Tuesday, February 11, 2014


My throwaway statement in the update to yesterday's post seems prescient now. To recap: In 2010 Nancy Pelosi said something about the Affordable Care Act: That citizens who'd been keeping jobs (first, second, or third) just so they could keep health insurance that went with it would, thanks to the ACA, have a chance to drop it and try to become "an artist or a photographer or a writer."

Pelosi also said Obamacare left citizens free to "start a business and be entrepreneurial and take risk," but none of the brethren heard that -- their brains were too inflamed by visions of dirty bohemians spending their taxpayer dollars on Gauloises, Moleskins, and beret cleaner. Look up "Nancy Pelosi" and "musicians" on Google and mind the bullshit avalanche that tumbles forth.

But the recent CBO report concerning Obamacare's effect on job-lock brought the Pelosi art attack back -- and Jonah Goldberg offered an improvement. "[Pelosi's] been mocked for years now," claimed Goldberg, "for her repeated claims that Obamacare is an entrepreneurial bill because it would let Americans quit their jobs to, among other things, 'write poetry.'" He then made a bunch of horrible jokes about it ("spending $1.2 trillion just so we could liberate the Job-Locked Poets!") and reiterated the riff in another column ("When Nancy Pelosi says that Obamacare is entrepreneurial because it will let people quit their jobs to become poets, you can see the campus utopianism coming through").

Other wingnut outlets carried the news that Obama fucked Pelosi to make poets, and I imagined David French's otherwise incomprehensible spasm about Wendy Sherman and poetry yesterday was an unconsciously sympathetic response to a gathering meme. Today in The Hill:
Democrats pushing poetry over jobs?
...Some lawmakers, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), say that the law allows workers to alleviate themselves from “job-lock”... 
[Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey] Gowdy honed in on the remarks, saying they are part of a larger effort to smooth over flaws with the healthcare reform law and its rollout during an election year. 
“What the liberals and the Democrats want you to believe is, ‘Well, but you’ll have time to write poetry,’ ” Gowdy said. “Well, that’s great until you try and buy your grandkid a birthday present or you try and pay the heating bill.”
Made it up to Congress already! I expect some apparatchik will soon present an argument that poetry itself is anti-American. Some of it don't even rhyme!

UPDATE. AEI scholar Stan Veuger at The National Interest says this "pivot to leisure" is just spin to distract America from the Obamacare sharknado: "You declare employment 'job lock,'" he writes, "and claim that workers faced with massive new work disincentives" -- big, scary disincentives! -- "are 'choosing' to spend more time cooking, composing lyrical poetry, and becoming entrepreneurs, as Professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, a prominent Obama advisor on these issues, did in the LA Times a few days ago." Hmm, now they're blaming the poetry on Gruber; I'd like to see a source for that.

At Forbes, Kyle Smith sneers that the CBO report proves "The Obama Administration Doesn't Care Whether You Work Or Not," and by caving in to people who would "leave the workforce willingly in order to 'pursue their dreams,'" Obama is abandoning them to this dark future:
...the psychic devastation and desolation that come with losing one’s connection to the economic networks that mean much to us — socially and even spiritually. Work doesn’t just give us a paycheck, it gives us meaning and purpose.
Think of losing the spiritually meaningful moments of chat about Game of Thrones with your cubicle neighbor! And if that doesn't scare you, think of what else you'll lose -- to poetry!
Each person who decides she’d rather translate ancient Babylonian poetry than hold an entry-level office job is foregoing not only the drab cubicle but also the corner office that might have been hers 25 years of diligence later.
Yes, Smith actually brings up job security to Forbes readers -- who know at least as well as everyone else that it hasn't existed for years. He might have offered the more realistic goal of holding a drab cubicle until the company is sold out from under you and you go to work for Walmart -- but at least then you'd be uncontaminated by poetry!

UPDATE 2. Charlie Pierce: "Trey Gowdy, who gets a base salary of $174,000, will work a total of 113 days in formal session this year, in which he will do very little. I happen to know several poets, and I can say with authority that every one of them works harder than does Trey Gowdy, that Philistine meathead, largely because most of them are working two or more jobs, none of which provide benefits."

UPDATE 3. Late in the day, but there is some fine versifying by world-be Obamacare welfare Fairie Queenes in comments. These range from limericks ("There once was a fellow named Gowdy...") to loftier parodies ("My intern goes after what my eyes cannot reach/With the twirl of my tongue I encompass cheetos and volumes of cheetos...").


