Thursday, January 03, 2013


Roger L. Simon, the Citizen Kane of Pajamas Media (if the Inquirer had quickly turned into a pennysaver), saw some Chinese people at a high-end outlet mall in Cabezon, California.  The Man Who Was Moses Wine is on the case:
A large number, possibly a majority, of the shoppers there are the privileged scions of the Communist Party. Their parents and grandparents are the ones who played along and did their best not to make waves, even cooperated, throughout the mass murders of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Now, they and their kids are reaping the harvest of their modern state capitalist system that still flies under the banner of communism, a false flag operation if ever there was one. Ironies abound, and those same ironies provide a snapshot of what constitutes “leftism” in our own culture.
Ironies indeed, except Simon seems not to have asked himself why the Chinese have all that money. Hint: They got a lot of it from us, and not all in the days of Comrade Obama, neither.

Anyway Simon is not really concerned with foreigners but with the domestic terrorists called liberals:
Leftism has devolved into a kind of scam run not only on others but also on the self. Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism and then broadcasting it to the public, thus providing cover for the most conventionally greedy and selfish behaviors. We see that in our society all the time: the quondam Marxists of Hollywood, the media, and the academy blathering on about economic equality while living lives the Medici could not have dreamed of.
Son of a buck -- there's money in this? You bastards have been holding out on me! I've been writing for the Village Voice for years -- surely I have carloads of Moscow gold coming!
Relatively unbridled capitalism has always been the best way out of this, the best way to true social mobility, but our nomenklatura doesn’t want to admit this because it might threaten them and their perquisites. It would blow their cover.
I dunno -- the Crash of '08 gave pretty good cover all by itself to the idea of "unbridled capitalism" as a panacea.
I suspect those Chinese shoppers knew this better than anyone, having lived through a similar experience ratcheted up to the nth degree. Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them. I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.
Unfairly deprived of my communist lottery winnings as I have been, I would have paid cash money to see Simon grilling the "Chinese shoppers." You, chop chop! You mamasan and papasan, they wash the brains, yes? In my country this call irony! Obama, him big commie, yes? 
But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown.
A detective who doesn't want to ask questions to which he doesn't already have the answers. But he's still got the fedora, and the hangdog grace of a lone wolf:
I also thought of myself, of the way I was when I was a leftist. Yes, I drove a Porsche then (a used one). And had a house in the Hollywood Hills. And ate at gourmet restaurants. And there were plenty like me. I was part of a class. I felt safe and protected for many years, though finally I just left it. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy anymore. Or maybe I just lost the ability to convince myself of my own altruism.
You might imagine Simon is eating off a hot plate in a rooming house with his integrity to keep him warm. But he's still a player, in fact more of one than before: His last film, A Better Life, was well-reviewed by the pinkos he disdains as lying nomenklatura. But keep that under your hat -- if a fella's gonna keep his place in modern conservatism, he's got to hold onto his victim status.
Whatever the case, when it comes to the truth about leftism, it’s about the cover it gives. Or, as Bob Towne put it: “It’s Chinatown.”
Actually it's Hollywood; like modern conservatism, a land of dreams. Except people are buying what Hollywood sells.


  1. DocAmazing10:59 PM

    A private defective in a public mall, stroking the pubic regions of the private sector.

  2. Leeds man11:20 PM

    "Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism"

    Damn straight. I'm pretty sure I'd go out of my way to piss on him if he were on fire.

  3. I suspect those Chinese shoppers knew this better than anyone, having lived through a similar experience ratcheted up to the nth degree. Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them. I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.

    Roger would like to waterboard them.

  4. Another Kiwi11:31 PM

    Is there any chance that the Chinese people might be have been born in America? That Simon was projecting his racism and fear of foreigners?
    I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of
    their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.
    Simon's next entrepreneurial brainwave will be a "Torch and Pitchfork" store.

  5. montag211:38 PM

    Funny that Simple Simon chooses (badly) to drift, stream-of-consciousness-style from Commie Chinese to "Chinatown" as if that's a coherent segue. (It's not.)

    Because, at bottom, "Chinatown" is precisely about the destruction and corruption of the public commons by that very unbridled capitalism of which Simon speaks so fondly.


  6. Mr. Wonderful11:42 PM

    "I also thought of myself, of the way I was when I was a leftist."

    Oh please, Roger. You weren't "a leftist." You were a Hollywood liberal like the rest of us. Then, like various others, you imagined that your one eye would make you king in the land of the blind. And you were right! Although look at the competition. The pretenders to the throne start with PJ O'Rourke and degrade from there.

    But then you lost your mind. These pull-quotes are truly, truly demented. "I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown." Uh-huh. Or did you mean, "I felt like I was the kind of man Jake Gittes (not to mention Philip Marlowe) would sock in the jaw just on general principles"? Because you are, flatfoot.

  7. M. Krebs11:46 PM

    Swedgin! Wu! Hang di!

