Monday, October 23, 2006

WHAT KIND OF MAN READS INSTAPUNDIT? "Okay, with about 6800 votes so far, we've got 74% in favor of Republicans keeping both houses, 17% in favor of the Dems taking one house, and 9% in favor of Dems taking both houses..."

I keep hearing all this stuff about how the Perfesser "has never been much of a Republican. He's more a thinking Libertarian," etc. So how come his readership is more Republican than Jesus Junction, Alabama?

I expect someone will explain to me that Republicans are actually more open-minded than Democrats, and that is why they listen every day to the non-partisan stylings of the Perfesser, then go out and support the GOP at approximately twice the rate of the rest of their fellow citizens.

They keep using that word "libertarian" -- I do not think it means... oh, hell, I don't think anyone knows what it means any more.

UPDATE. All respect, of course, to situational libertarians like Loretta Nall, who was harassed by scumbag cops and is now funding a run for Governor of Alabama by flashing. (Hat tip Wonkette. I haven't caught the act, but even if "the biggest boobs in Alabama politics" turns out to be the lame gag it sounds like, I will endorse Ms. Nall for anything she wants, short of a third-party check.)

Whatever beef we may have with sincere and starry-eyed fans of the Articles of Confederation and the law of the jungle, it is as nothing compared to our feelings against suburban douchebags whose only true guiding principle is, as commenter Kia reminds us, "I got mine, don't worry about yours."
WOLVERINES! As I have predicted time and time again, the strategy wizards of the GOP are looking, in these dark late innings, to terrify American voters into electoral submission. "BEST GOP HOPE: SCARE 'EM SILLY" runs the head on Dick Morris' latest ad for his consulting practice, with space generously donated by the New York Post. Per Morris, Republicans "need to sound a note of alarm and fill the airwaves with specifics of exactly what will happen if the Democrats triumph." He suggests a TV commercial in which Islamofascists are left free to kill by bleeding-hearts and their deranged insistence on so-called "rights." Why not just show turbaned terrorists streaming through a revolving door?

This Hail Marianism has only just commenced and greater madness will surely ensue, but it is not too early to call out promising contenders for Craziest Campaign Subterfuge. For your consideration, Ace of Spades, who is strongly pushing a campaign to unmask Ted Kennedy as a Soviet agent. Soon enough will come the details of the threat: Gorbachev seizing power in the "new USSR," tanks on Main Street, Kennedy as Commissar of the Soviet Republic of Amerika! Citizens awake!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

FOLLOW THE MONEY. Barron's makes the best possible case that the Republicans will hang onto power in the upcoming election: they have more money.
Is our method reliable? It certainly has been in the past. Using it in the 2002 and 2004 congressional races, we bucked conventional wisdom and correctly predicted GOP gains both years. Look at House races back to 1972 and you'll find the candidate with the most money has won about 93% of the time. And that's closer to 98% in more recent years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Polls can be far less reliable. Remember, they all but declared John Kerry president on Election Day 2004.

Our method isn't quite as accurate in Senate races: The cash advantage has spelled victory about 89% of the time since 1996...
Remember when the Republicans' image problems had more to do with lobbyists and fundraisers than with text messages? Those malfeasances were unphotogenic where revealed, but they showed that the Republicans knew how to work the spigots. Abramoff and Noe went too far, but you can expect that sort of thing when word gets around that there's big money to be made if you show a little initiative. Many others have been as energetic, and not so dumb, as their fallen comrades, and the GOP's money mountains -- and the networks of influence that keep them majestic -- are the result.

Democrats are no pikers, either, and may get (back) their chance at patronage primacy -- K Street, ever cautious, has apparently begun to put out feelers. Which is why I'm confused that their candidates are not thumping economic populism hard -- if you want citizens to help elbow your opponents away from the trough, what better motivation can you offer than some of its contents? That's why I'm a Democrat, certainly. (That and the sodomy.)

I'd say Democratic chances at control of either House are a near thing at best. As I've observed before, the Republicans can, have, and will get out the pitchforks at the last minute, and remind America that Democrats are gay traitors, which should rouse some of the values voters who are alleged to be disgusted with the GOP at present. I would be more optimistic for the Democrats if they would start hollering loud about the full dinner pail, or the full home entertainment center, or whatever, and remind voters that they have something [rubs tips of fingers together] to offer besides ringing denunciations and rainbow coalitions.

Money is the big thing, though it's a real buzz-kill when we're reminded of it.
TO QUOTE ALICE KRAMDEN, "HAR DE HAR HAR HAR." The Ole Perfesser votes Republican! Who'd-a thunk it? Me, of course.

But the Perfesser "split" his vote by endorsing Phil Bredesen, who has no chance of losing, and gay marriage, which has no chance of winning! Yay! We're all moderates! Everyone's hugging!

UPDATE. I should talk. I expect to split my own ticket in a few areas. Anyone as proud of his prosecutorial career as Eliot Spitzer should be be moved further from, not closer to, government power. Rather than support a Democratic Giuliani manque, I will give my vote to Jimmy McMillian of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. Finally, a cause I can support unreservedly!

I will vote for Hitlery, though. Not that I like her so very much, but for the usual reason: to piss off the rest of the country.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

THANKS for your concern, but I'm okay about the NLCS. I took a schvitz yesterday and got most of the poison out -- the previous night's poison, I mean: the wellspring of that fierce indignation which lacerates my heart cannot be touched by sweats.

I have no real complaints. My Mets made it to Game 7, and their defeat, as has been widely noted, came not so much from their pre-playoff pitching misfortunes as from the relative quietude of their batters against the Cards. They just weren't ready. It's hard to remember that David Wright is only 16 years old; maybe when he's had a few more big games, or a woman, he'll react better to playoff baseball. Our other big guns were spottier than they should have been, and that's baseball -- if you don't win it's your own fault. (Conservatives should agree! This makes me a "moderate Democrat"!) So the Cards deserved it. They are, as befits their midwest location, big cornfed guys, and this year their pitching (and the addition of scrappers Spezio and Eckstein) has been good enough to support them. As the baseball parlance has it, you have to tip your hat.

The Cards have beaten the Tigers tonight in Game 1 which is too bad: I want to see Murder City take another Series, because they're due, and because they might have a riot, which would be awesome. I mean, shit, I'm sick of polite clappy-clap corporate sporting celebrations, let's get all Stooges up in here. You wanna have a RIOT, GIRLS? RIOT! Mind you, I would love to see it here, but Detroit's got the know-how as well as the indigenous* angry minority population not bought off by Wall Street runoff money, and the opportunity. And WIN! RIOT!

Also I hate Tony Fucking LaRussa. Even when I'm not drunk (4 am EST-5:15 EST M-F), LaRussa is a fuck. Tonight he's a fuck for taking Reyes out in the 9th: Three rookie pitchers have pitched a complete game victory in the World Series, and if anyone deserved to be the first since the 1950s, it was Reyes, but fucking Tony "I Look Like The Joker on Those Biennial Occasions When I Smile" LaRussa had to protect his 7-2 LEAD IN THE NINTH. He is also a fuck for running the steroid chucklehead A's back in the Canseco days. Also, I mean, he's a fuck. Just look at him.

But if he wins, he and his Cardinals will deserve it. Just as, if the Democrats don't do so well in November, America will deserve it. The fucks.


*UPDATE. A commenter points out that "indigenous" is the wrong word, and he's right. Big words give me trouble. Should be "local."

Friday, October 20, 2006

SHORTER CRAZY JESUS LADY. With our politics so mired in corruption and ineffectuality, what America needs now is more bullshit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

RECPA. Motherucking cocksuckr. Ypoy kids didn;lt throw any batteries., What the fuck is wromng wioth you. The Cradinals plauyed rhard and desrvbe the win. Goddman shit.

UPDATE. whyyou didnl;t throw bnatteris

UPDATE II. Go toiggers


Alright alright alright alrigt aligt.

DOOON'T BUNNNT! DONNNT BUNNT! Tim McCarver doesn;t know what the fuck he's talking about. ALRIGHT THE CROWD IS BACK INTO IT! START THRWING BATRTERIES!



Pleae don;t be choking please don';t be choking plkeae don;'t be choking.



Oh fuck Cl;iff Floyd. Willie I hope you have a pipelione to God.

Woo big cut.

This is hard weather to hot a homer in. CK! Borderline putch indeed.

Throw to first is a good move, didn't work.

The crowd is screaming of course but at this stage no player hears. This is the center of the storm.



OK I got the sound off.

jose jose jose jose hose


OK yuh big lug,,, all up to you...

bases loaded

Wainwright Molina on the mound

Beran wiping his bat

Praying in the stand s (Borougjh of Churches)



LATE DRUNK LIVEBLOGGING GAME 7 NLCS, 9TH INNING, FIRST HALF: "If you don't have a job, you shouldn't be watching TV." FUCLK YOU. I'll NEVER buy whatever your fuicking gum is called. Whats it caleld? I just won't buy any gum. I got a fucked up bridge anyway. I'll tell other people not to buy whatever you are. YOU HEAR ME? I HAVE A BLOG! WE ARE THICK IN THE STREETS!

