Monday, December 31, 2012

MORE ANNALS OF THE CULTURE WARS.

While you're ringing in the new year with champagne and revelry, conservatives are hard at work in  their basement warrens, fashioning a new cultural offensive to lure the proles back in.

Some go the old-fashioned route, declaring victory because all the top movies are rightwing. At TownHall, John Hanlon reviews conservative film victories of 2012.  Lincoln, for example, "showed the Republican president as the grand leader that he was -- fighting against unscrupulous Democrats who wanted slavery to continue, despite the injustice inherent in the practice." Just like today! Also, in The Avengers "two of its story’s main protagonists represent deeply-held conservative beliefs" -- that is, Captain America "believes in old-fashioned values and longs for a simpler time," and Iron Man Tony Stark "isn’t afraid of his own money and doesn’t begrudge himself the luxuries that he has earned through his hard work and dedication," whereas Loki wants a high capital gains tax and free healthcare for all.

With that,  The Dark Knight Rises' "inherent criticism of the Occupy Wall Street movement," and The Hunger Games "Orwellian and disturbing version of an all-powerful government that will be hard to forget," the cineplexes are telling truths the MSM dare not utter. The next step is to have early voting in movie theaters, maybe by getting ushers to collect ballots like they used to collect donations for the Will Rogers Institute.

Crisap at Conservative New Ager goes further, proclaiming Les Miserables "a movie for conservatives." Sure, its impoverished heroes band together to support the 1832 Paris Uprising, but that doesn't make them communards: Jean Valjean, for example, is a "successful businessman who not only created a whole industry in a town, bringing it out of poverty and into an economic renaissance, but who also out of Christian charity... creates hospitals and schools for the poor.  In a day and age when lesser writers like Dickens would just recycle the terrible image of the robber baron, Hugo gave us a noble businessman as an example of what others should be."  He's pretty much Mitt Romney with a rich tenor voice. "And dare we forget," adds Crisap, "that much of the second half of the story is taken up by an uprising by Republican revolutionaries, seeking a return to law and not the capricious whims of a king." See, they're Republicans, just like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, proving that "if a modern day liberal went back to see him, Hugo would try to slap the stupid out of the Occupy trash." With Zola standing nearby yelling "Lemme at him," no doubt.

Meanwhile at Pajamaland, Bill Whittle answers a viewer question, "What aspect of the culture, movies music books etc., do you think holds the best hope for conservatism?" with this:
I think it's video games. I think it's video games. I think things like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor and so on which basically glorify our military, glorifies 'em for the reasons they should be glorified, . I've been playing video games since high school, junior high, where we played a Star Trek game on a printer... these first-person shooters get better and better and better, and nowadays you get into these first-person shooters and it gives you pretty immersive idea of what it is our guys actually have to go through, minus the actual terror and blood and all that other stuff. And the ability to respawn is a nice thing, I'm sure a lot of guys out in the field like that respawn idea a lot...
For two weeks the NRA's been telling us video games inspire people to shoot up schools, and now here's Whittle telling us they actually make people honor the military and vote Republican. Maybe he's trying to make some kind of point about sublimation.

88 comments:

  1. Haystack10:23 PM

    If we can just get this respawning thing figured out, the debate would be over.


    Maybe then they'll let me turn my Honda into a gunship.

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  2. Haystack10:25 PM

    And the happiest of thirteens to you and Kia, Roy!

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  3. apocalipstick10:42 PM

    The video game bit rings true; most right-wing males I know love to spend hours on end playing WoW, CoD, etc. Not because it honors the military, but rather because it make the flag run up their pole, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

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  4. Given that wingers are still beating the "nazis had SOCIALISM right there in their name hur hur" drum, I guess I really shouldn't be surprised that they're also trying to pretend like the republican and democratic parties of today have anything whatsoever in common with the ones in 1864, but...gosh, I just can't help it. Question is: are they REALLY that stupid? Or do they just assume that their readers are? Six of one, half dozen of the other? Golly.

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  5. Spaghetti Lee11:51 PM

    it gives you pretty immersive idea of what it is our guys actually have to go through, minus the actual terror and blood and all that other stuff.

    Details, details!

