November 30, 2004
Oops -- I spilled body wash on the SCSI port!
Patterico snarks amusingly at Brian Williams for saying bloggers "are on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Well, look, Brian -- you big-time media muckety-mucks talk about about having a story "in the can," why can't we? Come on -- 'in' the can, 'on' the can, what's the difference?
Don't knock bathroom-blogging. I personally think of all of my best posts in the shower. 'Course it plays hell on the keyboard, and the noise of the modem is ear-splitting when it echoes on the tiles, but that's how we bloggers do things. You know: In the bathroom. With a modem. A 1200 baud modem, as a matter of fact. 'Cause we're all unemployed and we spent our last grudging largesse from mom on pajamas, and anyway 1200 baud is fast enough when you're enjoying a nice hot shower. With the keyboard clutched in one hand. And a soapy loofah in the other.
Oh, and a note to the author of the article: Don't you dare call me a "self-styled journalist." It's "soi-disant journalist" to you, pal.
Update: Hindrocket at PowerLine relates an odd encounter with Williams and asks:
What's next, nude blogging from our hot tubs?
Two predictions: First, I will get a pathetically large number of Google hits just for repeating the strings "nude blogging" and "hot tubs."
Second, it won't be long before some enterprising soul combines the nude webcam concept with the blogging concept, and starts blogging in real time on a webcam while nude in a hot tub.
Please, don't let it be Oliver Willis.
Update: INDC Journal has a photo of Brian Williams' vision.
Fake bands, from the Banana Splits to the Way-Outs
Someone with apparently limitless time and patience has chronicled just about every fake band known to man. The focus is on TV and movies, but the Miscellaneous section includes fake bands from novels. They even include fake bands mentioned by real songs, like "Benny and the Jets" and "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."
November 29, 2004
Thank you, anonymous Google-searching person
Most of my hits from searches seem to come from the Bangbus post of a week or so ago. It's probably too much to hope that any of the Bangbus searchers stick around to read any of this blog's other content.
But my favorite search to date is this beauty:
Michael + Moore + Loser + And + Liar
Anonymous Google searcher, whoever you are, I hope you found what you were looking for here.
O'Reilly aims for new shark-jumping record
Wizbang rightly rags on O'Reilly for defending Dan Rather. Kevin suggests O'Reilly is afraid to throw stones because of his own sex-scandal glass house. I don't think so; I seem to recall he was already defending Rather before his own situation blew up in his face. And I don't see the situations as analogous at all. O'Reilly's scandal was based on a personal peccadillo, and a fairly tame one at that, even if you believe his accuser was an innocent victim (which I don't). Rather brazenly used fraudulent evidence to peddle lies about a sitting President, with the aim of taking down his presidency. And he continues to stonewall unrepentantly. If he had a single atom of self-respect, he would have fallen on his sword in September, crying out a mea culpa to the President and the entire country.
I've always been a desultory watcher of O'Reilly, if I watched at all. But he's developed a kind of weirdness-charisma for me. It's as if there's some kind of slow, interminable trainwreck going on in the man's mind. He's started to behave so strangely — recommending Bill Clinton for Secretary of State? — and yet, I believe he thinks there's some method to his madness. He seems to be angling for something; what is it? After helping to pioneer one of the most influential arms of "new media," why regress to aligning himself with extinction-bound dinosaurs like CBS and Rather? Who knows? Maybe now that he's clawed his way to the top, he doesn't know where to go from here. At this rate, he's going to claw himself to the bottom again.
This new "I'll say one loony-left thing, and one rabble-rousing right-wing thing, and this way both sides will love me" schtick seems transparent and ultimately self-destructive to me. And it's not the first self-destructive bender O'Reilly's been on lately, as we know. But then they say each man hurts the one he loves most.
You always hurt the one you love...
the one you shouldn't hurt at all...
Update: Ace agrees with Wizbang that O'Reilly defends the indefensible because he's got some indefensible baggage of his own:
I would suggest that he began this campaign against "smear merchants" in order to insulate himself against his own coming scandal, one he knew about but which his audience did not.
I don't know; I suppose it's plausible, but I seem to recall that things went from hunky-dory to legal death struggle very quickly with his producer. I don't think the situation was brewing long enough for him to have concocted a left turn as self-defense.
My suspicion is that, along with whatever grand scheme he has in mind, there are a few specific reasons he started attacking the "smear merchants," especially during the campaign. First, I suspect he was hedging his bets in case Kerry won. Second, he appears to have believed, delusionally, that he had a shot at interviewing Kerry. (Though that may have been a publicity stunt so he could claim Kerry feared his tough, take-no-prisoners style. Predictably, after the election, he claimed one of the reasons Kerry lost was because he'd refused to appear on the Factor.)
Third — and I'm just guessing here — he had a special reason to attack the Swift Boat Vets and defend Kerry. Vietnam has got to be a sore spot for any male of a certain age who didn't serve. Especially for a very high-profile hawk like O'Reilly. Anything short of "how dare these liars attack a Vietnam hero" would have opened him up to accusations of draft-dodging. That's no excuse; I can't admire someone for tailoring their commentary so it best covers their own ass, as if news has value only in how much it can aggrandize or undermine them personally. But I believe that was the rationale behind O'Reilly's attacks on the Swifties.
Now he can claim that he doesn't have to discuss his scandal, because he won't give the "smear merchants" time on his show, and that's a principled position he's strongly believed in for, oh, three or four months or so.
No need to make this claim; the terms of his legal settlement with his ex-producer appear to forbid either one from ever speaking publicly of the matter. That's a pretty airtight excuse for avoiding the topic.
O'Reilly occasionally he does ask tough questions of those who need asking, and he's pretty good about animating America about important issues. I don't get his "Guards on the border" fetish, but I'm thankful for his promotion of the boycott-France movement.
I do agree with Ace on this. The big O certainly isn't all bad, and I don't wish any ill on him. What I wish, in fact, is that he'd snap the hell out of whatever bizarro midlife crisis he's going through, and rejoin the rest of us on planet Earth, where he can do some good.
