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

Friday, September 23, 2005

THE RIGHT WING. Daily Pundit, seconded by the Ole Perfesser:
Liberal media promote ABC's 'Commander in Chief'
Screening & Discussion with Members of the Commander Writing Team, Eleanor Clift, Gwen Ifil, Helen Thomas, and President of The White House Project
Yes. I'll be on pins and needles waiting to watch a tv series about a woman President written by Eleanor Clift, Gwen Ifill, and Helen Freaking Thomas.

How about a series about a President who actually has brains and leadership qualities, written by Jonah Goldberg, Roger Simon and, well, me?
The froth was on him, I guess, and clouded his perception so that he didn't realize that Clift et alia were participants in a discussion, not the actual writers of the show. Or maybe he's just hostile toward objective reality, which has so often been shown to contradict his many opinions.

Nonetheless his idea for Prez porn written by the blogosphere's foremost numbskulls is an intriguing one:


Scene 1: Der Oval Office.

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: (relaxing with a cigar) Ahh! I haff tekken a piss on ze piczure of Clinton! Life iz good! Ha ha ha ha!

CHIEF OF STAFF GOLDBERG: That was sweet, Mr. President! You know what would be cool? If you could work some quotes from Animal House into the State of the Union! (Turns to SECURITY ADVISOR SIMON) High five!

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: (thoughtfully) Zat has grossed big -- but too old! I know! Ve use quotes from Ze Exorcism of Emily Rose! Vat vaz lines zey remember?

CHIEF OF STAFF GOLDBERG: Oooh, I know! "Once you see the darkness, I think you hold onto it the rest of your life."

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: Vat ze hell iz dot? It don't mekk senze! Vat is zis, a gurly picture for ze Academy Avards? I piss on zem too! Ach! I know! We get CGI to make ze funny faces I remember from ze ad on ze TV! Zen ve make der Democrats verr zem! Ah ha ha ha! Life iz good.

SECURITY ADVISOR SIMON: CGI? I don't think we have the capability, Mr. President...

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: (Grabbing SIMON by his ample lapels) Zen you make it zo! You little scheiss, before I raize you up, you make ze gurly moviez wiz ze Woody Allen und ze Paul Mazursky, and write ze books! But now you play in ze big leagues! You get me ze Induzrial Light und Magic! Schnell! (To GOLDBERG) Und you get out too! You dribble ze Cheetos crumbs on ze cahpet!

SCENE 2: SIMON and GOLDBERG Steadicam through endless West Wing hallways.

GOLDBERG: Once you get past the insane rages, he's rilly awesome.

SIMON: We have to get him to focus. This morning I gave him 12 countries to invade. He just kept spinning around in his chair and saying, "Ja, ja, I keel efferybody." How am I supposed to take that to the Joint Chiefs?

GOLDBERG: 'Member when he peed on Clinton? That was rilly awesome.

SIMON: Goddamn it! (yelling to 3,000 nearby junior staff) Has anyone seen my fedora?

SCENE 3: Some other impressive looking room.

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER meets with the Democratic Leadership, played by inanimate blobs of cookie dough.

DEMOCRAT 1: neener neener nee nee neener nee neener, nee neener neener nee nee ner.

DEMOCRAT 2: neener nee! (attempts to stand up, fails)

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: Ah ha ha ha ha! Ah ha ha ha ha! (shoots them all to pieces with a potato gun)

SCENE 4: Some little room with people running around outside the windows, their brightness silhouetting GOLDBERG and PRESS SECRETARY COULTER within.

GOLDBERG: Oooh, I wanna kiss you, wanna kiss you so bad. You're blonde!

COULTER: Uh huh.

GOLDBERG: Der President called me Goldberg today. Usually he calls me Goldstein, or Untermensh! I bet he lets me run with him next time! Picture it -- Vice President Goldberg! Or Smith. I may have to change it. (stentorian voice) "Nothing's over until we say it is! Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America!"

COULTER: Have you seen my hand waxer?

GOLDBERG: 'Member when Otter and the guys went to that black club? That was rilly awesome.

SCENE 5: PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER yells at the piss-soaked portrait of Clinton.

PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER: You giff me a raw deal! Nobody giffs me a raw deal! (bares his teeth to the skies) Poppa! Can you hear me? Poppa, can you hear me? (to Clinton) Nobody giffs me a raw deal! (Unzips his pants)

(Aaaaand... scene.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TOUCH OF WHITE. It's been a while since I gave Roger L. Simon much attention. My interest was rekindled by Tbogg, who noted that the Bo Derek of the War on Terror had been reminiscing passive-aggressively about the 60s, telling a whippersnapper that nothing comes close to the pot of '69 and "I can attest that 1968 and 2008 aren't remotely similar. And the enemy we are facing isn't remotely the same."

That's an odd thing for him to say, as in his fist-shaking mode Simon often makes nostalgic comparisons. For example, Spike Lee reminds him of Jesse Jackson, because Lee, who "for more than a decade... has barely made a film any of us can remember" (unlike ahem), now "plays the old identity/race card" with Clint Eastwood in order to summon back the limelight. And this makes him like Jackson, because Jackson also angles for a race-card comeback, for example... well, Simon gives no example, but we all know... why, just the other day he... well, neither one of these guys is white, okay? And that goes for O.J. Simpson and noisy Mexicans and other darker types with whom Simon traditionally associates historical calamity.

Speaking of which, Simon manages to drag Obama into it, too:
We don’t know which way we are going - toward a post-racial future or back to a racist past.

I have been rooting very hard for the former so it was with some wistfulness I read that Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date was to see Lee’s Do the Right Thing. I very much liked the film at the time (1989), but somehow I wish the Obamas had gotten together over, say, a college production of Aeschylus or perhaps a reading of Pushkin. I don’t want to think of their marriage emanating from the stew pot of American racial despair.
Of course if the Obamas' first date had in any way involved Pushkin or the Ancient Greeks, Simon would be using that as evidence for his previous claim that Obama's an elitist. That avenue blocked, Simon goes where his heart leads him: imputations of racism against black people.