  8. Roger L. Simon is stepping into my wheelhouse, and I am not pleased. "Relatively unbridled capitalism" as the solution to a stratified society, huh? Well, Rog, I take it you haven't been keeping up with the news out of the PRC. Allow me to catch you up to speed:

    There have been a number of recent controversies concerning the treatment of China's migrant workers. They're mostly rural, largely ethnic minorities, universally poor, and a consequence of all this, they're underrepresented by the government and routinely preyed upon by those oh-so-wonderful capitalists. The most recent migrant issue concerned education, namely the consistent rejection of migrant children from nicer schools. I understand this fully, as if there's any place you're going to see the stratification of the classes in China, it's in the schools. I've worked in some of the newer schools over there, and the facilities are mind-blowing - surpassing most American schools, even. I've also worked in rural schools, which feels like traveling back in time a century. Many of these places don't have consistent power and water, and rural colleges aren't much better.

    So tell me Roger, how the hell does "unbridled capitalism" fix this? Well, it enables wealthy parents to pay for private tutorials (at some of the most crooked institutions you'll ever see) or just opt out of the whole thing and send their kids overseas. And for the parents who can't afford 200 RMB an hour for lessons? Well, I guess the invisible hand just gave them the finger, didn't it? Maybe keep that in mind before you try to talk about things you don't understand, you useless fucking hack.

  9. Hell, I wonder if they were even Chinese. From the numbers I've seen, only about a third of Riverside County's Asian population is Chinese. Unless Simon heard them speak and is astute enough to distinguish Mandarin from, say, Korean (and I don't give him that much credit), I'm inclined to say that he's full of shit.

  10. I'm a quondam Marxist of the academy and I am very curious as to which of the Medici dreamed of living in the unheated attic of a Pittsburgh row house. (I bet it was Catherine - I've been to the Louvre; that place is a goddamn dump.)

  11. Spaghetti Lee12:41 AM

    So many of these conservative journalism ventures seem to involve going to malls and staring at 20-somethings. I'm not Chinese, so I hope I'm safe from Roger Simon following me around and muttering strained metaphors about Roman Polanski and forced interrogations.

  12. PersonaAuGratin12:42 AM

    And I hope he remembers to ask them whether they know the whereabouts of V.D. Hanson's chainsaw and copper wire.

  13. The_Kenosha_Kid12:44 AM

    Roger L. Simon is stepping on Thomas Friedman's toes here. And even his commenters think that the wily chinamen of the mall might actually be japanese.

  14. Halloween_Jack12:53 AM

    But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a
    detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown.

    Again, just a brief reminder, something to pencil in your calendar to remember the night after the Academy Awards ceremony when you're contemplating some of the results with your mouth hanging open: This is one of the guys who gets to vote for the Oscars.

  15. Haystack1:08 AM

    It's like a variation on the Underpants Gnomes business plan.

    1. Vague but sinister conclusions drawn from shallow observations of relatively innocent behavior filtered through long held political bias and personal peeves..

    2. ???

    3. LEFTISTS!!!

  16. montag21:09 AM

    Not to mention that the leaders of the Chinese government seem to be learning all the worst lessons of "unbridled capitalism," as in about 90% of the companies of China's "new economy" are run by or majority-held by the children and relatives of government officials, or former government officials themselves. (The Lifeng Clothes Factory in Guangdong--with perhaps tens of million dollars in annual revenues--is owned and operated by a former Shaxi City police officer whose previous salary was about $150-200/mo. Can't tell me that such an operation was financed with his savings.)

  17. Jeffrey_Kramer1:23 AM

    I'm old enough to remember Alan Sherman joke about how, when his mother told him "Eat, eat! Children in Europe are starving," he somehow concluded that if he ate, they would stop starving. "But they kept starving, and I got fat."

    Now here's Roger Simon saying "Cut Medicaid, cut Social Security! The Chinese Communists and the Hollywood liberals are rich!" So they stay rich, and....

  18. hells littlest angel1:31 AM

    While the violent tone of my own recent comments creeps me out a bit, I would like to see Roger Simon get his nose sliced open.

  19. Fats Durston1:42 AM

    In an embarrassing incident at a Food Lion grocery store last week, a complete stranger (white) came up to my wife's parents (Korean) and started going on and on about how she loves China and her son was over there evangelizing. They kind of ignored her as she rambled on for five or six sentences, and then said, "We are not Chinese." That did not stop her.

  20. Fats Durston1:59 AM

    "So he says, 'How do the Chinese do it?' And the guy says, 'Well, the Chinese, first they screw the urban workers a little bit, then they stop, read a little Mao, screw the Liudong Renkou a little bit more, and they go out and contemplate a VSTOL carrier or something like that. Makes it more profitable.' And so these Chinamen go to America and this man says, 'What's the matter with ya? You're screwin' the population just like an American!"

  21. Yeah, I haven't seen someone miss a movie's point that badly, since a slew of dumbasses saw What the Bleep Do We Know and called it anything but inane and insane.

  22. Chinese people in California!

    You don't say.

  23. Nah, you wouldn't Ya know why? Because it'd mean looking at his face.

  24. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:53 AM

    Ironies abound, and those same ironies provide a snapshot of what constitutes “leftism” in our own culture.

    Desire for workplace protection, minimum wage laws, and stringent environmental protection laws? Didn't know those Commie/Capitalist Chinese apparatchicks were into that.

  25. smut clyde3:01 AM

    a false flag operation if ever there was one.

