Thursday, January 23, 2014


Try and imagine being Jonah Goldberg:
As for the liberal bias thing. I absolutely agree there’s an enormous amount of leftwing bias in Hollywood, including often at the Oscars. But it’s hardly the case that pro-war or pro-American movies never get nominated. Last year, recall, Argo won best picture (to the dismay of some on the left). It beat out Zero Dark Thirty​, which was even more hated by the left but nonetheless received four nominations. The “Hurt Locker,” a more ambivalent war movie but hardly anti-American, won three years before that (it also won best director, a huge snub to her ex-husband, James Cameron, who directed Avatar). ​ ”Saving Private Ryan” was nominated for 11 Oscars and won five including Best Director — not exactly an anti-military or anti-American movie. 
There are certainly movies that benefited from being on the left. “Crash” didn’t deserve Best Picture. “American Beauty” is wildly overrated. But if the academy was really so leftwing in its tastes, it’s hard to see “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” or even “Gladiator” beating out their competition.Warren Beatty certainly didn’t deserve an Oscar for “Reds,” a piece of soporific agitprop about American Communist John Reed. I think you can make a case for Oliver Stone getting the Oscar for “Platoon” without the benefit of politics, but not for “Born on the Fourth of July"...
That is to say, imagine that you are obsessed with politics but too stupid to say anything interesting about it, and so associate your crackpot ideas with things you do understand, barely, though they have nothing to do with politics -- such as one's choice of football teamsmusic videos, TV shows, and female body type -- and say things like "great novels are, by nature, conservative" with a straight face.

This is really why we have a "culture war." It's not a categorical imperative; it's a make-work program for unskilled wingnut dilettantes.

UPDATE. Goldberg's previous low-water mark as a kulturkampfer.

UPDATE 2. Commenter Ellis Weiner focuses on Goldberg's murky adverbial phrase "to the dismay of some on the left," which he finds
about as full of meaning and import as a teenager's "like." You can use it anywhere and not be entirely wrong. "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should--to the dismay of some on the left." "I AM your father, Luke--to the dismay of some on the left." "A specter is haunting Europe--to the," etc.
Other commenters come up with their own versions ("Baby, everything is all right, uptight, [and] clean out of sight (to the dismay of some on the left)"). And whetstone reminds us of John Rogers'/Kung Fu Monkey's definitive rebuke to anyone who seeks to anthropomorphize Hollywood as anything but an anteater that eats money instead of ants.


  1. mortimer200010:44 AM

    It would be so much easier to tell conservative pro-American films from lefty-liberal anti-American films if all the actors -- no matter the character they're playing -- wore flag pins. Of course, NRO denizens like Goldberg would then judge conservativeness by the size of the flag pins, but at least this would make some kind of logical sense, which would be an improvement.

    Nightmare thought of the day: "Try and imagine being Jonah Goldberg."

  2. Buffalo Rude10:48 AM

    Christ, what an asshole!

  3. bourbaki10:49 AM

    I was confused at how Gladiator could possible be considered a "conservative" movie, but then I looked at what else was nominated that year:

    Chocolot - Characters are all a bunch of Frenchies.

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Imperial Chinese propaganda (as opposed to wholesome Roman propaganda). Also full of Chinese people.

    Traffic - Some vague anti-drug war message. Also Mexicans (though it does have one of the most racist scenes I've seen in a movie made in the last 20 years so maybe that wins it some pro-America points)

    Erin Brockovich - A corporation gets sued for pollution - need I say more.

  4. Roy: This is really why we have a "culture war." It's not a categorical imperative; it's a make-work program for unskilled wingnut dilettantes.

    That is just a brilliant insight that rings true the more one dwells on it.

  5. Bethany Spencer10:50 AM

    I feel naive for thinking that the wingnuttiness plateaued at 2008. The football link is from 2006!

    All this nuttiness reminds me that it must be EXHAUSTING to be a conservative. Because if you’re conservative that means you’re ALWAYS KEEPING SCORE. It also means that if the little girl in your kid’s preschool class wears a Dora the Explorer t-shirt she is making a deep statement about immigration reform.

    Good god.

  6. GeniusLemur10:51 AM

    Why are the conservatives losing the culture wars? Because they're as good at entertaining as they are at governing.

  7. Bethany Spencer10:54 AM

    This column seems curmudgeonly, though. Roy’s, not Jonah’s. I mean, can’t we at least acknowledge how awesome it is that Jonah starts by saying that Hollywood (and the Oscars) have a liberal bias then goes through and lists all the nominated movies that were “conservative.” I mean, at no point does he stop and think in the midst of that “Huh, maybe they’re not so biased after all.” I think that’s impressive!

  8. LookWhosInTheFreezer10:54 AM

    I'm surprised he didn't mention Lincoln (As in: "Party Of...") as a movie that paid tribute to the unchanging principles of the Republican Party, champion of the blahs.

  9. edroso10:56 AM

    "seems curmudgeonly"? I... I don't know how to respond to that.

  10. NonyNony10:57 AM

    Does Goldberg say exactly why a movie that showed that starts out with a history lesson pointing out exactly how horrible the US was to the Iranians when we toppled their democratically-elected government and stuck a king in charge upset people "on the left"? I seem to recall it being quite ballsy that Affleck decided to just put that all out there in the first few minutes to explain that the US elites were basically the bad guys, and that these poor beleaguered bureaucrats were paying the price for some truly evil decisions made by people in authority above them, in some cases years before they were even born.

    Was there really any outrage on the left about the movie? Or did Goldberg just make that up?

  11. brandonrg10:57 AM

    What was the leftist slant in American Beauty?

    Crash was horrible and loved by Hollywood for all the dumb reasons, though.

  12. Bethany Spencer10:57 AM

    I’m kidding you.

  13. bourbaki10:57 AM

    Spike Jonze's next movie. Those lefties in Hollyweird might even give it an Oscar this time.