Update: Democracy Project has proposed a new name for incidents like O'Reilly's defense of Rather.
November 28, 2004
New Feature! Yiddish Proverb Sundays! Read, so you should learn!
You asked for it!* Regular readers** wanted to see some weekly features†, and I'm only too happy to oblige. So today I inaugurate...
Yiddish Proverb Sundays!
Unless noted, all proverbs will be from the 1970 book "1001 Yiddish Proverbs," by Fred Kogos.
I'll start the series with the last proverb in the book:
Everything ends in weeping.
That's got to be the ur-proverb, right there. Could be pulled straight from Ecclesiastes, and for all I know it is. There it is, distilled into a few words, hard and sharp as diamonds: Ladies and gentlemen, the human condition.
This might be a good time to note that I don't speak Yiddish. Several people have called me an honorary Jew, though. Perhaps that's why these proverbs speak to me; I mean, the human condition is the human condition, but some cultures face it a little more squarely than others. And with a little more humor, might I add.
(Language nerd stuff coming up. Avert your eyes if you are sensitive to dorkiness or products processed in a dorkiness-processing facility.)
I'm going to include the Yiddish version whenever I can, because the originals often have lilting cadences and rhymes that don't carry over into the translation. (I imagine anyone with even a slight familiarity with the sound of spoken Yiddish or German could easily "hear" what the Yiddish might sound like.) Plus, I like spotting English cognates. In this example, there's Altsding ("all things") and gevain (sounds like "whine," certainly shares a root). And I'm guessing lozst shares DNA with "lost."
(Okay, the dorkiness-sensitive can resume reading now. If you are a dorkiness-sensitive patron and you got any of the above paragraph in your eyes, please proceed immediately to the nearest eye-wash station, where your eyeballs will be flushed with issues of Maxim and Sports Illustrated until all traces of dorkiness have been expunged. Thank you.)
* No you didn't.
** Of which I had, at last count, between 0 and 23, depending on whether you count the voices in my head.
† If the voices in my head do count as regular readers, and I don't know why they shouldn't, then this statement is true.
November 26, 2004
Barnes and Noble cooking the books?
Power Line, of course, beats me to the punch on this news flash: Wow, bookstores sure are different since the election!
I had the exact same experience described in the above link; the difference in Brooklyn was startling and radical. For years, literally years, the encroachment of anti-Bush books had been progressing. Eventually, I stopped going to bookstores altogether. I used to love browsing the neighborhood Barnes & Noble, but I had to give it up; it started to feel like crawling through no-man's land, blasted from all sides. Instead, I gave a couple thousand dollars' worth of business to Amazon.
It's hard to describe the hostile, oppressive feeling of entering a bookstore where all the stacks, displays, and promotions blare at you: Bush lied! — America sucks! — 'Terrorist' attack? We deserved it! — You're a bigot unless you believe as we do! — The election was stolen! — Where are the wings? — Bush won't rest until everyone is dead and the earth is a barren wasteland!, etc. But try finding, say, a Hugh Hewitt book, and you'll need spelunking equipment and a headlamp to chip through the layers of "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" and "Dude, Where's My Country?"
All along, I've had a lot of questions about this phenomenon.
- Are these displays dictated from headquarters or are they left to the discretion of the local managers?
- Is the political weighting of the displays dictated by local factors — say, local voting patterns? (That's the charitable interpretation.) Or is it dictated by someone's political leanings, either at the local or national level?
The easy way to get an honest answer to this question would be to see what's on display in red cities in red states. I'd like to believe that the jamming of liberal books down customers' throats is purely a matter of demographics; after all, you wouldn't have a huge display of Yankees books in Boston, would you?
But I have that little muttering, paranoid voice in my head that tells me there may be more than strictly commercial considerations here. Anyone out there know the real score?
Anyway, it's all different now. The anti-Bush books have vanished, and not a trace of the looming displays remains. I can shop in a real-live bookstore again without feeling I'm on enemy turf. And I can walk back home swinging my bag of new books jauntily to the melodious sound of the forlorn flapping of "We The People SAY NO To The Bush Agenda" rainbow banners against the facades of million-dollar houses.
What you mean "we," kemo sabe?
EtherHouse: Seethe Hour
"Seethe Hour" is but one of many anagrams for "EtherHouse."
I've always been fascinated by word games, and anagrams are one of my favorites. A really suitable anagram is more than just wordplay -- it seems to reveal hidden truths about its subject.
Like "I, Rearrangement Servant" -- an anagram for Internet Anagram Server, a site I love to waste time at. There are other anagram sites, but this remains my favorite because of its simplicity, speed and power. I do find that the human touch is still required, but the program does some of the legwork for you.
More EtherHouse anagrams:
Treehouse "H". Any Simpsons fan will recognize this nickname for the "Treehouse of Horror" series.
There, sue OH. We all know Bush stole the state with the help of his minions at Diebold. Let the writs fly!
He tore US, eh? Our Canadian neighbors express their typically meddlesome opinion about the starkly divided electoral map.
Hetero hues. Hey, I can't help the sexual orientation I was born with! Lighten up, anti-breeder bigots!
Sheer Tue OH. Yes, Ohio was a tight race indeed on Tue Nov 3. I believe they didn't call it, in fact, until early Wed morning.
Hush Roe tee. I'm as pro-choice as the next person, but really: these kinds of garments do more harm than good.Update: I anagrammed EtherPundit, too, and got slightly better results.
November 25, 2004
Ave Atque Vale, Dan Rather/Giving thanks for a blissful November
Oh, wait a minute. "Ave atque vale" means "hail and farewell." What's the Latin expression for "goodbye and good riddance"?
Lexington's column in the Economist is a charmingly snarky send-off for the live-action Kent Brockman. Here's the opening paragraph:
FOR conservative America, it just keeps on getting better. A mere 20 days after the Republicans' clean sweep of the White House and Congress, the American right celebrated the retirement of one of the hated grandees of liberal journalism, Dan Rather. “It's as if the voters just keep on voting,” says one conservative. “And our side just keeps on winning.”
