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February 28, 2005

EtherHouse does "Trading Spaces"!

[covering eyes] Okay... I'm not looking... just guide me in...

*oof!* ... Sorry, couldn't see the doorway!

How do I feel? I feel blind! [laughs] Uh... well, I guess I feel kind of nervous, you know... Why? Well, because, y'know, it's my house! [laughs] It's my EtherHouse! And if they've messed it up, I'll have to kill them! [laughs] No, seriously, I think it'll look great. I'm hopeful.

Okay. Tell me when I can look. I'm not looking yet.

Yep, ready. Okay! Here goes nothin'!

[removes blindfold; looks around, dazed]

Oh!

Oh wow.

Wow!

This is amazing! How did you guys do this? This is amazing! Look! It's got -- the bridges! Oh my God! How did you know? Two Brooklyn Bridges! Oh! Right, sorry, I meant both bridges, you know, the Brooklyn and... [trails off, distracted by looking around] ... and, uh, Manhattan, and, uh... is that fog? Oh, God, you guys! This is so cool!

----------------

Redesign based on these photos I took. Comments welcome. — E.P.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:48 PM | Comments (6)   Category: Website Reviews

So you like the Oscars -- quit apologizing and own up.

The people who strive most vigorously not to be bourgeois are doomed to be the most nakedly bourgeois of all. This universal maxim is never more obvious than when Oscar time rolls around.

Most people are unashamed about their celebrity-worship. But there's always a certain contingent that wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of the Enquirer — oh, no, they're more the New York Times type, thanks. Yet mention a celebrity's name, and they'll blurt out a piece of disapproving, up-to-the-minute dish.

These are the very people who chatter about the Oscars weeks before the show and avidly enter Oscar pools, but insist they're not really going to watch it. Well, maybe they might dip in and out. Because, you know — (this is my favorite) — they "only watch to see how bad they are."

Really? I could save you a few hours: They're really bad. I mean fall-into-a-nihilistic-depression bad. I never watch them, personally, for just this reason: because they're bad. Even the "shocks" are mind-numbingly predictable. And this is why you like them?

I'd like to make a plea to all watchers of televised dreck: Stop being so defensive. No one cares about your low-prole viewing habits. You're only revealing how afraid you are that someone will mistake you for an ordinary American, who watches the show for ordinary reasons, like seeing celebrities in their designer gowns, or watching the entertainment, or some other frightfully middle-class, Jesusland reason. Quelle horreur!

Now, of course, if you watch the exact same thing as those Jesuslanders, and for the exact same length of time, but watch it ironically... well, then you're engaging in a critique of our celeb-centered, consumerist hegemon. (So edgy! And you laughed at Chris Rock's Bush-bashing — you really get it.) And if you spend the next Monday snarking about some actress' gown, or ragging on some singer, hey, that's not trashy middlebrow gossip. No sir. You're doing it ironically, and that makes it cultural critique.

Personally, I'm not ashamed of my own dreck-viewing habits. I watch "World's Wildest Police Chases" about once a week. I've also been known to take in "The Planet's Funniest Animals." Oh, and "Unwrapped" on the Food Network. And I don't watch them "ironically." I watch them because they're stupid, diverting, and distracting, and they don't pretend to be any higher-brow than they are. They don't lecture me, and they certainly don't edify me. All they do is help me relax by whiling away half an hour in a pleasantly brain-dead way. You got a problem with my viewing habits? You think you're gonna judge me? Okay. You pay my mortgage, food, and cable bills, and then we'll talk about how you should be the judge of what I watch on TV. Till then, deal with it. My house, my TV, my eyeballs. Capeesh?

There, see? That's not so hard. Self-conscious Oscar watchers, stand up for yourself. Watch your worthless dreck without apology, and quit bending my ear with hypocritical bombast about how you don't take it seriously, oh, it's so silly — please! who do these stars think they are, they're so vapid and shallow (and did you see that dress on her?), who watches these things, anyway?, etc.

Get over it. Only the bourgeoisie care about being thought bourgeois.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:40 PM | Comments (5)   Category: Film , Media , Television

Why I married the EtherHub.

Because he's the kind of person who would look out the window at the snow that's falling now, and say in a deadpan voice,

"Winter Wonderland, or Holly Jolly Hellhole?"

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:10 PM | Comments (5)   Category: Brooklyn & NYC , Personal stories

February 27, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Aider me zogt arois s'vort, iz men a har; dernoch iz men a nar.

Before you say a word you're a master; afterwards, you're a fool.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:00 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

Gannon-fodder for the gay-hating Left.

I've refrained from commenting on Gannongate because, honestly, I haven't been able to figure out exactly what it's about. I've read thousands of words about it, yet if you asked me to write a one-sentence summary of the issues at stake, I really couldn't.

I figured maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention. That's common enough. Or maybe I wasn't smart enough, or versed enough in the context of the case, to make any sense of it. Also not unheard of. Or maybe I was just missing that one key piece of information that would make everything fall into place with a satisfied, "Aha!"

But I'm coming to believe that the reason I can't understand Gannongate is that there's really no "there" there. Gannongate is a fierce dust storm whipping around all kinds of garbage and detritus, but every time I look past the pelting filth and into the vortex, there's nothing in there.