    No, Roger. It is not a "false flag operation". Not here in the world where words have meanings.

    It would blow their cover.

    Precisely how would a hypothetical admission of the correctness of rightwing economics expose the covert careersof the liberal nomenklatura, Mr Simon? Do you know what "nomenklatura" means in the world where words have meanings, rather than being interchangeable vehicles for disapprobation?

    It is difficult to believe that this man is a published writer. All I am seeing here is a stringing-together of familiar but meaningless symbols.

  26. montag23:09 AM

    All I am seeing here is a stringing-together of familiar but meaningless symbols prejudices.

    There, that's more in the spirit of Pajamas Media.

  27. Wow, and for years Roger's pals have been telling me the commies were in Santa Monica! Who knew they were shopping further south… and probably hitting the nearby casino, too! Amazing that the Marxists of Hollywood could allow capitalism to flourish so much, right in its own backyard. (Movie producers take an oath of poverty in service of the great liberal cause, dotcha know.)

    As Roy notes, Simon knows enough about Hollywood and what it cares about – profits – to know he's completely full of shit.

    (A Better Life ain't bad, although I can't shake thinking, "remake of Bicycle Thieves. Not that it's a bad way to go, mind you, but compassion for the working poor is an odd route for someone brandishing his conservative bona fides.)

    As for Chinatown, well…(Slap) He's a citizen! He's a journalist! He's both a citizen and a journalist! (Slap) He's superior! He's persecuted! He's both superior and persecuted! (Fap) He's a Hollywood hack! He's a right-wing blogger! He's… Wow, he really whores himself out cheap, doesn't he?

  28. Odder3:42 AM

    here in the world where words have meanings

    Well, just remember that words sometimes have two meanings, and
    as the songbird sang in that tree by the brook, sometimes all of our
    thoughts are misgiven.

    Still, it makes me wonder...

  29. bourbaki4:16 AM

    I want to take the slow-boat to Shanghai with this comment.

  30. MyPetGloat4:57 AM

    Roger Simon is a nut! A "too polite" nut. Maybe someone should put posters of his face with a warning to Chinese shoppers in all the local malls.

  31. wileywitch5:15 AM

    Desire not to work in toxic swill and not to live in a dystopian landscape of extreme environmental damage. It really is the "little" things.

  32. mommadillo6:36 AM

    Jesus H. Christ on a jet powered crutch, these assholes can turn ANYTHING into an attack on the left. Fortunately for the left, the vast majority of those attacks have all the cutting power of a KFC spork.

  33. So, liberalism is a complete historic failure that hides behind economic success and electoral victories to make the wingnuts look bad?

    It's just NOT FAIR! I couldn't possibly be an ignorant asshole who has invested my soul in the right-wing scam that convinced me Liberals are timid, confused softies--easy targets for wingnut bullies. Waaah Waah I want my money back!

  34. Whereas wingnuts proudly piss on anyone everyone else and don't even pretend to give a shit.

    I'm guessing that the wingnut "thought" on this is that humans are incapable of altruism (or even empathy), so anyone who exhibits either trait is either A) lying for some sinister purpose, or B) psychologically damaged beyond normal social functioning. Ergo, anyone who is publicly "altruistic" and seems to be financially successful must be A) lying. 'Cause if they were truly "altruistic" they would be homeless bums.

    Wingnuts only know economic systems that rely on the strong taking from the weak, you know. They rely on this being a universal law, and any observations or evidence to the contrary screws with their souls.

  35. which I imagine was particularly galling since South Koreans aren't particularly fond of the Chinese, or the Japanese for that matter, having been violently abused by both groups of people through history.

  36. As the father of two young women approaching the end of childhood, I am also a bit creeped out by this "hobby" of conservatives to lurk.

  37. aimai7:25 AM

    Quondam? Really, Quondam? The guy thinks he's SJ Perleman but doesn't seem to know Perleman was in it for the laffs.

  38. aimai7:37 AM

    Chinglish!! Just saw it. Pretty good.

  39. aimai7:40 AM

    Oh my god, we had the same incident in Florida at a twee tea house for ladies who lunch. The elderly male waiter, who I'm pretty sure was a) drunk and b) Czech or Polish asked us if we were Jews and then, shaking his head sadly and sympathetically, told us that he backed our hopeless struggle with the Palestinians. We were sure to lose, but it was a good fight and he wished us well.

  40. aimai7:41 AM

    A friend of mine was the product of a mixed marriage: Japanese and Chinese. The parents thought that being foreign in the US, where they met as students, would suffice to overcome really long standing cultural and historical animosities. Not true. They spent the rest of a long marriage shouting "foreigner!" at each other.

  41. aimai7:44 AM

    Will no one think of the Crash of '29?

  42. Is it just me or does nearly every wingnut critique of liberalism boil down to "I want to be a complete asshole and not feel guilty about it." ?

  43. Also, I still haven't figured out the wingnut math, wherein wealth+liberal=hypocrite. Like, if you have money, there's some rule barring you from giving a shit about people who don't. And if you don't give away all your money and live in filth, somehow your caring doesn't count. It's just the weirdest way of thinking.

