Friday, March 31, 2006

Abandon Ship! Hi, How Are You?

Notice how the posts have dwindled the last couple of days?

Well, it's because of my new gig. Also, (scroll down through that link to a post called "The Mask"), I've made a confession that may startle you: I'm not who you think I am.


Anyway, I'll still be posting here, but not as often.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Headlines That Make You Giggle

I bet this made Derb and K-Lo do double-takes:

March 24, 2006, 7:26 a.m.
Hard Pounding
Who will keep his nerve?

Blind Squirrels & Nuts

Nobody's wrong all the time. Pat Buchanan is right about imperialism, if for the wrong reasons. digamma is right about Eugene Volokh. Whittaker Chambers was right about Ayn Rand. And George W. Bush, John McCain, and, now I've discovered, John Ashcroft, are right about steroids in baseball:

In the book, Game of Shadows, there is an anecdote about Attorney General John Ashcroft taking personal interest in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative investigation in the Bay Area. The book traces Ashcroft’s interest to his “rigid views of right and wrong”, his fanaticism for sports, and in particular his love of the Cardinals. His office, the authors write, was full of baseball fans and each wore their fanaticism on their walls.

The office felt these players were cheating the sport, the book says.

“Stan Musial didn’t need steroids,” Ashcroft said to his aides, according to book. “Let me tell you something, back before they were allowed to wear body armor, if some guy was known to be taking drugs like that, you can bet Bob Gibson would give him some chin music.”

(Game of Shadows, p.209)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Psychiatrist's Shorter Charles Krauthammer

Fukuyama's Fabrication (Krauthammer's version):

Fuk you, Fukuyama!

Fukuyama's Fabrication (Krauthammer's Neurotic Subconscious Version):

Francis damn sure revealed himself as an ex-neoconservative -- he stabbed me in the front! -- so I'm gonna tear into him while hoping I don't reveal myself as a megalomaniacal hack.

RETARDO Montalban, who formerly practiced psychiatry, is an op-ed columnist for

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Niallander: "There Can Be Only One!"

He's a Scotsman come to America. With a purpose: to bite the head off of anyone who doesn't want the United States to further embrace imperialism.

He's Niall Ferguson, and his general schtick, aside the telegenic fourth-rate historian part, is in lobbying United Statesmen to take up the white man's burden. Ferguson believes that too many Americans deny we are an Empire (true) and that too many other Americans are against Imperialism (false). He wants US to acknowledge we're an Empire first, then to enjoy the fact of our imperialism. Then he wants US to expand our Empire: our model should be the British Empire, which Ferguson argues was a wholesale good.

In his latest bit of propaganda Ferguson is clearly worried that Americans might believe, what with all the news of obvious failure in Iraq, that the anti-war Left was right all along. But first he must deal with the carcass of Francis Fukuyama, a fellow Imperialist who, in a fit of contrition, bit his own head off. Ferguson, after the lightning surge, says:

Three years on, Fukuyama is a chastened man. With the benefit of hindsight, he now sees that he and other neoconservative proponents of regime change in Iraq were naive. If that country today is an ungovernable mess, then their naivete is in large measure to blame.

What did the neoconservatives get wrong? First, says Fukuyama, they succumbed to the illusion that America's "benign hegemony" would be welcomed as such abroad. Second, they were too confident about what could be achieved by unilateral action. Third, they embraced a doctrine of preemption that depended on greater knowledge of the future than was possible. Above all, they underestimated the risks of democracy in the Middle East — namely, that Iraq would fragment or that radical Islamists would win elections.

Let me translate: "You were useful, fellow Imperialist, but your downfall was too much of that goody-goody intention thing -- not that many of you neocons really took that democracy crap very seriously (maybe you Dear Francis were the only one). Don't you know these dusky people are there to be conquered and ruled? Guh! Everyone on the Right wanted the Iraq war to further and better project American power in the region, to enhance American hegemony. But you idiots had to cloak it, Straussian-style, in all this "democracy," "Neo-Wilsonism" shit to get the liberals on board. We wanted the same thing, brother, but you weren't open or realistic about it!"

Those who from the outset opposed the war in Iraq now appear vindicated, no matter how dubious their arguments. We are rapidly reverting to the default setting of the Democratic left — that it is preferable to leave tyrants in power than to sully the republic with the taint of imperialism. Better a multitude of Attilas abroad than Rome at home.

How's that for some fine cutlass work? It takes a lot of gall to level the accusation Ferguson wrote. A lot of desperation, too; Ferguson is scared shitless at the propect of the anti-war Left's vindication. Actually the default position of the anti-war Left is to not allow the US to go to war at the wrong time and place, not let a war be adminstrated by thugs and kleptocrats and idiots, not go to war for purposes of loot, not prosecute an already stupid war in a way that delivers kingly, constitution-shredding powers to our own Executive, and to not engage in perpetual war. And as for the doctrinaire isolationist Left, their default position is to not ever support tyrants in the first place, which, if such principle had been followed (it was most often and egregiously ignored by rightwing adminstrations that can count Niall Ferguson as a fan), would have spared US a great many of these messes. Put in a brogue or burr that a Niallander can understand: you silly sod, it wasn't any of the Left's heroes who "left tyrants in power" much less actually enabled them or even enhanced their power, it was the fookin wingnuts' guys. A laundry list of tinpot dictators and their conservative American Presidential patrons can be furnished if need be.

First, the U.S. has a chronic financial deficit, which is making it increasingly dependent on foreign capital and strapped for resources when it comes to nation building. Second, the U.S. has a chronic manpower deficit, which means it cannot deploy enough soldiers to maintain law and order in conquered territory. Third, the U.S. has a chronic attention deficit because after two years of even quite low casualties, American voters lose their enthusiasm for small wars in faraway places. Fourth is the chronic legitimacy deficit from which the United States now suffers. The most recent findings of the Pew Global Attitudes Survey — a compendium of international opinion polls — reveal just how precipitously the standing of the United States has fallen in the eyes of foreigners in the last six years.

Stupid Americans, shape up and live up to your Imperial Destiny!

And yet the logical conclusion to be drawn from all this is not that the United States should pack up and go home. For what, precisely, is the alternative to American hegemony, benign or blundering?

When people in other countries are asked, "Would the world be safer if another country were as powerful as the United States?" they generally say no. Only the French say yes. Admittedly, the Brits and the Turks are evenly split, but a majority of Russians, Germans and even Jordanians, Moroccans and Pakistanis think the world would be less safe with a second superpower. Hmm. I wonder what other country it is that they're worried about. Could its name perhaps begin with "C"?

What all this tells us is not that American hegemony is finished and should be wound up. It tells us that there is no better alternative available.

"There can be only one!"

Actually, most people in the world would prefer none, no superpower; or, at least none that behave as we have lately. Ferguson considers it axiomatic that there be a superpower flexing its muscles throughout the world, bullying others, stealing resurces from others, using the world as its trashcan. With such a given, Ferguson is on more amenable ground in asking, if it's the US or China, which do you prefer? Most people, if forced to choose, would naturally choose US.

Niall Ferguson's prescription for proper superpower behaviour is of course still blatantly immoral: there's no such thing as a benevolent Empire. That an Empire by nature inhibits the self-determination of its subjects makes it incompatible with American founding principles; an Empire is inherently despotic.

