Saturday, December 09, 2017

DR. MACPHAIL GASPED. HE UNDERSTOOD.

Well, it's been a great vacation (not over yet; no column on Monday), but it's winding down so I better take a look-in on the brethren -- huh, seems Mark Hemingway is at The Federalist talking about a pornstar lady who got some angry emails because she wouldn't work with a gay pornstar guy, then killed herself. (scratches chin) Something tells me this won't be the usual fist-shake against Our Promiscuous Society, but will instead seek to pit gay rights against women's rights. OK, let's read:
Well, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a mob that would tell [August] Ames to kill herself if she won’t have sex with someone who has sex with other men would also happily pass a law requiring porn stars to be subject to penalties for discriminating in who they sleep with. Certainly, trans activists are already pushing the idea that you’re transphobic if you won’t sleep with transsexuals. You really have to marvel at how fast we’ve progressed from “Bake the cake, bigot” to “Take off your dress, bigot.”
(Polishes nails on lapel) Ya still got it, Edroso!

Hemingway's story and yet another one about August Ames are The Federalist's #1 and #2 most popular stories at the moment. I guess one part of that crowd is Ames fans who welcome the opportunity to mash up their appreciation of her oeuvre with their homophobia ("Thanks a lot, fags, now the world will never see Bang Bros Invasion 18!") and the other part is fundamentalists who would love to do a Reverend Davidson on a porn star themselves, preferably but not necessarily before she dies. I wonder how much traction they'll be able to get from this idea that LGBT activists seek to force porn stars to have sex against their will. Say, maybe that'll be a hot damsel-in-distress scenario for Bang Bros Invasion: In Memoriam!

Wish I could say it's good to be back.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

LITERAL SPOILER.

It's been nice to take a break from the Homeland and not have the nonsense I usually look at in front of my eyes. But I made the mistake of opening Twitter and I saw someone talk about Megan McArdle and The Crucible. One click led to another and uggggh:


Later:

It's like watching Oliver trying to talk to Mr. Haney on Green Acres except not funny. To quote another work of art I doubt McArdle would like, I'd give everything I own to be able to take out my brain and hold it under the faucet and wash away the dirty pictures you put there tonight.

UPDATE. I really made a mistake and went to National Review and see how they were taking the Conyers resignation. Sure enough, Ben Shapiro is there complaining that the ooga-boogas will replace him with another ni-clang I mean Democrat, and like any Democratic safe seat this means democracy is through: "It’s obvious that we’ve stopped thinking of ourselves as citizens and begun to think of ourselves as subjects," rant rave. Also, Shapiro says, "Who cares if Al Franken grabs women’s breasts as they sleep?" Aside from the observable fact that Franken was not touching Leeann Tweeden's breasts in that famous photo -- and Shapiro rushing that assertion in there says everything the intellectual vigor that got him elected "cool kid's philosopher" by the New York Times -- "who cares" is a weird way to describe the parade of Democrats calling for Franken to resign. It's like he's looking for new and exciting ways to be full of shit -- which I guess is why the Times got excited about him.

Ugh, enough. Back to my gelato and Bellini!

Monday, December 04, 2017

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the Kate Steinle trial -- or rather, the trial by rightbloggers of San Francisco for allowing dirty dirty immigrants to live in it, leading to one discharging a weapon and killing Steinle, and then not having the decency to hit the shooter with the full murder rap rightwingers demanded, despite the evidence.

The idea that an illegal drug-addict-fuckup is more dangerous to America than a homegrown drug-addict-fuckup is mysterious unless you fathom their absolutely hard-wired hard-on for the Other.

P.S. Over this week posting may be light -- yeah, I know, I mean lighter than usual -- because I am on vacation, stuffing myself with art and guanciale. There may be pictures here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CUSTER THOUGHT HE WAS WINNING TOO.

I see we've had a nice fat crop of white people telling the codetalkers and their families that calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahantas" at a ceremony meant to celebrate Native-American achievements isn't racist -- why, it's every bit as legit as if they called that "halfrican" Obama "Rastus" or "Shoeshine Boy." (It'd be his own fault for calling himself "black," the big Kenyan liar!)