  14. Bethany Spencer10:57 AM

    It always works!

  15. edroso10:58 AM

    You're kidding? I... I...

  16. brandonrg10:59 AM

    The Brits and the New Zealanders were offended at the way their countries' efforts were minimized or completely reversed, but I don't recall any outage or even condemnation from a leftist slant.

    ZDT had plenty of discussion over the torture scenes and the implication that it was useful.

  17. Bethany Spencer10:59 AM

    I do it once in awhile--I’m kooky that way!

  18. LookWhosInTheFreezer11:00 AM

    I mean, at no point does he stop and think in the midst of that “Huh, maybe they’re not so biased after all.”

    Cheetoh dust is a hell of a drug.

  19. bourbaki11:00 AM

    Because it shows jerking off in the shower in a bad light?

  20. Bethany Spencer11:02 AM

    Yeah, everybody knows you’re supposed to jerk off in front of your computer while looking for images of Lena Dunham and writing a conservative column.

  21. tigrismus11:03 AM

    It beat out Zero Dark Thirty​, which was even more hated by the left

    The people I knew who hated it were all soldiers who thought it made them look like monsters. Sure, it's argument by anecdata, but that beats Goldbergian ex culo argumentation, doesn't it?

  22. Bethany Spencer11:04 AM

    Was Zero Dark Thirty hated by “the Left?” Because I didn’t get the memo.

  23. tigrismus11:06 AM

    I never get the memos. Too busy hating movies I haven't seen, I guess.

  24. Bethany Spencer11:06 AM

    My laser disk copy of “American Carol” says differently, sir.

  25. LookWhosInTheFreezer11:06 AM

    Chris Cooper's character unfairly raised the possibility that ex-military, homophobic, assholes exist in the real world.

  26. tigrismus11:08 AM

    Wait, so are you saying it proves they are worse at entertaining? Or governing?

  27. Buffalo Rude11:09 AM

    Comic thought of the day: The Fox 5 sitting around a table wearing flag pins that would make Flavor Flav jealous.

  28. tinheart11:09 AM

    They should make a movie about a conservative blogger who is good looking, who has great passion for his talking points, a great family life and a hot (and fairly submissive) wife...but whose work is utterly ignored by the general public. (In one scene, when he tries the "do you know who I am?" routine at a fancy restaurant, the maitre'd answers "no" blankly.)

    Then watch the conservative bloggers go mad, trying to determine if they should like or hate the movie. Thumbs up for portraying a true conservative with a square jaw who spends a good quarter of the movie sticking it to the liberals? Or thumbs down because no one cares what he has to say?

    The problem is that half of the conservative bloggers would sue for libel.

    Goldberg would not see the movie, but would send his intern to see it. The intern would go see a better movie, come back and tell him the best scene was when the conservative blogger stood in front of barren land and said, "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again."

  29. Bethany Spencer11:09 AM

    They’re awesome at both, OBVIOUSLY.

  30. brandonrg11:10 AM

    People were critical of the way the torture was presented as actually getting critical information.

  31. Bethany Spencer11:14 AM

    I remember that, but does that necessarily translate to “the left” “hating” it?

  32. tigrismus11:15 AM

    That's more a question of reality rather than... oh, right.

  33. Buffalo Rude11:15 AM

    Yes. Especially if some commenter on a leftwing blog used a dirty word.

  34. Not only that, but the homophobic asshole turns out to be secretly kind of gay. How much more leftist can you get??

  35. Ellis Weiner11:17 AM

    I love "to the dismay of some on the left," which is about as full of meaning and import as a teenager's "like." You can use it anywhere and not be entirely wrong. "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should--to the dismay of some on the left." "I AM your father, Luke--to the dismay of some on the left." "A specter is haunting Europe--to the," etc.

  36. Mr. Wonderful11:20 AM

    Am stealing "ex culo" w/out attribution, thanks.

  37. tinheart11:21 AM

    I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis, to the dismay of some on the left.

  38. TomParmenter11:29 AM

    All's well that ends well-- to the dismay of some on the left.

  39. Scott P.11:29 AM

    I am sure that, somehow, Commodus was a symbol of liberal fascism.

  40. JennOfArk11:31 AM

    But it's hardly the case that pro-war or pro-American movies never get nominated...

    Leave it up to Goldberg to admit, though unwittingly, what "the left" has been saying about conservatives forever - that they are sociopaths. Which is about the only way you can describe someone who admits to being "pro-war" in general.

  41. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps11:33 AM

    I cannot tell a lie, to the dismay of some on the left; I chopped down that cherry tree, to the dismay of some on the left.

  42. Mark_B4Zeds11:35 AM

    I think the appropriate curmudgeonly response would be to ask Bethany to get off your lawn.

  43. Mark_B4Zeds11:38 AM

    To the dismay of some on the left, I haven't showered yet today. I shall endeavor to do so.

  44. Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so -- to the dismay of some on the left.

  45. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps11:39 AM

    Tastes great (to the dismay of some on the left)!
    Less filling (to the dismay of some on the left)!

  46. montag211:46 AM

    As I've said elsewhere, it really is getting to the point that saying anything about Doughy's latest embarrassment to critical thinking is a cheap shot--he's just too easy a target.

    It's not that he's written two books that, apart from bulk buys from right-wing newsletter sites using his tomes as rube bait for donations, went straight to the remainder bin. It's not that his never-very-crisp writing gets soggier by the day, or that he has succeeded in giving nepotism a worse name than even Bush the Younger could. It's that virtually all he writes is a Pavlovian response to the word, "liberal."

    He's like what I imagine Westbrook Pegler to have been in his dotage--that editors needing a column from him snuck up on him, deep in catatonia, whispered "Roosevelt" in his ear and watched him spring to dithering life for a minute or two or three until he again lapsed into torpor. He's like that, but with Cheetos.

  47. tinheart11:47 AM

    Stacy's mom has got it goin' on, to the dismay of some on the left.