Heilman in on Edmonds. I forget, do we hate him or -- OH FUCK YEAH! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU SIDDOWN!

Oh shit Rolen. Willie Boy, I hope you know what you're doing. Can't be easy juggling pitchers like this. Rcik Peterson!



GODDAMAN MITHERUYCKJ SHIT OK let's focus. Crowd is going "rhubarb rhubarb" in very low tones. Fuckin Molina. Pimch hitter! Come on, Shea people., show some fuckng spirit. What the fuck did you pay for these tickets? I mean besides the corproate fucks. Get the fuck off your seats yoy -- oh three out.

LATE DRUNK LIVEBLOGGING GAME 7 NLCS, 8TH INNING: Oh crap Aaron Heilman, this guy worries me. But he's roaring. Oh shit, Spezio on deck? Mookie's nephew out of the game. One out.

Fucking dyed-patch fucker, he can be trouble. Heilman looks fresh. Maybe he likes the rain. I bet it feels kinda nice after all that time in the stinky bullpen, jacket buttoned up to your chin. Fans look into it, roaring. History! 2-2. SIDDOWN! Oh fuck, Pujols waiting.

That guy always looks like he's hitting fungoes. Bat up high. THAT WAS NOT BALL THREE. Alright, ufck it, put him on.

BIG CUT. Play to first. You think the fielders were tight before the rain? OH YEAH he crossed. 0-2.

What's with the homer hankies? This the Metrodome?


OK, nice variation in the Chevy "Gas Pumps Hate Us" campaign. Can we get these gas pumps into the Nissan commercials? Can they stangle the little fuck? Stretch it into a :90.

Mets half:Suppan again? That's guts. Chirst the crowd is hot. 3-1. TAKE YER BASE!

Suppan's a motherfucker, he could have stuck, but the managers are doing great work and this is where they earn their money and you can't question them. Yet.

Let's blow up Mobil stations.

Let's blow up Sharp TVs.

Let's blow up VISA check cards -- nah, let's kill -- oh shit, I feel sick.

Mets half. Sign says: Sacala! Boricua! Delgado! I love New York. The mooks are dancing in the rain.

Hit somethin you fuck. Oh keep walking him back you -- what's your name again? Fuck you.

2-2. "A light mist"? I can see the streaks. Nice flail on it, 3-2. FUCK. Flores, his name is? Good job.

Goodamn, our fans look manic out there. Keep them audio stings coming. Help them keep warm. 2-1 Wright.


Alright Shawn Green you skinny motherfucker SHIT

Perez out. God bless him, he looked like a high-school player, slightly worried, puffing out his cheeks between pitches like "Here goes nothing, whoosh." Bradford you sidearming motherfucker. Molina fights him off. Tough guy. OK, finessed that.

How do they field so good in the rain? Two out.

How bad is the weather in Flushing? It ain't raining in Greenpoint. Three out.

I already hate this Nissan guy. Oh where you driving to, Chevy Chase? "A little funk under here"? We could plant you under a weeping willow and your body would still repel funk like a giant Tetracyclene lozenge you little shit.

Mets half: Goddamn now what foul off Michael Tucker's foot? Like we don't have enough bullshit? IT'S RAINING! He's batting hurt. Of course he's fouling off, his bat's slippery as a quarterback's cock Homecoming Weekend. Ah shit, flyout.

Jose Jose Jose. Yer out yer out yer out.

Alright you big lug -- splat.

Get some snorkels.

Mets half: Bullshit that was strike two on Delgado. Yeah walk him, you cunt.

Alright Wright you pussy hit something -- OH SHIT that's NOT THE TIME to swing at the first pitch.

Rolen must be tired. Well shit we're all tired. Bases loaded.

WALK SHAWN GREEN? Crrr-rafty. OK Jose II show yer shit. Shea shows the Network video; crowd is nuts. Infield is back.

Whoa nice curve, strike two.

Lots of sound cues. Fuck, look at that rain. SHIT strikeout and now here's the Glove Boy Chavez bases loaded.


Well played Cards.
TRY THIS SIMPLE TEST. "[The Ole Perfesser's] blog is compulsively readable because it's not predictable and it's not partisan." -- Althouse.

This comical fiction about Perfesser Reynolds is apparently hard to kill, but as we have in the past and for the benefit of our younger readers, we will open the current page of Instapundit and analyze the contents of the postings (this morning’s only -- I don’t have all day or an iron stomach):

11:26 am: Liberals are asking Bush to intervene in Darfur just so they can attack him for doing so.

11:18 am: Science fiction nerd stuff.

11:15 am: Idiosyncratic French defamation trial result spurs common Perfesser trope suggesting that liberals hate free speech.

11:11 am: Shitty digital snapshot.

10:15 am: Perfesser’s wife sends trolls to alicublog because liberals hate free speech.

10:11 am: Liberals also hate homosexuals.

9:59 am: Being a law perfesser is easy and fun.

9:49 am: Taxes R Bad.

9:22 am: Incredibly shitty video clip.

8:52 am: OpinionJournal thinks torture bill is a twofer -- allows torture, slaps tyrannical liberal judges. Perfesser thinks it’s just a onefer.

8:44 am: Oooh, army mens! When can we invade?

8:34 am: Liberals hate free speech.

8:25 am:: Pharma-nerd “If I take enough pills with weird number-letter combination names I can live forever" bullshit.

8:20 am: The only real problem with our invasion of Iraq is that we haven’t invaded Iran too.

8:05 am: Ha ha! Democrats will lose. Ha ha!

7:58 am: Liberals hate homosexuals, privacy.

7:51 am: Clinton likes torture, so liberals are hypocrites.

This test works with any page of Instapunditry, even those that include the semi-regular Fourth Amendment and gay marriage defenses that are his sole fig-leaves.

I used to think that Althouse, the Perfesser, and other conservatives denied their orientation because they were ashamed of it, but time has proven that they are strangers to shame. My current operating analysis is that they're attempting to normalize wing-nuttery -- that is, if a popular writer can be identified as "not partisan" though 95% of what he professes is right-wing boilerplate, folks who are new in town may take that to mean that ordinary, untainted-by-politics people are supposed to believe exactly what right-wing political operatives believe.

It's nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you lie.

UPDATE. Links fixed. I hate how Word for the (blech) PC manages text almost as much as I hate free speech, homosexuality, and America.
YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME THAT WAY! Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser is sending trolls to alicublog and elsewhere. Their mission:
Post comments around on various lefty blogs such as FireDogLake, The Daily Kos or Alicublog. These comments should disagree with the view of the host or view of the blog or diary; for example, state that you support Israel at the Daily Kos, wonder if feminists who are against sexual harrassment should support Bill Clinton at FireDogLake, and/or politely stand up for colleagues at Alicublog who you feel have been treated unfairly just because they disagree with the views of the host. Now, check back to evaluate scores for these paragons of openness for their ideas, actions and feelings. If your comments have been troll-scored by the Kossacks, deleted by Jane Hamsher, or ridiculed by whoever runs the Alicublog, give an openness score of zero. Negative bonus points if you are called a douche, told to stay in your place so as not to "assail your betters," or have a racial slur thrown your way. [emphasis mine]
That's right -- if someone comes to my own site and challenges me, I'm not supposed to make fun of them or I'm a fascist.

My great temptation is to tell Dr. Mrs. to take the bone out of her nose and call me back, but I will patiently explain things to her and whatever minions may be stopping by:

alicublog is not a teahouse, nor a group hug, nor a simulation of a League of Women Voters debate. It is a place for me to spout off and for such as wish to join me to do so. I have never banned anyone, though one troll, after irritating me with his anti-Mets comments, has pre-emptively banned himself ("You're threat of censorship has won"); but I reserve the right to do so, just as conservative bloggers who have comments features (which of course leaves out the Ole Perfesser hisself) do all the time. Really, anyone is welcome to come over, at least at first, even tards and mouth-breathers.

I hate to break it to the Doctor and her friends, but there's really no foolproof way to keep from being "ridiculed," here or anywhere else in the world. Though they could reduce their risk of being ridiculed by not being so fucking ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

WHEW. Tomorrow will be a nail-biter with Jeff Suppan pitching on good rest. If we win, the MVP is Rick Peterson. Met pitching entered the series in tatters and got to Game 7. Now Oliver Perez, who a few weeks ago was nobody on his way to nowhere with a 6.55 ERA, has a chance to win his second NLCS game. They came into the Series favored, but tomorrow they'll have to play like inspired underdogs. This is of course a Mets equity. To quote the motto, and William Holden in The Wild Bunch, let's go.
PLENTY OF THIS AROUND THESE DAYS: Another conservative explains that liberals hate homosexuals because some of them are telling non-homosexuals that conservative homosexuals are homosexuals.

