Thursday, January 10, 2013

SQUARE PEG.

Victor Davis Hanson goes on for more than 4,200 words about how everybody loves you if you're "hip" -- which in his lexicon is just another word for "liberal" -- and it's just not fair. One of his dozens of examples:
Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc., or if its founders had grown up together as good ol’ boys in Mobile, Alabama, who still had a nagging propensity for putting patriotic slogans under the Google logo when the browser pops up each morning? Imagine waking and hitting the American Internet, Inc. logo — and then reading “Live free or die” before your search. (How odd that liberals — e.g., “the medium is the message” — always lectured us about advertising-driven false demand, and then became past masters of deceptive branding.)
I thought that's what Bing was for.

The odd thing is, Hanson never seems to grasp how these alleged hip people and things  -- he includes Starbucks, Jay-Z, "Snoop Dogg," Al Gore, and Katie Couric, believe it or not -- acquired whatever cachet they have. Since he hates them, the explanation can include nothing of what they offer the public, which severely limits his options.

Midway through he comes upon an answer that's at least plausible --
Could not Wal-Mart put memorable lines from Shakespeare on its plastic bags, or a Greek hexameter from Homer, or sell vitamin water called Sophos, Kalos, or Logos, or pipe in John Lennon’s “Imagine”?
You're getting warm, Doc -- marketing might have something to do with it. But Wal-Mart has a marketing budget, too, and it eschews Shakespeare for Low Low Prices. I don't hear them crying that they're misunderstood, and I sure don't hear them crying poor.

Alas, this explanation would cost Hanson his opportunity for self-pity, so he avoids it, and retreats thus:
Hip: borrowing became “stimulus”; entitlements, “investments”; and paying it all back became “paying your fair share.” In Obama’s case, he is not just black, but black with an exotic name and a liberal ideology, unlike a Clarence Thomas, who is most unhip...
I predict the first "hip" thing Hanson will adopt will be emo.

146 comments:

  1. Susan of Texas4:21 PM

    He needs hip replacement surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc


    Gee, no wonder America Online failed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Davis4:29 PM

    Hanson should give a listen to John Lee Hooker's "This is Hip"; maybe then he'll have a clue. Maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Alexander Von Humbug4:30 PM

    VDH apparently hasn't figured out what that empty text box in the upper right-hand corner of his browser window is for.

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  5. Alexander Von Humbug4:31 PM

    Also, didn't Hugh Louis prove it's hip to be square?

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  6. aimai4:32 PM

    I drink his bitter tears. I have to, or I'd drown in them they are so copious.

    aimai

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  7. Bitter Scribe4:32 PM

    ...or pipe in John Lennon’s “Imagine”?

    Wait...what?

    Has he ever listened to that song?

    ReplyDelete
  8. aimai4:33 PM

    I would like to roll into the future with this comment, side by side in our wheelchairs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. wileywitch4:36 PM

    Palestinians are hip in a way that Israelis are not...

    Tell an uninformed hipster that Obama wants to outlaw abortion, and
    abortion can suddenly become very unhip.

    Hip is furor over Cheneyite Scooter Libby — tried for an Orwellian
    crime that didn’t exist, and if it did exist, it was committed by
    someone else — while snoozing through Fast and Furious and
    Benghazi.

    So: hip is often as easy as changing one’s name. Had Mitt Romney only
    reminded us of his family’s Mexican ancestry and ran as Zarpa
    Romneo, and against Barry Dunham.




    Do these people take a vow to never rewrite and edit what they have written? Perhaps that process would make them realize what a load of crap they've just written and how that crappiness is a result of their sloppy thinking.

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  10. Bizarro Mike4:36 PM

    Anytime I see "American" in a name, I brace for a scam. Appeals to patriotism usually are just to confuse the mark while the other guy gets into his pocket. Of course, Hanson probably knows all of this, but doesn't say it out of professional courtesy.

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  11. "Zarpa" is Spanish for Willard?

