Monday, November 30, 2009

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP. The White House gatecrashers thing was stupid enough on its own, but the addition of a Palestinian conspiracy angle may have catapulted it into the Hall of Fame. Now Accuracy in Media demands an investigation as to whether "the Secret Service was pressured to let the couple in, based on statements made by someone in the White House... Where does this trail lead? And when will the mainstream media go beyond the official line?" In this case, the "official line" is probably known only to abnormal psychologists. (Extra points for references to Obama's arugula of indifference.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG. Peggy Noonan, newly filled with a sense of purpose, tells us that people don't like Obama anymore. That is, the polls indicate a lot of them do, but the people who matter don't. Among these: columnists, and people Peggy Noonan meets in unspecified "bipartisan crowds":
As I read Ms. Drew's piece, I was reminded of something I began noticing a few months ago in bipartisan crowds. I would ask Democrats how they thought the president was doing. In the past they would extol, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, his virtues. Increasingly, they would preface their answer with, "Well, I was for Hillary."
It's amazing Clinton didn't win the Democratic nomination, with so much vital bipartisan support.
This in turn reminded me of a surprising thing I observe among loyal Democrats in informal settings and conversations: No one loves Barack Obama. Half the American people say they support him, and Democrats are still with him. But there were Bill Clinton supporters who really loved him. George W. Bush had people who loved him. A lot of people loved Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But no one seems to love Mr. Obama now; they're not dazzled and head over heels. That's gone away. He himself seems a fairly chilly customer; perhaps in turn he inspires chilly support. But presidents need that rock --bottom 20% who, no matter what's happening -- war, unemployment -- adore their guy, have complete faith in him, and insist that you love him, too.
Her model for such people might be Peggy Noonan, who once said things like "Mr. McCain is the Old America, of course; Mr. Obama the New." Remember those days? In any case it would explain her certainty in this analysis.

But Obama does have such people, despite the fact that Noonan is no longer among them. Even the Rasmussen polls favored by wingers show far more than 20 percent, in his alleged hour of darkness, strongly approve of Obama's performance. Maybe she figured someone might look this up, because she makes this move:
Obama probably has a hard 20 too, but whatever is keeping them close, it doesn't seem to be love.
What might it be, then? Personal threats if they don't answer polls the right way? It may not be "love" as Noonan experiences it for politicians, but given how loopy she can be her ardor, that only speaks well of the Obama diehards' psychological health.

When numbers fail her, Noonan retreats to memes. "The Obama bowing pictures," she asserts, "are becoming iconic, and they would not be if they weren't playing off a growing perception." She compares Obama's bows with Gerald Ford's lack of physical grace, which was also parodied on Saturday Night Live. We'll see if SNL is still working them in 2012, but Noonan is convinced they are deathless, probably because they were seized upon by conservatives who obsess on them to this day.

Noonan, not having been offered a bipartisan sinecure by the Administration despite her service, is back to reading the rightwing tea leaves and portraying them as the wisdom of the people. So, though her long years in the journalistic trenches must have shown her that some political schtick is evanescent, now that she is stuck playing the conservative on Sunday morning shows she is milking every anti-Obama talking point as if the udders were full of benedictine. You will recall she also counseled that the only thing that could save Obama from the Nobel Peace Prize was to reject it as rudely as possible; this he was disinclined to do, and now nobody gives a shit.

So Noonan grabs the Next Blog Thing. Off the pages of history and back to ordinary political cycles, she is condemned to worry each outrage du jour as if it were Watergate to infinity.

She's still offering advice to her late espoused saint, though: Lose the health care bill. "He can't afford to win with such a poor piece of legislation." That must go over big with the boys in the green room, especially among those who take morbid pleasure in the thought that she may have once imagined herself, like Bob Gates and Dana Perino, standing behind a lectern that bore the Presidential Seal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY WAR ON THANKSGIVING! Yes, I was just having a bit of fun, but apparently it's a real menace, says Christian Newswire:
America once was content in allowing civil authorities to select and define its holidays. With the increasing influence of groups which use the courts to challenge any comingling of religion and the function of government, the definition of the some of the nation's holidays have become a war zone.

And while most Americans think of Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas as Christian holidays -- history is clear that Easter and Christmas were originally pagan celebrations, stolen and redefined.

This leaves Thanksgiving as the one American holiday originating within Christian culture. It is a holiday created to remind a nation to thank God. So while talk-show hosts expound upon a war on Christmas -- let's not ignore the war on the one true Christian holiday, Thanksgiving.
Their evidence of this is that Obama said "we observe traditions from every culture" in his Thanksgiving address. George Washington, conversely, referred frequently to God. The word has spread and muskets are loaded.

