Friday, June 27, 2008

JUST AS LONG AS THEY SPELL THE NAME RIGHT. The tiresome work of heaping blame for everything on the media never ends. Today's weary shovelman is Patrick Ruffini. He claims that the "3-to-1 ratio" of Obama-only to McCain-only stories on Google News proves Routine 12, aka media bias in favor of Democrats ("the media made an in-kind contribution of tens of millions of dollars in 'free' media to Obama"), with an online-media-spend angle to add both a modish sheen to the old gambit and a hint of quid-pro-quo corruption.

Stories easily found at Ruffini's Obama-Google link include "Obama's policy pirouettes lead him toward the center," "Michelle Obama Receives Lukewarm Reception for Lukewarm Position on Gay Marriage," "Obama-Clinton joint appearance faces skeptics," "Muslim Americans Feel Shunned by Obama," articles that call Obama "opportunistic," and editorials by such devoted Obama supporters as Charles Krauthammer (who, hilariously, talks about how the press is giving Obama a free pass).

We should also consider that many seemingly neutral Obama stories, such as the ones about Obama's support for gay rights, may be perceived negatively in some jurisdictions (cue "Dueling Banjos").

If Obama is paying money for this treatment, I hope he also gets a heavy damaged-merchandise discount.

I don't begrudge Ruffini the Google journalism per se -- in fact, I've used it myself, when I pointed out that the top rightwing bloggers much prefer to talk about Obama than McCain. Clearly Obama is more interesting to everyone, including his mortal enemies, than the old fart he's running against. If that's media bias, Ruffini's next job should be to rip the mask off the press' corrupt bargain with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
THESE ARE THE JOKES, FOLKS! Peggy Noonan seems to want another campaign job. In today's Wall Street Journal she pleads for the Republicans to release the real McCain, highlighting "the antic part of his nature, his natural wit... That's why the boys on the bus loved him in 2000. That's why the Republican base rejected him in 2000."

Well, that seems a mixed outcome at best, but maybe even the base will be won over by such sure-fire material as this:
[He] volunteered that Brooke Buchanan, his spokeswoman who was seated nearby and rolling her eyes, 'has a lot of her money hidden in the Cayman Islands' and that she earned it by 'dealing drugs.' Previously, Mr. McCain had identified Ms. Buchanan as 'Pat Buchanan's illegitimate daughter,' 'bipolar,' 'a drunk,' 'someone with a lot of boyfriends,' and 'just out of Betty Ford.'"
Ha... huh? "That's the McCain his friends love," Noonan confidently tells us, "McCain unplugged."

I have to ask, will these Friars' Club Roast routines be used only on friends, or are they also meant for the press pool ("Helen, you brain-damaged old whore! Remember when you sucked me off behind the statue of William Borah? I felt like the Lion of the Senate all day") and the debates ("Let's be honest, homes, if I may call you homes. Puffy Combs is still mad about J-Lo, and if he finds out you were tappin' that back in '99, you can stop worrying about white people for the rest of the campaign and perhaps your life. In fact, maybe you should just grab a Bronco right now and do an OJ, while you still have your balls")? That would be a bold move, certainly.