  1. RogerAiles11:12 AM

    Rick Santorum stands ready to condemn man on doggerel.

  2. Having thought about it for a day, I now see the merit in Jonah's bloviation. After all, why waste money on providing health care for the people who give us the music and film that we've come to demand as 21st century citizens? If anything, we should be directing those resources towards useful people, who do useful things like write posts and articles for websites that don't actually generate any money. Really, who needs art when you've got agitprop? That's way better. I mean, can art give you that strange narcosis that comes from living your entire life in a state of perpetual outrage? I rest my case. Less poets, more bloggers!

    (Guess who's been sending out queries during this nonsense?)

  3. tinheart11:21 AM

    The only poetry Republican congressmen know is about a man from Nantucket who had a most unusual personal characteristic.

  4. trizzlor11:32 AM

    “Well, that’s great until you try and buy your grandkid a birthday present or you try and pay the heating bill.”

    Pelosicare means 2.5 million grandkids will weep on their birthdays!

  5. XeckyGilchrist11:37 AM

    So yeah, Jonah, you realize that if somebody gives me a nickel to write a limerick my profit is a million dollars higher than NRO's.

  6. Oh for the luvva God... both John McCain and Paul Ryan have... sensibly and by name... identified job lock as a bad thing and something that any health care reform plan should seek to alleviate. But that was then, and now I just have to wonder if Jonah Goldberg is ACTUALLY as dumb as Trey Gowdy (which would be a real accomplishment), or if he just thinks his readers are.

  7. whetstone11:44 AM

    I'm surprised that none of the brethren are mentioning that Eliot was a banker, William Carlos Williams was a doctor, etc... oh, wait, no I'm not.

    Maybe if Pelosi framed it thus: "an artist or a fundamentalist preacher or a survivalist... start a business and be entrepreneurial and immanentize the eschaton, preparing for the day the streets run with blood under a sky of fire, instead of processing insurance claims."

  8. M. Krebs11:49 AM

    ...Some lawmakers, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), say that the law allows workers to alleviate themselves from “job-lock”...

    Huh. I did not know that "alleviate" was a reflexive verb.

  9. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume11:50 AM

    A shape with fat body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs

    But enough of Goldberg's bio.

  10. Derelict11:53 AM

    Let's face it: Such mockery of the idea that employees can now quit shitty jobs, or go ahead with plans to start a small business, or maybe retire a few years earlier--all of that is of a piece with conservatives' original intent: To bring back slavery.

    Their embrace of "the Southern Strategy" wasn't just a short-term political ploy; it was a real move to reverse the results of the Civil War by other means. I will give them some credit, though: They have at least expanded their definition of who should be slaves so that it now includes white people as well as blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.

  11. Derelict11:56 AM

    Would that be a wide stance, or a penchant for wearing diapers, or maybe some walking on the Appalachian Trail, or perhaps a need to "convert" gay men via a laying on of hands?

  12. "Beret cleaner"? You don't know nothin', man. We do not clean our berets. They are black with sin.

  13. Those comments are a real pip, too. Ever since this whole health care fracas started up, I've been consistently amazed by all people whose arguments boil down to "My life was shitty, why should it be any different for anyone else?"

  14. redoubtagain12:01 PM

    "Everyday, and in every way, I am getting poorer and poorer." Zombie Emile Coue
    They figure the third time (Black Codes, Jim Crow) will be the charm.

  15. edroso12:07 PM

    No it was not a dialect approximation and yes it's being fixed.

  16. Mooser12:08 PM

    "present an argument that poetry itself is anti-American."

    I've got one! "Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree"

  17. Mooser12:08 PM

    or purple with passion.

  18. There once was a Jonah so dumb
    He thought art a zero sum
    If the poets do rhyme
    The rich lose a dime
    To support those dirty young scum

    Written poolside in an exclusive resort under an ACA Artist in Residence Grant

  19. Mooser12:16 PM

    Oh, they don't really want to reverse the result of the Civil War, they depend to much on "Union" largesse.

    But they sure wouldn't mind eliminating the Civil Rights Laws. That is what it all goes back to. That, is when the jack-booted government thugs first got on our backs, and took away our rights.
    And by now we have "libertarians" who are conservatives so stupid they can't even remember this, nor grasp it.

  20. We also know that some of those people who might cut back their hours will do so to spend time with their kids/grandkids. For the social cons, who seem to feel that the top priority for Americans is to manufacture and program infants, this seems like it would be a good thing. But, as with any other program with potential to encourage their desired natalism, it's met with howls of outrage.