The joy is all in the comments, with mentions of "that group of people who profess to be 'liberals'" (as opposed to the real liberals, who will all vote for conservative candidates) and the genius phrase "Faux Liberal Left," which I guess means that, as the real liberals will all be voting for conservatives, and the liberals won't vote for liberals because they're not really liberals (no word as to who we are voting for -- Satan, I guess), nobody will vote for the liberals, and America will be saved. After all, as J. Peden remarks, "Apart from Dhimmis and Parasites, it's in no one's interest to vote Democrat."

Seeing what "real" and "Lieberman" liberals are like, you have to wonder how we ever passed the New Deal.

UPDATE. John Cole breaks it down. We all Deeply Regret the Politics of Personal Destruction, &tc. But if you think Republicans are the party of clean politics, you have a very bad gas leak and you should call 911 before you pass out.
GO-BAGS FOR CO-BAGS. Maybe you have known someone who, after he or she read The Late, Great Planet Earth or The Population Bomb, or saw An Inconvenient Truth, went nuts and started digging a fallout/pollution/global warming/zombie shelter in the backyard. I certainly haven't, thank God, nor had I even heard of such a thing before the Ole Perfesser's column about what he perceives from his suburban panopticon as a wave of "lefty apocalypticism":
Where once people on the right were worried about the shock troops of the socialist New World Order or the breakup of America into racial enclaves, now it seems like it's mostly lefties worrying about self-reliance in the face of collapsing unsustainable technology, and the dangers of suburban extinction in the face of high oil prices. As with some of the righty books from the 1990s, there's a curious push-pull here: Though these are warnings of catastrophes to come, there's a sense that to some extent those catastrophes involve society getting what it deserves for its sinful ways, perhaps coupled with an opportunity for purification in the wake of the crisis -- with the virtuously prepared having the upper hand, of course.
I don't know where these commie survivalist camps are located, but if they have Free Love, I'm in!

All this is of course projection of the most pathetic sort, as The Perfesser is himself kind of a freak about preparedness:
I've got this emergency radio and it seems to be pretty good...

Personally, I also keep a copy of my old Boy Scout Handbook in my kit...

Yes, I took an advanced first aid course years ago -- it was more like bush medicine, really...

No plausible government program could prepare us adequately for the kind of unlikely cataclysm [some stupid scifi potboiler he likes] employs -- but, in fact, if we should ever find ourselves needing people who can construct a lorica segmentata we've got them...'s a family survival kit for $50 and it's pretty good. Most poor people in America can afford food (that's why so many poor people are fat)...
Etc. The Perfesser has even envisioned a day when ordinary citizens will take over the chores of Homeland Security:
Aside from reporting any potential terrorists you might run across at strip clubs, you can maintain situational awareness, especially in public places like airports, shopping malls, and so on. Jeff Cooper's book, Principles of Personal Defense, contains a number of games and mental exercises designed to promote that sort of awareness...
...presumably including that 3-D chess Spock and Kirk used to play.

Christ Jesus, what a dork. What a bunch of dorks, as Army Man Preparedness games seem to be a right-wing blogger affliction. Check out this guy --
After Tom died, his widow -- a woman he loved and married in his final weeks -- was going through various things and came to his car. He hadn't used it for some months. When she began to clean it out she noticed first that the front seats had been rigged so that they could flatten backwards. Then she noticed that the back seat had been rigged so it would pop out easily enabling you to crawl into the trunk. Opening the trunk she found blankets, a number of military issue MREs, containers of water, a folding shovel, a long crow bar, two hundred feet of rope with knots tied in it every two feet, and three small but powerful hydraulic jacks...
...and the genitals of his victims in the freezer. Oh, and look who pops up in comments:
I have a Go-Sack, a Go-Bag, and a Go-Box. The Sack is in the closet, and contains requisites necessary for a trip from here to there, God forbid. The Box is in the garage, and can be thrown in the car in a second; it has food, electronics, fire, cooking tools, wind-up radios, pointy things, all that Coleman crap you can buy at Target. The Bag has all the digitized histories. Worst comes to worst: one, two, three, and we're off.

I often feel foolish for having these things, let alone updating them from time to time. Until I read entries like yours. And the comments! I'll add a notebook and a book to the Box.

Tomorrow. Or one of the days that follow. Hell, next week. What's the ru
Yes, it ends just like that -- old Jimbo Lileks musta got them "twinges" in the middle of his sentence. But from time to time he elaborates at the Bleat:
Me, I have three bins, and they have everything required for a two-day trip to Fargo by back roads, should the worst case scenario arise and the tripods burst from the ground. Why Fargo? You ask. Because my family has a gas station, that’s why, and it’s loaded with food and fuel. They have a generator the size of a VW bus and underground tanks full of petroleum. No, I’m sorry, you can’t come. There’s not enough Coleman™ shower-in-a-pouch personal wipes for everyone. Get off the running board! Honey, close your eyes.

Then I made an open-faced peanut butter sandwich.
I don't see how the Perfesser failed to notice that we lie-berals all cluster in big coastal cities so that, comes the apocalypse, we can all die quickly, and be spared the ensuing road company production of Lord of the Flies in which, after a moment of cheerful solidarity over the death of the Left, conservative bloggers become crazed by pixel deprivation and express their Will to Power-Strips by jousting with Coleman™ lanterns and loricas segmentata.
CARDS 4, METS 2. Buck up, citizens: we've been here before.
THE DEPAHTED. Well, that was bracing. Scorsese got a hell of a good script and directed the shit out of it. This is not a bloated obsessional gig like the last couple -- it's a lean mean one, with a crackerjack cast and Ballhaus and Schoonmaker and Shore on deck. You can feel the pleasure of the material in every artist's hand.

Since Scorsese left the old neighborhood, film-wise, his strength in milieu details has become more obvious and admirable to me. I always expected him to catch Little Italy and the Lower East Side -- indeed recognized them in his movies -- but he also showed a similarly obsessive feel for the plug hats, blind tigers, and all-sorts barrels of Gangs of New York, and for the airplane hangars, nightclubs, and richie haunts of The Aviator. Boston gang- and cop-life are equally well-limned here: smoking old moms with oxygen tubes, Southie hood bars and candy stores (even when actually filmed in my own neighborhood), and claustrophobic command centers all have the flavorful stink of life, as does Scorsese's direction of dialogue in those supercharged environments, especially in the tart cursing banter of Alec Baldwin and Marky Mark. They may or may not be true, but they feel just right.

As for the tale, we have two undercover men -- one for the mob, one for the cops -- pursuing parallel missions through the mean streets. What it all amounts to is open to debate. Something attracted Scorsese to the Hong Kong resolution of this Mexican standoff -- tribal blood being thicker than divergent streams of moral water, and all that. Dignam's character is the most interesting element (not to say he's the most interesting character) -- from his harsh reactions to both protagonists, we get the feeling that he has the bone-deepest feeling for the real game, and his resolution confirms it (abetted by a glimpse of a rat scuttling across our view of a gold dome). Is that it, then? All intrigue is equal, and all are punishèd?

There can be no debate on the playing. Nicholson does less Jacking off than usual, which does not muffle his dazzle; what a fine, human villain he makes. Everyone else gets top marks, even Vera Farmiga, if only for struggling gamely through another functionary Scorsese female lead role. We may measure the gap between The Departed and the very highest screen art in the distance between Valli's screen cross at the end of The Third Man and Farmiga's here. But it's still close enough to merit the price of admission.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

SOMEHOW I ALWAYS KNEW: "Personally, I agree with Donald Trump: Handshaking is unsanitary, and we should replace it with something else... Next time, I'm taking a big pump-bottle of Purell."

A germ phobia, synesthesia ("falling rain 'looks' like polkadots...Electric guitars look like multicolored spaghetti.."), and a strong desire to become an immortal robot lawyer... yeah, I'd say he suits his constituency right down to the ground.
NOT A FUN DATE. I think we'll be looking in on S. T. Karnick a lot. Best known for his National Review gig of scanning TV shows for Jesus-friendly content, he also maintains a blog showcasing his fist-shaking and finger-wagging skills. Here we get Karnick's ravings against an advertising slogan:
Even so, the notion that one can run wild without any consequences to the state of one's mind and soul is truly repulsive. Casting aside your morality for a few days may seem to be just a temporary matter of "blowing off a little steam," but that's just a convenient excuse: human beings are not steam engines.

To think that one can indulge in extramarital affairs, long hours of gambling, or binge drinking and not expect to carry home some reinforcement of the urges that brought the person to Vegas in the first place is incredibly naive and truly stupid.

