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

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

THE WINSOME WITCHFINDER MOVES UP.

Boy, Rod Dreher must be bummed:

Writing about politics and current affairs in the era of Donald Trump ideally requires a variety of traits that do not always, or even often, go together: factual and intellectual clarity, moral seriousness, and a spirit of generosity toward others and humility toward oneself.

Happily for Times Opinion, those traits are embodied to an exceptional degree by David French, who is joining us as our newest columnist, beginning January 30. We are delighted to welcome him.

I’m frankly surprised they picked French over Dreher – they could have had a twofer: Yet another God-bothering rightwing editorial writer, and an “Ask the Exorcist” columnist

I’ve been over French’s awfulness many times in this space, Substack and elsewhere. The most egregious and amusing examples, like the one pictured above, go back a few years, before French began to cultivate the Reasonable Right persona that the prestige press really goes for. But he can still come up with some corkers, as when, oh-so-regretfully approving of Trump’s first impeachment, French felt obliged to bring up The Clenis (“Yet, in both circumstances, the president was clearly guilty of serious misconduct. Partisanship saved Bill Clinton. Partisanship will save Donald Trump”). Sure, to you, trying to blackmail a foreign government for personal gain seems worse that getting your dick sucked, but to Jesus and French they're equally sinful.

French remains a theocrat who not only wants abortion treated like murder but also actively works (with what the Times calls “an emphasis on the First Amendment”) for the Masterpiece Bakery/Little Sisters of the Poor agenda of sabotaging national health care and minority rights. And his civility act is not merely obnoxious, it’s a cover and a con for American conservatism in all its hegemonic viciousness – the pretense that you can guiltlessly maintain society’s savage inequities if you drop some coins in the poor box. He’s got the Times snowed, but I think at this point most people who can read know better. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

TWO FOR THE ROAD.

I haven’t been too attentive to recent developments at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down because I’m doing my usual year-end review series, in keeping with the Auld Lang Syne spirit. But there are two things I want to address right quick:

First, George “Catch Me If You Can” Santos. Before his grift blew completely wide open I had a bit of fun with the idea of the guy at House Freshman orientation:

[KEVIN] McCARTHY: Well, Walter, we may have to finesse that one a little bit. For one thing, we want to be absolutely clear that while the Party is against the corruption of children it is not against gay people. In fact I see we have a gay freshman here today — George Santos from New York. Stand up, George. [Pause] George, stand up please.

[Necks crane toward GEORGE SANTOS, who looks bewildered.]

SANTOS: There must be some mistake. My name is Henry White.

McCARTHY: George, I met you at the Vanderbilt Room last week, come on.

ANOTHER FRESHMAN: Hey, George, I saw you at S.O.B’s last week! Eu sou Brasileiro, dude!

SANTOS: What is that? Is that some Brazilian thing? Because I’m not Brazilian and I’m certainly not gay! And I don’t represent New York, I represent the 2nd District in Oklahoma as a proud Cherokee! My parents were in the Trail of Tears —

McCARTHY: Alright, alright, all that to one side, let’s see what else we can think of that will capture the imagination of ordinary Americans…

But that was before more details on the scope of his fraud became known, elevating the situation from “haw haw” to “damn.” One thing the prestige press ain’t saying much about, even when they express mystification by Santos’ unexplained (given his work status) wealth, is Santos’ Russian oligarch connections, as described by Daily Beast reporter William Bredderman on November 30:

But unreported until now is that by the time Devolder-Santos [as he was then known] made these statements, his congressional ambitions had already received a $32,800 boost from a controversial figure linked to the uppermost echelons of the Russian regime—and that support would more than double in size during the months ahead.

The cash came from Andrew Intrater and his wife, who variously listed her occupation as “homemaker” and “analyst” for Falcon AI, one of her husband’s subsidiary firms.

Intrater’s main venture is today called Sparrow Capital, but it previously used the name Columbus Nova—and its primary function has long been to manage the investments of Intrater’s cousin, Viktor Vekselberg, one of Putin’s wealthiest and most influential courtiers.

So tightly intertwined is Intrater’s business with that of his relative, who snatched up swaths of Russia’s aluminum and fuel industries during the post-Soviet period…

Etc. The “statements” to which Bredderman refers are Santos’ pimping for Putin as the injured party in the Ukraine war, which as you know is one of the hallmarks of the MAGA new breed and which makes his Russkie cash connection even more piquant – as it does the well-covered Tulsi Gabbard throwdown against Santos. Could it be that Gabbard, who went full feral wingnut a ways back and has her own unseemly Russian connections and affiliations, was dispatched to take down a former asset who had become a liability? Or was it a throwback to her anti-gay past (and, I should add, present)?

Anyway, like I always say: Your Republican Party, ladies and gentlemen! (I should also note the attempt by many conservatives to whatabout this by referring to Elizabeth Warren as Hashtag Pocahontas, the stupidity of which should be apparent even before you consider that while our Native American tribes also have good reason to want to overthrow the U.S. government, they have not the means that Vladimir Putin and his many not-even-sleeper agents have.)

Second: Rod Dreher’s latest stinkbomb. Having learned (or simply being unable to ignore any longer) that his father was a Klansman – which adds an interesting sidelight on Dreher’s obvious racism – Holy Rod has unleashed another instant TL;DR (exhaustion of the critic is part of his arsenal). It’s all awful, but two things are especially noteworthy. First, Dreher admits his old man was racist but also says he got along better with black people than he did. I know, when you put it like that it’s very funny, but it also sets up Dreher’s shtick about how being a conscious anti-racist white person is worse than being a racist because it ain’t natural:

Specifically, as much as I hated to admit it, my dad, who had grown up in rural Louisiana, and who had spent his career as the chief public health officer for our parish, knew more about actual existing black people and their culture than I did -- because he had lived among them all his life! For me, black people were mostly an abstraction. I had allowed the living, breathing human beings to be assimilated into an idea of Blackness -- specifically, of black people as the eternal victims of white people.

Then he talks about reading a Flannery O’Connor story about some jacked-up young Southerner who turns his back of his patrimony, which brings a blush to his cheeks. 

I also knew from reading that story that my dad understood things about black folks -- at least in the rural South -- that I did not, despite the fact that he was blinded by his own unconscious prejudice. The point is that I too was blind, but my blindness carried with it the taint of moral superiority. O'Connor showed me that both my father and I were guilty of making abstractions of black people to suit our own conflicting senses of moral order. She also showed me that this is the way it is with us human creatures. We are all at risk of assimilating our fellow creatures into ideas.