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  6. Oh yeah. I've seen some shit, man. *sniff* I played the single player campaign of Bad Company 2. I saw my buddies go down in a hail of gunfire before I walked over to them and hit a button to revive. Even took a few bullets myself - that five seconds I squatted behind a building while my health bar regenerated? Fuckin' hell. You know, I hope those foreign fuckers try something, because I am ready to join my brothers on the field of battle. The only thing I need is for someone to explain how to reload the battle rifle, adjust the sights and scope, clear any jams - you know, that stuff that's done automatically in the game. But after that, fuckin' A I'm with you. Oh, I do have early stage carpal tunnel, so I hope we can work around my war wounds.

    Yeah, I consider myself a veteran - minus the part where my life was actually in jeopardy.

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  7. James Tarrant12:05 AM

    I think they really are that stupid and also assume the same about their readers, which is why I never go there and no one I know does (but then I'm the wrong political demographic too).

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  8. A year or so ago, I wrote up a list of video games with explanations as to why each one was "conservative." The whole thing was bullshit, based on the same specious arguments used to claim that films, television shows, songs, novels, musicals, etc. for the great conservative cause. My plan was to pitch it to the Breitbart people in the hopes of finding out how far gone they really were, but I decided that even they weren't that gullible.


    Needless to say, PJM is dangling a pretty big carrot in front of me.

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  9. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:17 AM

    most right-wing males I know love to spend hours on end playing WoW, CoD, etc.

    Fantasy? Check. Violent? Check. No personal risk or sacrifice? Check.

    If a game called "Yellow Ribbon Magnet" ever comes out, you'll never see most rightwingers again.

    Hmmm....

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  10. KatWillow12:33 AM

    I'd fall on a grenade for this comment.

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  11. wileywitch12:34 AM

    Shit gets real when it's real. Never thought I'd see the day that large swathes of the population didn't seem to get that, so it seems necessary to say, "NO! Playing a video game is playing a video game, asshole! Why isn't that obvious to you? Do you hear yourself?! How is it that you get paid to be such a bullshitting moron? What the fuckity fucking fuck is WRONG with you?!"


    Just to guard your own sanity. Ya' know?

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  12. KatWillow12:35 AM

    Go for it! Call yourself.. Jon Swift! What I'd like to know, is "Left 4 Dead" a conservative game or liberal?

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  13. Well, it's co-op, which smacks of liberal dependence - true conservative video game heroes are manly men who do everything solo. But it's also a zombie game, and as we all know, zombies represent collectivism. In that light, it's the tale of four stalwart Republicans holding out against the teeming swarms of socialism and, therefore, highly recommended.


    I could do this all day.

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  14. Side point: Some gaming requires a great deal of teamwork and collectivism and all that. First person shooters? In some cases, maybe, but not so much. Also, I know a few gamers who are ex-military, and they sure as hell don't confuse gaming with real combat, the way the Chickenhawk 101st Chairborne do.

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  15. I know I should no longer be surprised by this crap, and of course they won't point out that Lincoln pushed socially liberal policies or that, as driftglass says, the party of Lincoln has become the party of Jefferson Davis, but still… Les Misérables and Valjean are conservative?!? Rand would have called Les Moochers. Thénadier certainly fits the capitalist mold. Javert is quite the dogmatic social conservative, but actually has integrity and honor within his narrow and unforgiving worldview; not a widely followed model on the religious right. But Valjean, who gives away so much to charity? And the students, who debate monarchy versus the revolution/republic versus every other political movement? (The people who actually resemble Occupy the most? At least one review has pegged the film as being about the 99%.) Hugo's politics shifted over time, but he became more liberal over the years, and was concerned about, y'know, helping the poor.. and without recompense. In Les Misérables, he explicitly discusses generating and distributing wealth, and tasks France with finding the right balance, since he feels some countries (England) have figured out half of the equation but not the other part.

    I swear, I think you could replace a few words in The Communist Manifesto and slap Andrew Breitbart's name on it, and these unimaginative dolts would hail it as conservative.

    They cannot say "I liked it," they must say, "I liked it, therefore it must be conservative." There is no art they will not piss on in the goal to claim it as theirs. To live a fully human life would be thoughtcrime. It's sad, but if they kept to themselves, they'd be less obnoxious.