  48. "to the dismay of some on the left" is the latest album from my surf rock band, soporific agitprop.

  49. I've heard the single, "This Is Central To My Point." Solid, if a little novelty.

  50. yeah there's a pretty cool b-side though, "i don't have time to get into it here right now."

  51. montag211:53 AM

    Guess that means "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" is a dark commie plot.

  52. GregMc11:53 AM

    Baby, everything is all right, uptight, [and] clean out of sight (to the dismay of some on the left).

  53. Okay, I may have just spotted a Poe in the comments. Here's the whole thing, and I invite you to tell me if this guy is for real or not:

    You have to look at those movies through the leftist grievance lens to understand why they were honored. "Braveheart" displays the evils of English imperialism. "Forrest Gump" celebrates a special needs main character and has Tom Hanks. "Gladiator" demonstrates evils of Roman Imperialism and slavery. Those movies were honored in spite of their general celebration of manly virtues not because of them. Hollywood will never honor a movie that celebrates those virtues without some nod of the cap to a preferred victim or leftist narrative.

    It'd be a no-brainer, except he's getting upvotes. Now I don't know what to think.

  54. The great thing is some of Jonah's commenters are getting sick of this. There are a few people (with upvotes, so they're presumably real) who basically said "Dude, I don't care."

    Of course, those are mixed in with other people arguing over whether Juno is conservative or liberal, so take it as you will.

  55. Al Swearengen12:11 PM

    I got mine on Kinetoscope. They knew their target audience.

  56. LookWhosInTheFreezer12:12 PM

    I think we need to replace ^/v-vote buttons with the options of "Marry/Dismay."

  57. montag212:22 PM

    Oh, I think this one's genuine, because: "leftist grievance lens." If I were toying with them, I would have at least inserted "anamorphic" in there somewhere.

  58. brandonrg12:22 PM

    Some people who are "on" "the left" were critical of a part of a movie, therefore they and the rest of "the left" absolutely hated the movie and America.

    I think they just take any sort of discussion about something that isn't universal praise as condemnation and hate, maybe.

  59. Try and imagine being Jonah Goldberg:

    Alright, I just washed a bag of Cheetos down with two liters of Dr Pepper... what now?

  60. M. Krebs12:29 PM

    Jonah: "“Crash” didn’t deserve Best Picture."

    What's that saying again? Blind squirrels something something.

  61. But if the academy was really so leftwing in its tastes, it’s hard to see “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” or even “Gladiator” beating out their competition.

    He comes so close, and then totally blows it.

  62. montag212:32 PM


  63. Oh, yeah, now there's the stuff...

  64. No one will ever lack for work measuring the successive low water marks of Goldberg's writing.

  65. I was thinking of Beth's point this mornign when I stumbled on an article by Alex Beam, a local curmudgeon and asshole who writes vaguely libertarianish pop culture pieces for the Boston Globe. Boston has just elected a professional politician and a self declared ex-alcoholic to be Mayor. This is really not at all a big deal--a lot of people struggle with substance abuse issues and for fuck's sake the guy is A) Irish and B) Boston Irish. He gets mad points for honesty. But in any event Beam seizes an opportunity that you'd never, ever, ever, in a million years guess because its so absurd. He writes an entire COLUMN excoriating liberals, retrospectively, for not loving Bush-the-ex-Alcoholic as a storyline and propaganda piece. Its basically the "you didn't like the violence of TPOTC but you did like violence in 12 Years a Slave." Hypocrites.

    Do you know who liberals are not getting up every morning thinking about? Bush. We really aren't. But Beam, who even pretends he probably didn't vote for Bush because that would smear his libertarian street goggles with conservative poop, gets up every day and broods about the injustice done to Bush because some people didn't find "I used to be an alcoholic but stopped without any help from AA" to be dispositive. You will be surprised to discover that having quoted Bush himself as having said he didn't use AA Beam then turns around and quotes people who did use AA as describing Bush as a "dry drunk" and then attacks unspecified liberals for not using AA because they aren't religious enough or nice enough to respect the work AA does.

    TL, dr? This is why I can't do Roy's job because I get so fucking upset reading these morons, analyzing what is wrong, and then realizing that at base they are just deep, gaping, assholes of butthurt and ressentiment that their pathetic little tin horn leader turned out to be such a crashing disaster.

  66. BigHank5312:44 PM

    I now invite you to pull my finger--to the dismay of some on the left. Also those on the right, and perhaps in the middle. Anyone with a nose, really.

  67. The appropriate right wing response is to never, ever, ever forget she slighted you and bring it up every chance you get as a sign of liberal perfidy.

  68. I hear that "the left" hated Downfall. Do you know that they even called the main character "Hitler?"

  69. I'm proud to have been here at the start of a new internet tradition.

  70. If it weren't for hate boners, they'd have no boners at all.

  71. I think its for real. One thing they love to do (and me too, to be honest) is to try to find the key, the code breaking key, to decode that which would otherwise puzzle--the failure of absolute binary thinking on the left.

    And he's quite right: if "manly" and "violent" are always unalloyed goods reflecting right thinking right beliefs then you do need some kind of explanation for why wimpy, effeminate, man hating, lesbo leftists pay cash money to go have masculinity thrown in their faces and shoved down their throats. Obviously the throat shoving must be sweetened, as it were, with the sweet sweet oil of victimization and anti imperialism.

  72. tigrismus12:56 PM

    Much to the dismay of... actually, I'd be OK with that.

  73. mgmonklewis12:56 PM

    "The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself — to the dismay of some on the left."

  74. I pay a couple of z-list rightie bloggers ten cents a word to act it out.

  75. Much to the dismay of the left testicle.

  76. He writes an entire COLUMN excoriating liberals, retrospectively, for not loving Bush-the-ex-Alcoholic as a storyline and propaganda piece

    There's a difference between a reformed alcoholic and a dry drunk.