Or maybe McCain unplugged should direct his schtick toward the voters: "Yeah, you had a nice time drinkin' beers and clearin' brush with George Bush, didn't you? I notice Prozac consumption is up. Maybe if you pillheads could come down long enough to see what a mess this country's in, I wouldn't have to worry about you voting for the other guy because you thought he did a good job in Men In Black. See these medals? I didn't win them in a debate competition. You want a tongue job, we'll get the missus out here. That ain't my bag. You people are fucked and it's gonna take a crazy, half-senile old sailor to get you unfucked. Now, somebody tell that cunt to come up here for the grip-and-grin, or as we call it in my house, the money shot. Thanks, morons, and try the veal."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE MOSQUITO COAST. Erin Manning continues to fill in for Rod Dreher at the Crunchy Con blog. Today she considers the Benedict Option -- Dreher's notion of Christians going off the grid and starting their own autonomous communities, far from evil Western culture -- and finds a sticking point: lack of easy ways for neo-Benedictines to "[sustain] themselves and their families apart from the reality of 24/7 corporate employment, which in most cases is only located in or near major urban areas."
One possibility involves the presence of a university which would be a source of jobs and income for many in the community. Some small Catholic colleges in relatively rural areas have seen this kind of thing flourish spontaneously. But I think the key is that the community should arise on its own; the planned community of Ave Maria in Florida seems like something that could easily be a disappointment to those who choose to settle there, for reasons that are beyond the scope of a single blog entry.
If you follow the link you can see a few obvious drawbacks at Ave Maria: they've already contracted with the Publix supermarket chain and BP. Since these businesses market goods from the godless outside world, there's always a possibility that residents may find the near occasion of sin in a sexy magazine or tomato can label. And isn't consumerism part of the problem? Won't the bounty of big-time supermarket shelves corrupt the souls of the anointed?

For centuries "autonomous" communities sustained themselves -- and some monks, zealots, and survivalists still do. Why can't the Crunchies till the land, bake bread, fetch water, and read the Bible by candlelight, if this is what the Lord has called them to do?

The obvious answer is they don't really want to. From comments on this post, and the blog generally, there seem to be an awful lot of Crunchies who expect to keep a desk job in the New Jerusalem.

I look forward to the day when some fundamentalist billionaire gifts Dreher and his crew with some arable land. Within weeks there'll be big fights around the Talking Stick, as public relations executives and journalists explain why someone else should hammer nails. Eventually Dreher will have to announce that an angel has told him the location of some magic tablets or something. And the great thing is, there'll be plenty of knowledge workers on hand to document the collapse.

UPDATE. Commenter FMguru reminds us that "the traditional conservative Christian way to deal with this problem is to import menial labor from far away, transported in the packed, sweltering cargo holds of specially-built sailing ships."
I AM ONE OF YOU NOW! I AM SANE! I'm pretty happy with the Heller decision. As I have said many times, I long to return to the old, dirty, dangerous, and inexpensive New York of my youth, and this seems like a good first step. (Yeah, I know Mike Bloomberg is acting like it's no big deal. He's whistling in the dark.)

Also, I should like a gun to liven up my drinking binges and mood swings. I would give you good people a schedule so that you might avoid me during these episodes, but really, there's just no predicting when they'll occur.
DARK DAYS AHEAD! Gateway Pundit is unnerved by the BET Awards, at which Sean Combs converted his "Vote or Die" chant to "Obama or Die," and Alicia Keys shouted "Obama, y'all!" Gateway Pundit helpfully bolds these quotes, and includes this picture to help readers grasp the size of the threat:

"It does make you wonder what the inaugural ball will be like come January," says GP.

He probably imagines something like this:

I hate to tell him: Bootsy's already got his invite.

UDPATE. You gotta love that the Gateway Pundit post's first trackback is from Stormfront.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

...according to Obama, Johansson is lying about trading lengthy e-mail exchanges. "She sent one email to Reggie, who forwarded it to me," Obama said, referring to his 26-year-old personal assistant, Reggie Love. "I write saying, 'thank you Scarlett for doing what you do,' and suddenly we have this email relationship."

UPDATE: Groan. A reader suggests, "I did not... have... textual relations with that woman, Miss Johansson."
I think McCain should press his advantage and announce he's been having a 10-year affair with Bo Derek.
A LACK OF INSPIRATION. Someone questioned me the other day about my recent lack of attention to some traditional alicublog bĂȘtes noires. I understand that longtime followers of this site like to see their favorite characters on a regular basis. But sometimes it's just out of my hands.

For instance: We've had some good fun here at Megan McArdle's expense, and someday, God willing, we'll have more. But lately, McArdle's site is like an endless series of climactic scenes from "I Love Lucy" episodes: after a while, her buffoonish 'splainin' that she didn't really mean the U.S. Army breeds rightwing terrorists, or that Rhodesia should never have gained independence, is more wearying than funny. And the station breaks are, as always, insufferable.