Fans of rightwing Zdhanovism will enjoy the "liked the film at the time, but..." which suggests a new opinion adopted to suit new realities. Maybe that's the real difference between 1968 and 2008 to which Simon referred: back when Simon was wearing love-beads, only Birchers and hardhats talked like this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

YOU KIDS GET ON MY LAWN! I see that Michael Gerson has a column about how Obama is the guy who really started the culture war. To Gerson, culture war is working out a way for non-observant employees of Catholic organizations to get birth control while Republicans try to keep it away from everyone, no matter who they work for.

But those of us who've been watching the war for decades know it's not about who Alinskied who, but really about wish fulfillment. Case in point -- Roger L. Simon:
Are Liberals the New Squares?
They've been working this angle since "South Park Conservatism," and it never gets over. And this one isn't going to break the streak:
I mean – do you think Deborah Wasserman-Schultz is hip? This is one of the meanest things I’ve ever put in print or online, but that’s the girl who was standing in the corner at the sixth grade cotillion and you said, “Oh, no. Do I have to dance with her?”
I can see a Simon reader asking "what's a cotillion?" and, after Simon's patient and dreamily nostalgic explanation, asking "Who's Deborah Wasserman-Schultz?"

But give Simon credit --  he seems to have figured out that selling Mitt Romney and Grover Norquist as hipsters is a losing proposition, so he comes up with ringers:
Of course, most can’t countenance this. They continue to believe that government spending is cool, that it is a good thing (how square is that?), but out of the corner of their ears they are beginning to hear a different song: 
Libertarians are the cool guys.
Alas, he never explains this; I like to imagine he was thinking this shot of the Potsie and Fonzie of Freedom would render all argument moot:

The libs don't know, but the Heartland Institute understands.

Surely no actually youngperson will go for this, so you have to wonder who Simon's audience is. The answer: Conservatives of a certain age who remember when the girls thought Alex P. Keaton was dreamy, Nancy Reagan had taste, and Poverty Sucked -- that is, when they were cool. They can't even pretend anymore, but they can sure sit around the klavern and tell each other how not cool the new jacks are. Which is kind of sad, because cool is something that it's only cool to obsess over when you're a kid. 

(I do hope Simon stays on this track, though, and tells us next week he's seen Girls and thinks Mamet's kid looks pretty now that she's stopped dressing like a tomboy.)

Sunday, April 25, 2004

UPPING THE ANTI. Roger L. Simon rags on Kerry's evasive answers about his medals. I don't much fault guys like Simon for piling onto this, and Mrs. Kerry's Audi, and all that stuff -- it's politics, not beanbag, and Lord knows character assassination is about the strongest arrow in the Bushites' quiver right now.

But in spinning out his theme, Simon goes this bridge too far:
Now I was a war protestor then and, as I have written earlier, I have mixed feelings about those (like Kerry) who claimed to have opposed the war in those days and then went. There were plenty of ways, especially for those in Kerry's economic class, to have avoided it, even if that meant moving to Canada to preserve their ideals, which many did. So the message to me about the Senator has always been one of weakness of character (not physical bravery, which he apparently had), of moral confusion. Sure he's entitled to have changed his opinion or to have made mistakes. Everyone has. But in this era, more perilous to our country and the world than any since World War II, who wants someone in the White House who doesn't take responsibility for his actions?
You have to hand it to Simon. Heretofore the Bushites have been trying to neutralize Kerry's wartime experience by focusing on his antiwar comments after the fact. But Simon steals a march and suggests that Kerry's military service is itself proof of his "weakness of character," "moral confusion," and (my favorite) inability to "take responsibility for his actions."

I'm not suprised by much anymore, but Simon caught me off guard here. Maybe we should start handing out awards for this sort of thing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Roger L. Simon gave a speech at some rightwing fish-fry in Washington state and decided to share it on his website. Next time, fellas, try and get Shecky Green:
All right, here are five words that should make you smile: You don’t live in California…. I would imagine that saves many of you ten thousand dollars a year or more right there. There’s something to be happy about. Speaking of which, since I live in L.A. but spend a lot of time in this state, I’ve always been perplexed why everything seems to work better up here… the roads are better, the services are better… but we pay the ridiculous amount of state income tax. I don’t have to tell this crowd — don’t ever go there.
Thank you, now I'll fuck off with my check back to L.A. while you stay up here and get rained on. Do even conservatives go for this "Like you, I hate the major media centers and that's why I spend all my time in them" bullshit anymore?

Most of the speech is about Simon's conversion. Yes, that again. "Hey, Lou, 'dja know I usedta be a liberal?" "Give it a rest, Roger." "No really, I even hung out with the Black Panthers." "We know, Roger." "Lou, you know something else? Richard Pryor never laughed at my jokes." "Alright, rummy, hit the bricks, let's go..."

At one point in the speech Simon is approached by a glamorous Soviet agent!
Later, on subsequent cultural exchanges to the Soviet Union in the eighties, I learned just how true as KGB agents followed us everywhere, including the bathroom. An attempt was even made, at hotel in Yalta, to draft me into Soviet intelligence by a female reporter from Soviet Screen magazine. Not only was I not tempted, I was terrified.
"You know Schwarzenegger, yes? You find out how he become big star with such big accent. Comes the revolution you can be commissar of Hollywood. Also of my ass. You like? I was gymnast."
(Only lately, have I begun to understand what it was they wanted. More of that in a moment).
Simon never follows up on this, at least in the transcript, which is really too bad ("Spielberg? A Red! Jack Nicholson? Red! Brian DePalma? Ooh, a big Red!").

His big finish:
Rather than boycott Hollywood, take it over – at least part of it. But do it well and professionally. Otherwise there’s no point. No one’s interested.

As one who was given by God, or my parents’ DNA or something, the ability to write dialogue and make up stories, I am going to be devoting more of my time to that in the future, putting some of the skills I learned as a liberal to work as a conservative...