  77. The first tweet read on thevideo clip below reads in part “it’s pro military and American and liberal Hollywood will never let any movie like this or any actor win.”

    The real reason conservatives like the movie is that it gave an angry old white guy an "excuse" to gun someone down in public.

  78. This one also seems like a Poe:

    I think a better example of the complete irrelevance of the Oscars is the utter lack of attention for "Bad Grandpa".

  79. mgmonklewis1:10 PM

    You could have your intern (because you're up against a deadline and too busy to get into it right now) go get a big fan for your office/mom's basement. However, it might turn the place into a whirling maelstrom of empty Ding-Dong and Mallomar wrappers.

  80. TGuerrant1:10 PM

    A plimsoll that reaches the hyperbaric before it arrives at the WNA mark

  81. TGuerrant1:13 PM

    Light a candle.

    But don't turn your back to it.

  82. whetstone1:17 PM

    I'm still astonished by Traffic and its "drugs will make your hot white daughters sleep with drug dealers" message.

  83. TGuerrant1:20 PM

    And Slumdog Millionaire which managed to beat out both Frost/Nixon and Milk by proving that what poor people in a bigoted, wildly inequitable society need is game shows.

  84. whetstone1:26 PM

    It's modestly big of Jonah to admit that Hollyweird isn't in the business of handing Oscars out on the basis of ideology--I might even spot him "Crash," though I do seem to recall some dismay of some on the left because they thought it sucked--but I suspect that he wants to avoid John Rogers beating him with his own idiot stick:

    We in
    Hollywood are intentionally making shit movies that are profitable and
    then making good movies at low budget that don't gross a lot in order to
    advance our agenda of ... I mean, we make big movies that are
    profitable but then manipulate the voting process to scorn them -- and
    therefore ourselves to ... wait, for this to even work, we need to
    nominate not only our little indie films, but also some big film for it
    to humiliate (so wait, who votes for the indie and who votes for the
    blockbuster, do we get memos or signals ...?) and then somehow make sure
    the second round voting falls toward the indie ... I don't know. It
    all gets too crazy to even satirize at that point.

    It's an amazing hatchet job.

  85. BigHank531:26 PM

    Probably having to do with that asking forgiveness part and the whole humility thing. And never, ever answering that niggling question, "So, why were you boozing it up for the last decade?"

  86. Bethany Spencer1:28 PM

    You'll be doing so to the dismay of some on the left.

  87. BigHank531:29 PM

    Don't violate any water conservation regulations, or some on the left will be even more dismayed.

  88. TGuerrant1:29 PM

    When will Jonah sue Whoopi for trademark violations?

  89. merl11:32 PM

    My FIL is sort of like that, everything is politics even self extinguishing cigarettes. Because a stupid lib got burned up in his bed, so the other stupid libs forced the tobacco companies to make them.
    I am not making this up.

  90. Gromet1:33 PM

    Yes, it seems that in his column about how Hollywood hates conservative movies, he was running out of room to list all the conservative movies that Hollywood loves.

  91. merl11:36 PM

    I'm stoned as hell and that was obvious even to me.

  92. Bog’s tits in a wringer, how does a body get a gig like the one Jonah enjoys at The National Re-Spew? I mean, what could be more simple than spreading a simple, shitstained, right-slant sheen on absolutely any and every thing? Like digging at a hemorrhoid and then sniffing your finger, you can even do it in your sleep! Here’s the proof in that pleasant pudding:

    This has been an historically conservative manly-man sport and an
    important part of right-wing diets. But the nancy-pants liberals have ruined it for everyone with their touchy-feely catch and release, barbless hooks, and shorter fishing seasons. Metro-chic leftards must think their trout
    comes from a fish tank that pipes in soothing music so the
    little buggers don’t feel the electrical current that kills them. Conservatives know that a wild fish is properly killed by repeated blows to the head and then gutted with your teeth.

    Beer and beef jerky – and lots of it – is the staple of a proper sports
    fan. This ensures the roar of the fans and the cracking of the athlete’s skulls is always accompanied by belches,burps, farts and other manly evacuations. Watch a sports event with a bunch of liberals and weep, as you’re served up some hideous substance like kettle chips with artichoke/Asiago dip, or teeny little sausage rolls that are so small you can get five of them up one nostril (which I thrill in proving at every serving.)
    The other tip-off that you’re at a liberal house for the big game is that all this mush is served up by (shudder) women. And they always ask, “if the blue team kicks a touchdown do they win? Just try and enjoy the rest of the game after that particular travesty.

    Putting Peanut Butter on a Cracker: Grab any old knife at hand, spike it into the peanut butter jar in a decisive manner,and coat that cracker like you blow your nose – forcefully, with no hesitation and knowing full well that this is the proper way to ejaculate nose muck on a tissue. Boldly. Emphatically. Just like how American troops rolled in to Baghdad. If you want a pounding headache and instant nausea, watch a liberal put peanut butter on a cracker: first, the fastidious search for the cleanest butter knife in the utensil drawer; next, a careful skimming of peanut butter – oh! too much! better daintily dip that wee dollop back in the jar! – and then a careful, surgically precise coating of the cracker, ensuring the exact same density of peanut butter over the entire cracker. What a disgusting exhibition, and certainly one of the major reasons our exceptional nation has fallen so very, very far.

    If the editors at the NR want more of this stuff, they can reach me at

  93. TGuerrant1:40 PM

    Because after Patton beat out MASH for best picture, it would never be the same again...

  94. BigHank531:40 PM

    You do realize you're overpaying by a factor of at least 100, right?

  95. TGuerrant1:41 PM

    Inflating the expectations of the underclass to the detriment of all.

  96. Jay B.1:45 PM

    That caught my eye too, what the fuck is he talking about? THE CANADIANS WERE THE HEROES. Jimmy Carter kept this quiet, even though it could have benefitted him politically! Ben Fucking Affleck is a squishy-probably-be-a-Senator-liberal. Gah.