The strongest impression I'm left with after brushing off all the flying dreck is this.

The left is furious because the Bush administration:

Basically, the Bush administration is being pilloried for not being bigoted enough.

I'm stunned by the gleeful openness of the Left's jihad against this guy for having allegedly been a gay escort.

More than that, I continue to be incredibly discouraged by the free pass the Left gets from gays.

This is one of the many reasons why, though I care a great deal about civil rights for gays, I can never, ever support the Democratic party in its current form ever again. Forced to choose, I settle for the Republican stance on homosexuality. I don't agree with it, and I wish it were progressive, instead of just seeking to solidify the current status quo, but at least the Republican Party says what it means on gay rights.

By contrast, I am disgusted by the pathetic, pandering lip service the Democrats offer gays, and the tragic eagerness with which the "gay community" laps up the half-assed, wishy-washy sorta-promises year after year. No wonder the Republicans write gays off; they can afford to. Nothing they can do or say will win them those votes anyway. Gays have asked for nothing from the Dems, and have eagerly accepted the nothing they receive, while always finding a way to blame "the Right" for the scarcity of gay-rights goodies. I don't know whether homosexuality is hard-wired from the womb, but apparently the need to vote Democrat is hard-wired in homosexuals.

But maybe Gannongate explains the need for gays to vote Democrat: Because a gay Republican unleashes the inner Fred Phelps in every Lefty. Gay Democrats, you see, are a put-upon, protected, victimized minority, and anyone who has a critical thing to say about them is a bigot indulging in hate speech. But gay Republicans — why, they're unclean, immoral faggots who'd hump any filthy pervert with a few dollars in his Vaseline-smeared paws, and how dare they even hope for a place in the public discourse, let alone in the White House press room!

There are some things I'll just never understand. One of them is why most gays think the Democratic Party is on their side, or has any use for them beyond their ability to pull a lever in a voting booth.

Update: More on this at Right Wing News and Brainster.

Update: Just One Minute reports great news from the White House Correspondents Association: They're not accepting the Gay Hustler Trojan Horse that comes bearing a press credentialing crackdown. Pressure to crack down on who has access to the White House -- isn't it delicious that this should come from the same moonbats who screamed about the loss of free speech in AshKKKroft's AmeriKKKa?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:10 AM | Comments (9)   Category: Bush Administration , Current Affairs , Media

February 26, 2005

GWOT got ya down? Need a laugh?

Of course you do.

This'll cure what ails ya: The latest revision of combat hand signals.

Picture2Picture1

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:55 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Current Affairs , Mockery

God's own living avatar = shameless liar?

Isn't anyone else noticing the screaming cognitive dissonance between what the Vatican is saying about the Pope and what's really happening? I haven't encountered a single report that doesn't state unquestioningly, with a straight face, that the Pontiff is suffering from "flu." Jeez, of all the times when we really could use some scare quotes, and now they won't touch 'em.

What kind of flu rebounds after a month? What kind of flu requires a tracheotomy? Answer: No kind of flu. To be very charitable and credulous, we might speculate that the Pope is suffering from complications from influenza, perhaps pneumonia or a bronchial infection.

Why do the media refuse to acknowledge that the Vatican is flat-out lying? At least there was some skepticism about the reports of Arafat's condition being "stable." (Verrrry stable.) At least those reports were usually prefaced by, "According to Palestinian Authority spokesman so-and-so...."

This is the kind of whitewash you'd expect from the PA, or the USSR. But I think Catholics deserve far better than to be baldly lied to by the very authority that's supposed to serve as their moral guide. I believe Catholics can face the truth about the Pope's condition, whatever it is; I wonder why the Vatican can't?

As it is, every time I hear that the Pope is "resting comfortably" or "serene," I think of mourners commenting on the corpse at an open-coffin funeral. In fact, hmm... I wonder if he is already "stable"?

Update: Seems Ken Wheaton has noticed the same thing. Whew. It always makes me nervous when I'm the only damn person to notice something, and it seems to happen more and more often.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:28 PM | Comments (3)   Category: Current Affairs

EtherHouse *EXCLUSIVE*! -- More Ward Churchill art!

Regular readers may be surprised, but I think it's time some of us on the right stepped up to defend Ward Churchill. I can't applaud his defense of terrorists and their right — indeed, obligation — to murder "little Eichmanns" (defined as: everyone who died on Sept. 11). I can't condone his instructing his audiences on the most effective ways to carry out terrorism. And, of course, I can't stifle a laugh when I see photos of him in his office, Capitalism Condemnation Central, unironically surrounded by a shiny new iMac and assorted technological trappings.

But let's give credit where credit is due, shall we? Ward Churchill turns out to be a truly important visual artist, with a lot to say about the plight of Native Americans. Michelle Malkin, Myopic Zeal, Brainster, Ace, Say Anything, Speed of Thought, Protein Wisdom, and Confederate Yankee have all had their snarky say about this alleged plagiarism:

 

"Winter Attack," by Ward Churchill, circa 1980 (Photo: CBS4, Denver)

 

From "The Mystic Warriors of the Plains," by Thomas E. Mails, published 1972 (Photo: CBS4, Denver)

These self-styled "pundits" are saying that Churchill's art is just a reversed image of Mails'. But it's so easy to mock heartfelt artworks, isn't it, when their message makes us uncomfortable? It's so easy to condemn an image as "derivative" when what we're really trying to do is avert our eyes from the shameful truths it contains.