So, you see, Daddy was a Klansman, but his son had erred, too, by trying to be something he wasn’t (namely an anti-racist). Both sides! It appears to have never occurred to Dreher that trying to overcome a negative. indeed damaging, heritage might involve some work, some mistakes, and some embarrassment – or maybe the embarrassment was just more painful to him than the racism.

Further down Dreher gets into how “the Left” has turned his back on Martin Luther King (unlike Daddy, who’d never let one o’ them get the drop on him like that), and the obligatory Dreher Black Crime Chronicle:

This past summer, I met a young South African white man, a Christian, who told me the story of how his grandmother and his younger brother back home had been stripped, beaten, and held hostage by black robbers who were sure they knew the combination to the safe (they did not). This young man was under no illusions about the evil of apartheid. But he was also under no illusions that black South Africans were somehow collectively innocent, and free from sin, because his white ancestors had collectively benefited from an evil system.

But then, the world today, which correctly paid so much attention when it was white South Africans brutalizing black ones, prefers not to know what is being done to white South Africans in the post-apartheid period…

His father’s son, alright. Also obligatory is a cameo from Dreher’s exorcist – but it comes with a wrinkle that, so far as I know, is new to Dreher: a warning on the deviltry of Freemasons! 

There's something eerie here too. Just last week, in conversation with an Orthodox priest back in America, a cleric who is also an exorcist, the priest told me how he had discovered in his exorcism work how wicked Freemasonry is. He has seen people become possessed through it. I told him about my Catholic friend in New York whose grandfather was a high-level Freemason in Italy, and who had become possessed through the curse he brought onto the family (which destroyed her father and his generation within the family, and had wreaked havoc on hers). In this conversation, I mentioned to the exorcist my belief that my late father, a 32nd-degree Mason, had been involved with the Klan in the Sixties, and how I suspected that had a lot to do with his prior involvement with Freemasonry. The exorcist told me that I must pray for my father's soul every day for the rest of my life. I agreed to do this.

The problem isn't racism, it’s masonism! Time for Dreher to storm the Vatican to petition his former religion to bestow sainthood on William Wirt.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN (ON A SATURDAY!): 10/22/22.



That French station again! Wacky versions of classics
like this the missus calls “singer competing with song,”
but for me this one’s pure pleasure.

•  Well, why not Saturday ‘Round-the-Horn, huh? I was busy yesterday, sorry.

We’re in the psycho-nutso phase of the election campaign, with a lot of sketchy polling to rile the rubes. Here’s a MAGA douchebag trying to portray himself as beating Letitia James for New York AG based on a poll from Trafalgar Group – who, as I discussed in June, predicted Trump would win in 2020, and have a weirdly opaque method...

…which includes “proprietary digital methods we don’t share publicly,” nudge nudge, as well as “methods to accommodate the ‘Social Desirability Bias’” which they say “allows us to obtain a poll participant’s true feelings in situations where we believe some individuals are not likely to reveal their actual preferences.” In other words, it corrects results to account for the terror of cancel culture that allegedly animates rightwing nuts nowadays — how, they don’t say, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it involved some “wait a minute, this guy’s white, he can’t possibly mean it when he says he thinks America fought on the right side in World War II, maybe antifa is holding him hostage” judgement calls.

For the usual reasons, things do look bad: Midterms are traditionally poison for the party in power and God knows the Prestige Media are pushing rightwing fuckery especially hard now. I don’t counsel hope, so much, as a continuing insistence on the truth because, if the bad guys win, what you really don’t want is for people to forget where the ensuing unpleasantness came from – because you know conservatives, who rely heavily on bamboozlement, will either try to portray it as Just The Way Things Have Always Been, or blame you.

•  Now for the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies – which were generous this week, because I’m a hell of a guy: First, a plausible Herschel Walker scenario, given his “I meant to do that” follow-up on his toy sheriff badge thing; second, a shorter and more enjoyable version of Rod Dreher’s latest lengthy blubberfest over why he has to forsake his beloved Dixie (and wife and children) for the Führer of the Moment. I mean, can't you just imagine Jean-Jacques Rousseau telling Dreher, “TMI, buddy"?

Thursday, June 02, 2022

WHERE THE BOYS ARE.

Here's an unlocked Roy Edroso Breaks It Down number, laying out some possible future projects for Johnny Depp. I did not pay attention to the Depp-Heard trial, and it may be that someone has laid out a coherent explanation for the verdict, though mainly what I have seen from those who approve of it has nothing to do with legal rationale and everything to do with creepy pseudo-butch displays

Against my better judgment I have been guided to Rod Dreher, whose work I haven’t looked at much since he revealed that he was getting divorced and sternly warned everybody not to read anything into it. (Everything conservatives always say about divorce culture destroying America, for example, apparently doesn’t apply to Dreher. It’s Wilhoit’s Marital Law!) He seems to have gotten even weirder since. And sure enough, in a recent post, he “responds” to this “reader” “email”:

…The news of your divorce coming around the same time as the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial has me thinking thoughts that had never occurred to me.

First of all, I can’t believe I’m riveted by a dang celebrity trial. It’s typically not something I spend any kind of time on. But riveted I am. Despite the fact that we are practicing conservative Christians, our own marriage is headed for a hard crash, because I’m confident that my wife is mentally ill. Watching the Depp/Heard trial, I learned about the existence of a condition called Borderline Personality Disorder…

When I read that, everything became SO CLEAR to me about why my marriage is in so much trouble, and why therapy has not worked for us.

(Dreher, resuming his authorial voice, follows up: “This is really something, because I have been getting a surprising number of e-mails from readers saying pretty much the same thing…” Future ex-Mrs.-Dreher, I hope for your sake you have a lot of money in a separate account.) 

The Dreher “reader” experience does seems to comport with a general observation that, whatever this particular celebrity trial was really about, all the creeps have lined up with Depp. But this is no different than what we experience in other areas of real life, whenever we see someone driving with needless aggression on the highway or yelling “Let’s Go Brandon” at a non-political event or trying to cut in line and acting the victim when they're called out: Assholes flock to assholes. Trump merely gave them an Alpha Asshole around which to cluster. 

Friday, April 01, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


 Sure, insistent bass and jangly guitars, why not, still cool 

Here’s a freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, about the new thing on the right wing, which is GROOMERS -- that is, yelling it at people who oppose anti-gay laws like the Don’t Say Gay mess in Florida, or at Disney for having cartoons with gay characters. 

If you’re a normal person you understand this to be an accusation that the person or company is trying to get children to have sex with adults. This is a very serious charge indeed, and one that normal people would be unlikely to believe without substantial proof -- that is, something considerably more than registration in the Democratic Party and a belief that gay people are normal and what’s actually perverse is acting like their very existence is a threat to children. In fact, normal people would probably find making such charges absent proof to be a repulsive act, and wonder what the hell is wrong with the accuser. 

