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Showing posts sorted by date for query acculturated. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Thursday, October 21, 2021


Some of you may remember what fun I used to have with a little number called Acculturated, a rightwing ladymag apparently created to propagandize readers of the Seven Sisters and fashion books. They delivered some lulus, including columns by Boof Kavanaugh buddy Mark Gauvreau Judge and the deathless coochphrase “skin bus to Tuna Town,” before giving up the ghost at the end of 2017.

But wait! There is another, apparently: Something called Evie, which has apparently been operating under the radar since last year. It offers a premium print version, the covers of which appear to emulate the design of Elle, but mostly it’s online. 

I’m probably going to more fully scan the rack, as it were, for Roy Edroso Breaks It Down tomorrow, but for now I want to call your attention to this honey from August, “Man-Hating Feminism Is Turning Us Into Narcissists,” by staff writer Meghan Dillon. It’s all about how, while the good feminists of yore were about “equality and suffrage,” the kind you whores practice is about “sexual empowerment, man-hating, and bashing women who disagree with them.” Dillon also tells us that though stupid feminists think “there would be no more wars if women ruled the world” (“I even heard this sentiment echoed from history professors when I was in college”), she counters that “women can be just as cruel as men” and cites Margaret Thatcher as an example. (I’m not sure she thought that one through.) 

In defense of her thesis Dillon cites authorities like “podcast host Suzanne Venker” and Jessa Crispin, which brings me to my favorite part:

Crispin argues that this attitude leads to a sense of grandiose self-importance, making some modern feminists think they’re more important simply because they’re women. This sense of self-importance (and lack of empathy for others) leads to narcissism, as Crispin writes, “It is a failure of empathy to identify yourself only with those who resemble you. That is as narcissistic as working exclusively in your own self-interest.”

I can’t think of a more relevant example for this phenomenon than what Bachelorette fans witnessed during the season 17 finale.

Very promising! More tomorrow at REBID

UPDATE. My fuller consideration of Evie is up now

Friday, July 19, 2019


See what happens when you maintain access with the White House? You get great stories like this:
CBS News has learned President Trump took a lot of heat from his family over the racist chants at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday. He heard from first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence...
I am loving this idea of Melania registering a complaint.
[TRUMP at desk in Oval Office, fiddling with phone. Enter MELANIA in some kind of ridiculous gown.] 
TRUMP: [not looking up] How'd you slip your collar? 
MELANIA: Donald I am ver' upset wiz you. 
TRUMP: [not looking up] Get a couple grand from Mnuchin and have a nice lunch.

MELANIA: You are tellink ze women to go back and is mehking me look ver' bad.

TRUMP: [not looking up] Know what'd make you look bad? A rap in the mouth.

MELANIA: [Speaking into her two-way wrist TV] Dehncer to Mehstermind. Dehncer to Mehstermind. I hev made ze heat.

TRUMP: [not looking up] Tell Mick I say hi.
This is their outreach to women, I guess. I've mentioned at the newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!) this new Trump Women Daily thing but I rather doubt it's official. It seems to be in the line of those rightwing ladymags Ole Perfesser Instapundit used to push for (and which briefly found fruition in Acculturated and other outlets, but now seem to have shrunk to occasional items in The Federalist). The Trump Women Daily website is unready but they've been sending me emails. Behold a sample:

That oughta sway swing voters! It's pretty much all like that. And then there's the "earned" media -- like some clever propagandist circulating a clutch of female Trump operatives as Jes' Plain Trump Fans. It's all so shabby one begins to suspect that Trump's only interest is to keep the same rump of racist mouthbreathers agitated for 2020, and to demoralize, intimidate, and suppress enough Democratic voters to make that work. But it's early yet -- maybe Brad Parscale will get Trump to guest-host The View ("You bleed how many days? But for prostitutes it's much less, right?").

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


Sad news from Culture Warsyltucky:
As of January 1, 2018, is no longer publishing new content. Our archives will remain available. 
Thank you to all of our readers, who inspired us to think about the many ways pop culture matters.
I still remember back in 2012 when, seemingly spurred by Ole Perfesser Instapundit's call for rightwing ladymags (but funded by Lord knows who), this outpost began tossing (but gently! And underhand, like a lady!) little Kultur bombs like this one about how feminism is alright but Downton Abbey showed you how the old-fashioned idea of womanhood was in many ways better, particularly if you were rich: "One side of me envies the women of Downton ever so slightly," thrilled Ashley E. McGuire. "Envies the thought of my husband referring to me as 'her ladyship.'" (I can't help but think of some slobby guy in a soiled t-shirt yelling from the kitchen, "Yer meatball sub is ready, yer ladyship!")

For five years, Acculturated gave us this and more; here are my few clips from their era which may be the only memorial some of their great works will ever have -- were it not for me, who would remember McGuire's "Is Ivanka Trump America's Kate Middleton?" or that ideas like "Drugs are ruining EDM" or pseudo-academic thumb-suckers like "'Fuller House' and the Disappearance of Marriage" were once entertained by presumably straight-faced editors before being released upon an apathetic public.

Acculturated also gave an outlet for Mark "Gauvreau" Judge, a Kulturkampfer with a long history in the movement that includes a 90s attempt to spread conservatism though swing dancing ("in the revival of swing dancing, [Judge] detects a model for cultural renewal," blurbed his publisher); without Acculturated, we may have missed such late Judgean gems as
When I was in high school at Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school that prided itself on producing men who could both lay down a block and conjugate Latin, we had a term for well-rounded women: “cool chicks.”
I confess, I worry for Judge; in our low, mean, Breitbartian time, what conservative publisher will accommodate his daintily daffy style? I worry less for the many, often three-named junior misses who filled many of Acculturated's pages; consider, for example, McGuire's resume:
She has appeared on CNN, CNN International, CBS News, Fox News, PBS, The History Channel, HuffPo Live, ABC/Yahoo News Live, EWTN, and the BBC, and her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books, and the Huffington Post, among others...
Like many a pundit maudit before me, I have a soft spot for lunatics and whackadoodles, and Acculturated's Bizarro analyses often came close to appealing to that part of my nature. But that was always spoiled by my awareness that when all was said and done, Acculturated was just a wingnut welfare warm-up studio, and instead of clawing their way out of incompetence or, like Ed Wood, apotheosizing it, these writers were just going to get kicked upstairs and given tighter briefs ("Nice idea about 'Fuller House,' honey, but howsa 'bout you dumb it down for National Review into something like, 'Why Lena Dunham Is a Whore'?"), and over time whatever mad effulgence they had would cool and harden into careerism, and they would still be shitty writers. Well, there are plenty of real mad geniuses out there to fuss over.

UPDATE. Comments are a gas, by which I mean part of the toxic miasma that has poisoned Western Civilization and which Acculturated sought in vain to dispel -- but funny! BigHank53 offers a clue as to why the site's doilies-and-dogma anti-feminism became unneeded in the modern conservative paradigm: "Today, of course, everyone has realized you can just walk up to those same women and grab 'em by the pussy." Pere Ubu remembers, apparently, and obliquely refers to one of the racier wingnut-ladymag articles I've covered, posted at The Federalist because (presumably) it was too hot for Acculturated: "6 Reasons to Sext Your Husband" -- which, despite the impression its title may leave, was meant to get the wife of said husband to sext him, not as a taunt; nonetheless it did contain the deathless phrase, "skin bus to Tuna Town." Top that, Peggy Noonan!