    I think it comes down to worth. Social cons are always mortified by the possibility that these programs may benefit the unworthy. In this case, they're afraid that the unworthy will become feckless layabouts, thereby draining the resources of good, honest, worthy Americans.

    It is internally consistent. It's also awful.

  21. Ellis_Weiner12:18 PM

    Pelosi should flood the zone: Say, over and over, for the record, that "Republicans want you to be chained to jobs you hate, and that you're only keeping because of health care. But Democrats want you to be able to leave those jobs, and to become poets, alchemists, troubadours, town criers, blacksmiths, wagon train scouts, or any other damn thing you want. Or just use that free time to sit around and laugh at Republicans."

  22. Mooser12:20 PM

    Gonna stick my neck out here: Ask your conservative friends how the Jim Crow segregation system worked. I bet they will tell you it was a voluntary system, allowing those who preferred to to associate only with those they perceived of as the same "race". And so the ability to discriminate becomes a "right" we have lost.
    Makes me sick.

  23. coozledad12:20 PM

    Who pays Jonah to pull those yams out of his ass?

  24. Passers-by who take pity.

  25. Ellis_Weiner12:22 PM

    Although I like "alleviate oneself" as a euphemism for urination. "Excuse me, I have to alleviate myself." Classy!

  26. Derelict12:22 PM

    I'd go with that, except that most of them don't recognize "Union largesse" as coming from the government. I know ranchers, for example, who graze their herds on government land and who do not understand that it is a subsidy to them. You see this dynamic played out most ludicrously in the "keep government out of my Medicare" signs, and you can find lots of old retirees who do not know that Social Security is a government program.

  27. Mooser12:23 PM

    They will not weep nearly as much as those who read the poetry written about the sad event.

  28. Derelict12:29 PM

    I've said it before: Don't give up! As a fellow freelancer, you have my sympathies. Getting gigs that pay enough to make it worthwhile is extremely difficult these days. It helps if you specialize, especially if your specialty is specifically technical. Judging by your posts, you're a good, clear writer. If you have some technical expertise (or experience), try parlaying that into steady gigs.

  29. Derelict12:31 PM

    Poems are made by fools, I fear.
    But only Schlitz can make a beer.

  30. All of this talk about art and wealth reminds me of something I read a while back. There are these warehouses (I believe they're called "freeports", though a search for the term suggests I may be wrong) where wealthy families store works of art. Supposedly, these places contain works by the great masters - Matisse, Picasso, Monet, you name it. The art isn't really on display, and very few people will ever see it. Then again, no one's supposed to. For the families with works in these warehouses, those masterpieces are just assets, like anything else they own. They'll use them to leverage purchases, or even sell them outright to other wealthy individuals - and because the warehouses are shared, this amounts to little more than some worker hopping on a computer and changing some figures in a database.

    So maybe the real fear isn't that people will quit their fantastic jobs to go compose faggy poems. Maybe the real fear is that someone will produce something for the sake of beauty, rather than for the sake of wealth. For a certain type of person, the prospect of someone producing something for a reason other than money is incomprehensible. If a billionaire can't leverage it, what good is it?

  31. Derelict12:33 PM

    This is evidence of how conservatives have not only changed American politics, but also change American sensibilities. We used to look at our neighbor with the union job, high wages, and guaranteed pension and say, "Gee, why can't I have that?" And then work to attain those.
    Now, we look at that same neighbor and say, "Goddamnit! I don't have those things, and neither should he!" And how we work to impoverish everyone.

  32. I've tried the technical writing thing, but since I have no specific background in it there aren't that many people willing to give me a shot. Right now, I'm stuck doing data entry for just this side of minimum wage while I wait for someone to realize that I can actually write dialogue well.

  33. so much depends

    a red faced right blogger

    glazed with freedom

    beside the white
    chickenshit voters.

  34. coozledad12:34 PM

    All day he hears the noise
    of fluids


    Sad as
    the seagull is, dropping Cheetos

    its ass,

    hears the beans cry from the cheese dip’s


    green winds, the hot winds are blowing

    he sits

    hears the noise of water breaking

    where he shits

    All day, all night, until his Aeron buckles,

  35. JennOfArk12:39 PM

    Or raspberry with...uh...Prince?

  36. coozledad12:39 PM

    Those line breaks got put there by something on the computer. I like it better. It looks like something out of my college literary annual. I'll call it Untitled 51.