Oh, God, yes. I've been brushing fluffy bits of Cloud Nine off my shoes since about 2:30 AM on November 3rd. I've actually had to fight off anxious feelings that everything's going so well it's only a matter of time until disaster strikes. Seriously; having been so vigilant and tense for so long has made anxiety a hard habit to shake.
Perhaps some of you are dealing with the same "so when's the brutal payback?" anxieties. I'll tell you how I decided to look at it: This November is the payback. The payback for September 11. The payback for having to listen to "selected, not elected" for four years. The payback for enduring the "anybody but Bush" crowd; the payback for Hillary being my senator; the payback for a liberal-dominated sort of media Tammany Hall that already existed long before I was born; the payback for everything the placard-carriers of the 60s went on to do as "grownups" to screw up our country and our lives.
Lexington concludes on this note:
Mr Rather's passing does not mean that the liberal orthodoxy is about to give way to a new conservative one. It means that all orthodoxies are being chewed up by a voraciously unpredictable news media, which is surely all to the good.
Yep, nothing but good news. The last thing any conservative should want is a conservative orthodoxy in the media. Liberals still haven't realized that their control of the MSM made conservative samizdat a burning necessity and instilled a sense of urgency in those who managed to find it on AM radio, on cable, or on the internet. Forbidden thoughts are always the most compelling, no?
And the MSM, bless 'em, did something even more potent to destroy the left: they became a giant echo chamber that reflected the political and social echo chamber liberals already tend to live in. So the chattering classes turned on their TVs, heard echoes of echoes, and believed they were listening to the voice of America. And the MSM helped them by piling on any non-left voice that dared to make itself heard. Fox News? Ranting lunatics, controlled by Bush. Talk radio? You mean hate radio. Bloggers? Pajama-clad losers.
So as I give abundant thanks today for this November, my fondest wish for the future is that the media continues to descend into a cacophony. May we never again be held in thrall to a single voice. May we never again be able to completely ignore opposition views. And if there should ever be a monolithic media voice again, let it once more be a liberal one, and make it loud. We don't want them to hear us coming.
"Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.
November 24, 2004
"Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure!": A Review.
Just got back from seeing Dave Gorman's one-man show, "Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure!", at the Village Theatre on Bleecker St. I confess I have no special attraction to the lone-raconteur-on-stage genre, but I do find it fascinating in its simplicity. When you strip every bit of the unnecessary glitz from theatrical performance, you end up back at the origins of theatre: Just a guy telling a story in as involving a way as he can.
Gorman's story is lighthearted, but no less of a saga than anything written in Greek or Old Icelandic. The plot: Lone man, through odd combination of circumstances, is forced into a quest that takes him to far-off lands where he meets strange characters and attempts to enlist their help as he races against time to complete his mission. Sound familiar?
Joseph Campbell would have had a field day with this show. Perhaps, like me, he would have been fascinated by the idea that a hero's quest can now be undertaken in cyberspace as well as meatspace. Gorman's quest occurs in both worlds simultaneously.
So how was the show? Well, I'm famously hard to entertain, and Gorman held my attention. Most of the audience was laughing throughout. Even my tough-to-amuse spousal unit was guffawing, and the sound of his laughter in my ear was enough to add another full star to my review. (Is there anything more pleasing than the knowledge that someone you love is having a great time?)
I have nothing but boundless admiration for anyone who can keep an audience's laser focus for nearly two hours just by talking. And bear in mind that Gorman's epic tale is not particularly physical. There are no accounts of Borneo rituals, Amazon headhunter battles, or mountaineering feats. Yet he manages to make the intrinsically dorky act of ... well, of Googling, just as compelling. That calls for performing chops and subtle stagecraft, and Gorman's got 'em.
Note that I've deliberately avoided posting links to reviews of the show; in my opinion, the less you know going in, the more delight you'll take in the story as it unfolds. So if you intend to go, be circumspect about reading the reviews.
And finally: a special tip o' the hat to Dave Gorman for including absolutely no political commentary at all in this show. It feels so damn good to just be entertained and taken care of for a couple hours without having to endure a single moment of pandering, self-satisfied homily. Thanks, Dave!
November 22, 2004
Bangbus (et al) fakes? I'm shocked -- SHOCKED!
spotlights a hilarious item: An expose of "sex in a van" websites.
Turns out the porn makers are -- shock of shocks -- not really driving
around picking up random "hot" girls on the street, paying them for
sex, and dumping them afterwards! My trust in the porn industry is
Now what could have given the sham away? Was it the fact that no sane woman, no matter how promiscuous or broke, would get into a random van and drive away with random strangers who had announced their intention of having sex with her? Or was it the fact that all of these women -- "grad students", most of them -- just happen to have the patented plastic pornstar look, down to pubes shaved into a gross little landing strip? Just by coincidence?
Or perhaps fake breasts, ridiculously styled tiny remnants of body hair, and a fondness for group sex with strangers really are characteristic of a typical "horny, broke student."
Honestly, if you can't trust porn movies to be 100% authentic, what is this world coming to? Oh well. At least I can still put my faith in such stalwart beacons of honesty as the government, Hollywood, and CBS News. I mean, some things are sacred.
"Guards! Seize him!" ...So Chile wants W unguarded, eh?
Wizbang has a nice little commentary up on the Chilean Secret Service kerfuffle. (There's an excellent summary of the incident here.) Paul feels that W did something very foolhardy when he dived into the scrum of scumbags to rescue his Secret Service agent. I share his concern, but I have to disagree.
My first thought when I heard of the incident was, "Now that -- that is a mensch!" As Paul points out later on Wizbang, it's certainly not something you can imagine any other president doing.
