Thursday, December 14, 2017

BULL.

The Federalist is a uniquely awful piece of shit, not only for its wingnut politics, which you can get at a dozen other internet popsicle stands (and not only for the wretchedness of its writing, which ditto), but also for its culture-war crackpottery. Last week I mentioned their weird attempt to make a porn star's suicide into an anti-gay statement, and now there's this thing about a fucking cartoon:
Similarly, in the latest Ferdinand film, audiences will be told, “Be strong, be brave, be true… to yourself.” In the case of a bull who’d choose peace under his cork tree over fame with the matadors, we might argue that he chose the better. But our world is not the fictitious world of Ferdinand. For the human heart and mind, being true to oneself can quickly lead us to dangerous relativistic thinking.
Actually the relativism goes back to Dumbo, which betrayed our old certainties about how elephants should submit meekly to their bullhooks and do ordinary circus tricks -- and now look; Ringling Brothers is kaput -- talk about a Gramscian Long March of pink elephants through the Institutions! But let us not intrude on Federalist writer Jessica Burke's thesis:
Ferdinand, The Transgender Bull?
OK, let's intrude. Apparently someone has mentioned that the flower-loving Ferdinand "did not want to perform his or her gender as expected," making this cartoon in Burke's view "an emblem of gender nonconformity" and an assault on godly butchitude. Not only that, it encourages the sin of individualism:
But being true to yourself isn’t isolated to just rejecting classic sexual ethics or sex roles. We can be true to ourselves in any number of gluttonous, lustful, and selfish ways. My millennial friends are known to say, “You do you,” believing that each person has the right to pursue whatever makes him or her happy. They don’t want to deem any actions or beliefs as wrong or untrue because they believe that each person defines truth and morality. This thinking has led to a culture that often ignores sin and even calls it courageous.

In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis...
Ugh, okay, I draw the line at citations of the proto-Douthats. So to sum up, Fendinand, like Dumbo and his mom, should have submitted to the will of heaven and led the children to Christ, but he made them into flower-sniffing do-your-own-thing hippies instead, so you will see him, heathen, bucking and snorting in Hell as you both roast for all eternity.

If nothing else this is a reminder that fundamentalists were nuts well before they embraced Trump.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?

Now that the danger has passed, it will be something to recall and reflect how mere days ago conservatives were pee-dancing around Roy Moore, trying to look classy and moral while simultaneously endorsing a pedo. Rod Dreher had one of the worst takes: In "An Anti-Communist For Roy Moore," he told yet another of his patented "reader who doesn’t want to be identified" stories, this one about an Iron Curtain refugee who compared Moore to the persecuted souls back in the USSR, and explained why, given the chance, he would vote for him:
I would have no other choice. The reason being that if we accepted that a mere accusation — however credible — is the new basis of our political and legal systems, than we have already lost both. This principle was at the very core of the mechanism of communist terror. Did you neighbor have a better car? Well, you accused him of being a secret adherent of capitalism. That was enough. He would be done for, and with some luck, his car would be yours. We are not that far from it here …
I don't recall Dreher, or any of his alleged refugee readers, blubbering over Al Franken or giving him the benefit of the doubt -- in fact, quite the opposite ("Bring it on. This is necessary, and important"). But he was all sympathy for Moore, comparing him to Soviet show-trial victims, despite his more credible accusers.

One can guess why.

Of course when Moore lost Dreher gave a long gassy speech full of Moral Dignity, but barely a day went by before he returned to his lying-bitches theme, joining Claire Berlinsky in denouncing what they both characterize as a "Warlock Hunt." The least ridiculous thing about Berlinski's article is her acknowledgement that some of the powerful men brought down in recent scandals were accused of relatively minor offenses -- but she seems to think that, with the possible exception of Harvey Weinstein, none of them did much of anything wrong; in fact she is especially sympathetic toward the men who admitted they'd fucked up -- she assumes they only repented because feminism, like Soviet Communism, is so oppressive that it brainwashes true victims like Matt Lauer into thinking they're guilty ("The most profound mystery of the Moscow Trials was the eagerness of the victims to confess"). I bet feminists who hear this are wondering, like the Jews accused of running the world, when they will reap the benefits of this allegedly immense power.

Dreher of course makes everything hilariously worse:
It brings to mind the time I was accused of racism in the workplace on completely spurious grounds. This accusation would have been laughed out of any remotely fair-minded tribunal. But my accuser was a racial minority...
In this land where women and minorities are forever oppressing white men, Trump is king. But, to paraphrase Adlai Stevenson, he needs a majority.

Monday, December 11, 2017

JUST A REMINDER...

...there's no Voice column from me this week as I am on vacation -- or rather, in the after-vacation hellmouth caused by the snow in London, which has bollocksed my return trip. Kudos to the Edinburgh innkeeper who snuck into the closed bar and got me a Boddington's last night, and cheers to the British Airways staff on the ground who have been very patient; as to the BA organization itself, well, we'll see.

Anyway, while I'm up and the juice holds out, here's what you have to beat to make headline of the week, from Crazy Joe Walsh at The Daily Wire:
Police Murdered This Unarmed Man, But The Media Doesn't Care Because He's White
"[T]he media isn't interested in exposing police misconduct generally," claims Walsh. "They're interested in exposing racially motivated police misconduct, even if they have to fabricate it out of thin air." Out of thin air!  That's why you hear those stories about cops recklessly killing people of color -- and I guess why you see those videos too, which must also be fabricated out of thin air (and which must also be why the guy who videoed Eric Garner's murder was jailed).

It's always white men who have achieved fame and wealth despite having no talent or class whatsoever who are most convinced that black people get all the breaks.

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.