Let's look at the version of this shtick offered by Mollie Hemingway -- one of the few writers at The Federalist who knows what she's doing (i.e., soulless propaganda):
Democrats and their media footsoldiers decided it’s racist to mock someone for falsely claiming to be Native American. For example, Jim Acosta of CNN wrote: “WH press sec says ‘Pocahontas’ is not a racial slur. (Fact check: it is.)” 
Uh, fact check: no.
Well, that's all the defense her readers will need. But just in case--
For one thing, as Gabriel Malor said...
Ha ha, that's good. I guess if you're going to defend Trump's slur by pretending it's not a slur, citing a gay gay who defends RFRAs makes thematic sense at least.

But hold the phone, Hemingway's got a hat trick: The column is called "Calling Pence A Liar While Protecting Warren Is Why People Hate Media," and the big gotcha is that stoopid libs defend Warren for repeating what her family told her about her Indian heritage, but the Washington Post calls it a lie when Mike Pence truthfully says, "There are more Americans working today than ever before in American history." As Hemingway tells it:
In fact, it is factually correct to say that more Americans are working now than ever before. The Washington Post admits this, showcases the numbers (124 million, up from 65 million in 1968), and says Pence is “technically correct.” So they give him, quite amazingly, three Pinocchios, their little metric that summarizes their analysis of the truthfulness of the statement. Then they admit they wanted to give him four Pinocchios but were constrained by the fact that what he said was true. I'm not joking.
But Pence complimenting his own administration for having more Americans working than ever before is pretty much giving Trump credit for America having more Americans than ever before. From the Post fact-checker, Nicole Lewis:
In 2016 the labor force participation rate for Americans ages 25 to 54 hovered around 81 percent, but it peaked in 1997 at 84 percent. The rate is often used by economists as an indicator of the health of the job market. The higher the number, the healthier the market... 
Of course there are more Americans working. That’s because there are more Americans today than ever before.
We were tempted to say that Pence earns Four Pinocchios, but the numbers are technically correct. Yet they are so devoid of meaning that Pence and the people who applauded his statement should be ashamed.
People who can read, write, and cipher understand that "technically correct" is the right term here, as it is correct in the sense that it would be correct to say when Bill Gates walks into a bar, the mean salary of the patrons exceeds a million -- accurate but meaningless.

Hemingway's traditional treacly mix of moral dudgeon and three-card-monte logic is always annoying, but what makes this even worse is, she's arguing that Warren's claim of Indian heritage -- which, like the claims of a lot of Americans to such heritage, is supported only anecdotally -- is so big a lie that it can be compared unfavorably to the behavior of Donald Trump,  the most notorious and extensively-documented liar in American history.

This is the sort of thing you can only get away with when your readership's minds are so poisoned by years of dumb how-me-big-chief gags about Warren that it's all they've ever cared to know about her; that one impression has become so significant to them, and they're so convinced it's damning, that they hardly notice she beat their heart-throb Scott Brown to win back a Senate seat for the Democrats and is significantly more popular than Trump.

Both Trump and Hemingway notice, though, which is why they bang that one tom-tom (forgive me) over and over. It's also why Hemingway throws in the "Why People Hate Media" bit -- like the Warren woo-woo, it's so detached from objective reality (have you seen Republicans' favorability numbers lately?) it's practically meta.

Sadly, Trump and Hemingway are also able to put this over on some mainstream media dummies, too ("Elizabeth Warren's Pocahontas Pickle" -- oh, fuck you). The good news is that maybe all the pissy media guys who like to beat up on female Democrats will be fired for sexual misconduct by the next election.

Monday, November 27, 2017

INSERT LATEST TRUMP OUTRAGE HERE.

(In this case, his racist belch over his Native American guests today.)

I often say that Trump’s obvious social and mental disabilities are not really the important thing, because he’s only carrying out the sabotage of others, and not thinking up any of this himself.