But my second thought was, "Why are the Chileans dead set on separating the President from his Secret Service protection?" They were certainly expecting the SS men; in fact, there had been extensive haggling over the topic of who was going to provide protection for the President. The Chileans were insisting on total responsibility. Very suspect. Why would you want total responsibility for the security of someone so important, whom so many people want dead? If anything were to happen, Chilean security would be accused of more than laxity; they'd be accused of complicity.
And when the President showed up, as expected, with his Secret Service men, these thugs felt the need to physically, manually tear the agent away from the President's side. Very odd, no? The very fact that Chilean security was physically attempting to separate them suggests that W was right not to want to be separated, whatever the cost. The man has good instincts.
I'd love to know the full story on this one. In any case, it's creepy.
Update: Alarming News has a few excellent stills that tell the story, in case you're unwilling or unable to download the video (linked in both the Alarming News and Wizbang stories).
November 21, 2004
Canadian source: Al-Jazeera fair & balanced, Fox News "right-wing."
According to this article, al-Jazeera is "a credible news source" and "the CNN of the Arab world." Fox News, though, is "right-wing," and "the unofficial official voice of the Bush administration."
Glad we cleared that up, then. But Fox News was launched in 1996; I'm still not clear on whose "unofficial official voice" they were before Bush was
elected selected. Or was the whole coup already in the planning stages even then?
In any case, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission just approved both networks for broadcast on digital services in Canada. Fox, until now, had either been unapproved or outright banned, depending on whom you believe.
It's good to know that any terrorist cells north of the border now have convenient access to videotaped messages from their leaders, including any coded orders contained therein, and an endless supply of gory recruitment propaganda.
November 20, 2004
Kerry: Warmer, but still kinda cold
PowerLine has some good news: John Kerry is still floundering around, trying to understand why he lost the election. In a way, I'd prefer if the Dems kept up their "We lost to Jesusland, which hates gays" drumbeat, because the further they are from the truth, the easier they are to defeat. To Kerry's credit, he sometimes seems to be getting close to the right idea, sort of. Of course, this quote is kind of sad:
"It was that Usama tape — it scared them [the American people]."
Did it? Did it actually scare anybody? Because even though I work one block from one of the world's biggest terrorist targets, I actually felt reassured by the tape. I don't recall a video preamble before any of Al Qaeda's actual attacks, so my assumption was that a video was all they would be able to deliver. If they'd had an October surprise in them, they would have delivered it and skipped the chitchat.
Rivera said Kerry said the tape came out too late for his camp to rebut and the Democratic campaign couldn't counteract it in time for the Tuesday election. "
See, Johnny, this is one of the places where you really went wrong. You had the idea that terrorist threats were to be responded to ad hoc, based on perceived public reaction (presumably determined by focus groups). You never did get it. It's not a tape here, a ship bombed there, a building blown up somewhere else: It is a WAR. A WAR. For a supposed war hero, you seemed to have a terribly hard time comprehending this. But most of us do get it. Even some of us blue staters. Even some of us here in Jesusland, Brooklyn, where we can remember seeing office memos drifting down in the breeze for hours after the buildings that had housed them had ceased to exist.
Link: Power Line.
[Readers: I apologize. TypePad is giving me trouble today. The actual post is just above this one. If you don't see it, look to your right and click on "Kerry: Warmer, but still kinda cold." ]
[And I'm converting to Movable Type soon. Hope it cures some of these technical headaches.]
November 19, 2004
Bush Dolly: Trampled Underfoot!
Dean Esmay says he's boycotting Canada because a Canadian MP squished a Bush dolly under her boot.
|"I show my power to you, KKKowboy! I crush a little dolly that nominally looks like a teeny, tiny plastic version of you! Ha! Take that, you basket-flaunting, phallocentric, JDAM-hurling oppressor of Islamic women and babies! This is grrrrrrrl power! Tremble before my might, KKKowardly AmeriKKKan fascist!"|
All power to Dean, and I certainly respect his decision. But I
personally found this incident hilarious. So this is what our foreign
allies are reduced to? This is it? This is all you got? Playing with
dollies? We've got the Marines mowing down Zarqawi's men thousands of
miles away, and you've got a child's doll pinned helplessly on the
floor? Bring it, Canuck.
Also... you know, I never intended this blog to be so focused on sexual matters... but am I the only one who wonders whether this MP, Carolyn Parrish, is a Crush or Trampling fetishist? (Yes, there are at least two sex fetishes that focus on women stepping on things. I believe the "trampling" fetish involves stepping on men, and the "crush" fetish involves stepping on objects or small living creatures.) There's just something both laughable and weird-kinky as all-get-out about that photo. The Mrs. Peel boot doesn't hurt either.
I tell ya... those long, cold, winters up there... and they have to wear boots, don't they? I mean, with all the snow and all? I mean, I guess it's only natural that they should learn to express all their emotions with their feet....
Update: The Crusty Curmudgeon notes that the MP in question got sh!tcanned. Apparently she'd been a problem for the Labour party for a while. Such a shame, though; we get Chirac-style hissy fits from just about every "ally" these days, but it's rare to see such a kooky, kinky, key-rayzee, and downright entertaining form of dissent.
Update: Citizen Smash links to an interesting response from a Canadian.
Bellicose women for porn rights!
This quote just slays me:
Some of his middle-age male friends limit their time alone in hotel rooms to avoid the temptation of graphic pay-per-view movies, Brownback said.
The hell....? Why dither around with half-measures? Why not cut off your damn hand instead?
There are so many things wrong with this line of thinking I can't even begin to delve into them in a single post. I'll hit the obvious highlights:
- So Sam Brownback's friends can't control themselves around porn. This should be my problem ... how?
- I agree that porn, and scenes suggestive of porn, should not be on broadcast TV. Unfortunately, for most of these crusaders, that's a Trojan horse designed to open up opportunities to ban sexually explicit material wherever it's found -- and to police the internet.
- I'm hardly the first to say this, but: If I can do it, why shouldn't I be able to watch other consenting adults do it? I've never heard a remotely satisfactory answer to this one.