And people like me need the support of people like you more than you know. After decades of pervasive liberal culture, we need an audience, financial support, and new means of distribution. That’s a whole infrastructure, if you think about it. And then there’s educational system and the media to think about…. Whoa…. No one ever said it was going to be easy. Thank you.
They left out the part where ushers went through the crowd with tin cups. Coming soon: PJDVD! Not only are the movies conservative, you don't have to rub elbows with the hoi polloi and maybe catch TB to watch 'em!

I like to think of this speech as Simon's "Garageland." The truth is only known by geezer types. (h/t Dan Coyle)

Saturday, January 10, 2004

ON TO BOB JONES! Roger Simon is mad because there was a lot of anti-war talk at an MLA conference:
The University Class is one of the most rigid in America in its thinking... At a conference like the MLA, whose primary raison d'etre is job search, the pressure to conform is compounded. Attendees with pro-war views would naturally be reluctant to express themselves for fear of losing out in the marketplace. I know I'd keep my mouth shut in such an atmosphere. I already know not to broadcast my pro-war views when going to a meeting in Hollywood.
One of Simon's commenters is surprised to hear that Simon censors himself. Oh, says Simon, "I had my tongue pretty far in my cheek to make a point. I'm not the kind of personality who could hide his views even if I wanted to."

Not like the rest of you, he might have added. You're a-scared.

Sigh. You see this kind of thing all the time now. Seen from this POV, liberals are nervous nellies for objecting to the Patriot Act, but such conservative members of the Modern Language Association as may exist are justified in fearing for their very tenures.

"I certainly don't want to be whiny and self-pitying" says one such whiny, self-pitying fellow, but in his freshman year at the University of Michigan (1982!), "there was a whiff of violence in the air, on that campus of mine. There really was. Of course, you have to be careful whom you talk to this way, because you could be marked off as an exaggerator or paranoid or worse." No shit.

His remarks were delivered at the 20th Anniversary celebration of the conservative Harvard Salient. No doubt there were a number in attendance waving prostheses and crutches, legacies of campus battles endured in the second year of the first Reagan Adminstration. Or perhaps no one was there at all, their forces long since decimated by the implacable jackboots of the Left.

Despite the miraculous survival of the Salient and its friends, some folks like David Horowitz want a form of affirmative action to get right-wingers into college professorships. As soon as that one goes through, I want a job at Fox News.

One thing has always puzzled me about this. If liberals have a hammerlock on most faculties, and this is a terrible detriment to our nation (as conservatives from Revilo P. Oliver to Megan McArdle have long known), why not let the marketplace solve the problem?

Instead of sending fat checks or resumes to hotbeds of liberalism like Harvard and Berkeley, why not build new citadels of learning upon foundations already laid by sympathetic educators? Jerry Falwell's Liberty University comes to mind. Or Hillsdale, or Wheaton, or any of a number of Catholic colleges and universities that would happily turn the best and brightest conservative minds to a higher, nobler purpose.

What a great advance for the cause it would be if some parents would find the gumption to say, "I know you've been accepted to Yale, honey, but the American Renaissance demands that we send you to Bob Jones U." Or if Harvey Mansfield were to rise up and shout, "Farewell, Harvard commies, glory calls at Magdalen College!"

The gains, admittedly, would not be immediate. But isn't conservatism about taking the long view?

Friday, December 30, 2005

RACE TO THE BOTTOM. Drew Thornley thinks we shouldn't make a big deal out of American torturers when people who are not American are doing even worse things:
The mainstream American media spent months covering in detail the "atrocities" at Abu Ghraib and continues to give negative press to allegations of inhumane treatment at the hands of American soldiers... Yet the events at Abu Ghraib pale in comparison to the real atrocities that receive little or no attention by the same media, such as the crisis in Darfur, Castro's jailing and/or murder of political dissidents, the May 2005 massacre of public demonstrators in Andijan, Uzbekistan, and the hundreds of "honor murders" committed each year.
Roger L. Simon double-underlines the point:
...there is a deep psychological disturbance in our mainstream media, a kind of willed need to ignore the world around them. It probably was, more or less, forever thus, but modern communications, specifically the internet, have brought this willed ignorance to the surface as never before. And yet the MSM continues in the same direction, even in the face of seeming economic failure.
Maybe it's just me, but I believe the scale and scope of international coverage by the commie-pinko New York Times compares very favorably to that of, say, the New York Post, the Washington Times, Fox News, or even Roger L. Simon.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest that Simon isn't genuinely concerned with the lack of global news in U.S. papers, or he'd be asking why Rupert Murdoch stuffs his rags with puzzles and runaway brides instead of dispatches from Uzbekistan. No, it's year-end greatest-hits time, and Simon's doing his usual Abu Ghraib schtick as a treat to his fans.

The persistence of the Abu Ghraib story isn't just a big-media plot. Even when they are in a positive (or at least forgiving) frame of mind about the Iraq War, Americans don't approve of torturing enemy prisoners. We prefer to think ourselves exceptional --- genuinely better, not just comparatively better, than the world's tyrants and their cowed subjects.

Maybe we're wrong about ourselves. Maybe we're not a shining city on a hill, but merely a better deal for the money, torture- and injustice-wise, than the other vendors on the block. Maybe no deep principle sustains us except staying a little ahead of the competition.

If so, then there's no reason not to get worse -- we have a lot of wiggle room compared with other countries. So what if we spy on our citizens? So what if we detain them without charges? Who's gonna give you a better deal than this? Go see what Fidel's peddling!

I have to applaud Simon's ingenuity in dressing this up as idealism, but I wonder how many people he's convincing besides himself.

Monday, September 19, 2005

SO LONG, SUCKERS. Roger L. Simon episodically berates organizations such as Amnesty International and the U.N. for not doing enough about genocide, human rights, and all the world's various ills -- e.g., "Will Amnesty [Int'l] defend this real human rights abuse?... Or will they remain, in Orwell's evocative phrase, 'objectively pro-fascist'?" and "The United Nations, which was formed in the wake of genocide... has not nearly done its job [in Darfur], just as it did not in Rwanda. Why? Maybe there just isn't any money it," etc. etc.