This cowboy* is taking the war to heart:
However, the last few years I have seen a constant assault on Thanksgiving. First we have people having pasta or sushi and not turkey. Now we have people calling Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Gobble Day or Gobble Gobble Day. Then there is the advertising, "Gobble up Savings", "Don't be a Turkey and Pay Too Much". And of course there is the Black Friday sales and if that were not enough we now have Pre-Thanksgiving or Pre-Turkey Day sales.

When will it end?!
You'll find him marching up and down a Templeton, California sidewalk in a Pilgrim outfit today, picketing a Japanese restaurant.

*UPDATE: Seems the sushi guy is actually doing satire. Good for him and thank God; I thought it had gone out of style.
DO YOU SEE THIS? LOOK ON HER, LOOK, HER LIPS/LOOK THERE, LOOK THERE! Jesus, Victor Davis Hanson is still talking about Obama's bowing:
If multilateralism was the objective, it came out instead as obsequious deference. Whereas Bush's backrubs and Carter's frontal kisses were reflective of American casualness and too much informality, the bowing seems for some reason a far more bothersome gaffe. And as with Obama's apologies, what we thought was a one-time slip turns out to be a systematic pattern that reflects an apparent worldview.
And that's not all. You see how he's lifting his left leg as he walks here? He appears to be mincing, which is a gesture toward the homosexual lobby. Note too that he rubs the White House dog with his left hand, not his right, a coded insult to dog-loving Americans. Consider also the slight lift of his thumbs here, as he points. Try the gesture yourself. Does it not feel more insecure to you than the sturdy, thumbs-clenched pointing done by Republican presidents? Clearly he is worried about the polls. Notice also he is not quick to take a hand offered in friendship, as casual, informal Americans are.

Oh well, at least he's not always thinking about tits, like some people do.

Hanson's interpretations of those details to which he is directed by the Morning Memos, though, I believe are all skewed more or less the same way they would have been if Obama had spent all 10 months of his Presidency doing the robot, if Breitbart were stalking the Southern Poverty Law Center instead of ACORN, and if the unfortunate emails had come from the Brookings Institution instead of the University of East Anglia. He is not working from intuition or inspiration, but from a template.

We are all prone to interpretation, but Hanson has of late made a habit of pushing it very hard -- to wit: "'Punishing KSM' means giving the liberal community a world platform for legal gymnastics designed to repudiate the past administration and demonstrate that community's 'tolerance'" -- without bothering to explain to us why we should share his conclusion. At the same time he insists that "the public has finally caught on that the president's tough rhetoric and soaring oratory don't match reality," "there is a certain roughness and crassness that infuriates the public," etc, justified only by the news that most, rather than an enormous number, of voters approve of his performance during a contentious struggle over health care and a bad economy at the holiday season. And, of course, the indignation of other rightwing bloggers.

The most charitable view is that Hanson is just rehearsing for an actual election season. It would just be sad to imagine he really believes he's seen the tide turn in the first quarter when the opposition is still holding a lead. They all do this, of course, but Hanson's a classicist, and presumably knows about hubris.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DRIFT PUNCTUATED BY EXPLOSIONS. I'm begining to think of it as like Renoir's or Ophuls' American movies. Of course The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is no Letter from an Unknown Woman. Hollywood is no longer the inviolable template with which foreign directors once had to contend; foreign directors have at this point changed the way even the way our blockbusters look, and style standards are more fluid. But as did the old masters, Herzog sure makes his hand felt.

How weird is it to see a police drama, even one with its malformed heart scooped out of Abel Ferrara's original, played like McDonagh, The Wrath of God? Instead of blandly mysterious flute-playing natives, we have a connected perv who repeats "whoa" and "hey" as if it were a magic incantation. Instead of Klaus Kinski maddened on the Amazon, we have Nicolas Cage gazing in horror out of a sea of slot machines. We have hysterical acting emerging from dead calm. We have conversations played within one room that seem to be conducted across vast fields of time and space. And we have iguanas, who don't sing exactly, but puff their ruffs and flick their tongues while a lounge version of "Please Release Me" blares, shot by Herzog lying on the floor.

This is candy for initiates, and so are the more transparently Hollywood scenes, like the one in which Cage tells Eva Mendes about his buried silver spoon: the distance between the insanity of the movie and this hokey dream-with-me moment out of The Rainmaker is so vast that it, too, makes you giddy.

But that scene has a payoff which is also Hollywood, and well-earned. As wild as the style is, there's something of the old template there. McDonagh's trip has a recognizable arc -- but it's backwards, and for all its deliberateness even more radical than Ferrara's. Unlike the Harvey Keitel Bad Lieutenant, Cage's is redeemed at the beginning rather than at the end. Bad Lieutenant 1 underwent a Catholic purgatory; Bad Lieutenant 2 is sanctified in a manner that I suspect Herzog associated with the slapdash Protestantism of Americans from the South (like God's Angry Man), which he may have associated, in the exceedingly casual manner with which European aesthetes usually regard us, with New Orleans -- a kind of jungle, or as J. Hoberman had it, a "smashed terrarium."