    One final thing, when wingnuts describe wingnut wealth, they describe it as being the result of hard-won "SUCCESS." Why are wealthy libs not afforded the same courtesy?

  44. Doghouse Riley8:49 AM

    But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown.

    I'm sure the dazzling, encyclopedic knowledge of cinema involved in mentioning Robert Towne in connection with Chinatown qualifies you as a PJM intellectual, but th' fuck does that film have to do with watching strangers? Why, apart from the obvious reason, does it evoke Chinatown and not one of six hundred movie gumshoes who follow people they don't know?

    I'm guessing that if Simon was a songwriter instead of a scriptwriter the encounter might've evoked Randy Newman's "Yellow Man".

  45. montag28:50 AM

    I'm not exactly sure that's conservatism's Holy Grail (I always anticipate the much more sinister), but, from conservatives' behavior, you'd think that it was.

  46. montag29:03 AM

    If one were inclined to be inordinately charitable, one might say that he was just avoiding an obvious and egotistical self-reference by not imagining himself to be Moses Wine, private detective.

    Had he done so, it couldn't have made any less sense than evoking "Chinatown" did. But it would have spoiled his fun.

  47. And if you don't give away all your money and live in filth, somehow your caring doesn't count.

    Also note that these cries of hypocrisy are coming from the side that claims Jeebus for their own, even as they stomp poor hungry children into bloody paste to save a nickel.

  48. ayeyerma9:18 AM

    "...while living lives the Medici could not dreamed of."

    Like not dying from gout at 38. Selfish little bastards.

  49. wileywitch9:23 AM

    According to dictionary dot com, "Quondam is always a great word to know. So is slumgullion."

  50. sharculese9:24 AM

    "Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. Gotta write something new or the rubes will stop sending me their social security checks. What about... commies. But where? and how? Uh... I think I saw a Chinese couple at the mall yesterday. No wait, that's not good enough. I saw all the Chinese people at the mall. Throw in some big words... call liberals hypocrites... blammo! Checkmate again, Simon, you magnificent bastard you."

  51. and here were the cats simon said they had with them.

  52. satch9:39 AM

    Poor Roger... at least Friedman's furriner cab drivers can speak enough English to explain their theories on unfettered global capitalism and the race to the bottom it produces, and are willing to share them. If Simon's picture is in any way close to what he looks like in real life, it's no wonder he's reduced to stalking his victims by lurking behind columns at the mall.

  53. mortimer9:41 AM

    I guess to make the big bucks, Roy, you have to pull entire columns out of your keister with nary a fact in sight. Simon can't even demonstrate that the people he observed which engendered this nonsense are even Chinese no less anything else he ascribes to them.

    Relatively unbridled capitalism has always been the best way out of this, the best way to true social mobility, but our nomenklatura doesn’t want to admit this because it might threaten them and their perquisites. It would blow their cover.

    In what way, shape or form is American capitalism NOT relatively unbridled? The idea that American capitalism is restrictive compared with other industrial nations is one of those conventional conservative tropes that, like most factoids, have become only media-true, not actually true.
    Using actual data (for such an Internet maven Simon doesn't seem to know how to use Google--then again, maybe he's just full of shit), the U.S. and Great Britain have the lowest rates of social mobility than all other western industrialized countries -- they also happen to have the highest rates of economic inequality. In fact, intergenerational mobility is much higher in Scandinavian countries whose version of capitalism is what Simon would call socialist.

    Not to mention, according to the stats at the Pew Mobility Project, the nine U.S. states with the worst social mobility are all in the unbridled South, as is practically everything negative on so many levels.

  54. glennisw9:41 AM

    Indeed, or maybe they were from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore.

  55. satch9:42 AM

    Jeez, give Roger a break. He's probably been waiting for months to work that into a column...

  56. glennisw9:53 AM

    Whoo! I did what I don't usually do, and read the whole thing. I don't even understand what he's saying. He's had the amazing revelation that being part of the power elite makes one privileged! And somehow that's wrong, if the power elite voices sentiments to help less-privileged people. And the cure for it is "unbridled capitalism" - which will presumably, result in a privileged elite that won't possess such offensive sentiments.

  57. montag29:58 AM

    " I don't even understand what he's saying."

    Don't feel badly about that. Neither does Simon.

  58. Halloween_Jack10:01 AM

    That reminds me--I wonder how Kim du Toit is doing. Not out of real concern, more morbid curiosity.

  59. tigrismus10:03 AM

    Leftism has devolved into a kind of scam run not only on others but also on the self. Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism and then broadcasting it to the public, thus providing cover for the most conventionally greedy and selfish behaviors.

    And always with the projection, those Leftists!

    Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them.

    But not too polite to follow them around, spy on them, and make shit up about them and others to use as a rhetorical bludgeon. It shouldn't be too hard to convince yourself you're as altruistic as you are polite.

  60. Halloween_Jack10:07 AM

    Thomas Friedman has been... replaced.

  61. Canuck Chuck10:20 AM

    "Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism"

    Jesus H Milhouse Nixon - I hate it when the right gets this totally backward. It's not that the left is altruistic, it's that we realize that not enough people are. Personally I do little to nothing for the . And I know that the majority of people in the US are the same way. I want the govt. to take care of these people because history has proven that that majority of people fall in the indifferent to total bastard category.