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  12. whetstone5:01 PM

    Huh. Maybe if Steve Jobs had named his company "Papaya" or some other less American fruit, then he would have gotten less heat over its offshoring and labor practices.

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  13. wileywitch5:01 PM

    Zarpar means "to set sail" according to the first handy translator I found. Perhaps he just made it up like he made up "Romneo" as a Spanish sounding word to his ears. Evidently he thinks that being hip is sounding like a moron, and by that metric right wing pundits are hip beyond all belief.

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  14. he's been compared to elvis costello, but i think victor has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

    also, he's an asshole.

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  15. Spaghetti Lee5:02 PM

    Or the little red 'x' for that matter.

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  16. sharculese5:06 PM

    Wal-Mart put memorable lines from Shakespeare on its plastic bags, or a Greek hexameter from Homer, or sell vitamin water called Sophos, Kalos, or Logos,


    Why does VDH think these cool or in the case of the last one even comprehensible?

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  17. MikeJ5:10 PM

    Be fair. It's not like somebody involved in agriculture in California is ever exposed to Mexican names.

    ReplyDelete
  18. sharculese5:14 PM

    I blame all of this on that Grand Theft Auto mission where you have to steal as much shit as you can from the angry dude's vineyard.

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  19. BigHank535:18 PM

    No.


    On the other hand, most of the guys VDH likes have been dead for 2,500 years, so some jerk who snuffed it thirty years ago must be "hip", or whatever word those repellent youth are using now.

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  20. Duncan5:18 PM

    That got my attention too. Why not just pipe in the Sex Pistols while they're at it?

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  21. White people are all like *this...* And Black people are like *this...*


    That column read like a really unfunny comedy routine from the early 80's.


    Also, it appears he's just using the word "hip" to say "poopyhead" over and over again. Neat!

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  22. I recently explained Ethos, Logos, and Pathos to my students as Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

    ReplyDelete
  23. reallysmall fish5:28 PM

    I want to plow this comments furrows.

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  24. I'm enough of a veteran in the culture wars to remember when John Lennon’s “Imagine” was denounced as communist. (Not to mention Lennon himself.)

    I assume this is more of that old gambit, "If I like it, it must be conservative," which entails pissing on art to try to claim it for one's self and the greater glory of the Cause. After all, anything else would be thoughtcrime.

    (Holy crap, case in point. I got out of the boat, and Hanson links a Daniel Foster piece that argues that Lennon liked Reagan... thus conservatives are really cool, or something. Foster expresses his disdain for Lennon while simultaneously trying to claim him as a cudgel for his political side. They really do view cognitive dissonance and hatred as positive lifestyle choices, huh?)

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  25. MikeJ5:37 PM

    What are the ones with goatees?

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  26. VDH can wail and thrash and moan all he wants. I'm never getting off his fucking lawn.

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  27. okay, okay: so, i know vdh is the cute one, and ranesh is the quiet one - is daniel foster the witty one?

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  28. "Warren Buffett and George Soros are apparently hip"


    I don't know how hip they are or even if they still have their original hips...All's I know is that that single George Soros cut with Jeff Tweedy stunk to high heaven. P-U!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Leeds man5:53 PM

    Sing, O goddess, the anger of Victor son of Han, that brought countless ills upon the Hipsters.

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  30. aimai5:54 PM

    I'm so old I remember when Donald Rumsfeld was hip. or hot. or hip hot.


    aimai

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  31. coozledad5:59 PM

    I’ll push your shit in and stuff your face--
    Aurelius, you cocksucker; Furius, you little bitch--


    If you see this on a Wal-mart shopping bag you'll know they've won?



    I have to admitSapphic does sort of sound like a name for bottled water.

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  32. Harry Cheddar5:59 PM

    Yeah, when is google going to represent Real America? And by Real America I mean a fat teabagger in a hoverround clutching a bag of cheetoes between his knees while he oils his gun.

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  33. satch6:01 PM

    "Wait... What?

