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

Friday, March 22, 2024


If you were to. knock me down. I'd just get up again.

Been a wacky week around America. I know a lot of people are getting a kick out of Tubby’s hunt for the $474 million bond he’ll need to post if he doesn’t want his assets seized. But to me it just looks like more evidence that there are never any consequences for our biggest criminals. For one thing, Trump’s getting a $3 billion payday for the IPO on TruthSocial/TrumpMedia – a value proposition I absolutely do not understand, and apparently neither does anyone else, as CNN tells us “experts say the market is drastically overvaluing Trump Media based on the company’s fundamentals,” so he may not be able to cash out easily. But he’s got a great backup plan: The Republican Party, which has agreed to let him take a nice cut for himself on any Presidential campaign fundraising he does. The guy will never pay a dime nor serve a day. I wonder if Peter “Fall Guy” Navarro sees the irony. George Carlin tried to tell him it's a big club and he ain’t in it, but these guys always believe that doesn’t apply to them, even when they get bounced.

Speaking of current events, this week’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies are pretty timely. #1 is Governor Abbott’s meeting with his border-jumper bounty hunters. Right after this one came out a Fifth Circuit panel slapped a stay on the nutty law that gives Texas its own immigration department (with the blessings of the Trumpified SCOTUS), but Abbott is fighting back and if he gets his way several other states in the Shitheel Belt have signaled they want to throw immigrants out, too. It all makes me think back to the 1984 centenary of the Statue of Liberty, when every conservative from Reagan on down kvelled over Lady Liberty and her golden lamp and what immigration had done for America. Bad as they always were, conservatives can always find a way to get worse.   

Freebie #2 is our latest entry in the category of Hardcore, our term of our term of art for ragebait emails that lure your senile relatives to rightwing garbage sites. This time, though, instead of trawling the Mariana Trench of less-well-known wingnut equities, we focus on the work of two conservative icons whose recent gibberings have won them Hardcore status. First is Candace Owens, who just today got de-partnered by the Daily Wire, though probably for allegedly antisemitic content rather than the loony “French President’s wife is a man” thing she’s been pushing; second is one of our longtime fave figures-of-fun, Rod Dreher, who has risen to the latest ultraracist rightwing talking point that Haitians are cannibals bent on invading America and eating up the white people, and attributes this to voodoo and the fruit of its poisoned tree, the liberation of Haitian slaves in 1804. It’s a doozy, and I see Br’er Rod’s on a streak:

He was always weird but divorce really put the zap on his head

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


It can’t last, so let’s all ride this MAGA Declares War on Taylor Swift thing to clicksville while the iron’s hot, shall we? Here’s a rare midweek freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, with a ripped-from-today’s-headlines account of the anti-Swift nerve center at Mar-a-Lago. Strictly for laffs! 

As I repeatedly remind you folks, conservative politicians and political writers have entirely abandoned policies and even normal constituent service in favor of lunatic culture war crap like this. Entertainers most of us think of as That Guy In that Movie or That Girl on Spotify are to them as demons sent to Make Everything Woke. This goes for the rightwing intelli-ma-lectuals like Victor Davis Hanson as well as humble clickbait farmers (“The Top 5 Most Overrated Liberal Comedians”), but also for bigtimers like the New York Times' David French, one of those conservatives who liberals simps think is OK, and author of a hair-raisingly weird Prince obituary (“For conservatives, Prince was ultimately just another talented and decadent voice in a hedonistic culture. He was notable mainly because he was particularly effective at communicating that decadence to an eager and willing audience…”).