Oh, and I found us all a treat -- the Acculturated Pinterest Page! Sample:

Back in the early 60s nobody got depressed or syphilis because they had cocktails, sexism, and Jesus; also, if you get a high-and-tight you can tell the "cool chicks" you joined the Marines. Sigh, it was fun while it lasted, guys...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


At rightwing ladymag Acculturated, Mark Tapson has written the ten millionth conservative complainer about how the artistic commissars are prejumadiced against them:
The culture leans sharply left, and in our current, highly-polarized political climate that means conservatives in the arts tend to be treated as outsiders at best and pariahs at worst. Listen to the personal experiences of conservatives in Hollywood, for example, whether “above the line” (the stars, producers and directors) or below it (the rest of the crew), and you will understand why most keep their politics in the closet to avoid bad vibes, ostracism, and/or outright hostility. The left, of course, dismisses complaints of blacklisting and bias as paranoid whining, but they are very real indeed.
Wow -- someone in Hollywood was hostile to you? Must be your politics!

Tapson has a more specific gripe, too: He claims the New York Times best-seller listings are cheating rightwing authors like Dinesh D'Souza of their proper rankings:
The Times says its list is based on “surveys” of “a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week. These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.”

Confidential context? Best assessment? Broadly popular? This sounds suspiciously unscientific and non-transparent, and does not address the evidence of the sales figures themselves. The once highly-regarded “newspaper of record” is notoriously leftist and D’Souza is a lightning rod for Progressive animosity, so the idea that there might be some manipulation of the list is not only not ludicrous, it’s likely.
This goes back to something I've been saying forever about wingnut whining -- for example, when they complain that Yale and Harvard are prejudiced against them, I always say: Why not quitcher bitchin' and instead make Bob Jones and Liberty University the intellectual lighthouses to which the best students flock? Then you won't need to worry about Yale and Harvard! Bypass the gatekeepers! Be the star you are!

Similarly, why worry about the Times rankings at all? (Shoot, Regnery doesn't -- they say they'll stop using the Times rankings in their marketing which, given their bulk-sales-to-gomers approach, probably won't make any difference.) Conservatives having been saying for decades that the Times is untrustworthy and irrelevant -- why not instead lobby for the New York Post, Breitbart et alia to have their own lists, and then you can all enthuse that D'Souza's Liberal Fascism for the Even Dumber is #1 on the American Thinker Best Seller List?

The answer's pretty obvious: These guys don't really believe what they say they believe. They don't want the path cleared so they can be judged by the wide world on their own merits. What they want are the glittering prizes their enemies dispense, because somewhere deep in their blackened little souls they burn with desire for the approbation of the people they spend their days raging against, like spurned teenage suitors. And, if they can't have the prizes, they can at least retain the boogiemen -- Hollyweird! Eggheads! Shut Up and Sing! -- that they and their yokel supporters can invoke whenever they feel like having a good cry about how persecuted they are.

For his coda, Tapson then tacks on another popular rightwing favorite: Let's Put on a Culture! (A nice one, not that entarte kunst those liberals do.)
The upshot is, it’s time for conservative artists to do more than complain about the culture bias; it’s time for us to -- first and foremost -- create great art (or none of the rest of it will matter), and secondly, create alternative distribution channels to disseminate it: magazines, networks, publishers, production companies, studios, awards shows, foundation grants, everything the left used to create the current infrastructure that favors its worldview.

The technology for this transformation is available. The funding is available (if only moneyed conservatives had the vision to use it effectively). All that’s necessary is the will.
Yep, all it takes is the will, and the endless, fruitless quest to get Rupert Murdoch to finance your hard-hitting dramedy about the Knockout Game. I hear this kind of thing a lot, and the payoff is nearly always a dud or a grift -- take the sad cases of Liberty Island and Declaration Entertainment. It's not that I think they can't do it; it's just that I think the real conservative artists are just making their art rather than boo-hooing about bias -- notwithstanding the former is much harder than the latter. Try to imagine Evelyn Waugh crying that the Labour Party was keeping him down.

I understand the emotions, but outside of ungovernable obsession I don't understand why they post and print so much about the subject in public where people can see it. I can see bitching at the liberal media if you're a politician -- it may convince your voters the stories they tell on you are false. But what's even the point of crying about how Big Artistry isn't fair to your play, book or film when your readers probably only ever watch Game of Thrones and Clint Eastwood movies, and only ever pick up a book to smash flies? Maybe it's an easy space-filler for when one of their propagandists calls in sick.

UPDATE. I realize that quoting wingnut comboxes is the lowest form of comedy but I ain't too proud for it when the lulz are this good: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit aggregates the story and her commenters are -- well, look how some cowboys answered "Is it Time for Conservatives to Create an Alternate Culture?"

Go over there and look, it's hilair. Sample: "I thought conservatives already had an alternative culture. I thought it was called church."

Friday, March 17, 2017


The kids are alright.

• Though Salena Zito is alicublog's favorite White Working Class Whisperer, we don't sleep on J.D. Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy guy who, though he went to Yale and became a rich investment capital executive and a National Review writer, still feels for his kinfolk back in Skunk Holler (actually, according to his official bio he "grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky" -- a WWC twofer!) and really understands why they went for Trump (which, of course, is very different from supporting Trump himself, though he never gets around to saying what the difference is). The other day Vance told his many rustic fans (at least those who read the New York Times) that he was "moving home" with the noble goal of "founding an organization to combat Ohio’s opioid epidemic." Thus he will do his bit to reverse the "brain drain" that Charles Murray worries about, and bring jobs and purpose to Rust Belt Middletown and --

Hang on -- you say he's not moving to Middletown? He's moving to Columbus? Or, as the hipsterrific ads call it, Cbus?

Columbus Monthly explains:
Though Cincinnati is closer to his hometown, Vance chose Columbus for its more convenient airport, central location and availability of promising job opportunities for his wife, Usha, a lawyer and fellow Yale Law School graduate. Speaking before an event hosted for him at Miranova by Columbus power couple Larry and Donna James, Vance, an Ohio State graduate, said he and his wife plan to move to German Village with their two dogs, Pippin and Casper.
Somehow I doubt Pippin and Casper are coonhounds.

• Back in 2009, The Editors of National Review blasted the DNC for referring to obstreperous attendees of Obamacare Town Brawls as a "mob," and Democratic officials for avoiding such events:
The DNC’s ad, “Enough of the Mob,” abominates those Americans who show up to address their congressmen and to exercise their constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to petition their government for redress of grievances. You know, that old pre-hope-and-change, hopelessly retro, pre-messianic democratic stuff...