And I regret to say that Jonah Goldberg has also become a disappointment. Since his book came out -- perhaps because he considers himself above it all now, wears a beret, and has his Cheetos brought to him by interns -- Goldberg mostly amuses himself at The Corner with recycled internet gags, or such content-free musings as this:
The death penalty used to be constitutional for barn-burning, horse stealing, fairly minor thefts etc. I completely agree that our evolving standards of decency make that seem like overkill, pardon the pun. But is it really a sign of our evolving standards of decency that brutally raping a child is also on that list? Are we more decent because we don't consider that a capital offense? I don't really see it.
This sounds like something the average person might write if he had neither an opinion on nor an idea of what he was talking about. In fact, Goldberg sounds like someone who is being forced to write -- someone, that is, who isn't a professional writer and expected to come up to snuff regardless -- rather than the rubber-doll wrestler we have come to know and love.

This is one of the things we all hate about journalism: despite our best efforts to make it come out the right way, sometimes events fuck it up. Think of it like "ER," and try to develop relationships with some of the up-and-comers.
SOMETIMES IT'S JUST TOO EASY. Adar Kielczewski at the American Thinker:
Society is promoting an entirely new type of leader: the wimp.
Sigh, OK, what is it this time? Arugula? Knickers? The dolorous effect of Dear Abby?
Today's television hero doesn't have big muscles, wear a cowboy hat or fly. He smirks. NBC's popular series The Office reflects this trend quintessentially: promotion of the beta male. Jim Halpert, unofficial "hero" of the program, does little more than raise an eyebrow at the camera as he lives a day-in, day-out life of quiet passivity. His most aggressive action is the occasional practical joke. At last year's season finale, he turned down a managerial position. A man of action he's not.
I don't watch that much TV, but I know somewhere on prime time there must be a PI who doesn't play by the rules. Wouldn't he cancel out Jim Halpert? Also, cops. There's always lots of cops on TV. And Charlie Sheen! He loves 'em and leaves 'em. That's got to count, right?

Most of Kielczewski's essay is about that one show but, perhaps sensing the absurdity of denouncing society based on a single TV program (though I might have gone for it if he'd picked "The Two Coreys"), Kielczewski makes the big reach further down:
Who wants to promote hard work, leadership or taking a stand? Men are just as content to follow as to lead. We like the message of Napoleon Dynamite, Spiderman, Shrek and "The Office," because it tells us softly, "It's okay to be mediocre."
First of all, real men don't use italics and quote marks; it's like wearing a belt and suspenders. Second, WTF? Napoleon Dynamite totally kicked that chick's ass at dancing! And Spider-Man and Shrek totally kicked those guys' asses at kicking ass.
History provides role models such as Rough Rider leader Theodore Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and honest President Abraham Lincoln: men with ambition, guts, drive and notable character.
Even during the Second World War, if you attempted to fill an entire movie matinee with newsreels and patriotic biographies, I'm sure the fine young people in the audience would have gotten up and yelled, "We want Abbott and Costello!"
If history had put Jim Halpert up to commanding the men and the love of the Continental Army, or if the Declaration of Independence/British death warrant was waiting for the signature of one "Peter Parker," I think we would find ourselves in a much different nation.
Sure we would: with Spider-Man fighting for us, the Revolutionary War would have been over in about two hours. Because he has super-powers. Because he's a comic book character. And --

Wait a minute. For a moment I felt as if these people could be reached with common sense. In fact, I got so excited I swelled up, turned green, yelled "ROY SMASH!" and crushed a couple of beer cans. Yes, it's that important to have proper role models.

