Monday, December 10, 2012

CLOSET CASE. Ace of Spades:
Conservatives who live in liberal areas, or move in liberal circles, on the other hand, tend to either be pretty quiet about politics or, if trying to suss someone else out, employ shibboleths to see if the other party is a member of the tribe. 
I don't have a go-to shibboleth for this purpose. I suppose that something noncomittal and sneaky, like "Are you a fan of David Mamet?," might work. Hey, you might just mean his movies and plays. Alternatively, you might mean his recent political conversion to conservatism. A member of the tribe might pick up on that last bit and say something like, "I've become a bigger fan lately."
Maybe they should just go with a hanky code.

(There's a whole Vince Vaughn section at the link, for those of you who like it rough.)


  1. PulletSurprise10:55 PM

    "I will not buy this record, it is scratched."

  2. 12/9/2012. Vince Vaughn's commentary track for Couples Retreat has left me puzzled and disconcerted. A second American Revolution? Is this the misspeaking of an ignorant Hollywood leftist or the subtle Morse code blinkings of a comrade held against his will by Hollywood Muslamocommunists? Further investigation obviously necessary.

    12/11/2012. Analysis of Wedding Crashers commentary track reveals statements indicative of a strongly-held commitment to state's rights that other, lesser minds might be inclined to take at face value as praise for Christopher Walken's performance. But I know better. I know the truth.

    12/13/2012. Am unable to parse hidden messages in The Break-Up commentary track as am too distracted/repulsed by thoughts of Jennifer Aniston's ancient, distended ladyparts.

    12/14/2012. Dodgeball commentary track contains several subtle jabs regarding Obama's birth certificate. Remarkable that this movie came out in 2004 - if only we had listened! (Side note: is Ben Stiller a Masonic plot? Dodgeball commentary track suggests yes - would explain much of the enigma that is Little Fockers.)

    12/18/2012. Jackpot. Consistently in commentary track for The Expendables 2: The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars, Vaughn overemphasizes his word-initial "r"s in a manner that cannot be attributable to chance. In instances where there are two word-initial "r"s in consecutive words (i.e. "rolling rumpus," a phrase that occurs no fewer than 2,180 times in the course of the commentary track by my count), the phenomenon is even more pronounced. The meaning is obvious. Vince Vaughn. Ronald Reagan. Both of them actors, both of them conservatives, all of us brave little toasters on our way to Mars. The truth must be told, but the liberals must never find out. Obama, the Masons, and Jennifer Aniston's ladyparts will slit our throats if they think we're on to them.

  3. DocAmazing11:27 PM

    something noncomittal and sneaky, like "Are you a fan of David Mamet?"
    Friends of Dorothy everywhere are amused, I'm sure.

  4. AGoodQuestion11:35 PM

    Just to fuck with their heads, say that you have sexual fantasies about being Rebecca Pidgeon.

  5. XeckyGilchrist11:41 PM

    There's also word association tests:


    (secret handshake)

  6. You know what you are? You're like a big bear with claws and with fangs... And you got these fucking claws and these fangs, man! And you're looking
    at your claws and you're looking at your fangs. And you're thinking to
    yourself, you don't know what to do, man. "I don't know how to kill the
    bunny." With *this* you don't know how to kill the bunny, do you know
    what I mean?

    You are so Burkean baby and you don't even know it!

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:10 AM

    Other possible code phrases for Ace, because I'm just such a helpful librul:

    "Saturday Night Live just hasn't been the same since Victoria Jackson left."

    "I don't know, I think Craig James would do better than Bob Costas on Sunday Night Football."

    "Hawaiian Pizza's a little too foreign, don't you think? I prefer white pizza, myself."

    "Me and my buddies were talking about the failure of relativist philosophy as a foundational system for Western society and the possibility of the return to a more Calvinist-derived system. What do you think?"

    "Hey, wanna go shoot things?"

    But seriously, Ace-even to my snarky eyes this reads like a cry for help. Put the laptop down and go out for a few drinks or something.

  8. JennOfArk12:15 AM

    Conservatives who live in liberal areas, or move in liberal circles, on the other hand, tend to either be pretty quiet about politics or, if trying to suss someone else out, employ shibboleths to see if the other party is a member of the tribe.
    Liberals who live in conservative areas don't have this problem, because stupid assholes can be counted on to shoot off their mouths in the belief that everyone within earshot is also a stupid asshole. All we have to do is look around to see who else is obviously disgusted by the stupidity of the asshole to suss out other members of the tribe.