I ask my readers to reconsider. Thanks to a friend in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, I was able to obtain some little-known Churchill originals. Regardless of what you think of Churchill's political views, these works show that as an authentic Native American, he is truly committed to salvaging his nearly exterminated culture. For that, and for his innovative artistic vision, even his enemies must respect him.

The keen eye; the fine brushstrokes; the skilled application of chiaroscuro and manipulation of positive and negative space; the use of color to both shock and beguile the eye — all hallmarks of a master craftsman, capable of wielding his awesome technique to repudiate the postmodern even as he elevates it. Churchill's art will do more than just challenge your assumptions about Native and European cultures; it will overturn your outmoded ideas about art itself.

Churchill is no plagiarist! Perhaps coincidentally, the pieces above looked similar. But when you look at the works I'm showing, these EtherHouse exclusives, you'll realize that his vision is wholly original. I defy you to show me any "source" that can remotely claim to have inspired these pieces. You've never seen anything like them, I guarantee!

Now forget politics for a moment, and feel yourself transported to the Great Plains, to a time before the European brought pestilence, theft, and "ethnic cleansing" to the land. Open your mind to Churchill's sensitive explorations of Native American cuture. Let the raw emotion of these blazingly original, inventive images affect you.

"Warrior: Creek Nation of Georgia." Early mosaic work (c. 1967), from the "Creek Nation" series.

"Creek Tomahawk and Stitched Bull Hide." Gouache on board. 1993, from the "Creek Nation" series.

"Hopi Rain Dancer at Rest." Seriegraph. 1990, from the "Woo-Woo Indians, not Dot-Head Indians, Stupid" series.

"White Man Doritos Bags, Beer Cans, and Technology In General Make-um Ward Churchill Heap Big Cry." Lithograph. 1999.

injun.jpg

"What You Mean 'WE,' Kemo Sabe?" Oil on linen. 2002.

"Indigenous American, Holding Sacred Smoking Materials Forbidden by Unelected Fascist US Regime, Stares Longingly, Hopelessly Across Florida Straits Towards Free Land of Cuba, Workers' Paradise." Acrylic on fiberglass. 2003.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:12 AM | Comments (15)   Category: Current Affairs , Greatest Hits , Mockery , Moonbats

February 25, 2005

How Bush caused all the world's disasters

We Bush voters, of course, are all too well aware that W has caused virtually everything bad that's happened since he took office. Since we are constantly told that Bush is a moronic cokehead chimp, many of us have been left wondering how he was able to cause, for example, a Tsunami. Wouldn't that require some rather sophisticated know-how?

At last, KorlaPundit has explained it all with graphics simple enough for even a FReeper to understand. All Americans who hope to comprehend the perfidy of the current regime owe it to themselves to view the horrifying explanations of ...

How Bush Caused It (an ongoing series).

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:51 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Bush Administration , Mockery , Moonbats

February 24, 2005

What else should I be? All apologies.

Young as this blog is, I know I already have regular readers. And I know they're sometimes disappointed when they swing by and find nothing new.

I don't know how your average Joe Blogstein or Jane Blogovich finds time to post every day, to be honest. I'm guessing some of them are sporadically employed, or not employed at all; others have a job that allows them to post periodically during the day, either because they work from home or have blog-friendly bosses. Me, I can't blog at my job. Most weekdays, I leave home early and come back late.

What's my groove? Maybe I won't know until I click into it. I'd like to be pithy like Insty or deep like Den Beste, or hilarious like Frank J. Clearly, no one can be all three. (Except maybe Mark Steyn, and he doesn't blog. So there.) For the moment, I'm just being ethereal like EtherPundit.

I'm still finding my way here. For lots of reasons, I don't want to reveal much about myself. I'm extremely reserved by nature, and anyway, I'm not sure the details of my life are of much interest to John Q. Blogperuser. On the other hand, people like to get a sense of whose writing it is they're reading. How much personality is enough? How much is too much? What do I want from blogging? What do my readers and potential readers want? Is this blog a confessional, a soapbox, a rude note passed to a friend in class?

Is it better to do lots of little posts, knowing I'll never have the time to be a real resource or clearinghouse for stories? Or is it better to do sporadic long, bloviating posts, showcasing what scant original thought this Blogger of Little Brain is capable of?

And finally, how much of my personal time can I afford to give up? Maybe it'll end up depending on my traffic. Maybe if I have 5000 visits a day (as I did briefly with my Rathergate anagram series), it'll be worth devoting a good deal of time to, but if I have 5 visits a day I won't bother.

Yet if I don't bother, why would I expect to get more than 5 hits a day?

Woah, dude. It's like a Zen koan. Or a Catch-22. (Is a Catch-22 the Western version of a koan?)