And note the words used in the ad: what happens in Vegas. These things simply "happen" in Vegas, you see. You're not responsible for your choices; they simply happen. So of course there should be no consequences—it wouldn't be fair for you to be punished for something that simply "happened" to you.

What a wretched message to send to people.
Also, "Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should" promotes bad grammar, and "Does She or Doesn't She?" totally caused the sexual revolution.

I'm always surprised when I see pictures of these people and they appear older than 12.
SEE YOU IN GITMO. Scrolling through the logs, I find that my site was recently visted from and I also found a similar usage pattern here, which suggests that I am on some government nut watch list.

My questions are:
1.) Does this kind of thing ever happen to you? and
2.) Which one of you ratted me out?

Monday, October 16, 2006

BULLSHIT LIBERTARIANS REDUX. Jennifer Roback Morse is best known to us as the B-list sex scold responsible for bon mots such as these:
The Left hates sex. Do not be deluded by the fact that the Left is hyper-active about sexual activity. Far too many on the Left are profoundly uncomfortable by any evidence of sex differences between men and women...

And make no mistake about it: men do sometimes go over the line and become obsessively jealous, even dangerously jealous. But, one thing is for sure. A woman knows that she matters to a guy who gets jealous...

For many people in modern America is a recreational activity, and a consumer good... the sexual partner has become an object that satisfies [one] more or less well.

Some heterosexuals believe they are entitled to unlimited sexual activity without pregnancy... Some homosexuals, particularly the professional activists, find it incomprehensible that sexual activity could be anybody's business but the two parties involved. So these activists can make common cause with heterosexuals who hold these views.
It's hard to pick a favorite out of so rich a trove, but a sure contender would be, "The feminist movement introduced an unbelievable amount of tension into the relationships between men and women." She also hates Plan B and, weirdly, artificial insemination.

Would you classify Roback as your garden variety Jesus freak? Well, guess again!
I suppose some people now consider me a social conservative, even though I never intended to be any such thing. I still consider myself a minimum-government libertarian, who has thought through the implications of the family for the size of government. I have come to the conclusion that you simply can’t have a minimum government without a robust institution of marriage.
They sure aren't making libertarians the way they used to -- if they ever did.

To be fair, when Morse brought out her anti-gay-marriage, anti-contraception, anti-fornication libertarianism, "Much to my disappointment, my libertarian and economist friends seemed uninterested." (Later, when, "much to my surprise," Roback "spent the next five years talking to social conservatives," she was amazed at how much she -- a libertarian, remember! -- got on with the Christers. "I appreciated the fact that they’d talk to me." As well she should have.)

This isn't so much a dig at true libertarians -- if there are any -- as a further demonstration that the most common use of libertarianism is as a cloaking device for right-wing nuts.
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. Some days this gig is easy. All I really have to do is show you a post by a noted buffoon...
More: Gay Troop Leaders Can Take Teenagers Camping, But Gay Republican Congressmen Can't: The Democrats and MSM are determined to root the boy-lovin', disease-spreadin' faggits out of the Republican Party.

Thank God we have a party willling to fight the Pink Menace.
...and, if you have a better than 8th grade reading level (60% of my readers do!), you will see immediately what is stupid about it. I don't even have to think up a joke line like "His sense of irony reached full flower when he told his Mom 'Yes, Hitler' at age 10." Or make any observations about how he sure talks a lot about gayness for a he-man right-wing chest-beater. Or double back with something like, "But of course I would say that, because my liberal secret & counterintuitive hatred of gays means that I cannot accept the bitter truth that this he-man right-wing chest-beater is totally OUT and PROUD."

But I do anyway, because I'm an asshole.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

SEVEN RUNS IS NOT ENOUGH. Another slugfest, this time going our way, thank God, but I am still worried. Fox ran a ten-second clip of the '86 Mets tonight, and it reminded me that our boys back then were observably on speed -- whether metabolized via "the high hard one" previously mentioned by commenter Reginald, or by adrenal surges owing to alcohol or nicotine withdrawal (as when Keith was barred from smoking in the vommies), we can't be sure. But those Mets were juiced, and juice is what's needed in the post-season.

Despite tonight's offensive Wachet Auf, our present crew looked almost as fat 'n' happy in the dugout as they looked fat 'n' unhappy the night before. Hell, before the runs started raining, they seemed positively glum. You may read that as professionalism and confidence, but I see it as lack of drugs. The reflexive awakening of muscle memory alone can explain tonight's laugher. Tom Glavine pitches tomorrow on three days rest; keep laughing. Or recognize that winning teams can make mistakes just as easily as losing teams, and this series can turn on a dime -- or a dime bag.

St. Lou is a cowtown, but surely the Mets' team doctor has underworld connections somewhere in the Midwest. Let's go into the tie-breaker, not just psyched, but psychotic. Most of our muscled players won't even feel a jab in the ass. Some might not disdain to inhale a pharmaceutical "antihistamine." LET'S BLOW, METS!

All credit to the adequate Mr. Perez (thankyouGod, thankyouGod), the hot bats, and Jose Reyes for that little sleight-of-hand in the third -- the umps didn't like it but the rest of us were tickled to death.
THE FEDERALIST. Finally finished Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. 700+ pages is a lot of time to spend with anyone, and if Chernow is exhaustive he can also be exhausting, as can his subject.

Little Al was a dynamo, and his energy and intellect clearly awestrike his biographer, who gives us lots of stuff like "Eliza Hamilton remembered the sleepless night when her husband gave immortal expression to a durable piece of constitutional law." The bulk and scope of Hamilton's achievements -- auto-didact, indefatigable pamphleteer, Revolutionary War hero, political activist and intriguer, legal pioneer, most of The Federalist, Bank of New York, Bank of the United States, and oh yeah, the framework for American financial policy which largely persists to this day -- are lilies that hardly need such gilding.

But Chernow slobbers over these. Perhaps in consequence, whenever Hamilton goes clearly off the rails -- the Reynolds affair, the Miranda escapade, "The Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq." etc -- Chernow professes astonishment. How could the greatest man in the world make such stupid mistakes? It seems never to have occurred to him -- or he chooses, out of infatuation, not to admit -- that Hamilton was something like a mad genius. His was such a roaring cascade of ideas that some were bound to be indiscriminate, sometimes even insane, and, as even Chernow acknowledges, Hamilton was not one to back off. That's what got him killed.

So enamored is Chernow that he feels it necessary to heap abuse on all who opposed Hamilton: Jefferson ("Dr. Pangloss... Hamilton wasn't the only one who suspected him of cowardice"), Madison ("lacked the charismatic sparkle that made the brashly confident Hamilton a natural leader" -- yet was President for two terms, hm), Monroe ("a plodding speaker and a middling intellect"), and most of all Burr, who is painted as a "supremely cynical" voluptuary, which paint is given a whole Hamilton-posthumous chapter of infernally black lacquer ("William Plumer wasn't the only person who gagged at Burr's incongruous presence in the Senate... this aging roue sampled opium and seduced willing noblewomen and chambermaids with a fine impartiality." Chambermaids! Such very Republican égalité, wot?). Readers not under a spell similar to Chernow's may regard Hamilton's fatal "affair of honor" with Burr -- and Hamilton's persistence, even unto his death agonies, in framing the fault with Burr -- as Wilde regarded the death of Little Nell. And if we have read Vidal -- who gets a slighting mention here -- we may be forgiven for yet feeling that debauched old Aaron played it well and fairly, and was within his rights.

Still, Alexander Hamilton is a good read. Chernow scraped every source and makes it tell. In the heretofore murky matter of Hamiliton's younger days, this book makes it possible to imagine that skinny, intense boy, fired by intellectual passion and ambition, feverishly working in the counting house, reading borrowed books, and cajoling propertied men (the beginning of a lifelong habit) to get out of his poverty, illegitimacy, and nearly savage environment, and into history. Chernow famously visited the ancient prison where Hamilton's mother had been detained, and this seems to have galvanized his sense of mission. We are made to feel both Hamilton's restless energy and his survivor guilt ("What a world of scarred emotion and secret grief Alexander Hamilton bore with him on the boat to Boston") so strongly that it comes back to us all through the book in what breathing spaces Chernow's worshipfulness allows. And it is bracing to see a Founder's reversals as well as his triumphs -- to see Hamilton pelted with stones as well as with garlands -- and humanizing to see him flirt with Angelica Church, suck up to George Washington, and negotiate wary truces with Burr.

I wish, in the vastness of the book, he had allowed us larger portions of Hamilton's prose. I sometimes imagine that Hamilton is the model that makes modern political writers of whatever stripe think they can touch glory by waxing eloquent about the Defense of Marriage Act and other tediosities. But George Fucking Will can scribble through ten lifetimes before he gets close to what Hamilton achieved. Perhaps because of his early deprivations, Hamilton learned to yoke words to ideas right out of the box -- he drafted well in his head, and his mania propelled his reasoning and his eloquence with equal vigor. That explains his follies as well as his masterpieces.