To hell with the Niallander. As far as Empires go, in a just world there can be only none.

Bullshit, Man

Man, I'm so bummed to find out I wasn't even, like, uh, solicited for a contribution to this project.

This is, like, complete bullshit on so many levels, man. I've been keeping my brain, uhh, limber with a strict drug and caucasian regimen anticipatin being asked for my special Creedence Clearwater Pie recipe, which is this awesome concoction that even like, that smokin Nigella chick and the ghost of Wavy Gravy couldn't come up with together even if they huffed the fumes from Jerry Fucking Garcia's corpse, man, or even if they smoked the fungus growing from Terrence McKenna's tombstone. There's this line in the sand, blogger cook book people, and you've crossed -- where's my jay, man? Ahhh. Oh yeah.

So I was sayin.. oh yeah, my recipe. Fuckers. Anyway, you're missin out. Tincture of morning glory seeds, primo sensimillia bud, shrooms of course, Kahlua for flavor, and my own special mixture of peyote pulp this dude out in Bakersfield blends for me -- all encased in a fluffy crust. Your loss.

But hey, The Dude abides.

Duh Duh

Special Ed of Crap 'n Quaaludes blog is miffed at Russ Feingold and Tom Udall. He demands censure!

Wisconsin voters should be ashamed of their Senator. It's bad enough that Feingold is using an extra-Constitutional censure against George Bush in order to bolster his candidacy. Now he has to take his defeatist demands for retreat into the war zone while we're fighting al-Qaeda and attempting to rebuild Iraq into a representative democracy. It's a shameful episode that may not have any equivalent in American history...the two Democrats decided to grandstand on the backs of our troops.

When a normal person thinks of politicians grandstanding on the backs of troops, it's not Feingold and Udall who spring immediately to mind.

Meanwhile, after complaining that the left blogosphere's nastiness to poor Ben Domenech overshadowed its otherwise commendable investigative abilities, Special Ed sobs and accuses the Wonkette crew, who busted him on his hackery, of laziness.

Gotta Be Startin' Somethin'

Let's say you're a horribly tribalist and sectarian propagandist who, while disregarding or excusing the atrocities caused by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, exaggerates those caused by Muslim fundies. Let's also suppose that you've got a grudge against blacks, either because of your own innate bigotry, or due to your political sympathies, or, more likely, some combination of the two. As a consummate demagogue, you love to pretend that your local monotheists have marginalised their own fundie element, which is a infinitely small minority, but at the same time you like to paint those distant, dusky religionists as being all fundamentalists, down to the last man woman and child.

As part of your hackery, you cynically condemn Islamist attitudes to women, all the while you align yourself here in America with the most anti-feminist reactionaries imaginable. You also rhetorically carry yourself with the most macho swagger; you consider yourself a tough, realistic intellectual who has no time for girly, swishy, appeasement-minded folks. Occasionally, and like so many of your comrades, you expand upon this trope to the point that it comes across as both chauvinist and weirdly homophobic.

Your dearest wish is for some event that functions as a magic bullet, with which you can combine all your biases into one cartridge of rhetorical malice, and fire it at your enemies.

Your name is Daniel "Crack" Pipes, and your latest magic bullet is Michael Jackson's recent flirtation with Islam.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Not Now John

It fell to John Derbyshire to write National Review's obligatory hatchet job of Jimmy Carter's book. Derbyshire, after sputtering a bit, makes his editors proud.

As for the sputtering:

Now, there is a case to be made that some, at least, of that administration’s misfortunes were not Jimmy Carter’s fault. The man was elected president of an angry, unhappy country, afflicted with major systemic problems and confronted by bold, ruthless enemies. "Stagflation," with which the Carter presidency will be forever associated, was ten years in the bud...Let’s face it, the guy had some bad breaks.

This is true. The economic "malaise" Carter largely inherited was the inevitable result of a) LBJ's and RMN's irresponsible spending on a stupid foriegn war (Vietnam)-- it was not, thousands of windy, witless reactionary diatribes to the contrary, because of LBJ's social progams -- and b) RMN's and GRF's stupid and cynical meddling with the economy (remember "Whip Inflation Now"?). Derbyshire, naturally, doesn't go into this much, or really lay blame where it is due, but still, considering his and his editors' desire to smear Carter, it was nice of him to include "evidence to the contrary".


He is, after all, a very American figure. No other nation but ours could have produced this particular combination of dogged industriousness, earnest religiosity, public spirit, and shameless self-promotion. In externals, there is even something admirable about the man. He served his country, in the military and in public life, very conscientiously. He practiced business with modest success. (I have never felt happy with Republican scoffing at Carter as “the peanut farmer.” What is wrong with being a peanut farmer?) His rise to the highest levels of office was driven at least in part by an earnest desire to do right by his fellow citizens. He claims adherence to a studious and generous style of Christian belief. His private life has been spotless, his administration down at the low end of the corruption scale.

Yes, yes -- but you know Derbyshire's other jackboot will drop, and so it does:

Very American. Yet it often happens that the purest breed of dog, with all the "points" perfectly developed, is sickly and ill-tempered in personality. So with Carter...Probably Jimmy Carter was never a very nice person. "Humorless grind" was my own first impression of the man, when he showed up on the national stage...a very nasty piece of work indeed, a peevish liar filled with resentment against his country and those non-Carters she has stupidly chosen to elect...Jimmy Carter is an awfully hard man to like.

Right. No mention of Carter's triumph at Camp David. No mention of the reason for the country's anger (one Richard Milhous Nixon, Republican and reigning Lord of Corruption until the advent of Dubya). No mention of the liars, often within Carter's own party, who menaced him so, as they continue to menace the country and the world.

Derbyshire's main objection seems to be that Jimmy Carter is as polarly opposite George W. Bush as possible: Christian instead of Manichean, indefatiguable rather than indolent, sober rather than brash, honest instead of corrupt, intelligent (Carter was a nuclear engineer) instead of clueless fucktard-stupid ("nucular"?), conscientious rather than ruthless, courageous (US Navy) instead of chickenshit (AWOL). As Carter is so unlike Bush, of course it's impossible for Derbyshire to admire the 39th President.

John Derbyshire's and National Review's Dear Leader, Dubya, clearly exhibits His value-system and His personality traits -- He's a "straight-shooter" even when He lies through His teeth, which is rather often. As He is a wholesale good, so too are his traits (as are, naturally, His minions -- Glenn Greenwald's "Cult of Bush" concept); and anyone who is His opposite must therefore be a wholesale Evil. Hence, Jimmy Carter must be called as they see him: rotten to the core.

If you want to read a different sort of assessment of Jimmy Carter's Presidency, read this and, far less impressively, this.

She's A Maniac, Maniac On The Keyboard

And she's blogging like she's always blogged before.

Example 1:

And speaking of big media, am I the only one whose has noticed that FOX has been running alot more soft news ie car chases, rural crime, human interest than hard news - since the Saudis bought 5.46% of FOX. No mention of the real news dramatically affecting our lives -- Muslims rioting, cartoons, riots in France. Just asking.

Is nothing sacred?!?! The wogs have even infiltrated FOX! Someone -- quick! -- intern them, shoot them all in the head; to the gas chambers, muslims, go!

Paranoia will destroy ya.