If, however, you are a QAnon type, as about a quarter of Republicans are, you believe all Democrats are part of the Spirit Cooking Pizzagate Sex Perv Conspiracy, and these accusations will excite you to vote and march and perhaps commit violent crimes

This is why you’ve seen conservatives spreading the accusation in weird stories like the Fox News testimonial of one Kristan Hawkins -- a concerned mom and, coincidentally, president of Students for Life of America -- that the cartoon Turning Red, with its symbolic allusion to a girl’s first period and its tween crushes (it's rated PG, for parental guidance), “grooms children for abortions and sexual promiscuity… Disney leadership is actively pushing children out of Neverland and directly into an adult’s sexualized world, where they can be groomed for others enjoyment.”

As you might imagine, Rod Dreher is totally out of control on this -- here are some of his allusions to grooming from just the past week:

Mickey Mouse is a groomer...

Most people are uncomfortable with gender ideology now, but a generation or two raised on woke Disney, and all of woke Disney’s allies in the Cathedral, will likely have been tamed, co-opted, and groomed...

Most Americans do not want their little kids groomed by woke classroom ideologues to embrace a queer identity...

Americans are broadly tolerant of trans people, but they correctly draw the line at grooming children. I hope that the suits at the Walt Disney Company, the leading corporate groomer of children, are soiling their pants over these poll numbers...

If we as a country and as a society cannot protect our children from having their minds colonized by these groomers, what use are we?...

UPDATE: Groomers. They are all groomers...

Etc. Perhaps the most rancid thing about this is the way the slur-throwers insist they’re not really saying what they’re clearly saying and hoping their loony followers will believe -- Dreher, again, in his story (I’m not even kidding) “Democrats: Party of Groomers”:

About the term “groomers”: it’s usually used to describe pedophiles who are preparing innocent kids for sexual exploitation. I think it is coming to have a somewhat broader meaning: an adult who wants to separate children from a normative sexual and gender identity, to inspire confusion in them, and to turn them against their parents and all the normative traditions and institutions in society. It may not specifically be to groom them for sexual activity, but it is certainly to groom them to take on a sexual/gender identity at odds with the norm. And it’s working…

The passive locution “it is coming to have a somewhat broader meaning” suggests Dreher believes he has Humpty Dumpty power over the general understanding of common English words, which given his ineptitude as a wordsmith is rich. But you don’t have to be particularly skilled to throw shit, though it does help if you can keep people from noticing that your hands are covered with it. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.

Mike Watt on bass so you already know, right?

•   I’ve done it, I cry with a hearty mad-scientist laugh -- I’ve seen all the 2022 Best Picture Oscar nominees! This makes me feel swell and, along with the other category nominees I’ve seen, it makes me feel qualified to make predictions, as I do every year, usually without great success (though sometimes with!). If you return here Sunday afternoon I will have those predictions for you, for entertainment purposes only. 

Meantime I have unlocked all the reviews of the 10 nominated films I did at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- here are links: Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Licorice Pizza, West Side Story, Nightmare Alley, CODA, King Richard, Belfast, The Power of the Dog, and Dune

•   This is a good week for REBID releases -- the SCOTUS hearings one and the convoy update are also open. Don’t expect much of this for a while, though -- I need more paid subscriptions and here I am giving it away like a good-hearted farm girl in the big city. 

If things don’t pick up I may have to become a cancelculture crybaby -- that’s how you make the really big money on Substack! Speaking of which, I notice that racket has gone international big-time:

This really sums up something about our current shit discourse -- not only that cancelculture is such bullshit that anyone, no matter how obviously evil, depraved, and criminal, can pick it up and go boo hoo hoo look how unfair my enemies are! In fact, Putin has the two key characteristics of a cancelculture crybaby: He’s an aggressor against a weaker enemy whom he seeks to portray as the Real Bully, and Rod Dreher loves him

•   I will add that, like everyone else in America, I know no one will do anything about Clarence Thomas’ wife being a total QAnon lunatic who colluded with insurrectionists to overturn the 2020 election and Thomas refusing to recuse himself in a case that would reveal that. And that’s why these bastards keep doing it, and won’t stop until they’ve fucked this country up beyond redemption. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


This motherfucker rocked the Apollo
INTRODUCING THE BAND.

•   Another busy damn week! Time and tide and all that. You saw the Emma Camp installment of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down I comped you all in on a few days back. Hope you liked it and if you haven't seen it, it's news to you -- go look, it's still open. 

Now here's another, sort of an alt-history joint: If present-day conservatives were around at the start of WWII. It's amazing to me, as someone who knew the Iraq war was bullshit from jump, to see a lot of the brethren -- many of whom were hollering for war in 2003 -- telling us that maybe Zelensky is faking it and how about we give Putin the benefit of the doubt. I mean, back in W Days we had grainy photos at the U.N. and solemn assurances and that was good enough for them, but now the Russians invade right in front of our eyes and a lot of conservatives are like, this is clearly the Democrats trying to suck us into war to distract from Hunter Biden. Their stories are getting loonier -- that America is covering up for Fauci's bioweapons in Ukraine (Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson) and that the Ukrainians tricked Russia into bombing an empty hospital for the clicks (Rod Dreher). 

This isn't prudence or even contrarianism -- it's just holy shit, the guy our Führer worships is making us look like chumps, we better double down! Like the lady said, when they tell you who they are the first time, believe them. 

•   Oh, and if you were wondering, the People's Freedom Convoy of Rush Hour Reenactors are still in Hagerstown, Maryland shaking their fists at us DC commies and driving in circles. They got Ted Cruz to ride with them the other day, which may have perked up some spirits, but the end grows nigh for their grift and DC drivers flipping them off seems to be getting to them:

Looks like when you live in a closed universe of delusions of grandeur, and come to believe your butch cosplay and rightwing money supply makes you the Boss of America, any little slight will blow your trip and drive you to lash out. 

Well, they've won the admiration of Matt Taibbi, anyway. He tells a tale of mean MSM elitists who made fun of the convoy for blowing their initial State of the Union deadline, but who came roaring back to show everybody who's boss by camping out in Maryland and doing loops on the Beltway and telling interviewers how much they hate Joe Biden (which, face it, is really what lights up Taibbi about this travesty). “We are right now on the precipice of losing our collective asses," one Tribune of the People tells Taibbi's crew. "You cannot run a truck on six dollars a gallon.” Good thing they have donors so they can still afford driving in circles without ever delivering loads of anything except bullshit. 

Friday, March 04, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Hope Fat Tuesday was good to ya.