  37. JennOfArk12:44 PM

    "an artist or a photographer or a writer."

    Uh...someone should tell the wingnuts that poetry is not the only literary art form.

    How does "writer" become "poet" other than "hur hur hur derr faggy poets"? I mean, I totally understand why they undervalue literary pursuits since reading is hard hard work, but at the very least they should understand that poetry is not the only thing that can be written.

  38. I don't need to ask. The latest issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Decision magazine has Phil Robertson, hero for Christ, on the front cover.

  39. Budbear12:46 PM

    There once was a man filled with gas.
    Who spent the whole day on his ass.
    "More interns" he'd cry,
    "My deadline is nigh!"
    And then some more wind he would pass.

  40. Spaghetti Lee12:54 PM

    There once was a fellow named Gowdy,
    whose mood grew increasingly cloudy,
    when he was informed,
    it would soon be the norm,
    for peons to quit their jobs proudly.

  41. The blog at the end of the mind,
    Beyond the last thought, rises
    In the bronze distance.

    A load-pantsed Jonah
    Sings in the blog, without human meaning,
    Without human feeling, a foreign song.

    You know then that it is not reason
    That makes us happy or unhappy.
    Jonah sings. His pantload smells.

    The blog stands on the edge of space.
    The wind moves slowly in the branches.
    Jonah's doughy pantload dangles down.

  42. Spaghetti Lee12:57 PM

    Jonah Goldberg cries
    'People may give up hard work!'
    Irony lies dead.

  43. Spaghetti Lee1:06 PM

    Sadly, I'm more of a prose stylist than a poet. I hope my ACA Free Slacker Cash will allow me to work on my dystopian fantasy epic about a ragtag group of brave young conservatives who take on the poetry-loving aristocracy. I haven't picked a title yet, but the hero will be Joniss Everderp.

  44. Spaghetti Lee1:07 PM

    Don't you see people? If you spend one third of your life on it, you may rise to the exalted position of manager, nay, maybe even regional manager! And you want to give up that to chase your foolish dreams? What's wrong with you?


  46. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume1:11 PM

    "I think that I shall never see."

    ~ Helen Keller

  47. irony smith, george washington university sophmore and 2014 nro intern.

  48. tigrismus1:22 PM

    Does that say yaMs or yaRNs? I need to know whether to give up root vegetables or knitting.

  49. And they wonder why they are losing the culture war...

  50. Gromet1:24 PM

    But you bought that one in a second-hand store, putting an American beret-maker out of work #jobkiller.

  51. You could just wait until your Obama-issued rhyming dictionary comes in the mail.

  52. Obviously, you went out for popcorn during the "O face" scene.

  53. They hate nonfiction writing even more, facts having a liberal bias.

  54. Derelict1:28 PM

    Kerning is always an issue!

  55. With everey atrocity I hoist another,
    with every slick sickness I bend an elbow.
    Those weere the Bush years
    when liver failure was still...
    Fuck, it ain't haiku, but don't expect effort from people with organ failure. But that would suggest I should go easy on Goldberg and... hhahahahaha.

  56. tigrismus1:36 PM

    ..the psychic devastation and desolation that come with losing one’s
    connection to the economic networks that mean much to us — socially and
    even spiritually. Work doesn’t just give us a paycheck, it gives us
    meaning and purpose.

    Working a crap job(or several) because you must is more spiritually meaningful than doing what you love and feel called to do?

  57. mgmonklewis1:37 PM

    Jonah Goldberg's
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    and eat onetwothreefourfive Cheetosjustlikethat

    he was a doughy man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your doughy pantload
    Mister Koch


  58. M. Krebs1:39 PM

    I saw the best workers of my generation destroyed by Obamacare, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to their job provider in the machinery of night ...

  59. It's true that there's no money to be made in poetry, but there's no poetry in simply making money, either.

  60. M. Krebs1:45 PM

    It builds character.

  61. Spaghetti Lee1:46 PM

    "Funny how every time I build character, he saves a few hundred bucks."

  62. Only if money is the only measure of worth.

    History remembers artists, but not necessarily money-grubbers. Quick, who was Michelangelo's accountant? Answer: Who cares?

    Mozart died poor; does that make his life a failure?

  63. Marcia Kazmierczak1:49 PM

    Yes! I've been out of work for a few months, and if I didn't need a paycheck for a few more years, I'd happily announce my retirement. I had a good job, working with people I liked, but it was still nothing like the freedom to pursue my own interests. I'm as busy as I want to be, with all the meaning and purpose I can handle.