- Finally: Anything that hardline conservative Christians and hardline leftist feminists agree on is bad fcuking news.
Hey, "It exploits women, and men are beasts" feminists!
Hey, "We've got to curtail everyone's rights... for the sake of the children" conservatives!
I'm about to tell you something that'll make all your heads spin until your brains are flat against your skulls.
I'm female... I support Bush... I consume porn... and I vote! Deal with it, and mess with my First Amendment rights at your peril.
Bush's Bulge Part II: The POTPOTUS of Love
Continued from Part I.
Okay. This is the part where I swear that I am not obsessed with politicians' baskets. Also the part where I mention that I am not in any way sexually attracted to Bush or Cheney. Not that there's anything wrong with that. With those caveats out of the way....
I stumbled on a Village Voice article on the POTPOTUS. (That's my new suggested acronym for the Package of the President of the United States. It's kind of like a pompatus, as I imagine it. You know, the Pompatus of Love?)
Anyway, I figured maybe the happenstance of stumbling on this May 21, 2004 Voice article meant I should update my earlier post. Leave it to the Voice to
lend, well, a weighty heft to this topic. I thought the whole thing was
a larf, but Richard Goldstein sees a sinister plot for bulge-enhancing
photo-ops in the famous "Mission Accomplished" flight suit:
Clearly Bush's handlers want to leave the impression that he's not just courageous and competent but hung. Why is this message important to send? That's a very salient question, if only because it's unlikely to be addressed.
I love this. I just love the exceedingly improbable image of Dubya's handlers fussing and futzing with his jewels, stuffing a sock in his jock, bunching up his 'nads just so, floofing out his crotch-fabric so it catches the light magnificently. "Hold on a sec, Mr. President. I think you're flopping to the left, and heaven knows we don't want that!"
But something about Bush's image seems as artificially enhanced as his crotch. His need to flaunt it can be read as a response to anxiety. If you have to show your balls, maybe it's because you can't take them for granted. That isn't just Bush's problem. If macho seems so tragicomically x-treme these days, it's because many men think masculinity could actually disappear."
X-treme"? D00d! Multiple choice question: The use of "x-treme" for "extreme" here is meant to represent
- Bush's Xtianity?
- The writer's mad skillz at X-Box gamez?
- A subtle invocation of "generation X"?
- The writer's current state: Trippin' his ass off on X?
It's impossible for someone here in Jesusland, Brooklyn, to understand this confounded citified Voice-speak, so the answer must remain a mystery. Moving on, I find it fascinating that Goldstein looks at Bush's basket and sees reflected therein all of the state of manhood in today's changing world. That's some meaningful package there, Richard. (May I call you "Dick"?)
He represents a model that invites female initiative and counsel but not control. This is the Dred Scott compromise of our time, and it's evident in Bush's administration as well as in his marriage to an intelligent woman who knows how to stay three steps behind her husband.
I'm sure Goldstein would say the same thing even today. For the
Bush-haters, Condi Rice as Secretary of State is nothing but another
powerless, shackled yes-woman. (Note the Dred Scott namecheck? Nice touch. Remember, as John Lennon said (or was it Marx?): "Woman is the Nigger of the World.")
Sure, sure, it's all very well that Bush invites "female initiative and
counsel," it makes for feel-good photo-ops, but the folks at the Voice see right through it. (But wait, hold on -- why should Bush "invite female control"? Isn't the President supposed
to be in control? Aren't the Libs constantly distressed because, they say, "Cheney is
pulling the strings" or "Rove is Bush's brain"? Would they feel better
if one of the behind-the-scenes string-pullers were a female? Is that
it? Oh, darn. Liberals are so danged hard to please! If only they'd
just say straight out what they want, instead of making the world
guess! But I digress.)
But Bush also embodies the primal uncertainty many men feel in the face of sexual change. This angst, which threatens to pop up like a sour belch, solidifies his bond with threatened men. They identify with his struggle to carry off the feat of macho, and many women empathize with that effort.
I believe this may have been an early, abortive attempt to pre-emptively create a "why we lost in '04" meme: "The Castration-Fearers all voted for Bush!" (Think back to the "Angry White Men Goaded by Rush Limbaugh" meme that was meant to explain the '94 midterm losses.)
Goldstein goes on to explain why, really, to anyone with any brains and
an eye for more than stuffed crotches, Kerry is the true macho man in
the contest. He concludes with:
Fasten your crotch straps. With luck, we're in for a bumpy ride.
Oh, Dick! I feel all... light-headed. Ooh!
Ain't nothin' goin' on but the Rentboy
Even with the relatively sparse traffic I've had so far on this new blog, I've noticed that many people are clicking through to the "Sex" topic button to see what's there. And alas, there's not much there right now.
I'm not going to be blogging about my own sex life here, entertaining though it might be. But that's not to say I'm not interested in the topic.
So to keep the "Sex" clickers-through happy, I'll throw you guys a juicy link. Check out Rentboy Diaries. It's the blog of a married male prostitute in London whose wife swings too and doesn't mind what he does when she's not busy with him. It's detailed, explicit, thoughtful, and sexy as all get-out. Not much writing cranks my engine, but this comes pretty close.
The sexiest thing about Rentboy is how much he loves women. (Check out the story of how he lost his virginity). What's more, he knows what to do with women. (Hint: His job is at least as much psychology as physicality.) A lot of men could probably stand to learn a few things from a pro like Rentboy. Maybe even women too.
The new Newspeak: Making wicked thoughts unthinkable
Ace of Spades makes an important point
about the slow, stealthy redefining of words like "diversity," which
has now come to mean "abundant presence of certain so-called 'minorities'; which ones specifically are to be determined by your betters."
One can't help but notice that this bears virtually no resemblance to
the dictionary definition of diversity.