  9. As a rule, conservatives are loudmouthed assholes who don't even possess the ABILITY to censor their opinions, much less CHOOSE to, even when said opinions are so outrageous and out of touch with civilized society it threatens to sink their careers (see Akin, Todd, et al). 

    They are the Enterprise crew from the alternate barbarian universe whose identities are sussed out immediately. Five minutes in this universe and they're jumping on the table at the dinner party beating their chests and screaming that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster and that's why it was OK for Bush fudge the truth about Iraq! Pretty much a dead giveaway.

    They. Just. Can't. Fucking. Help. Themselves.

    Hence, there are no closet conservatives and no need to employ shibboleths or wonder if Vince Vaughn is sending you secret messages through the tv. Interesting bit of speculative fiction on Ace's part, though. 

  10. horatius12:28 AM

    This my friends is Performance Art at it's finest.

  11. horatius12:30 AM

    My new pickup line on conservative dating sites.

    "You are so Burkean baby and you don't even know it!"

  12. "Well, they call it Hawaiian pizza, but do you know where it really comes from?"

  13. I'm in a pretty liberal area and move in liberal circles, and the conservatives identify themselves in a few minutes with the following phrases: "Both parties suck." "I hate politics", "the deficit's too high", "politicians! Amirite?" "the government as usual screwed up ____" or "I'm socially liberal, fiscally conservative". Or the biggest conservative flag of all:

    "I'm politically independent." - might as well be a giant electric WINGNUT sign over their head at that point, with a fanfare and calliope music.

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  15. Spaghetti Lee1:20 AM

    It's especially precious when they talk about how persecuted they are for being conservative and how they barely feel safe expressing their opinions anymore, even though you're the fifth person they've done it to today. Cripes, if we actually did live in a lefty dictatorship where it was illegal to be a conservative, The Resistance would be snuffed out within hours: all the secret police would have to do would be to show people a picture of Obama hugging his wife and see who starts grinding their teeth.

  16. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume1:30 AM


  17. mortimer2:04 AM

    Dear Penthouse Forum,
    I always thought your stories of wild sexual attraction were made up, until it happened to me. Late last night I was alone at the library looking for a Phyllis Schafly biography when this really chunky-looking dude appeared. He glanced around with this lustful look in his eye, got real close to me and said, "Are you a fan of David Mamet?"
    Now, I'm not such a great-looking guy myself, but this dude looked like he just got done writing something creepy on the Internet. So I said, "Who?"
    "David Mamet." He winked at me. "I'm a really big fan."
    I saw his eyes flicker toward his crotch.
    "And I'm becoming a much bigger fan all the time." He put a little extra heft on "bigger".
    Now I'd heard that there was some kind of code, but this was the closest I'd ever come to it. He was frustrated when I didn't answer.
    "Look, I just want to suss you out," he hissed hungrily.
    Code, shmode. I knew what that meant! And pretty soon we were behind the stacks, and he was telling me all about how he couldn't stand the sight of vaginas. And boy did he suss me out good...
    (continued on page 78)

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  19. Geo X2:23 AM

    Wait a second--what for all this subterfuge? I thought libruls were all big ol' pussies who probably don't even own guns and want to coddle the terra-ists insteada dropping bombs on them. So why do True White-Knuckled All-American Patriots apparently live in such mortal terror of them that they have to communicate via sekrit decoder rings? What's wrong with this picture?

  20. smut clyde3:40 AM

    What part of PERSECUTED MINORITY do you not understand?

  21. calling all toasters4:50 AM

    Ace is overcomplicating things. If I want to find a Republican, I just look for the person who wrinkles his or her nose at the mention of Obama, gay people, NPR, vegetarianism, Asian food of any variety, movies with a female lead, movies with more dialogue than explosions, novels not by Tom Clancy, short stories, biology, Jon Stewart, any other comedian, Middle Eastern food, New York City, any other city, the unusually hot weather, poetry, music created by black people not named Johnny Mathis or Nat King Cole, basketball, soccer, French food, the New York Times, The New Yorker, George Clooney, psychology, foreign languages, Rachel Maddow, organic gardening, actual history with real facts, foreign countries other than the UK, Unitarianism, documentaries, Neil Patrick Harris, or cats.