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  16. The Modern Warfare trilogy is basically about how modern day Russians are warmongering psychopaths willing to massacre hundreds of their own civilians to set up world war III. And manipulate an Osama Bin Laden figure into nuking Bagdhad to run cover for a coup. And even after said coup is exposed and the terrorist is killed, he's given a statue in his honor in Moscow.

    I know Activision really screwed over Jason West and Vince Zampella, but they are horrible people.

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  17. Moocherin_and_Looterin2:07 AM

    the ability to respawn is a nice thing, I'm sure a lot of guys out in the field like that respawn idea a lot...


    They really aren't that smart, but they always continue to surprise...

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  18. Saeed Zia2:23 AM

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  19. ...lesser writers like Dickens...

    Lesser writers like Dickens.

    Lesser writers like Dickens.

    Lesser writers like Dickens.

    OK, look - I'm pretty drunk, I had a somewhat dispiriting New Year's Eve, and I'm not that bright... but when you say "lesser writers like Dickens", do you mean Charles Dickens? Is that the Dickens to whom you are referring? The Dickens who was perhaps modern English's most perfect prose stylist and who also invented some of the most memorable and indelible characters to be found the Western canon? Is that the "Dickens" referred to in the phrase "lesser writers like Dickens"?





    ...there should be a clever punchline to conclude this comment, but I can't think of one on account of how I'm even stupider than dumb old Charles Dickens who was a lesser writer.

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  20. Another Kiwi3:30 AM

    The way you shoot and hold my sights
    The way you kiss when we do it right
    Respawn, it's a crazy feeling
    And, I know it's got me peelin'
    When you say "in the testube",
    respawn, respawn.

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  21. Jeffrey_Kramer4:12 AM

    Captain America "believes in old-fashioned values and longs for a
    simpler time," and Iron Man Tony Stark "isn’t afraid of his own money
    and doesn’t begrudge himself the luxuries that he has earned.


    Modest and self-denying patriotism, OR narcissistic, individualist hedonism; it's all Conservagood! Even ConservaBetter was The Incredible Hulk, where General Ross has no time for hippies with their anti-American, anti-military talk, and the Hulk won't bow down before big government with their plans to subdue the individual to statist goals!

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  22. Jeffrey_Kramer4:38 AM

    But next week they'll discover that Mr. Micawber was the great prophet of anti-Keynesian economics, and then Dickens will be an object of reverence once more.

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  23. montag25:30 AM

    I would have titled this "More Anals of the Culture Wars," because the anal-retentive is at the forefront of this bunch. This guy, Bill Whittle, is going to explode if he doesn't get an enema soon.

    Ordinarily, I would see this overweening need to claim the popular culture for themselves as just yet more desperation borne of another dispiriting election, but turning plots inside-out and upside-down (as per the commentariat's treatment of "Les Miserables"), simply for the sake of political co-optation, is clearly psychotic. It's as if nothing is permitted to exist that doesn't reinforce fundamentally phony "conservative values," and that, my friends, is nutso--and proto-totalitarian in design and effect. Stalin would have hired these guys in a New York minute.

    Around 2004, there was a lot of conservative talk (particularly from KKKarl Rove) about permanent one-party "conservative" rule far into the foreseeable future. These mental defectives apparently believed that and are still working to that end. Why else see everything as a propaganda tool to be exploited? In the process, though, they've garbled means and ends so thoroughly that they can't even see the point of the exercise any longer. They're just doing it, in increasingly absurd fashion, because they can't see that they've become entirely subsumed by a kind of narcissistic autostimulation.

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  24. bourbaki6:37 AM

    With Zola standing nearby yelling "Lemme at him," no doubt.


    Surely Zola would be yelling "J'accuse!".

    As an aside, I've always wondered what sort of parallel's could be drawn between fin de siècle right-wing nuttiness and our that of our own time. From what little of it I've seen the far-right papers and commentary of the time are not that dissimilar to the ravings of wing-nut blogs of today (substituting Muslims for Jews of course).

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  25. Doghouse Riley8:35 AM

    I suspect that all this is really just a highly-nuanced campaign to prove that "Conservatives" of the 1950s were right about comic books leading to a generation of amoral semi-literates.