I didn’t think this Swift thing could get any nuttier but I hadn’t counted on Rod Dreher. I’d more or less stopped paying attention to him since his nervous breakdown and departure from The American Conservative, but my attention was called to his latest Substack item, “Among the Swifties” – and if you sense a reference of Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs there, claim your prize because Dreher does indeed compare the young female fans of Taylor Swift to the soccer hooligans in Buford’s book:

Here is Buford himself, reflecting on what he learned about crowd dynamics by watching a thug leader he calls “Mutton Chops” at work…

This is interesting. It says that we cannot entirely blame Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, or any other “leader” who holds sway over a crowd; the crowd’s latent desire for someone to create them manifested in those individual figures being propelled to leadership. Don’t misread Buford here; he’s not absolving crowd leaders of their actions…

Someone should ring Buford and ask him if he absolves Taylor Swift of her crimes. 

To put it in Buford’s terms: there was a huge crowd of young females who shared a common emotional experience (“the collective female unconscious”) that settled on Taylor Swift, a supremely gifted creator of pop songs, as their leader. Taylor Swift played her role, of course, but Buford would say that Swift was summoned by the latency within the crowd that would later become Swifties.

I bet Dreher imagines “Swifties” as rampaging Valkyries doing Wokeness to the innocent. The thing’s full of howlers, with patented Dreherisms like his regret that he cannot experience the “liberating pleasure of ego death” he imagines sports, Swift, and Trump fans enjoy – “The only time I’ve ever had that experience as part of a crowd was at the U2 concert in Baton Rouge…” The jokes just write themselves! Nonetheless I had a go at REBID, if you can use a chuckle, however mordant. 

UPDATE. Finally realizing that maybe this has all been a terrible mistake, some of the conservative Shuck Troopers are trying to turn it around. Washington Times:

We're not nuts, you're nuts! Well, on their readership it could work. Also Erick Erickson is trying his insufficient best:

Never mind that it hurts Donald Trump. Never mind that it makes the Republicans look deeply unserious. Never mind the political fallout. On a day that Cori Bush has been targeted by the Justice Department, a Democrat progressive targeted by Joe Biden's Justice Department, we're all having to talk about the Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce thing because of what these idiots have done online. 

Oh, I'm sure none of them will mind that the Swift Purge is distracting from the fact that the DOJ, which conservatives constantly accuse of being politically weaponized against Republicans just because they did some so-called "crimes," is investigating prominent Democrats like Bush and even charging Democratic Senator Robert Menendez as well. Screening out inconvenient facts is as important to their whole paranoid vision as the manufacture of lunatic fantasies.

UPDATE 2. Lol, I forgot that conservatives have been raging at Swift for at least ten years now. Here's my 2013 post on the Power Line proto-Catturd Hindrocket doing close analysis of Swift wearing a onesie -- is it a comment on Pajama Boy?? And get a load of all the anti-Swift articles at rightweing rat's nest The Federalist: Imagine going to an editor with a pitch like "Taylor Swift’s Disappointing Arc Is Generationally Representative" and having her slam the desk and cry, "THAT'S GOLD, JASHINSKY! GOLD!" Finally, lest we forget: Mark Hemingway's sad boomer review of Swift. Now that's funny! 

Friday, September 15, 2023


This reached #8 in the UK chart, and my home, somehow.

The Friday R-T-H is traditionally where joy-poppers get their free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down editions. My first one comes from a few years back – but it’s newly relevant as the Daily Mail has decided it has enough to report that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Trump factotum Corey Lewandowski are having an affair. When this first came to my attention in 2021, I thought it might be fun to see Lewandowski and Tubby engage the issue. Enjoy!  

For newer stuff, I’m unlocking my close read of that extremely generous New Yorker profile of Ross Douthat. All of the interviews are of great pals of Douthat’s, and they agree he’s the “Christian conservative who lives among liberals, writes for them, and… has their respectful attention.” Dunno whether that speaks worse of Douthat or of whomever they imagine to be liberals. They gave similar treatment to Rod Dreher, some years back, and I have to ask: Do they not simply see that these are religious maniacs trying to immanentize the eschaton with bullshit? Or has the bothsiderism that is general in what I call (with bitter laughter) the prestige press also infested the press that has (for the moment) genuine prestige? 