  22. smut clyde6:23 AM

    Time to revive the dying art of scratching 'ichthys' symbols in the sand with one's toe before hastily erasing them.

  23. MikeJ7:01 AM

    They could stick with the classic:

    A: White man...
    B: Native born.

  24. shibboleths? pheromones not good enough anymore?

  25. All joking aside, this is the problem--wingnuts coming up with ways to identify "tribe members" instead of just fucking talking to all people like adults. I'm guessing if you can't tell your fellow blood-thirsty fuckhead from normal humans at first sight, then maybe, just maybe, your whole pretense of being part of a tribe is cover for racism, bigotry, sexism, and other divisive stereotyping designed to create artificial divisions so as to slow or halt the progress of humanity.

  26. montag27:57 AM

    Seems as if ol' Ace hasn't yet learned a fundamental lesson of life: desperation makes ya stoopid.

  27. Malaclypse8:01 AM

    something noncomittal and sneaky, like "Are you a fan of David Mamet?"

    "300 really is an under-appreciated film, don't you think?"

  28. Halloween_Jack8:32 AM

    They are the Enterprise crew from the alternate barbarian universe whose identities are sussed out immediately.

    Just for this sentence alone, I want to tickle this comment's goatee, then use the Tantalus field to make our enemies disappear.

  29. Halloween_Jack8:42 AM

    I thought that there would be a whole Vince Vaughn section of the hanky code, which would be pretty eye-opening; left pocket means "likes to taunt Vince Vaughn that Jon Favreau is much more successful in his career" and right pocket means "likes to hold Vince and dry his tears and tell him that he's a much better actor anyway, no matter how many superhero movies Jon makes."

    Although, really, I'm surprised that Mr. Playdoh-and-bacon would get obsessed over a straight-up libertarian; I would have figured him more for the Adam Baldwin type, since A-Bald has written for Big Hollywood. "Can you sing the Jaynestown song for me, Adam? Just once, softly, in my ear." "Do you still have the Ricky Linderman jacket? You could be my bodyguard."

    ...I think I'll just stop there.

  30. JohnnyGetYourGum8:47 AM

    Might I suggest something adapted from our 12-stepping friends: "Are you a friend of Dr. Phil and Bill O'?"

  31. Doghouse Riley8:59 AM

    So the whole thing takes off from a Jay Nordlinger cabbie, I mean teacher, who wants to know if the teacher in the next room is of like mind, but dasn't reveal his own colors for fear of Professional Repercussions. (Like what? Won't get that promotion from third to fourth grade? Won't get elected union rep?)

    Do these people have even the slimmest thread of reality left to them?

  32. "Do you still have the Ricky Linderman jacket? You could be my bodyguard."

    I could be your long-lost pal ... Shit! Wrong code!

  33. Won't get elected union rep?

    I'd sure hope not. That would be like putting an especially stupid pro-fox chicken in charge of the henhouse.

  34. Welp, I rushed here to make some sort of "Do you like movies about gladiators" riff on "I've become a bigger fan lately." But now it would just be ... anticlimactic.

  35. BigHank539:23 AM

    Stop shouting or I'll send you to a FEMA camp without your dinner.

  36. PulletSurprise9:30 AM

    Was gonna say. If it's really all that much of a bother to find kinsmen out among the hoi polloi, just move to Georgia. They'll find you.

  37. KatWillow9:46 AM

    I identify myself to fellow (secret) Liberals by commenting on the weather.

  38. aimai9:47 AM

    ahem! that's persecuted MAJORITY to you.

  39. Tehanu9:48 AM

    This is a great thread, you guys are on fire!

  40. aimai9:48 AM

    Can I watch you Oakeshott?

  41. aimai9:49 AM

    Every time you shower you lose your friends. It truly is bizarro world.

  42. AYAK? AKIA. KIGY! That's the old standby! I guess they could just use AYAR? ARIA. RIGY!

  43. aimai9:54 AM

    Doesn't this hiding in plain sight issue beg the question why any self respecting right winger would live among the unbelievers? Go galt, already, and move to Utah or Az. There you can proudly display your beliefs for all to see without fear of mockery.