    Has he ever listened to that song?"

    Why yes... yes he has. He knows the Ray Conniff's Greatest Hits version by heart.


    (God, I wish I knew how to do links on Disqus)

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  34. Spaghetti Lee6:02 PM

    'American Internet Inc.! Because only Americans use the Internet!'

    ReplyDelete
  35. montag26:03 PM

    Oh, those wacky, trendy conservatives with their fuckin' bow ties, and red suspenders and Federalist Society....

    ReplyDelete
  36. satch6:07 PM

    So Victor... how many Barack Obama Commemorative Plates ($18.95, complete with stand, from Amazon.com) shall I put you down for?

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  37. bourbaki6:11 PM

    I'm trying to see how American Apparel fits into all of this.

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  38. sharculese6:13 PM

    If only Mitt Romney had spent the campaign insisting on being call Zarpa, more people would have thought he was fit to hold the highest office in the United States.

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  39. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

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  40. M. Krebs6:20 PM

    WalMart would probably spell it "Sappho's," since they understand marketing.

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  41. bourbaki6:23 PM

    In the end isn't it just a question of 'The Birth of the Cool' or of 'The Birth of a Nation'.

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  42. deggjr6:23 PM

    If only Susan Rice had said the word 'terrorist', five million people would have switched their vote to Willard Romney.

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  43. Haystack6:27 PM

    Shorter VDH: I got nothin'.

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  44. BigHank536:31 PM

    Be fair: you'd have a tough time going through Jeff Tweedy's back catalog and finding a ringtone, never mind a single.

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  45. sharculese6:34 PM

    Actually, I feel like I've heard She's A Jar over department store PAs more times than is explicable by science.

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  46. Blasted that slow hanger like a snubbed by the Hall of Fame PED amped pro at a t-ball game.

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  47. Hugh Louis XIV, to be exact

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  48. it really isn't fair, is it?

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  49. I know, like, really? What the kids dig is a little Miller's Tale from Chaucer:


    What's this? a woman hath no beard.

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  50. VDH: Hip is like “cool”, whose power I wrote about not long ago....

    I cannot help but hear this as if it were Gandalf explaining the difference between Saruman and Sauron to the hobbits...while wearing flood pants and a pocket protector. In fact, his whole confused rant boils down to a angry screed by a teenage nerd who can't get laid, and is gonna show the cool kids by deconstructing the shit out of them.

    My bet is that it work as well as it ever has.

    ReplyDelete
  51. cleter6:55 PM

    No, SARUMAN is the one with the beard! Fool of a Took!

    ReplyDelete
  52. and sounds like Dracula

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  53. tigrismus6:59 PM

    Tell us again about your hip, grandpa.

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  54. Oh please. Some libs have some money and shop at Whole Foods ipso facto HYPOCRITES. Do you call that NOTHING?

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  55. Munch on Sappho's Carpet Snax!

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  56. However it fits in, it will be skeezy and poorly lit.

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  57. sharculese7:09 PM

    I'm trying not to see VDH trying to fit into something from American Apparel.

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  58. It's that thing again. That weird obsession they have with liberals with money (while simultaneously calling us all smelly moochers). They CANNOT CONCEIVE of people with money caring about people who don't have money. They CANNOT CONCEIVE of a rich person saying "Hey, I'll pay my fair share." Deep down the motive has to be nefarious. It has to be some sort of hypocrisy. It has to be some sort of kabuki dance. It can't just be that some libs with money shrug and think "Yeah, I'll pay a bit more in taxes if it helps the country." It just cannot be that. Because if it's that that means liberals really are better. Furthermore they put their money where their mouths are.

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  59. DBake7:22 PM

    Well, Zarpa is at least recognizable as a human name. Who the hell is named "Mitt?"

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  60. Jay B.7:27 PM

    Imagine waking and hitting the American Internet, Inc. logo — and then reading “Live free or die” before your search.