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  26. Can somebody let Mr. Whittle know that his fascist boner is showing?

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  27. BigHank539:32 AM

    One of the challenges in speculative fiction--I've seen more than one very good writer comment on it--is the modelling of higher intelligence. We can describe someone who is, say, 20% smarter than we are: they're funnier, quicker, make better jokes, and they don't ever get caught with that dumb gawp on their faces. But we can't model entities that are a hundred times smarter than we are--at some point the quantitative difference becomes a a qualitative difference. Imagine a dog trying to explain a fixed-term programming contract to another dog.

    Um, I digress. The issue with the wingnuts is that they're not even willing to admit that someone might be 20% smarter than they are. Everyone must be as base and venal as they are. Or worse: a liberal. Thus the reflexive accusations that Clinton's flu, concussion, and blood clot are efforts to avoid Benghazi testimony.

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  28. Does this mean they're back to calling them "french fries"?
    ~

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  29. It's a fool's errand to try and attribute contemporary politics to anything that old. Les Mis is a very political novel, but it was written in the 19th century and reflects 19th century politics. Obviously, terms like "liberal" and "conservative" don't mean the same thing now that they did 150 years ago.


    That being said, I've read the source novel, and I can think of a few points that seem highly relevant even now. A man released from prison, unable to secure decent work or find a place to sleep due to his being marked a criminal by the government, eventually forced back into crime by his circumstances? Ask a criminal justice reform advocate how little has changed.

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  30. DocAmazing10:28 AM

    As up-to-the minute as this is, it's worth pointing out that we are talking about the same US right-wing that has repeatedly laid claim to the work and thought of Martin Luther King, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. The dead cannot contradict, after all.

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  31. Halloween_Jack11:24 AM

    I think of that as the Ozymandias Problem; Alan Moore gave us what was supposed to be the world's smartest man, only for us to find out in the end that his Big Plan to Solve Everything turned out to be the most ridiculous Rube Goldberg scheme that, even though it executed pretty much as it was meant to, only resulted in a temporary change in the status quo.

    But you can turn that around and say, but hey, it's not unknown or even atypical for really smart people to batten onto very stupid ideas, possibly because they come to believe that, since they're smart, anything that attracts them must be a good idea. Thus, just to look at Nobel Prize winners, you get William Shockley and eugenics, Linus Pauling and orthomolecular medicine, and Kary Mullis and HIV denialism, climate change denialism, and astrology. Adrian Veidt's praise of Alexander the Great's cutting the Gordian Knot in half as "lateral thinking" is a good indicator of this; redefining the problem as something that happens to match your personal skill set is neither new nor clever (although Malcolm Gladwell might get an article out of it regardless), and the Gordian Knot isn't solved by having its physical manifestation destroyed. I don't know if Moore meant the scene in that way, but hey, it works.

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  32. Doc Washboard11:29 AM

    "Lincoln as the prototypical Republican" is an idea that I see getting heavy rotation on the Right today, despite the fact that nearly everything the Republican party stood for in 1863 stands in diametric opposition to what it stands for today. Today's Republicans would call the Emancipation Proclamation "social engineering" or "affirmative action run amok," and I'm fairly certain that they wouldn't be down with the whole "using the full military might of the Federal government to get states to do shit that they don't want to do" idea runs against their deepest Tea Party grain. They have to go with that stuff, though, or they wouldn't be able to say that all Democrats are racists and slavemongers, since that was the case 150 years ago.

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  33. KatWillow11:44 AM

    The conservative "message" and "philosophy" is so utterly stupid, so venal, cruel, and ... Just Plain Stupid (and obviously doesn't work!) that I suppose they are driven to look for a better or more legitimate or more palatable expression of their psycho-philosophy. Someone, somewhere must be able to explain the garbled mass of hate & fear that they call "conservative", in a coherent yet attractive way.

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  34. redoubt12:11 PM

    Plus, land-grant colleges and a transcontinental railroad="big, wasteful, overspending government".

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  35. That's the thing: it's not the policies, it's the morality. The morality of Les Mis is that we need to not make each other suffer, and that we need to help relieve each other's suffering. That can translate into a zillion kinds of policy...none of them compatible with modern American conservativism at all.