As he always does with natives, Herzog keeps his distance. The voodoo alluded in a funeral scene isn't an attempt to drop a theological marker, but a reference to a spiritual life that grows like kudzu around the lives of the characters. Herzog is not of a temperament to explain it or line it up with his plot. Like the rituals of the mystics in Bells From the Deep, the rituals in this movie (pipe-sharing, liquor spitting, gambling, AA meetings) are not expected to make sense, but to make their sense to us, the way dreams dreamed to Kaspar Hauser.

McDonagh's act -- of what? kindness? fellow-feeling? reflex response? -- charts his course in the first scene. What happens afterward is the playing out of a drama in which the climax has already occurred. Maybe that helps explain all Herzog's odd stories, and even his documentaries. From Even Dwarves Started Small to Grizzly Man, his style has been drift punctuated by explosions, and this may be what he sees as life. Put that way it seems hellish and almost inhuman in its disorder. But as is the redemption of McDonagh's rusty spoon, it can also, still, be beautiful.

UPDATE. Thanks Mnemosyne for spellcheck.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Going Rogue publicity. The song remains the same -- Palin portrayed as most martyr-like when she is most successful -- but there are some interesting variations, especially from our old friend The Anchoress.

I see that Ross Douthat is on her case, and seems to wish she and the voters would instead pay attention to the "innovative proposals" of his more serious fellow ideologues, including a payroll tax cut in lieu of stimulus. Tax cuts instead of spending! There's a new one. I regret he didn't include a cutting-edge way to overturn Roe v. Wade. Call me a squish, but I think even Palin could comprehend such proposals well enough to run on them, were there no danger of her getting elected and having to take responsibility for their results. I don't think it occurs to Douthat that maybe Palin was getting out of politics, not because it was too hard, but because the getting was good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

THE CHILDREN OF ZHDANOV. Oh shit: From John J. Miller, mastermind of "The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs":
I plan to assemble a list of great conservative novels for NRODT, probably for an issue in early 2010.
He directs the brethren to this place, where they may leave suggestions. It begins promisingly...
I’ve always had a feeling that Dean Koontz books lean right and I thoroughly enjoy them.
...and devolves from there:
I had always hoped to have the time to write a book on how the Harry Potter series is a conservative masterpiece.
Oh please, nobody tell him.
The sheer all out conflict of good and evil. The terror inflicted on the world by Voldemort and crew...
Who were Muslims.
I do not know whether Ms. Rowling would ascribe to it in this way, as she takes a shot at GWB in the opening of one of the books...
But what would she know? Fortunately, another commenter steps up in defense:
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when JK Rowling is referring to the “horrid man” who is U.S. president, the actual timeline of the novels suggests she is referring to Bill Clinton.
Shirt-retucking trumps Satanism! Next up:
Say, I hope it’s okay to do a little BSP (blatant self promotion) here. I’m a novelist. I’m center-right... I’ve had four young adult mysteries published (the first was an Edgar nominee) and two humorous women’s fiction (as Libby Malin). I wish more conservative publications would pay attention to young adult literature, by the way...
With these promotional instincts, how can she fail? Next!
“American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth, so much so that he wrote an entire novel with the ideological purpose of taking it all back.
One wishes the commenter had provided a list of Roth novels demarcated by ideology. No doubt The Breast would be leftist, because of its identification with The Other.
A perhaps surprising suggestion is Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”
I re-read this in the early nineties when I was still a liberal, and I think it began the process that lead me to change [by '94 a full fledged Contract With America voter!]. It’s very subtle [else my liberal anti-bodies would have detected the subversion occuring] but it was a great read in its own right. The debate in the town with minimum wage laws is by turns frustrating and hilarious, due to the familiarty with which we see it play out again and again before our eyes.
Hank's plan to overthrow the Catholic Church must have escaped his notice, as must the general sympathies of its author. Other choice bits:
Lolita, if you can get past the allegorical child molestation, is a book about controlling your own circumstances even when it feels like something much larger is looming over you. Is it applicable today? Only if you think Humbert Humbert is the government...

Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Van Helsing’s reverent use of the consecrated Host to stop evil seems very conservative these days. [They'll also love the sequel!]

The Great Gatsby: A study of the importance of personal character, and the lack of it from many supporting characters.
As with any Kulturkampf, there are accusations of wrongthink: "I disagree firmly with those who have suggested Steven Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger novels. Hunter is, as you would expect from a film reviewer for major dailies, a reflexive liberal, and those ideas permeate his writing and frequently issue from the mouths of his characters." Back to your spider-holes, anti-Party gangsters!