    That be fucking NUTS! OMG, that's the kind of counterfactual that will keep you up at night. What if Merle n' Grammaw n' Peanut n' Ol' Johnny whipped up that Innernet Ginerater when they was fixin to get moonshine outta that ol circuty berd. Why, we'd have ourselves a right Amerkin set a tubes. Every search would include something about bombing A-rabs and don't you know that nigras are dumb?


    Wait. That's The National Review. Sorry Cousin Merle, that rascal Billy Buckley gots there first.

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  61. coozledad7:28 PM

    Day after day
    Alone on the farm
    The beaners stole Hanson's chainsaw while the bar-oil was warm

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  62. Fats Durston7:32 PM

    How about some Aristotle on them Wal-Mart bags, I dunno, "Retail trade is unnatural"?

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  63. M. Krebs7:37 PM

    He needs a new drug.

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  64. redoubt7:42 PM

    Hanson doesn't listen to coloreds music. Or much of anything else.

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  65. redoubt7:46 PM

    A fail buffet, truly, but the first paragraph:

    America has always been a country of self-invention. Yet there used to
    be some correlation between the life that one lived and the life that
    one professed. It was hard to be a phony in the grimy reality of the
    coal mine, the steel mill, the south 40 acres, or atop a girder over
    Manhattan.


    "Mr. Hanson? There's a Theodore Dreiser on line one. . ."

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  66. I've heard Percy Faith shreds it.

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  67. sharculese7:59 PM

    Nothing says keepin it real much like lectures about blue collar life from a classics professor.

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  68. Sgaile-beairt8:14 PM

    like democritus!! & epicurus!! & that pious poet lucian!!!

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  69. Sgaile-beairt8:18 PM

    LANDED GENTRY classics professor no less!!

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  70. Mr. Wonderful8:24 PM

    And here it is yet again:

    "How odd that liberals — e.g., 'the medium is the message' — always lectured us about advertising-driven false demand..."


    "Always lectured us"--would it be gauche to ask for an example? Never mind. It's more "You never let us HAVE ANY FUN!" from the perpetually whining teenage claque known as "the conservative intelligentsia." Poor baby. (And McLuhan was "liberal"? "False demand"? So much fail in so few words. It's like poetry!)

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  71. Mr. Wonderful8:27 PM

    ...and "wants his country back."

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  72. Mr. Wonderful8:31 PM

    Bathos, Pathos, and Hai Karate.

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  73. tigrismus8:32 PM

    Fresno Abbey? Abbatia Fresnorum?

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  74. Mr. Wonderful8:35 PM

    Or put up an mp3 of himself doing Dave Frischberg's "I'm Hip."


    I'm hip
    I'm in step
    When it was hip to be hep
    I was hep
    I'm on top of ev'ry scene
    Look at me swing
    Ring-a-ding-ding
    I read The New Criterion magazine
    'cause I'm hip.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Provider_UNE8:40 PM

    Jesus, leave the internet for a week and find out that Roy has been on fire! I got some reading to catch up on. including this piece

    ReplyDelete
  76. I see what you did there.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Haystack9:25 PM

    His Afghanistan briefings were the new porno for villagers.

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  78. montag210:01 PM

    America has always been a country of self-invention snake-oil salesmen.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Verily. I'd also like to point out that they don't seem to grasp how very small the amounts of money at issue are. The Wendy's and other fast food places that are insisting they "must" cut their worker's hours in order to prevent the horror that is health insurance coverage from kicking in? We are talking literally 5 cents a pizza, or 5 cents an entree, that would cover the health care costs for these workers. I don't even have to be in the one percent to be willing to pay an extra five cents a god damned pizza! Even miners, or iron workers, or hell--pizza restaurant workers--would be willing to kick in five cents extra per slab of globby cheese 'n constipation in order to get health care for their fellow citizens and humans.


    aimai

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  80. Dennis10:29 PM

    How much extra in taxes did you volunteer to pay these past 3-4 years, aimai? I haven't found anyone among my liberal contacts so far who has, but who knows, maybe there a quite a few who do more than scream for the other guy to pay his fair share.