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  36. Halloween_Jack12:16 PM

    Whittle is, as always, a fucking idiot, and speaking extemporaneously doesn't improve his scatterbrainedness a bit. I mean, never mind that he's in effect celebrating the propaganda value of the pseudo-realism of war video games that nevertheless delete the less savory aspects--the exhaustion, the smells, and oh yeah, the inability to respawn or come back to full, perfect health--or that the U.S. Army has had a free video game for quite a few years now for just that purpose. No, let's gaze in wonder at a man who thinks that they'll get to the kids via this medium, when there are already some pretty prominent examples of conservative jingoism and fearmongering in the games: Modern Warfare, as Dan Coyle has already pointed out, and Homefront, a project of John Milius' that is very much like the remake of his Red Dawn (which, by the way, has done miserable box office). And the net result of all these first person shooters' popularity (brief reminder: the videogame industry is bigger than the movie industry)? Obama being elected, twice.

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  37. glennisw12:27 PM

    Really changes our recruitment goals, though!

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  38. GregMc1:35 PM

    CA, Iron Man, and Hulk having been covered, I complete the team:

    Thor is a god, duh, and an Norse one too! Hawkeye's first name is Clint, and that's pretty conservative sounding. Black Widow uses pistols = very conservative (and in the comics: Pym is a wife beater, Wasp is a female Stark, Black Panther is a king. Umm. Jarvis is a servant?). All conservatives until you get to Wonder Man, who is the embodiment of liberalism.

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  39. GregMc1:36 PM

    Arnim Zola?

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  40. Zencomix1:46 PM

    Meanwhile, Dick Nixon was elected ,like, what, 5 times in Watchmen? Suck on that, Libtards!

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  41. GregMc2:51 PM

    Please tell me the down vote is because of sadness that people would think this way, and not that anyone thinks that I really think this way. Or because you don't think it's funny.

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  42. wileywitch3:11 PM

    ...Captain America "believes in old-fashioned values and longs for a simpler time...

    When all the other superheroes couldn't kick his ass? I disagree with Colson on this one--- "we" did not need Captain America and his stupid costume. (He was an anachronism among comic book heroes in that movie and it was embarrassing), and the last thing we need is "those simpler times". Simpler for white man, but we're all getting tired of being jerked around by the white men who are so impotent that they need the government to enforce their inflated views of themselves. Die Republicans die.

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  43. steven spielberg's lincoln - a documentary filmed in real time,

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  44. aimai4:51 PM

    Zola would be yelling "Moi Aussi."


    aimai

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  45. aimai4:55 PM

    Not to get all nerdy about this but Captain America as played in that movie (and his own movie) is a tribute to the notion that you need a whole lot of information to be more than merely "good"--to also be intelligent and active in the world. Captain America is clearly merely good, in a limited way. He knows only what he knows--what a good boy from his class and his setting would know before access to good libraries or the internet, and when he is not blessed with either curiosity or ambition. He's out of place in the present because he lacks information about the world but he was always like that because he isn't curious about things--he isn't curious because he's satisfied with the status quo, in a lot of ways. He's a white guy, a man of simple tastes, not a feminist--even his anti nazi shtick, which could be pro jewish/minority in some sense is pro forma and of its time. He may align himself with the downtrodden but its from a position of privilige, of not belonging to the dispossessed.

    aimai

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  46. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's more or less what Moore had in mind. Veidt doesn't have some superhuman kind of intelligence, he has the human kind with human blind spots, and his skills are mostly concentrated in a few areas-- business, martial arts, and manipulating people. Overconfidence is practically part of his origin story, in that he thinks his gifts are 100% his own doing: he just decided to become the best at all these things, and then he did, so he thinks that proves all you ever need is willpower.

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  47. In defense of Milius, it's since come out that he had little to no invovlement in Homefront's story. There's a great postmortem of KAOS and Homefron'ts development over at Polygon.

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  48. A lot of these guys are also forgetting Cap is a New Deal deomcrat who idolized FDR. Which Whedon had planned to point out in the movie.

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  49. satch5:28 PM

    "What aspect of the culture, movies music books, etc., do you think holds the best hope for conservatism?"