Some of the brethren are more forgiving as to what makes the conservative cut. "I don’t imagine that Faulkner was self-consciously a conservative," says one. "But many of his novels delve deeply into the issue of race in America that we have not begun to see the end of. And he looks at the questions from many perspectives and never falls into the useless left wing class consciousness formulas." This would seem to give Miller an enormous out -- if it's not explicitly Marxist, it's right-wing. And given Miller's previous method ("[Who'll Stop The Rain,] written as an anti–Vietnam War song, this tune nevertheless is pessimistic about activism..."), rest assured he'll make use of it, as most of the other suggestions are sci-fi and Mark Helprin.

Do any of these people ever read books, watch movies, listen to music, or do anything simply for pleasure and edification, rather than in search of political self-justification? And do they have any idea that their Zhdanovist schtick directly contradicts what they profess to believe?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RIGHTWING SPARKLE WILL TELL YOU WHAT'S FUNNY! "I used to think Jon Stewart was funny," says RightWingSparkle -- which already has me dubious, as dailyobamajokes seems more up her alley, but let's roll with it. What makes Stewart unfunny now, she says, is that only "once in a blue moon he might take a light jab at Pres. Obama. Which is absurd considering the wealth of comedy to be had at President Obama's enormous ego, his addiction to his teleprompter, and his constant need to bow to other world leaders."

Busting a gut yet? Wait, the real payoff's on the way. Stewart was mean to a picture of Bernard Goldberg becase Goldberg said liberals hate Sarah Palin because "she has five children, liberals don't have a lot of children. She has a down syndrome child, liberals don't allow that in their lives." Stewart then noted that Eunice Shriver had nine kids and founded the Special Olympics.

"Does anyone else find it amusing that he had to pick a Democrat who was 88 yrs old (she died earlier this year, so he couldn't even find a live Democrat) who had a lot of kids?" asks RWS, and adds, " I guess he couldn't find a Democrat who had a Down Syndrome child at all, so he just used the example of her starting Special Olympics." Presumably what Stewart should have done was gotten Ordinary American Democrats with multiple Down Syndrome kids, put then in the audience, and introduced them from the stage to thunderous applause like Presidents do at the State of the Union. But then, what do people like him know about comedy?

For the capper, RWS tells us that Shriver was anti-abortion, "just like Sarah Palin. So Jon Stewart ended the segment with a joke he didn't intend to make." And if you're properly informed, you can detect the humor in it. If only RWS could have handed out fact sheets to the audience before the show; then we'd see who's laughing.

I see a new conservative best-seller in this: a book of spoilt liberal punchlines. Take the 2006 Oscar show montage Stewart introduced showing the gayest moments from classic Westerns. A well-researched list of all the featured actors' heterosexual unions will prove its unfunniness. Add a section of jokes such people should have been making instead, and you'll have a gold mine. Because there's nothing people like better than someone telling them when to laugh.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SHORTER S. ROBERT LICHTER. My old employees at Fox News are both the most anti-Obama network and the most fair and balanced network. How can this be? Simple. As a study by my own right wing front group explains, all the other networks are liberal media liars who love the fraud Obama. For purposes of this argument, the figures also show that the liberal media liars are now attacking the fraud Obama (whom they love) just as much as Fox is. Now, having said that, how can we go on insisting that the liberal media liars love the fraud Obama, whom they are attacking? Simple. (throws sand, runs out of room)
BOW MAO. I have to admit, even accustomed as I am to this foolishness, I found the hubbub over Obama's bow to the Japanese royals rather de trop. But I didn't expect we'd still be talking about it on Tuesday. Now footage of Nixon bowing to Mao has surfaced. They say fools rush in, and me and neo-neocon prove it:
I admit that I don’t like it. But it’s a little head bob compared to Obama’s extraordinarily deep obeisance. What’s more, in Obama’s case the bow is symbolic of his policies to humble America. In Nixon’s, the intent and the policies were -- different.
I'm really sorry she didn't explain that difference. 37 years after Nixon's visit, China's slave laborers make our clothes and its banks hold $798.9 billion in U.S. treasury bonds, more than any other foreign power. And look -- Japan is number two! I'm surprised Obama didn't kiss their asses.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I GET A SCOOP! Six sizzling excerpts from Going Rogue are available now at Runnin' Scared. (Some people seem to think it's just a joke, but you folks know I have no sense of humor.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'LL STICK WITH HIS BROTHER BOB. I see Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN. The Times playfully notes that "Mr. Dobbs’s show drew an average of 631,000 viewers in October, putting him in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC," and suggests he will go to Fox to do opinion journalism. The Ole Perfesser thinks he may have bigger fish to fry:
SO I’VE WATCHED LOU DOBBS’ RESIGNATION SPEECH and I wonder — is he planning to go Perot? Or, maybe, run in the Democratic primary?
I clicked the latter link to see what he meant:
MICKEY KAUS notes that the Democrats are abandoning the working class... If Lou Dobbs were running for President, this wouldn’t be happening.
It's dated June 18, 2007, bringing us back to the days when dirty Mescans were a bigger deal than Islamist Army majors. Does this signal a change in rightblogger tactics? I doubt it, with two Spanish-surnamed great right hopes in Florida now: Armando Gutierrez, supported by former "little brown one" George P. Bush, contending for a House seat, and Marco Rubio running for the GOP Senate nod against Charlie Crist -- Rubio's supporters are already accusing the Crist camp of racism. Rubio and Gutierrez are Cuban-Americans, but good luck explaining the difference to yahoos.

