Friday, May 06, 2016

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



10 days of drizzle -- let's fight it with Hasil! Hoo! Hee! Ha! Ha!

• I got another thing in that Sherman Oaks Review of Books. Not only is it funny, it's humor. I am a humorist, like Dave Barry and Dennis Prager. [struts gaily into bankruptcy court]

• I mentioned the other day how weak Jonah Goldberg's columns had become -- not that they were ever strong, mind you, but they once had some energy, powered either by crowing certainty of untrue facts or desperation at the possibility that readers would notice what a dunce he is. I think the Trump surge took some of the break-wind out of his sails; when Trump attacked him personally I think he expected all conservatism to rise to his defense; instead goons flooded his inbox, called him a cuck, and took over the Republican Party. Well, Goldberg seems to have found a coping mechanism: a weird sort of fatalism, because oh well, Trump may destroy his movement but at least he'll beat up Hillary, and thus restore the honor of the Goldbergs [obligatory fart]. It's kind of like cheering a serial killer on the loose because he might murder someone you don't like. Get a load of this:
And, more to the point, The Hillary Story is far less entertaining than The Trump Story. Clinton is boring. She’s as fun as changing shelf paper on a Saturday afternoon. 
Meanwhile, who wouldn’t want to see a sequel to Back to School in which the Rodney Dangerfield character becomes president? Clinton is rich, and morally and ethically corrupt. So is Trump. But at least he’s entertaining. Everyone suspects they know what President Hillary Clinton: The Movie would look like. Trump: The Movie? That could be a wild ride.
Goldberg's template for black humor is a shitty Reagan-era comedy, apparently. If things get really grim, maybe he'll give us Ernest Goes to a Concentration Camp.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

BUT IT JUST DON'T WORK OUT THAT WAY/ AND THE COURSE OF A LIFETIME RUNS.

How will you celebrate Mother's Day? By fighting statism? No? But Stella Morabito -- some of whose other loony columns at the Federalist we have previously enjoyed -- says that's the Reason for the Season:
Motherhood is the first and last line of defense against totalitarianism. If you think this statement sounds over the top, you ought to ponder why the family has always been the ultimate target of tyrannical systems of government such as communism. Advocates of cultural Marxism tend to view families as akin to subversive cells that get in the way of centralized state power. 
Well, Abbie Hoffman did say "Kill your parents." I didn't think that many people took him up on it. But Morabito says the matricidal instinct yet rages -- in Barack Obama!
Lately we see devoted mothers -- particularly traditional, stay-at-home mothers -- increasingly mocked and challenged as cultural throwbacks. Even President Obama has criticized them in policy speeches, including his 2015 State of the Union.
This is such bullshit that Morabito uses a link to Mollie Hemingway to back it up. (Obama was self-evidently promoting his pre-school program for working parents, not mocking or, as Hemingway had it, taking a "bizarre swipe" at stay-at-home mothers.) But if you're reading The Federalist for anything other than lulz, chances are you believe Hussein and Moochelle and everyone else who sends their kids to Sidwell Friends is trying to sacrifice families to the dictatorship of the proletariat -- but being reeeeal crafty about it, see:
Sure, on the surface and for the moment, they will publicly tolerate mothers, and even offer platitudes honoring them on Mother’s Day.
Here's your Mother's Day card I mean false flag, breeder!
But the fact is that Big Brother is now -- and always has been -- in a perpetual state of war with Little Mother...
And by what nefarious means does BB war with LM?
Big Brother: 1) uses the lures of orgasm and vanity to separate men from women through faceless and perfunctory sex (i.e., the sexual “revolution”)..
Orgasms and Vanity and The Revolution! Sounds like a Prince tribute.
As we change language and pronouns to suit gender ideology—and hence build a sexless society—the terms “mother” and “father” will legally be abolished...
I can't wait for that executive order! What will we call them instead, I wonder? "A and Not-A"? "Pete 'n' Tillie"? "Sacco and Vanzetti?" The rest is even worse gibberish, but for connoisseurs there are some golden glints of madness:
A healthy mother-child bond anchors and stabilizes children. It imbues them with a sense of security to go forth and explore the world and make friends. This is very bad for the grievance industry of central control...

We don’t quite understand or accept that most of a mother’s work in forming good citizens is in many ways a covert operation...

As the state invades private life, it removes the laboratory in which the seeds of civil society can gestate. We might say it performs an abortion on civil society...
It's like a Chick Tract written by the guy from Se7en. STELLAAAAA!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO BE KILLED BY OUR OWN TROOPS SALUTE YOU.