The most mockery-inviting aspect of all this is that Obamacare-supporting Democrats are now ducking constituent meetings back in their home districts, afraid to face questions from the people they are paid to represent. Given the Obama team’s contempt for these people, and its utterly dismissive attitude toward their concerns, is it any wonder “the mob” doesn’t want Obama in charge of their health care? Obamacare will constitute an injury to Americans’ well-being — and the president now adds insult to it.
Today, with the disastrous Trumpcare bill being muscled through Congress, and Republicans ducking their own Town Brawls, The Editors haven't got the nerve, so they've hauled in some poor lady from Acculturated, rightwingdom's single-A farm team. Her headline:
Stop Trolling Politicians at Town-Hall Meetings
There follow several grafs from a History of Town Halls term paper, then:
This is the new political coliseum, and while there aren’t lions, chariots, and sparring with swords, there is the aura of the melee rather than deliberative debate...

The best town halls will always be places to gather and debate, sometimes heatedly. But if this crucial democratic tradition is to survive our fractured age, we should embrace civility during town-hall meetings, and save the angry trolling for Twitter.
NR performs its duh diligence, the Acculturated lady gets a top-drawer writing credit, and no normal people ever see the column. Everybody wins!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Welcome back to the pages of alicublog,  Ashley E. McGuire of Acculturated!
Is Ivanka Making Motherhood Great Again?

Is Ivanka Trump America’s Kate Middleton?
Quick primer for the uninitiated: Acculturated is one of those wingnut ladymags commissioned by culture warriors to make young female conservatives feel less lonesome. Their philosophical tradition is Kinder, Küche, and Kirche, but they seem to worry their target will find this dowdy and depressing in its pure form -- like Woman's Day meets Soviet Life -- so they try, as here, to glam it up.
In this viral photo posted on Ivanka’s Instagram page the day before the Inauguration, America’s new first daughter channels the Duchess rather mightily.

In the picture, Ivanka is rocking the whole Duchess package: walking down the red-carpeted steps of a private jet in nude stilettos and a gorgeously tailored outfit, with an incredibly intact blowout with a babe on one hip and a child holding her other hand.

There are entire Google image archives devoted to pictures of the Duchess coming down airplane steps with babies and toddlers in tow.
Great thing about the Internet -- something for every kink! McGuire cites one of her fellow Kate 'n' Kids furries who thrills to the Duchess towing tots in heels, specifically; "a bit precarious," he swoons. McGuire responds:
It is precarious. It’s also precarious trying to be both a mom and a public figure in today’s world: yet another parallel of mastery between Trump and Middleton.

Kate Middleton has done an exceptional job of making motherhood glam again. Unlike American celebrity moms, she doesn’t post on social media about being covered in throw up and never getting any sleep. She doesn’t complain in interviews about the travails of parenting. She doesn’t post the makeup-less 3 a.m. selfie that is supposed to make us think she is a “real mom” like the rest of us. Yes, she has the royal P.R. straight jacket on...
Straitjacket, surely? Or does she know something we don't?
...and yet, she demonstrates her authenticity in motherhood with the obvious care she puts into her children and the genuinely warm way she behaves with them, even under the camera’s glare. She commits the ultimate crime in today’s post-feminist world: She appears to enjoy being a mom, and lets the media run with that perception.
Being a mom must be heaps of fun if you're married to royalty with an army of nannies and minders to take the kids, clean you up, rub your shoulders, and put cream on your nipples as soon as the photographers leave. Speaking of promo, now to suck off The Leader!
Like Middleton, Ivanka has allowed herself to be very much defined by her role as a mom. While Ivanka has a demanding career, she seems proud to let the paparazzi make a fuss over her family life too, occasionally doing what Middleton does not, sharing a more candid and makeup-free moment with her kids with the world.
Which is gross when less conservative celebs do it but she has a way don'tcha think?
...It’s easy to scoff at Middleton’s lack of a career, but she is one of the most scrutinized women in the world.
"Object of male gaze" has been a career for many women, honey, but rarely so remunerative; that it's a crap deal only gets more obvious (thanks in part to the gruesome example of Ivanka's dad!). That's why Teen Vogue is woke and you're a snore.

Monday, August 01, 2016


So I'm idly flipping through National Review when I find this by Ian Tuttle:
Novelist? Essayist? Short-story writer? From our friends at Taliesin Nexus, for creative types who love liberty...
"Love liberty" is the hi-sign -- like "getting a little dark in here" and "I hate fags." There follows a prize pitch familiar to readers of Writers Digest: "Calling the next great American author! If that’s you, then September 9 – 11, 2016, have us fly you out to New York City, put you up in a hotel, and spend an entire weekend developing your work at the Calliope Authors Workshop..." This connects us to Taliesin Nexus which, it turns out, was previously pimped at National Review in 2015 by John J. "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs" Miller as "a 'safe space' for libertarians, conservatives, and other right-leaners who want to work in the arts." I guess they've gotten secretive, since you know how Liberal Fascists are always oppressing rightwing artists.

Anyway, Taiesin Nexus connects us to a delightful blog, "a (loosely affiliated) beta project of Taliesin Nexus," called Smash Cut Culture. Its slogan is "Liberate the Culture" -- in case you haven't caught on that what's happening here is culture war, as opposed to what the libtards call "culture" -- books, movies, pah! What's wanted is wingnut propaganda essays, and Smash Cut Culture's got loads. Here's one:
Sexy Panties and Prison: What Orange is the New Black Can Teach Us About The Regulatory State
Wait, don't go yet -- let's give author Anne Butcher a chance!
If you are a fan of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, you already know that far too much of Season 3 was spent telling the tale of Piper’s Prison Panties. As a fan of the show, I was a bit sad that the screen time invested in this plotline was not spent on some of the more interesting ones. But as a libertarian, I must say that the way this story concluded in Season 4 provides a great parable for how regulation hurts people in the real world.
Yeah I want to run too, but wait -- she's talking about an ep where the female prisoners sell their used panties to pervs (though Butcher seems shy about saying so). Let's see what the libertarian angle is!
At the start of Season 4, Piper has gotten cocky. After mercilessly disciplining some of her rogue employees, she loves her new position of power within Litchfield. But as in the real world, money-making ideas breed imitators. Just like Apple inspired Microsoft, and Coke inspired Pepsi, Piper’s Prison Panties inspired a copycat business as well. This new business, lead by Maria, draws many of of the Latina inmates into the illegal panty trade, and Piper is not happy about it. 
In the real world, there are constantly new startup businesses challenging more established ones. This is a good thing, as it can inspire all businesses to be more innovative, gives the consumers more options, and give employees more freedom to leave unfair employers. Of course we’ll never know if that’s what would have happened to the used panty industry of Litchfield Prison because like other established business people before her, Piper decided restrictive rules were preferable to a free market.
..In real life, protectionist regulation doesn’t just hurt the businesses that challenge more established competitors. It can hurt the consumers who have to pay higher prices.
Yeah, freaks who buy cooze panties from prisoners. Fuck, what's the use of talking to this nutty chick. Elsewhere at SCC:
The Original Ghostbusters: More Than Just Busting Ghosts?
BE NICE, author Brodie Cooper is not like the fedora-heads in your building, bitching about bitches who ruined their childhood. This is about the original, and stupid in a mostly different way:
A lot of public frustration over the government bureaucracy tends to stem from its inaction or overaction resulting in the loss of an individual’s ability to control his or her own decisions. In the case of Ghostbusters, the EPA, which represents bureaucracy, ends up interfering and shutting our heroes down. 
Oh fuck -- the planet is being boiled like a frog, and Cooper is still all about William Atherton getting slime dumped on him because statism.
A recent New York Times poll found that 54 per cent of Americans believe over regulation has stifled economic growth. Furthermore...
OK, Brodie Cooper has ruined my youthful Ghostbusters experience  -- except she's a woman, so yay feminism, it's Thatcherrific. Let's see what else they have --
South Park’s Stance On Censorship: More Relevant Than Ever?
AHGGGHH! OK, I quit, let's go to Acculturated and make fun of Mark Judge.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