UPDATE. Commenter Halloween Jack suggests that Adar is not male but female, based on this evidence. Till I have better sourcing -- can we really trust an unaccredited Jesus school/compound to get a caption right? -- I'm going to stick with my original gender assumption. For one thing it's funnier, especially since "Adar" reminds me of the way Adore's mother pronounced his name ("Yuh wanna cry, Adah? Yuh wanna cry?") in The Day of the Locust. (You may recall Adore -- played by a young Jackie Earle Haley! -- was the belligerent, peroxided child-monster who got stomped to death by Donald Sutherland.)

Also, it's depressing to see the right is still finding new harpies and termagants who bitch out the menfolk for their lack of alpha. I suspect it's part of a COINTELPRO plan to discredit feminism by hiring shills to embody tiresome gender stereotypes in public.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

OILFIELD IN A COMA. I've often wondered how it could be explained that Iraq has been for months (and figures to remain forever) poised perfectly between surge-is-working-great and if-we-leave-they're-doomed. How can our Mission be on the verge of Accomplished, and Iraq such a basket case at the same time?

At National Review, Peter Wehner explains with a piquant metaphor:
Assume that a patient suffering from severe influenza is improving, thanks in part to antiviral agents. But the fact that the patient is getting better doesn’t mean the patient is completely well, nor does it mean it would be wise to prematurely stop medication and medical care.
By "piquant" I mean obscene, as Iraq's post-invasion hospitals are so horribly underequipped, a real case of the flu would probably not be treated with vanishingly scarce antibiotics or antivirals, but with prayers and imprecations against the Great Satan.

My suggestion to Wehner: try comparing Iraq to Terry Schiavo instead. It's a more appropriate metaphor (or would be, if Schiavo had been beaten into a coma during a home invasion). And it'll energize the base!
JOKE OF THE DAY. James Lileks faults George Carlin for... wait for it -- timing is everything... lack of self-awareness:
I never heard Carlin be as hard on himself as he was on his favorite strawmen. That wasn’t his job, of course, and you can’t fault him for the routines he didn’t do. But the more you confront and accept your own human faults the less outrage you find in the small mishaps of others, and I never got the feeling Carlin spent a lot of time interrogating his own character with the same confident derision he brought to things much greater than himself.
Next week at the Bleat: three Target clerks who didn't get Lileks' BSG references.
RACE PIMP. Normally the National Review's Victor Davis Hanson goes on about political correctness like a parrot who's been living in Hilton Kramer's apartment. Yet today he's complaining that there will be no shitstorm over Don Imus' latest race-related remarks.

One would think so stalwart a fan of untramelled speech would be pleased to learn the heat's off. But Hanson is more interested in blaming the media's unwillingness to make Imus a big story for the second year in a row on history's greatest monster, Barack Obama:
This time there will be no calls for resignation or furor. Why? Obama in his treatment of the far worse racial slurs of Rev. Wright already lowered the bar when defending Wright last spring by not calling for him to apologize or separate from Trinity, and thereby lost any high ground to voice concern about others.
If this is so, we owe Obama a debt of gratitude for sparing us another ridiculous media circus like the last Imus affair -- or, for that matter, the Reverend Wright blowout. And the current reaction, or lack thereof, seems consonant with the reason-over-rage message of the Obama race speech.

Wow, I like the Obama Presidency already! Certainly much more than I like PC, race-baiting crybabies like Hanson.

Monday, June 23, 2008

HOW HOMOSEXUALS RUINED THE "KISS OF PEACE." Erin Manning, standing in for Rod Dreher (who is presumably scouting deep caves where he and his brood might sustain life after the End Times), says just because she doesn't want to let 'em get married doesn't mean that she doesn't like --

Well wait. Let's be precise. Manning doesn't say she likes gay people, or anything like it, so let's not put words in her mouth (at least not till the costumes and sound effects are ready). What she says is:
In fact, I've had comment box discussions with gay marriage supporters who tell me that if I'd just get to know some gay people...
But as I've said on those occasions, I have known, and do know, gay people. I even have gay relatives, and my self-imposed rule not to talk about family members without their permission and consent ties my hands more than I can say. Suffice it to say that on my side of things, invitations have been extended and communication lines left open.
Invitations have been extended... communication lines left open. Sounds like she's addressing a Senate sub-committee, doesn't she? Do you know, or have you ever known, a member of the Homosexual Party?