I don't know who's funnier -- the pre-emptive rightwing Trump sellouts, or the #NeverTrump dead-enders. On the one hand, among the former are guys like National Review's Mark Krikorian:
Donald Trump is unfit to be president. He’s a braggart and a liar. And a serial adulterer. He’s behaved shamefully during the primary campaign. He wouldn’t recognize the Constitution if he tripped over it in the street. He doesn’t know even the Cliff Notes version of any policy issue. The idea that the party of Lincoln and Reagan, Coolidge and Eisenhower, Justice Harlan and Senator Taft has nominated Trump is appalling.

And I’m going to vote for him anyway.
Krikorian claims it's because he hates Hitlery Klintoon and fears she will make everyone bake gay wedding cakes, though history shows he hates Mexicans at least as much, so this may not be much of a stretch for him.

On the other hand we have the loyal Niedermeyers of True Conservatism. At Erick Erickson's ridiculous The Resurgent, "Josh Hammer" (I mean come on) gives the last full measure of Derp:
This morning, my Resurgent colleague Steve Berman noted that Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), which is now in Israel and begins at sunset tonight here in the U.S., actually falls this year on the same day as Star Wars Day. Readers know where I stand on issues pertaining to the former, so I’d like to focus on the latter—and, specifically, on borrowing from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here we go: we are the Resistance. Yes, the orange-hued demagogic “presumptive nominee” charlatan and his “alt-right” ilk are the First Order, and movement conservatives comprise the Resistance.
Wait... did he just compare the Holocaust to Star Wars? I guess it will end with us all in death camps, but meanwhile this election should be hilarious.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

RED LIGHTS ARE FLASHING AROUND ME/ GOOD LORD IT LOOKS LIKE THEY FOUND ME.

I'm beginning to think I've been too generous in my assessment of the Republican Party. I assumed they had enough ward-heelers, shoulder-hitters, and all-around goons to defend against the Trump onslaught, but it looks as if they can't even keep it close enough to steal.

Well, if I'm disappointed, you can imagine how actual Republicans think about it -- and by that I don't mean a majority of Republican voters, I mean Republican operatives who got #NeverTrump tattoos and whose media perches are now under threat. Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal seems to have suffered a brain injury. He's tut-tutting Trump's adoption of "America First" as if seven years of boob-bait articles about Obama's "apology tours" hadn't crossed his field of vision without raising so much as a Bretpeep. Oh, and get this:
Did Mr. Trump know anything about the history of the America First Committee before he seized on the phrase?... 
With Mr. Trump it’s hard to say: He has a way of blurring the line between ignorance and provocation, using one as an alibi when he’s accused of the other. Is he Rodney Dangerfield, the lovable American everyman pleading for a bit of respect? Or is he Lenny Bruce, poking his middle finger in the eye of respectable opinion?
I guess in this reading Rodney Dangerfield is the muse of ignorance and Bruce the muse of provocation, though I can't imagine how his editors let him speak better of Bruce than Dangerfield. Oh, but the follow-up makes it:
Whichever way, the conclusion isn’t flattering.
No wonder he's got it in for comedians -- in the depths of his seriousness the guy's a laugh riot.

UPDATE. Ted Cruz has dropped out, and the #NeverTrump gumps have gone gaga. National Review's primary Jesus fresh David French weeps, as is such people's wont, over the "culture" that kept Trump prominent even while French was furiously writing nasty columns about him. If only we could do something about that damned culture! one imagines French seething -- though his own writing suggests that culture, as understood by normal human beings rather than culture-war dumbbells, had nothing to do with it:
The great tragedy of Trump’s Republican establishment is that — unlike mainstream media outlets that are built from the ground up to chase ratings — these “conservative” institutions and individuals were allegedly built around principles. Yes, they wanted eyeballs and page-views, but until this presidential race, many of them took great pride in their ability to attract an audience through the force of their ideas and the strength of their convictions. Indeed, these individuals and institutions used to pride themselves on policing the conservative movement, on calling out the “RINOs” and moderates in our midst.
And who are these "tragic" figures who once stirred the masses with the "force of their ideas and the strength of their convictions" -- like Burke, like Buckley? According to French, they are "Breitbart, Sean Hannity, Drudge, multiple Fox News personalities, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and... Rush Limbaugh."

I'd say part of the problem, at least, is that conservatives have been grading tragedy on the curve.