Example 2:

The Russians relayed information to Saddam during the opening days of the 2003 war, including a crucial moment before the assault on Baghdad, according to the documents in the report Friday....

That is spying Russ the Puss Feingold, not listening in on al qaeda's conversation. Whadda maroon. Who was it? I'll lay 1000 to 1 odds it was a registered Democrat.

Is nothing sacred??!! The Dhimmi-Dems have even infiltrated Centcom!! Someone -- quick! -- intern them, shoot them all in the head; to the gaschambers, Democrats, go!

Partisan hackery will destroy ya.

Example 3:

anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic. [Strawman, anti Israel is antiJ ew- Atlas]

Is nothing sacred?!?! Principled criticism of Israel is anti-semitic! Someone -- quick! -- intern them, shoot them all in the head; to the gaschambers, critics of Israel, go!

Intellectual dishonesty will destroy ya.

Example 4:

"In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."
"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil." Ayn Rand

Is nothing sacred?!?! Deviations from Ayn Rand's totalitarian formulation of all-black vs. all-white (any shade of gray being de facto black) good vs. evil, will not be tolerated! Someone -- quick! -- intern them, shoot them all in the head; to the gaschambers, non-Randroids, go!

Fealty to philosophical rubbish tailor-made for 14 year-olds will destroy ya.


In light of what's happened to Smirkin Ben, I'd just like to rush out this caveat.

Everything I've ever said here has been said before and better by, or is at least in some part derivative of, Gore Vidal, pre-9/11 Christopher Hitchens, AJP Taylor, 1970s era MAD Magazine, The Simpsons, The Onion, Chomsky, Sidney Blumenthal, Hobsbawm, Domhoff, The Adamses, Mark Twain, H.R. Shapiro... and that's just a short list.

Was it Cicero who said there's nothing new under the sun? Whoever said it, it's true. But then as Vidal said in so many words (I don't have the direct quote here -- SORRY) words (specifically arranged; i.e. "style") are the property of writers but ideas are the property of all. In other words, you can't really plagiarise an idea or a concept.

There was an excellent defense of plagiarism written by Hitchens before he joined the dark side. I'd copy it out now (with thorough attribution!) if I had access to the book. If you can find it, read it.

Again, it's a shame that that's what it took to get rid of the awful Ben.

The Psychiatrist's Shorter Charles Krauthammer

Of Course It's A Civil War(Krauthammer's version):

I don't want to sound like a jerk or nothin', but I think civil wars kick ass.

Of Course It's A Civil War (Krauthammer's Neurotic Subconscious Version):

If I can pull off arguing in a dispassionate and "objective" tone that the civil war will force the Sunni bloc to shape up, maybe I can help dissuade people from thinking that the insurgency is mostly inspired by and targeted against the occupation and its collaborators.

See Also : B^3.

Previous PSK post.

RETARDO Montalban, who formerly practiced psychiatry, is an op-ed columnist for

Friday, March 24, 2006

Point Him At The Sky And Let Him Fly

Domenech is crashed and burned. Even the Swastika Girl says so. He's done.

Or is he?

Ben Domenech, with his awful smirk-smarm is a horrible little snotty reactionary deserving of everything he's received in the blogswarm plus some.

It's just a pity that plagiarism would be the nail in his coffin, rather than atrocious taste, slander,chickenhawkery, Abramoff connections, stupidity and last but not least, Tacitus-style pomposity. Ben Domenech should never have been hired.

But since he was, will the Post fire him? I doubt it. After all, it unashamedly publishes Howard Kurtz and Charles Krauthammer. And Howard Kurtz brings me to my point, which is old but no less true for that; my point is about the ideological spectrum: its natural tendency versus its distortion (and the perception of that distortion) through the prism of the media.

Roger Ailes anticipated Kurtz's hackery; Digby analysed it. Kurtz thinks Rush Limbaugh is mainstream, so of course he's gonna go easy on Domenech's ravings. And so he has.

Meanwhile, suggestions issue from well-meaning quarters on how to deal with the problem:

In a letter yesterday, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said: "Balanced coverage and ideologically diverse editorials have long been hallmarks of responsible journalism. If The Post would like to appear evenhanded, I strongly suggest the Web site launch a similarly partisan liberal blog, 'Blue America.' "

Please no. The problem is that the Post -- and most other "MSM" organs -- has long ago appropriated and internalised the Kurtzian attitude to the ideological spectrum. If the Post did hire a "Blue America" blogger in the name of "balance", I promise you it would be someone cut from the Kevin Drum-Richard Cohen-Mickey Kaus-Peter Beinart cloth of quasi- or pseudo-liberal centrism. Some balance that is.

When a crypto- or quasi-fascist like Rush Limbaugh is seen as legitimate, as merely a political conservative, it shifts the guideposts, or, to stay with the spectrum metaphor, it makes what is deep red seem yellow or even green. Thus when Kurtz and others made Limbaugh seem legitimate, DLC Democrats, Bill Clinton, moderate Republicans like Chaffee and Spector, and everyone else to Limbaugh's relative Left seemed more Left in comparison. It was fair game to call them Left-Liberal and even radical. By such standards an FDR is identical to a V.I. Lenin: just as the degrees of the "acceptable" Right are expanded in such a scenario, so too are the degrees of "acceptable" Left diminished.

Domenech, and the clusterfuck of reactionary scum at Red from which he oozed, are very much the children of Limbaugh. They are not conservative by any classical or world-standard -- they are farther Right than all that. Yet the Post thought Domenech was perfectly suited to be the "typical" voice of Red America -- a judgement which works great as a joke but is unconscionable as a serious decision because it buys into the deception and repeats the distortion of what is respectable and what is truly beyond the pale.

George F. Will, a traditional (and in American politics, acceptable) reactionary, for years provided "balance" to the centrist/status quo-y Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. For Will to be accurately balanced, however, ABC would need to hire, say, Dennis Kucinich. For Limbaugh to be balanced on air, only a certified Marxist would do. For the Post to accurately balance Domenech's extremism, they'd have to hire someone like Noam Chomsky -- which would be interesting, but the point is they'd never do it. And until they do, fuck these (again, well-meaning) calls for tit for tat: the Post's version of mainstream, acceptable liberalism is not as broad as their version of acceptable, mainstream wingnuttery, so it's silly to ask them for a balance they're incapable of delivering.

Update 2:14 PM CT: Domenech is gone but of course wasn't sacked, which would have required the Post to have principles, so it wasn't gonna happen.

See Also: mdhatter.

Several Species of Weasels Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With Friedrich Hayek

Or, Long On "Blah Blah Blah", Short On "Mea Culpa".

Read this crap.

Hitchens is made fun of here, Hitchens and Instayokel together here.

While those two deserve the most scorn, I don't think Matt Welch should be let off the hook either.

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

No. Nor did I oppose it.

2. Have you changed your position?

...What has changed about my position (as opposed to the changes in presumed facts) is that I'm even more worried than I was in spring 2003 (which was a lot) that cranky interventionism (or Jacksonian Wilsonianism, as I don't like to call it), is a terrible approach to foreign policy, because it extends our resources, enlarges the target on our back, feeds into the anti-American pathology that comes when we and only we flex the only Power that matters, and leads to the corruption that inevitably accompanies an expansion of power. Which is to say, the stuff I thought might go bad has gone far worse than I feared.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

I have no earthly idea. Maybe the most sensible thing to do is the most radical — separate the warring parties both physically and geographically. That is to say, stop trying to prop up the arguably untenable fiction that a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian, post-colonial, mid-FUBAR country can become the 21st century Switzerland, and instead hasten the business of dividing the pie up into three (or whatever) countries. This would probably set a terrible precedent, but it's hard to see how it can be much worse than the one we've established now.