The whole blinked-in-code thing suggests some interesting scenarios. Maybe in Manning's life gay folk are more felt than seen, like the Blair Witch. Or maybe it's more like a Baby Jane bonhomie thing:

"Hey, Aunt Faggot, care if I tell the whole world you suck cock?"

"Fuck off, bitch!"

(shrugs) "OK, I left the lines of communication open. See ya in camp -- from the other side of the barbed wire! (dancing) Oh I so bad, I so bad!"

Oh, right, I keep forgetting: "San Francisco Democrat" => crackers vote right way => wingnut welfare keeps flowing. I knew there was a simpler explanation.
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP. This one's about wingnut reactions to those 17 pregnant Gloucester teens. You can just imagine.

One I didn't find in time, but which cannot go unmentioned, is Ace O'Spades's odd, harrumphy attempt to get his drooling troupe to Please Think About The Children:
If whore-spawn seems harsh, well, I'm having trouble imagining what other sorts of jobs these girls will end up moonlighting in when they need a bit of extra spending cash. Whoredom is a popular career-path among the young, female, self-destructive, and otherwise-unemployable.
Accompanying porn link not up yet, but you know it's coming. I wonder if O'Spades hasn't considered marketing under the AoS brand a personal lubricant that just admits it's for beating off.
DEAR READERS, OR LACK THEREOF. I am writing to tell you that the next angry message I scrawl in crayola on damp cardboard will definitely not go to the New York Times. Bad enough that the paper studiously, leftishly ignores my vitally important messages -- on the rare occasions when its factota do respond, it is invariably in a communistically uncomplimentary way (e.g. "Do not attempt to enter the building again -- security has been notified").

So henceforth the Times shall do without my custom. I never really needed them; I was only sending them rocks smeared with my feces out of concern for their feelings. My fame will rise via the internets, and by the efforts of my fellow mole-people, who will push messages of support up through the sidewalk vents to a waiting world. Good day to you, sir! I say good day!
THE TELLING DETAIL. I don't usually dig up comments on other people's blogs, but there's something very instructive in this one. As you may have heard, the great George Carlin has died. In comments to a nice valedictory post by Ann Althouse, somebody writes this:
Carlin grew misanthropic in the last 20 years or so, and made a conscious decision to chuck the conservative part of his audience, openly ridiculing conservative politicians and cultural leaders. Thus I have less regard for his passing than I would otherwise. He was brilliant at manipulating the English language, but I think he coarsened American culture with his most famous work.
Try to even imagine being like this. Try to imagine keeping score on how one of the artists you admire, or one of the entertainers you enjoy, is dishing out props to your political causes. Try to imagine writing a sentence as puffed-up as "Thus I have less regard for his passing than I would otherwise," as if your mourning were something a bunch of hungry peasants with bowls were desperately hoping would be ample. Finally -- and you may really have to rev up your sense of tragic pity for this one -- try to imagine being so utterly blind to your surroundings that you think George Carlin's "most famous work," which is decades old, "coarsened American culture," rather than, "is American culture."

For extra credit, imagine thinking all this shit while considering anyone else Politically Correct.

UPDATE. Radio blowhard Macranger says:
He made me laugh at times, mostly before he went renegade in the early 70s.
What, so he only liked Carlin on the Ed Sullivan Show? That's sort of like saying "I liked Picasso until he started getting abstract."

Macranger goes on to say that he "felt sorry for [Carlin] for he had no belief except in what was bad and evil." That Carlin "looked forward to an afterlife where he could watch the decline of civilization on a 'heavenly CNN'" Macranger finds "sad." Like Voltaire, Mencken, et alia, Carlin died out of the good graces of the bullshit merchants. I guess they knew he was driving away some of their customers.