I might as well throw in Monday’s 9/11 sketch about the modern Republican Party’s new attitude toward that event: That is, it’s just something else to tie to the Deep State, not Islama-dama-ding-dong and whatever else they made it about back in the Early Aughts. I know there are plenty of old-timey Republicans who still do standard-issue Never Forget routines on 9/11, but the new jacks seem very influenced by Tubby’s moral relativism – as when he said about Putin, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” (That was probably just a play for the horseshoe numbskulls who mistake his nihilism for an actual analysis of America’s real foreign policy villainy; Trump’s not against killing, he just wants to make you think everyone else is as bad as he is.) Vivek Ramaswamy’s truther flirtations are just the latest frontier; by the convention they’ll be telling us Obama blew up the World Trade Center.

I will add something about that McKay Coppins story about Mitt Romney that everyone’s kvelling over. It’s certainly fun to see the old bastard calling out Mitch McConnell and J.D. Vance and all those other assholes. But it was fun when John Boehner did it, too, and he’s a piece of shit. I’ve been seeing people coo over what a wonderful guy Mittens is and how it wouldn’t have been so bad if he were elected President but let’s not get it twisted: Mister 47% (“who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care…” Remember?) is not a good guy. He’s smarter and maybe more honorable personally than most of the gremlins and creeps who run the party now, but he ran in 2012 on rightwing policies with the zombie-eyed granny-starver because that’s what he believes in. Also he is in his own way as much of a religious maniac as the evangelicals. And now he’s ready to retire and is throwing out some legacy bait. The prestige press may fall for it, but why should we?

Friday, April 21, 2023


For me, a good cover makes you hear the original differently.
I never much liked this song before I heard this version.

I’m outta the hospital and back on my bullshit! As proof, have some Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebies. First one’s about how other Republican officials might try to copy Ron “Three Fingers” DeSantis’ B-movie goon act. (I mentioned this a few days ago but what the hell, it’s news if it’s news to you.) I see Fingers has been having a hard week; apparently some donors (and voters!) notice his charmlessness and lunatic policies could be a liability in the general election. There is one super-rich guy pledging, hilariously, he would “go without food” to make this chunkhead President – increasingly this is becoming the age of the single rightwing billionaire patron, as shown by dedicated contributors to such as Rod Dreher and the Marble Freedom Trust – but it looks as if the closer we get to actual vote-counting time, the less people want a candidate who basically acts out neo-Nazi pamphlets in his governance. Once again, it seems Supercrook will be the GOP’s champion in the brief vote-show before the next insurrection attempt.

Speaking of big donors, the second freebie is mostly a monologue delivered by Clarence Thomas’ charming wife, explaining to the rabble why Supreme Court Justices of a certain political inclination aren’t bound by laws and norms to which we may, in our childishness, have expected them to attend. It has been grimly funny to see such frauds as Jonah Goldberg, David Brooks, Charles Murray and David French all rushing to defend Thomas’ Sugar Nazi as one hell of a guy who, on that basis, should be able to buy whatever unanswerable public official he wants. But they and the recalcitrant Thomas are part of the same imperturbable ruling class ethic: When the going gets tough, just act as if what the peons think doesn’t matter. It’s worked so far! 

Only other thing I really wanted to mention is Elmo’s blue-check purge. As expected, it’s already making it hard to identify real government agencies and public services from fakes. This doesn’t matter to Elmo and his incel army, who continue to portray the mass decertification as some sort of populist victory. But too little attention is paid to the real purpose behind it. 

Once upon a time Twitter was a good place to find, talk to, and sometimes yell at, people whose expertise and experience, attested to by Twitter, were valuable and meaningful. It was as close to a public forum with such people as most of us ever got.