Anyway, comments help. Comments are very encouraging. Negative ones, okay, not so much, but even those are welcome when they show that someone's read what I've written.

No pressure.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:30 PM | Comments (6)   Category: Personal stories

February 23, 2005

Michael Moore porn titles, revisited

Some of you may recall, possibly with an involuntary cringe, the Michael Moore Porn Titles post from a while back. A missive from Confederate Yankee reminded me that I should update the list. Since I first posted, I've realized that several of Moore's titles are porn-worthy just as they are:

TV Nation

("Captain Haddock" had posted "TV/TS Nation" in the comments of the first thread, but I think it's even better just as Moore wrote it)

Pets or Meat

The Big One

.... and his upcoming opus on Big Pharma,

Sicko


In the original post, I asked for more ideas, and Captain Haddock had another good one up his... uh, up his sleeve:

Will They Ever Thrust in Us Again?


Mick McMick, in the comments, switched the assignment around and changed the titles of classic porn films to suit Moore instead:

I Am Curious: Pinko

Behind the Green Party

Insatiable (Good one, Mick!)


And here are the originals:

Rogering Me

Fahrenheit 9.11"

Boweling for Columbine

Canadian Makin' Bacon

Dude, Where's My C*nt?


I'll open up the floor to additions one last time, in case this exercise gets anyone's juices flowing.* Add your titles in the comments.

*I meant creative juices, perv!

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:40 AM | Comments (3)   Category: Michael Moore , Mockery , Sex

February 22, 2005

Kinky Talking-Head Slashfic: An idea whose time has come.

A little more than a week ago, in a post about Keith Olbermann's disturbingly borderline-homoerotic obsession with Bill O'Reilly, I mentioned that there was some Olby slash fiction floating around the Web.

Looks like I scooped Wonkette on the slashfic tip! Whaddya know. She posted about Daily Show slashfic on Feb 17, mentioning a few specific sites.

I've thought for a long time that talking-head slashfic must exist out there, and that there should be a site to serve as a clearinghouse for it. I even toyed with the idea of setting up such a site. I hope someone does.

It doesn't have to be only slashfic, either. For example, what cable news watcher/fiction writer wouldn't like to explore what would happen if Chris Matthews and Zell Miller really did duel? Swords or pistols? Who would each choose as a second? Where would the final confrontation take place? In Herald Square, where Matthews' booth was set up during the RNC, or on the floor of Madison Square Garden? Whose honor would be upheld, and whose would be besmirched?

I see a whole subcategory of fanfic on just this topic alone.

Yes, someone should set up this site. Who among us is brave enough to face the inevitable cease-and-desist letters from FOX when a particularly rambunctious piece of Hannity/Colmes slash is posted?

Is there no hero out there?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:25 AM | Comments (5)   Category: Mockery , Television

February 21, 2005

EXTRY! EXTRY! Left doesn't even try for plausibility anymore! Read all about it!

Michelle Malkin and A Confederate Yankee blog about Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who believes Karl Rove was the source of the Rathergate memos. Hell, I remember conservative blogs saying that at the time. Of course, they were joking, and Hinchey is serious. But Hinchey is actually funnier! Go figure!

Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Hinchey! (from LGF)

They’ve had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it’s handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And it was only — what, like was it CBS? Or whatever, whatever which one Rather works for. They — the people there — they finally bought into it, and they, and they aired it. And when they did, they had ’em. They didn’t care who did it! All they had to do is to get some element of the media to advance that issue. Based upon the false papers that they produced.

Honestly, even reading such drivel fills me with ennui; it's not even worth Fisking.

What is worth noting, though, is the new wave of defensive memes from the Left, and particular from the defenders of the MSM. These new narratives are notable because they no longer bother to even aim for plausibility. I take back what I said earlier about Hinchey being funny; it's not funny that an elected official not only makes up stories, but presumes his audience doesn't even expect the stories to make sense, even in their own internal logic.

Forget for a moment whether this story is true, and just consider its own internal logical conundrums.

  1. Karl Rove is capable of duping the mainstream media into running stories, even with the flimsiest of slapped-together "evidence." Yet of all the stories he could have planted with fabricated evidence — say, proof of WMD in Iraq, or proof that Bush didn't know of 9/11 in advance — he chose to plant one about Bush being AWOL in 1973. Even though time had already shown that the AWOL story had no legs, because voters don't much care about what happened 30 years ago when they already have 4 years of Bush's presidency to draw their own conclusions from.
  2. In order to draw attention away from Bush's actions in 1973, Rove planted a story about Bush's actions in 1973. How was this supposed to work again?
  3. For some reason, CBS and Dan Rather have refrained from reporting that Rove was feeding them bogus memos. Even though this story would be bigger than Watergate. Even though Dan Rather announced that if the memos were fake, "I'd like to be the one to break that story." Even though revealing Rove as the architect of the memos would restore the luster to CBS, replace Rather on his throne, and probably translate to millions in recovered ad revenue for the network.
  4. What about Mary Mapes? She could restore her reputation and bring down the corrupt BusHitler administration with proof of Rove's involvement. Why is she silent? It couldn't be because she's afraid of repercussions from Bush's thugs; she had no fear of publicizing what she believed were real, incriminating memos.
  5. Why not cut CBS in for a large share of the blame? After all, they were the ones who flogged Rove's exceedingly poorly forged memos. Shouldn't they have done their due diligence as a free press requires, instead of being mindless patsies?
  6. Considering that Bill Burkett was disgraced and wronged by Rove, why won't he talk either? And we never found out who "Lucy Ramirez" is. Is she Karl Rove?
  7. These papers, according to Hinchey, were shopped to "elements of the media," but only CBS bit. Who else was shown the memos, and why won't they talk? This is a chance to kick a rival network while it's down and break a history-making story.