UPDATE II. Having read a lot today about Carlin's barrier-breaking use of obscenity and misanthropy, I want to point out that it would be too bad if Carlin were misfiled as simply a pioneer of dirty talk. That happened to Lenny Bruce, and it's a great shame, because the guy had a way with words that's most apparent in his maddest flights. Carlin's bits were observably and very carefully written, with an tremendous feel for rhythm (which was especially apparent when his voice became less flexible and he couldn't work the dynamics as much). Most good standup is labored over and part of the trick is to make it look spontaneous; Carlin had that down, too, but often, especially toward the end, he seemed less like a traditional comic and more like a barnstorming comic author who was excited enough by his material to get up and move around. His words, dirty and clean, were strong enough to bear that treatment. Carlin was an especially appropriate choice for the Twain Prize, and I'm glad to learn they're still going to give it to him.
THE HORMONAL SURGE IS WORKING. I was worried for a while that I would have to bust Gazillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters back down to Lt. Colonel. His recent columns have been normally ridiculous, but lacking in that special madness that has made him an alicublog favorite. But in Saturday's New York Post the General uncorked a classic. It sings from the very beginning:
WORKING out last Monday, I heard a campaign flunky on TV insist that progress in Iraq is an illusion. "The war isn't over until all of the troops come home!" she grumped.

Guess we're still at war with Germany. And Japan. Even Italy. Oh, and let's not forget all of our military bases occupying the Confederacy.
Maybe the General's workout stimulated an epinephrine cascade that inspired this column. I imagine him banging it out on the Selectric with one hand and pumping a gazillion-kilo handweight with the other, high off the idea that an operating base in Iraq is a direct equivalent to Fort Bragg.
And one look told you she didn't even know any "troops."
You can smell it on 'em, even through the TV. Probably drives a Prius and eats pussy, too.
But after my initial shrug (back to the bench for more crunches)...
The General is a man of action.
...Since that woman on TV "explained" victory last Monday, I've thought about the different kinds of people who refuse either to accept that the situation in Iraq has improved remarkably or that quitting now would have serious consequences.
Even in the grip of raging catecholamines, the General holds the game together: Iraq is always in a delicate balance between total conquest and all hell breaking loose. And pay attention, because he redeploys this strategy in his big finale.

The General identifies three enemy battalions: First, "Protesting university students," an easy target: "Once they graduate and get a dose of reality, most of the kids will do fine. The need for liberal-arts undergrads to prance to the left is virtually hormonal." (Certainly the reality of the post-graduation job market will put an end to all hormonal prancing. Try prancing in a tiny apartment with three roommates!) Next, "Hollywood stars and other celebrities." Their only ordnance is "self-righteous anti-war (anti-military) films" and Susan Sarandon. The General orders you to laugh!

But he can't so easily shake off that most formidable of foes: "My generation. Those of us from our mid-50s into early 60s. The florid youth of yesteryear... the high point of whose lives came in a protest march down University Boulevard, chanting, 'Ho-ho-ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!'"

You'd think that, now that Dennis Hopper is selling them retirement plans, reality long ago put an end to the Boomers' hormonal prancing. But the General's got that thousand-mile stare: he doesn't see a bunch of greyhaired time-servers -- he sees the Mongol hordes, animated by "bitterness toward the military," looking in the last ditch to "rise above their disappointing lives and to recapture, for one Viagra-assisted moment, their glory days of raised little fists and bell-bottoms."

As the General describes them, his generation is a pathetic bunch, with only "tenure at an obscure college, serial divorces and a failed book or two," while "the nerds in the comp-science classes, the geeks with punch cards in their shirt pockets... became billionaires."

So it's the General and internet billionaires versus a "soured minority" of former commune dwellers. He seems to have this thing sewn up. Can't we just have the McCain victory party now? The General wearily shakes his head: "I'd pity them," he whispers, "if the stakes weren't so high."

So the homefront is really just like Iraq: the enemy is merely a pathetic rump, but the General must fight on, sparing neither troops nor firepower. The enemy is just as weak as he needs for morale-building purposes, and just as strong as needs to justify continued involvement. Most likely he imagines himself, and us, at it for another 100 years.