But as we see from Simon's favorable notice of TigerHawk's "Genocide and the Free-Rider Problem," Simon believes there's one organization from whom the peoples of the world should not expect such assistance: the United States of America.

TigerHawk is responding to Nicolas Kristof's criticism of our Government's weak anti-genocide stand in the U.N. TH says we have every reason to resist any stated "obligation" to respond to foreign genocides, and offers several, including a desire to avoid "disrespecting international law" (though I think this is meant as a joke). But his main case seems (near as I can figure) to be that such a promise would encourage "free-riding" on the part of other countries, who should go out and solve genocides themselves instead of always bugging us to do so.

Now, this is consistent with TH's general approach (he frankly admitted in '04 that the best reason to invade Iraq* was, "Put simply, after September 11 we had to wreck a country in the Arab world, occupy it, sustain ourselves in that occupation, and never waiver" -- which is arguably psychotic, but not inconsistent).

But I marvel at the support he gets Simon, who often explicitly talks about the necessity of our Iraq imbroglio in human-rights term -- in fact, he has approvingly cited a Darfur-related apologia for the invasion and, more recently, offered advice on how "we" could "help" women retain their rights in the coming Islamic republic of Iraq.

What happened? Bush's second term, I'm guessing. As the battered Administration leaks copious amounts of money, it is becoming clearer that America has two choices -- bugout or bankruptcy -- and Bush may even take both. Even the most full-throated web-warriors are getting ready to re-declare the Mission Accomplished and produce a revival of Saigon '74. America will forget, as usual, and we'll be on to some other debacle.

Remember those palmy days when the Right was mooning over the poor Iraqis and their rape rooms and the necessity, by any means necessary, to save them? And how these friends of Iraq held up purple-ink-stained fingers in "solidarity" with the newly-enfranchised Iraqi people? Did you worry at those times that perhaps you were wrong about the war, howsoever strong the evidence, because their reasons seemed more humane than yours? "Seemed" is the operative word; it was all bullshit.

Not the oppression and exploitation -- those, alas, were all too real, and we may hope that the Iraqis will not long have to accept a life of chaos as their one alternative to a life of fear. I mean the human-rights angle as an excuse, before and after, for war. The advocates' passion for human rights was an expedient that they used to lure suckers; this handy-dandy little war not only fights terrorism, it also promotes human rights! If you were taken in, console yourself that at least you have a good, soft heart, but try not to let yourself be deceived again. [edited for clarity]

*UPDATE. TigerHawk tells me in comments that I misstated his "wreck a country" crack, which I called his best reason for the war. Well, his post was over 6300 words, and not written in such a way as to command unwavering attention. Looking at his original, I now notice that he merely said he liked the idea (out of Thomas Friedman) -- he had other arguments for war, which you can go see for yourself. I certainly don't agree that this "is tantamount to omitting the word 'not' from a quotation and substituting elipses" on my part, but it was sloppy of me. Roger L. Simon remains a tool.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


We've seen the other Republican candidates, fading in the face of Trump, going "Look at me! I can be crazy too!" What might be the journalistic equivalent?
It would seem a tad overheated to speculate that Hillary Clinton being elected president could trigger an American civil war. Unfortunately, it’s not. If not an outright war, massive civil disobedience would likely be in the offing. 
If our chief executive is assumed to be dishonest by the majority of the population — a solid plurality and possibly even a majority believing her actually to be criminal — before she takes office, what would be the natural outgrowth to society, if not a breakdown of one sort or another?...
Just kidding -- while I'm sure PJ Media could use the attention, this is not really new for Roger L. Simon, he's been totally mental for years. Anyway: Simon thinks "the chances of Hillary’s nomination are decreasing on a near-daily basis," so I guess she would have to win on a third-party ticket, or maybe just ride into the Oval Office singing Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, and when that happens --
Almost no one who voted against her would be giving her the benefit of the doubt. Why should they? They would be looking for ways to reject her presidency.
Not like now!
Tax avoidance would be endemic. Why give money to a country where the president abjures the rule of law? (Yes, that’s already happened but this would, after a political campaign, be a force multiplier.)
Maybe these patriotic tax cheats will be supported by Charles Murray's Honky Freedom Riders. Then Simon dons sackcloth and sayeth the sooth:
With the national treasury under threat, all sorts of results could occur — a stock market meltdown beyond what we are experiencing now, full scale depression like the 1930s, urban riots that make Baltimore and Ferguson look like Kiddyland, nonstop demonstrations of all sorts from all sides, millions of people opting out á la John Galt (most without knowing who he is), an American decline beyond recognition (if you think things are bad now, you haven’t seen anything), little border control with giant Islamic spillover from Europe, terror attacks routine, and, yes, remote a possibility as it may be, a violent civil war between between sides in a hugely split society.
The Go Galt schtick is the tip-off: This is everything these guys predicted for the Obama Administration, stuffed into one big bag of crazy for the next potential Democratic President. They did this when de Blasio got elected, too, and you could conceivably convince the rubes that the mayor really is turning New York into a gritty urban drama out of the 70s because most of them don't live there; getting them to believe the election of Hillary Clinton will lead to armageddon, as opposed to the sylvan glade that awaits under President Cruz (or the woman Simon apparently favors, Carly Fiorina, who wants to bring the skills that nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard to national governance), may take a bit more doing. Perhaps Simon would like to revisit during Halloween? I hear haunted houses can make a good bit of money, and they don't have to be convincing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


First Ole Perfesser Instapundit says Americans sitting on their asses is the equivalent of the Ukrainian uprising, and now we have Roger L. Simon:
After Ukraine, We Need an American Spring... 
We need some government, obviously, but at this point in American history, in order to save our nation, we need to get the state as much as possible out of our lives, to cut its functions with a meat cleaver to release our better impulses, to have the renewal of Spring.
I wonder whom Simon hopes to wave into action with his cleaver. Are there enough wingnut preppers to take down Obama and deliver our nation into the hands of the European Union? Probably not, so Simon is ready for outreach:
Those already convinced of our cause — small-government conservatives, Tea Partiers, libertarians — should put aside their squabbles for now, join together and seek to be as inclusive as possible.
With Nick Gillespie and that guy in the Ben Franklin get-up on board, how can the Boehner Orange Revolution fail?