No, that's just nostalgia for more propitious times. They can always stick another nemesis to the prejudice when the sledding gets heavy. Dobbs is probably going to peddle his papers on another street and leave it at that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MORE CHILLING OF FREE SPEECH IN OBAMA'S AMERICA. I figured there'd be a lot of crazy stuff about Fort Hood, and there has been, but now it's starting to get out of hand. I have a story up at Runnin' Scared about the rightwing guys who called the FBI on commenters at the Joe My God site who appeared to promote violence, citing the Hasan massacre as a reason to be vigilant.

Over-the-top commenters are worrisome and weird, but it has never occurred to me to call the FBI on commenters who say things like "'Save the earth and our great nation...kill a liberal.' That's what I want my T-Shirt to read." Maybe I've been on the internet too long and have acquired a diminished capacity for panic.

It also strikes me that calling in the feds runs counter to the general message that Obama is the one trying to use the force of law to shut down the internet.
THE OLD DARK HOUSE. Hadn't been over to see the Ann Althouse site for a long, long while, but I retain a soft spot for her, so when tipped today by the Perfesser (with the irresistible tease, "Teenager? Is TMZ threatening to post child pornography?") I took a chance. Professor Althouse was talking about the Carrie Prejean sex tape:
But TMZ — I don't read it much, but, again, I'll guess — does not itself parade as Christian. Prejean does, and so she will be held to the high standards of Christianity, while TMZ can say and do whatever it wants. ("When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. ")

TMZ is following Rule 4 of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals":
Scripture and Saul Alinsky? This explains so much: Althouse is The Anchoress!

This argument that hypocrisy doesn't exist for the Elect is by now an old rightwing favorite, and the quality of Althouse's reasoning hasn't changed much from the old days. But the Jesus stuff was a shock. I went down into her comments; a quick scan suggests that the old let's-pretend liberals (what were their names, again? Rainbow? Sunshine?) seem to have fled or outed themselves, and the remnant are leaving stuff like this:
What's difficult as hell to do is to live up to the standards that would be set up for Christians by the butt-buggering sodomites. The rapists of 13-year-old children.

Christians could never live up to the sodomites' expectations.

Thankfully, though, Jesus doesn't require that. And we know they'll spend eternity burning in hell.

So at least there's that comfort.
Amazingly, Althouse is still removing comments, perhaps because they don't come up to the standards of this gem, or because they're actually messages from her employers trying to reach her because her phone has gone dead and her windows are boarded up.

Den Beste isn't still blogging, is he?

UPDATE. Althouse has a 1,200-word response, in which she claims I quote her out of context. The link to her post remains active, so you can judge that for yourself. She also thinks I misunderstand her, and deliberately, lest I be forced to declare I agree with her, which would get me fired. On the contrary -- if our disagreements are as important as she portrays them, such a revelation would be headline news, and boost my traffic. I might get promoted to janitor. Think of the prestige, and the raise in salary!

She's right about one thing, though -- there's no evidence that she removes comments. That was "a lazy mistake," if she'll forgive my quoting her again without attaching the rest of the post to make sure the context is clear.

An Althouse defender comes to comments to notify my readers:
If you can ever tear yourself away from the one website you visit every day you would understand how big of a joke Edroso is in the blogging community, and it's because he does stuff like this.
I had deceived myself that they were laughing with me. But that's okay. If I weren't content with negative attention, why would I write about these people in the first place? The rest of you I leave free to dump me for some more reputable site, lest you suffer in the Althouseans' eyes guilt by free-association.

I should add that I am grateful to learn that the hell-fire commenter had specific targets in mind for her hell-fire, "Polanski and the Hollywood-type liberals who've defended him," though I had no idea those people ran TMZ, nor that they constituted all of Prejean's detractors. Shows you how dangerous it is to go to Althouse's site without a concordance.

Monday, November 09, 2009

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the rightblogger coverage of the Fort Hood shooting. I'm so used to accusations of liberal media bias that it didn't hit me at first how much of this coverage presumes that newspapers and TV news organizations are trying to protect Major Hasan and Islam -- whose aims are also presumed identical.

The newsies are thus tarred for not calling for counter-jihad in their stories. Mark Steyn, for example, makes the same sort of obligatory reference to peaceful Muslim citizens that automatically gets the papers accused of dhimmitude, but rescues himself by lamenting that "America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy -- in Afghanistan and in Texas," suggesting that his prescribed means of dealing with the enemy would be the same in both locations, though he is clever enough not to say so out loud.