Friday, June 20, 2008

OOGA BOOGA. Spike Lee quotes Parliament:
"The money's going to other things," he said. "That's going to change though." As applause escalated, he added, in a clear reference to Barack Obama, "We'll have a real chocolate city."
Cute, right? Not if you're from the vanilla suburbs! The Perfesser blows the dog-whistle, and barking commences. Daily Pundit:
Does this mean I can start referring to black people as "chocolates?" Or does it mean that Spike Lee is a racist dumbass?
Has anybody asked Obama yet whether he's going to turn Washington, D.C. into a "chocolate city?" That would make for an interesting press conference.

And how would that work, exactly? Line up all the honkeys at gunpoint and march them across the city line?
Don't ever show this guy Blazing Saddles; he'll shit his pants.

Some go for passive-aggression -- they're not complaining, they're complaining that somebody is going to complain! American Pundit says, "I'm sure the MSM will begin blaming conservatives for the remark any minute now." Macsmind says, "With this radical's rantings I wonder how long before someone throws his skinny ass under the bus." Gateway Pundit echoes many in the cracker-American community when he asks, "Could you imagine if a Republican would say something like this?... A 'vanilla city?'" Yeah, and what if we made our own version of "Roots" where we showed how black people oppressed white people? I bet they'd be really mad then.

Michelle Malkin notes ominously that Lee "will be an honored guest at the Democrat National Convention." Keep this under your hat, but I hear a lot of other black people will be there, too. They'll be waving machetes and singing "Right Time."

Jesus Christ. They scare easy, don't they?
MORE NAGS & SCOLDS. The panic recently exhibited at National Review's The Corner over the possibility that women might be learning sex tricks from gay TV gagwriters has spread to one of the Review's other stupid blogs. An unnamed author at Phi Beta Cons, a NR blog devoted to denouncing schools as PC indoctination centers, says Sex and the City ain't the only liberal porn-squad turning our daughters into tramps:
PBC's Candace de Russy, along with others, fought a mighty battle to ban sex fairs at an upstate New York state college that featured various toys and manuals for every manner imaginable of the polymorphous perverse.
The author refers to de Russy's ravings over a 1997 SUNY New Paltz exhibition, which made de Russy a heroine among conservatives and a laughing-stock among everyone else, but did nothing to stem the tide of collegiate sex. Which just goes to show that, among the cognoscenti, no culture war skirmish is considered a failure if it wins another job for another otherwise worthless wingnut.

The author also complains about the Columbia University student health services website, which two or three years ago "advised on such questions as how to manage a threesome and how to clean a bloody cat-o'nine-tails between sadomasochism sessions." This raises two questions. First, why do conservative sex critics always sound like their most recent contact with BDSM was Tom Lehrer's "Masochism Tango"? "Bloody cat-o'nine-tails between sadomasochism sessions," yeesh. Again I plead for field work: someone take these noobs to a munch.

Secondly, noting the subject-appropriate shift in the hook, will this sex madness go 'round the horn, so to speak, among NatRev blogs, with similarly subtle changes of emphasis? Perhaps the Liberal Fascism blog's Jonah Goldberg will claim that the Nazis liked sex (not that conservatives don't like sex but it's different because boy I sure hate Nazis don't you? which I believe is central to my point); Planet Gore will claim environmentalists just want to turn down our thermostats so we'll all have to huddle for warmth, leading to orgies; and Larry Kudlow will talk about how great sex is when you're coked out of your mind.

Meanwhile Crunchy Rod Dreher's summer replacement host does her best to get with the Puritan program. She starts with Seventeen magazine, an easy lay-up (gasp! sex tips! children read this! etc), but then gets greedy and tries to blame modern sexual mores for some girls in Massachusetts who purposefully got knocked up, when it's clear the precocious breeders were merely emulating their sisters in the trailer parks and planned communities of the red states.