Now his recommendation there is quite good, but what I object to is the disingenuousness of his first answer and the What I Did Get Right tone of his second -- both of which can be dealt with together. Far from presenting and arguing what doubts he had which the gravity of the situation might have demanded, what Matt Welch did during the lead-up to the war was much more fun -- basically what Kaus, Instayokel, Sullivan et al did: concentrate all their energy and firepower on the American Left which, obviously, was a far more courageous and conscientious position to take than to think just for a fucking second what might happen should the Great Crusade go awry.

Could Bush, Dick, Wolfy, Rummy & Co. fuck it all up? Was it a tragedy from the start considering the character and ideologies of the dramatis personae? Who cared! It was much more fun and productive to rant interminably about the anti-war Left.

Effortless Superiority

Now teh l4m3 has done it. Spread it around. Pull a story out of your ass or off the top of your head (if you're Jonah Goldberg you can do both in one motion, as it were), post it, and it's the safest bet possible that it'll be better than the smarmy shit-fiction Jeff Goldstein's stunted imagination comes up with, which wingnuts coo and oooh-ahh over as if Borges or Calvino had been reincarnated as a smug RNC-talking-point-spewing cock-fixated* fuckwit.

*Slogging through Steven Green's site recently, I noticed one of his blurbs was by Goldstein and wouldn't you know it.. "Steve Green is to blogging what John Holmes was to enormous penises." The man just can't not constantly think about cock.

Pigs On The Wing

I think it's safe to assume she's not speaking for herself here:

Equality: At least a number of us do not want rich people to have a better chance to live, or live well, than poor people.

And, yeah, she probably does talk "like a female Thurston Howell III, only with more command of the lower register."

Imagine a few phrases in that voice:

"'A' is 'A'"
"And I mean it"
"Before one can say 'I love you' one must say 'I'."
"The sacred word, 'ego'."
"And I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it's applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner."

It fits, huh?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hey You

Lil help?

The Mark Steyn Wingnut All-Star post is one of the very few things I've done here of which I'm proud. Almost immediately after I posted it and Johann Hari linked to it, it was linked as a reference -- rightfully, in my admittedly subjective opinion -- at Steyn's wikipedia entry by someone whose IP address showed to be in Great Britain.

There it stayed all this time. When I revised the post and wrote an addendum to it, the original permalink changed, so I did revise the wiki accordingly -- which, I think, was ethical (I'm a wikipedia novice).

I'd been getting about 15 hits a day from the link by people who, it appeared from the number of reloads, read the post through.

All of which changed when this pecksniff -- yes -- douchebag excised my link on the grounds that "nothing against blog references but one that describes the subject as a 'douchebag' is probably not adding much to the discussion."

So this douchebag didn't even read through the post. Also note that he's an especially virulent wingnut from the looks of his personal page: his heros include Milton Friedman, John Rambo, Darth Vader and, yes, Mark Steyn.

From what I understand (I told you I'm a novice) it's not ethical to add one's own links to a wikipedia page. However, as the wingnut who edited my post out seems to be biased, I don't think I'm going beyond the pale to ask that that my readers restore the link.

So... pretty please?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We Have Always Been at War With Eurasia

Perpetual war against our perpetual enemies to provide perpetual security against perpetual threats to our perpetual empire:

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that American forces will remain in Iraq for years and it will be up to a future president to decide when to bring them all home.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I was doing Pink Floyd next, right?

Got almost done with it. Then lost it all and apparently hadn't saved any of the work.

I wanna punch this fucking computer screen.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nu Post

Because I've been spending too much time in my car.

1.Berzerker: Like father, like son: a reader of half silicone, half AIPAC lobbyist Pamela takes approving notes at a Victor Davis Scipio Africanus Frederick Barbarossa Jan Sobieski And Winged Hussars At The Gates Of Vienna Hanson lecture. Aside the Iraq shit which is little different from that in his diatribes in NRO, what's interesting is Davis's confirmation that he came by his heroically genocidal attitude honestly:

He said his father often complained about America's decision to drop the A-bomb on Japan: "It was a terrible mistake, we should have dropped it earlier."

2.You Are In My Vision: Nude In Venezuela! Attention wingnuts and "sensible liberals": either Maxwell Smart failed his last mission or this is more proof that Chavez is exactly like Adolf Hitler! Everybody go Pat Robertson in

3.Are 'Friends' Electric?: Powertools for standard and metric wingnuts.

4.We Have a Technical:

5.This Wreckage: John J. Miller, perhaps especially moved out of sympathy of fellow-Cornertard Jonah Goldberg's childhood experiences, objects to a plan that would give "weight grades" to K-12 students. In order, Miller opposes the measure because of his hostility to the "nanny state", fat kids already know they're fat, and -- get this -- because there are already too many appearance-based pressures on kids. Why, that sounds almost liberal!

But seriously, Miller's objection is most probably based on the fact that he, like most wingnut pundits, was a socially-inept fucktard and wreck-of-a-biped in school, likely to have been discussing over a fresh box of Twinkies the merits and demerits of Captain Picard. The topic brings back painful memories, and his stated objections are a tissue of rationalisations.

Anyway, here in Arkansas this has been law for a while, as our formerly fat Southern Baptist preacher of a Governor has gone the health-nut route, and no one is more pious than the convert. I don't mind the measure. But I'm in a minority from what I can tell. I've heard many complaints from parents who, believing obesity is a relative thing, insist that their children aren't fat. And no, they aren't compared to most of the other kids -- because Americans, and Southerners in particular, are fat as a group. Tell them that there are objective standards for obesity and, rather like Jonah Goldberg beholding an unlocked Frito-Lay warehouse, their eyes glaze over, nothing gets through.

6.A Game Called Echo: John Derbyshire is nostalgic:

[Derb] Topic for discussion: American civilization peaked sometime in the 1950s.

This is not like when Nietzsche "listened for an echo but heard only praise." Derbyshire expects, and should expect, nothing but nodding here -- not much in the way of discussion, or echo. Fivehead Lileks could offer matchbooks, while Pat Buchanan and William F. Buckley, Jr. could dig out the old "whites only" signs. Ahh, the good old wonderbread days before busing, hippies, MLK, a feminist movement, postmodernism, realistic television programs, punk, etc.

But as reactionary as Derbyshire is, he sometimes provides corrective sense to the unhinged hackery at The Cornhole:

Lots of play for Rumsfeld's Wa-Po comment that pulling out now would be like handing post-WW2 Germany back to the Nazis. Dr. K (also on CNN), who was actually **in** post-WW2 Germany, interpreting for the US army, shot that one down. It's astonishing to see these Germany-Japan analogies still being bandied around by people who really should know better. (a) As Dr. K said, Germany was out for the count, there was no insurgency. They were beaten, and knew it. (b) Japan even more so--we dropped tow nukes on them for goodness' sake. (c) Both Germany and Japan are ethnostates, with zero potential for civil war.

Amen especially to reason "c".

