Saturday, May 30, 2009

Skin Deep

One thing that makes me suspect that right-wingers have a rudimentary sense of humor is the way they keep turning the logic of identity politics back against the clueless advocates. Poppy Bush put a black man on the Supreme Court. Junior gave us a Hispanic attorney general, a black "war hero" Secretary of State, and even replaced him with a black female (and likely lesbian!) Secretary of State. (Needless to say, domestic justice finally became fair and colorblind, and we never again treated the world like our colonial playground.)

But do mainstream liberals progressives ever learn? Would I be writing this if they did?

Finally, Liddy disputed the entire idea that there’s anything wrong with the paucity of women and total lack of Hispanics on the Court:

Oh, is that all it takes? A woman and a Hispanic? guys would have been overjoyed at Justice Harriet Miers and Chief Justice Alberto Gonzalez, then? No? Ahhh -- so you mean you want a female, a Hispanic, etc. who share the same political values as you on the Court. But wait, then, I'm confused -- if the values and ideals are what matter, couldn't they, in theory at least, be held by anyone? Would you really care if you had nine fishbelly-white Penis-Americans on the Court as long as they upheld progressive values in their rulings? Or are we getting into some mystical racial/gender essentialism, where the solipsist logic implies that no one can ever truly understand anyone else?

So, basically we have liberal progressive white guilt that only allows people to serve in power as proud representatives of their race or gender as long as they agree with the white progressives who would feel uncomfortable about running things themselves. A kinder, gentler form of satrapy, I guess.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A whimsical little sprite

Japery, buffoonery, waggery, frippery, persiflage and, dare I say, jocularity!

More concern for the "innocent babies" than the right of those dropping bombs on them to be open about their sexuality? Such knavish rot! Glib usage of idiomatic phrases involving forests and trees? I'll have no more of your scurrilous raillery! Good day to you, sir!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Well, they should be furious!

Really, though, as amusing as it is to watch Republicans occupy themselves with such momentuous issues, I'm actually more looking forward to another round of netroots grumbling over what a terrible, terrible insult it is to drop the "-ic" from "Democratic". See, I've been told, in the utmost seriousness, that calling it the "Democrat party" is a way of emphasizing the sound of the word "rat"...which oh noes is going to make the voting public think we're a party of dirty sewer-crawling rats!!!!!

Somehow, though, this doesn't lead anyone to the conclusion that identifying individuals as Democrats will have that effect. So:

"Democrat Nancy Pelosi" - good!

"Democrat party member and House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi" - bad!

That speaks for itself, doesn't it? I'm too busy snickering and shaking my head to find anything funny to add to that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Virtues of Man Without His Vices

How bad is this kind of reductionist thinking? It's so bad that even Jonah Goldberg knows better. When you get schooled by the author of Liberal Fascism, well...

Seriously, by that logic, I suppose your toddler doesn't love you either, since they would adjust to a new family if they were given to one. Is that the standard for love, then? How long you would pine away for your absent loved one?

It seems like the idiotic base assumption is that humans, by contrast, are capable (in theory, if not practice) of a true Platonic, altruistic love, independent of anything as lowly as pleasure or quid pro quo behavior. News flash: there is no such thing as "unconditional" love, and devaluing the kinds of love we do have because they aren't eternal and unchanging is thunderfuckingly stupid. I think we have a word for someone who devotes a large amount of time and energy to meeting the needs of someone who couldn't care less about them or their needs: a slave. If that's not you, well, then, as Max Stirner pointed out a long time ago, your love is based to a large degree on how the object of your affection makes you feel and what they do for you, and most likely, you would eventually get over it if you lost them. That doesn't diminish it at all or mean that your feelings are misguided because they don't measure up to some ridiculous abstract standard set by one of the most useless philosophers that ever put quill to parchment.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

À La Lanterne!

Seriously. I'm amazed at how many proggie bloggers are wasting their time parsing conversations and reading tea leaves and goat entrails, trying to find a way to defend Pelosi on this. Fine, she's guilty too! Hell, can we tie Harry "Give 'em head" Reid into this? Put them into the dock at the Hague right next to Bush and Cheney and see if we give a fuck!

Where are the sans-culottes when you need them?

If Only

The White House is backed up against the wall and cannot give a reasonable, logical defense to continue a policy that is hurting our military effectiveness.

- Pam

Remember when lefties were concerned with, you know, hurting our military effectiveness instead of trying to ensure that the vast, bloated, ravenous, resource consuming machine known as the U.S. military had a superficial veneer of racial/gender/sexual diversity as it went about its business subjugating the world? No? Damn, I'm old.