UPDATE. Comments are very good. To Simon's ""The [American] people aren’t the problem. It’s the state," Chairman Pao responds, "Which is run by who or what? Loki? AD-45 Riot-Bots? Care Bears?" Nyet, comrade, the election was stolen, the people are with us and will rise at the signal of the meat cleaver! At Simon's Strange New Respect for libertarian convert/election loser Joe Trippi, Halloween_Jack muses, "Now if we can only pass Mark Penn off on them..." Shhhh don't tip 'em off!

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Roger L. Simon, the Citizen Kane of Pajamas Media (if the Inquirer had quickly turned into a pennysaver), saw some Chinese people at a high-end outlet mall in Cabezon, California.  The Man Who Was Moses Wine is on the case:
A large number, possibly a majority, of the shoppers there are the privileged scions of the Communist Party. Their parents and grandparents are the ones who played along and did their best not to make waves, even cooperated, throughout the mass murders of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Now, they and their kids are reaping the harvest of their modern state capitalist system that still flies under the banner of communism, a false flag operation if ever there was one. Ironies abound, and those same ironies provide a snapshot of what constitutes “leftism” in our own culture.
Ironies indeed, except Simon seems not to have asked himself why the Chinese have all that money. Hint: They got a lot of it from us, and not all in the days of Comrade Obama, neither.

Anyway Simon is not really concerned with foreigners but with the domestic terrorists called liberals:
Leftism has devolved into a kind of scam run not only on others but also on the self. Leftists are brilliant at convincing themselves of their own altruism and then broadcasting it to the public, thus providing cover for the most conventionally greedy and selfish behaviors. We see that in our society all the time: the quondam Marxists of Hollywood, the media, and the academy blathering on about economic equality while living lives the Medici could not have dreamed of.
Son of a buck -- there's money in this? You bastards have been holding out on me! I've been writing for the Village Voice for years -- surely I have carloads of Moscow gold coming!
Relatively unbridled capitalism has always been the best way out of this, the best way to true social mobility, but our nomenklatura doesn’t want to admit this because it might threaten them and their perquisites. It would blow their cover.
I dunno -- the Crash of '08 gave pretty good cover all by itself to the idea of "unbridled capitalism" as a panacea.
I suspect those Chinese shoppers knew this better than anyone, having lived through a similar experience ratcheted up to the nth degree. Although I was too polite to do it, I wanted to question them. I would have loved to know what they say to each other in the privacy of their own homes, not that they would be likely to tell me.
Unfairly deprived of my communist lottery winnings as I have been, I would have paid cash money to see Simon grilling the "Chinese shoppers." You, chop chop! You mamasan and papasan, they wash the brains, yes? In my country this call irony! Obama, him big commie, yes? 
But there was something to learn from watching them. I felt like a detective and it made me think of Roman Polanski and Robert Towne’s Chinatown.
A detective who doesn't want to ask questions to which he doesn't already have the answers. But he's still got the fedora, and the hangdog grace of a lone wolf:
I also thought of myself, of the way I was when I was a leftist. Yes, I drove a Porsche then (a used one). And had a house in the Hollywood Hills. And ate at gourmet restaurants. And there were plenty like me. I was part of a class. I felt safe and protected for many years, though finally I just left it. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy anymore. Or maybe I just lost the ability to convince myself of my own altruism.
You might imagine Simon is eating off a hot plate in a rooming house with his integrity to keep him warm. But he's still a player, in fact more of one than before: His last film, A Better Life, was well-reviewed by the pinkos he disdains as lying nomenklatura. But keep that under your hat -- if a fella's gonna keep his place in modern conservatism, he's got to hold onto his victim status.
Whatever the case, when it comes to the truth about leftism, it’s about the cover it gives. Or, as Bob Towne put it: “It’s Chinatown.”
Actually it's Hollywood; like modern conservatism, a land of dreams. Except people are buying what Hollywood sells.

Friday, October 10, 2008

THE ETERNAL ENEMY. Back in plummier days, Roger L. Simon cheerfully ticked down the last days of the MSM -- mainstream media, to the uninitiated. He would periodically announce "another crack in the mainstream media," assure readers that "people are tired of the forced blabber" of the MSM, and allow as how "I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon they go on the 'endangered species' list."

What a difference a big lead for Obama makes: after Obama's Rev. Wright speech, Simon now informs us, "I knew we were living in a media-constructed lunatic asylum." Oh, the MSMers are still "pathological" and suffering from "personality disintegration." But they're apparently still very dangerous, which is a shock, considering how long Simon's been telling us they're on the skids.

As long as people need something to read on the crapper, there will be newspapers of some kind. And that's what Simon is banking on: a deathless enemy that is weak and declining when Simon wishes to portray himself and his comrades as strong, and flush with mind-warping power when he feels himself threatened. It's a nice racket so long as the suckers don't catch on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CULTURE CLOWNS: A PROGRESS REPORT. Roger L. Simon -- perhaps dreaming of the day when Victor Davis Hanson and his troops will march boldly into the Ministry of Culture, kick Michael Eisner off his throne, and install Simon as Commissar -- is trying to pump up a new book about how the Hollywood Ten had it coming. Movie attendance is down, gloats Simon; the beast is weak, der Tag is at hand! His readers agree that the "Hwood Communist Party" is headed for the ash-heap of history except for Team Incredibles of the Christ, Batman Begins (with reservations: "Since it's contemporary Hollywood, though, there's nary a kaffiyah, an 'Allah Akbar' nor a fifth-column media figure to be had"), and, oddly, the Coen Brothers -- though this last seems a case of some softhearted comrade trying to sneak personal favorites out of the camps, despite the Coens' lack of Party bona-fides. Is exceptionalism, Comrade!