Nor, come to think of it, does the accepted (read: deviate and you're a racist) definition of "minority" bear much resemblance to its dictionary definition. Women, for example, are not actually a minority. They're virtually the only natural subdivision of people that are not a minority; there are more adult females than adult males. Jews are a minority, yet one never sees hiring quotas for Jews. I suppose you could say that "minority," used in certain contexts, means "group believed to need favors for political or cultural reasons." Fine; then why not say "favored group"? Why take an existing word and Newspeak it? Why not call "diversity" "favored-group presence" instead of sucking the marrow out of a perfectly useful, necessary, ancient English word? Is the reality of what these words mean thought to be so ugly that the public would recoil in horror if the truth were spoken?
Come on. I think we're all used to the idea of racial quotas, "affirmative action" and such. I think we can all tolerate the truth at this point. Can we have some of our words back now?
November 16, 2004
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
WSJ's Opinion Journal has a fascinating article by James Earl Jones about his experiences acting in one of my favorite films, Dr. Strangelove. (His role is fairly small; I didn't even recognize him the first time I saw the movie.) He also offers some insights into George C. Scott's uniquely over-the-top performance.
November 15, 2004
A Jesusland of one.John Hinderaker at Power Line has a post up today about Amnesty International that got me thinking. He posts a flyer from Amnesty that compares Bush to... guess what? Oh, you'll never guess. Go on, I dare you! Give up? A Nazi! Innovative, eh?
My cue to roll my eyes and scroll ahead to the next post. I believe I've heard this song before. But then he writes:
Amnesty International was once a great organization, notable for opposing tyranny of all stripes.
Really? Not in my living memory. But sure, I'll take Hinderaker's word for it. I've only really started paying attention to politics, foreign policy, and international organizations in the last few years after a lifetime of being a largely apolitical little-L libertarian. But I can say this: I can barely believe that Amnesty International was ever anything but a society with an Orwellian name and a brief for excusing dictators and rebuking America (or, as my vague impression had it, anything to do with the free market or capitalism). Watching the watchmen -- Amnesty and the UN, in particular -- was one of the factors that led me to wilfully turn my head from all things political early in my adulthood. The cognitive dissonance of knowing that groups like these were meant to be taken as the world's conscience disgusted me, until I learned to laugh with ironic detachment. (And then I had to unlearn that ironic detachment very quickly one morning at about 8:45. Now I'm back at "disgust.")
I'm not a kid. I can remember back a couple decades. So these sentences really struck me:
Whatever happened to the left? When did it give up on the cause of freedom? I don't know. But the American left's abandonment of the cause of liberty is one of the saddest facts of modern history.
The idea that the left ever championed liberty is unfathomable to me. I'll take it on faith, if my betters tell me it was so. Just as I take on faith that Manhattan was once a forest, and Broadway a footpath. But I can't really picture it.
I grew up surrounded by the left, in the heart of Manhattan. As a young teenager, I listened to Pacifica on WBAI. I read Mother Jones and the Village Voice. I was truly curious. I wanted to understand, and I wanted to believe as everyone else did. But I never could. There was such a dissonance between what I was told was true ("the left champions freedom") and what I knew from observation to be true (the left never met a form of tyranny, interpersonal or political, that it didn't like). This dissonance became more and more deafening, until I concluded (because I never met anyone who wasn't somehow on the left) that all of politics, and all of national affairs, and all international bodies, and all forms of political belief and action were based on an enormous lie that no one was allowed to question on pain of excommunication, and I became a laughing buddha of detachment.
(Until that morning at 8:45.)
All my friends, all my coworkers, still look with pious eyes to groups like Amnesty International and International ANSWER for moral guidance, and gratefully swallow the bromides they're given. I don't know anyone who would disapprove of the latest Bush=Hitler flyer.
I guess I'm a Jesusland of one.
November 14, 2004
Moore's new propaganda masterpiece needs a title. Can YOU help?
KorlaPundit has picked up on my post below about Michael Moore's new project. He's asking for suggestions for names for those new proposed anti-Bush and anti-Blair projects, and he's got some good ones already. Help him out if you're so inclined. I've contributed a few myself.
Hey, anything to help the cause. Go, Mikey, go!
Bush's Bulge: A view from a broad
Say Anything finally reveals the oft-discussed photo at the heart of Dickdickgate. Sweet turgid Jeebus! Look at the size of that bunker-buster! Just the thing to further emasculate the already-hurtin' Dems. They should just be grateful the photo wasn't widely publicized before the election. Talk about an October surprise!
I can't resist commenting here on Bush's bulge, the famous cause celebre of the first debates.
Memo to Democratic operatives, bloggers, campaign strategists, and conspiracy kooks:
Had you not considered the effect of your constant harping on Bush's bulge? Did you not realize the subliminal images it called to mind, especially for women? In the morning paper, on the news, on the blogs, in the evening before bed -- for a few days there, it was a Bush's bulge-a-thon. A girl can only take so much before she has to retire to a cold shower (or a hot one). Talk, talk, talk about the man's bulge, and what do you expect a wench to do when she's finally confronted with the man's lever in the voting booth? She's going to pull it, of course.
Good going, Dems. And you wonder why you're losing the female vote.
Now all the administration has to do is periodically give Bush a large, mysterious package to hold, or a big basket to carry. Then we can hear about Bush's huge package this, Bush's giant basket that. Bring it, lefties. Bring it.
Update: More bulge analysis in a new post: Bush's Bulge Part II: The POTPOTUS of Love.
Update: Industrial Waste has more. Including a nice shot of Bush's... well, Bush's other bulge. The one Kos, Atrios, and the others don't talk about. Yowzah.
Update: QandO has the full,
uncut uncropped photo. Good God in heaven, it appears there's a little girl sitting at the Cheney's feet! I'm hoping against hope that the sight has not permanently affected her psychosexual development.
Update: Who Can Really Say? thinks he's found a concrete link between Bush's bulge and Cheney's bulge. (Warning: Not quite as kinky as it sounds, alas. But worth checking out.)
Poison? A Comb? Whatever killed Arafat, it CERTAINLY wasn't AIDS!