  62. redoubt10:20 AM

    So, liberalism is a complete historic failure that hides behind economic success and electoral victories to make the wingnuts look bad?
    Yes. To paraphrase Churchill, "Liberalism is the worst form of lifestyle, except for all the others that have been tried."

  63. tigrismus10:24 AM

    Where are the throes of yesteryear?

  64. Yes, but why does it come out as the accusation "You (leftists) want to be complete assholes but are covering it up with your liberalism and your altruism and making me feel bad."

  65. What about yclept? Kapok, mackinaw, euphonious and zaftig. Double points if you can work them into a column about grapefruits and liberalism.

  66. Ben in Berkeley10:31 AM

    Moscow Gold...Trotsky Tea...swimming pools, movie stars...

  67. Why doesn't he come right out and say what he really means--that his imaginary marxists-at-my-cocktail-party are really class traitors? Surely if rampant, unfettered, capitalism means anything (other than the rule of Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers) it is that rich people are always right--they are more virtuous, more far seeing, more entitled to respect than non rich people. It follows then that they are entitled to say anything, do anything, and pose as anything--whether as saints or sinners--and none dare call them anything but "boss."

    His real beef with his imagined secret sharer, mon semblable, mon frere, is that he imagines that rich marxists are cosplaying and making it hard for those who prefer their assholism straight up, without disguise. He imagines that other people's political beliefs are nothing more than status markers-- On top of being rich, he seems to say, those jerks make me look bad by posing as having feelings for others or being non racist. How dare they! Its not enough that I have to compare my car to theirs, my trophy wife to theirs, my imdb list to theirs--do I also have to compete in the more moral than you sweepstakes? Where do I buy that crap?


  68. wileywitch10:39 AM

    I'm partial to "zarf", which could be well used in a column about how The War on Terror has been undermined by cafe liberals who likely own one and use it just to junk punch baby Jesus. Infidels!!!

  69. synykyl10:41 AM

    Really? He's complaining that, except for some phony altruism, liberals are exactly like conservatives? I'd ask if him if he's serious, but I'm too polite.

  70. zencomix10:42 AM

    His original draft for the column had the shoppers as Japanese, with an "Obama/Leftist/Godzilla" riff thrown in.

  71. synykyl10:47 AM

    Me too, but only if my piss was flammable.

  72. wileywitch10:49 AM

    No. His mustache of understanding is still there.

    Let's make America for the world what Cape Canaveral was to America: the world's greatest launching pad. If I had fifteen minutes to pitch my idea to politicians, I'd tell them two things about transportation. First, there's no way around the issue unless we're prepared to spend less: and not just spend less, but spend smarter by investing in the kind of green energy that makes countries succeed. That's going to require some tax cuts as well, but as they say, "them's the breaks."

  73. One of the commenters over there remarked that he remembered Cabazon as being mostly Japanese. Simon's response was basically "Nuh-uh."

  74. Duncan195110:51 AM

    It's a handy double bind, of the kind beloved in the American mainstream. If you have money and you are critical of the rich, you're a hypocrite; if you don't have money and are critical of the rich, you're just a jealous moocher who wants the government to give you stuff.

    Similarly, if you're critical of American foreign policy, you're just picking on isolated incidents, the few bad apples in the barrel. If you show with historical examples that these incidents are not isolated but part of a longstanding pattern, you're obsessed with the distant past, but things are different now. (So you point out current events that show that bad things are still happening, and it's back to step 1.)

    Or, if you criticize Obama without having voted for him, Shut up! Shut up! If you criticize Obama after having voted for him, you're just a nitpicker and a retarded, drug-addled whiner who's disappointed because he didn't turn the US into the radical People's State of Canuckistan, so Shut up! Shut up! And so on, and on.

  75. A real marxist wants everybody to live lives the Medici could not dream of. Reminds me of a story my Grandfather's editor told at his funeral. They were sitting at the Ritz, in London, having high tea and he looked around contentedly and said "After the revolution, we'll all have tea here *every day.*"

  76. "them's the breaks" says the man who married into a fortune.

  77. Aww... your comment had me with my finger hovering over the "up" arrow... until the straw men started getting beaten to death in the last paragraph.

  78. After the revolution there will be no one to serve it.

  79. tigrismus11:09 AM

    Or so you've convinced yourself...

  80. After the revolution there will be no one whose dead-end low-wage job is to serve it.

  81. Teresa11:17 AM

    Idiot conservative man pontificates on leftism and china while stroking himself in his conservative and passing gas. Just another day in Simon's life of being a dullard.

  82. Uh, yeah, it was a joke. Even then.

  83. Duncan195111:49 AM

    Awww.... my heart is broken, satch. But those aren't straw men.

  84. Well, so was my comment. As Frank Cross said in Scrooged, "NObody gets me".

  85. RogerAiles12:00 PM

    There's both a Panda Express and a China Max there.

    What more proof do you need?!

    Although Roger el-Simon spent most his time at Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom.

  86. Al Swearengen12:00 PM

    All I want to do is see him "question them" and get the response "What the fuck are you talking about dude, I was born in Encino!"