  97. Jay B.1:48 PM

    It's "Even a blind squirrel will bring a fucked chicken to orgasm sometime."

  98. tigrismus1:50 PM

    God, I remember Beam, he was always pretty awful. "Democrats support a Democratic former alcoholic but didn't support a Republican one!!" sounds like par for his moronic course.

  99. Bethany Spencer1:50 PM

    This is the best thing I've ever read.

  100. tigrismus1:53 PM

    And it's funny because it's true: I TOTALLY p-butter crackers that way.

  101. Ellis Weiner1:53 PM

    Not to belabor the obvious, but Assholes of Butthurt is today's Great Band Name.

  102. To me, that's the exact line of thought that drives the kulturkampfers. I can't speak to the film's content, and neither could many of the liberal critics who decried it before they saw any of it. It really exposed a vein of hypocrisy running through the left blogosphere, I think.

  103. tigrismus2:30 PM

    No, I thinks that's because of your bushy mustache and tendency to send people to gulags.

  104. smut clyde2:31 PM

    A movie involving a movie script based on Roger Zelazny's masterpiece. What's not to like?
    (and a movie in which movie-making saves the day -- nothing could possibly have been better-designed to flatter Academy voters).

  105. "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again."

    To the dismay of some on the left.

  106. brandonrg2:32 PM

    I knew going in that it was going to portray torture as at least somewhat effective and important in finding OBL without necessarily glorifying or reveling in the act itself.

    I also fell asleep for about 15 minutes in the middle of it because it was largely really, really boring.

  107. It's pretty nakedly horrible. I mean, regarding war as a grim necessity - entirely situationally, of course - is one thing. "The deaths of millions of people and the destruction of so many homes and livelihoods is horrible, but arguably preferable to allowing Nazism to spread throughout Europe," is one thing.

    But saying, "As a matter of principle, I am in favor of the death and destruction that inevitably follows from military intervention [as long as it's not the death and destruction of me or anyone I know or love]," is quite another thing. A sickeningly sociopathic thing, as you said.

  108. smut clyde2:36 PM

    There was an on-line curmudgeon
    (something something)
    Slamming doors in the height of his dudgeon.

    ... I'll work on it. The second line may well involve 'gudgeon'.

  109. glennisw2:36 PM

    Well, it's no "Sound of Music", that's for sure.

  110. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:37 PM

    Open a window...

  111. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:38 PM

    I woulda had the intern eat the Cheetos and chug the DP.

  112. glennisw2:41 PM

    Also, he implies it's a "pro-war" movie, which puts me at a loss to understand what that means. Pro-war? maybe Aliens or Starship Troopers are pro-war, since there is no ambiguity at all about going after giant human-destroying space alien bugs. But I can think of no movie in American cinematic history that's "pro-war" - you go to Germany and Leni Reifenstahl and then you're getting warm.
    Plus, Argo isn't even about a war! There is no war in Argo! How could anyone call Argo "pro-war?" Is he saying Argo makes a case that Carter or Reagan should have started an actual war with Iran?

  113. glennisw2:42 PM

    "at not point does he stop and think" - at all.

  114. glennisw2:43 PM

    Or chase her over the fence with your Second Amendment solution - but let's hope there's none of that.

  115. Beam is, basically, Jeff Jacoby without the smarmy judaism and the gagging family man shtick. Beam is pure-L libertarian asshole and he can't be bothered with either religion or family, but they both end up voting Republican.

  116. Don't be dissin' the fishin', B4. This poster spent fifteen years commercially fishing of the west coast of British Columbia, worked as a salmon fishing guide at remote lodges on the BC coast, and still enjoys salmon fishing each season. And I mean sport fishing - 9/10 fly reel, 10 weight fly rod, 14# test 100% fluorocarbon line, anchovy in a teaser head clipped in a downrigger, no flasher. Spring salmon up to 38 pounds on a fly rod, from a small boat on the giant open ocean is a kick for the ages.
    People tell me it's good eatin', too.

  117. smut clyde2:47 PM

    how awesome it is that Jonah starts by saying that Hollywood (and the
    Oscars) have a liberal bias then goes through and lists all the
    nominated movies that were “conservative.”

    Even when the column is an extruded list of imaginary victories in a imagined culture war, the conventions demand that it begins with a statement of grievance and persecution. Also Goldberg may well have a macro on his word processor that inserts "there’s an enormous amount of leftwing bias in Hollywood" at the press of a single key.

  118. I just got sent an interesting piece by a guy who writes comics for the New Yorker about how long it took him to get the punchline right for a single sketch--SIX YEARS. Its incredibly weird to read because you'd think that you couldn't draw the picture without having an idea of the punchline, but apparently you can just noodle around getting closer and closer but sometimes never get there.

    Points for Gudgeon, btw.

  119. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:49 PM

    the leftist grievance lens

    Which is only available by mail order from the back pages of the dead-tree Nat Rev...

    "Gladiator" demonstrates evils of Roman Imperialism and slavery.

    Yeah, by showing it. Devious, man.

  120. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:50 PM

    I agree. One thing that's hard to keep in mind is that these guys really do think that way, it's not just our imagination.

  121. Thanks bspencer, that's very kind (and over-the-top, but what the hey.). Perhaps I should nap more often, a suggestion my colleagues frequently put forward to me.

  122. I guess I think that something about their thought processes involves a kind of heisenberg uncertainity principle for film critics or schroedinger's movie critic in a box, simultaneously alive and dead, liberal and conservative. Absent a clear trend in which no "liberal" movies ever win then in the few instances when a "conservative" movie wins its seen as an aberration, not proof of the critics patriotism or real artistic judgment. On the other hand, when Jonah is feeling good about things, he sees every conservative win as a sign that the very nature of the film critics and the judging process has changed so that this win, this time, is proof we are finally winning the culture war.

  123. Man, this works for EVERYTHING.

  124. Member-in-good-standing of the Golden Dawn, at the very least.
    I believe your topping has to be caviar laced with the tears of Gulag guests to achieve Stalin status.