What is meaningful about them, though, is seen on occasions like this — when the extent of his disability is so obvious, we are reminded that his handlers (foreign and/or domestic) must have sought, and felt fortunate to get, someone who is so helplessly self-centered that as long as he were allowed to act out his childish fantasies of dominance, there would be no danger that he’d ever acquire an independent thought that might blow their scheme.

Think about that the next time that fuckwad Paul Ryan or any of the rest of them shakes their heads and makes vague demurrers over some asshole thing Trump did, then rushes back to work on some society-wrecking abomination they can get Trump to sign.

Which is to say, Trump is the true heir to Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, he'll probably follow up his disastrous reign with a fat payday tour of Japan -- unlike Reagan, though, when he gets there he'll probably push up the corners of his eyes and go "me Chinee, me play joke, me make pee-pee in your Coke." 


NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about rightbloggers' Thanksgiving, and a very good one it was, too; when they weren't stroking themselves, they were stroked by the New York Times, the Washington Post, et alia. It's almost as if Trump were not an outlier in American expectations of governance, after all.

It didn't meet our theme so I left off my favorite gibberish from last week: National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who celebrated the death of a famous murderer by portraying him as a liberal icon in “Charles Manson’s Radical Chic.”

Yeah, guys, I know, but hear him out: “The history of the postwar period is the history of the struggle against Communism,” begins Williamson. “What’s sometimes forgotten — conveniently forgotten — is that our victory in that struggle was far from assured, and that a substantial swath of the Western intelligentsia and much of its celebrity culture was on the other side. It wasn’t just Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky, Walter Duranty and Lincoln Steffens…”

Not getting the relevance yet? Well, perhaps this will convince you: “‘First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!’ That was the assessment of…” Jane Fonda? William Proxmire? No, radical firebrand Bernardine Dohrn. And she knew Obama in Chicago. Manson to Dohrn to Obama — see, it all adds up, and also explains Obama’s Mansonian acid-is-groovy, kill-the-pigs policies as president.

Plus, argues Williamson, not only were the Sixties bad politically, “even the music was joyless, Jimi Hendrix letting his virtuosity go to rot while plonking out a honking flatted fifth, the ugliest chord in music (‘diabolus in musica,’ they call it) to open ‘Purple Haze’…” If you stupid normies knew music like Kevin D. Williamson, you’d throw away your “rock” and “rap” and, when you’re feeling festive, instead crank the speeches of Enoch Powell.

Anyway, enjoy the column; don't just leave it for extraterrestrial anthropologists to unearth and enjoy after we've destroyed the planet a couple of years from now.

UPDATE. Had to go back and correct the spelling of Bernardine Dohrn's name -- which is weird, right, since she's such an important figure among us liberals. It's like misspelling Alinsky!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MORE ME ELSEWHERE.

Another piece by your humble narrator at America's finest literary magazine, The Sherman Oaks Review of Books.

VICTIMLESS CRIME.

We've reached a nadir -- well, a new nadir -- in the Al Franken case with this accusation that screamingly obvious joke photos made by Franken and Arianna Huffington for promo purposes are evidence of Huffington's sexual assault, even after Huffington said that they were not.

Note that the New York Post and Daily Caller stories both refer to Huffington as a "self-described feminist," a usage clearly meant to suggest that Huffington is a hypocrite for not accusing Franken -- in fact, that she is instead collaborating with Franken in her own assault! It'd be neat if they could pull that off: A Democrat sex crime where both the Senator and the woman are bad, and the real victim is the wingnut press.

Any accusation deserves to be taken seriously, but there's serious and then there's just gullible.

UPDATE. Let's Just Give Up On Humanity, A Series: Huffington ran a different photo from that shoot of herself strangling Franken, to make the point that (imagine me speaking very slowly and distinctly now) sometimes people do funny jokes for pictures, see; that's what the funny man was doing before, and that's what the cheapskate publisher is doing here. Here are some of the responses:

This shit makes Idiocracy look like My Dinner with Andre.

