Thursday, January 24, 2019


For me the whole Covington thing boils down to this: These Catholic schoolboys acted like assholes, which is totally typical of Catholic schoolboys, as I can attest because I was a Catholic schoolboy myself and frequently behaved like an asshole. I still cringe when I think of my teenage behaviors, and am glad to have (to some extent, anyway) grown out of them. I hope these kids will, too, but there's less chance of that now that they've been celebrated as holy martyrs by rightwing crackpots. The smirk kid has had his PR-firm-crafted defense published in hundreds of outlets including CNN and been interviewed on national TV, yet conservatives act like he's the Dauphin during the French Revolution.

No doubt you've seen plenty of shit takes without trying or wanting to -- including this brain-melting Twitter spiel by Megan McArdle, which includes a lecture on physiognomonic studies ("most facial expressions are to some extent culturally constructed, even though we learn them so early we think they're innate reflections of our inner emotional state") and ends with "please do read [my column]. Also, hug someone." About the looniest is by Kevin D. Williamson, who seems, well, disturbed:
You people are a bunch of hysterical ninnies, and it is time for you to grow the hell up. 
You know who you are... 
Joy Behar, as profoundly dim and tedious a person as American public life has to offer...
...narrowly partisan, selfish, deeply stupid, entirely unpatriotic, childish, foot-stamping, fingers-in-the-ears, weeping, cooties-loathing, teary-eyed, tremulous, quavering, pansified, gormless, deceitful, dishonorable...
That's in the first three paragraphs. Later:
I’m talking about you, Ruth Graham of Slate, still trying to justify by whatever pathetic means are available what everybody with any sense knows to have been an exercise in pure horses***. I’m talking about you, editors of the New York Times. You sorry specimens are poor excuses for journalists, which, of course, we already knew. What’s more relevant here is that you are bad citizens. Trafficking in lies and distortions...
This is what passes as sweet reason in wingnut world. I recommend you read Laura Wagner's essay at The Concourse, and to watch how this incident feeds the acceleration of conservative paranoia. David French at National Review:
Hostility to traditional, orthodox Christianity is no longer confined to the white progressive elite. It’s now popular in the white Left. Liberal elites who attack traditional Christian beliefs and express contempt for traditional Christians aren’t demonstrating their disconnect from America, they’re giving their constituents exactly what they want.
White Democrats want to kill Christers -- thank God for the black Democrats, I guess; maybe French will support Kamala Harris in 2020! And at the meth labs of The Federalist, Nathanael Blake declares "a culture that considers sexual desire the essence of a person will not tolerate a rival Christian viewpoint, but stigmatize and punish it," and that liberals' "ultimate goal is a legal regime that will treat us very much like the English treated the Irish Catholics" -- prepare for Cromwellian massacre and starvation, Joel Osteen! Our sexy heresies demand it!

I wonder if any of these guys know that they're just talking to themselves and normal Americans are wondering how the fuck they can get them and their psycho leader out of government.

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