In idle moments I like to imagine Simon attending a barbecue with his readership. "Waaaaiitt a minute... yew done wrote a movie fer Woody Allen and Bette Midler???" (Grill-tipping, fire-spreading, rebel yells as the Boys light out for Warren Bell's place.)

The McCarthy book itself gets a fuller treatment at "libertarian" (excuse me, I can't say that word without laughing anymore) magazine Reason, where Cathy Young explains that while McCarthyism was a bad thing -- though, perhaps to protect herself from Durbinization, she adds that "it's absurd to treat the blacklist as somehow equivalent to the Soviet purges" -- blacklisting was kinda sorta not so bad because the Communists that got blacklisted (along with a lot of other guys, too, but let's not nitpick) were worse: though they committed no crimes but thought crimes, they said good things about bad people, and their tragic legacy is "today's celebrity radicals" who "blast American policies while ignoring the evil of a Saddam Hussein."

I have addressed this imbecilic point of view back in the old Alicubi days, when Jonah Goldberg and, sadly, Kevin Drum fell (well, Kevin fell, Goldberg just grabbed his knees and cannonballed) into the same fallacy:
Goldberg says that McCarthy was a "lout" but essentially justified because Communist agents were afoot in America. He brushes off the prosecutions, official or otherwise, that disemployed many citizens who had committed no crimes. "When they denounce McCarythism," he writes, "they are working on the clear assumption that McCarthyism victimized only innocent people. That is a lie. And it also a lie that the USA Patriot Act is being used solely to punish innocent people."

This is a breathtaking switcheroo: a complaint against the prosecution of innocents is answered by the fact that some people are not innocent... is interesting that no one much questions another large, unspoken idea here --that being a Communist made one fair game even if no espionage or other crime had taken place. McCarthy's whole schtick was enabled by the notion that there could be such a thing as a thought crime -- that if you thought Marx was right, you could be taken down, whether you collaborated in espionage or merely believed in the widespread redistribution of wealth. Even [Drum], in his generally thoughtful consideration of Goldberg, says, "It is not McCarthyism to accuse a communist of being a communist." It's actually something much worse, because our freedoms aren't worth much if we do not have the right to be wrong.
Hey, that wasn't bad. Maybe I should take a month off and just recycle my greatest hits. But that's hardly a testimony to my own skills; American Constitutional values age very well -- though their enemies, as we have seen, work very hard to sell us on an alternative philosophy.

UPDATE. Comments are, as usual, very interesting (Simon may have the numbers, but alicublog has the guns!), but FMGuru drops some especially sharp science: "[The decline in opening grosses] has everything to do with plasma screens and dumbasses talking on cell phones, and nothing to do with The People rising up against the corrupt Quisling coastal elites... H'wood is one of the most brutally capitalist places in America..." The correct response to this home truth would be "D'uh!" if so many flattery-driven numbskulls were not impervious to common sense. Well, we few remaining thinking people (yes, but I need a majority!) can enjoy it, at least.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

COCKEYED OPTIMISTS. Roger L. Simon takes comfort that the withering attacks made on him by James Wolcott are signs of "pessimism," which is apparently a bad thing:
It is not therefore surprising that James drips his practiced vitriol on those of us who choose to take an optimistic view of the situation in Iraq. I say choose because I readily acknowledge I am deeply uncertain and worried about the results of this enterprise. Of course, Wolcott, I am sure, in his honest moments is unsure as well from his side. No one knows where this will end. Of course, in the greater sense it will never end anyway, but suppose five years from now--hardly a long time as these things go--Iraq is a semi-functioning democracy and the Middle East turning toward peace. What will Wolcott say then? What will I? Again who knows, but I imagine Wolcott will be grinding his teeth if Bush winds up on Mt. Rushmore. I will just be chuckling to myself at the amazing accidents of history, wondering what their contemporaries thought of the previous denizens of the mountain during their lifetimes.
So, though he says that neither he nor Wolcott can know what turn history may take, Simon can easily imagine and portray Wolcott's refutation by history, not to mention the resultant grinding of Wolcott's teeth and Simon's own Olympian laughter. The reverse situation is not portrayed, nor, I guess, imaginable to him. I suppose you could call this optimism, especially if you are unusually polite.

Immediately after the curtain, Simon's claque praises the great man's classiness and sneers at Wolcott's sneering. "Perhaps the biggest change the blogosphere will make is that 'professional pessimism' will be seen, accurately, as wrong. Factually wrong," says "Liberty Dad." "Good. That makes me smile." (I especially like the poster who accuses Wolcott of "provincialism at its most naked," then declares that "the U.S., and the U.S. alone mind you," can end World War IV.) There's lots of talk about carping, impotence, and the like. No policy discussion here; it's essentially a T-group for boosters over sneerers. Why are you people always tearing down?

I hear frequently from this lot how resolutely they stand against the idea that "the personal is the political." Yet so much of what passes for argument in these forums -- and Simon's is a shining example -- conforms exactly to that hoary notion. The whole obsession with the Main Stream Media appears based on the idea that professional journalists are some sort of rival fraternity whom the scrappy bloggers must take down to avenge the honor of Theta Alpha Indeed for some ancient offense, like Watergate. It's not about whether they're wrong -- though they will take that gift, when offered -- it's about scoring a victory over a hated opponent. Wolcott gets that treatment, too, in the comments. One guy, applauded by the Ole Perfesser, alternately refers to Wolcott as "an established figure in the white hot center of the mainstream media" and "an adorable rottweiler puppy attack[ing] the legs of various leading lights of the blogosphere" -- a formulation that portrays the object of ridicule simultaneously as all-powerful (justifying indignation) and ineffectual (justifying contempt), and typical of the genre.