    Umm, lessee... I'm going to go with minstrel shows...

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  50. Meanwhile, at Big Hollywood...

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/12/30/Les-Miz-Age-Of-Obama

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2013/01/01/Hefner-married

    And don't forget Roger!

    http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2012/12/28/i-vote-in-the-oscars/?singlepage=true

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  51. satch5:50 PM

    Ralph? Ralph Peters? Is that you, man? Thank God, finally someone with some real world combat experience! What? You don't? Intelligence, huh? OK, just sit down here at this PlayStation console and help us strategize...

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  52. Iron Man Tony Stark "isn’t afraid of his own money and doesn’t begrudge himself the luxuries that he has earned through his hard work and dedication,


    but, but...aren't fast-living fun-loving playboys supposed to be demoncrat libruhls?


    And businessmen who feel obligation to give back to the community are "noble" according to this purported wingnut? Since there are tons of successful liberal business men and women, who make great efforts to invest back into the human community from which they derive their capital, while simultaneously enjoying a few luxuries along the way, I'm thinking the qualifier "noble" in front of businessman literally means he is not a wingnut. I mean, do wingnuts even believe in such a thing as a noble businessman?


    I'm often gob-smacked at the self-contradictory nature of wingnut logic. Inconsistency seems not only sufficient to wingnut philosophy, it is practically required.


    Then I realize, I've made the usual mistake of assuming that logic, or truth, has anything to with it. When you take reality out of the game, you can see that wingnuts are actually always consistent. Their worldview is simply black and white, and all arguments are essentially "Everything Bad is Always The Other and Everything Good is Always Us (or Me) and Vice Versa."

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  53. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:23 PM

    Gorgon.

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  54. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:32 PM

    I'd have thought that the ability to ignore the Laws of Motion would have been far more usefully applied in civil engineering projects rather than smashing the crap out of street-scapes.

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  55. Halloween_Jack6:52 PM

    Roger Simon gets to vote in the Oscars? Well, at least when some patently bogus award is given, we can blame him for the deciding vote. I'm already putting him down for Roberto Benigni.

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  56. BigHank537:17 PM

    I could do this all day.


    Let the rest of us know if you earn enough money to buy your self-respect back, please.

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  57. Halloween_Jack7:32 PM

    I'm not sure where you're getting that Steve Rogers came from "privilege"; the movie doesn't give a lot of information about his background, but aside from the inherent privilege in being a white heterosexual male, the only thing that we know about him is that he regularly stands up to bullies that he knows can beat him up. The comics are a bit more clear that he comes from a very poor background on the Lower East Side, and that his initial puniness is from childhood malnutrition; his creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby originally and Kirby and Stan Lee in the Silver Age of comics, were all the sons of poor immigrant Jews who had little investment in the status quo. (I should note, though, that Lee couldn't establish his anti-commie bona fides often enough during the sixties: Iron Man originally fought a number of Cold War foes (the Black Widow was one of these, at first), the Fantastic Four went into space to beat the Russians there, etc.)

    Anyway, Steve Rogers doesn't lack for imagination, given that he's portrayed as an artist in both the movies and the comics, but I think that it's easy to forget how much the worlds of the imagination have changed since the forties; even The Jetsons, which may have been the first TV series to portray a society of the future (it was set 100 years in the future from its single season, 1962-63), had your basic early sixties nuclear family living in a Space Needle world. "Future shock" probably isn't adequate to describe how getting thrown forward nearly seventy years into the future would feel like, not only in terms of what has changed but what hasn't; the only comics series that has come really close is Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan, although there's some visual precedent in some of the European SF comics that used to get reprinted in Heavy Metal.

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  58. KatWillow7:54 PM

    A lot of conservatives took Jon Swift seriously, just as many think Colbert is a for-real conservative.

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  59. MatthewMikell7:58 PM

    Well, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, which is like, totes socialism, and they were watching it on YouTube the other week and Dickens was picking on job creators and the butthurt won't come off no matter how hard they scrub BUT CAN'T LET ON HOW MUCH IT HURTS SO JUST BE DISMISSIVE.

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  60. DocAmazing8:08 PM

    For Christ's sake, no one tell them about Dickens' sketches under the pseudonym "Boz"; they'd have him posthumously waterboarded in some obscure Mormon sacrament.