(And just out of curiosity, does anyone know whether Hinchey realized immediately that this was the work of Rove? He wasn't by chance one of those who defended the memos until the very last page of the last copy of the Thornburgh report was printed, was he?)

Another sad example of an internally self-contradictory story is the defense of Eason Jordan by many in the MSM. Take Jeremy Scahill's comments in The Nation about Jordan:

But the real controversy here should not be over Jordan's comments. The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq.

The article goes on to very strongly suggest that Jordan was right, and the US is deliberately assassinating journalists in Iraq.

Look, here's the problem. If the US military is indeed deliberately killing journalists, again, this is a scandal that makes Abu Ghraib look like pretzelgate. I would be outraged to find this is true, and so would countless other Bush supporters. But I promised you I wouldn't focus on objective truth, but just show you the internal contradictions, didn't I? Okay.

The internal problems with this defense of Jordan:

  1. Why didn't Eason Jordan withdraw CNN's personnel, knowing that they were being targeted for murder? (See this entry.)
  2. Why would the MSM avoid reporting that their own colleagues were being deliberately murdered? They've covered plenty of bad news from Iraq; why not this?
  3. Eason Jordan was the MSM! Why the hell didn't he see to it that these journalist assassinations were reported on CNN? Wow, what a story to break! And when he did point out these murders, why did he backtrack, knowing that his return to silence was dooming other journalists to die? Does Scahill not find this appallingly dishonorable?
  4. Why doesn't the article provide any proof of the allegations of intentional murder of journalists? Is Scahill holding back? If so, how can he criticize others for not covering the story adequately?
  5. How can there be "unconscionable silence" about these murders when the Jordan case was all over the media, and now Scahill's own article complaining about silence is being published in a major magazine?

And this brings me to one of the Left's greatest self-contradictions. It's one I hear more and more often — as if the volume at which it's repeated makes it truer, instead of less true:

WE'RE BEING CENSORED! OUR VOICES ARE BEING SILENCED! LOOK AT US BEING CENSORED! LOOKY HERE, HOW YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO HEAR OUR POINT OF VIEW!

And yet... and yet... the very fact that you're complaining that STORY X IS BEING CENSORED, and I'm hearing your complaint without having sought it out, is proof that STORY X IS NOT BEING CENSORED.

My poor dear Left, once so vital and proud, and now deafened by your own echo chamber. It's not that no one hears you; it's that no one cares.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:44 PM | Comments (3)   Category: Current Affairs , Media , Moonbats

Sometimes I really hate living in Park Slope.

This New York Post story, cited by Wizbang, really burns my butt.

February 21, 2005 -- An American soldier overseas is fuming over letters he received from Brooklyn middle-school children accusing GIs of destroying mosques and killing civilians in Iraq.

Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

"It's hard enough for soldiers to deal with being away from their families, they don't need to be getting letters like this," Jacobs, 20, said in a phone interview from his base at Camp Casey.

Most readers of this blog are probably not familiar with Park Slope, Brooklyn. In many ways, it's a lovely place to live, and on most days I'm happy I live here. But this is as close as you can get to Berkeley on the East Coast, and at times the seething Bush hatred on these lovely brownstoned streets has been so in-your-face that I feel like a spy in enemy territory. This story doesn't surprise me. The neighborhood is still festooned with huge "We the People Say NO to the Bush Agenda" banners, stencil renditions of Bush as Satan, hate-Bush window signs, bumper stickers, T-shirts, etc.

For an accurate snapshot of Park Slope's politics, savor this excerpt from an article titled "Liberal Brooklynites Bummed Out," printed in the November 6, 2004 Park Slope Paper. Please note that the article is not intended to be funny, but if you burst into a spasm of derisive hilarity, I won't hold it against you. Lord knows my sides were sore when I finished reading. Perhaps the laughter was more of a release than anything else — a release of the unrelenting tension I'd felt for so long. I couldn't bear to throw the article away; that's why I still have it here to quote from.

The announcement came over the loudspeakers at the Park Slope Food Co-op shortly before noon: Sen. John Kerry was conceding. People looked at each other, stricken over the soymilk and organic vegetables.

Pilates instructor Rachel Priebe ran weeping from the store.

"I'm heartbroken," said Priebe, 30, sobbing gently as she loaded her bicycle on a Brooklyn sidewalk. "The rest of the country must be pretty out of touch with reality."
.....

"I'm devastated," writer Emma Starr said as she left the nation's largest member-owned and -operated food co-op. "I have proposed that we should have two distinct nations. Why should we be forced to live together under the rule of an evil dictator?"