It may seem as if I'm picking on Mark Judge of culture-war catastrophe Acculturated, but look, it's a busy day and sometimes you just have to take the easy lay-up. His latest is about how men should be able to go out with other men -- no, he doesn't mean anything gay, though it does get physical -- when Judge hangs with his old school buds "it’s noticeable how physical our friendships still are, even decades after we graduated. At reunions we tend to fall back on the age-old male expression of affection—light punches on the shoulder, a bear hug, even playful wrestling after a few beers." (I would pay good money to see Judge's remake of Cassavetes' Husbands.)

Judge's plea is actually for Boy's Night Out, which leads me to ask: so who's stopping you? Like all culture-warriors, he thinks behaviors of which he disapproves reflect political ideologies:
Both feminists who hector men to spend every moment with them—making sure all activities are of equal time—and conservatives who argue that a man’s entire life should revolve around his family, are both presenting ideas that are harmful to men.
Hectoring men to spend every moment with you -- isn't that from Our Bodies, Ourselves (That Includes You, Larry)? And even the comedy strawmen that pass for conservatives here at alicublog don't think "a man’s entire life should revolve around his family" -- how then, for example, would married preachers ever get away to Bible conferences for anonymous sex with men?

Here are my two favorite parts of the thing, devoid of context because who gives a fuck:
Feminists of course will take this (like everything else) the wrong way—I’m mansplaining why women don’t feel stress, etc.—but it’s actually a compliment.
The decision was instant and near unanimous: No. All it took to make the right call was a reminder of last year’s monkeyshines: the drinking, pick-up games, late night skinny dipping in the ocean, frank talk about women and sex. We needed to pick the insects and fleas off of each other, and that was best done without girls.
Readers Who Liked This also enjoyed "Why the ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Sequel Should Focus on Fatherhood," which amazingly exists but was written by somebody else.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


As a young'un, Marco Rubio got tagged by the cops for drinking beer in a park; when the story recently came to light, he laughed it off. Credit where due: I am in sympathy with anyone who has brownbagged his bottle, even if he later turns out to be a shit, as Rubio has. And though his team's "humorous" response is not actually funny, and implies the Washington Post reported his youthful transgression to attack him rather than to generate a more clickbaity story, at least it's dismissive.

That is how I would leave it, but for the gloss of Mark Judge, the artist formerly known as Mark Gauvreau Judge, at Acculturated, my favorite culture war/wingnut welfare cluster. Judge isn't satisfied with good news for Rubio -- he wants thinkpiece fodder! And so:
Rubio hit back with a fake ad revealing his other crimes—coloring outside the lines, double-dipping potato chips. The episode was a seemingly small political blip, but it inadvertently points to another problem: We need to stop trying to prevent our boys and men from being boys and men.
It's Routine 19 -- the feminaziation of our boys by libtards! But Judge doesn't know when to quit:
We need to let them feel passion and lust and adventurousness and act on it. We need to let them get in trouble, drive fast cars, and chase girls. The dark and dangerous part of them—us—that does these things is also the place that can call forth great leadership....
He seems to have upgraded "teenager drinking beer in the park" to the Scarlet Pimpernel.
The Rubio “story” in the Post reveals how our culture has become uncomfortable with male behavior. On one hand there are the liberals who seem to celebrate any kind of sexual expression except heterosexual manhood, which they aim to deride and ultimately destroy...
Guess Judge would be happier if the Post ran items like "How to Knock a Bitch Up" in the Sunday Comics.
Both left and right attempt to do the same thing: stamp out the shadow. The shadow is an idea from Jungian psychology...
Ugggh I'll spare you -- oh, wait, get this:
The shadow is crucial to psychic health, and particularly powerful in leaders (both male and female). Think of the classic Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk was literally divided into two people, one good and one evil. While the evil Kirk...
Urkel just called Judge a nerd. Eventually:
Rubio’s satirical response was fine, but it would have been better if he had embraced his shadow, freely admitting that as a young man he felt lust, the thirst for danger, anger, and even depression.
Jesus Christ, I would so love it if Rubio read this, felt inspired, flew Judge down for some intensive speechwriting work, and at the next Republican event answered his first question, "Sure, we're all against Obamacare, but what I really want to talk to you about tonight, America, is this: How you ever, when you were young and high on teenage angst and MDMA, made it with a girl who's into superstitions, black cats and voodoo dolls? Who'll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain --  make you live her crazy life but she'll take away your pain? Like a bullet to your brain? Come on!"

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


I guess it's time for another stroll around Acculturated, the wingnut welfare training school for the shock troops of the cultural revolution. But there's less overt craziness there these days, it seems; maybe they've given up on trying to get attention outside the WW community. For example, what is one to do with something like "Celebrities, Please Stop Talking About Menopause," which author Charlotte Hays asks because, well, who knows -- this is as close as she gets to a reason:
But embedded in the current menopause talk is the notion that menopause was once a stigma from which women are now boldly freeing themselves. No, it was never a stigma. It was a fact of life. But it was private.
There are certain things about which one simply does not talk because they are disgusting -- like defecation, or menopause. And definitely don't tell your little girl that she can be anything she wants when she grows up, that's just too "vacuous" and "tiresome," says Carrie Lukas (seen before here). Sometimes I think the brief at Acculturated is "Advocate for a world in which no man ever learns anything about women except they're supposed to smell nice and wait for marriage to fuck them."

Thank God, then, for Mark Judge, who tells us that the new James Bond movie is really about "what is arguably the modern social problem that is at the root of all other social problems: fathers abandoning their sons":
Whereas Steve Jobs won’t acknowledge his own daughter, being too busy creating machines that will turn people into petulant narcissists, Bond ventures into the world, throwing himself into danger and accepting the mantle of father figure – and not just for one child, but for an entire civilization. Beneath his cynicism Bond loves Britain and Western Civilization. In his designer suits and gold watches he is a brutal but sophisticated guide for the soft boys and weak Millennials of today... 
In his novels, Bond creator Ian Fleming gave 007’s family a motto: “The world is not enough.” This reflected Bond’s Scottish-Catholic roots – the idea that the things of this world are not sufficient to attain happiness or salvation.
That's why he was always helping those pretty ladies say their prayers at night, see. Now that's the kind of thing we expect from Acculturated! Maybe we should think of this as a rebuilding year and come back later.