Monday, November 20, 2017

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the Al Franken imbroglio, as well as the attempts of some liberals to reexamine the Clinton impeachment, and the ways in which conservatives have attempted to weaponize these events for their own ends. I hope you won't think me ungenerous in saying that these guys are not interested in advancing the Believe Women movement. They're just trying to take the post-Weinstein moment, in which abused women are getting a little more attention and credence than usual, and exploit it. You can see it especially clearly in the pissy oh-yeah-you-libs-are-supposed-to-be-feminists routines from conservatives like Laura K Potter at RedState:
We’d at least expect former presidential candidate, Mrs. Hillary Clinton to express some sort of support for Ms. Leeann Tweeden, as a fellow woman and believer of all those who come forward, right?...

Nope. Nothing. Third wave feminism is showing, once again, that women deserve to be heard and respected if they hold they correct (read: progressive) viewpoints.
If you'e thinking, wait a minute, Clinton did make a measured and reasonable statement about Franken -- well, yes, but not at the moment when Potter was looking at her Twitter feed, and when you write for RedState there's no point in updating. (Potter's only subsequent article at this writing is, awesomely, "International Men’s Day Spotlight On Male Suicides.")

The culture warriors got into it, too: You saw here last week how Jonathan V. Last at The Weekly Standard took a journey through the past and ranted about the drugs these damn hippies were using on Saturday Night Live and the soiled honor of Spiro T. Agnew. President Trump himself brought up a sketch Franken and other SNL writers worked on, in drafts of which multiple celebrities get raped by Andy Rooney, as if it proved anything except SNL writers took a lot of drugs -- and, for the millionth time, that conservatives don’t understand the difference between fiction and reality.

But Rod Dreher, as usual, outstripped them all in Fallen World paranoia with a froth of outrage over one of the last really funny things SNL did, the 40-year-old "Uncle Roy" sketch with Buck Henry. What's that got to do with Franken? Get a load:
I tried to find out if Al Franken wrote that skit, but my research indicates it was his frequent writing partner, the late Tom Davis. I was wrong — as two readers who watched the Henry interview till the end point out, it was two women: Rosie Shuster and Ann Beatts. Anyway, the reader sends in this more recent clip of Buck Henry defending the integrity of laughing at pedophilia...
And here's a clip of W.C. Fields laughing at blindness! And what about Mel Brooks laughing at Nazis? All these Hollyweirdos are corrupt!
Again: Al Franken did not write the Uncle Roy skit, though he was part of the team that aired it. I’m not saying that Al Franken is soft of pedophilia! I am saying, however, that the 1970s and those who were at the leading edge of pop culture’s evolution back then are probably going to have a lot to answer for as more and more people come out about being sexually harassed or assaulted. I’m wondering if this purgatory spasm we’re living through is going to consume way more famous Baby Boomer males than we can even imagine.
The whole thing's a pisser but what's most amazing, or what would be amazing if we weren't so used to Dreher shattering the limits of ridic, is that he kept going even after admitting his whole premise was wrong.

Finally, to Andrew Sullivan: Dude, let it go.

UPDATE.
One other thing that's struck me is the way the brethren deal with the lack of contact between Franken’s hands and Tweeden’s breasts in the famous photograph. Like Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller: “Franken’s defenders in the media have also given him credit for, they say, not fully groping Tweeden.”  I guess in sexual assault close counts, like in horseshoes. (I should add it's not only rightbloggers -- MSM types have fallen into it, too, like Nate Silver, who said the photo "appeared to show Franken groping Tweeden’s breasts while she was sleeping — not providing a lot of room for 'if true' statements about Franken’s conduct." If you're not watching that three-card-monte of a sentence closely, you'll come away thinking he's feeling her up.)

Also, thanks for Yastreblyansky and Sentient Al from the Future in comments for pointing out that the Menendez underage claims  to which Nolte alluded never panned out; I had something about that in the original but didn't feel the column would bear the time it would take to explain -- which is, come to think of it, how a lot of their shit gets over.