That pretty much sums up the average Sloper. It's shamefully easy to laugh at these people's pain, because they made Park Slope such an aggressively hate-filled, rageful, oppressive place for such a long time leading up to the election. (And Emma Starr, my dear, if you want two nations, you leave. I was born and raised in New York. This is my home. I ain't leavin'.)

Back to Wizbang's citation: The article about JHS 51 brought up some issues for me. EtherHub and I have been talking about having children, but we have serious questions about where we could send them to school. We're atheists, but not militant ones; EtherHub was raised Catholic in Brooklyn, and I would gladly consider Catholic school. However, the Catholic archdiocese apparently doesn't think Catholic schools are important, because they're closing a bunch of them. (What the hell, right? It's not as if there are all that many Catholics in Brooklyn. It ain't like it's "da borough of choiches," or nothin'.)

Public schools are obviously out of the question, even "good" ones like JHS 51. The story cited at the top of this post sums up the reason why. Private schools in this neighborhood have tuitions that would put most private colleges to shame. Besides, I went to a "good" private school in Manhattan, and didn't get much of an education. Oh, no, wait -- I learned that drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol are so wonderful that there's really no need to acknowledge the existence of anyone who doesn't enjoy indulging (like me). I learned that a girl isn't worth anything without a boyfriend, and sex is required. Meh. I'm not sure I'd want my kids learning that. And that was back in the early 80s; hard to imagine what it's like in private school now. I wouldn't expect a school to teach my kids values, of course. I'd just expect them not to spend each day tearing down the values I tried to teach the previous night.

Is home schooling the only alternative? I'll do it if I have to, but how sad that someone whose values are as truly middle-of-the-road as mine would have to shun all local schools for their radicalism.

Anyone out there faced a similar problem? I'd love to know how you handled it.

Posted by EtherPundit at 02:57 PM | Comments (11)   Category: Brooklyn & NYC , Current Affairs , Moonbats

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Yes, I know it's Monday, not Sunday. But it's a holiday, so it's kinda-sorta Sundayish. Besides, I've had such a week!

Anyway, did you know the entire genesis of Islamofascism could be summed up in three words (four in the Yiddish)?

Fun kin'ah vert sin'ah.

Envy breeds hate.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

February 13, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

This one goes out to the Democratic Party, in honor of the bright, shiny, spankin' new lease on life they'll be getting with Howard Dean as their Dear Leader.

Di grub iz shoin ofen un der mentsh tut noch hofen.

The grave is already dug and man still continues to hope.

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:16 PM | Comments (2)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

February 12, 2005

Storytelling time with Dr. Dean

I wrote earlier that if I'm going to pop a cork at every piece of post-Nov. 2 good news, it looks like I'll have to buy at least a case of champagne. Howard Dean's ascendency to the DNC chairmanship is just the excuse I've been waiting for to break out another bottle.

In fact, when I read Powerline this afternoon, I realized I might need a magnum. Dean appears to have fallen victim to the "storytelling" meme that seems to be mass-hypnotizing the left. (CNN's Jon Klein recently proudly pledged allegiance to "storytelling." This was, of course, before Eason's fables tarnished whatever was left of their good name.)

(And what a tragic idea to base your strategy on. "Storytelling" — wasn't that what BusHitler was doing when he read "My Pet Goat" to a classroom full of children as the WTC burned? Isn't that what you do when it's bedtime for the kids — tell them a nice little story?)

So this appears to be the brilliant new Democratic strategy: spoonfeeding spin to the childlike American people. Those Jesuslanders will learn to love the Democrats as soon as they understand liberal ideology as a "story." Suddenly, all those failed mid-20th century ideas will seem different, new, and wonderful! And the nice storyteller will tell the audience who the good guys and bad guys are. None of that tiring "deciding for yourself." And we'll all live happily ever after.*

Today, I raise a glass of champagne to Dr. Dean's idea that it's not the contents, it's the wrapping. It's not the facts, but the light in which the facts are conveyed. To Dr. Dean, for believing that all the Democratic Party needs is a more efficient way to polish the turd it keeps offering us every two years. Keep polishing, Dr. Dean! By 2008, I'm sure it'll look like gold! Cheers!

*Just as soon as Princess Hillary vanquishes the bad man, BusHitler.

Posted by EtherPundit at 03:31 PM | Comments (3)   Category: Mockery , Moonbats , Politics

February 11, 2005

The REAL reason Eason Jordan was drummed out

Powerline reports that Eason Jordan has called it quits, only a day late and a dollar short. Michelle Malkin and Wizbang have good roundups.

Oh, the blogosphere is doing a victory lap, sure. Back-slapping and high-fives all around. But has anyone considered precisely why this guy was forced out?

Ask yourself how the CNN staff stationed in Iraq must have felt when they learned Jordan knew all along they were being targeted for assassination by American troops, yet he never made a move to recall them. Depraved, really. Sending CNN's own unarmed, unsuspecting journalists out to get shot down by US soldiers — can't have a guy like that running the organization. I'm surprised he was willing to openly admit his own indifference to CNN employees' safety to the entire World Economic Summit at Davos. No wonder he was forced out.