UPDATE. In our comments, which are as always very good, some readers note that Judge includes the Steve Jobs movie in his paradigm, with Jobs symptomatic of the wages of fatherlessness, and Bond, who was adopted and had, in essence, two daddies, of the blessings of fatherfulness. "Somehow, James Bond is the well balanced personality, and Steve Jobs is an empty husk of failure," observes Downpup E. "Imagine an editor, staring blankly into the void, and finally shrugging: 'Hopeless. Just run it as it is.'" Some funny stuff about Orbis non sufficit, too.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


In 2013 Katrina Trinko told USA Today readers that, instead of raising the minimum wage to help those moocher fast-food workers make a living, right-thinking consumers should "pressure fast-food companies to allow tip jars, so that people who wanted to pass on more to the workers had a way to do so." Well, big cities are still raising the wage, and Trinko has turned around, in a way: At Acculturated she now says she'll even countenance the evil of a minimum wage hike if it's used as a substitute for tipping in restaurants.

It's neither an obviously terrible nor an unheard-of idea. Is Trinko attempting conservative outreach to working people in election season? She certainly expects to benefit from a no-tip world herself: "I’m ready for relaxing dinners that don’t end with me having to calculate percentages." And she makes a feint at arguing that the waiters would benefit, too:
Imagine getting a performance review from someone who had worked with you part of one day (a day that might or might not be typical of your experience), and who likely knew little to nothing about your job. Most of us would (rightfully!) protest. We’d point out that the person simply wasn’t qualified to rate how well or poorly we did our job.
But the more she talks about it, the clearer it becomes that she's not worried that this poor performance metric harms waiters; she's mainly concerned that it's inefficient ("the data show that when it comes to judging the excellence of restaurant servers, we are lousy"). The real object of her concern comes out in a passage I'm surprised they left in:
Businesses have other ways besides tips to hold workers accountable for customer service. When I worked at Borders (R.I.P, non-virtual bookstore), managers constantly observed our interactions with customers, and mystery shoppers and callers made sure we stayed on our best behavior.
See, there's an alternative model! You get the feeling that Trinko is more concerned waiters might be getting away with something than that they might be under-compensated -- like she saw the scene from The Grapes of Wrath where the truckers leave a large tip for a waitress ("What's it to ya?"), and her face burned at the injustice of it.

Coincidentally, I saw a story in MIT Technology Review today about workers on a construction project "being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress." It includes one of the more depressing gifs I've seen in a while:

Again, getting rid of tipping might be great, and feel free to debate it in comments. But I am very aware that the scene above is what innovation generally means to the people who cut paychecks, and that's why, when people like Trinko make even reasonable-sounding neoliberal proposals about improving the world of work, I keep my guard up. 

UPDATE. Comments are very sharp; among the tales of woe from the New Workplace, derelict's:
But that, I guess, is not as bad as what one of my sister-in-laws put up with when she worked for Ameritech. They forced all employees to go on "retreats" at which the employee's personality was broken and remade into what the company wanted it to be--pliable, conformist, unquestioning. The "counselors" used the same techniques that cults use. The company did not simply demand that you do your job competently--it demanded your soul, the totality of your being in exchange for a paycheck, some meager benefits, and the knowledge that you could be terminated with no notice at any moment.
There are several references to Taylorism and the cult of efficiency (I'm surprised no one brought up Modern Times). The abovelinked article contains this apposite journal quote:
The last quarter of the twentieth century has seen an erosion of job security in both manual and professional occupation… employee involvement schemes in manual production and the growth of temporary employment, outsourcing and project-based teams in the professions have influenced working conditions in both settings… these practices represent not a departure from scientific management, as is often presumed, but rather the adoption of Taylorist principles that were not fully manifested in the era of mass production.
The authors refer to this revival as neo-Taylorism, but I'm more partial to the term neo-Feudalism, as it makes more vivid the respective roles and conditions of serf and baron.

A few commenters lingered over Trinko's claim that she yearned for relief from the awful burden of calculating a tip, which strikes them and me as rich. Commenter Gabriel Ratchet says he heard one of the Freakonomics guys making a similar claim ("YOU'RE AN ECONOMIST FERCHRISSAKES!! FIGURING OUT PERCENTAGES IS PART OF YOUR FUCKING JOB DESCRIPTION!!"). I can find no evidence Megan McArdle has complained about tipping too (seems a natural, no?), but one of her summer replacement drones, Courtney Knapp, got into it in 2010; she talked about the "complicated etiquette of tipping" as if a coffee-shop were the Court at Versailles, and sniffed that "there is little evidence that tips are related to objective measurements of quality service." Again, I'm open to reason, but the fact that libertarians feel the need to make such self-evident bullshit arguments on behalf of this idea is at least one strike against it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


I haven't been paying proper attention to Acculturated, that most enjoyable culture-war make-work project, so thanks to alicublog commenter mortimer2000 for alerting me to a new column there by Mark Judge (known as Mark Gauvreau Judge in an earlier incarnation). It's called "'Manhattan': Remembering a Near-Great, Near-Conservative Film." Get a load:
Manhattan was famously shot in glorious black and white by Gordon Willis, who passed away in March. Manhattan is also, at least at times, a conservative film. This sounds absurd about a Woody Allen film, but it’s useful to remember that Allen has always had a lot of criticism for the cultural revolution of the 1960s. His films often poke fun at drugs, radicals, rock and roll, and the movie industry. Allen’s obsession with sex and younger—much younger—women has often obscured this fact. But without it, Allen could write for National Review.
Well, he could still serve as president of Hillsdale College.

Anyway: the fact that Woody Allen's character Isaac has the hots for the Diane Keaton character Wilkie, even though she believes in God and talks smack about Norman Mailer, proves to Judge that "he’s a New York liberal with a conscience that tells him that Wilkie may have a point," because there's no bigger turn-on than philosophical differences, look at James Carville and Mary Matalin, preferably not before lunch. Also, Isaac is mad at his lesbian ex-wife -- which has to be a moral imperative, because it can't possibly be the kind of psychological reaction you'd expect Woody Allen to have to a woman who left him for a woman -- and also has character-building tips for his underage girlfriend:
Isaac criticizes his young girlfriend Tracy for being raised in the Sixties.
I hope you've learned your lesson, young lady! Next time pick a responsible decade to be born in.
“You were brought up on drugs and television and the pill.” He then adds that he believes “people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.” Then, disgusted with the drug-taking hippies who produce his show, Isaac quits. This is not a member of the Weather Underground.
No, this is typical Woody Allen, a crabby guy who likes to lecture his friends about God and death -- and in the end gets his comeuppance from, surprise, the teenage girlfriend, which shows at least a little self-awareness on his part. In Judge's view, though, "Manhattan sets up a great premise and then fails to deliver" and guess what, it doesn't have to do with anything as puny as art:
Keaton’s Mary Wilkie arrives as an intellectual equal to challenge Allen’s assumptions. Then, just as suddenly, she and Isaac fall in love and she loses all of her edge. She vacillates when she gets involved with a married man, Isaac’s best friend Yale. Where she was once fearlessly direct, she becomes dithering and morally uncertain. It’s fine to have characters who have self-doubt, in fact it makes for a more compelling film—and a fresh alternative to so-called Christian and conservative films, which give us square-jawed protagonists who get all their answers from God.
Allen will be relieved to hear he avoided this pitfall.
But you don’t establish a powerhouse female character who dismisses liberal journalists as “schmucks... mired in Thirties radicalism,” and two scenes later have her almost begging Woody Allen for a date.
I have asked this many times but: Has Judge ever met a real person? Or at least seen a Whit Stillman picture? Eventually Judge tells us how he would have made Manhattan:
How different and better Manhattan might have been had Allen just gone with the initial premise of the script: a middle-aged TV writer who is uncomfortable with the Cultural Revolution meets a sharp journalist who validates his doubts. They don’t become born-again Christians, but they do navigate their way to a better moral place. He stops dating teenagers, and she stops fooling around with a married man.
I'm on the edge of my seat! You won't be able to sell tickets fast enough! Maybe for the foreign markets, though, in the third act we should have them go on vacation to the Grand Canyon, and have one of those humorous encounters with wildlife Allen's so good at.