Charles at lgf observes the French government's delicate gavottes around the sensitive issue of the cause of Arafat's death. "Sensitive," of course, because to admit he died of AIDS, and not from Zionist poisoning, would apparently cause the Middle East to explode in violent recriminations.
Oh, wait -- it's already been in the process of doing that for several years.
In any event, I expect that eventually we can all settle down with a nice synthesis of the competing theories: Arafat died of AIDS, which he was given by the Zionists to discredit him. Nice try, Mossad, but it's not gonna work this time.
Personally, I blame those castrating Zionist combs.
November 13, 2004
Suggested title: "Tony B-LIAR, Prime MONSTER of Great BOUGHT 'N' paid-for."
[whispering] Jesus, thank You so much for Your merciful intervention. I was already starting to worry about the midterm elections. I'm ashamed to even admit that, in the face of all Your bountiful gifts this month. (Thanks for the Arafat thing, by the way. I almost forgot to prostrate myself before You in gratefulness.) But now that Michael Moore is back on the job, I can stop worrying and relax, knowing the Republican majority will grow under Your watchful ministrations. Thank you, Lord.
[whispering even more softly] Oh, and Jesus -- or Buddah, or Yahweh, or Allah, or whatever your name is -- don't tell anyone I'm an atheist. I want the Dems to keep their useful illusions that only "Jesusland" voted for Bush. That really helps us out.
And now that I've had my conversation with whatzisname (or is it whatzername?), I have a question for the truly omnipresent one, Michael Moore himself. (Omnipresent not in the spiritual sense, but because his massive girth seeps uncontrollably into every corner, crevice, and crevasse.)
Mikey, dude, wasn't your next movie going to ream Bush's faithful poodle, Tony Blair? Do you not remember telling Reuters, "Blair knows better. Blair is not an idiot. What is he doing hanging around this guy?"
The British election is looming ever closer. You've never let us down before, Mikey. Better get cracking!
But I hear they do make graves.
"PRETTY GIRLS DON'T TAKE THE SUBWAY "?
Here's an example of the importance of good grammar, kids. What if this message was originally meant to read "PRETTY GIRLS, DON'T TAKE THE SUBWAY"? Then it would be a sinister threat, instead of a boneheaded slur.
And by the way: Pretty girls do take the subway. I recommend the F for a nice assortment. (Especially if you like Asian chicks mixed with well-turned-out just-out-of-college babes commuting between their Cobble Hill apartment and their publishing job in Manhattan.)
"Pretending" to be a 3-year-old? The whining sounds real enough.
WSJ's Best of the Web Today reports on the sad decline that has befallen many a Democrat since the election (highlights mine):
More female caretakers said Wednesday that a Charleston financial adviser pretended to be a 3-year-old, made them change his diaper and tried to grope them.
Charleston police Detective S.A. Dempsey said that several more home health-care workers alleged that William Warren Mucklow victimized them.
Some alleged victims--all women--told police they responded to classified ads that sought a caretaker for a mentally ill man who acts like a toddler, Dempsey said. . . .
No confirmation yet that "William Mucklow" is actually a pseudonym for "Lawrence O'Donnell," whose crybaby crankiness of late reveals that he desperately needs his diaper changed. He could probably use a time-out too.
Hell, I'm old-fashioned. Forget the time-out. I say give the whiny brat a spanking.
November 09, 2004
Kentucky Fried Cerebellum: Insane interpretations of the Colonel's legacy
The problem with Limeys is that they're snotty, smug bastards who spend their time just knocking down the efforts of anyone who dares to aspire to anything.
The great thing about Limeys, on the other hand, is that they're snotty, smug bastards who spend their time just knocking down the efforts of anyone who dares to aspire to anything.
Case in point: BadGas plumbs the depths of KFC-wannabe signage in the decaying urban areas of the UK. First, their ground rules:
- Only use red, white and blue if possible. This creates a strong association with America. Which is a "good" thing.
- Ensure that the words "Fried" and "Chicken" appear in your shop's name.
- To avoid alienating illiterate chicken lovers, make sure the sign has a nice big picture of a bird.
- Strengthen that KFC association by ensuring that your shop's name includes the name of a southern US state.
- If all the southern states have been used up by your many competitors along the street, pick a state from somewhere else in the US.
- If you can't think of any more US states, use a word that has some kind of southern US resonance.
- If all else fails, throw in a word that suggests quality, friendliness or corporate success.
Examples are evaluated on their merits, categorized, and soundly mocked as necessary.
November 08, 2004
Perhaps the disgruntled left should focus more on succession and less on secession
Oh, those laughable, lamentable, looney, lugubrious lefties at the NY Times. What will they think of next?
Just kidding, of course. Oh, not about the Times apparently wishing for an assassination. I mean I was kidding when I said this was fresh. It's old hat. I've been reading calls for assassination ever since the first chad began to dangle in 2000. There was even a lame "play," at a "secret location" in NYC, called "I'm Gonna Kill the President."
But here's the part I don't understand. Folks, I'm kinda slow sometimes. (I am a Bush voter, after all, and we all know Republican voters are dumber than Dems not surprising when Bush has been proven dumber than any modern president.) That's why I need some help understanding the supposed benefits of this "assassination" thing.
Has anyone broken the news about succession to the Loony Left? No, not secession. (We'll break the news about that later; let the poor dears dream for now.) I mean succession the protocol of who becomes president if Bush is out of the picture.
Bush dies? Who lies? Why, it's President Dick Cheney! (R)
Cheney's gone? Let's move on! Play "Hail to the Chief" for former House Speaker, President Dennis Hastert! (R)
Hastert's dead? Let's get Ted! Ted Stevens (R), that is. Formerly President Pro Tem of the Senate; now he's President Stevens to you.
And so on.
In practical terms, of course, one of President Cheney's first acts would be to appoint a new Vice President. If there wasn't enough time for that to be accomplished before President Cheney bought the farm, the presidency would move on down a very long line of successors, Bush appointees all. I fail to see any way a non-Republican could become president in the next four years, no matter how many "acts of God" the Times hopes for.