  87. They are straw people! you genderist you.


  88. I really like how you made the people defending Obama look unhinged and shrill compared to the people defending unchecked neoliberal feudalism.

  89. (Then again they're the same thing, so ¯\(°_o)/¯)

  90. Wait, is Roman Polanski ok again? I didn't get the memo. He's a little teeny bit too degenerate art for me and I would have thought too hollyweird for Simon's pals but then maybe he really does believe in the unfettered capitalism of the casting couch.

  91. RogerAiles12:11 PM

    One of el-Simon's commenters has seen the future:

    "No doubt in a few years visiting websites like PJM, National Review, American Spectator or Free Republic will magically guarantee a person is mysteriously unable to find anything but s**t jobs, if any….Just like the dissidents of old Eastern Europe."

    Another sees a different future:

    "Bob Owens, in the interview with Glenn Reynolds, says that today the Country Class (my words borrowed from Angelo Codevilla) are preparing for a new, coming, Civil War.

    "If that happens, the Nomenklatura will not do well, and neither will our new media and entertainment aristocracy."

    Yet another compares moving to Israel to getting a color television.

    The diversity of the wingnutosphere constantly amazes.

  92. DocAmazing12:14 PM

    Classic line ascribed to Joe Strummer: "I want the revolution so that everyone gets a Cadillac."

  93. SJ Perelman? Hell, this guy is RON Perlman! His casual writing amounts to the dialogue from cartoon superhero voiceovers, and when he ventures into the mall he fancies himself a cigar-smoking demon in a Sam Spade coat following the clues left by evil liberals while picking up a few discount DVDs. 

  94. The Dark Avenger12:20 PM

    We can still make those mindless jerks from the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics company the first against the wall, right?

  95. DocAmazing12:21 PM

    That is the secret to Ayn Rand's continued popularity.

  96. Oh, yeah? Well, your mother ... uh, gets you.

  97. montag212:26 PM

    I really don't fear a Redneck Revolution. They're spending all their money on ammunition, but have forgotten to buy tires for the truck up on blocks.

  98. We certainly can, DA. Unfortunately, in that case, what we'll all be sharing and enjoying at the Ritz will be a liquid almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

  99. Well, I don't know about a column, but I could work them into an episode of Adam West's Batman.

  100. Hey, I may not be able to travel long distances or feed myself, but I can always use my gun hoard to go seize my neighbor's ... gun hoard ... Well, shit.

  101. sharculese12:34 PM

    "Bob Owens, in the interview with Glenn Reynolds"

    I can't see how this ends in any way except the two of them on opposite sides of the room, each nervously demanding the other disarm first.

  102. KatWillow12:55 PM

    "He imagines that other people's political beliefs are nothing more than status markers" Exactly. Very well put. Excellent. Wanna kiss?

  103. mortimer12:56 PM

    For anyone interested in anthropology, the interview is here. Simon should be proud to be bringing us such towering intellects as Bob Owens and Glenn Reynolds in a single interview. I'd suggest they be included in a roundtable discussion with Bill Whittle and Stephen Green, but the world isn't ready for that kind of mental megawattage.

  104. tigrismus12:57 PM

    No doubt in a few years visiting websites like PJM, National Review, American Spectator or Free Republic will magically guarantee a person is mysteriously unable to find anything but s**t jobs, if any

    Holy crap, this comment has everything! Butthurt victimhood at imaginary wrongs, correlation equals causation, (false) anecdote equals data, failure to see more obvious implications, fastidious faux cursing, it's like a snickers bar it's so packed fulla 'nut!

  105. The Dark Avenger1:43 PM

    This is most revealing, he's got a locked site with exclusive content that's locked against bots, in other words LGM circa 2003:


    Including Kim, there will be three members of the household in college in 2012.(He's one of those mooching students that Romney tried to warn the country about.) The Mrs is (unfortunately) expected to be permanently disabled,
    despite all attempts otherwise (and COPD/emphysema was added this Fall to her previous debilitating diagnoses of degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and SI joint disruption). Because of these matters, gifts of money are most welcomed and needed (or they wouldn't be asking), but staying in touch is always more valuable than anything. All the Du Toit students are planning to become teachers of some sort.(At least they've completed their firearm training)
    Feel free to write Kim for details (depending on school
    schedule, he'll write back as soon as he can). Feel free to write The Mrs. as well using "the mrs" (at The Mrs. is house bound (and bored) and welcomes email, but as she is heavily medicated she isn't always able to return email or return it in a timely fashion (please do not expect her to be her old self — some of the medication she takes affects the language-processing area of the brain so it is difficult for her to speak and write).

  106. montag21:43 PM

    And, it's got that gaseous cloud of "they're gonna put us all in FEMA reeducation camps" around it, as well. (Personally, I think they'd be better off for it, especially if they were sent back out into the world with some concentrated lessons in critical thinking, or, for that matter, in anything to do with thinking at all.)

  107. zencomix1:48 PM

    Reminds me of an old Barney Miller episode. Inspector Luger is giving Detective Yemana the stinkeye, ranting about "The Japs", and finally Yemana says "I was born in Omaha." And Luger keeps giving him the stinkeye, and says "We have a city named that, too."