  125. Sadly, I totally believe you.

  126. montag22:56 PM

    Guess that means you've never seen "The Green Berets."

    Vietnam certainly prompted a number of films reflecting on that mistake, but it's rare to find a film on WWII made during the `40s and `50s that doesn't at least glorify sacrifice and root for our side during the "The Good War." A film doesn't have to celebrate gore and wholesale slaughter to be pro-war. In fact, subtle propaganda is the most effective kind. Emphasizing the nobility of the cause and the honor of one's participants is a sure-fire way to suck in the low-information recruit.

  127. PersonaAuGratin2:56 PM

    You might also try begrudgin'

  128. Internets, you have won them.

  129. satch2:56 PM

    Pai Mei taught you the five point palm exploding heart technique--- to the dismay of some on the left.

  130. Isn't that the plot of Duck Dynasty, in toto?

  131. I seem to remember that The Green Berets was such a standard WWII movie that they had to put the sun in the wrong position to make the borrowed plot make sense. Or something. Maybe that was a base canard. But I have actually seen the Green Berets and a more horrifying craptacular movie has perhaps never been made.

  132. TGuerrant3:02 PM

    They fish? I thought they just, y'know, quacked.

  133. smut clyde3:02 PM

    Even a blind pig still enjoys mud-wrestling.

  134. satch3:03 PM

    Oh, Christ, Alex... get back to me when Marty Walsh declares a A Shock And Awe campaign against Brockton.

  135. smut clyde3:05 PM

    except he's getting upvotes
    He's saying that these are in fact vehicles for left-wing propaganda that flew under the radar and fooled the likes of Jonah into recommending them as safe rightwing entertainment? PERFIDIOUS.

  136. Buffalo Rude3:09 PM

    Ooh, ooh! Do automobiles next.

  137. montag23:18 PM

    Oddly enough, it drew big crowds when it was first released (1966?), but it failed on so many levels that I can't imagine it got many repeat viewers. I worked for a Green Beanie when I was supposed to be training to go to Vietnam, and he laughed at it.

    There's little question that John Wayne (and the Pentagon, which heavily subsidized the production) had a lot of political intentions for the film, to spruce up war support, which was even then beginning to flag a bit.

    Which probably explains the altogether ham-fisted dialogue and the ludicrously Manichean story.

  138. Bethany Spencer3:18 PM

    Is it time for me to make a Confession Bear graphic admitting I'm Stalin?

  139. BigHank533:21 PM

    I'm astonished you stayed awake through that much of the film.

  140. Mark_B4Zeds3:23 PM


  141. satch3:24 PM

    The Academy Of Motion picture arts And Sciences:

    "You caught us, Mr. Goldberg, ... we DID snub Lone Survivor. To make it up to you, we promise that next year, Noah will sweep every category from Best Actor to Most Water Used In A Single Scene..."

  142. smut clyde3:26 PM

    Because Waterworld was crying out for a remake.

  143. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person3:26 PM

    The 25-question Charles Murray manlitude test we revisited yesterday here features fishing as its only sport, in fact.

    Without doing any research, because lazy, I won't proclaim it the *only* sport that doesn't require much in the way of real skill on the part of the sportsman, but... you don't need to be able to throw, run, jump, swim, shoot (accurately), wrestle, box, manipulate any sort of ball, outwit an opponent smarter than a crafty old brook trout, dance underwater--though nobody will stop you--or operate machinery more complex than a hand crank.
    You basically sit in a boat and drink beer all day. Nature's perfect sport!

  144. Bludgeon... trudgin'...fudgin'...eschuteon... this thing practically writes itself!

  145. Mark_B4Zeds3:29 PM

    "Starship Troopers are pro-war, since there is no ambiguity at all about going after giant human-destroying space alien bugs"

    Actually, that part of Starship Troopers (the movie) was satiric, but it was easy to miss. It was most obvious while watching the propaganda commercials in the movie. But it was totally not satiric in the original Heinlein.

  146. Helmut Monotreme3:29 PM

    Dammit, I'm an unskilled dilettante. Here I am working every day like a sucker.

  147. smut clyde3:30 PM

    No, no, no. "Blotted escutcheon" can only be rhymed with "ruction". THAT'S THE LAW.

  148. smut clyde3:33 PM

    "Try and imagine being Jonah Goldberg."

    Readers should remember that by using imagination they have already disqualified themselves from the challenge.

  149. montag23:37 PM

    Jaysus, and there's not even one single mention of guns.


  150. Howlin Wolfe3:40 PM

    NIce Catch-22, smutty!

  151. RHWombat3:41 PM

    Read carefully, Wombat. That was not a bunch of guys with faeces following a Commode.

  152. Gromet3:54 PM

    No one I've ever talked to here in LA (home of Hollywood) ever said Argo or Hurt Locker were bad, or politically undesirable, or anything except pretty good choices.

    Now allow me to babble: I was working in Hollywood when Crash won. I was not important -- if you were mid-level important, maybe I brought you coffee -- but I got to witness first-hand what Hollywood Elites said. The
    attitude toward Crash amounted to "Oh for fuck's sake." And really
    that was the mood regarding all nominees that year -- Crash, Brokeback
    Mountain, Capote, Munich, and Good Night & Good Luck. "No one's going to rewatch any of these in 20 years," one
    line producer memorably said to me. (Indeed, I had to look them up.)

    Now, Goldberg is right that Crash got a big
    assist from how it hit PC notes -- "it's heart's in the
    right place," as some other mid-level Elite put it -- but more
    importantly it won by being more ambitious than the other (second-rate) movies. Narratively, it was ambitious, for sure. But almost no
    one truly respected it, or anything made in 2005. "Insiders" considered '05 a terrible year for movies -- a conclusion that had nothing to do with politics, because look: racist cops & co., gay cowboys, a gay novelist, journalists fighting McCarthyism -- per Jonah, '05 shoulda been the most beloved of years.