7.This Is New Love: While I certainly have no sympathy for either Foreign Policy or the Moonies at UPI, I still fail to see how the passage Capozzola quotes is so egregious (I have not RTFA). I may be dense here, but the Chinese government's decision here in relation to the demographical crisis seems anthropologically sound.

I hope Chinese men take advantage of their government's changed attitude. Otherwise, you have the potential for millions of Chinese Ben Shapiros and Adam Yoshidas when the original articles themselves are far too much to bear.

8.In A Dark Place: John "Wookiee Shoulders" Podhoretz is all about chutzpah. Knowing that Perpetual War (which is good for business, is a great excuse to bash the outsiders in society, and gives the Executive all sorts of special powers) has always been a general wingnut aim, the Junior Pod retorts that the Let's Quit Now conservatives like Buckley and Will (who are merely misguided) as well as "defeatist Democrats" (who are, naturally, hopeless and tantamount to a fifth column) actually support a prescription for Perpetual War! JPod has resorted to the Pee Wee Herman standard: "I know you are now what am I?"

No, really, to oppose the continued war and occupation in and of Iraq is, according to JPod, to be for Perpetual War. You don't understand, he argues, how Bush's plan of Perpetual War for the democritization of the Middle East is the only way to conclude the War On Terra!

Bonus wingnuttery: He paints Buckley and similar conservatives as such:

People are trying to murder Americans, and such people ought to die. Kill as many of the bad guys as you can abroad. Strike Iran from the air if you have to. Do whatever you must to secure the homeland. Don't let Arabs run the ports. Racially profile Muslims and Arabs out the wazoo. No crocodile tears for the excesses at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib.

And he doesn't mean it as criticism! No, his only criticism is that they don't understand the Great Neocon Plan.

9. Absolution: Steve Hayward has a remedy for environmental problems; it's the typical Chamber of Commerce remedy, but with that special National Review polish:

A more fruitful discussion with Gore would be to discuss climate change policy strategies that don't involve rationing and/or taxing energy, or giving the government more power. This is where the greens lack either imagination or good faith.

In other words, sure, we'll stop polluting if you pay us and it's purely voluntary.

10.The Pleasure Skin: Oh, riiight. In the middle of one of her "eew, icky Latinos!" posts, Cathy Seipp lets this fly:

my 16-year-old daughter Maia attends a big urban public high school that, like most schools in L.A. now, is mostly Latino. They even had a walkout there a few months ago, ostensibly to protest the war in Iraq, although I heard that many kids who participated were actually attracted by the fliers distributed by outside organizers promoting free flavored condoms. So some things haven’t changed, but some things have.

This is the polemical equivalent of a MIRV, a formidable weapon in a decent writer's arsenal but one easily slapped away if launched by a writer as dishonest as Seipp. Desperate to hit the target at all costs, she deploys this missive-missile with shoddy aim (via anecdote) to strike at Latinos (as the school system's population is "mostly Latino" it necessarily follows that they staged a walkout -- because they're contrary and lazy), the Left (forever trying to coopt Latino political power), and sexually active teenagers (evil and corrupted in of themselves, but here shown as the lesser -- or more understandable -- of evils). All in one shot, as it were. But there are no direct hits; as is common with wingnut multi-targeted smears, all Seipp's blast accomplishes is collateral damage and casualties from friendly fire. Her innocent daughter is sooted from being included in the anecdote; Latinos, the school system, liberalism, and flavored condoms all seem better than ever; and Seipp, oblivious, has drinks with Luke Ford to discuss who next to backstab among C-list LA journalists and how best to condescend to blacks, latinos and poor WASPs.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rush Job

Because I'm busy.

1. Presto: Some divine magician is at work in England, because Mark Steyn's column has been made to disappear from that country.

2. The Spirit of Radio: Rush Limbaugh is still a piece of shit.

3. Kid Gloves: ParrotLine gets a grip on Clownhall; let's hope he remembers to wash his hands before handling food or smoking.

4. A Farewell Welcome To Kings: Andrew C. McCarthy critiques John Yoo's manual of monarchy, and likes what he reads. He concedes that Yoo's interpretation of executive power is not at all what the Founders had in mind, but endorses Yoo's Presidential King anyway, because when Terra targets the US, there's no time to worry about silly things like separation of powers. And since that spin on it makes it seem as if the Presidential King is just doing what he must to protect US, McCarthy stamps the Founders' approval on Yoo's argument anyway. Shorter McCarthy: The Founders would agree that Yoo's ends justify the means.

5. Something For Nothing: Kieran Healy rips into the argument that higher Conservative birthrates means an Emerging Conservative Majority. As usual, comments are good. Jim Harrison's is so good I have to quote it:

Quite apart from its possible benefit for their political prospects, many conservatives promote population growth. Some of this boosterism for fertility is theocratic (Be Fruitful and Multiply!) and some of it is based on a secular but utopian faith in the limitless ability of technology to meet any level of need (the Caucasian Cargo Cult). In the not very long run, I think reality is going to have something to say about the feasibility of this sort of thing.

Incontinent breeders will be our undoing, no matter what the libertarian and conservative techno-delusionists may say to the contrary. The Green Revolution has hit the point of diminishing returns (though the advent of Frankenfood has made the opposite conclusion appear true, for now). How many billions are there now on earth? Seven or Eight? Soon Malthusian reality will hit like a ton of bricks.

Anyway, comments are so good that even The Crooked Timber Reactionary Troll (Tacitus Stuffy-Gasbag Division), Sebastian Holsclaw, has something useful to say.

6. Vital Signs: I haven't been happy with the content or effort of what I've previously written on the Danish cartoon mess. How to be in solidarity with the Danes without being "Christopher Hitchens" about it? In other words, unlike Hitchens I will not throw in my lot with a bunch of fascists like Malkin & Coulter nor with a bunch of crypto-fascists like the Neo-conmen. Well, elementropy-reader Vermonster sent me this link and.. and within it is the answer.

Zizek in the Times! Finally, a non-pathological case for atheism vis-a-vis the Muslim reactionaries. Contrast the tone and substance of Zizek's argument with that of Hitchens: Zizek is a reasonable atheist where Hitchens is ..well, basically, a fundamentalist atheist; Hitchens would match Muslim Fundamentalist atrocities tit for tat, and what's worse, he makes common-cause with Christian and Jewish fundamentalists in the process.

7. New World Man: There's a continuum of attitudes to technology. Techno-delusionist fucktards were mentioned above, their antithesis being, oh, super-luddist anarchists like John Zerzan. People in the middle, who are skeptical of tech-for-its-own-sake slant, of damn-the-consequences "innovation", of we-can-fix-all-problems delusion, can still appreciate when technology does come through for humanity, as it appears it might if this story is to be believed. Could be a breakthrough.

8. Red Sector "A": Death Squads lately and now an Air War. Spreading Freedom is so much fun!

9. Entre Nous: I agree with this. I'm really sick of people like Hitchens, and his fourth-rate knock-offs like Totten, playing games with the dialectic. Anti-war people (and, for that matter, environmentalists) are only "reactionary" if your version of the Left and Right of History is frozen in 1848.

10. Circumstances: Ok, the people who threaten kids should have the book thrown at them, but Gilliard had to throw-in with them those who destroy, or threaten to destory, property (often of corporations). Please. Though some may indeed sometimes be the same people the point is that the former is an egregious crime while the other is petty and, often, against the most deserving of victims. This sort of post is par for the course for a propertarian but I expect more from Gilliard.