Next week at Acculturated: "Citizen Kane -- So much better without the class politics."

UPDATE. Comments are already fun! Gromet:
Chapter one: He adored Tulsa. He idolized it all out of proportion. Uh, no. Make that He romanticized it all out of proportion. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of Toby Keith...

Friday, April 03, 2015


One of the funniest things by two of the funniest people of all time.

•    It is axiomatic that Jonah Goldberg can make anything worse, and the Indiana RFRA case is no exception. Here he shows evidence of having been crammed with some libertarian revisionism: Goldberg argues that the pre-"clarification" RFRA was not like Jim Crow because Jim Crow was really about economic oppression -- because everything is! -- and had nothing to do with anything so gauche as violent prejudice against a despised minority, and still less to do with political power:
Of course, the more infamous Jim Crow laws were aimed at barring blacks from being able to vote. But there was a pernicious logic to such efforts. Denying blacks the vote, even in states where they were the majority of citizens, guaranteed that they couldn’t overturn racist state economic regulations. 
In fact, says Goldberg, Confederate businesses loved serving black people, but because a flood of emancipated black workers caused a labor shortage (forget it, he's on a roll), both blacks and black-loving shopkeepers were Jim Crowed into submission not by the Klan nor by the White Leagues, but by Big Business -- you know, the people conservatives worshiped as gods until Tim Cook said he was gay. "Ultimately," says Goldberg, "the federal government had to use just coercion to crush unjust state-government coercion," without mentioning that his own magazine was against that "just coercion" every step of the way; they affect to feel sorry about that now, and one would like to think that they'll apologize for their absurd attitude toward gays fifty years from now (if they and the nation last so long), but alas, Goldberg shows that they haven't really learned a thing:
In Indiana, the most vocal and arguably the most powerful voices against even the perception of anti-gay discrimination have come from the business community. And, one suspects, there are plenty of people in the wedding-planning industry eager for such business. 
We could impose a fine on recalcitrant religious wedding photographers. But the market already does that, every time they turn away paying customers.
They still think Title II is an injustice and don't want it applied to anyone else.

•  One Bob & Ray thing isn't enough: Enjoy this bit -- first four minutes of this clip from the Letterman show, but the rest is okay too -- in which "Barry Campbell" talks about his disastrous opening in the play "The Tender T-Bone."

•    From the Weird Reaction file: You may have seen the fascinating story of a suitcase full of photos, receipts, and diary entries chronicling a German businessman's extra-marital affair forty-five years ago that has been revived as a gallery show. Most of us find it interesting or creepy or a spur to reflection. Ole Perfesser Instapundit, however, reacts thusly:
IT WASN’T AN AFFAIR, it was performance art. Bow down and don’t criticize, philistines!
Most of the time I think Reynolds is just putting it on for the rubes, but sometimes it seems he really is that weird mix of Babbitt and Nathan Bedford Forrest he plays on the internet.

•    Speaking of the arts, I went over to Acculturated to take in the latest by Mark Judge, or Mark Gauvreau Judge or Gark Jauvreau Mudge or whatever he calls himself these days. He's sighing over a 1954 Sports Illustrated cover showing a pretty girl in a modest one-piece bathing suit largely obscured by sea spray. As you may have guessed, this inspires a meditation on how much sexier things were before sideboob.
More than fifty years later, the Pamela Nelson photo ignites my passion more than anything that is in the hyped, recently published 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. The photographs in the new swimsuit issue are dull. The poses are clichéd, similar, and the models look like cyborgs. There is the arching-back pose. The bedroom-eyes-on-the-beach shot. The backside shot (or shots). Did I mention the arching-back pose?

In our culture today, pornography has excelled at titillating the masses, but is poor at capturing the soul. And no matter what our sex-drenched society tells us, sex is sexier when the soul is involved.
Every single one of the poses named above comes with a link, so Acculturated readers can decide whether they want to beat off to contemporary or vintage pin-ups -- which I guess is how some people measure cultural seriousness. Chacun à son gout is very very true...

•    Still speaking of the arts, this is from a report on wingnut intellectual George Nash's speech to the Philadelphia Society last month:
“Many conservatives, of course, including many in this room, are laboring valiantly and effectively in the realm of cultural renewal,” Nash said. “But as a historian I am constrained to note that the ‘progressives’ in this country continue to predominate in the production of culture, and in the manufacture and distribution of prestige among our cultural elites. As long as this imbalance continues, the fate of post-Reagan conservatism will be problematic.”
Do remember this, dear reader: You may think of novels, plays, ballet, music, etc. as works of art that illuminate the human condition, but to the great minds of the conservative movement they are merely widgets in "the manufacture and distribution of prestige among our cultural elites." Their policies are inhuman, that is, because they don't really relate to humanity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Haven't looked in for a while on Acculturated, the culture-war jump school for would-be Douthats that has given me much pleasure in the past. There's currently a post-Grammys piece there by Mark Judge, the artist formerly known as Mark Gauvreau Judge, beginning thus:
Don’t make Sam Smith gay. 
That is to say, don’t make Sam Smith a representative of the gay community and a symbol for all things gay.
See, Judge hates it when people see sexual orientation -- that is, when gay people recognize gay people -- and also when people see color -- like when black people tell Iggy Azalea to fuck off. It all goes back to a youthful trauma:
When I was in college, the British duo the Pet Shop Boys were key contributors to the soundtrack of my young life. The Pet Shop Boys are gay.
[Blink. Blink.]
When I heard their first album Please in 1986, I felt that delirious swoon of falling in love with a piece of musical art...
I followed the Boys for years, but something started bothering me: they increasingly became known as a gay band and not just a band. Great songs like “King’s Cross,” “Liberation,” and “It Always Comes as a Surprise” were subordinated to the larger theme of homosexuality. The Pet Shop Boys were not brilliant songwriters who could touch the hearts or people all over the world—they were “queering pop.” It was like only selling Van Morrison’s music in Irish pubs...
I was a suburban kid at a Catholic university who occasionally snuck a look at Playboy. If I was to listen to the journalists, and the political club goers, and the subculture police, I would have turned myself away. Because I wasn’t the target audience.
The Gay Gay Gay took my babies away! The subculture police with their phallic nightsticks tried to drive Judge out of the disco, just as the black radicals tried to spoil his appreciation of Motown, I suppose. I'm surprised he survived with his perfectly-unexceptional tastes intact.