  108. aimai1:57 PM

    Okay! Finally! These upvotes without names are really depressing.


  109. aimai2:01 PM

    Is this a joke? Its starting to sound like the beginning of the X Files episode where the legless incestuous mother lives beneath the floorboards, bearing the deformed children of her perverted family.

  110. What the friedmanning fried... I've heard people say that cutting taxes will encourage economic growth. I've never, until now, heard people say that government investment in research and development can be funded by cutting taxes.

  111. ADHDJ2:29 PM

    The butt that cannot be hurt is not the immortal butt. If you meet the Buddha in the road, hector him to death about progressive taxation. Try and snatch the Chee-toh from my hand.

  112. Well, jeez, aimai, I just figured your spouse would disapprove.

  113. satch2:36 PM

    Well, she SAID she did, but I'm pretty sure she was just being nice...

  114. satch2:42 PM

    I'll give the advantage to Reynolds. He'll be able to use DMOP as a human shield.

  115. redoubt2:46 PM

    Agree. I mean, in probably the most relentlessly capitalist business in the USA, one that's never been without a conservative presence, and he's looking for "Marxists" under the bed? Still?
    Rog, if you don't like what you see in the mirror anymore, stop drinking.

  116. Halloween_Jack3:02 PM

    So, in other words, not much. One of the sad aftereffects of the Farewell to FJSK is that we lost comments, such as the ones to this post of Roy's, where Mrs. du Toit's ex wrote in with some family history.

  117. The Dark Avenger3:08 PM

    Is this a joke?

    "God is a comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh."

    H. L. Mencken

    I put in a couple of snarks which are now clearly delineated, but if you use the link at the words locked site you'll see that he's a contemporary Job.

    I'm sorry for his wife having COPD, my grandfather had it and even on oxygen and drugs, it's a pretty debilitating and irreversable chronic condition.

  118. The Dark Avenger3:10 PM

    Also, goniff and bupkis.

  119. The Dark Avenger3:16 PM

    True story:

    My Chinese/English grandmother once told me:

    "If you see someone(Asian-looking), and they don't look Chinese or Japanese, they're Korean!"

    She was seriously, BTW.

  120. The Dark Avenger3:17 PM

    "Ancient Chinese secret!"

  121. JennOfArk3:24 PM

    I still have nightmares about the Partridges. And I'll never be able to hear that song again without remembering that episode.

  122. aimai4:03 PM

    What's the problem? That seems fair.

  123. aimai4:06 PM

    Thank god someone commented on that part. I thought I was hallucinating so I thought I'd better stop operating heavy machinery and lie down.

  124. smut clyde4:13 PM

    a) drunk and b) Czech or Polish


  125. smut clyde4:26 PM

    Is there any chance that the Chinese people might be have been born in America?

    After several decades of deregulation and trickle-down economics, any group of people who can afford to shop in a "high-end mall" are more likely to be tourists than locals. The minority of US citizens who have managed to amass all the wealth are in turn tourists overseas, spending it in high-end malls in Shanghai or Paris.

    The remedy for the economic inequality that Simon observes is to rely on further deregulation.

    Not many people could observe or invent this evidence of the uneven income distribution in modern China -- very wealthy visitors from a generally-poor nation -- and present it as a model for the US to follow.

  126. smut clyde4:28 PM

    They are Siamese whether you please or not. Siamese don't give a damn.

  127. Geo X4:42 PM

    We...ARE all aware that these are randomly-generated Friedmanesque columns, aren't we? I mean, I'll admit it's not always easy to tell the difference, but just for the sake of accuracy...

  128. All I am seeing here is a stringing-together of familiar but meaningless symbols.

    Simon writes movie scripts in Hollywood, yes?

  129. Pretty sure he meant "quondam style".

  130. satch5:12 PM

    Loved that episode, and the show. As I recall, even Luger was impressed when he heard that Yemana served in the Nisei Division in the war.

  131. smut clyde5:15 PM

    For sufficiently vague definitions of 'human'.

  132. satch5:22 PM

    "Forget it... we're rolling."

  133. The Dark Avenger5:28 PM

    I always thought it was funny, because of its exclusionary logic.

  134. satch5:31 PM

    Memo From The Desk Of JSKIT:

    I TRIED to tell you you'd miss me, but did you listen???

  135. AGoodQuestion5:47 PM

    Is Roger Simon on fire now?

    Okay, is he on fire now?

    How about now?

    Damn, and I just drank a big glass of cranberry cocktail.

  136. Heeeeyyyyyyy rightwing laaadies..

  137. Another Kiwi6:23 PM

    I'm not sure that the Pink Panther franchise has all that much life left in it, Roger, or if it's still going at all.

  138. forget it, geo's friedmantown.

  139. Another Kiwi8:10 PM

    I would like some one-on-one self criticism with this comment.

  140. Another Kiwi8:13 PM

    I don't even understand what he's saying Kinda self-esteem bolstering isn't it? I'd worry if I could interpret the argle blargle.

  141. Another Kiwi8:24 PM

    Yeah sure, Geo X. And the taxi-driver wasn't real! Hah!

  142. Another Kiwi8:27 PM

    I cheered so hard when brave Harry Potter got the snitch in the Quondam game. Marxist Hufflepuffarians!!