Generally the smarter rightbloggers show a similar measure of restraint, and portray common sense as their exclusive province. Legal Insurrection declares that the massacre was "an act of domestic terrorism committed for political and religious purposes," and that "the left targets anyone who dares speak honestly about terrorism." After this gun-waving, he calls for... an investigation, "not only as to the extent of Hasan's connections, but also as to why the military hesitated to respond." Cripes, I was expecting a call for the assassination of Keith Ellison, at the very least. Legal Insurrection finds it necessary to add, "And if the left cries foul, that's too bad." Fancy liberals standing in the way of an investigation of the military!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

ONE CHERRY, FRESHLY PICKED. Moe Lane of RedState notices he is being taunted by Eugene Robinson about RedState's many threatened purges of the GOP. "Will loyal members inform on others for harboring suspiciously moderate views?" asks Robinson. "Will there be re-education camps?" Etc.

The only thing more pleasing than this rare instance of a mainstream reporter noticing that wingnuts are wingnuts is Lane's reaction, which consists of:
  • Going "Err, no," after each of Robinson's jokes.
  • Adding after the re-education camp joke: "Also: cheapening to the memory of victims in the tens of millions."
  • Ending with a paragraph-long equivalent of "Is not," supported by changing the subject from NY-23 to Virginia.
Which spurs a few thoughts:

1.) They don't even really make arguments anymore, do they? They just play Mad Libs with memes and talking points. It's like that "My Pet Goat" thing they tried to stick to Obama this week, which I predict will have the longevity of "stuck on stupid," "fisking," and other such catchphrases cooked up in their labs.

2.) Lane's shirt-tucking outrage at Robinson's joke about re-education camps further demonstrates that right-wingers are the new political-correctness champions. Jesus Christ. No one tell him about The Producers -- he'll start convening a hate crimes tribunal.
THIS IS WHY I DON'T GO OUT AND COVER STUFF MORE. When I took the trouble to go to the Clinton Global Initiative last year and broke Al Gore calling for civil disobedience to fight pollution, no one gave a shit. But now that it's in the Guardian suddenly it's a big deal. All you need in journalism is connections! That and a chick bass player! Phooey!

Friday, November 06, 2009

THE KILLER INSIDE ME TRAILER. This looks all wrong:

Looks like a good Elmer, and Casey Affleck has the stuff for Ford. And it's a trailer, so I would expect the sex to be emphasized -- as might Jim Thompson, who was after all a pulp writer. But The Killer Inside Me is much less about sexual obsession than about self-hatred -- the way it drives you to the periphery of the world and makes you a monster, and makes other people monstrous to you -- like Elmer, running and screaming from the house, looks to Ford. Kubrick territory, certainly, and too bad he never got to it.

Actually Kubrick did work with Thompson. In his excellent book on the director, Michael Herr relates:
Jim Thompson had made him nervous when they working together on The Killing, a big guy in a dirty old raincoat, a terrific writer but a little too hard-boiled for Stanley's taste. He'd turn up for work carrying a bottle in a brown paper bag, but saying nothing about it -- it was just there on the desk with no apology or comment -- not at all interested in putting Stanley at ease except to offer him the bag, which Stanley declined, making no gestures whatever to any part of the Hollywood process, except maybe toward the money.
Thompson worked on Paths of Glory too, and Kubrick commissioned from him a script that never got filmed, though I see someone wants to try it.

There's a pretty bad film of the book with Stacy Keach, but Keach has Ford's clammy sorrow down cold. And it has Susan Tyrell. They make a good team.

The music in the trailer sounds awful. I always thought the score of a film of Killer should be entirely based on Genocide by Link Wray.
Obama Doesn't Like Gay People...

Heck, gays are all but at the back of the bus. But at least Obama hasn't yet thrown them off it, as he's done with so many others. The real question is, don't they sort of look like rubes for remaining on it themselves?
This is getting monotonous, but here, from the Riehl World View archives:
So, I'm thinking, what better way to take advantage of the current Liberal Blogosphere bonanza of attention we've been hearing about ... mostly from them, than to launch a series of Gay Blogger Boy Toy dolls, so every Liberal commenter can take a likeness of their favorite Liberal Boy Toy blogger home...

What is Limbaugh trying to say here, exactly? lol [reference: "Rahm Emanuel is the power behind the throne -- and don't let his effeminate nature and his ballerina past mislead you on this..."]

Did the lesbians lie? Or do they just not care about body image, thus leading to their perception and that disastrous armpit issue we see when they elect to march for equality in tank tops?

Oh, and give us the masses that huddle with individuals of the same sex ... because being Gay is now a basis for political asylum, you see. I suppose transvestites get to go to the front of the line. God Bless the Queen ... er, I mean America, sorry. ; )
I could go on all day, but why bother? Riehl's pulled this stunt before (concerning Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, believe it or not). But be nice to him, because he had a gay brother who died, "probably of aids for all I know." So he's just the fellow to convince gay folk that they really ought to be batting for his team, just so long as they don't use the showers.