This is a high point of the issue, though you might also enjoy Acculturated's "Celebrities Behaving Well Award" nominations, including "Taylor Swift for reaching out to one of her adoring fans to give her real, thoughtful, honest advice about an unrequited love," "Kate Middleton for maintaining a certain level of class and decorum in the pop-culture sartorial scene," and "Justin Timberlake for his unprecedented awe and humility during his recent visit to Israel" (by which I assume they mean he didn't come onstage wearing a BDS shirt and a keffiyeh). "The winner of our contest will be announced on Monday, February 23," Acculturated says, "and we will award their charity with a $2,500 donation." $2,500! Dunno who's giving this ad-free site its wingnut welfare, but if they can come up with that kind of scratch  for a contest, I'd be happy to explain to their readers (for a reasonable fee) how my heart was broken the day Camryn Manheim became a fat activist.

UPDATE. In comments, tigrismus encapsulates Judge's problem: "He gets to decide what's universal, and quelle surprise, it's him."

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Well, boys, how's the culture war going?
How Big Government Ruined Parks and Recreation
Clickbait for sure, among a certain population! Spencer Klavan (Jesus, Andrew has a brother? I weep for the Republic) complains at PJ Media that the show "has devolved from incisive comedy into aggressively unfunny propaganda." See, once it was about "the morass of self-importance and illogic that results when people get together to plan other people’s lives for them" -- that's conservative for "small-town government," folks -- but then "the writers replaced it with a dogmatic fantasy world based on the unexamined conviction that everyone needs a hyper-attentive government mommy. That’s when Leslie Knope became a hero, and Parks and Rec became about as entertaining as a health code referendum."

Wow, so they beefed up the role of the star? And a cynical supporting character became more cuddly? Just like in nearly every sitcom that lasts more than three seasons? What a bunch of statists!

But courage, kulturkampfers -- it's not all liberal fascism on the TV; here's a show that Matthew Rousu of The Federalist says teaches a conservatarian message:
What TV’s ‘Suits’ Tells Us About The Job Market 
...Ross and Spector form a great team. They trade witty rejoinders and provide incredible service for their clients. But in the United States, for the most part, it is illegal to practice law without passing the bar exam. That Ross is practicing law illegally — and what he must do to avoid being discovered – provides part of the show’s drama. While I find the show entertaining, it troubles me because these types of situations happen in real life. There are people who would be good at a job, but restrictions make it illegal for them to work...
Yes, it's the old licensing-restriction rap, with which max-freedom fans sometimes get liberals to agree five minutes before they call them hypocrites for thinking polluters can't regulate themselves. Mentioned in essay: Uber. Not mentioned: State medical boards.

Meanwhile at Acculturated, Erin Vargo:
Drugs are ruining EDM...
Which is like saying sugar is ruining cake, but go on:
...and not only as a matter of individual health and safety (a sobering topic in and of itself). Drugs at EDM festivals ensure that Calvin Harris is virtually indistinguishable from a remix DJ at a wedding party.
[pause, suppressing laughter]
Sure, he showed everyone a good time, but the event wasn’t really about him or his skills and talents and creative capacity.
[pause, stabbing myself in the thigh with a pen] For our reductio ad wingnut let's go to The Federalist's Rachel Lu:
Is it possible that Clueless Dad (that tired old television trope) is going into decline? He’s long since outworn his welcome. And General Mills seems to have gotten the message. 
Their new commercial for Peanut Butter Cheerios...
For some reason I'm reminded of the end of The Incredible Shrinking Man, though it's not so much the "closing of a gigantic circle" as a disappearance up one's own asshole.

Friday, May 09, 2014


I guess you've heard about the latest wingnut-welfare-funded propaganda project, the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal, and they swear this time it'll be real news:
The site aims to rectify the conservative perception that mainstream news slants to the left. “We plan to do political and policy news,” says [publisher Geoffrey] Lysaught, “not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism"... 
The past few years have seen a profusion of conservative media outlets... “You often sense there’s an element of preaching to the choir,” says Katrina Trinko, a well-regarded political reporter lured away from National Review to manage the Signal’s news team. “What appealed to me was that our goal is not just to reach that audience. Obviously, we hope conservatives will come. But we hope anyone interested in information and public debate will see us as a trusted news source.”
"Katrina Trinko... to manage the Signal’s news team" is the key phrase here. Trinko has shown up in these pages twice before: Once for suggesting that, instead of passing a higher minimum wage, America should encourage fast-food chains to put out tip jars, and once for explaining that it was unfair to compare Republicans with Randroids because Republicans actually want a safety net run by the Church.

Trinko has also written several articles for our favorite culture-war stakewaster Acculturated, with titles like "What We Lose In Our Child-free Culture." And she has helped make National Review Online what it is; her biggest scoop there was that Elizabeth Warren had plagiarized some book, which showed great ambition and a nose for news even if it turned out not to be true. Most of her other NRO work was stuff like "RNC Makes Two Hires for Outreach to Black Media" and "After Eighty-Three Years of Marriage, Husband and Wife Die Three Days Apart -- though she did get on the homosexuals-are-oppressing-us bandwagon early with "The Gay Marriage Double Standard" last September.

So yeah, she's just the person for the job. And the job is more of the same, with better graphics.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I hadn't looked at Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt (which told us in October would "WILL MAKE MSM 'PAY' FOR LIES, CHANGE 'NATURE OF MEDIA'") before now. Right out of the gate:

Also, there's an item devoted to telling us what Shapiro said on Fox News. Sample:
...[Megyn] Kelly moved on to a another quote from the piece that posits a society where people were paid for doing only what they were passionate about, like painting murals. When Kelly asked who would pay the millennials for painting their murals, Shapiro turned the conversation to the inherently destructive philosophy of Keynes.
Shapiro: This is the whole thing, passing the buck to the next generation that doesn’t exist yet. And John Maynard Keynes was fond of saying that in the long run we’re all dead. This is that philosophy taken to the extreme: In the short run we’re all dead, so we might as well all paint murals. Who’s going to clean the toilets? Who’s going to do the actual work that needs to be done in this country? Maybe this is why some of these folks want open borders.
The Mexicans clean toilets, millenials paint murals, and Shapiro yammers on Fox News. Maybe Shapiro will explain how he would redistribute these responsibilities in Part 2. I'm guessing Shapiro won't wind up wielding a brush of any kind.

Rule of three demands:
Vogue Mag Lowers Standards
‘Girls’ star Lena Dunham to feature on cover despite untraditional body type
No clue whether, before he wrote this, the author saw the recent Acculturated essay called "Why Conservatives Should Cheer On HBO’s Girls" (short vs.: The characters are dissatisfied with their lives and since they're liberals the reason must be liberalism). Despite her untraditional body type, I would bet that since the 2012 election Dunham has gotten enough hate-wanks out of conservative men to float a National Review cruise out of drydock.