  64. Plenty of self-identifying Libertarians are more accurately described as Neo-Confederates.

    Oftentimes, it's not the idea of government in general that they oppose, but specifically the Federal Government. These are the ones who talk about "States Rights" a lot.

  65. William Miller1:54 PM

    A dim star in our nation’s firmament
    Glows embittered when calls for sacrifice
    Fall on ears deaf to his encouragement.
    For those once burdened by employment’s price
    Now free to move as longing moves their hearts,
    Unburdened now, say fuck this mindless waste
    And fuck that useless ass with gassy farts
    Who chews upon the page like fools with paste.
    By economic whim I’ve long been locked
    Into a life that kills my fervid soul,
    My higher aspirations bleakly blocked
    And imitation of the Bard a fleeting goal.

    A reeking turd upon the internets;
    Is this the kind of work that farting gets?

  66. Pantload prefers those days when men were men, women were chattel, and artists were starving.

  67. merl11:58 PM

    According to my Conservative father who was born in 1925 in Newelton, LA it was shameful. He was not your typical con.

  68. Smurch1:58 PM

    Bet they can't pick just one!

  69. Derelict2:05 PM

    Try explaining that to anyone on the right. To them, money is truth, beauty, motherhood, and apple pie. Making money is the highest art, and the more people you crush in its pursuit, the more noble are the fruits you enjoy.

  70. Well, they're just wrong about that.

    Even though Van Gogh died without realizing any kind of financial success, I'm personally glad he didn't decide to become a banker instead of a painter.

  71. Scott P.2:11 PM

    "Each person who decides she’d rather translate ancient Babylonian poetry
    than hold an entry-level office job is foregoing not only the drab
    cubicle but also the corner office that might have been hers 25 years of
    diligence later."

    Any bets on whether people 3000 years from now will find Kyle Smith worth the bother of translating?

  72. More and more businesses nationwide are reporting half-empty cubicle floors as routine office jobs go unfilled. Observers are unsure if this is connected to ancient Babylonian poetry boom now sweeping the country.

  73. Even if she DOES have a corner office?

  74. Bethany Spencer2:20 PM

    "Work doesn’t just give us a paycheck, it gives us meaning and purpose.”

    People who can’t find meaning and purpose in flipping burgers are such assholes.

  75. whetstone2:20 PM

    My intern goes after what my eyes cannot reach,

    With the twirl of my tongue I encompass cheetos and volumes of cheetos.

    Farting is the twin of my vision, it is unequal to measure itself,

    It provokes me forever, it says sarcastically,

    Walt you contain enough, why don’t you let it out then?

    --Jonah Goldberg, Song of My Pants

  76. Spaghetti Lee2:25 PM

    I would like to exit, pursued by this comment.

  77. Bethany Spencer2:26 PM

    Upvoted for “Joniss Everderp"

  78. Do you like this sweater? Knitted entirely from yam fiber.

  79. A limerick and a haiku! You must have an excellent health plan.

  80. If the economy keeps improving, I may have to go out and buy a beret.

  81. Bethany Spencer2:32 PM

    "Each person who decides she’d rather translate ancient Babylonian poetry than hold an entry-level office job is foregoing not only the drab cubicle but also the corner office that might have been hers 25 years of diligence later.”

    Only 25 years later? Wow!!!!! Sign me up!!! I want to work at a job I don’t like so that MAYBE a quarter century from now I can have a job I don’t like with a CORNER OFFICE.

  82. whetstone2:32 PM

    psychic devastation and desolation that come with losing one’s
    connection to the economic networks that mean much to us

    There are a lot of reasons I like work beyond a paycheck--social connections, a routine, the stories and curiosities that can sustain even a shitty job, at least for awhile. One of those is not "because I would miss being a small part of 'the economic networks that mean much to us.'" In my experience, me and my colleagues over the years--I've worked for two companies in bankruptcy--pretty much live in fear of the "economic networks." If they mean a lot to us, it's because the "economic networks" give assholes the ability to massively leverage borrowed money against people's livelihoods and then drop it like a hot turd when it starts to stink.

  83. Bethany Spencer2:35 PM

    I would like to write Babylonian poetry with this comment as soon as I learn even one thing about Babylonian poetry.
    And then I’d like to take this comment to a Lesbian Theory dance class.

  84. Bethany Spencer2:36 PM

    I’m gonna study the SHIT out of some Babylonian poetry.