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  81. hells littlest angel10:33 PM

    I like to call my local WalMart and ask, "Is Jean Paul free?" The WalMart employee on the other end of the line never fails to crack up laughing.

    ReplyDelete
  82. hells littlest angel10:34 PM

    I don't know, "An American Carol" was a damned good movie.

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  83. What the fuck does paying extra taxes have to do with anything? If you'll follow the little red bouncing ball you'll see that the corporations in question can pass along any extra cost in taxation to the consumer in the form of minuscule price increases. It's a pass-through, so they aren't paying any net costs. And another five cents on a pizza is nothing to the consumer. The same pizza at Jet's or Papa Joke's can vary as much as five dollars more depending on the day and the specials they're running and people still buy 'em. So it's a win/win/win unless you're a wingnut who'd rather see people languish without access to health care than pay a penny more in an already historically low tax landscape because a black man got elected president and had the gall to implement the Republican health care reform plan from 1994.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I volunteered to pay extra taxes by voting for the guy who raised my taxes, idiot. The platform of the democratic party was specifically to raise taxes on the wealthiest and to raise revenue (the polite word for taxes) rather than cut social services. I don't understand what you think is wrong about arguing that we should all pay our fair share in taxes? That's a pretty straightforward Rawlsian approach to making a good decision: choose the path/policy which benefits everyone, regardless of social circumstance, as though you didn't know what social circumstance you would occupy. I make my political decisions--including voting for the party that would raise my taxes--on an ethical and utilitarian basis that I believe helps the greatest number and type of my fellow citizens regardless of my personal ranking, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Isn't that how you make your decisions? Or are you explicitly advocating for an ethic of selfish solipsism and projecting that onto "liberals?"


    aimai

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  85. Jean Paul? C'est Nous. Oui, oui, nous avons recontrer en Ibeeeeeeeza.

    ReplyDelete
  86. AGoodQuestion11:14 PM

    Yeah, the bits where VDH bemoans the hipness of Palestinians and Mexican border jumpers are precious. Hey Vic, maybe if you send them a check they'll share some of that hep mojo with you.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Provider_UNE11:20 PM

    I predict the first "hip" thing Hanson will adopt will be emo.

    Had my bowels been filled I would have crapped my pantaloons. Had my mouth been filled, shit would have destroyed the lap-in-stien after passing through my nasal cavity.

    I tip my hat to you, sir, for I am simply a Piker in comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Leeds man11:22 PM

    Hey, welcome back Provider_UNE! Have you been gone, or have I experienced another blackout?

    ReplyDelete
  89. AGoodQuestion11:23 PM

    This goes to the, um, QUIRKY definition of elitist that Hanson and his ilk subscribe to. To wit:
    * Liberals with money are the elite.
    * Liberals without money are also elite, plus they must have money they're not telling you about.
    * Conservatives with money are salt of the earth reg'lar joes.
    There are a number of people who buy this. The 27% do exist. Others see through it, which apparently makes them hipster scum.

    ReplyDelete
  90. AGoodQuestion11:29 PM

    Oh fuck, I was hoping that was a six year hallucination of mine.

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  91. Provider_UNE11:32 PM

    "Manufacturing Bullshit" should have been the title of Chomsky's and Herman's work.



    Also a fine band name.


    also, too, someone should write the book, nudge, winks, blind bats...
    ...

    ReplyDelete
  92. Didn't you used to make sense at one point? Or was I imagining it?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Dennis11:36 PM

    "because a black man got elected president and had the gall to implement the Republican health care reform plan from 1994."


    Lazy, boring, unimaginative and shallow, trex. I know, it works on a liberal blog no matter how many hundreds of times you repeat it, but that doesn't mean it isn't still pathetic to use that tactic.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Dennis11:41 PM

    1970 would like that one back, atheist. You can google it if you don't believe me.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Provider_UNE11:42 PM

    Dodgy internet service for the last few months.