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  61. AGoodQuestion8:48 PM

    Whatever his accomplishments, Dickens had those four ghosts (if you include Marley) inflict socialism on heroic job creator Ebenezer Scrooge. So fuck him, I guess.

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  62. AGoodQuestion8:55 PM

    Eh, maybe it's just a Pajamas writer pissed that you beat him to the punch.

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  63. AGoodQuestion9:27 PM

    Trick question! The fact that you're relying on weekend entertainments to argue your politics like you* can't proves there is no hope.


    *To be clear, I don't mean "you" as in "satch."

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  64. BigHank539:31 PM

    If you went ahead and appreciated something all on your own, without clearing it through the political filters, you might like something controversial. Something you had to defend from more powerful members of the tribe. Something that might get you kicked out of the tribe.


    It's authoritarianism all the way down, I'm afraid.

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  65. AGoodQuestion9:36 PM

    And in the comics present day Cap opposed September 12th jingoism and racism and insisted on acknowledging the Af-Am guinea pig who preceded him as Captain America. Lots of wingnuts expressed butthurt over these developments, which they're conveniently forgetting now.

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  66. But he also wrote a book in which a convicted criminal later amassed great wealth, assumed a new identity, and helped the unfortunate. Given that I am reliably informed that this is the Most Conservative (and therefore best) story it is possible to tell, these guys should consider Dickens a wash.

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  67. wileywitch10:38 PM

    Alright, already! I don't read the comic books, just thought the movie kind of sucked.

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  68. That's the thing, though: wingnuts should fuckin' LOVE Scrooge, because the ghosts DON'T inflict socialism on him; they just teach him to, entirely voluntarily, not be such a dick all the time. Isn't that what wingers are always nattering on about? Private charities should take the place of bloated government entitlement blah blah? Shouldn't they be ENCOURAGING this sort of thing? Well, ya might think, but it certainly appears that the conservative ideal has morphed from that into "be a giant raging asshole to everyone all the time no matter what." Charming stuff.

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  69. mortimer5:33 AM

    That phrase got me, too -- I had to double-check where the quotation marks landed to make sure it wasn't Roy mocking the style. Here's Orwell, another "lesser" writer they just don't get, on Dickens: "a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls."

    It's no wonder that the peddlers of smelly little orthodoxies can't stand him.

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  70. Wingnuts DO love Scrooge, albeit in his unredeemed state: http://users.law.capital.edu/dmayer/Blog/blogIndex.asp?entry=20041227.asp

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  71. That was a very smart comment.

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  72. Jon Hendry9:29 AM

    "See, they're Republicans, just like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, proving that "if a modern day liberal went back to see him, Hugo would try to slap the stupid out of the Occupy trash." With Zola standing nearby yelling "Lemme at him," no doubt."


    Arnim Zola?

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  73. Jon Hendry9:34 AM

    Wasp was originally portrayed as "a flighty, self-centered dilettante living luxuriously on her father's fortune." and was known for frequent costume changes and concern about fashion.

    So... not so much female Stark. More like Sarah Palin if Sarah Palin was one of the Koch heirs, but with the looks of one Fox News' female on-air people.

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  74. Jon Hendry9:40 AM

    "Alan Moore gave us what was supposed to be the world's smartest man, only for us to find out in the end that his Big Plan to Solve Everything turned out to be the most ridiculous Rube Goldberg scheme that, even though it executed pretty much as it was meant to, only resulted in a temporary change in the status quo."

    Wasn't that kinda telegraphed by his name? You don't go to Ozymandias for permanent change.

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  75. Jon Hendry9:42 AM

    It might be teamwork, but someone can still be the big swingin' cyber-dick team leader.

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  76. Jon Hendry9:44 AM

    I think "in the field", the respawning points are mostly in places like Subic Bay.

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  77. Teresa10:29 AM

    The conservative boys need to spend less time dwelling on how fictional movies, books and tv shows validate them personally and their ideology and actually grow up and handle issues like responsible adults. This whole romper room conservative era is annoying.

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  78. Halloween_Jack10:48 AM

    There were quite a few things in Watchment that didn't fully make sense until the very end. Veidt had after all given up that name as part of his plan to try to create permanent change and a better world, but in the end, yeah, he's just like the poem. "In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends."