Can anyone find a flaw? Is there something those smart, intel-ek-shul Times folk understand that I'm just not getting? 'Cause I've heard this "hope Bush dies in office" drumbeat so often, and from people I wouldn't expect to be rooting for a President Cheney, that it's starting to cause cognitive dissonance.
And "dissonance" is a mighty big word for a dummy like me. It's giving me a headache. Some compassionate assassination advocate out there, please tell me where I'm miscalculating the order of succession, so I can write the Times and tell them how much I admire their perspicacity.
Carter the Unstoppable Sanctimony Machine
While we're on the topic of bashing ol' Jimmuh... Somehow, years ago, I got on the Habitat for Humanity mailing list. Here's a sign o' the times: I just got my first H. for H. mailing that wasn't "from" President Jimmy Carter. In fact, the mailing didn't mention him at all. Has the other 48% of the country finally woken up to what a liability this cringing, appeasing embarrassment still is? Is the tide turning? Is money talking, and bullshit at last walking?
Whoops. Sorry. I forgot to show the proper respect to a Nobel "Peace" Prize winner, a category that includes that other exalted Great Statesman of peace, Yasser Arafat. In October 2002, the unbiased gentlefolk of the Nobel Committee had this to say about our beloved
In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on international law, respect for human rights, and economic development.
Avoiding threats of the use of power... respect for human rights... economic development... Yep, that describes Arafat to a tee!
November 07, 2004
Now it can be told: The real mastermind behind Bush's election
It wasn't Karl Rove. Oh, Karl's a crafty one. But he didn't clinch it.
Just for fun, just to keep the post-election euphoria going for another few hours — let's savor the plump, porcine presence of the real Bush re-election mastermind one more time.
Anyone recognize that poor dowdy sack o' misery sandwiched between the peanut farmer and the fat-farm refugee? She's probably still trying to scrub off the loser stink.
Okay, okay. I know I shouldn't be gloating. I know it's wrong. I haven't posted yet about how I've felt living as a deeply closeted libertarianish Bush booster for the last four years in the darkest heart of liberal New York. I haven't told you how profoundly bullied I've felt inside. But I can tell you this: I've been flying since Tuesday. Every other brownstone in my neighborhood still sports a large "We the People say NO to the Bush Agenda" rainbow flag draped across its front. How can I not rejoice (inside, of course, only inside)?
I've been on vacation all week. I could barely stand the Bushitler hubbub at its steady bubbling-under pre-election levels, let alone at its climax. Tomorrow I go back to the office and face the parade of long-faced mourners traipsing through my path. "Tsk," I'll say in a too-resigned-to-really-care-anymore way when my bosses curse the fates, the Fox News Network, and the Diebold Corporation.
Inside, deep inside my closet, I'll laugh just a little. It feels so good, and I owe myself a little relief.
"Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.
I could have told you, Michael: This world was never meant for one so beautiful as you.
Michael Moore has finally broken his post-election silence with a post on his website. Apparently his followers have more than one thing in common with lemmings; he seems to suspect that they may be on the brink of committing mass suicide.
Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, “always look on the bright side of life!” There IS some good news from Tuesday's election.
He then lists 17 rather forlorn reasons for his followers to continue living. Powerline has enlisted the blogosphere's help in countering these arguments. I’ve read Powerline religiously throughout the election season, so I feel duty-bound to answer the call.
I'm a bit ambivalent about encouraging Moore's followers to go ahead and, "in the words of Monty Python," shuffle off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and join the bleedin' choir invisible. Oh, the Moorians are annoying, it's true, but it's my opinion that Bush couldn't have won the election without the Dems' warm embrace of Moore at their convention and Tom Daschle's literal embrace of Moore may have lost him just enough votes to end the career of everyone's least favorite hatchet-faced obstructionist.
So it is with great regret that I say: Michael, thanks to you and your followers for helping the GOP to victory. But your work here is done, so to counter your "17 reasons not to slit your wrists", I offer you:
- Be honest: Is life worth living under a Bushitler regime? Think of it: The Chimp’s smirking mug leering at you every day for four years… every day… and remember, dying only hurts for a minute. I’m just saying. (Every day! Even on NPR, you’ll hear his voice when they do the news! And on Morning Edition! Even on All Things Considered!)
- No more earnings to be taxed to fund fictitious wars fought by fictitious presidents.
- It'll definitively answer the question: "Bush lied; Who died?"
- It will show solidarity with the poor downtrodden Palestinians, whose highest goal in life has always been suicide in the service of defeating the Zionist war machine.
- If suicide is accomplished with firearms, it will serve to reinforce the thesis of Bowling for Columbine: Those craven Americans sure are obsessed with guns and killing.
- Fuel for several years' worth of moonbat conspiracy theories; doesn't it seem a bit too convenient that Bushitler's sworn enemies should all start killing themselves at once?
- Sudden demand for body bags would further increase petroleum prices, reinforcing the absurdity of Bushitler's war for cheap oil.
- Won't be around to feel the pain when Castro and Arafat depart this earthly plane. (Hurry Arafat's in the departure queue!)
- It's the only way you can crash the Pearly Gates and get that hostile ambush interview with God.
- You can found a new PAC to support the mass suicide: PassOn.org.
- Must die soon, or Dan Rather won't be able to cover your death.
- Help George Soros make back some of the money he lost backing Kerry give him a heads-up before you do it and he can game the dead pools.
- If you work quickly, you'll have time to prepare a place in Hell for the soon-to-arrive hordes of heroic Fallujah "Minutemen."
- You'll be right at home in Hell. It's a blue state.
- Shoo-in to have special montage created to honor you at next year's Cannes, to the tune of a melancholy rendition of "We Shall Overcome."
- You'll still be able to vote, especially in Chicago.
- Two words: President Giuliani.
(A new blog, IgnoreMoore, has countered Moore’s list with a point-by-point Fisking, in the unthinkable event that anyone finds the above list insufficiently persuasive.)