UPDATE. In comments, Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard:
Leaving aside the fact that one's body type is a matter of biology, not tradition, a perusal of the large "History of Art" textbook on the shelf reveals more depictions of women who are built like Lena Dunham than like Kate Moss. A quick stroll through the neighborhood finds me encountering more women who are built like Lena Dunham than like Stephanie Seymour. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that Mr Shapiro has never seen a female body up close.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Conservatives are crazy over something they call "the narrative" -- that is, a storyline with which evil media liberals are bamboozling America -- and every so often they send a howling culture-warrior over the hill to seize control of the radio station. A distant sputter of gunfire and it's over, usually, but they always send a medal back home to his think-tank. Here's the latest offering at TownHall by Kurt Schlichter:
The Royal Baby Is a Rejection of the Family Chaos Liberalism Feeds Upon
Ain't even kidding.
The birth of Prince George creates a problem for liberals. They love the idea of royalty because it validates their vision of an anointed elite with a divine right to the obedience of their subjects.
[Citation needed.]
However, this wonderful couple has created a traditional nuclear family that provides a powerful counterpoint to the kind of freak show dysfunction that liberalism requires to survive.
The obvious solution is to give this nation's welfare recipients £202.4 million a year per household and see if they straighten up and fly right.

Meanwhile Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds does his bit for narrative reclamation by telling USA Today readers the real "war on women" is being waged by liberals via horndogs Anthony Weiner (dropping in the polls), San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (ditto), and Eliot Spitzer (well, he's running against Scott Springer). Reynolds takes the opportunity to repeat the old tale of Bill Clinton, Rapist, and to heap second-hand insults on Weiner's wife ("leaving some to say that she's even worse than he is") because when you're a men's-rights nut pretending to give a shit about women, you can't get through 800 words without some bitch-slapping.

Anyway the upshot is that Democrats have "a contempt for people in general, and especially for voters," but as usual the real villain is the media, because for them "an isolated remark by a Republican candidate or radio host is treated as representative of the entire party." These narrative-spielers are just twisting Republicans' words! Speaking of which, here are some words that are missing from Reynolds' essay: vaginal wand, abortion restrictions, war on contraception coverage, and criminalized sodomy. These were left out, I suppose, because they're connected to actual Republican policies.

For the easy rule-of-three layup, let's see what the nuts at Acculturated are up to -- ah, here's one: "How Hollywood Has Ruined Sex." It's not just about how tits and grinding ruined author Bruce S. Thornton's moviegoing experience. He's got specifics! For example:
Consider some of those banal conventions that lazy directors and writers throw into sex scenes. There’s what I call the “trail of clothes.” The camera starts with some article of clothing on the floor, and then follows more bits and pieces of attire until it reaches the fornicating couple.
I thought this signifier went the way of two cigarettes in the ashtray, but Thornton says he saw it as recently as Bugsy, which came out in 1991. Also:
Then there are the ubiquitous 20-30 candles illuminating every sex-scene. When do those candles get lit?
Was there a sex scene in Lincoln? I don't know what the guy's talking about. Maybe he actually wrote this thing twenty years ago, and left it in a bin at the Moral Majority offices that was later bequeathed to Acculturated. I mean, it's a more flattering explanation than assuming someone is still writing shit like this.

UPDATE. In comments, hellslittlestangel: "Mistreat half a dozen women and it's an outrage against humanity; mistreat tens of millions of women and it's a statistic."

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Let's see what those scamps at kulturkampf site Acculturated are up to. R.J. Moeller:
Our post-modern, secularized, relativistic culture does not quite know what to do with “true believers.” Not, at least, when it comes to deeper questions of mankind’s existence and our relationship to the Divine. We’re strong-to-quite-strong when it comes to dealing with stuff like vapid celebrity Tweets, the YAC (yards after catch) racked up by our favorite fantasy football player, or the “controversy” of an under-performing new movie on its opening weekend. We’re lousy with politicians and pundits who tell us what we want to hear. 
But give us a prominent man or woman with strong, articulated, uncompromising values in the public square–especially if these values are of the traditional, Judeo-Christian variety–and people freak out. 
Enter: Timothy Richard Tebow.
Yes, it's a paen to the world's most famous backup quarterback. Moeller wonders aloud why people are always talking about Tebow's religiosity, and blames a corrupt press ("I dare you to read a single article or column on Tim Tebow that doesn’t make multiple references to his evangelical faith or [lamely] attempt to weave religious-sounding puns into the text of the piece") rather than Tebow's propensity to spontaneously take a knee, make anti-abortion ads for Focus on the Family, and otherwise inform the world at large that he's down with the King.

As a young religious American who grows increasingly weary of the “Get-Out-of-Jail Free” card that is offered to anyone in our popular culture who espouses spiritual beliefs in literally anything other than Christianity, I am glad that Tim Tebow exists and continues to fight the good fight.
I'm having a hard time thinking of any actors or rock stars who make a big deal of their Zoroastrianism or whatever, at least not since Madonna was playing at Kabbalah in, when was that, 1988? But I don't follow the NFL closely, so maybe that's what he's talking about. Are there Orthodox Jewish players who daven on the field, or Muslims who call a timeout to pray to Mecca? Because then maybe I'd start paying attention again.

I will post here Moeller's closing only because I know many of you refuse to click the links and I don't want you to be deprived:
But I won’t be devastated if I wake up one morning and find a headline about Tebow having a child out of wedlock or about him being rounded-up by police after an all-night Jack Daniels-fueled bender. 
Why? Because my hope is in Him, not Tim. And from every discernible indicator he’s ever given the public, so is Tim’s.
That's just magnificently bad, plus it inspires a wonderful vision of Tebow staggering unshaven and disheveled out of a police station and, as he genuflects for the cameras, blowing a titanic whiskey fart.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Emily Esfahani Smith, whose ridiculous writing at Acculturated on how everything was better when people were repressed has been treated here, has been writing for The Atlantic too, which makes a pathetic sort of sense. Her latest contains a theater review:
The scene represents a normal sexual encounter between two students. There's moaning. There's orgasming. And yet, it falls flat. While the play wants to promote the idea that this kind of sex is hot and fun, in this scene, it is boring and banal. Erotic sex ideally involves mystery and an electric connection—longing—between two people. But the exhibitionism of Speak About It kills this mystery and longing—it leaves little to the imagination.
Speak About It, by the way, is a "variety of skits and monologues dealing with sexual consent, assault and misconduct, and bystander intervention" developed by students at Bowdoin and now used at other colleges. So it's basically a sexual hygiene play, and while it sounds it's no match for the one in Love and Death, I doubt electric connections and mystery were intended as part of the offering.

The rest is gabble about Allan Bloom, "the hookup culture," and oh Jesus kill me now Lena Dunham, who apparently still haunts these people's dreams.

The economy sucks but apparently there are a lot of jobs for rightwing scolds who tell readers they don't really know how to have sex and then offer them The Closing of the American Mind instead of the butterfly flick.