11. A Passage To Bangkok: Look! You can win a trip to nab your own Third World sex slave with Nick Pistoff! Yes, she'll suck your cock for considerably less than this woman's asking price, and as a bonus you'll be saving her from the horrible sweatshop work that, you'll recall, Kristoff's Free Trade Rocks! advocacy insists is good for her and her country. Gotta love that coercion-desperation model of production-consumption without which international capitalism could not function and Nick Kristoff could not get laid.

But remember, if you really want some guilt-free, Free Trade Rocks! go-go bar pussy, hitch a ride with digamma next time he goes. Word is that when digamma walks into the bar with a wad of propertarian dinero, it's to choruses "me love you long time" while Kristoff usually elicits the more depressing "bad dye job, no pussy for you!"

12. The Camera Eye: Indiana Jones 4 is greenlighted again and might actually get made. On the other hand, the article mentions Spielberg planning to do a biopic of Abraham Lincoln. Starring Liam Neeson. Uh, no. Please don't. Not unless you're going to remake this version of the 16th President's life, the only one ever made that got his character right. And even if Spielberg did remake it, Neeson, who is legitimately great, still can't top Sam Waterston, who was perfect for the role. Presidents make for some difficult casting. Remember what Oliver Stone did to Nixon by casting Anthony Hopkins -- also legitimately great but there ill-suited -- as the jowl-quivering old ratbag. Would that he had chosen Dan Hedaya.

13. Beneath, Between & Behind: They squeal and scurry; they're everywhere! Rats, that is: Glenn Greenwald plays Orkin Man to the moral vermin of the blogosphere, Jeff Goldstein being the Great King Rat of the targeted horde. With strychnine-convulsions and seriously thinking about gnawing his leg off to escape the trap, Goldstein in response wheezes out this cheesy reply:

Because that’s what he’s after: influence.

And of course, Power. In fact, just about everything Glenn writes of late is intended to augment his newfound power as memetic superstar to the administration’s detractors.

Squeak squeak! Aside the stench of envy here, there's also more than a trace of hypocrisy from Pajama's Media member Goldstein, who solicits Instayokel and Hatted Hack links almost as much as he fixates on cock. Sure, Glenn Greenwald is whoring for influence while Jeff Goldstein has been such a busy rat reworking the dolchstosslegende presumably for only his own benefit. Whatever.

Also among Greenwald's targets is one of the Powertools, who dug up a post-Brown John Birch Society slogan, took out "Earl Warren" and replaced it with "Ruth Bader Ginsberg," and presented it to his rodentine audience as a bit of major profundity.

14. Open Secrets: Jerry Falwell gets sectarian, but that's par for the course.

15. Losing It: In the middle of an otherwise fairly offensive post, one Lewis Fein fairly appraises the much-dread Cathy Seipp, which reminded me to add her, along with her porn-critic, Jewish Fundamentalist nutjob (and Dennis Prager stalker) friend Luke Ford, to the enemies list.

Seipp's been busy. Here she makes the fantastically witty observation that Arianna Huffington might be dingy. She pats herself on the back, Instapundit-, See-I-Am-Really-Independent-style, because she thinks Big Love is not the moral abomination that other conservatives consider it to be. Her general themes of self-pity and resentment shine in this post, where she complains that Muslims have been "awarded protected person-of-color status", while Israelis, she alleges, have not. Curiously, she then posts childhood pictures of her very blonde self, presumably to show how "dark" she too is and was, and thus how worthy of "protection", too. Finally, Ms. Seipp provides readers with a real treat: a stern reminder that she disregards all criticism, constructive or otherwise. How's that for certitude?

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Shorter Jeff Jacoby

The Politics of Female Voters:

Leftist claims of a gender gap are fallacious, because proper women stand by their men in voting Republican; the balance, who are stupid or evil or unfortunate enough not to have a Conservative man around to augment their intellectual deficiences, either do not vote or vote Democrat.

Credit check: "Shorter" concept invented by D^2 and later perfected by B^3.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's So Easy

I know it's fashionable among wingnuts to call Jeff Goldstein a genius for the silly little "creative writing" entries he squeezes in between his (brazenly fascist) political posts, but I mean to tell you nothing that easy could be genius. On the contrary, it's wanking. But the novelty of anything creative being in close proximity to wingnut screeds must be too much to bear. Therefore, the gushing. For wanking. Wanking.

The following wankery, for instance, I've written the last three nights [redacted]. How little do I care about it? Well, I didn't do any research, and it's all off the top of my head. The point is not that it sucks (though I think it might have potential to not suck), but that it takes such small effort to accomplish. Garden variety blog posts are much more difficult.


I Am A Greek God! (I)

No, clod. That's it. Yeah.

Look at all this wrecked statuary here and yonder -- oooh, there's a headless bust! And that Kouros there is missing his fruit bowl. Vandals, they'll take anything. No, not the Vandals -- they won't be around for another 800 years. But you know what I mean.

I have to deal with shit all the time. Literally. Birds shit on me, like, daily. And what do people do? FEED them! Fucking ingrates.

But that's not the worst. The worst is when some retard gets a commission to clean and repair me. Like that jackass Socrates, who does restoration on the cheap. One day, mark my words, that ponderous blowhard with drink some hemlock -- oh, who the hell am I kidding? With my luck, he'll live to 80.

What's that you say? I don't look Greek? Well, okay, you noticed I was circumcised. Unusual. But it's the wave of the future, I'm telling you. There's this tribe south of Phoenicia that... well, never mind; you'll find out. Anyway, Demeter -- and what coltishly athletic legs she has -- said that Apollo has given her a smegma-enhanced dollop of God goop for the last fucking time. And now she's looking in my direction. Why, just last Thursday in the pantheon she had Mercury pass me a rather adhesive note that said ..well, a gentleman God doesn't give details, but let's just say she wants my -- circumcised -- cock, and wants it real real bad. Who's stupid like a fox now, ya dog dicks?

And "what's with the red-blonde hair and its straightness? and the pale skin?" Well, I am made of marble, fucktard. It's meant to be pale. As for the other shit, well aren't you quite the little stereotypist? You know, there are these people called Scythians, a bit on the pasty side, they're of Magna Graeca, as well; and they need Gods too. I'm representin'. Oh don't be a total asshole: if you call me an "affirmative action God" one more fucking time, I'm breaking off one of my arms and throwing it at you.

And the scars aren't from acne, but acid rain. We don't have an EPA God yet, but we're working on it. But it's hard work. Wouldn't ya know that the oligarchs and priests are total reactionary ratbags.

Anyway, if I may move on now, goddamn it (oh, it gives me such a thrill to take my name in vain), I was saying...

It's hard being a God when no one gives a shit about you anymore. Just look at all this. In 2,000 years, anal-retentive jackasses who painstakingly study this area will swear that what they find is "ruins". I'm gonna be here to tell them, no, fools, it always looked this way. Just imagine if your McDonald's served shit in ceramic containers, what the sides of your highways would look like!