    Annie Laurie over at Balloon Juice had a great post this morning, linking back to an essay she wrote in July. I can't block quote or highlight in this damned format so I'll just mark it off with asterisks but it really refers directly back to the concept of shibboleths which arise when, in biblical times, you had to have a way to tell one community from another given that they might be intermingled socially.

    **Every American election is the ugliest election ever, because the grievances never change and the technology continually improves…

    By 2016, we’ll probably be able to download a Red or Blue TruGanda Facts-ion-aid™ dataset directly into our retinal implants, but the base script won’t change—our opponent is a member of That Tribe We Hate, who eats unclean foodstuffs and sleeps with taboo partners while worshipping false gods and using more than his share of the common resources. All else is commentary.**

  44. Halloween_Jack9:56 AM

    The blockquote tag should work--I've used more than once.

  45. "In fairness, guys, the fox makes a number of good points and, most importantly, promises to eat me last."

  46. I hate this new system. I don't see any tags at all. I can't see who has liked me, or see my name after I've "liked" someone--which sometimes is the only writer's thrill I get during the day! and when I tried to use either google or discus to just automatically post it decided to use my actual email address as my nym causing me to hyperventilate and lie down for several days. this whiny?

    wanders off muttering to self.

  47. The Dark Avenger10:36 AM

    "My hovercraft is full of eels."

    "A légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal"

  48. Hardly the case in my experience. I have found right-wingers usually very loudly and forcefully express their opinions--quite often with a heavy pomposity, as if their views were the undisputed word of God. It's usually the libs who stay quiet to avoid unpleasantness.

    I think of the right-wing bonehead from Texas who thought it was " a good, healthy thing" to tell ethnic jokes to a room full of ethnics....

  49. Ellis_Weiner12:24 PM

    You speak for multitudes. Sometimes I'm my nym, and sometimes I'm my "self." And I do miss seeing who Likes what I've written. Tags you can have.

  50. tigrismus12:36 PM

    Shibboleth schmibboleth, if it's important to you that you only make friends with like-minded people why not grow a pair and just announce how much you hate liberals? It's not like you care about liberals' feelings.

  51. BigHank5312:39 PM

    Man, everything's legal up there in Massachussetts, isn't it?

  52. How about, "Say, do you think David Mamet isn't a preening douchebag?"

  53. This shielding oneself in the cloak of "political independence" is a result of embarrassment over the massive failures of the Bush administration and the ongoing antics of the current Keystone Kops running the Republican party. If you live among liberals and start crowing about being a Republican, liberals just might start throwing these failures in your face. If you say you're an independent, however, you can just stammer and declaim "But I think Republicans suck, too!" while crossing your fingers behind your back and maintaining the mental reservation that you think they suck because they aren't conservative enough, heh heh. 

    In other words, it's all cowardice and dissembling. 

    (Just as an aside, it was interesting to listen to the morons who regularly trolled Washington Monthly disown Bush and Republicanism after the 2008 elections after half a decade of pimping their glorious leader. "No, no," they insisted, they'd never liked him and always thought of him as a spendy liberal. Their big concern had ALWAYS been the deficit. "No, really!" [i challenge them to provide even one comment in years supporting this view] "Oh, I'm sure there's one in the somewhere, but I'm not going to look. Anyway, so about impeaching Obama over the deficit....")

  54. TomParmenter2:29 PM

    The most *something* political ad of the last election was the blimp circling LA with 'Solyndra' on its side. And a hanky in the back left pocket.

  55. RogerAiles4:20 PM

    The guy paid $10 for a used copy of Couples Retreat.

    What else is there to be said?

  56. Yes, that has been my experience. I don't know any Republicans, but I know lots of people who think "both parties suck" but just happen to vote Republican in every election.

  57. smut clyde8:42 PM

    "Snails or oysters?"

  58. Another Kiwi8:44 PM

    I believe Cole has hit the ball out of the park.

  59. Another Kiwi9:00 PM

    If it was me looking for Conservative dudes I would look for the Cheeto orange stains on their fingers. Then I would say "That Tim Scott is a credit to his race, isn't he?" and then "Anne Coulter is a little spitfire isn't she?"

  60. Origami_Isopod1:05 PM

    "Wanna get nasty, brutish, and short with me?"

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