If the whole thing really came down to whether one were pessimistic or optimistic, I would happily choose the path of Mencken over that of Pangloss. But it doesn't come down to that. Optimism has its uses, but as we have seen, it has its abuses too. Don't just carp about my carping. Tell me why I'm wrong.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WELL, YOU TRIED, PART II. Ace of Spades, whom we discovered trying to engage the "culture" yesterday, is still at it: He read an interview in the Washington Post with the Pajamas Media nut Roger Simon about Simon's new play, which tells the story of, get this, Walter Duranty. The interview is conducted by Jennifer Rubin, whom Ace normally derides as a RINO wet, but all is forgiven because Ace has his beret on and is trying to look at the arts  -- let's see, how did he put it -- "simply because they're interesting, without any direct or indirect implication on our politics." Which means of course --
[Simon] says it's neither conservative nor liberal, and I believe him, but there is hardly any question that no liberal would explore the question of what happens when a large group of people begin subverting the truth for political purposes. Well, they wouldn't explore this going on in a liberal institution. I'm sure they'd explore it in, say, the conservative movement. 
And that's part of the problem right there, isn't? Liberals style themselves truth-tellers and truth-seekers, but as we're seeing yesterday and today, they embargo truths that aren't helpful to the Great Patriotic Cause of Progressivism/Marxism.
-- it's still more argh blargh liberalz blocked mah big hit play.

Ace's attempt to break into the liberal arts by sitting sullenly in the corner of a Modern Drama class and drawing superheroes in his notebook is extremely disappointing to me. I don't know why, but I keep hoping against hope that he'll live up to his putative expectations of himself, and he never does.

I guess I'm just tired of all the rightwing gabble about "culture" being such stupid bullshit. In the Ace post previously treated, he referred to an old Rod Dreher whither-culture bleat that, expectedly, is worse than useless -- Dreher too seems to intuit that if you can't drop politics long enough to actually engage your imagination, you're not going to make any art, but he also seems to believe the acceptable alternative is endless pseudo-philosophical gassing along the lines of "conservatives have names like Lenny and liberals have names like Carl." (And if you are foolish enough to follow Dreher's links, I warn you, you will be punished by Dreher and Will Wilkinson talking about country music. You'll need about a half-hour of Uncle Dave Macon to wash that out of your head.)

I have a theory about why this is all coming up now. These guys recently lost something they'd been living on for years -- the illusion that they are America, all by themselves, with no bleeding-hearts allowed. It's an illusion we liberals learned to give up on long ago, of course. But it may be hard for conservatives to learn that most voters are okay with the man they're convinced is a Maoist Black Power Chicago thug -- or at least that voters like him better than them. In their dejection they wander the streets, and finally enter the libraries and music shops, pick up the books and instruments there, and, peering at them like curious apes, wonder: Maybe pretty thing faggots like am powerful? Maybe if Ace use them him feel good?

I think they're less interested in art than in art therapy.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

MORNING JOG AROUND NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE. Andrew Leigh interviews Roger Simon, and uncovers this pause-giving news: "At present [Simon is] also co-writing a screenplay with Michael Ledeen, a foreign-policy expert and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who is also an NRO regular. Simon is keeping the project close to his vest, and will say only that it is a thriller related to the war on terror." I hear the Left is retaliating with a action picture co-scripted by John Kenneth Galbraith and Spike Jonez.

Cathy Siepp provides her own blog seminar with more coverage than these things usually get. Either no one said anything interesting, or she doesn't take very good notes (I'm guessing both). Quote of the day: Mickey Kaus says, "If I'm on the left, the left is in big trouble." Suddenly I'm full of hope for the 2004 elections.

Of course, wander into The Corner and it's the usual monkey-cage-at-underfunded-zoo scene. Stung by a report that Bush is losing the "country folk," Jonah Goldberg races in with fresh anonymous letters of support, one of which actually begins with "I reckon"! I wonder which of them sent it -- Jeb, Jethro, or Granny? (Actually I think it was concocted by a committee of hacks hired by Milburn Drysdale.)

Ah. A morning visit to these guys is as bracing as a tour of Bedlam.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I think Roger L. Simon has outdone himself.
The Democratic Party’s War on Black People and How to Counter It
True, we've seen the-real-racists stuff like this before, but Simon's beats them all. Por ejemplo:
...I am going to say something that will be extremely controversial to liberals, indeed make them hate me.
Did you just feel shockwaves emanating from the nation's liberals? The dull thud of millions of dropped lattes? No? Then I have failed in my purpose [drops head, pushes out lower lip].
Given all those years I spent on the two sides, I have observed liberals to be vastly more racist than conservatives and libertarians.
Plus they smell like poo. Oh, but I'm being ungracious -- Simon isn't offering just his one-man fact-finding tour as evidence, nor just the "obvious Freudian projection" of the left; he also proves liberal racism with LBJ's nefarious "give Negroes money, that'll fix 'em" strategy:
The Democratic Party has been waging a War on Black People since the Great Society of 1964-65 (actually for far longer than that) that has reached horrifying proportions in our time. That nearly 73 percent of African Americans are currently born out of wedlock, 67 percent living in single parent homes, is nothing short of disastrous with yet more disastrous auguries for the future.
No other explanation for it -- nor for black truculence: "All these social welfare programs, affirmative actions, etc. were a signal to African Americans that they were inferior... quite naturally, it engendered a great deal of anger." The next time a black guy asks you for money, make him dance for it or something -- he'll respect you. Here's my favorite part:
And all this during the administration of our first black president. The level of hypocrisy is astronomical.
"But Roger, didn't the Democrats nominate the nation's first black President?" "I know! The nerve of them, huh?" You could show Simon the entire Republican leadership attending a lynching in Klan robes and he'd explain the liberal-racist roots of the phenomenon. But then the whole movement seems to have gone nuts in just this way. Epistemic closure? We didn't know the half of it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


It's turning into old home week at alicublog, and mainstays like Rod Dreher and The Federalist are always good for holiday cheer. But let us not sleep on Roger L. Simon, kingpin of the PJ Media empire, who in his occasional waddles to the mike always says something sensational, and this week is no exception:
Are Europe's 'Extreme Right' Parties Really So Extreme?
If you're curious to hear what Simon thinks of Jobbik's call for a ban on all immigration in Hungary, or of the overtly fascist Golden Dawn in Greece and People's Party in Slovakia, apologies, his handlers have steered him toward three more telegenic/less ostentatiously jackbooted entities: UKIP, which he thinks is all about "local democratic rule"; Geert Wilders, a notorious bigot but only against Muslims, hence MSM-friendly; and Germany's AfD, which has recently started slowly to de-Nazify itself, which may explain Simon's sangfroid ("my knowledge [of its extremism] is not first hand, but I am skeptical") -- or maybe he's heard that many of the new neo-Nazis are trending pro-Israel and figures, hey, let bygones be bygones.