    Good to be back. if not ubiqitiously, intermittantly.


    It would appear that QPR finally got one in the W column.


    Nice to be seen, and may the new year bring you pleasure, unrewarded or otherwise.


    :)

    ReplyDelete
  96. Another Kiwi11:56 PM

    Philby, Philby was the third man

    ReplyDelete
  97. Leeds man12:00 AM

    Dennis, when will you stop bitching, moaning and blaming liberals for the horrors foisted on your benighted country by years of conservative misrule? I haven't found anyone among my wingnut contacts so far who has even tried. Whiny little sod.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Another Kiwi12:03 AM

    In Obama’s case, he is not just black, but black with an exotic name and
    a liberal ideology, unlike a Clarence Thomas, who is most unhip...

    Plus he looks good in a jockey uniform.
    Honestly, I have not seen it so openly expressed before and would have thought that it might come from Bob Owens or the like. What would Cicero say?

    ReplyDelete
  99. First, I was just pointing out your idiocy on the subject of taxation as it relates to the matter under discussion, a case which sadly makes itself. I note you have no rebuttal, moron.

    Secondly, in regards to your pathetic rejoinder, let's look a this scenario: a white president pursued health insurance reform and the Republicans came up with a counter-proposal built around insurance mandates that they wanted to see enacted into a law. A black president picked up that Republican plan and got the votes to enact it into law, at which point the Republicans cried tyranny, armed themselves, and began making noises about secession. What conclusion other than racism is one supposed to draw from this? Psychosis? I'm game to consider that one, although I think we both know that once we start looking into its causes that we're going to find that it's rooted In racism.

    You can try and beg this off as whatever but you're not fooling anybody. You see, I'm not just a denizen of the liberal echo chamber: I have access to the wingnut inner sanctum. Yes, I have a whole slew of right-wing family, friends, and work acquaintances who are not shy about their opposition to Obama being about the color thing. I've had conservative professional colleagues complain about the "niggers" at work in private and watched them do acrobats to deny jobs to qualified blacks. I have Obama-hating relatives who moved to Alaska to get away from blacks moving to suburbia. Hell, after the last election Facebook friends went on rants about the country being ruined all because of blacks. I haven't the slightest doubt that if Paul Ryan were to reintroduce the ACA word for word and call it the Liberty Plan, noting that it mandates money to big business and let's the unemployed choose competitive plans from state marketplaces, that conservatives would fall all over themselves to support it...so transparently racist are they.

    Stormfront and the KKK are recruiting in record numbers. I suppose it's because of the popularity of their Adopt-a-Highway programs. 

    It isn't a "tactic" to note racism when, in fact, it is actually in play. 

    ReplyDelete
  100. DocAmazing12:08 AM

    Right. And the "you libz don't volunteer any extra taxes hurr hurr" is as fresh as the new-fallen snow.

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  101. Susan of Texas12:57 AM

    Nonsense. Republicans reject Obama's actions even when they agree with them. The only alternative is that the right's hatred of liberals is now so virulent that it has reached the level of racial animus. And they intend to apply this malevolence to every elected Democratic official.

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  102. Provider_UNE1:18 AM

    I guess this is where I need to apologize for being a half negro like our president, which is why we can"t have nice things.
    ...

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  103. Damn that devil Obama, scheming with his parents to name him Barack rather than Clarence. Is there no evil of which this man is not capable?

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  104. Plus they think we want damn Shakespeare quotes on our plastic bags. Hell, we don't even want plastic bags.


    And, while I have lots of respect for ShakesDaddy's sonnets and Homey's hexameters, weren't we talking specifically about "hip"?

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  105. By the same token, if conservatives really believe we should take out Iran's nuclear capabilities and they can't get the government to do it, why don't they just go ahead and do it?

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  106. "Perjury" and "obstruction of justice" were Orwellian crimes that did not exist? I'm not sure that would be true, even if Ihad the slightest idea what he was trying to say.