  85. Scott P.2:42 PM

    We're really close to the GOP adopting "Arbeit Macht Frei" as its official slogan.

  86. tigrismus2:45 PM

    I can't get over how weird the Babylonian poetry translation bit is. Does he think learning Babylonian history, language, and cuneiform well enough not only to understand the dance of sound and meaning that is poetry, but also to re-choreograph it fittingly for our foreign minds and tongues, *wouldn't* take diligence? Or give the translator's life meaning and purpose? I mean holy crap, talk about a labor of love. And something that would add more to the world than every column he's ever written.

  87. tigrismus2:49 PM

    "This painting symbolizes leveraged buyouts."

  88. Bethany Spencer2:51 PM

    Yes, I’m troubled by the idea that these sorts of pursuits are thought of as inherently bad or stupid. Instead of cool and awesome.

  89. There once was a poet of Akkad
    Whose career made wingnuts quite sad.

    His terms of employment
    No longer blocked his enjoyment
    Of rhyming on his mud tablet pad.

    [Cue interpretive dance version of "Hymn to Aphrodite"]

  90. tigrismus2:52 PM

    I like it much better than the cassava fiber sweater. It's yuca.

  91. Of course!

    It seems so obvious now that you've pointed it out...

  92. I can't get over how weird the Babylonian poetry translation bit is.

    It's the decadence. A hard stylus sinking into moist clay, the Fertile Crescent, plowing lots and lots of canals ...

  93. coozledad3:01 PM

    GILIGAMESH went abroad in the world, aboard a tiny ship, but
    he met with none who could withstand his shenanigans till he came to THE

  94. mgmonklewis3:02 PM

    Exeunt with alarums.

  95. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps3:07 PM

    Pelosi said "writer" → Pelosi is a liberal → liberals are all sissy frou-frous → sissy frou-frous write poetry → Obama is forcing you to write poetry

  96. LittlePig3:10 PM

    Goddammit I hate these people.

    I just lost out on a job because my employer-2 (Alltel) did not bother to report my employment with Experian (or, more likely, Verision couldn't be bothered to report it). Yeah, it's my fault because I keep shitty records and don't have my 2007 and 2008 W-2, although a voluntary reporting of one's previous employers being a mandatory requirement for employment still seems like an insane HR policy to me.

    I'm sure that weaselly shitstain Jonah Goldberg would consider that to be a failing of mine, not being born to a cum-chasing harridan and all.

  97. M. Krebs3:10 PM

    I'm thinking these people need to read Shop Class as Soulcraft," but they'd probably miss the point entirely.

  98. PersonaAuGratin3:13 PM

    I'm personally glad he didn't decide to become a banker instead of a painter.

    Also glad (to be receiving a paycheck) are: the corporate art curators at Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, etc., etc., etc., ...



  99. Gromet3:14 PM

    Personally, I've gotten a lot more "psychic devastation" from the years I've spent employed than I have from the time I've spent doing what I want to do alongside the people I care about. But I guess I must be unique.

  100. Howlin Wolfe3:15 PM

    A talking asshole, maybe.

  101. Very appropriate: A line from a guy who quit his job to pursue his passion, then - when his passion became his job - famously refused to compromise his work for the sake of money.

  102. glennisw3:16 PM

    If nothing else, the gift the Obama presidency has given us is to allow us to witness the absolutely hilarity of the right wing ourobouros literally eating its own previous talking points, in their compulsion to denounce every single thing he advocates. Suddenly now, entrepreneurship, owning your own business, and staying at home with your kids are EVIL and LIBERAL.
    Although I'm not looking forward to the Keystone pipeline, I'm looking forward to the day they denounce it if Obama approves it.

  103. Just out of curiosity I'm wondering who carries the insurance in Mr. Jonah's family--does NRO offer health insurance (subsidized by the taxpayer) to Jonah and his wife and children? Or does Jonah buy on the private market? Or does he get it through his wife? Not that this would affect the kind of writing he does on the topic, but it would be interesting to know just how disingeous he is about the ACA. Is cheetos addiction a covered affliction?

  104. Howlin Wolfe3:19 PM

    I know. There's a race to the bottom; the wingnut/corporatist agitprop krewe say, "Hey, it's a race!" So the benighted populace says, "Yay, a race!!" and off they gallop.

  105. Izzy Wasserstein3:19 PM

    If I were Goldberg, I'd fear poetry too. All that attention to language surely haunts his nightmares.