I thank Chernow most heartily for the favor of lingering long over the gloriously incivil newspaper and pamphlet wars of the post-Revolutionary period. The accusations of treason, Jacobinism, atheism, "Angloman"-ism, monarchism, and Caesarism -- like the Journals-Affiche of Revolutionary France, an inspiration to bloggers everywhere. Come, let us slander! The example of our Founders demands it.
CLUBHOUSE. On a cold night in 1977 Peter Doherty and some others took me on my first trip to CBGB. It was a weekday and the show was ill-attended (we took one of the tables up front; they had waitress service). The Erasers and the Feelies played. The first wave of CBs stars had already graduated, though some of them would pop in occasionally. The current headliners were supposed to be part of some Second Wave (they were both wonderful bands, by the way). The talk at our table was scenester in the extreme, so I mostly kept my mouth shut. I had just seen the Talking Heads and the Ramones for the first time, and knew I had some catching up to do. I got the impression that the dank, stale-beer smell was part of the curriculum.

It made sense that the nexus of New York punk rock was such a ratty joint. A greybeard such as I have become will taunt the kids today for their backwards-looking rock gambits, but the old punk scene was full of magpies mining la boue for lost gems, and sometimes turds. This was said to be a rebuke to what was considered the smooth and stupefied state of the lively arts of the time. It was also a form of passive aggression: one could expect outsiders to be uncomfortable. I have a hunch you won't like it here, the potato chips are soggy, they water the beer, etc.

I became a habitue, saw many splendid shows (Ramones, Dead Boys, X-Ray Spex, B-52s) and a lot of lame ones. Eventually I hauled myself up on that stage and played some splendid/lame shows myself. I got accustomed to the smell, the smashed toilet, and the pleasurable clubhouse atmosphere that you get just by showing up and doing a little work. Nostalgie de la boue? No, it was happening right now! I always had a hand to shake or a back to pat or a face reading clearly, "Oh, this guy again" when I walked in the door.

All those hours spent loading in and loading out and drinking and hearing, or yelling, "You rock" or "You suck." Long after I stopped playing regularly, I considered it part of my life, until the day came when I realized I could count the time that had passed since I darkened Hilly's door in years, and if I walked through again it would be as a stranger.

Last autumn I was called back for the great final wave of CBs benefits. I commandeered a corner of a garishly-lit "dressing room" and practiced my parts while the act on the other side of the graffiti-scarred plywood boomed and blasted. I kept a close eye on my equipment. I tried to time it right so I would get back from the bar with a beer before the set started. I taped my set-list to the wall. I wondered what it sounded like out front. I clammed on a change. I struck a heroic pose. I heard people clapping.

That was my farewell to CBGB: running my tired old muscles through the old routine and seeing how ill it suited me, as a lapsed Catholic might take in a Mass and find himself surprised how hollow it all is when you've lost your faith. But it wasn't all bad. Whatever my level of disengagement, it was still a show, and shows are always good, whether they Rock or Suck. And CB's was holding the door open, though the closing bell was insistently ringing. A friend in Seattle wrote me the other day:
Anyway, I have two shows this weekend, and I just loaded in to the second scummy punk bar and am waiting to play as I write this. The odd thing is, and the reason I'm bending your ear, is that it seems that in the Northwest at least, the Eighties Punk Rock Experience has been faithfully recreated. Sometimes I feel like I'm running around in a theme park of my twenties, only I'm not on drugs this time around. It's eerie, but really fun.
So faith abides in some great souls.

The final services are tonight. The furnishings are being hauled to Vegas, I hear, perhaps to become part of this -- not an outrage, just macabre, like the varnished corpse of Elmer McCurdy hanging in a carnival's haunted house.

You won't catch me grieving, quite. Ah! as the heart grows older/It will come to such sights colder. It's another me I would be mourning, and I retain a lively interest in the present one. My sympathies are with those who have one less place to play but, as my Seattle friend and '68 Elvis knew, if you're looking for trouble, you will eventually come to the right place. Hilly's unique rental deal kept overhead low for a long time, so it will be hard to find something like that in New York now. Maybe New York isn't it. But somewhere it is. Somewhere there's always a clubhouse.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SHIT. The Trachsel fiasco appeared to cut the heart right out of the team, which isn't a good sign. The Mets can count on adversity in this series, so they better find some snap-back fast. Maybe Tug McGraw can haunt them. Kudos to Suppan and a great fielding Cards team.
FUCK. It is ominous to lose a slugfest to the Cards with three straight coming up in St. Lou. Crap from Wagner is shocking but we can dismiss it as an anomaly -- starter John Maine has always been a wildcard at best and if we get to six games we can't be overconfident about him. Our Mutts are capable of batting explosions, but so are their opponents. It'll be a tough run. I'd pray, if my faith weren't utterly shattered by Rod Dreher's conversion to the Orthodox Church. Dreher was the last prominent imbecile Catholic ring-kissing blogger I could believe in, and though we all should have known that he would succumb to the first sect that waved a sweeter pot of incense and crunchier plate of mashed yeast at him, his apostasy yet wobbles the fundaments. What's next? A Republican pullout from Iraq? Shea it ain't so!

Friday, October 13, 2006

A MIRACLE HAS OCCURRED! The Ole Perfesser has posted about a corrupt Republican without adding that the Democrats are just as bad!

Maybe he was just distracted by a passing Jetta, or a piece of string. Or perhaps he was overanxious to talk about breasts (and, less approvingly, the creatures to whom they are attached).

What's next? Roger L. Simon talking about a movie that he's actually seen?
CRAZY JESUS LADY TAKES A DIVE! CJL's in rare form today, giving us all the proof we should need that liberals hate free speech:
  • A couple dozen rowdies interrupted a showing at Columbia of Ku Klux Klan: Special Mexican Unit thereby depriving evil godless New Yorkers of their chance to learn the truth about those exotic Spanish people, even though Jesus was outside handing out flyers;
  • A Columbine Dad told millions of CBS viewers that abortion made Jesus kill the Amish, but a couple of bloggers didn't agree, which is retroactive censorship of both Columbine Dad and Jesus;
  • Barbra Streisand told a heckler to shut up. The heckler's name was Jesus Christ.
  • Rosie O'Donnell is fat, whereas Jesus looks fetchingly slim on the cross.
"There's a pattern here, isn't there?" she asks. Yes, in the sense that my broken shoelace, the girl who laughed at me on the subway, the failure of my Lotto numbers to hit, and the overcooking of my lunchtime burger add up to I MUST KILL YOU ALL NOW WITH MY NINJA THROWING STARS!

By the same formula, Republicans are one-quarter boy-crazy middle-aged men, and the other three-quarters Denny Hastert's midsection.

Also, the Lady tells us, liberals and Democrats lack "grace," and "What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions..." Oh, I bet they are! Like "How much of this government money can I stuff into the trunk of my car before the voters turn me out?" and "Is now the time to start screaming about fags getting married, or should I wait until the week before the election?" and "If they caught Foley, does that mean they can catch me, or the guy that sold me this cocaine, or the prostitute that is currently sucking my dick?"

All that's left is to try and figure the Crazy Jesus Lady's real angle here -- for she is only mad north-northwest, and when the wind is southerly she can tell a hack from a handjob. While "Drunk/behind deadline" is a temptingly obvious choice, it is possible that she knew from the start how thin her argument was, and presented it in all its pathetic insufficiency to achieve not a political but a social effect.

The other OpinionJournal writers are every bit as bad as Noonan -- but not nearly as famous, Reagan-associated, or grandly declamatory in style. She may think that they think that they are not good enough for her. What else explains the nervous glances and evasive half-smiles that greet her when she wheels her shopping cart into their offices? Why else do they never accept her invitations to vespers?

And she has been so lonely since Reagan died and Dan Rather stopped sending her even the restraining orders. Well, she's not some bra-burning feminazi -- if a crappy tautology will do more than a lower neckline on her strait-jacket to make her seem more approachable, she can do that.

Oddly enough, in the very same OJ edition Daniel Henninger bitches out YouTube for making his favorite right-wing politicans look like feebs and assholes. (He also lets us know that he uses YouTube to look at jazz, not junk like you people watch.) I've seen Henninger on TV, and he looks and acts like a depressed undertaker after a shot of sodium pentathol.

The Crazy Jesus Lady and the Gloomy Culture Crank! A match made in heaven!

UPDATE. I have to add that while I believe the Minutemen certainly deserve all the contempt they get, I also think they should have been permitted to speak without the bum-rush.