Oh, for lagniappe let me mention that French also denounces (now that it hasn't worked for him) "furious rhetoric" because it's "polarizing." You can search my archives for evidence of French's moderation, but spare yourself and just take in this item about French denouncing Griswold v. Connecticut -- yes, the landmark 1965 birth control decision -- as a tribute to "the awesome power of the sexual revolution over law and logic." In short, French is nuts, and now he's standing in front of the Trump mob screaming I'M NOT NUTS, YOU'RE NUTS! Notwithstanding that this is the fall of the Republic, you have to admit it's damn funny.

Anyway, all hail Donald Trump -- Republican standard-bearer! It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.


UPDATE 2. French is getting weirder:
Now is an ideal time for the Libertarian Party to get its act together and nominate a truly serious candidate — a person who may not meet the party’s typical purity tests but who can at least make a serious argument and advance a range of policies that unite both conservatives and libertarians.
The Libertarian Party! This, from a guy who thinks birth control should be illegal. Well, libertarians aren't too into women's rights anyway; in fact, sometimes I think Reason magazine's refreshing opposition to trans bathroom laws is based on the fact that some of the persecuted parties have penises.

Monday, May 02, 2016

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...on the brethren's elegies for Prince, which took one of two approaches: 1.) Prince was a distraction from the true path of dull sexlessness, or 2.) Prince was rightwing and that's what was really great about him, not that bogus "music" stuff.

Friday, April 29, 2016

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


The song starts at 1:27. We're not gonna wash our face; we're not going anyplace.

OMG Bobo:
I was surprised by Trump’s success because I’ve slipped into a bad pattern, spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata — in professional circles with people with similar status and demographics to my own. It takes an act of will to rip yourself out of that and go where you feel least comfortable. But this column is going to try to do that over the next months and years. We all have some responsibility to do one activity that leaps across the chasms of segmentation that afflict this country.
Can you -- excuse me -- can't catch my breath -- whoosh. Now then: Can you imagine David Brooks out among the hoi polloi?

[SCENE: a low dive in Lancaster, Pa., Wednesday night. Smallish crowd of men in gimme caps; country music loud; David Brooks enters. To fit in, he has ditched his Brooks Brothers suit and tie, and wears instead his old rowing blazer over a light blue New & Lingwood shirt open at the neck, Berle Charleston Khakis, and Hush Puppies. He stands motionless at the bar until the music quiets a little.]

BROOKS (to bartender): Yoo-eng-gling, please.

BARTENDER: (handing him a Yuengling) It's Ying-ling.

BROOKS: Ah! Sorry, my Cantonese is a little rusty. (Looks around; no one is laughing; clears throat) Can one of you fellows tell me whether they still make Rolling Rock out at Old Latrobe?

(Silence.)

BROOKS: Bartender, a round for my friends here.

(Beer is delivered. Men drink.)

MAN #1: They moved to Jersey in ought-six.
MAN #2: I ain't worked since.
MAN #3: My grandma is in jail for crystal meth and my paw lives in a treehouse.

BROOKS: You don't mind if I take notes? To what do you gentlemen attribute your financial difficulties?

MAN #1: Nigger president.
MAN #2: The freemasons.
MAN #3: I keep a dead woman wrapped in plastic in my trailer for company.

BROOKS: I assume you're all voting for Trump?

MAN #1: Hell no. I'm voting for that Clinton bitch cuz I want to see her go to jail but these Republican sons-a-bitches won't do shit unless they can impeach her.
MAN #2: I'm not just voting for Trump. I'm gunna be his Secretary of the Treasury, he tells me.
MAN #3: I'm voting for Trump cuz I'm a heighten-the-contradictions guy. Lemme send you my article in Salon.

BROOKS: Bartender, can I get some Slim Jims for my friends?

MAN #1: I think we'd all prefer the charcuterie. (to the bartender) They got organ meats from Brook Farm today, don't they, Christopher? And maybe a nice pinot noir.
MAN #2: Kale salad for me. That nose-to-tail shit makes me gassy.
MAN #3: I shoot my rifle into a tree stump out back and if I do it enough I get a boner.

Aaaaand scene!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

POSITIVELY THE WORST PRINCE MEMORIAL COLUMN.

Almost without my noticing it, David French has become the worst thing at National Review. Jonah Goldberg has, as we know, a distinguished history of stupid, but his recent columns are just so lazy and aimless that they're not even worth making fun of (I mean, look at this shit). Contender Kevin D. Williamson seems at first a clinical sociopath, but once you tumble to his shtick (call everyone else stupid, drop in an obscure reference or two to make it look intellectual-like) it's kind of like Porky Pig tumbling to Daffy Duck's "People shouldn't push me around... I'm a split personality!" routine; the magic is over.