    Without doubt, tension at Oscars time has never been about politics, but
    about older voters not grokking the newfangled. In 2002 a producer laughed because
    I said Moulin Rouge should win as nothing like it had been done
    before. He said (paraphrase), "Yes, it's the most energetic nominee, but our
    choices are crap this year ['02 almost as bad as '05], and it'll never win because the voters I
    know are pushing 80 and didn't get it at all. They don't get anything
    that isn't something they already saw twice, decades ago." He
    predicted Gosford Park. Beautiful Mind won and we both were bummed, but
    it made sense: Ambitious in timespan, true story, heartstrings, found a
    way to dramatize math, made by Opie Cunningham who had spent 40 years
    being universally likeable.

    Today I do well in office Oscar
    pools because I learned a lot while dodging
    hurled coffee mugs. Is it well done, and not too new? How personally likeable
    is the director? That's more of it than politics.

    In conclusion: Jonah read a list of nominees and then wrote a column as if informed. Jesus Christ.

  153. Aaron Evan Baker4:09 PM

    I always suspected that Camus's THE STRANGER was calling (in coded language) for the restoration of the Bourbons. Now, by God, I know it.

  154. Gromet4:14 PM

    Oh, both red and blue Americans agree that slavery should no longer be legal -- but it's only the liberals who are always shoving it down our throats. And that's why they are the real racists.

  155. bourbaki4:17 PM

    Hey man, the way the cinematographer used different filters for the different stories. That was deep man.

    Or rather it is the only thing I remember about the movie aside from the previously mentioned scene.

  156. Gromet4:17 PM

    Bad Grandpa is in fact an Oscar nominee. Best Makeup. Fingers crossed! I would love to see "Oscar-Winner" in front of that title for the rest of time.

  157. 7-Up is the Uncola, to the dismay of some on the left.

  158. Halloween_Jack4:22 PM

    I like big butts and I cannot lie, TTDOSOTL.

    These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before, TTDOSOTL.

    I am the Antichrist, and I am an anarchist, don't know what I want but I know how to get it, I wanna destroy passersby 'cause I wanna be anarchy, TTDOSOTL.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee, TTDOSOTL.

  159. Well, yeah, actually, that too, just not for emperors in general.

  160. KC45s4:29 PM

    This rekindles my rage over the "Bad Santa" snub.

  161. Join the wingnut welfare machine! Do you like Cheetos? Unpaid interns? Cruises? Do you hate hard work, despise thinking and deplore fact-checking? Then you too could be the next Jonah Goldberg!

    *See your mommy for application. Void where prohibited by the rules of decent society. Applicant may be required to surrender reason and/or soul.

  162. I know you were being (somewhat) flip, but for your
    consideration I offer;

    Skills Needed to Stay Safe and Catch Salmon From a Small Vessel on the Ocean

    - Seamanship skills; particularly small boat operating which is especially important when the wind is up on a heavy swell and the tide turn is making your environment similar tothe inside of a washing machine on the agitate cycle

    - Mechanical skills; the ability
    to fix your engine (or any other damn thing), especially under the conditions cited above.

    - a thorough
    understanding of all your mechanical/electrical gear, including downriggers, GPS, sounder, rods, reels, terminal tackle and what things found on board that can be used to open a bottle of beer (pre-twist off brands; on a bet I once found 23 and
    counting when we ran out of beer.)

    - How to read the water; any fool can throw shit over the side and troll around all day. A good fisherman knows what/when/where/what depth/how. It’s what separates a boat ride from a fishing trip.

    - How to play a fish; as a former professional guide I’m here to tell you there’s a right way and then all the hundreds of thousands of wrong ways – each unique to whomever is currently handling the rod.

    - How to land a fish; much like sitting on a lawn chair watching launchs at a boat ramp, or watching a full-keeled sailboat anchor in a tight spot, watching a neophyte play a large salmon is one of the most highly entertaining things you could ever do in your life. Plus, you can smoke and drink beer as the merriment unfolds.

    How to properly handle the product; I wouldn’t want my worst enemy have to eat
    some of the mush some sporties bring home from a salmon fishing trip. If you’re going to spend the time and money to go catch a salmon, at least know how to properly clean, store and process your

    - How to drink a lot of alcohol, imbibe in some puffies, and still remain in the vessel until you return to the dock, with fish. a highly underrated skill, this is where most newbies fall down. Funny at dockside, tragic at sea.

    There are myriad other skills needed to be a successful salmon fisherman, and you don’t learn them all at once. Actually, one of the joys of salmon fishing is the constant refinement of your own skill set, since us curious keeners are always learning something new. Of course, the absolute best part of the whole exercise is being on the ocean, which does indeed make it "nature's perfect sport."

  163. Squarely Rooted4:38 PM

    I hate these blurred lines
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    But you're a good girl
    To the dismay of some on the left

  164. drkrick4:43 PM

    Aren't they just repackaging the X-Ray Spex that used to be advertised in DC Comics?

  165. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume4:49 PM

    Yeah, wasn't that on their compilation "Such Detail and Care: 30 Years of Fffaaaaaaaaarrrrrt"?

  166. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume4:59 PM

    Oh, alright...

    WELL, PRINCE, so Genoa and Lucca are now
    just family estates of the Buonapartes


    Oh, Father, Father! Yes, I will do something with which even he would be


  167. Howlin Wolfe5:26 PM

    I'm surprised "Crash" wasn't hailed as a conservative move because it fearlessly defied libtard pc-ness with that scene with scary negro Ludacris and his buddy talking about how all the white people expect him to jack their Lexuses, then Ludacris and his buddy go and do just that. See? If they'll jack a Lexus, it ain't nothin' to steal a chain saw from BVDHanson.

  168. Howlin Wolfe5:31 PM

    I am aware of all internet traditions, to the dismay of some on the left, especially those on the left on the internets.