I say this knowing that Noonan and every other conservative will continue to talk as if Democrats all advocate censorship, but what the hell. Maybe a few of them can read.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

FIELDERS: CHOICE. Jeff Weaver and Tom Glavine were great tonight. So were both bullpens. But it was gloves what won it. Carlos Beltran doubling Pujols off first from the outfield took the juice out of St. Lou early, and Adny or Endy or Inky or whatever-it-is Chavez' sno-cone catch in the fifth kept the tarp nailed down tight. The infield was impermeable. Even Willie Randolph, who looks in all interviews now like he's being grilled by cops, spoke up for the defense in the post-game. Beltran's homer was a rare moment of batter confidence, and all we needed.

Fox 5 coverage from the Shea parking lot tonight made we wish badly I could be out there. Mets fans are spectacularly stoopid. They don't have the confidence of Yankees rooters, and their enthusiasm is more retarded and untelegenic. To paraphrase Robert Ryan in The Wild Bunch: They're mooks, and I wish to God I was with them. (Sign of the night: CARDINALS TASTE LIKE CHICKEN.)

I'm beginning to love Tom Glavine. I hated him, of course, when he was Brave and affectlessly whipping our asses year after year. But at the butt-end of his career, waiting on win number 300, Glavine was The Professional, blandly blotting out rallies and walking off the field like he had just cut a man's throat in an alley and didn't want anyone to look at him. He's a nice counterweight to drama queens like Wright and Reyes.

I'm still nervous. We really have only three starters, and sooner or later the middle relief is going to resemble a five-car pileup on the BQE. And if we get to the Series, I suspect the Tigers will be as strong and supple as their namesakes. But I'm happy to have the opportunity to fret.
BULLSHIT LIBERTARIANS. "Listen, I'm a small-government conservative. When New York banned all smoking in public places, I protested. When they came for foie gras in Chicago, I ridiculed. But when Mayor Bloomberg proposed banning trans fats in New York City restaurants, I murmured: 'Gee, is that really so bad?'" -- Maggie Gallagher.

So, "small-government conservative" is pretty much a synonym for "hypocrite," right?

Or, to elaborate, whenever somebody who evinces a strong smell of conservatism starts talking about his libertarian cred -- like this guy, who declares himself "a conservative-libertarian hybrid" while denouncing gay marriage ("Just because something is immoral does not mean that it should be legal") -- hide your freedoms.

You probably have your own favorite bullshit libertarians. Here's mine, at the moment: a self-indentified "libertarian conservative" who says "Where I part company with many libertarians is that I find them too doctrinaire." One of those doctrines is apparently the fallacy that black people are not inferior to whites: "...people of African ultimate origin do have much lower average scores on general problem-solving ability (IQ) than do people of European ancestry and... variations in IQ are largely genetic." Or maybe that part's his libertarian side. With these folks it's hard to tell.

I'd love to hear other contenders. Please remember, however, that the Ole Perfesser already has his own wing in the BL Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

HALF BAKED. 'Member when, in Star Trek? They scrambled up their molecules? And they could go from one place to the other, like, through the air?
What I realized in thinking about this is the extent to which modern nation-states are all about geometry: They have an inside, and an outside, and the presumption is that if most of the dangers are kept outside everything will be fine. If some sort of practical matter transportation came about, we'd have to think about a different way of looking at things: The "virtual geography" of transport connections would mean more than the real geography of rivers, mountains, oceans, and other formerly important natural barriers. That seems pretty revolutionary.
Dude, chill, they haven't even invented telespre-- telepreta-- tel-e-por-ta-tion yet. Hey, did you eat all the Fritos?

UPDATE. "Virtual communities in some ways already mean more than real ones..." ("You do have friends, don't you?" "Well... the Superfriends.")
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE. When YouTube wouldn't show her video, Michelle Malkin went into her customary dhimmitude froth. But the right wing's brightest lights have adopted a less manic approach: they're promoting the Zucker parody ad by making it seem like forbidden fruit:
Don't show this ad!
Noooooo! It wouldn't be nice! Must be niiiiiiiiiice. So they're not showing it, and it's a good thing no one can see it.
I AGREE WITH ANN ALTHOUSE: It's a good thing that nobody is showing this ad. It's a regular triumph of good taste that it's not being shown anywhere at all. . . .

Though I'm glad I got to watch Kim Jong Il slam-dunking, even if it was in a commercial that no one at all will ever see. Because, you know, they're not showing it anywhere.
Of course, the ad's lack of network presence is not due to evil MSM censorship, but because the Republican Party correctly figured voters would see it and think, "So, Clinton and that fat lady -- are they running for something?"

I think the ad's pretty funny -- but it's no Daisy!

UPDATE. Now Stanley Kurtz is doing it, too. Ugh. When they try this hard to be cute, they remind me of Samuel L. Jackson dancing for Ruby Dee in Jungle Fever.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

AND IF PRINCESS LEIA AND I COULD HANG OUT, I BET SHE WOULD REALLY LIKE ME. Steven Den Beste, blowhardiest of legacy bloggers, mocks liberals as dreamers who retreat into fantasy worlds of entertainment programming:
Lose the 2000 election? Well, create a TV show where the Democrats actually won in 2000. Wish Hillary would win, but fear that she won't? Make another TV show about the first woman (a Democrat, naturally) to be President. Want the War on Terror to end? Just write the history of the future and and have a future President (a woman) end it. Hate George Bush, and wish he was gone? Then make a movie about his assassination.
Meanwhile, the official weblog of National Review magazine is devoting itself to a protracted discussion of Battlestar Gallactica and other sci-fi dorkery. Specimen:
I hear ya. And, let's also acknowledge that the whole "We come in peace" storyline is hardly new to sci-fi. But, come on. It seems an enormous stretch to think that the producers were going for occupied France first and Iraq second. The whole suicide bombing thing, the one-eyed Tighe, etc made the comparisons to Iraq incredibly ham-fisted. Indeed, what's annoying is that the French resistance vibe people are getting is part of what makes the Iraq comparison so offensive. It's a one-step remove from comparing the Iraqi insurgency to the (romanticized) French resistance.
Try to imagine this speech yammmered by young Jonah at a Goucher coed, and punctuated by the crunching of Cheetos.

Everyone likes a good fantasy. But the major difference between them and us is, we indulge our fantasies by creating film and TV shows, whereas they indulge theirs by creating unnecessary wars.

Also, they smell really, really bad.
MORE RINGING ENDORSEMENTS OF BUSH NORTH KOREA POLICY ROLL IN! "...we may be left with no choices other than war and blackmail." -- "Captain" Ed Morrissey

I bet they're tickled that this pushed Foley off the front page! Now, instead of looking like teen-sex enablers, the Republicans look like our unsmiling concierges to the Apocalypse. Much more mediagenic!

Meanwhile, Mario Loyola (whom I imagine as a young Andy Garcia in the first half of The Godfather III, a hot-tempered enforcer ready to start stabbing at the slightest nod from his boss) is going the "It's all Clinton's fault" route. The die-hards' portrayal of the former President has become over-complicated, though: it's hard to envision even the Clenis killing real Americans at Ruby Ridge and Waco, running drugs through the Mena Airport, selling us out in Darfur, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, and getting his dick sucked all at the same time. If I were they, just before blowing my brains out, I would try to offload some of these atrocities onto a different straw man. How about Richard Simmons? Nobody likes him.

UPDATE. Reader Mary Caliendo points out that McCain has picked up the blame-Clinton ball. The Senator also asks China to "step up to the plate." If he means the plate piled with riches we constantly serve up to the Red East in return for their sweatshop labor, I'd say they were there already. And it will be interesting to see -- if we get to see -- how China might respond to pressure from the U.S. on this: do they fear our wrath as much as we fear the loss of their cheap manufactures, or their grip on one trillion U.S. dollars?

Monday, October 09, 2006

NYUK, NYUK, NYUK. So how's the Most Powerful Nation on Earth doing against the Axis of Evil -- or, as I like to think of them, Moe, Larry and Curly? Iraq -- originally the Curly of the outfit, though now downgraded to Shemp or perhaps even Joe Besser status -- has been "liberated" and "pacified" -- that is to say, it's a basket case, where daily life has become so dangerous that authorities recently had to stick a flak jacket on Condi Rice before escorting her from Baghdad Airport. Even the Donald Rumsfeld publicity bureau known as OpinionJournal today declared in an offhand tone that "if another 10,000 or 20,000 or however many troops would reassure Iraqis in the months ahead... then by all means President Bush should deploy them."

Iran, the Larry of the outfit, is treading water, with Ahmadinejad working a global charm offensive while riding herd on his opposition back home.

And North Korea, proving a worthy bearer of the mantle of Moe, just blowed up a big bomb. Remind him to kill us later!

We all knew this was coming, given the ham-handed U.S. approach to NK nuclear negotiations. Though previous administrations had managed to maneuver North Korea away from H-bombs, Bush treated and spoke of the Korean nuclear situation in oh-well, whattaya-gonna-do terms, as if it were out of his control: "I think what we have to do is plan for the worst and hope for the best."