•   Yesterday I released the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue about the Freedom Convoy fantasy and the credulous reporting that makes it look like a military invasion of the capital. There is little evidence that such a display of might is actually pending, however. Here’s a fun clip Patriot Takes found on Twitter of some Indiana insurrectionists looking at some trucks -- not big rigs, mind you, but pick-up trucks and some SUVs -- and declaring that the feds don’t stand a chance. 


Bottom-feeder websites like The Patriot Chronicles (warning: site is pop-up-spam-riddled) make similar claims:

Liberals must be losing their minds. We already know that the Biden administration has been afraid of this day—Just look at the fence they built around the Capitol, but the time has come. 

I think the reporter, “Daphne Moon” (guess this one’s not going in anyone’s clip file!), is talking about the fence that went up for the State of the Union address and has already been taken down -- but forget it, she’s rolling:

[Another website] observed the convoy in Missouri Monday, using the state’s traffic cameras. We estimated at least 500 participating vehicles, although it was hard to distinguish non-convoy trucks and other vehicles from those with drivers participating in the convoy… 

So, in other words, they saw a bunch of trucks on the highway. But here’s the main thing:

Online, the convoy’s following has grown. Aniano said the convoy’s followings on various social media platforms have moved from the hundreds to the thousands in the past few days…

Online -- that’s where I’m a Viking! They’ll keep this up until such fools as try it are hauled away, and then they’ll come up with another Army of Butch Stereotypes that will take over the government -- perhaps multiple editions of Joe the Plumber (remember him?) to clog the sewer pipes of the Swamp.  Got to have a dream/ If you don’t have a dream/ How you gonna make a dream come true? 

•   Oh, I also freed one of my REBID vaudeville sketches, this one about a Russian spam farm hit hard by economic sanctions. Of course, the joke's on us because Putin has plenty of spammers in the U.S., though I don’t know how much they’re getting paid. As you may have seen from my Twitter feed, Rod Dreher’s been very helpful to the subject of his famous 2016 “Putin: Our Tsar-Protector?” column. His current shtick is to cry UNDERSTAND, I AM VERY SORRY RUSSIA IS DOING THIS! at intervals while defending Russia. For example:

I can’t see where the West had any choice other than to have imposed harsh sanctions on the Russian government, but Westerners delighted by the punishment we are inflicting on the Russian people (as opposed to seeing it as a tragic necessity) are fools. We are in the process of immiserating an entire nation, and turning its people against us for a generation or more. 

We’re immiserating a nation! Boy, wait’ll Dreher finds out what Russia's doing to Ukranians! 

We are driving that nation, which we needed to help the West contain China, right into China’s arms. There may well have been no alternative here — at this point, I can’t think of one — but this has been a massive strategic defeat for us. 

I wonder who’s responsible for this massive strategic defeat? Maybe it’s the transsexuals Dreher’s always on the warpath against. Next Dreher approvingly quotes John Mearsheimer’s Ukraine Got What It Asked For POV and, as if he sees the Springtime For Hitler shock on his readers’ faces, rushes to explain:

I know, I know: we aren’t supposed to say these things. We are supposed to stay focused on the evilness of the Putin regime. 

Just like we’re not supposed to say the N-word! And we're supposed to say Orange Man Bad! It’s all soft totalitarianism, see.

Any introduction of complexity into the narrative cuts the purity of moral clarity. But facts don’t disappear because they are inconvenient to the story we want to believe. I’ve seen tweets in the past day or two from people saying that yes, the Ghost of Kyiv legend wasn’t true, nor are some of the other heroic pro-Ukrainian myths passed around this past week … but so what (they say): what’s important is keeping up Ukrainian morale.

To openly prefer a manipulative lie to the complicated truth is corrupt.

One million Ukranians have been made refugees by the Russian invasion. Dreher doesn’t dare call that a lie, yet, so he paints the corners. 

I’m taking some criticism in the comments section for spending more time talking about the way we in the West are responding to Russia’s aggression than I am talking about the aggression itself.

LOL no comment.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

AID & COMFORT CONSERVATIVES.

Back after 9/11, when America itself was attacked, conservatives demanded we invade a country that had nothing to do with it and called those of us who said “hey, wait a minute” traitors

This memory adds piquancy to the roll call of prominent conservatives who, in the wake of his unconscionable invasion of Ukraine, are loving up Vladimir Putin. Tucker Carlson:

Tulsi Gabbard:

Glenn Greenwald:

Steve Bannon:

And the leader of the opposition:


A former president praising a foreign dictator's invasion. Well, you get old enough, you live to see it all. 

And this is just a partial list. Some of it's based on the longstanding Putinphilia of the American Right, but there's even weirder stuff behind it. Rod Dreher, "mainstream" conservatism's favorite religious maniac, has utterly flipped; while dropping in "I don't approve" every so often (his primitive idea of ass-covering), Dreher explains Putin's invasion

So, when I read these days that much-quoted line Vladimir Putin uttered some years back, in which he lamented the tragedy of the USSR’s demise, I think of Trianon and the Hungarians. Though he was a KGB man, I don’t think Putin is a nostalgist for Bolshevism. He’s a nostalgist for Greater Russia — a Russia that was bigger, more powerful, and prouder on the world stage. If I had not come to Hungary last year and learned about Trianon, I am sure I would not have been able to grasp what this means to people whose countries have been dismantled or disempowered by war and historical fate.

Similarly, it has helped me to understand why so many Southerners feel so bitter about the Civil War and its latest iteration — the demonization of Confederate monuments and Southern culture.

So, see, this invasion isn't just imperialism or psychosis -- like Dreher's hero Viktor Orban, Putin just wants a return to the Old Order, which when you think about it is true conservatism. More than that, it reminds Dreher of the nostalgia for the Confederacy in his neck of the woods. Talk about bringing it all back home!

Another aspect of today’s news that we Americans should consider, but rarely do: the role of Ukraine, especially Kiev, in the Russian religious imagination. We simply have nothing to compare it to.

It's religious, people. And we have to stretch our concept of "freedom" and "right and wrong" to accommodate it, because as we all know religion can't have any bad consequences. 

As has also become his habit, Dreher reminds us that the West is rotten and Putin at least has Christian values (i.e., persecutes minorities):

But what about the Western empire today? To my eyes, we are decadent, and ruled by an elite that despises our own history, traditions, and the unwoke deplorables among us. We are ruled by an elite who think of many of us as savages: racist, transphobic bigots who must be brought to heel...

Putin is an authoritarian who uses Western decadence in the same way the Soviet regime did: to justify its own repression. Nevertheless, that decadence really is there!