Next she'll blame liberals for teaching the young'uns to dip snuff, because we're all about the sex and drugs. In fact, if things stay uncomfy for conservatives in general this summer, as they retreat into madness and fantasy they'll probably come up with all kinds of crackpot equivalences. The alleged liberal fondness for group sex, for example, will be linked to our collectivist ideals. And libertarians will be presumed to masturbate compulsively.
HOUSE NUDNIK. Do you wonder what distinguishes A-list, mainstream media wingnuts from the mob that howls beneath them? It's the little things. Message discipline requires that they all refer to people or causes abandoned (or imagined to be abandoned) by Obama as "under the bus." Indeed, it has become a verbal signifier by which conservatives identify one another, like "stuck on stupid" and "My wife thinks I'm at a Bible conference, let me suck your balls."

But David Brooks of the New York Times uses "under the truck" instead. See the difference? It shows style, and what an independent thinker he is. And his theme -- that Obama isn't the airy-fairy idealist McGovernite his rabid enemies daily portray him as, he's the ruthless hypocrite his enemies also daily portray him as -- is likewise stylish and contrarian. Next week he may tell us that he likes snail darters, personally, though he isn't sure he should let his own sentimentality destroy the livelihoods of ordinary Americans who eat at nonexistent salad bars and have the same kind of respect for their quaint little name brands that Brooks has for Chanel and Peugeot.

You're all smart folks, readers, but I fear most of you lack the certain something that might vault you into Brooks' league. But they're doing wonderful things with neurosurgery these days, and soon may be able to paralyze the parts of the brain that govern moral judgment.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

EUREKA! It's like a magic formula: Sex And The City + gay marriage = rightwing meltdown.

Inspired by the recent Maggie Gallagher essay about how gay-married guys are all into orgies, National Review's Fred Schwartz performs Talmudic analysis on... Glamour magazine. "Judging from our popular press," murmurs Schwartz, "the idea of threesomes is no longer all that outré in the straight community either." Attend Schwartz as he peers through his magnifying glass at the tiny, smut-rich type; the receptionist at his dentist's office calls his name again, louder, but Schwartz is transfixed:
In the June issue of Glamour, under the heading "5 things to say no to," item 1 is: "Any threesome in which you're committed to one of the other two." If you're not committed to one of the other two, presumably, Glamour would say: "You go, girl!"
It's like the hormonally-induced, lurid storytimes of my extreme youth (The National Enquirer says she's a nymphomaniac! That means she'll fuck anyone! She'll fuck, like, two guys at once!) reenacted by a guy wearing a tweed jacket and chewing on a briar pipe.

But there's still an ingredient missing from our mind-poison, and Lisa Schiffren brings it: "The people responsible for making threesomes seem ubiquitous among young women," declares Schiffren, "are, among others, the writers and producers of Sex in the City."

Sooooo it's just a perceptual problem, then, of the sort from which Professor Schwartz suffers? Not quite: in similarly weaselly, insecure language, Schiffren explains:
The original HBO series was frequently, and I always thought correctly, said to be written by gay men, who projected a lot of the norms and behavior of gay culture onto the female characters.
And the homos, through the bridging device of cable television, introduced our dewy-fresh maidens to "particular, often distasteful sexual practices that may or may not have come into fashion" and "gay norms posing as practices heterosexual females might enjoy."

Oh, Lisa, honey, I was sucking assholes when you were still sucking your thumb, and neither my ladyfriends nor I learned it from any TV show. As for the general role of same-sexers in the development of our sexual menu, it's strictly a chicken-or-the-egg thing to me, but as it is Pride Month, I'd be happy to give the gay guys some credit. It would certainly liven up the P-Month middle-school educational pageants. Maybe they can even ID some specific gay guys to put on the poster: JACK WRANGLER: FIRST TO SPLOSH or something like that.

I think the Review should raise the bar for Schiffren and insist she do a little field research the next time she tries something like this. They could start her out slow -- with a butt-plug, perhaps. Or the removal of one.

UPDATE. Tbogg's alternative take is essential reading for fans of the genre.