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  107. Hip: borrowing became “stimulus”; entitlements, “investments”; and paying it all back became “paying your fair share.”


    Then, cleverly, Hanson comes to his point, which has absolutely nothing to do with hipness.

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  108. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:30 AM

    Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc., or if its founders had grown up together as good ol’ boys in Mobile, Alabama, who still had a nagging propensity for putting patriotic slogans under the Google logo when the browser pops up each morning?
    Good ol' boys from Mobile, Alabama do not invent search engines, they invent dumb shit, like monster trucks and buttchugging.

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  109. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:32 AM

    You don't eat as much pizza as Doughbob.

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  110. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:37 AM

    The funny thing is, I always pay extra taxes- I check off those little boxes for voluntary contributions for conservation measures and funds for veterans and kids and puppies and the like. The troll can eat a bag of salted walrus dongs.

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  111. "Live free or die"? Is that a threat? Because it sounds like a threat to this non-American who uses Google daily. Could that be why Google prefers not to market itself the way Hanson suggests?

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  112. teresa9:20 AM

    Being a dick is not hip and that makes Hanson sad.

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  113. Gad, that sounds familiar.

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  114. The troll can eat a bag of salted walrus dongs.

    At Wal-Mart, they're called Loggos.

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  115. and I sure don't hear them crying poor.


    You need to be listening when the subject of health insurance coverage for Wal-Mart employees comes up. Or when the Walton heirs see the words "estate tax."

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  116. Id' like 1970 tax rates back. Google it and I'm betting you still won't believe.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Sends link to this comment to WalMart and sits back, waiting for the checks to roll in.


    aimai

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  118. Speaking as a consumer familiar with plastic bags and value shopping TJmaxx, of all places, has made almost a fetish out of creating and selling pretty good looking--dare I say "Hip?" plastic bags (99 cents) which you buy in place of throwaway plastic bags and re-use. These bags are not as sturdy as the incredibly ugly ones third world shoppers use on a daily basis. They've clearly put a lot of time and money into design and graphics. Given that fact I'm not sure what Hansen's point really is? Even value pricing people aspire to some smatch of elegance, fun, joie de vivre, faux intellectualism in their lives. Who does he think buys Martha Stewart's "Living" and House Beautiful and Home and Garden? I can assure you its not the one percent its everyone else. If walmart wanted to market itself as elegant it would--if he knew anything about the real capitalist world he'd examine the ownership trees of these large corporations and discover (shock! amazement) that often high priced brands own low priced brands and the choices of what image goes where is itself a marketing ploy. People who "shop for value" often pride themselves on their no frills approach and "no frills" appeals to them while people who wish to conspicuously consume require that fact to be emblazoned on their very shirts--and vice versa. Which is why you can pay an arm and a leg for a plain white t shirt at Armani, or next to nothing for a logo at TJMaxx when its been marked down from last year.


    aimai

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  119. You had me at thrash and moan--signed VD Hansen, your obed'nt srvnt.

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  120. drkrick12:09 PM

    Those little fish symbols, too.

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  121. RogerAiles1:36 PM

    "So: hip is often as easy as changing one’s name. Had Mitt Romney only reminded us of his family’s Mexican ancestry and ran as Zarpa Romneo, and against Barry Dunham. We do not associate the billion-dollar couple — rapper Jay-Z and singer BeyoncĂ© — with the one-percent elite who made zillions through music, endorsements, and scores of cutthroat capitalist subsidiary companies."

    Whatever you say, Eazy V-Deezy.

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  122. smut clyde1:40 PM

    Over and over we advised Romney to campaign in a luchador mask, but did he listen?

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  123. smut clyde1:51 PM

    When Conservapedia grows to the point of controversy about its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance, I guess we will find out.

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  124. smut clyde1:54 PM

    VDH is grumpy because he tried marketing the product of his vineyards as "Sea-Dark Wine" and it didn't sell.