So get this: the other day, Phideas (he carved me; I am the Cadillac of sculptures) was over on the other side of the temple tink tink tinking away on some new demi-god, and I heard him say, "fuck those homo Spartans and the horses they rode in on". Now we are pretty open with our sexuality here in Greece, which is why I was slightly started by the homophobia and vehemence of his remarks. On the other hand, our punishment for adultery is shoving a large radish up men's asses -- to make them feel fucked. We're confused, I admit it. So.. what was going on? Why the fear?

Then I heard (because these athiest bastards never think I listen) that there was a war brewing -- with Sparta! Jesus Christ! Spartans are like the Michigan Militia of Greece! Minimalist, militaristic, misogynist -- how dreary. I resolved at once to inspire a play which would ridicule these Spartans into submission.

I chose Aeschylus to write an anti-war play, but wouldn't you know it, Ares, by a great margin the most humorless wanker in the pantheon, checked me, and in the most awesome way imaginable, I admit. He caused a great eagle to pluck a turtle from the shore, and drop it from hundreds of feet in the air perfectly on luckless Aeschylus's head! Deader than fried chicken! Aeschylus now joins in Hades Sisyphus, Achilles, and the balance of the silent majority. I hear it's quite cold there.


I Am A Greek God (II)

So I was saying (and I am the most subreferencing, sideways-talking, meandering God in the pantheon, am I not? I swear that, though my biggest following is in our colony at Nike, I'm not really all that Frankish or Gaullic or French or whateverthefucktheycallthemselves, in my sympathies, so I don't know why my style is so digressive) I was thwarted by Ares in my plan of inspiring an anti-war play. And poor Aeschylus is dead. So, I've had to lower my standards: by inspiring a comic.

Just look at the poor sod. There he is, bitter, vituperative, reactionary. Yet he writes jokes, often successfully. Not to say that he doesn't drop a cricket-chirper now and then: some of his references are so obscure that, when they come up in his plays, they are doubly destructive in that they slow the rhythm of the piece as well as elicit distracting whoops and guffaws from the three or so crackpots in the crowd who actually get the joke. His name is Aristophanes, and I'm really dipping in the bottom of the barrel in selecting him. But beggars, as they say, can't be choosers.

I can't help but think I'm selling out by doing this. The guy's basic schtick is the tirade of the old, heard since time immemorial: "it was better in my day." But I'll be damned if he doesn't polish this turd of an argument better than anyone has in my memory which, I'll remind you, goes back to when the Dardanelles Natural Damn broke, flooding the Greater Caucasus and inspiring all sorts of silly "universalist flood myths" from the drunken nudist Noah to the Brokeback Ziggurat stylings of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Would that this place were flooded in the same way! This country needs an enema.

Anyway, so Aristophanes is my choice: I'll have to live with it. Now, what is the conduit I should choose, through which I deliver to him his divine inspiration?

Before you ask, isn't that the job of the Muses? Well, let's just say that those bitches haven't bothered reporting to work in years. I'm told one is waiting tables in Thessaloniki, though that's just hearsay. And isn't it obvious they've been AWOL for some time by the quality of work going on around here? Just look at this Corinithian shit all around me! So ostentatious it's vulgar; give me Dorian simplicity anyday. And Sophocles? Hah, I'm not responsible. Haephestion slipped him some drink from Cerberus's triple-dog bowl, which should be a clue to the true moral value of his "art". But it's not like he's alone in his depravity and wrongheadedness: everyone's a fatalist around here. Hasn't anyone heard of Geddy Lee? "I will choose Free Will". Wait, that's the future. Nevermind. Regardless, thank God (so to speak) that I'll be long forgotten here by the time Freud gets hold of that hack Sophocles.

So, uh, yeah. How to get Aristophanes inspired. I'm thinking of something base or cruel, since I don't particularly like him. Shit, this "moral calculus" thing is difficult for a God (I can just imagine what it must be like for a human). I -- I'll be honest -- despise Aristophanes, yet war to me is even more contemptible. Choices. Gotta do it. So.... might as well have a little fun.

Look! There he is with a courtesan. Horny old bastard. He just doesn't get how horrified she is of his ratty old beard, which he thinks makes him look sagacious, like the fabled Druids of the North, but actually makes him look like a sheepherder from some god-forsaken redneck hellhole like, say, Macedonia. Eww. Christ, there's even bugs flying out of it. An idea strikes me...

Tomorrow, I'll make sure the hucksters in the market have "accidents" which greatly benefit Ari's favorite hooker. She'll be better able to stand up for herself when she's got plenty of groceries in the cupboard. Ohhh ohh yes this will work nicely. The irony! She, perpetually victimised, will show the haughty clueless old fart the real power of women: compromise, or make love to your hand permanently, writer-boy! And he'll get the principle and.. yes, yes.. this is gonna be sweet.


I Am A Greek God! (III)
Current mood: silly


So, my plans for Ari: let me fast-forward a bit in the future (because I'm powerful like that). Wow, the whole earth's a computer! Oh, shit, nevermind, I held the button too long. Anyway... Yeah, here it is. Here's where the kernel of inspiration should slip into his drunken, horndog mind if he'll just let it.

Whore: It's you again. Sigh.

Ari (fluffing his beard): Yeah, you're my favorite. Pour me some wine, nymphette. Hypollita, Hypollita, love of my life, lyre of my groin!

Whore: Oh, please. (rolls eyes) How droll. I may have to stroke it, but that doesn't mean it's music to anyone's ears but yours. And to tell the truth, as I don't really need the money this evening, I'm not too keen on plucking your strings, as it were.

Ari: Don't get huffy with me, woman. I'm the one who makes sarcastic remarks around here. Your job is to get me loaded, be supple, and let me relieve my frustration. Make no mistake: you're a semen receptacle, paid for in full; and spare me any idle threats about taking a portion of my guys over to the witch's cave. I don't believe in homunculi, and that witch, like the Crone at Delphi, is a quack. Now smile for me, and come over and comb my beard. You know, I'm thinking of braiding it, like the leader of those minstrels who play such atrocious music down by the barracks -- what's their name? -- Alikka In Chains?

Whore: You bastard. That guy is my favorite customer! He's actually good-looking and young -- unlike you! More to the point, he's nice! Definitely unlike you! I don't need your money tonight, and I bring in too much traffic to this place for the madam to fire me, so you can just whack-off tonight for all I care! And tomorrow night, too! Hypocrite! Calling the priestess names while writing god-awful plays that rail against blasphemers! (She pours the cup of wine into his lap) I'm not fucking you again, for whatever amount of money, until you reform yourself! Cut that nasty beard! Be halfway civilised when talking to me! You're an old coot, but I hope you fucking get drafted! Get out.

Ari curses her and leaves in a snit. Three blocks from his house, he slaps his head and says, "Eureka!"

Ari wrote that night, all night. And the next. He pushed three drachmas -- all his cash on hand -- underneath Hypollita's door three days later. I wish I could say I inspired that generosity, but I can't.

Two weeks later, the play The Lysistrata opened at Dionysus' Urinal, the local ampitheatre, to rave reviews.

A month later, the women of Athens, taking the play's message to heart, forced their blue-balled men to sue Sparta for peace. As the Athenians gave up some primo real estate (which they'd been eyeing for suburban development: all the oligarch creeps are sprawl-enthusiasts) in the deal, the Spartans agreed. For now.