  106. Can't find my favorite Babylonian poem about sex and celery but here is some to listen to, courtesy of SOAS:


    Oh, here it is, its Sumerian, silly me!

    Vigorously He Sprouted

    Vigorously he sprouted,

    vigorously he sprouted and sprouted,

    watered it— it being lettuce!

    In his black garden of the desert bearing much yield

    did my darling of his mother,

    my barley stalk full of allure in its furrow,

    water it— it being lettuce,

    did my one— a very apple tree bearing fruit at the top—

    water it— it being a garden!

    The honey-sweet man, the honey-sweet man,

    was doing sweet (things) to me!

    My lord, the honey-sweet man, the godly one,

    my darling of his mother,

    his hands honey sweet, his feet honeying,

    was doing sweet (things) to me!

    His limbs being sweet, sweet honey,

    he was doing sweet (things) to me!

    O my one who of a sudden was doing sweet (things)

    to the whole (insides up) to the navel,

    my darling of his mother,

    my desert-honey loins, darling of his mother,

    you watered it— it being lettuce!

  107. Gromet3:31 PM

    I wonder if he's angry to think some hippy in 3,000 years might agonize over the artifacts of the long-gone USA. Will it be a waste of time for that guy to try giving our species access to the way we used to live? Everyone alive today will be forgotten, even rightbloggers -- and here comes our chance to amaze and influence the world once again, through this intense scholar… Eh, don't bother? Learnin's for sissies?

    Orrr do rightbloggers imagine the USA will still exist in 3,000 years? Hey, maybe it will! If we repeal Obamacare, there's a chance!

  108. glennisw3:32 PM

    what's hilarious is that all the pundits who are sneering at the idea of people pursuing literary careers describe themselves as "writers."

  109. redoubtagain3:33 PM

    I think you've just explained NASCAR's popularity.

  110. Only if Nascar was burrowing through to the earth's core, with first prize going to the sucker who dug the farthest and fastest and was willing to die in the hole.

  111. Bethany Spencer3:35 PM

    Money’s great unless you spend it at Costco.

  112. Ellis_Weiner3:36 PM

    The From Hunger Games?

  113. Derelict3:45 PM

    If you can rouse yourself from your hammock for a minute or two, I have a complete set of internets that you have won with this comment.

  114. redoubtagain3:48 PM

    I think you just described Massey Energy Company's standard operating procedures. They could call it the "Open Pit 500".

  115. Giligamesh and The Skipper at Tanagra.

  116. MikeJ3:52 PM

    If Mimi has Obamacare she doesn't die at the end. It's liberals like you that *really* want to destroy the arts by getting rid of tuberculosis.

  117. Derelict3:53 PM

    You gotta understand that "entry-level office worker" means "the offspring of some conservative leading light who will eventually fail upward to the corner office." So, yeah: If your last name is, say, Kristol or Goldberg, you're destined for that top slot no matter what happens.
    In any other context, "entry-level office worker" means "someone to be continually shat upon" by the scions cited above.

  118. William Miller3:53 PM

    And what if you just don't give a fat fuck about aspiring to the corner office? Leave it to these dicks to crack wise about Babylonian poetry as if that's the only thing that somebody who doesn't want to live his life as a cog in the machine might actually want to do.

  119. MikeJ3:54 PM

    I'm going to start alternating my uses of "to the despair of some on the left" with "it being lettuce."

  120. satch3:56 PM

    "There are these warehouses (I believe they're called "freeports",
    though a search for the term suggests I may be wrong) where wealthy
    families store works of art."

    Oh, you mean like the salt mines in "Monuments Men"? That movie reminds us constantly of the value of art as an intrinsic marker of civilization... so much so that John J. Miller would never name it as an even remotely "inherently conservative " movie.

  121. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps3:59 PM

    Cutting back on your work hours in an attempt to spite Obama voters: "going Galt", honorable, a blow to the forces of liberal fascism

    Cutting back on your work hours because you're not locked into a job you don't like or need: subsidized gay poetry, the moral collapse of society, utter psychic devastation

  122. MikeJ4:00 PM

    I still don't think they've ever really topped the outrage over the president suggesting to schoolkids that they study hard and stay in school.

  123. coozledad4:01 PM

    Desert-honey loin, house salad and water. Got it. Would you like to look at the wine menu?

  124. my favorite Babylonian poem about sex and celery

    Your favorite? There's more than one? This makes me think of "hanging gardens" in a whole new light.

  125. smut clyde4:03 PM

    Mock-translations of Sumerian poetry gave us Schwerner's "Tablets"*. Some dude with a corner office job gives us what?