  169. whetstone5:46 PM

    This sounds right. I liked "Good Night and Good Luck," because it was pretty to look at and David Strathairn was in it, and David Strathairn is my spirit animal. Which seemed about as good a reason as any for movies that year.

  170. JennOfArk5:46 PM

    I'm sticking with Reams of Butthurt.

  171. BG, finally feck free5:48 PM

    That would make a fun contest: "_______________, to the dismay of some on the left."

    Of course, others on the left don't give a flying fuck, but then what would Doughy Pantload write about?

  172. Lancelot Link5:54 PM


  173. Well, but isn't that ok? I often avoid movies I think I'm not going to like because of word of mouth from people who have seen it, or know more about it than I do. Why is this some kind of weak ass thing to do? Am I obligated to see a war movie that exalts torture because parts of it might be ok for some other person? I absolutely don't have a problem with right wingers avoiding movies that they feel they won't like. If Jonah were publishing lists of movies he genuninely liked or didn't like, for whatever reason and no reason, I'd have no problem with that whatsoever. He's not obligated to find the kind of movie I'd like enjoyable and he really shouldn't have to go to it.

    I don't even agree with Roy that a zhdanovite approach that looks first at the politics of something and only secondarily at its artistic aspect is wrong. I tend not to like certain things that promote a politics I deplore. Even artistry, or claims of artistry, doesn't rescue every film from pandering or just being unrealistic. So would I see a movie about how George Bush's war on Iraq was the best thing ever and due revenge for Iraq's role in 9/11? No, I wouldn't.

  174. JennOfArk5:56 PM

    Miller Lite seems to be a new trend around here, which is fine as it is deserving of abuse. As long as it doesn't displace dildos.

  175. So is he saying a properly conservative movie would be in favor of slavery?

  176. Exactly so. Conservatives are furious that liberals made them hate on 12 Years A Slave by forcing them to compare the violence in 12YAS to the reception of violence in Jesus Christ Die Already Part I.

    And you know, all joking aside, I think this is really true for some (very small) portion of the right wing. They are truly pissed off that Barack Obama, being the Democratic President, makes all their anti democrat hate look like its anti black. Damn you, Democrats, they howl, we are just this hateful to everyone! If we'd elected Colin Powell we'd be all right with his blackness and you couldn't call us racist anymore when what we are and always will be is merely tribalist assholes who hate everyone not in our in group. Oh, I'm sorry, am I getting too loud?

  177. "Anchovy in a Teaser Head" was a great song, but I couldn't dance to it.

  178. All my men wear English Leather, or they wear nothing at all, to the dismay of some on the left.

  179. Do they make Miller Lite Longnecks?

  180. JennOfArk6:08 PM

    Well, here's the thing: it's pretty much impossible for a film to tackle in any in-depth way an issue, any issue, without picking a point of view. That's inescapable. And in fact, the more political the issue is the harder it is to stake out a point of view that doesn't cause the whole edifice to collapse under the crushing weight of polemic, which for artistic purposes, is just never (or in no case I can think of) very interesting. I am struggling with this whole issue in my writing project right now. The line between preachy and not is pretty tricky, but if it's crossed, it can ruin the whole thing.

    I'm with you in that I won't watch movies that I'm pretty sure I'm going to not like, such as Zero Dark Thirty. But since I haven't seen it, I can't really comment on its relative merit as art.

  181. I'm so Left I call 'em Saltines.

  182. bourbaki6:44 PM

    This is way off-topic, but it seems that Dinesh D'Souza just got federally indicted.

    Could Doughberg be next?

  183. M. Krebs6:46 PM

    Syllable preserving anagram: Ream of Butt Hurts.

  184. mrstilton6:52 PM

    ... to the dismay of none on the left.

  185. Spaghetti Lee6:56 PM

    Laws of Liberalism:
    1: Destroy all religion
    2: Destroy capitalism.
    3: Go see Tom Hanks movies, no matter what.

  186. realinterrobang6:56 PM

    I would guess that would depend on the the dismay of some on the left.

  187. bourbaki6:58 PM

    I walked right into that one

  188. Spaghetti Lee6:58 PM

    Shorter G-Berg: "I am too a Serious Movie Critic Guy! Look at all these movies I've heard of!"

  189. realinterrobang7:10 PM the dismay of some on the left. Namely me, who got a really bad mental image out of that. Damn, smut, that's talent.

  190. AngryWarthogBreath7:22 PM

    Well, clearly. It kept saying that she changed her money to rupees, but the airplane never let me go to Hyrule! COMPLETELY DENYING THE CONSERVATIVE GENIUS OF THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (because, monarchy)

    Also, you're supposed to work for the police, but you don't have even one gun and you can't beat hippies with a stick. Obvious lefty pacifist feminising of the armed forces (of which, God willing, the police will one day be a recognised part).

  191. smut clyde7:24 PM

    "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again."

    That is certainly one possible response to a scene of unable-to-fly dead turkeys.

  192. AngryWarthogBreath7:24 PM

    AND the dismay of some on the left.

  193. Mark_B4Zeds7:38 PM

    You put de lime in de cocunut, to the dismay of some on the left.

  194. Mooser7:43 PM

    I use to like to fish. Now I can't stand hurting them, and can fish no more. They can't even close their eyes in death, they just look at you censoriously, but sadly, like "you know, we coulda' been friends, but...." and get cloudy.
    And what would the fish in my tanks say, when I got home? Talk about opprobrious!

  195. Mooser7:47 PM

    "So is he saying a properly conservative movie would be in favor of slavery?"

    Yes, and some other pretty hideous things. But haven't conservatives been good at obfuscating those facts?

  196. glennisw7:49 PM

    I disagree, those movies were about "war is hell but we're so noble we can overcome that little problem."

  197. Mooser7:50 PM

    I'll have to see which way the wind blows before I take my position on this.

  198. Mooser7:53 PM

    "To the dismayday of some on the Left! Mandate the barricades!"