  143. Another Kiwi8:27 PM

    I walked a mile in those throes.

  144. Another Kiwi8:30 PM

    Yeah they'd go all inscrutable on him.

  145. synykyl8:38 PM

    I disagree. I think the possibility of hitting DMOP would only encourage someone to open fire.

  146. KatWillow9:00 PM

    Was that the one where Barney asked Yemana to recommend a "good Chinese restaurant"? He suggested a Japanese one- Barney didn't know the difference.

  147. KatWillow9:06 PM

    He sees "Chinese" (Asian) people at a mall, and he thinks ""Chinatown!" I gotta write a witty column about communist Chinese shopping in the US is just like that "Chinatown" movie liberal critics praised so much (he never saw it because of the name, but often confuses it with "Big Trouble In Little China").

  148. KatWillow9:08 PM

    Well, everyone knows Liberals are Atheists (which is really just another heathen religion) and therefore they don't have to follow Christ's teachings... therefore, why do they? Obviously to make REAL christians feel guilty and worry about H*E*L*L*

  149. KatWillow9:15 PM

    Only well-to-do liberals. Poor liberals are just Moochers and takers.

  150. KatWillow9:18 PM

    Maybe thats why the repug House won't fund FEMA.... but wait- surely they'd love for all those liberal moochers to be placed in a FEMA camp?

  151. willf9:20 PM

    I still have nightmares about the Partridges.

    Man, me too! And that tune always creeps me right out:

    "Come on world, there's a Song that we're singing.
    Come on, get happy!"

    And that school bus, right? Wtf was with that? Plus I don't think that Reuben was really the band's manager, if you get my drift.

  152. Always find myself upvoting you for your knowledge, wit, and trenchant analysis, aimai. I'm a longtime fan.

  153. whetstone10:55 PM

    I did not know this about Roger L. Simon (via Wiki):

    "Simon remained conventionally liberal until the 1990s when he began asking questions in response to events such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Simon, a former civil rights activist in the 1960s, said he was shocked by 'the kind of essential dishonesty to justice' of Simpson's acquittal. Simon said, 'I found the use of racial politics in the O.J. trial so repellent to me, morally, but also, I couldn't believe it was happening right there in front of my eyes. It started to shake up some things. And then came 9/11.'"

    It's like Berube's joke about how "I used to be a liberal, but thanks to 9/11 I'm outraged by Chappaquidick," except FOR REAL. AND EVEN FUNNIER.

    What I saw was a rich guy with good lawyers getting acquitted. Chris Rock has a good bit about this, which must have come after Simon's conversion.

  154. smut clyde1:48 AM

    I've been to the Louvre; that place is a goddamn dump.

    I went to me once and had the same reaction.

  155. smut clyde1:51 AM

    Should note that Czechs have the expression "Drunk as a Dane" which is (a) "pot meet kettle" territory and (b) entitles me to harass them them in return without being anti-slavist.

  156. Pope Zebbidie XIII2:26 AM

    In Australia if it is not a Chinese it is a Vietnamese.

  157. fraser2:58 AM

    And if you don't have money, then you're a contemptible parasite sucking away their wealth.

  158. Pope Zebbidie XIII3:56 AM

    I dunno Satch. Tbogg still has a hard-on for the "far-left". I fear he is secretly starting to nod along to Bill O'Reilly.

  159. ditto

    oh, that doesn't sound right...

  160. aimai9:56 AM

    This remark reminds me of how much human time and energy is spent sorting people into categories and how very freaked out people get when they a) discover that there are more possibilities than they imagined or b) can't figure out into which category to sort the other person. I'm thinking especially about how frantic people get if they can't determine the gender of a person or a baby and how angry they get when the race or religious identity of the person they are talkign to turns out to be something other than what they implicitly assumed.

  161. I really think the world can be divided into people who saw that episode and are afraid of the dark and the partridges and people who never saw it and lead happy lives. Maybe we should be forbidden from mentioning it--maybe its like the unsayable word or the killing joke and by mentioning it we are drawing more people into its horrific grip.

  162. Having said that did anyone else get the feeling that the family dated back to the Civil War? Because I was looking at the web site for the story and I don't think it mentioned that and I was wondering whether I hallucinated that.

  163. I loved Big Trouble in Little China--I was raised on Chinese Sword Fighting Movies and I loved the way they run through all the different types of hells that are available.

    I also think that this is part of the Maureen Dowdification of all these writers--they think of their pop cultural hook first and then just kind of pile stuff on. Its more like a computer program for a thesaurus--need a word that rhymes with "bleck" and means "sesquipidalian."


  164. Only unusual if you aren't a goniff left with bupkis by some schmendrick.

  165. willf3:43 PM


    it was the Peacocks, not the Partridges.

    The Partridges were a different creepy family.

  166. Jimcima7:16 PM

    Funny the racial politics of that whole Rodney King thing that also "happened right in front of his eyes" didn't seem to shake him up too much.

  167. "and neither will our new media and entertaiment aristocracy??" You mean they are gunning for Sponge bob Squarepants, Ellen deGeneres, and Call of Duty? Truly brothers the day of reckoning for cable tv and video games is at hand.

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