens:
But his defenders are just as resolute. Mulligan's is a refuge, they say, in an otherwise hypersensitive world. Smoking isn't only allowed at the bar, it's expected.
"This place is a diamond in the rough," said Gene McKinley, a Woodstock engineer among the patrons Tuesday. "People here are genuine and honest. It's the one place I can go without having to worry if I'm offending someone."
Okay, here's a brief guide for those of you with two brain cells to rub together: if it makes use of racist imagery for humor without ironically reappropriating it to make a point about its own foolishness, it's racist. If you use such material on a regular basis and consider it funny, then you're not "hiding from the PC police," you're being a racist. You are not being witty, funny, and you are not fighting "the man." You are just wallowing in your own shit and expecting the rest of us to compliment the pleasant vanilla fragrance you're sporting.
Friday, May 09, 2008
A Victory For Women Everywhere, Especially The Self-Loathing Variety
So let me get this straight. Someone -- and by "someone," I mean "someone or a group of someones who is/are supposed to be relatively sane" -- thought it would be a good idea to honor Phyllis Schlaffly for her particular brand of crazy? You know, the woman who single-handedly destroyed Constitutionally enshrined gender equality and who believes that spousal rape doesn't exist and that the Violence Against Women Act should be abolished? So, what possible ass pull of a reason could we have for giving her more academic merit than we do Mr. Ed?
Alumna Phyllis Schlafly's articulation of her perspectives has been a significant part of American life during the last half of the 20th century and now the 21st century, serving as a lightning rod for vigorous debate on difficult issues where differences of opinion are profound and passionate. Not only should a university serve as a place where such discussions take place, but it may also choose to recognize those who provide leadership and articulation — both pro and con — on vital issues. When the University awards an honorary degree, it does so without endorsing viewpoints or taking sides on such issues.
"A lightning rod for vigorous debate." Sure, I can see that, I guess, in the same way that Bull Connor certainly stirred up debate over how the civil rights movement was being received in America.
Phyllis Schlaffly is a woman who has made a living shitting on the rest of her gender. She claims that women should just stay in the house and service the husband while making a fortune leaving the house to spread such a message to women everywhere. She believes that women are weak and inferior, yet shouldn't receive any amount of protection from their obviously more powerful and resourceful husbands. By honoring this woman, Washington University has spat in the faces of every woman who has ever attended its school and sought a degree in something other than Homemaker or Professional Hypocrite.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Where Have All The Smart People Gone?
Jesus Christ, Hillary.
Clinton raised questions about Obama's ability to connect with working-class Americans while dismissing economists who have said her plan to suspend gas taxes over the summer would do little good.
"I'm not going to put my lot in with economists," Clinton said when asked to name an economist who backed her proposal.
"We've got to get out of this mind-set where somehow elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantage the vast majority of Americans," said Clinton, a former first lady who would be the first woman president.
"Somehow elite opinions"? They're fucking economists. They have gone to school, earned fancy degrees for the privilege of adding many letters to their names, and studied the latest trade journals for the latest theories to tell you whether or not your plans will fuck up the economy. This is their job. And when you can't find one big-name economist who backs up your plan, you don't just wash your hands and dismiss them as elitists.
You know, it was bad enough when the media did this, buying into a false image on elitism just because it made a nice convenient target. But now Hillary's getting on the bandwagon. She's just a common girl, y'know, a common Wellesley College graduate with millions of dollars. She'll chug beer, talk about shooting with her grandpa, and dismiss opinions from people with actual expertise if they clash with her own. If this is what the common American is like, then it's a wonder we haven't been invaded by Zimbabwe.
I'll still gladly vote for Hillary over McCain. But remember what happened the last time we elected someone who put on this common man minstrelsy?
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Science and Shitheads
Okay, I'm sure that by now, we all know Ben Stein went all crackpot nuts with Expelled, right? How he associated the belief of evolution (or, as he puts it, "Darwinism") with eugenics and the Nazis? Well, guess what; he just done gone bugfuck insane:
Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.
Crouch: That’s right.
Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.
Crouch: Good word, good word.
Yes, I'm quoting John Derbyshire on this. That's just how fucking absurd it is.
Obviously Ben Stein has some deep scars from a family trauma (that's putting it lightly, it was the fucking Holocaust), but for the love of God, the sheer anti-intellectualism here makes my mind blank. No, screw that; it makes my mind want to tear itself from my body, head to the nearest dive bar it can find, and drink itself into oblivion. Science -- a large, nebulous body of works that has given us cures, vaccines, the combustion engine, airplanes, the Internet, and many other wondrous things -- is all evil, and will eventually result in genocide. This is a man who worked for Nixon, for fuck's sake. Either he's playing one of the most disingenuous money-making scams I've ever seen, or he drank the Kool-Aid to the point where his eyes have turned cherry red.
Then again, it could always be both.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
At Least It Wasn't Michael Douglas
This is the intellectual powerhouse that the Democratic candidates graced with their presence?
We know you're a joke. Could you at least stop giving us the punchlines and pretend you have some sense of dignity?
A Different Way Of Patronizing The Flyover States
Stop it. Just... stop it.
See this? This is what postmodernists talk about when they describe the concept of the simulacrum -- an image representative of a meaning that can become divorced for what it's supposed to represent and carries on a representation of its own (ooh, look at me, I'm talking postmodernism! That makes me elitist). The concerns of the working class the media should be focusing on -- health care, labor, outsourcing -- are replaced with cheap little tokens that are supposed to represent the working class. Oh, never mind the fact that people are selling family heirlooms to stave off debt, Obama sucks at bowling!
I'm tired of people in New York and Washington, D.C., people with sizable paychecks and cushy media jobs, throwing about the label "elitist" like it actually fucking means something coming out of their mouths. If you're so concerned about the working class, then report on their issues rather than their trappings, for God's sake.