 I'll only add this bit from a post Dreher put up the night before:

Now, if you think the US can funnel military supplies to the Ukraine resistance without suffering any consequences from Russia, you are being a fool. Russia’s cyberwarriors would devastate American institutions. We are not nearly as strong as we think.

When, as I said, conservatives (including Dreher) were denouncing those of us who opposed America's invasion of another country as un-American, if any citizen had talked about how the United States had better not tangle with Saddam Hussein because we were sure to be "devastated," that person would probably have been spirited away to a black site. Things sure have changed. 



Now she's blaming it on Hunter Biden. Jesus. I can imagine if she were starving or her family were in danger, but otherwise there's really no excuse for sinking this low except an absolute lack of human decency. 

UPDATE 2. This cannot be an exhaustive list but just wanted to get this fuckface in here:




Friday, February 18, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



As fresh as when he cut it 96 years ago.

Busy week! I must be brief. Got two Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies for you: First, today’s edition on the current high tide in conservative victim-claiming. Sadly this came out before I could include Brother Rod’s latest:

I wonder how many people wander over to Dreher’s tent show, having heard from The New Yorker and David Brooks about how he’s one of America’s real intellectual conservatives, get a load of this kind of thing and do a Duck Tracy Meets Mouseman (“Go… back… in again…”). The latest evidence that liberals are going to tyrannize your godly Republican family is Canada finally clearing the Parking Convoy off the streets of Ottawa, which Dreher describes as “the government crushing dissent under the guise of keeping Canada ‘safe’ from haters and deplorables” and “a prelude of what’s to come here.” When the Liberal Fascists take over you won’t be able to block city streets for days on end! Of course, when protestors were “spilling into the street and blocking traffic” to denounce Donald Trump, Dreher felt very differently about it: “That deranged Latino mob in San Jose just convinced a hell of a lot of people to buy tickets to the Trump train,” he snarled.  And when some red states made it legal to run over protestors when they block traffic -- which was clearly aimed at Black Lives Matter protests -- Dreher never made a peep. Like I say in the REBID item: Their whole identity is victimhood now. 

Second, and relatedly: An analysis of the Canadian Parking Convoy situation by a couple of experts! 

Friday, January 28, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



It's good, and sort of new!

•  Got a hot-off-the-press Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue inspired by the McMinn County Board of Ed pulling Art Spiegelman’s Maus from its schools on the grounds that the rudeness of its depictions of the Holocaust and its fallout are unsuitable to its students. 

Yair Rosenberg, who is the author of one of the dumbest essays on film and TV criticism ever written, takes a look-on-the-bright-side angle on the Maus controversy: surveys suggest Americans know more about the Holocaust than they do about their own democratic processes! For obvious reasons, that’s certainly not unmixed good news; also, just because students know the Holocaust happened and who the major players were doesn’t mean they’ve grasped its full significance, and the rise and spread of eliminationist rhetoric in the United States as directed toward other minorities -- for example, the Latino immigrants whom Fox News sturmers call “poison” -- suggests that not enough of them do. It may be that, as the kids have been encouraged to think of racism as something that's over and done with (because to suggest otherwise is critical race double-plus-ungood), so they consider genocide something that was knocked out when the camps were liberated. 

Also, Maus is not the only book yahoos are currently banning or looking to ban, thanks to the CRT scare and related pathologies -- see here and here just for starters. Conservatives have been freaks about culture war for decades, but the Trump metastasis has upped the ante; once they were content to snarl every once in a while about Tinky Winky or some shit, but now they’re rampaging through reading lists and erasing anything that might give their kids a different way of looking at the world than what they try to beat into them. And heads up, because they never stop at schoolbooks.  

•  Actually there’s a bumper crop of freebies at REBID, including this one about Joe Biden calling that stupid son of a bitch a stupid son of a bitch, so go look around and, if the spirit moves you, subscribe so you can get it all on an ongoing basis. It’s cheap!

•  Rod Dreher, prestige media’s favorite religious maniac, just gets better and better. Here’s the header on my favorite Dreher post of the week:

Mouthy darkskin pussy-hat GRRRRR splurt! But what’s this about “some of her generation are choosing sterilization, because of wokeness”? Turns out this refers to a single alleged instance in the Dreher “Reader” “Mail” that constitutes most of the post, the author of which Dreher has thoughtfully anonymized lest the Woke Mob come after him, sure that’s it wink wink. 

Author’s assistant “Annie” moonlights as a bus driver, see, and she says she knows a family with three college-age girls, one of whom “graduated third in her class of thirteen hundred and was given a scholarship to attend an Ivy League university.” If you’ve ever read a rightwing column, I bet you can already hear the sinister background music! Sure enough:

The other day, Annie told me that there was a family argument because the daughter was going to schedule an appointment at the gynecologist to get her tubes tied. She is twenty-two years old! Her rationale was that the world is too awful and that no more children should be brought into this hellhole.

[Organ sting!]

I have known her daughter since she was eight years old, and for the past fourteen years her mother has told me about her increasingly radical, Leftist views. Starting in high school, the cause was environmentalism, and then being at that Ivy League university, especially during these last two years, the cause has also grown to include the usual diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and destroy-Western-Civilization bullshit.

Wow -- if she goes to grad school, I reckon she’ll kill herself for Gaia! But wait, there’s more psychosexual just-so storytelling:

Last year, the same daughter made an appointment at Planned Parenthood to have an IUD implanted. Her mother threw a fit, as they have good health insurance; she lamented to me that if she wanted an IUD she could go to any gynecologist in the suburbs for a more hygienic and safer procedure. 

You know how dirty those Planned Parenthoods are, on account of the abortion germs. 

And what’s even more troubling is that the daughter isn’t even sexually active according to her mother (knowing the mother and the daughter, I believe it). Therefore, it wasn’t even for preventing pregnancy but rather for making a statement of solidarity with her “Black” and “Brown” sisters.

We’ve all been to the marches and seen the “PESSARY SOLIDARITY” banners, haven’t we? (I would love to hear this cowboy explain why "Black" and "Brown" are in quotes, too.)

Two years ago, none of the three daughters wished their mother a Happy Mother’s Day, as they considered it an antiquated custom. 

Wow, if only I’d thought of that one whenever I forgot to mail a card! “Sorry I missed your birthday, but you know how I feel about annualism.”

These kids are becoming evil. At least one consolation is that if the daughter gets her tubes tied, that’s the end of that bloodline.

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” ‘member that joke?

Now on a more optimistic note, I have attached a Christmas photo from one of my neighbors. The father is the pastor of a local Mennonite church. They have eleven children (they had twelve, but one died shortly after childbirth). They have all been homeschooled, and they are all very sweet and pleasant…

WHICH WAY, WESTERN MAN? Will it be the false god of IUD, or Daddy’s Little Brood Sow? If these clowns ever Benedict Opt out of the internet, I have to say I’ll miss the laughs.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

CHECK YOUR HEAD, BUCKO.