I'm being mischievous, of course. The point isn't to bring homosexual Americans over to conservatism, but to give fellow wingnuts another reason to despise them.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

FIGHTIN' KEYBOARDERS CALLED BACK INTO ACTION. We'll probably be reading a lot of idiotic stuff about Fort Hood, but it'll be hard to top this from Robert Stacy McCain:
The people who want to kill you are not Tea Party protesters or accountants from Saranac Lake, N.Y. They're not Kentucky populists or Belgian radicals.

Anyone who wants to distract you from real dangers by telling you to fear this week's pet bogeyman -- global warming! creationists! Ron Paul! -- is not your friend. They are fools and liars who cannot be trusted. They are objectively evil.
The only through-line I can detect in this incoherent gush is this: Liberals are trying to distract you so their friend the Arab terrorist can kill you. So don't shit your pants like they want you to -- shit your pants like Robert Stacy McCain wants you to!

There are other contenders. For example, there's Linda Chavez at Commentary, who attempts to portray President Obama's delivery of planned remarks to a Native American affairs conference before announcing the Fort Hood situation as the equivalent of "President Bush’s 'Pet Goat' moment on 9/11." First of all, Obama was, in the face of crisis, taking care of business rather than, as our last President did, shitting his pants; second, how refreshing to hear a conservative acknowledge there was something weird about "President Bush’s 'Pet Goat' moment on 9/11."

There will be plenty of small-time nutcakes making fools of themselves (like Mad Americans Club, which raves "Obama wants to honor these type of actions with a United States Stamp! USPS New 44-Cent Stamp!!! Celebrates Muslim holiday," appearently referring to this), but the more well-known and respectable rightbloggers are soiling themselves as badly as any of those.

The reason's simple, and the same as it was during 9/11: they think soiling oneself is a sign of patriotism, and consider those who pants are not full of shit to be traitors.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SHORTER ROD DREHER. The Mad Men in my head, where they all get AIDS and die, is so much better than the real one, don't you think? Too bad liberals don't get it -- they see it smugly, whereas conservatives see the [deep, quavering voice] traaagedy. [brightly] Did I ever tell you I met a color -- er, black gentlemen who said segregation wasn't so bad?
"THE PERSONAL IS THE POLITICAL" © THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT. The following, removed from context, reads like excerpts of what a normal reporter might bring back from Election Night victory/defeat parties. So forget for a moment this is by Stephanie Guttman, one of the new skree-bots at The Corner:
In making his concession speech, Democratic governor Jon Corzine was consoling his followers when he said, “My mother is probably the only one that’s happy tonight. She’s a Republican. She’s 93 years old so, we’re not going to worry too much about that.”

The line got a big laugh.

When victorious Republican Chris Christie made his victory speech, he told the story of an elderly constituent he met on the campaign trail. “He said to me, ‘I’m 90 years old, and I’m going to vote for you. But you better do what you promise. Because if you don’t, I’m going to vote against you in another four years.’”
And now Guttman twists the lens filter to give you that scary polarized effect:
The line also got a big laugh, but it sounded more joyous, less sneering, and less subtly derisive.
Just a straw in the wind, but the Corzine remark mirrors a callousness, a coarse attitude about the “dispensability” of the aged, that one sees in the debate over health-care reform.
Not only do Democrats (even rich ones like Corzine who can afford to keep them in nice homes far away) want to kill their mothers -- they also tell mean, health-care-debate-like jokes about it.

It's what we call in the biz "working blue state." You see all those liberal funnymen doing it: making cruel fun of fat people, dumb people, and people who suffer from that terrible condition where they're constantly slipping on banana peels.

You won't catch Ann Coulter using material like that! That's why she goes over so well with the church groups.

Also, Republican laughter is "joyous," whereas liberal laughter is "sneering." I don't know what sneering laughter sounds like -- maybe I should get a tape recorder and leave it running while I'm reading Confederate Yankee, and find out. Maybe we all sound like Muttley, and those audience reactions on The Daily Show are pre-recorded by joyous conservatives and piped in to make Stewart's liberal fans sound human.

I am very overworked, and it is both a blessing and a curse to have subjects that never get less crazy. When I started this blog they were saying a lot of insane things, but mostly about the war and patriotism. Then -- maybe it's just that I started noticing it -- they started to do this thing where everything, including painting, food, TV shows , sports teams, neighborhoods, etc. was judged either "conservative" or "not conservative."