Now it doesn’t matter whether you actually are, for example, an internationally-known forestry expert, or whether you’re just some guy who paid eight dollars so he can pretend he is one. In fact the phony may have an advantage over the real if he’s a Friend of Elmo – that is, the sort of right-wing troll he favors and amplifies. Where once a user’s achievements were significant, now all that matters is volume – how much one’s signal is boosted by the corrupt owner, and how many bots you can afford to muscle-up your tweets. This destroys Twitter as a resource, but promotes it as a propaganda tool – an alternative universe where the worst ideas are promoted, not because so many people even on the platform believe them, but because shitheels can rig it so it seems like they do. If these people lose again in 2024, count on them to say it’s impossible because Catturd2 has more followers than Biden got votes. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


Hey guys, just letting you know I’m out of the hospital. My gratitude to the folks at the NIH Clinical Center for once again taking such good care of me. It just makes me more fond than ever of big government, and more contemptuous of jail-Fauci science-is-witchcraft Republicans like Rod Dreher and Ross Douthat.

Healing is happening, though more slowly than it did when I was a pup. But dammit, I can still type! So far I’ve answered muster on all this week's Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issues – here’s a freebie, about the exciting new trend of Republican officials acting like mob bosses, insofar as their social disabilities allow. As I’ve said in the past, Ron DeSantis suffers especially in this regard:

The problem with DeSantis is, he may be too much of an obvious goon to translate as leader material beyond the borders of his corrupt bastion of Florida Men. He reminds me of minor gangsters in old movies as played by Sheldon Leonard and Mike Mazurki, except Leonard and Mazurki had presence and even charm — DeSantis is more like Rondo Hatton. It’s telling that he so consciously copies Trump’s body language; on the one hand it shows the requisite shamelessness, but on the other it also suggests a lack of inner resources. Once Trump’s out of the way — and he will need to be, for anyone else to advance — the new champion will have to have some style and swagger of his own, and if DeSantis can’t achieve that he’ll go down the way the minor Warner Brothers hoods did.

Meanwhile I see at the Wall Street Journal that Barton Swaim has chivalrously rushed to the defense of Clarence Thomas’ Sugar Nazi, Harlan Crow. Swaim starts (under a gentle drawing of Crow clearly meant to make him look like a more charming Noah Cross) by tut-tutting the “political left” for what Swaim portrays as its penchant for “delegitimation”:

The habits of delegitimation have become so familiar that it’s easy to forget how antidemocratic they are: political correctness and, more recently, cancel culture; the invention of “phobias”—homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia—to characterize dissent as mental illness…

If you’re wondering how liberals got away with suggesting conservatives were stirring up fear and loathing of gays, Muslims, and trans people, you may have just awakened from a 20-year coma. 

…the wanton attribution of racism, misogyny, fascism and white supremacy; and of course the easy insinuation that any political figure of whom one disapproves is guilty of crimes.

Lately, of course, most accusations of Republican criminality are focused on Donald Trump, an obvious and widely-acknowledged crook. (By the way, somewhere Hillary “Lock Her Up” Clinton is laughing her ass off.) Swaim does mention Trump, but as a victim: He “rose to power by treating his adversaries exactly as they treated him, and indeed as they had treated George W. Bush: as de facto illegitimate.”  More sinned against than sinning! 

Swaim then travels to Crow’s estate for a tour and whattaya know, Crow’s got MLK and Lincoln memorabilia too, and he’s pals with Cornel West – see, it’s not just Nazis! Over sandwiches Crow tells Swaim how moderate he is – “I’m kind of a traditional George Bush type Republican… I’m moderately pro-choice—a first-trimester guy… So when people say I want to influence people on the court, I would say that if I were trying to do that, which I’m not, I’m not doing a very good job.” So Thomas and Crow can agree to disagree that people who aren’t them can have their rights taken away. It’s not like there’s anything important at stake. Just keep it civil, without delegitimation! 

Finally, I see Texas has gotten so gun crazy they’re mowing down cheerleaders, which in the Lone Star you would have thought were a protected species. What’s next, oil tycoons?

Tuesday, January 03, 2023


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


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


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


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


 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


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


This motherfucker rocked the Apollo

•   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


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


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


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


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


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


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