(I mean, he was telling the truth about the US targeting journalists, wasn't he? He had to have been. The Eason Jordan we know would never pull a sleazy stunt like lying. Never happen.)

Anyway, I'm sure whoever replaces him will immediately recall all CNN personnel from anywhere US troops are stationed. No sense taking crazy risks.

Wait a minute... there are US troops stationed right here in America! That means all of CNN's journalists are in constant danger, right, Eason? Perhaps the best course of action would be to shut down the whole operation, just to be on the safe side.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Current Affairs , Media , Moonbats

Olbermann goes Olber the top.

Poor Keith Olbermann. I think he's finally lost it.

It's been a long, sad road to this unhappy destination. I began to feel his sanity was slipping when I was flipping around the channels on New Year's Eve. It seemed he was devoting about half of his year-end review to O'Reilly's sex-harrassment scandal. I kept flipping away, then flipping past again, and Olby seemed really stuck on the topic. I guess there's not much archival footage relating to the scandal; at one point, he was showing footage of O'Reilly getting into a car. Truly one of the most significant events of 2004, one that must have an honored place in any year-end video rundown: O'Reilly gets into a car. This was interspersed with months-old footage of Olbermann's "Save the Tapes!" campaign. (Guess it was just a slow news year, huh, Keith?)

I turned to the EtherHub and said, "Is it just me, or is there something borderline homoerotic about this guy's obsession with O'Reilly and the tapes?"

Well, I guess it wasn't just me, and it wasn't really borderline either. Olby's cracked up. He's lettin' it all hang out. Olbermannwatch has posted the video here. (Warning: He screams like a little girl, over and over again, pretending O'Reilly is attacking him with a loofah. It'll take more than a loofah to scrub that mental image out of my brain, that's for damn sure.)

It's a paradoxical thing, Olby's O'Reilly obsession. As his ratings have slipped to about one-tenth of O'Reilly's, he fixates more and more on his rival. But consider the messages this sends:

  1. Everything O'Reilly does is newsworthy, even things he did (or didn't do) in 1970. Gee, he must be one of the most important people in the world. He's so gosh-darn important, you should probably be watching him right now!
  2. If you're watching MSNBC at 8pm, it's probably because you don't want to watch O'Reilly. So here he is! Here are some films and photos of him to set the stage for today's rundown of news about the guy you didn't want to hear about to begin with, or else you'd be watching his show in the first place! Hey, why are you changing the channel to CNN?
  3. I, Keith Olbermann, can no longer disguise my quasi-homoerotic obsession with the cruel ratings-master who dominates me. The thought of hearing him discuss his purported tawdry and frankly unimaginative sexual fantasies titillates me to the point of madness. I will now proceed to fixate on my image of him as a college jock, obsessively dissecting minutiae until he notices me. (Oh, why won't he notice me, dammit? Why won't he say my name? It's as if I don't exist! ~sob!~.)

Disturbing update: As I scanned Technorati looking for references to this story, I noticed that I'm not the only one who's picked up on Olbermann's barely-veiled tendencies. Keith Olbermann / Anderson Cooper slashfic,* anyone?

And it's not just Olby, either, update: Al Franken is still fixated on the guy, too. I can't imagine publicly obsessing so unabashedly over anyone, personally. I'd feel like a 13-year-old fan club member. I especially can't imagine giving my rivals so much free publicity. But then, I don't have the sizzling media savvy of the unbeatable Franken/Olbermann Big O-bashing teamup. Perhaps after the show O'lby and O'Franken put their heads on each other's shoulders for a good, manly cry about how mean Fox and O'Reilly are. Poor li'l dudes.

Update: Johnny Dollar has more.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:42 PM | Comments (4)   Category: Media , Mockery , Television

February 09, 2005

I've been such a wicked, wicked girl.

I've been meaning to post, you know. It's just that my houseboy, Hector, has been maddeningly lackadaisical about fanning me, and his mojitos are always just a bit too heavy on the rum. That and the bonbons — it just takes a girl's initiative away. I've barely been able to bestir myself from the front porch here.

I hope you didn't think I was busy with work or any such thing! Heavens no! How very proletarian it must be to have "work" to do. I don't know how you people drive off your estates every morning and go and sit in offices, or wherever it is you go to earn your money. I'm sure it's enough work just to get the gardener to stop lopping the buds off the lilacs. Honestly, I have to do everything around here. This place would fall apart without me. I'm ready to retire for the day just thinking about it.

But I suppose I'm being unfair to you, the workers. I suppose you demand your bloggy little bread and circuses. And heavens to Betsy, I'm just too indisposed with all my leisure to be troubled to generate my trademark wit this morning. But be a dear, would you all, and click on the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat? Perhaps you haven't seen this yet. Have fun chatting with the moonbat, my dears. You'll find it's a perfect simulation of IMing with a DU poster. Me, I'll be up in my room recovering from the day's labors. Oh, where is that Hector?

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:13 AM | Comments (1)   Category:

February 06, 2005

Yiddish Proverb Sunday! Read, so you should learn!

Why Yiddish proverbs? Because it's my blog, and I like 'em. Also see here.