I see Patron Pseud of Anti-Wokeism Jordan Peterson has pulled a BariWeiss -- that is, not having succeeded by obnoxious behavior in getting himself martyred by defenestration, he has quit his academic sinecure while blubbering over the unfairness with which he has been treated, hoping for the same effect. At the Ezra Levant Post the professor explains

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked. My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions....

By "unacceptable philosophical positions" Peterson seems to mean "status as a public laughing stock." The rest of his lament resembles your average Rod Dreher column: Lots of sweeping and hysterical claims with thin or non-existent documentary evidence, e.g. "there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough... This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades." Peterson also says his colleagues "all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same," which ought to really set the tone for his U of Toronto going-away party (and excite his future Substack readers!). I especially liked this bit denouncing a well-known implicit-bias test, about which I am fully prepared to entertain doubts if they are expressed via coherent analysis, as opposed to whatever this is: 

The much-vaunted IAT, which purports to objectively diagnose implicit bias (that’s automatic racism and the like) is by no means powerful enough — valid and reliable enough — to do what it purports to do. Two of the original designers of that test, Anthony Greenwald and Brian Nosek, have said as much, publicly. [Cite please - Ed.] The third, Professor Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard, remains recalcitrant. Much of this can be attributed to her overtly leftist political agenda, as well as to her embeddedness within a sub-discipline of psychology, social psychology, so corrupt that it denied the existence of left-wing authoritarianism for six decades after World War II....

Is this guy still on the all-meat-coma diet? He seems to have missed a few OS patches.

You can see how this is meant to work: the casual reader may see the length of the thing and catch some keywords, but be put off by the poor writing and painfully aggrieved tone from reading too much of it, and think, "Well, he has a long list of complaints, some of them must be justified." That's how the whole cancelculture/CRT scam gets over; when it wears out, they'll move on to the next grift. 

Friday, January 07, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Boy, that must have been some party.

I noticed a bunch of liberals objecting on Twitter to this John F. Harris/Politico story, “We Are In a New Civil War … About What Exactly?” Sample:

If this is a 21st century version of 19th century disunion, shouldn’t it be more obvious what the war, at bottom, is all about?...

Only in recent years have we seen foundation-shaking political conflict — both sides believing the other would turn the United States into something unrecognizable — with no obvious and easily summarized root cause. What is the fundamental question that hangs in the balance between the people who hate Trump and what he stands for and the people who love Trump and hate those who hate him? This is less an ideological conflict than a psychological one.

Now, this is Politico so I guess one has to be sensitive to its bothsidesing agenda (“the Trump phenomenon defies explanation,” Harris says -- ha, yeah, if your first acquaintance with the GOP was Romney 2012!) But I take his point to this extent: that all the yap about civil war -- and despite all claims to the contrary, including Harris’, as I have written before “civil war” really is overwhelmingly a rightwing thing -- it’s just ridiculous. 

And I’m not calling it ridiculous because I don’t think these guys wouldn’t do it if they could -- on the contrary, as polling and experience show, conservatives are now extremely comfortable with violence against liberals. I call it ridiculous because they have no actual complaint even remotely worth having a civil war over. Here’s the top of an email I got from one of the many rightwing mailing lists to which I subscribe:

Now, I ask you: What normal American would read something like that without wondering: What the fuck is this guy talking about, America is a "dystopian, tyrannical state"? 

It’s like when Rod Dreher goes on about “soft totalitarianism” and constantly invokes non-soft totalitarianism when talking about it (e.g., “There is no Stalin of the Social Justice Warriors, but that in no way means they are not dangerous”), but when someone (someone who’s not a mark, I mean) takes him to mean what he seems to mean, he weasels, “do I say that the libs are ‘just like’ the Bolsheviks? No, not at all,” and then explains that the liberalism “seeks domination and conformity not by imposing pain and terror on people, but rather by manipulating their access to status and comfort.” Which sounds like a pretty weak kind of “totalitarianism” in the first place, and when explicated it  turns out to mean a bunch of just-so stories about how everyone’s too scared to say trans women are men because they might lose their jobs -- which is 99 44/100% Pure Bullshit -- or that a racist getting kicked off a social media platform for flouting its terms of service is the Coming of the Camps.

The next time one of these nuts tells you about the intolerable tyranny under which Americans live, ask him what he means, specifically. Watch his hands, though. 

Want a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie? This week, along with the January 6 anniversary one I mentioned yesterday, there’s also Amy Wax’s talk radio audition. That leaves three very fine issues you could have read with a subscription, and more where that came from. Sign up and treat yourself

Thursday, October 28, 2021

THE DREAM POLICE.

 Hold out your candy-bags, kids -- here's another freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down. And in a rare double-up, like the last freebie this one features Rod Dreher. But he's just one of a bunch of rightwingers who've gone ballistic over a charming Twix Halloween ad, in which a boy who likes to wear dresses gets a nanny with heavy goth-witch vibes who confronts his bullies and proceeds to blow them off (in one case, literally).

The rampage against this ad is not limited to Dreher (who brings his unique "woke capitalism" brainworms to it) but extends to conservative outlets such as the Media Research Center ("Twix Halloween Ad Features Zero Candy and Plenty of Trans Propaganda for Kids"), Gateway Pundit ("Twix Releases Halloween Ad About a Boy Wearing Dresses With His Witch Nanny — Forgets to Mention Candy," hey thanks for the tip, Rosser Reeves), Russia Today ("The Witch & the Wardrobe change: Twix blasted for ‘woke’ Halloween ad with boy wearing princess dress, but no holiday… or candy"), et alia.

One particularly dumb idea in their coverage is that, when the witch-nanny sends off one bully with a gust of wind, the commercial actually, in the words of Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire, "Suggests Violence Against Those Who Disagree Acceptable." Quite apart from the characterization of bullies as "those who disagree" -- there's a whole academic paper on rightwing victim-status-claiming in that -- I wonder if, when these guys saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Augustus Gloop drowned in the Chocolate River and Violet Beauregarde turned into a blueberry, they stormed the box office claiming it was a pedophiliac snuff film. 

But my essay's not so much about that as why people like these hate fantasies in which the marginalized and bullied vanquish their tormentors, but love fantasies about overthrowing the government and raping and lynching their real-life opponents. 



Tuesday, October 26, 2021

THE MARCH OF RIGHTWING WOO.