Now Kim's got a working bomb, and naturally the conservative response is: we have GOT to keep the Democrats out of office, or they might fuck up even worse than we have! "...we know what the Democratic Party and its media surrogates will want to do -- begin a comprehensive and multi-lateral campaign to BLAME BUSH!!!" cries Dean Barnett. References to 9/11, WWII, and Awakening the American People to their Grave Peril naturally follow.

"When the conflagration comes, it will burn as surely as night follows day," intones Josh Trevino from atop a plinth, toga rippling in the wind. "The puerile predator in Pyongyang will do no less. We have failed to prevent: now it falls to us to deter, and in time, avenge." Avenge what? Maybe he means the North Korean "slave state," generally; Trevino once lived near it, of which joyous days he still has happy memories of "leftist students assaulting our housing compound," apparently forging a lifelong bond between Trevino and his noisy neighbors. Or maybe he seeks vengeance for this: if we nuke North Korea, maybe the radiation will seep over into Seoul, and that guy Trevino couldn't get arrested in '05 will finally get his.

Others also appear optimistic -- not for the imminent bloodshed, but because of the possibility of Republican political advantage. "Mr. Kim drives Foley off the front page -- or does he? Well, he better," sez Roger L. Simon. But his heart's not in it -- not like the old days of the Iraqi cakewalk and flag lapel pins! "Foley was starting to get boring," yes, but still there is a "fundamental lack of seriousness of a great part of our society, especially in the political and media classes" -- not like Simon, playing Stratego with Victor Davis Hanson and Michael Ledeen all night long! "In a way I hope the Democrats win in November, so that they are forced to face reality." Wow -- he's so rattled, he's forgotten we're all traitors!

In short, thanks to the persistence of human stupidity, this urgent worldwide crisis promises to be as hilarious as any other.

UPDATE. At Ace of Spades HQ, poster "Dave from Garfield Ridge" (who reveals, to our horror, in comments that "my day job touches on a lot of what I write about...national security stuff...") repeats the new wisdom: "The big lesson today is the most obvious one, a lesson most any reader here could have imparted long before we got here. Namely, that any nation that wants nuclear weapons will eventually get them, and will get them by any means necessary." Gee, if they've felt that way since "long before we got here," when Bush gave his original Axis of Evil speech, why didn't he just say, "We give up"?

Actual sensible commentary here.
SHORTER ANN ALTHOUSE. Good news! The voters don't blame Republicans for Foley -- they blame fags!

UPDATE. Crunchy Rod Dreher steps up to give Althouse a run for her funny. Dreher quotes a guy who thinks the Foley case shows that the GOP "elites" -- i.e., the kind who use a knife and fork when they eat -- are out of sync with regular Republicans. Dreher agrees, with a twist:
I socialize with many conservatives who are one way or another elites, and even if they (like me) oppose the demands of the gay rights movement (e.g., gay marriage) for reasons of political or moral principle, we honestly aren't made uncomfortable by being around gay people. It's not even an issue, so gay protests that conservatives are burning with fear and loathing of gays strikes me as way overblown, and an attempt to avoid actually considering our arguments on their own merits.

But to be fair, this comment makes me think about how unrepresentative my relationship with gay folks is of the typical conservative's.
Sounds like he feels bad that he isn't made uncomfortable by the mere presence of homosexuals -- because even that limited level of tolerance separates him from the Salt of the Earth and the Common Clay. Maybe it's time he went back to Bible Camp to learn how to be more judgmental.

UPDATE II. My favorite Dreher commenter:
But personally (and this has nothing to do with the legal argument against gay marriage) I find homosexuality even more revolting than a man (or woman) having sex with an animal. Hey, does this make me a bigot?
A: Yes.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Regular readers may have noticed that I don't discuss my sex life much. Though it would make, as I think most people's would, a rich tale, full of drama and comedy and pathos, I yet cling to the old-fashioned notion that a gentleman never tells.

Not everyone feels that way, though:
I like various positions! With the lights on and off! In the daytime and the nighttime! In the ocean and in the windowseat! I like sex on Sunday mornings! Can I get an “AMEN” for Cunnilingus? AMEN for cunnilingus! Can I get a “You know how to whistle, don’t you” for Fellatio? “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” Can I get a “Ride’em Cowboy” for my husband? Yippeekayae! Can I get an “arghghghghg” for Readi Whip and maraschino cherries? Arghghghghghg! What, no brownies?
This noisome display is not from The Vagina Monologues, but from The Anchoress -- normally a reliable right-wing scold who speaks of sex primarily as an agent of death, who has been driven to this uncharacteristically lurid extremity by the Foley scandal.

Her idea -- and that of the comrades to whom she links in her post -- is, near as I can figure, that by finding humor in the current Congressional tsimmis, liberals have abandoned the high ground -- or the deep rut, depending on how you look at it -- of sexual liberty, which she now claims for herself.

As a sometime author of erotic fiction, I find The Anchoress' effort lacking in both style and prurience. Still, to each her own; at some early stage of sexual awakening, plain declarations of enthusiasm may provide sufficient titillation.

As for the political effect -- which I suspect is the real animator of this exhibition -- she needn't have bothered. As I have tirelessly observed, the Democrats have been cast, and well cast, as America's horndogs, and it will take more than a few Instant Messages to dislodge us. Besides, the election is only a month away, and near the event we may expect Republican operatives to haul out the FAGS A-GITTIN' HITCHED! banner to rally voters to their cause. Whatever amateurs may think, the pros know that there is more to be gained by promoting hatred of other people's sex lives than from celebration of one's own.

Speaking of amateurs, this phenomenon is mainly interesting as an expression of discontent among right-wing bloggers.

Sex-hatred has been a key factor in the Republican strategy for quite some time -- whether couched in terms of gay marriage, rainbow parties, wardrobe malfunctions, the Clenis, or any other available mechanism for welding Democrats to a realm of human life that apparently still baffles and disgusts a large number of voters.

The top conservative bloggers, despite their self-portrayal as men and women of The Peepul, tend to be professional word-workers with some education and prestige (law professors, speechwriters, journalists, students, etc). They have to know this Republican freakishness about sex is all bullshit. But they have gone along because it has been good for their Party and the non-sex-based causes it supports -- endless war on Muslims, low taxes on rich people, and such like.

By a willful misreading of the current scandal-twisted situation, some of them see an opportunity to speak up for sex without abandoning their Republican affiliation. This opportunity is so rare, and so delayed, that when they finally feel themselves free to speak out for sucking and fucking, it comes out explosively, in a pressurized stream of clumsily suggestive gibberish.

For all the harm their reign has done our country, let us be grateful at least that we are not so afflicted.

Friday, October 06, 2006

TIGERS 6, YANKEES 0. Mr. Rogers, where was this shit when you pitched for us? I ain't seen curves like that since they closed Billy's Topless.

I liked the Tommy Lasorda commercials, too. Lasorda's blog is just okay, though I love when he says stuff like "Go out and vote for Nomar, it is your duty!" I wonder what it would be like if comments were unmoderated. (What a pity Earl Weaver isn't around to do podcasts.)

UPDATE. Actually Tommy can curse pretty good too when a pitcher's giving him a hard time during a fucking World Series game. (The organ music is a wonderful accompaniment.) But Weaver had more style.
LITERALLY. David Brooks says, oh yeah, you liberals think the Foley scandal is bad, well, there's an underage seduction in The Vagina Monologues but you liberals love that, don't you?

Stunned onlookers point out to Brooks that The Vagina Monologues is a play, whereas Mark Foley is a real person. Ann Althouse -- she takes pictures, you know! -- responds:
The third letter notes Brooks's omission of the "simple point" that what Mark Foley did was "real" and "The Vagina Monologues" is "make-believe." But, again, the enthusiasm for "The Vagina Monologues" is very real.
There are a lot of things you could say to this. You could try to explain to these people the concept of fictional characters. You could try to explain that not every character in every scene speaks for the author. You could try to explain that these cows are very small, while those cows are far away.

It would all be a waste of time. Some kinds of ignorance are so obviously the result of hard, patient work that all you can really do about them is marvel at God's creation and move on.

UPDATE. I just had to haul this comment on up to the front of the class: "Millions of people enjoyed Silence of the Lambs, and yet if a Republican were caught engaging in murder and cannibalism, you can only imagine how the hypocritical liberals would react."

UPDATE II. Comments at Professor Althouse's place also augment the hilarity, but in a different way:
Didn't the left give us performance art and haven't leftists, in their never ending pursuit of absolute equality, instructed us the everything is art and that we're all artists?
When'd we do that? I've got to start coming to more of the meetings.
SHORTER CRAZY JESUS LADY. Now that I no longer work for any of the people Bob Woodward is exposing, it's amazing how much better his writing has become.
YEAH, WE GOOD. I have a cold and lots to do but I can't keep myself from watching these Mets. They're pumped bigger than usual, but not out of proportion -- their playoff jam is a natural extension of their regular-season jam: more clapping and arm-flinging between plays, but outside of that the same easy, team-wide shit-eating grin at being part of a very good machine.