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  79. I was thinking about the movie version of him--was he portrayed as an artist in the movies? I honor the "lower east side" history and the pro-FDR/Jewish thing in the real background but I'm not talking about Captain America as a real fictional character but about the recent movie presentation--which is all that the conservaguy is talking about. The idea of the "simple" good guy who nobly does what needs doing without fanfare and without requesting any kind of reward is a kind of Cincinnatus style conserva-myth, more honored in the breach than the observance.

    I kind of liked Captain America in the movies and I thought that Whedon did what he could within the confines of the character but there's no denying that the end product was saccharine and simpleminded, as though real canniness and heroism couldn't co-exist in the same character.


    I think its interesting that he was also de-sexed and not given any kind of love interest--as though he needed to remain pure and boyscoutty while other characters were permitted naughty thoughts and deeds.

    aimai

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  80. Halloween_Jack12:30 PM

    The movie had, IIRC, one very brief scene of him sketching something. (I'll admit that sometimes I get details mixed up between different versions of the character, who's had previous movies (mostly unsuccessful) and TV shows and numerous revisions to his backstory in the comics.)


    I, too, was a bit irritated by his not taking any of what were some pretty blatant sexual invitations, even though more than one woman in the movie literally couldn't keep their hands off of him. (I was amused by the short bit--it's in the trailer--where Peggy Carter, who's set up as the would-be love interest, has to reach out and touch him very briefly on his awesome pecs as a nurse is also checking him out in the background.) He sometimes comes off as some sort of latter-day Grail Knight in that regard.

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  81. Am I wrong in thinking that in comic book life he had a fling with Wonderwoman? I'm very old and my comic book reading was spotty but I collected some of the early Wonderwomans--just found a few in my attic.


    I agree with you about the Grail Knight vibe to him in the movie. Like a lot of these ensemble pieces they had to split all the parts of a functioning adult into component players--the Id, the Superego, the chaste denier, etc.....etc... in order to bring the group together and have it function. cAn't have two sex pots cometing for the women, although they did have two "brains" (e.g. Hulk and Iron Man). However they split Hulk and Iron Man's problem personality traits like it was bizarro world star trek. Holy shit (checks self in mirror) I *am* a nerd.


    aimai

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  82. Also, also, too was I the only one waiting for the "Surprise Me" bet CA had with Nick Fury to be resolved with a picture of Barack Obama as President? I was totally, totally, totally, dissapointed that CA pays off the bet because he ends up on a flying ship. Either a 4.95 cup of coffee at starbucks or a picture of Obama would have been much, much, funnier.

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  83. Jon Hendry2:44 PM

    Wonder Woman was DC, so any fling would have to have been in a crossover issue or series.


    Maybe you're thinking of WW's main boyfriend, Steve Trevor?

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  84. You know, I've spoken to more than a few die-hard, camo-sportin', rebel-flag-flyin', gun-totin', Ron Paul votin' conservatives over many years in the South and West, and numerous times have been treated to spontaneous denunciations of Lincoln as the ultimate tyrant whose presidency marked the beginning of the downfall of this great land, the man who made the US gov't what it is today, an intolerable tyranny of jackbooted thugs trampling states' and individuals' rights, yadda yadda. I'd love to hear this guy explain to them that no, he was really a good conservative like them.

    Who am I kidding? I'm still waiting for Jonah Goldberg to tell a gang of neo-nazi skinheads to their faces that they're all really a bunch of squishy commie liberals.

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  85. I'm still stumbling over that "earned through his hard work and dedication" bit. Did he completely miss that Tony Stark inherited his entire fortune (apparently from Roger Sterling)? That in the first film he was in fact squandering his wealth on stupid luxuries and nearly running the company his father had built into the ground? Seems to me that was kind of a big part of the story.

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  86. Halloween_Jack10:59 PM

    There's always slashfic and sweet, sweet Rule 34.

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  87. Halloween_Jack11:02 PM

    That was an interesting story, as it wasn't the one-man clusterfuck of Duke Nukem Forever's story but still a great examination of the Peter Principle as applied to an entire game studio.

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