But French just keeps finding new ways to be wrong. Take his Prince column. Yes, seriously, this horrible wingnut Jesus freak wrote one.
Prince died last week, and America overreacted. No, I’m not diminishing Prince’s talent. He was one of pop music’s most gifted songwriters and musicians. As millions shared his more memorable performances, I realized I’d forgotten what a great guitar player and showman he was. He could write hit songs like few others, and he shared his talent freely, “gifting” songs to other artists. In short, he was one of the few pop stars whose fame was fully justified.
You can really feel his pleasure at Prince's work, can't you? You can't? Well, of course not; this is exactly the sort of thing I would write about a NASCAR driver ("I had forgotten what a great NASCAR driver he was... he could turn left like no other") if I were trying to pretend I liked him as a way to win the confidence of someone whose intelligence I didn't respect.
But to spend time on the mainstream and left-wing Internet last week — or to listen to some of the web’s more popular podcasts — you would have thought America lost a national hero, and not merely an immensely gifted artist.
You heathens didn't cry like this when Andrew Breitbart died!
...In our post-virtue culture, we worship celebrity and talent not for its own sake but for ourselves. Their talent is all about us. Their fame is for our amusement. Pop music fills the hymnals in the temple of the self. We are the stars of our own biopic, and we just lost someone who wrote part of the score.
Can't you see how selfish, how narcissistic it is to enjoy music? I mean, music that isn't hymns?
The sentimentality is understandable, given the millions of people who could remember some significant moment in their lives that happened to the sounds of “Lets Go Crazy” or “When Doves Cry.”
(You know he had to look them up.)
...Our country doesn’t lack for heroes, but our true heroes certainly lack for fame. Even on the Left’s terms, valorizing Prince for his transient activism disrespects those who spent their lives in the trenches, fighting for their vision of “social justice.”
Hmmm -- I don't remember "the Left" telling me not to mourn Prince; maybe I missed a meeting... but hold on, brother French has taken up a snake:
For conservatives, Prince was ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture. He was notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience.
GLORY HALLELUJAH THIS "PRINCE" WAS A VILLAIN IN A CHICK TRACT, MAKING THE KIDS GO A-FRIGGIN' AND A-FRUGIN' WHEN WHAT THEY NEED IS CHEESUS!
...I don’t say any of this to denigrate Prince or his talents.
Fuck you.
And I don’t say this to shame people out of listening to music they enjoy, though not all music is worth hearing.
You heathens ever hear Three Doors Down?
Rather, it’s time for a dose of perspective. Music has its place...
!!!!
...and gifted musicians undeniably enhance our lives...
You know, like air conditioning or wall-to-wall carpeting.
...but if our hearts are given to these songs and those who make them, then our lives are unnecessarily impoverished.
And then it hits you -- French isn't just ignorant of Prince, or even just of music -- this poor, twisted freak literally doesn't know what art is. He doesn't know its place in human history, or why human beings invented it, or why it persists even when it doesn't make money or is suppressed. He thinks it's upholstery. He thinks it's some sort of trivial comfort. And he thinks so because he's been taught that all you need are Jesus and Bill Buckley and the pleasure you can take from the suffering of your inferiors, and anything else that has a claim on the human soul, whether it's justice or sex or art, must be crushed lest it steal their thunder.

These are the monsters that monsters bred. You think Trump is bad? You have no idea.

THE LAST ACT OF A DESPERATE MAN.

Somebody explain to me how pre-selecting Carly Fiorina as a running mate is an advantage for Cruz. A failed CEO who lost thousands of jobs -- that's what primary voters in Indiana are screaming for! (I guess he figures California Republicans nominated her for something once and they might do it again. But that time she was actually on the ballot, and not the appurtence of the nation's only charmless Texan.)

If you're not up on Fiorina or have managed to banish her from your memory, check my columns on her lack of qualifications, her outrageous Planned Parenthood slanders, and her maladroit supporters in wingnut media -- the worst of whom, as you might expect, is Megan McArdle, who actually argues on Fiorina's behalf against success as evidence of competence. (If only I could get employers to buy that one!)

Enjoy -- and enjoy also the sad endorsement of Brandon Morse at Red State. ("While Fiorina has a fair share of criticism aimed at her, and her successes and failures at HP are hotly debated..." Oh brother.) Fave bit:
It should also be noted that a Cruz/Fiorina ticket would also strip Hillary of one of the sharper arrows in her quiver; the fact that she’s a woman.
Look, we got one too! Maybe Cruz, should he get the nomination, will try to fix it so Fiorina debates Clinton in his stead, while he goes around the country scaring children. I can just see Hugh Hewitt at the moderator's table: "Mrrowr mrrowr! Hissss!"