Now they're making up ideologically specific ways of joking and laughing. It can't be healthy for either of us.
ELECTORO-SHOCK. I'm very tired after Election Night -- drunkblogging these things is fun, in a dudgeon-stroking way, but hard on my liver and my lights -- but if I need boosting during the day, I will take little nips off the rightblogger responses to the Hoffman debacle. Here's my early-a.m. scan. BradlyNo seems to be enjoying particularly the Black Knight routine of Erick Erickson. That guy was absolutely bughouse through the home stretch (though unlike R.S. McCain, he kept his overt screaming fits to himself), and his declaration of victory in NY-23 is a fitting climax to the whole crazy business.

Though I'm sure someone will come along to top him.

In a way it's too bad we don't have Citizen Hoffman going the Washington to carve out a bold path as the Bernie Sanders of the GOP, and staring with incomprehension at farm bills and such like. I had a clock all set up for counting the minutes until his RedState buddies put a fatwa on him for voting yes to an appropriations bill. Congratulations meanwhile to the Republicans in Virginia and Jersey, who I'm sure will provide much amusement in the days to come.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Add one more soldier to the Left’s war on Fox News: Oscar the Grouch.
Oh, wait, it gets better:
Last week, in a re-broadcast of an episode that originally aired two years ago...
Aw, c'mon guy -- it only took Fox eight months to catch up with the Obama children's song.
Oscar starts his own news network, GNN (Grouchy News Network). An irate viewer calls in to berate him that the news is not grouchy enough:
“I am changing the channel. From now on I am watching ‘Pox’ News. Now there is a trashy news show.”
Later in the episode, Anderson Cooper from 4th place CNN, guest stars as a reporter for GNN. He interacts with “Walter Cranky” and “Dan Rather-Not” — Muppets representing real-life liberal news personalities — and they talk about “Meredith Beware-a” and “Diane Spoiler.” But no affectionate nicknames for Fox News personalities; no Spill O’Reilly or Brittle Hume...
Now they're complaining that the liberal conspiracy won't make up funny names for their heroes. Next week: Media fails to give Hannity a high-five.

The post is over 900 words long, by the way. But that's nothing -- Jonah Goldberg cracks 2,500 words with "How Politics Destroyed a Great TV Show" at Commentary (!). Warming up with a mixing bowl of warm cake-batter and a lament that one line in the last Star Wars movie "unraveled the entire moral superstructure of the Star Wars franchise," Goldberg goes on to bitch about a bunch of TV shows that offended him ideologically before deciding that "denouncing the ideological intrusion into the dialogue of Grey’s Anatomy as a corruption of artistic integrity offers such televised junk more respect than it deserves." So he jumps on his trampoline and heads for the loftier reaches of Battlestar Galactica.

Goldberg, who thinks Norman Mailer was overrated, explains that the show was boss when he was able to read its plot threads as against abortion and communism but sucked when he could no longer find a way to make it conform to his views on the Iraq War. In a final insult to all that's Goldberg, "for having the 'bravery' to tackle the occupation of Iraq, the producers and lead actors were invited to a panel at the United Nations to dilate on the war on terror." It's worse than when Joanie married Chachi.

Money quote:
It’s been said that the difference between the truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. After its third season, Battlestar Galactica steadily failed on both counts.
Well, I say the difference between a Magic 8-Ball and Jonah Goldberg is that a Magic 8-Ball has to be right sometimes, and Goldberg fails on both counts.

Monday, November 02, 2009

THE KING'S SHILLING. Yeah, I know a Bloomberg ad keeps popping up on the sidebar. (They must have heard we get a lot of Democrats, among which group Bloomberg may be trying to shore up his 43 percent take.) We've had Sarah Palin and others up there, too. I expect you guys are impervious, though if any of you are motivated to flip by a website ad, I can honestly say I won't feel personally responsible. The tiny amount they pay me suggests Google Ads doesn't expect much either.
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP. This is an especially long one, tracing the rightwing purge in New York' 23rd Congressional District race from early days to its operatic final act. Full as it is, I was obliged to cut some sections, one of which I'll share with you as bonus material:
The roots of the insurgency reach back to Scozzafava's nomination on the third ballot by local Republican chiefs in July, on which occasion an NRCC spokesman praised her as "proven vote-getter who shares John McHugh’s willingness to work across the aisle on issues that matter most to central and northern New Yorkers."

At that time Lemon Lyman of Monroe Rising ("Political Information — Without The Liberal Bias") added, "Scozzafava has been called a RINO (Republican In Name Only) but she’s really a Republican with cross party appeal that can connect with constituents of all political belief. This is a terrific asset for a representative of the people." Nonetheless Lyman suggested she "should speak of her belief in keeping taxes lowered."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sensed this vulnerability, and sought to exploit it with a September anti-Scozzafava ad claiming that while in the Assembly Scozzafava "voted for more taxes and fees for you 190 times." In upstate New York, Democrats can get away with that sort of thing...
Those were the days, huh? Now it's all Cavaliers vs. Roundheads. Things look good for Hoffman in NY-23, but nationally I expect we are going to get, to paraphrase Ninotchka, fewer but better Republicans.