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  125. mgmonklewis2:34 PM

    I want to share this comment with Rosy-Fingered Dawn as she leaves her morning bed.

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  126. mgmonkelwis2:36 PM

    So much soda had to be wiped off my PC after reading this.

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  127. smut clyde2:50 PM

    I asked Dawn about this but she denies having ever met Rosy.

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  128. casino implosion4:10 PM

    As a left wing iron worker, I approve this comment. :)

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  129. smut clyde4:28 PM

    Sappho's Vegetarian Vietnamese soup.

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  130. Tasty Pie4:30 PM

    He's had four hip replacements already. None of them took.

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  131. Why do these dipshits wind up sounding like Abe Simpson?

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  132. BigHank5311:07 PM

    How about his head inside one of their shopping bags? Two problems solved at once...

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  133. The_Kenosha_Kid2:03 AM

    Liberals are all "Solylndra," while conservatives are all "Benghazi!" Amiright? And how about Whole Foods and Starbucks and You Didn't Build That and Teleprompters, right?

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  134. "Imagine no possessions." Fail.

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  135. And everything to do with Frank Luntz.

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  136. "What's the deal with AR-15s ?"

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  137. Nietzsche quotes are actually quite popular t-shirts choices.

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  138. Don't drag Gandalf in this.,

    Remember:

    There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs.

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  139. "Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc., or if its founders had grown up together as good ol’ boys in Mobile, Alabama, who still had a nagging propensity for putting patriotic slogans under the Google logo when the browser pops up each morning?"

    Shorter Hanson: imagine if google hadn't invented by a bunch of greedy jews- rootless cosmopolitans.
    Bonus: Mentions Soros.

    Tell me what you want but at the end of the day all this complaining about "biscoastal elites" is just old-fashioned antisemitism.

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  140. tigrismus6:33 PM

    Only dickety times more annoying.

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  141. Another Kiwi9:29 PM

    Migod, that was his real face??

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  142. Another Kiwi9:32 PM

    New Zealand entrepreneurs are, as we speak, thinking of ways to combine Google and buttchugging.

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  143. Another Kiwi9:45 PM

    Or perhaps, Messicans took them???

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  144. This does read, as someone said upthread, like a Good people are like this/bad people are like that comedic riff. Clarence Thomas is "unhip" and Obama is hip? Because unhip and hip are in opposition? In what ways are Clarence Thomas and Obama in opposition with each other? I'd argue that Hansen is onto something here which is that what is unhip is inauthentic, imitative, and unambiguous and what is hip is authentic, improvisational, and ambiguous and these things are in some social sense true particularly of Thomas and of Obama.


    Thomas is inauthentic, imitative, and unambiguous in his desire to be acepted as a man without blackness/his shared racial history. He's inathentic because he never owned up to his own sexual history and pretended to a form of Christian purity and an anti porn status which he knew to be false. He is imitative in that he chose the accoutrments of whiteness, including a white wife and denunciation of his own sister for being a welfare queen in order to fit in with his largely white social circle. He is unambiguous, resolutely so, because he refuses to accept the ambiguity of his position as simultaneously a token and a tool of people for whom his apontment has no other meaning.


    Meanwhile Obama is clearly improvisational, authentic, and non imitative (at this point in his life) because he accepts the ambiguity of his racial and social positions, he is comfortable with his marital choice and his sexuality, he was capable of criticizing his family members without sacrificing their dignity/identity and he is unique and accepts his unique status.


    I think Hansen thinks "unhip" is more authentic and more to be valorized than hip because he thinks just the opposite--that that which is unhip is natural, unforced, authentic, authoritative and we only think its uncool because of the sixties, or whatever. But to admire a man like Thomas because he imitates the sad/angry/porn obsessed authoritarian father of the our abused national psyche and to detest the improvisational stylings of Obama because they are also pleasing to the voters seems like some kind of perverse psychodrama. Hansen is basically saying "the world I want is one that valorizes people like me. Why can't the world be like that anymore?"


    aimai

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