Friday, August 31, 2018


Can't embed it with the credit sequence -- you can see that here
-- but the tune is good Labor Day material all by itself.

•  The amount of straight-up denial of reality that is required to sustain American conservative beliefs keeps increasing. Trump's assertion that the Lester Holt interview in which he incriminated himself was doctored is well-known because it's Trump and, owing to his social deficits and encroaching senility, his style of lying is memorably bizarre. But more professional bullshit peddlers are also getting bolder. The Washington Times currently has two dillies: First, an op-ed by Sean Durns called "Tall Tales from Iran" suggests that the U.S. didn't take a serious part in the 1953 Iranian coup. Now, Durns never says the Yanks weren't there; instead he uses a lot of weasel words to convey the impression that they were extraneous and mask the impropriety of their involvement. First he muscles the door open with locutions like "the Islamic Republic of Iran likes to claim that the United States is solely responsible for toppling the democratically-elected Iranian leader" (emphasis added), refuting an overstated claim that no one's making, then drops stuff like this:
By claiming that the United States is largely responsible for Mossadegh’s ouster, the regime kindles anti-Americanism, while hoping to mobilize support by suggesting the existence of a sinister foreign influence.
Durns isn't saying the claim is false here, but associates it with "anti-Americanism." Then he quotes sources downplaying our role in the coup -- all of them predating the release of U.S. documents showing the CIA was in it up to their elbows. Durns' conclusion: "legend is not fact. And Western newspapermen should know the difference." Har de har har. Also at the Moonie paper: Damage control for Republican idiot Ron DeSantis talking about "monkeying it up" in reference to his new black Democratic opponent, under the headline "Prominent Democrats also 'guilty' of using the phrase 'monkey around'" -- and if you're imagining Democrats using the phrase in reference to things other than black people, yep, that's exactly what it is, but the Times' Dave Boyer isn't pitching this to you, he's pitching it to people who won't know or care and just want something to yell at their younger relatives before storming off to the garage. These days it's just too easy to be dumb and there are too many people for whom it seems to be a life goal.

•  Some of you may have heard I am no longer a columnist because there is no longer a column because there is no longer a Village Voice. No l'envoi here; I gave one when the paper edition folded and all that's changed now is a small gap in my income (and larger ones in those of some magnificent editorial professionals who deserve much better, and may God bless them) and the demise of an imprimatur of which, I admit, I was proud. But one good thing about getting old is you get used to losing things. As to the future: I'm going to figure out a way to keep the commentary flowing and maybe make it pay, so watch this space.

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