Aristophanes was greatly feted throughout the city, but the miserable old bastard would never let himself truly enjoy it. Hypollita even fucked him again, but only for double-price, which the ass immediately agreed to pay, not out of generosity (Ari was the ultimate moral recidivist) but out of pride. I talked to Atropos the other day, and arranged it that Ari caught a particularly itchy pox in the process, which Hypollita found a cure for, but Ari never beat. Thanks for serving your purpose, old fart, but don't think I'll forgive your hypocrisy. So here's ya some crotchrot! Tee hee.

I have a bad feeling that I've reached my peak. By Zeus, I have the gnawing feeling that war will come again. And again. And there won't be much that I can do about it, even if I punch Ares in the mouth. Stupid humans, so.. well, god-like. And this trick with Ari: I know it'll never work a second time. I can see it plainly. It's a one time shot, because humans by nature would rather respond to reckless art than to the cautionary kind. Don't look at me: I didn't create them like that. All the blame goes to that pompous gasbag on Olympus with his lightning bolts and thunderclaps and shit.

Next time, if there is a next time, I'll tell you that story about Alkibiades' blasphemy against Priapus. Or maybe some other story. I gotta get all this out before the Midieval censors do their magic, and clueless asshats like Miss Hamilton (and don't even get me started on that Joseph Campbell character) set in stone (or, as you term it, "type") apocryphal versions of our cherished history, which you modern dorks then flatter yourselves by calling "myths".

Bye for now. You'll pardon me if I can't quite wave.

Wanking. It doesn't hold a candle to my Marie Jon' posts, or the Steyn entry, or anything you can read at Sadly, No! or The Poor Man's. That shit takes effort and skill. I'm not a snob, and, hopefully, as this post proves, I'll be the first to admit I'm a crappy writer. But it bothers me when something cheap easy and talentless is praised, even if it's praised by cretins whose tastes are obviously and spectacularly atrocious.

***Update: I wasn't clear (don't write in a delirium). I know this is better than Goldstein's crap; what I'm saying is, it still took no effort. His commenters treat his excursions into "creative writing" as if they're written by Borges, and it just blows my mind. I'm not saying that, if you like this post, you suck. I'm saying, simply, his posts suck, and in general this sort of thing (mine, his, whoever's) seems to be over-valued in the blogopshere. But I will say that at least mine contains some jokes.

You know who can do this sort of thing and make it art? Giblets. And that's pretty much it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Speaking Succinctly

Not long after Jeff Goldstein spent ten jillion words in restating the Dolchstosslegende, Instayokel, as is his wont, went the Tonto-Frankenstein-Tarzan route in arguing the same thing.


The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media.

[Emphasis, and Nazi-insanity, in the original.]


Others write that if we lose the war it won't be the press's fault, but the fault of Chimpy McHitlerburton. Well, maybe. But even so, that won't change the fact that a press that looks in many ways as if it's rooting for defeat won't make an appealing scapegoat for a lot of people. Given the press's concern for how it's perceived in various communities, you'd think it would care enough to avoid being perceived as unpatriotic by the patriotic-American community.

It is said that lawyers are the enemies of clear prose, and it's a valid point, but here is an apparent exception. Reynolds, whose professional duty is weasel-wording, comes across as proudly and directly fascist where Goldstein, allegedly a trained writer, forgoes any attempt at plain speaking, yet still comes across as a dedicated brownshirt once one zeroes-in on his essential point.

I wonder, though, if the stylistic irony here isn't indicative of something deeper. Goldstein dances around the point so much it's as if he's conscious that he's basically translating from the Beer Hall Putsch, and somewhere, somehow, a part of him is shamed by the fact; whereas Reynolds has long ago completed his transformation from "libertarian" to overt bumpkin-fascist, and therefore is quite shameless. To use the lepidoptral metaphor, Reynolds long ago emerged as a homely moth, kamakaze-buzzing into the dull, humming vaporlight of Bushism; Goldstein, on the other hand, while feeling the heavy influence of wingnut tropism, still has his chrysalis clinging to his feet. His wings are still sticky-snotty, but he's learning to fly -- and as such, he's bound to circle aimlessly at times before taking his terminal flight.

Give him a few months and he'll be just as direct as Instayokel. All his natural verbosity will go, instead, into his "humorous" posts wherein he talks to his pants, to Jeff Gannon's cock, to his bowl of oatmeal.

Relatedly, if you read any link I post, make it this one.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Conversations With The Blustery

UC Berkeley's Conversations With History is a nice enough series; sure, it's PBS-y, but that's not a bad thing. The interviews are long enough so that one may gain a fair assessment of the subject, which is not the case in soundbite journalism or even with the "extended" profiles as in A & E's Biography series.

It's also nice that Berkeley's series has most of their catalogue online. Thus, one can sample from the good, the legendary, the fallen, and the thoroughly reprehensible. Let us consider that last interview, the subject of which is Norman "The Pod" Podhoretz.

In the interview, I learned that The Pod:

1. Is solipsistic. Which is okay, because he invented solipsism.
2. Is an "intellectual" advocate of tribalism. As long as that tribalism is by and of rightwing Jews. Any other tribalism is "multiculturalist", which only Bad People engage in. The "melting pot" and what used to be called "assimilated Americanism" is for everyone else except The Pod and other rightwing Jews. As a bonus, he implies that leftwing Jews aren't really Jews at all in any meaningful sense.
3. Thinks Norman Mailer is a failure as a writer and as a person because he didn't embrace tribalism as much as The Pod did. Podhoretz thinks Mailer is a self-loathing Jew, a commie, a human disaster.
4. Considers Nazism and Communism moral equivalents.
5. Thinks nationalism is a wonderful thing as long as it's American or Israeli. All other nationalist tendencies are evil. Thus his arguments of "exceptionalism"; his license to jingoism by which he may get round that pesky double standard thing.
6. Is addicted to exhibiting bathos and intense self-pity.
7. Was the bravest man in the history of the universe when he re-invented himself as a wingnut and brown-nosed his way around the corridors of power, sucking up to such fellow underdogs as Reagan, Bush I, and Henry Kissinger.

There's more but I can't bear it right now. I'll save it for his Wingnut All-Star entry.

Incidentally, Theodore Draper, one of the last historians to work outside of Academe, recently departed this vale of tears. Draper's name rings a bell in my head, but I don't remember specifically reading anything he wrote. I don't know much about him, but from the Times obit, it appears he got at least one thing right:

In a review of Norman Podhoretz's book "Why We Were in Vietnam" in The New Republic in 1982, Mr. Draper sharply criticized the author's defense of the war, saying it "represents a trend of selective moralistic zealotry which, if permitted to spread, will give both anti-Communism and neoconservatism a bad name." He called Podhoretz a "potted historian." The review reflected a sharp turn in Mr. Draper's political thinking and left Mr. Podhoretz bewildered over what he called the cruelty of the attack, especially since Mr. Draper had been a friend.

If Mr. Draper was obsessive about politics, he was equally so about his privacy. When approached by a reporter for an interview about his life, he declined and offered instead to write a statement to be sent in a sealed envelope and not opened until his death. In it, he said of his review of "Why We Were in Vietnam": "I broke with Podhoretz when he changed the political line of Commentary," a reference to what he saw as the magazine's shift to the right in the mid-1970's.

Tee hee. Like James Capozzola says, "watch for a lengthy hatchet job in Commentary within the next few months..."