I’m unlocking today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, about Rod Dreher’s review of Ross Douthat’s Lyme Disease book. As you might expect, it’s a popular subject among rightwingers as Douthat is one of their made men. But since the book apparently talks about Douthat’s Lyme being chronic, Megan McArdle’s review talks mostly about how she once had what looked like a chronic disease but it turned out to be poor medication reconciliation, tee hee, and (so?) she’s dubious about Douthat’s chronic Lyme claim; Freddie DeBoer, while lavishing praise on Douthat’s prose (I know, suspicious already, right?), argues that chronic Lyme doesn’t exist.  

I forebear to judge, noting that many reputable doctors treat Lyme patients’ symptoms for years. And I wouldn’t judge Douthat’s book either, since I have not and will not read it; life’s way too short. But I note that when Douthat’s rightwing reviewers address his apparently alt-medical opinions, they hasten to tell us that they are certainly not against skepticism toward traditional medicine. De Boer:

I stress that I know how he feels; the paternalistic and arbitrary behavior of doctors is a ubiquitous aspect of mental health treatment, and the unique feeling of helplessness that doctors can inspire is something I have lived with many times in my life. But as some point the ruminations on the failings of the medical system start to feel rote, and Douthat’s objections remind me uncomfortably of myself. Because I spent nearly ten years denying my mental illness entirely and another half-decade refusing medication, and thus far have only spent four accepting both the diagnosis and the treatment. All along, my denial and obstinacy were fed by a set of complaints about the medical system that were visceral, justified, and true. But they were also, undeniably, an excuse to look at everything involved in my mental health but myself. [italics mine]

DeBoer seems to be saying, “Yeah, I thought medical science was a con and didn’t even consider that I had a mental illness, let alone take pills for it; now, guess what, I know I’m mentally ill and I took the pills, but I still think medical science is a con that just happened to be right.” McArdle, without totally buying Douthat’s diagnosis, nonetheless defends his skepticism (“I, like Douthat, also know the peril of deferring to doctors who want to treat only what they can measure”) and ends with some rather weak woo:

That does not, of course, prove that chronic Lyme is real. But neither does the absence of clear evidence provide evidence of absence. Given the uncertainties, it seems to me far better to risk false hope than to too meekly accept a counsel of despair.

Or, the sun’ll come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun.

As addressed in the newsletter, Dreher is more ferociously anti-medical-establishment, raving about ivermectin and “how blind science can be” and even working in a Lyme Disease version of the COVID Lab Leak story (Lyme Leak?). 

What all these guys appear to have in common is a vested interest in the kind of “skepticism” beloved of the anti-vaxx community, crystal healers, and such specifically rightwing alt-med-grifters as Stella “Demon Sperm” Immanuel. This is becoming, as we can see from the people screaming at nurses outside hospitals and the cops marching against vaccination requirements, an important constituency for the new Republican coalition. And it mirrors the whole conservative project to destroy any faith in once-respected authorities such as government, schools, and medical science, so that it may be more easily transferred to Trump and similar goons. 

Oh, also of note: Last month a Texas court threw out a suit against the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), brought by a Lyme sufferer and associates who claim the organization, which publishes standards for Lyme treatment, "engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to deny the existence and prevent treatment of chronic Lyme disease." Now that they've lost, maybe they'll just track the scientists down and assault them, like their co-loons do at hospitals. And do look at the comments at the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down story, especially those of people who've had Lyme Disease and have their own opinions about Dreher's angle. 

 

Friday, October 22, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



If I’m honest, I think this is the greatest American song, and this is its best version.

•   OK cowboys and cowgirls, I’m giving you not one but TWO free samples from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down this week. Feast your eyes:

1. The one about how, though you hear pundits talking about “civil war” as if both sides are choking for it, civil war is really a rightwing thing -- for reasons both political (they know most people won’t vote for them so they celebrate other means of holding power) and psychological (they’re nuts).

2. The one about the rightwing ladies’ magazine I was talking about here yesterday, and how its development mirrors that of other culture-warrior attempts to promote a “conservative” version of something popular: After an initial attempt to “pass,” they give up and become yet another industrial-strength propaganda pump.

Think how great it would be to receive such treasures in your inbox five days a week, with a subscription! But meantime, enjoy.

•   It’s not like me to recommend other people’s essays because I’m selfish, but I encourage wide dissemination of Michael Hobbes’ “The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism” in which, after a quick and apt comparison to the “tort lawsuits out of control” bullshit stories of years past, he rips the bark off the whole Cancel Culture Woke PC blubber brigade. You all know how I feel about this subject, but Hobbes takes a bit of time to pin down some malefactors and it’s glorious, e.g.:

A surprisingly large percentage of “illiberal left” articles pull this same rhetorical trick. In 2019, Laurie Sheck, a New School professor, was investigated by her employer for saying the n-word in class. For weeks, centrist and conservative media outlets sputtered to her defense: The word appeared in a quote from James Baldwin! She was leading a class discussion about racial slurs! Invoking epithets wasn’t even prohibited in any school policies. The case became a totemic example of Wokeness Gone Mad that still pops up in anecdote-parade feature stories two years later.

But that version of the story leaves out an important epilogue. The university cleared Scheck without any punishment. The pundits were right: She hadn’t violated any school policies.

Scheck’s case, as soon as you tell it in full, turns out to be an example of a university that isn’t captured by leftist ideology. Only a single (white) student complained about Sheck’s use of the n-word. Like most universities, the New School has a grievance mechanism that allows students to file complaints and obligates administrators to take them seriously. The term “investigation” conjures up comparisons to Orwell and Kafka, but in this case it appears administrators interviewed Sheck and the student, reviewed their policies and moved on. Perhaps you wish the student had never filed a complaint in the first place, but this is the story of a system working as intended, not breaking down.

And so on. There’s plenty else to say about this popular rightwing propaganda technique -- I’m reminded of the endless skein of Rod Dreher “reader” “mail” in which anonymous alleged correspondents claim they’ve been cancelcultured -- and we have to keep telling the truth about it, notwithstanding that bullshit is at present more popular, in the hope that it'll eventually sink in. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Pure charm.

•   Maybe sometime I’ll see that new Dave Chappelle special but the last one he did in 2019, as I wrote at the time, was more interesting as a social phenomenon than it was enjoyable as a comedy show. And I gotta say this bit from Rod Dreher, just before he begins to blubber about how the mean journalists and Twitter posters are “cancelling” a comedian who is richer and more famous than all of them put together, is not propitious:

Have you seen the new Dave Chappelle special on Netflix yet? It’s not bad — not great, but not bad. It has some some laugh-out-loud lines, but mostly it’s pedestrian. Chappelle’s great, but this isn’t his best stuff.