I only got one game in at Shea this year, but even over the TV their pleasure this season has been radiant. It's very different from 2000, when the madman Bobby Valentine pushed by force of cap-chewing will a bunch of pretenders into the World Series, only to watch them crumble against the hated Yankees. I'll always respect Bobby V for that -- it was a brilliant specimen of the ridiculous persistence that keeps Mets fans sane in the long off-years. We've had shitty teams and shitty seasons, but sometimes, just as we're saying to hell with it, we come back from the concession stand to find we ain't done so bad after all. 2000 was the apotheosis of Orange and Blue* hope against hope.

But in the past few years the Mets have gone another way. They've reinvigorated the farm teams and shown something resembling patience. Look how Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya have nurtured the present crew. Who knew it was a good idea to lose Mike Cameron and gain Carlos Delgado? Dumbass me, I thought that was a wash. I thought Tom Glavine was a bad bet from day one, and expected we'd trade him away in the new era -- but look at his line tonight! And whatever the Skipper has been saying to Reyes and Wright ought to be recorded and kept in a vault for future generations to Talmudically ponder. And Julio Franco! 48 goddamn years old! Makes it to first and bats in a run! I haven't trusted an old man on the Mets since Derek Bell pulled up lame in 2000 -- and he was only 33.

They were overexcited in the 9th -- Reyes' throw pulled Delgado off the bag for the first out, and for the last. But they got the job done.

We're up 2-0 and our small-ball team is looking at the harder-they-fall Cards in the NLCS. It ain't '86, but it's pretty sweet.

Why to love the Mets, here. Why to hate the Yankees (like you need a reason), here.

* Yeah, I'm Old School.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

SHORTER MICHELLE MALKIN: If I can't post on websites that don't want me, the Islamofascists will have won.

(Why doesn't she just take her top off? I'll post her stupid video if she does.)
THE HE-MAN JESUS-HATERS CLUB. Remember the right-wing gibberish about the Amish schoolhouse murders? (Psst, just say yes! It's two posts down!) We can officially top it, now that John Derbyshire has weighed in on the treasonous, Jesus-emulating Pennyslvania Dutch grandpa who counseled some of that other-cheek* crap. In response to John Podhoretz' objection ("this story disturbs me deeply... I'm not sure I would want to be someone who succeeded in rising above hatred..." He needn't worry), Derbyshire writes:
A civilization that can't summon up some pretty widespread hatred for a man who lines up little girls and shoots them in their heads, after having been foiled in an attempt to molest them, is a civilization with a spring broken somewhere.
Here, the famously unstable Derbyshire seems to conflate "civilization" (in Derbspeak, the United States of America and all affilated homosexuals) with the Amish grandpa -- a brain-chemical rather than a philosophical issue, as even Derb must, when sedated, understand that ours is a society pulsating with inchoate hatred, and that much of it is discharged upon the perpetrator(s) of the criminal-outrage-of-the-week, albeit in absentia via dinner-table conversation or barroom braggadocio. (Those of us who have regular contact with Americans will recall how often we were told what Joe Citizen would do if he got his hands on Bin Laden, in those days before George W. Bush declared Bin Laden irrelevant.)

Leftover inchoate hatred then devolves upon wives, girlfriends, rival football teams, and perpetrator(s) of the celebrity-outrage-of-the-week.

You know you've reached some sort of a milestone when you make Rod Dreher look sane.

As I've said before, I'm not a Christian except in habits and morality. Derbyshire says he is one, and yet visits upon a perfect Imitator of Christ the sort of treatment he usually reserves for gay people. I would say it represents a new low, but I have been writing this for a few minutes, and I'm sure something worse has been published meanwhile.

* Duncan, don't even start. I checked the Sermon on the Mount, and the other-cheek stuff was not a typo.

UPDATE. A little clarifying on linkages added.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

THE END OF THE AFFAIR. The Foley scandal continues its widening gyre. Foley himself is becalmed in rehab, but no one cares about him. The Parties are surfing the gyre. The Republicans have the worse job, and are trying all kinds of wild shit to reverse its course. The Perfesser hehindeeds through the howling wind that it's really about gay hypocrisy, or pro-gay hypocrisy that's really anti-gay, or some damn thing. His comrade cries out:
Does anyone seriously think that the Democrats can position themselves as the party of sexual restraint? The party that will be tough on gay men, straight men, or anyone else who gives off even a whiff of impropriety?

Please - this is not a bidding war the Democrats can win and I am reasonably certain that, after years of "sex is a private matter", it is not a war the Democrats want to start.
But like most shouting into the wind, this is bootless. As previously noted here, the Democrats are considered the Party of libertine sex, as a thousand Leno jokes will attest. The Republicans have encouraged that perception, and positioned themselves as the Party of family values, and benefited from the comparison. When one of their own got caught out, no one thought the roles had been magically reversed. We just thought the Republicans had fucked up. Again.

Remember when the cry over Clinton was, it's not the sex, it's the lying/perjury/hypocrisy? Now it's not the sex, it's the fuckups. We expect our politicians to lie and perjure themselves and be hypocrites, but when Denny Hastert goes blundering around trying to explain Foley on the radio, it may be that the average observer is not reminded of Clinton or Gary Condit or Jim McGreevey, but of Rumsfeld, and "Brownie," and Abramoff: the spectacle of a Party that runs nearly all our government, once again giving mumbled, grudging responses when things go wrong on their watch.

When the Foley scandal subsides, no lingering taint of sex madness will adhere to the Republicans. The stink of failure may grow a smidge more ripe, though.
THE ELEPHANT, THE BLIND MAN SAID, IS VERY LIKE A LIBERAL CONSPIRACY. Hugh Hewitt directs our attention to this analyst of the recent Amish schoolhouse shooting, who closes:
How a culture finds a balance between love and weakness, fear, aggression and violence, is a puzzle that is not easily solved. I wonder if a more mobilized society, one which deems it appropriate and acceptable for all members of the society to have the right and the knowledge to defend themselves, will not eventually be the avenue of wisdom.
So, there's your answer: if the Amish schoolgirls were packing heat, none of this would have happened.

Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser, asked about the incident, says, "I mean, we focus so much on the mental health of girls and women, and we’ve neglected a lot of the boys and men in this country. You go into a school, and a lot of times, the boys’ psychological and mental health is sort of neglected." Damn bitches, hoggin' up the mental health care. Every time I go to my court-mandated therapist appointments, they're all looking at me like, what's this guy doing here?

Columbine Dad tells Katie Couric that it's all about abortion. (Hat tip to God Is For Suckers.)

This guy's just nuts.

If you're wondering why these guys think the Foley scandal is a Democratic plot, this will give you a hint. For them, everything bad that happens in life has something to do with a little bag of fetishes labelled "liberalism." That's why they can go on mouthing rank absurdities while the rest of us are giving them that Springtime for Hitler stare.

UPDATE. Red State commenter: "President Bush has called a meeting next Tuesday of 'experts' to figure out what can be done. I hope this is not just a political move to appear to be in favor of protecting kids, but is actually designed to get real results." I wonder if he was trying to be funny.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

WHY IS JANE GALT? A few posts back I challenged Jane Galt's notion that if we don't like our present economy, it means we also don't like iPods and 2-way wrist TVs and all the other great innovations of our times. Now she says this means my readers and I are Marxists with "a deep emotional need for things to be getting worse in order to justify their political beliefs."

Obviously arguing with her is a waste of time, but I will leave one question: if I think the Marx Brothers are funnier than Adam Sandler, does that mean I prefer the Great Depresssion to the Clinton Boom?

Monday, October 02, 2006

ANIMALS CAN BE BRED AND SLAUGHTERED Reihan Salam reviews Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. The premise of the film, he says (I haven't yet had the pleasure), is that “yuppies” won’t breed, so slack-jawed yokels who like fart jokes will inherit the earth and manage it very badly. Sounds pretty funny. Here’s Salam’s reaction:
…[Judge is] telling thoughtful Americans that we can't expect other people to solve our problems for us. If you're alarmed by the callousness and the crassness of our culture, which you certainly should be, do something about it. Lead or follow. Getting out of the way is not an option. Failing that, you should at least try to outbreed the people you hate most.
We’ve seen this idea before in conservative circles: that The Right People are underbreeding and thus allowing the Wrong People to dominate. Of course, usually the Right People are portrayed as the White People. I don’t think Salam’s saying that, but what is he saying? That smart people should “outbreed” stupid people? That “yuppies” should outbreed the underprivileged?

It is rare and sort of charming when they show faith in any branch of science at all, but even I know that genetics is more complicated than that.