So he doesn't see what's so Nazi about these guys -- but...
The irony of ironies may be that the true heirs to the Nazis are the Merkels of the world, not the AfD, etc. While not Hitler-like in mass murder and megalomania, not to mention all the master-race insanity...
(Because that's not the important part of Nazism.)
...they do share a background with the genocidal dictator -- socialism. The Nazis were the National Socialist Party.
Like Jonah Goldberg, Simon thinks libtards are the Real Fascists; unlike Goldberg, he doesn't even dimly perceive what a hash of that theory the election of Trump makes.
That Merkel is East German is not accidental.
Similarly, Trump can't be a fascist because like FDR he's a white American. Then, a kill-Mozzies close and it's off to his weekly fedora-reblocking. So much for linking arms against fascism, guys; guess we'll have to do it ourselves.

Monday, November 28, 2011

R.I.P. KEN RUSSELL. I can't leave his death unmentioned. A lot of people couldn't stand him -- John Simon, perhaps most prominently; on the subject of Russell, Simon was like an evangelist on Satan; after viewing a stage production Russell mounted of Madame Butterfly, which apparently ended with a sea of neon American corporate logos blotting out the Japanese landscape, Simon ended his review, "Russell should be forcibly restrained."

Well, it's been years since Russell's heyday, and we've had since then many lurid spectacles, but nothing like his. Compare Baz Luhrmann 's Moulin Rouge with, oh, I don't know, Lisztomania. While Jim Broadbent singing "Like a Virgin" is, I grant you, in admirably bad taste, it's nothing compared to Richard Wagner as Frankenstein Hitler, Rick Wakeman as Thor, or Roger Daltrey as someone who could possibly compose a symphony.

I think the difference is that Russell was a more serious filmmaker, in the way we used to understand filmmakers to be serious. Luhrmann's film, for all its frenzy, is a depressingly calculated gesture -- sure, Belle Epoque, American Pop, that's like chocolate-covered caviar, they'll eat it up. When Russell tickled the crowd, it wasn't because he was pandering -- he actually seemed to think Ann Margret straddling a phallic pillow while covered in baked beans made a great statement, and if it was only the stoners who swooned, well, so much the better for the stoners. It just happened that Russell's rise coincided with a baroque period in popular film, and so there was nothing to stop him -- certainly he wasn't going to stop himself. I can see how the idea occurred to John Simon.

If you want to see him in a slightly lower gear, try the early biographies he made for British television of Dante Rossetti, Isadora Duncan, et alia. I understand some of his late films are interesting, but I'm not familiar with those; maybe some of my readers can speak up for them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

THE MAGIC OF THE MOVIES. "America has had a big change! We've had a big election -- how will it effect Hollywood? Will there be a big change?" You people owe me big time for actually watching Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd discussing this in a PJTV video so I could transmit their message in a less unpleasant format.

Simon suggests that, in the wake of the election, conservative screenwriter Chetwynd should now be running a movie studio. This appears to be a joke, but Chetwynd responds, "Though there's a logic. In a logical world -- one would think that, you know, they famously once said that even the Supreme Court reads the polls, that the people in Hollywood who do control Hollywood and control half of our destinies and the films we see would look at what's going on in this country and would say, you know what, maybe it's time to perhaps spread our net towards the right of center and those people…"

…instead of producing Communist propaganda like Faster, Saw 3-D, and Megamind.

Chetwynd then attacks Danny Boyle, who made a quick crack at an opening about the Tea Party, as "an Irishman" who only knows "four blocks of Manhattan and a couple restaurants in West L.A., making statements about America, completely secure that the audience would embrace him, and in fact Variety reported it approvingly as far as I can tell. They don't change!" Expect Boyle's treatment of his own comment to be produced by a consortium of Hollyweird types and rejected by the American people.

Then there's a a loving remembrance of Sam Goldwyn and those guys, who are compared favorably by Chetwynd to traitors like Steven Spielberg, who "belong to the great artistique community in the clouds," which is why nobody goes to Spielberg movies. But Simon reasons that even the Spielbergs will be affected by what he considers the "potentially revolutionary election for the entertainment industry," which will motivate filmmakers to finally get The Joe McCarthy Nobody Knew on the Silver Screen.

Chetwynd is willing to be somewhat optimistic, only because he sees a lot of "hedge fund money" (apparently a new development) coming in from "politically committed" backers for alternative entertainments, and these worthies will steal the lunch of modern moguls who "disdain what the American electorate has done" and are as bad as the pictures of Janeane Garofalo, Keith Olbermann, and Bill Maher they then show to reignite viewers' righteous indignation.

Simon wants us to know that cultural revolutions take time, but he and Chetwynd assure us they'll be keeping track. Subscription button at right!

If you haven't had enough of this sort of thing, their colleague Bill Whittle is still offering Declaration Entertainment, where the scripts are developed by You, the Citizen Producer! So far they've given us only videos performed by Whittle himself, like What We Believe, Part 5: Gun Rights ("The philosophical substrata for gun ownership is something most gun owners understand in their bones," he says, "they don't need to be told anything I'm about to tell you," which you have to admit is a hell of a come-on), but like the guys said, these things take time.