Dreher’s such a lousy writer he’s always dropping tells, and doesn’t he sound here like someone who wants you to show support for some entertainment product on ideological grounds -- like he’s trying to muscle you to attend a fundraising concert -- but he also wants to tip you off that the product isn’t so hot so, when you see it and find that out, you won’t think he has shitty taste? There’s a bunch of Ernst Lubitsch on the Criterion Channel I haven’t seen yet, so who needs it. 

•   OK, here’s the freebie from this week’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down for you guys who haven’t subscribed. It’s the one about a lightly disguised football coach who was canned for his slurs. I already told you about it here on Wednesday, though. Maybe you feel deprived, even cheated. Well, here’s an idea: Why not subscribe? $7/month for five-day-a-week delivery (less if you go annual-plan) is value for money even in Substack World, plus you get a pass to read everything in the archives -- three years’ worth of quality political commentary, humor, criticism, and even some artistic hooey, plus you get to comment. Think what an impression you’ll make at your next fancy society party when someone brings up, say, Andrew Yang, and you smoothly interject, “I subscribe to Roy Edroso’s Substack, and he says Andrew Yang -- well, I can’t quite remember what, but the gist was Andrew Yang is a piece of shit.” “Why,” your interlocutors will say, “I never thought of it that way. Roy Edroso, you say? I thought he died a long time ago. Suicide.” “No,” you will rejoin, “you’re thinking of Yukio Mishima, whom he closely resembles artistically.” They’ll look at you differently thereafter, I assure you, and a subscription costs less all other means of making such an impression, e.g. new clothes, a spectacular haircut, or bail after you trash the place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

FREE SPEECH DEFECT.

Here’s a rare midweek release of a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie to the non-members among you, about one conservative’s (and every one’s, really) response to the firing of an NFL coach for years of offensive messages. It is, as they say in the promos, inspired by true events

As I always say whenever the cancelculture crybabies rush to defend some big name like Coach Gruden who will almost certainly die rich of old age in his bed despite his “cancellation,” I would happily accept laws that kept such people from being fired, suspended, or otherwise punished for speech so long as the law also applied to the non-rich, such as the trans Netflix employee who, so far as I know, is the only person who has actually suffered for what they've said about the Dave Chapelle special (notwithstanding the fantasies of rightwingers who go “I bet my buddies will get fired for writing a good review of The Closer I bet I bet” -- bitch, show me one!). But conservatives never accept that deal, for some reason. 

Though Erick Erickson is not my model for the REBID item (when he is, I take greater care to ape his awfulness specifically), his own essay on the subject was inspirational. It’s full of nuggets like these:

Gruden said in private what other people might say, including referring to Joe Biden in 2012 as a “nervous clueless pussy.” Whether you like it or not, these conversations happen among friends who sometimes use coarse language.

This was clearly an orchestrated effort to punish Gruden for past comments and drive him out of the NFL. We can speculate on who did it. But we should really focus on the problem here that keeps happening.

There’s so much ugly-stupid in there, but for me the suggestion that Gruden was targeted by the NFL because he said something bad about Joe Biden once, plausibly-deniable chickenshit though it is, doesn’t approach the cowardliness of the “Gruden said in private what other people might say” argument. Erickson can’t even go all the way with the logic of his essay: that it’s so common and understandable to use racist, misogynist, and homophobic slurs on a regular basis that anyone, including himself, might do it. 

I’m not saying Erickson spews like Gruden did; obviously he’s too weaselly to expose himself like that. But if he were more forthright about his assertion, he might be forced to explain why, in his experience, “conversations” that “happen among friends who sometimes use coarse language” (not his friends, surely!) so frequently include these slurs. Or would that be a “critical race theory” question to ask, since it implies American bigotry didn’t die at Appomattox?

Can’t resist adding this bit from Erickson’s essay after this one, about how mandatory vaccination against pandemic viruses is liberal tyranny:

When my father-in-law went for an antibody infusion the other day, the nurse told him the infusions were in short supply. According to the nurse, the Biden Administration was punishing Georgia, Florida, and other states that had no mask or vaccine mandates by withholding antibody infusion doses. Whether that is true or not is beside the point. The point is the nurse believed it and is relaying that to patients. That will have an effect and, in fact, the Biden Administration is withholding antibody doses for reasons that remain nebulous. [Italics added]

I mean, the anonymous authority with an outlandish accusation that the author disseminates is standard procedure with, for example, Rod Dreher, but I don’t think even Dreher would just admit up front that it may be bullshit. 

Friday, October 08, 2021

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


Weird to see them show-bizzin' it up here-- I always imagined them
all serious, even pained, in a church. Shows what I know!

•  I've been asked more than once this week what I think about Rod Dreher getting greater-than-usual dissemination in the mainstream press for his recent bizarre reminiscence about being in third grade and ogling his black classmate's "primitive root wiener when we were at the urinal during recess, because it was monstrous." But I have followed Dreher for many years and frankly this doesn't even make my Top Ten wacko Dreher moments, such as his friend's wife's exorcism ("his wife’s face contorts into expressions that he has never seen in her, despite their nearly two decades of marriage"). Besides, as far as racism goes, the Mandingo root weiner may be funny, but I've seen so much of the guy's less-funny racism, such as his suggestion that if airlines hire more black pilots, airplanes will "start falling out of the sky" (because, come on, black people flying planes!), that it has lost it charm for me. Meanwhile Dreher's still dropping gibberish like this on the regular:

A reader who grew up in communist Czechoslovakia said the letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden, asking for the feds to move in to protect school boards from angry parents, reminds him of this August 1968 letter that the Communist leadership of his native country sent to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, fraternally requesting an invasion to protect them from the Czech people...

But while this comparison of a DOJ investigation into violent threats by rightwing freaks against school board members for purposes of intimidation to the crushing of the Prague Spring is clinically insane, it's well within the range of mainstream conservative opinion, so we can count on the prestige press to continue to fluff Dreher the way they have Hugh Hewitt and other such ogres as fascinating contrarians. 

•  I have cleared only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down entry for readers who are not paying subscribers -- the latest in a series of conservative columns about how you liberals are just silly to worry about another attempted Trump coup (bringing to mind the old Tom Lehrer lyric: "Once all the Germans were warlike and mean/ But that couldn't happen again/ We taught them a lesson in 1918/ And they've hardly bothered us since then"). It's been such an action-packed week that you should really consider subscribing. I mean, take today's entry on the new political party/grift created by Andrew Yang. (Here's a free column of mine from 2019 about how I knew Yang was no good. Sometimes the gift of prophecy is a curse!) That alone is worth the $7 monthly subscription rate -- and it's just one of the twenty (20) issues you get for that price! It's almost wasteful not to subscribe!