Hey, anyone who rilly rilly wants to devote their life to possibly getting their ass shot off to make the world safe for American corporate interests to do business in should have that right, certainly -- but maybe they should be thinking about more radical agendas than identity politics.

YOU'RE the Vulgarian, You Fuck!

Funny post on a subject near and dear to my heart, foul fucking language.

I honestly can’t stand those lame attempts to write the curse without actually writing it. “Look here! I
know a cuss word, but I’m too genteel to use it. Ha!” Then why the fuck even bring it up? If you can’t or won’t use the word, why even type a small part of it? Search deep into your vast language resources and find something else to replace it altogether. Is that how you say them when you speak? “Oh, sh-exclamation point-teh!” “F-asterisk percent sign-K you!” Really? Somehow I doubt that.

I just saw a comment about Arlen Specter somewhere the other day, where the writer wished death upon him in a few different ways, but then bowdlerized the word fuck with a punctuation mark. Because saying that would have been crass, I guess.

Why You Say Yes...?

Why you say yes when you know you mean no?

Then you say you will but you won't
(Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies)

And all you're gonna do, but you don't
(You never do!)

You say that you know, but you don't know

- Black Grape

The third link was selected for one of the comments, by SteveB:

[...] but let's imagine Obama announces tomorrow that he's sending a bill for single-payer health care to Congress, that he knows the insurance companies and for-profit health-care "providers" are dead-set against it, and that he therefore needs two million Americans on the mall in Washington on the day his bill is introduced to "remind" the Congress who they're supposed to work for.
Wouldn't he get his two million people, and more? And wouldn't a popular President allied with a powerful popular movement create a political force that at least has the potential to overcome the iron grip that corporate interests (in this one area) have on our government?
Yes, I know Obama is never going to do this, but that's my point: shrugging his shoulders and saying he has to write a bill "acceptable to the insurance industry" is his choice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


So, I'm reading some of the latest installments of my favorite online soap opera -- you know, the one where America the InnocentandVirtuous is in danger of losing her soul to the forces of evil again? Yeah, I know, that's how every episode goes, but this time it's about the torture issue. Anyway, as always, there's lots of anguished wailing and rending of garments, lots of histrionics about the razor's edge between salvation and damnation, centered on an exchange between Chris Matthews and Harold Ford. Digby treats it with gravity as she always has, but I also find a link to Atrios, who, I remind you, is one of the biggest liberal bloggers there is.

How does the former economist with a Ph.D. summarize this solemn issue of the utmost moral urgency? By bestowing a "Wanker of the Day" award upon Ford. I bet he's losing sleep over that one. Boy, nothing shows your serious moral bona fides like calling someone a meatbeating, pudwhacking, five-knuckle-shuffling crankyanker! And to think, the dude makes a living at blogging. I almost expect him to start posting videos of himself wearing a bulbous red nose and giant floppy shoes, squirting people with seltzer water.

Seriously, this would be like hearing a famous piece of dramatic music -- Ride of the Valkyries, O Fortuna, Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor, perhaps -- punctuated at certain points by a slide whistle. Incongruent to say the least.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday Shuffle

  1. Fishbone - Properties of Propaganda (Fuk This Shit On Up)
  2. Mozart - Three German Dances, K. 605: No. 3 in C, Trio "Die Schlittenfahrt"
  3. Virgos Merlot - Come Apart
  4. Tori Amos - Taxi Ride
  5. The Flaming Lips - The Gash
  6. Clutch - Texan Book of the Dead
  7. Diary of Dreams - Nekrolog 43
  8. God Lives Underwater - Behavior Modification
  9. Iron & Wine - Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car
  10. Jacknife Lee - 1970s Dictator Chic

Well. That was all over the place.

Those Goofy Bastards

Pat Healy: I work with retards.
Mary: Isn't that a little politically incorrect?
Pat Healy: Yeah, maybe, but hell, no one's gonna tell me who I can and can't work with.

Uh-oh. Who do I go with here? James Wolcott would like it to fall into disuse, but Kevin K. was one of the first to add me to his blogroll, back when he ran Gotta appreciate someone being generous to a no-name blogger, but on the other hand, it's James Wolcott. Decisions, decisions.

Seriously, though -- generally speaking, I tend to agree with George Carlin's famous rants about "soft" language. I only shy away from insults and epithets when it's blindingly obvious they're rooted in misogyny and homophobia (which, as IOZ points out, is different in degree rather than kind from misogyny). Using "retard" or "retarded" to refer to fatuous people or ridiculous events just doesn't strike me as having the same sort of ugly hatred underlying it.