    * Readings available as free MP3s, yay!

  126. Derelict4:04 PM

    Or, more accurately, "My dad died decades before his time! I wanna be just like him!"

  127. smut clyde4:05 PM

    Ah, we have re-invented Yapese Rai stones.


  128. satch4:05 PM

    It might be that in the back of their minds, they have a feeling that it'll be conservatism that reduces America to a smoking ruin whose ashes will be sifted and studies 3000 years in the future. Naah... that would require too much self awareness...

  129. Or the outrage over the First Lady suggesting that children should eat their vegetables.

  130. smut clyde4:10 PM

    As the Punch version of "Starry Night" has it, "You say you can get this stuff without a prescription??!"

  131. Well yes, yes, it should.

  132. smut clyde4:15 PM

    Evidently it was a genre.

  133. smut clyde4:17 PM

    If I left my job I would have more time to create Sumerian Sex-&-Celery images by photoshopping ziggurats into Art Frahm paintings.

  134. No, I'll have beer:

    "My sister, the beer of your barley is good,

    my honey-mouthed of her mother.

    The ale of your beer-bread is good;

    come my beloved sister.

  135. There's something, I don't know, wrong about this. But I can't put my finger on it.

  136. smut clyde4:21 PM

    I would like to send this comment on the NRO cruise around the sea-coast of Bohemia.

  137. coozledad4:22 PM

    Spread your hand there for me
    like the cover on a cup of wood shavings.

    If I had a nickel for every time I heard that...

  138. Mooser4:29 PM

    Arugula, it being lettuce, to the dismay of some on the left, has turned over a new leaf.

  139. Mooser4:30 PM

    Of course, that fellow who said the Scandinavians got here before Columbus thought he had turned over...oh, forget it.

  140. smut clyde4:30 PM

    Vaster than empires, and more slow.

  141. coozledad4:31 PM

    I'll be damned. I should have known. I can't buy an original thought, and I've been on my wife's insurance plan for years!

  142. smut clyde4:38 PM

    I left a comment on another subthread (Disqus may have eated it) about Armand Schwerner's "The Tablets".

    Also too, if "Humour in Cuneiform" is good enough for teh Readers' Digest then it's good enough for me.

  143. tigrismus5:08 PM

    Wow, he's awful. "The whole piece was standup comedy minus the microphone." Minus the wit, too.

  144. coozledad5:14 PM

    And these are the same fuckers who go batshit every time there's a sheet cake in the breakroom, or free Rubik's cube keychains with the company logo on them.

    I remember listening to a spiel about globalization and the future from some executive, after which everyone was presented with a piece of luggage with wheels and a handle.

    I was unclear on the possible legal ramifications of mailing mine back to him filled with a couple of month's worth of feces, but they weren't even paying me enough to be that pissed off about it, anyway. He was old,frail and stupid. I hope he didn't die before the "global economy" buried the fuck out of his Jersey mob "company".

  145. Its why Swamp Thing (the Alan Moore incarnation) is my favorite comic.

  146. M. Krebs5:19 PM

    My beloved met me,
    Took his pleasure of me, rejoiced as one with me.
    The brother brought me into his house,
    Laid me down on a fragrant honey-bed.
    My precious sweet, lying be my heart,
    One by one "tongue making", one by one,
    My brother of fairest face did so fifty times, . . .
    My precious sweet is sated [saying]:
    Set me free sister, set me free,
    Come my beloved sister, I would go to the palace . . .

    Yowsah! Fifty times?

  147. realinterrobang5:21 PM

    Speaking as a technical writer who broke into the field only because I had a friend who was willing to cut me a break, there's a joke in the profession: To get an intermediate TW job, you need three years' of experience as a junior TW. To get a senior TW job, you need three years' experience as an intermediate TW. To get a junior TW job, you need three years' experience as a senior TW.

    Yes, it really is that hard to break into. Ne decouragez-vous pas!

  148. That is exactly what I was thinking of.

  149. Wait, was that "colonels" or "kernels?"

  150. coozledad5:26 PM

    Set me free sister, set me free, I need to fucking rehydrate.

  151. Jaime Oria5:40 PM

    "The pyramid is opening!"
    "Which one?"
    "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!!!"

  152. Jaime Oria5:46 PM

    I, myself prefer to send my berets out to an artisanal dry-cleaners specializing in millinery, where they use only the finest craft-brewed, environmentally friendly chemicals.