Apologies for the sudden unbearable lightness of posting. Only temporary, I assure you. I'm just coiling to strike again, is all.

Meanwhile, more wisdom, straight from the shtetl to the internetl:


Ainer iz a ligen, tsvai iz ligens, drei iz politik.

One lie is a lie, two lies are lies, but three is politics!


Posted by EtherPundit at 11:13 PM | Comments (1)   Category: Yiddish Proverbs

February 02, 2005

Photo PROOF that captured "doll" is an actual American operative!

The blogosphere has been abuzz with self-styled "journalists" claiming the John Adam hostage photo is a "hoax." Summaries of the "evidence" were found at blogs such as Powerline, ASV, Myopic Zeal, Backcountry Conservative, and Wizbang. Ace of Spades even created a "humorous" top ten list designed to mock this sickening event, and ScrappleFace joined in the mockery.

However, as the file photo and story below conclusively prove, John Adam IS a real American soldier. Those who find this tragic story an occasion for humor should hang their heads in shame.

 

Joe
John Adam in a photo taken by his captors.
Teamamerica-1 File photo of
captured Military Man
John Adam with
other members of
Team America

 

 

 

 

FOX News, February 1 — A jihadi web site today gave Americans shocking evidence that “freedom isn’t free."

Derkaderkistani insurgents, working with terrorist leader al-Zarqawi, have captured Team America member John Adam, an operative under deep cover. A photograph of Adam, bound and seated in front of a flag proclaiming, “There is no god but God and Muhammed is his prophet” was displayed on a web site frequently used by terrorist groups. "Our mujahedeen heroes of Iraq’s Jihadi Battallion were able to capture American military man John Adam,” said a statement on the web site. "If you wish to see his safe return, we demand a hefty f@#%in' fee."

Disturbing proof of the terrorists’ claim to be holding Adam was revealed by Team America Leader Colonel Spotswoode at a hastily arranged press conference. “They appear to have inside intelligence,” said Spotswoode. “Only an insider would know that John holds the official rank of Military Man.”

“Team America members Gary, Chris, Sara, Lisa, and Joe have been deployed to Iraq to save the motherf%$#@ day, yeah,” Spotswoode added, warning the captors, “Terrorists, your game is through, ‘cause now you have to answer to America, F%#@ Yeah!”

drudgesiren.gif

Update: In what appears to have been a botched rescue operation, Team America operative Gary Johnston has apparently been captured by Iraqi militants...   Developing...

 

--------------------

But seriously, folks.

I’m proud to say I believe I was the first blogger to detect the "score political points by pwaying wif dollies" meme — see here and here.

I had no idea it would go so far, but honestly, I greatly prefer it to the “beheading actual people” meme.

Rummy

 

 

 

 

The next kidnap victim?


I have a 12-inch talking Rummy doll. Press a button and he declines to answer questions. Press again and he talks about “known knowns” versus “known unknowns.” Press again and he slyly insults the press corps. Very realistic. May I suggest the jihadis kidnap my Talking Rummy the next time they need to make a big statement? I’d gladly volunteer him to save a real soldier.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:30 AM | Comments (5)   Category: Current Affairs , Greatest Hits , Mockery

February 01, 2005

Why the left needs Iraq to be Vietnam

Wizbang gives a little pixel-ink to Kos' nostalgic Vietnam comparisons.

Hitchens ain't having any, thanks.

I suppose it's obvious that I was not a supporter of the Vietnam War. Indeed, the principles of the antiwar movement of that epoch still mean a good deal to me. That's why I retch every time I hear these principles recycled, by narrow minds or in a shallow manner, in order to pass off third-rate excuses for Baathism or jihadism. But one must also be capable of being offended objectively.

Hitch valiantly attempts to nail the coffin lid shut with the paragraph that's been crying out to be written:

The Vietnam/Iraq babble is, from any point of view, a busted flush. It's no good. It's a stiff. It's passed on. It has ceased to be. It's joined the choir invisible. It's turned up its toes. It's gone. It's an ex-analogy.

Jolly good try, Christopher. But I'm afraid the Vietnam analogy is just resting, pining for the Mekong Delta.

Lefties need Iraq to be Vietnam. No matter how obvious the mismatch, they'll just hammer Iraq into the Vietnam-shaped hole in their cause until it fits. They need Vietnam back because it was the shining hour when they held the moral high ground and all the media reflected their glory back at them. Even Uncle Walter — even Mom and Dad's most trusted newsman — said the war was an unwinnable debacle! Take that, Mr. and Mrs. Bourgeois White Picket Fence!

Vietnam was that golden moment just before the “progressive” left jumped the shark, when it seemed that America was crumbling and total cultural and political victory lay before them.

They appear to be unaware that their magic talisman of Vietnam holds very little sway over the American public's imagination today. The laughable histrionics of John Kerry were wasted on most of us, I'm afraid. You know, the “Reporting for Duty,” “band of brothers” crap for the bible-belt rubes, the “sobbing as he tosses his medals away” story for the enlightened antiwar Left — all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Isn't it ironic that those who protested it the most are the ones who desperately want their beloved Vietnam back?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)   Category: Current Affairs , Moonbats