But if it should become the sort of word that is more trouble to use than it's worth, no problem. I'll devote my efforts to restoring the derisiveness formerly inherent in "gongoozler" (a dimwit who stares at unusual things, according to this little gem of a reference book).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Stamford Bridge is Bawling Loud

Ahhh. The only thing sweeter than the taste of all the salty tears of Chelsea players after Barcelona sent them packing from the Champions League has been reading the subliterate ravings of their mouthbreathing fans on various message boards.
The referee's performance has led some to speculate about a conspiracy to prevent an all-English final with Barcelona's away-goals win putting them into the Rome showpiece against defending champions Manchester United.

Well, of course it was a conspiracy, dears! That's always the easiest explanation. As we know, referees have never blown calls in big games before. And clearly, UEFA will never allow an all-English final! Except for, you know, last year, when they did. Even Chelsea's coach Guus Hiddink thinks all this conspiracy talk is bogus:

“When people say it's all very suspicious then I get rather angry,” roared Guus Hiddink on June 23, 2002.

“Italy and Spain should look at themselves and their shortcomings rather than the referee’s.

“It's easy to go on blaming referees or linesmen. Of course they make mistakes, but coaches make mistakes, players make mistakes, and the press make mistakes. They go for you and against you.”

Oh, my bad! That was Guus when he coached South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup, benefiting greatly from controversial calls along the way. Guus 2009 seems to feel a bit differently:

"Of course players can make mistakes, coaches can mistakes and referees can make mistakes, but that is all in the game. But if you have seen three or four situations waved away then that is the worst refereeing I have seen.
"At this moment I have to think a lot if I have ever seen worse," the Dutchman said.
Seriously, though, maybe if Didier Drogba had tried staying on his feet instead of flopping around like a wounded fish after every strong breeze sent him sprawling, you all would have been able to score more. Hell, even Cristiano Ronaldo isn't that fucking pathetic. Maybe if Michael Ball(s)ack had a talent for anything other than turning the ball over and screaming at referees, you could have had more possession and done something with it. Speaking of Ball(s)ack, what about his handball in the box that didn't get called? How about the ridiculous red card against Abidal that forced Barcelona to play a man down for the final half-hour? Chelsea couldn't take advantage of a giftwrapped opportunity like that? Fuck you, you whining losers. Spend the offseason learning how to grow the fuck up. And send that moronic man-child Drogba back to kindergarten, where he can learn some basic self-control.

Now if those fucking tools can just lose the FA Cup final to Everton too, I'll be ecstatic.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Your Ipse-Dixitism is Hanging Out

Stanley Fish gives more attention to Terry Eagleton's War on Straw. I don't know who these neo-Victorians are who believe in untrammeled human progress in all departments at the same time; I thought the Second World War, just to name one obvious event, had made it too difficult for most people to subscribe to such a thing. I guess you could find a few somewhere if you care to look hard enough.

But anyway, dig this! The column ends with the predictable attempt to dismiss the intellectual opponents as third-rate, inferior, etc. (in this case, "school-yard" atheism.) Yet Fishleton deploys the age-old schoolyard rebuttal of "I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you" in trying to pretend that the word "faith" means the same thing whether applied to belief in mythological savior-gods or in shared human values that can be discussed, reasoned about, and altered to suit the circumstances.

Agreement is the key: you can either agree on shared values and agree to participate in a system that promotes those values while discouraging others (and yes, you lazy, whiny bastards, this is an ongoing project that requires constant attention and fine-tuning), or you can agree on what the Voice in the Sky commands you to do and save yourselves all that thinking; assuming, of course, you don't fight to the death over which Voice you're talking about to begin with. 

Claiming that the latter type is somehow more grounded (in what?) and stable is just as absurd as the more familiar attempts to posit "God" as the author of the Big Bang (which, to the Fishletons of the world, cannot be allowed to stand on its own), while claiming that "God" doesn't need to be created or explained. Why, I bet even some "school-yard" atheist could explain the concept of an infinite regress to them.

The misology is palpable here. These are the same people who insist that acknowledging the nonexistence of a personal, loving god commands us to live in a perpetual state of war against all, that acknowledging the truth of Darwinian evolution commands us to live for nothing more than the grunting, hedonistic pleasures of fighting, feasting and fucking. Either way, they're always waiting impatiently to be commanded. A loud noise and a bright flash of light are all it takes to make these twits start genuflecting and groveling in supplication.