Monday, September 18, 2017

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about the uproar over Jemele Hill calling Trump a white supremacist, and how we all learned to laugh and love again thanks to Clay Travis saying "boobs." It's kind of fitting that the brethren cheered for one of the stupider terms for breasts; if he'd said "I support the Second Amendment and tits" I wonder how it'd go over. (If he'd said "I support the Second Amendment and eating pussy" I know how it'd go over.)

I mentioned the blackcon group Project 21 in the column -- I'd seen them before, and regret not having space to discuss their history. In addition to pushing wonky wingnut causes like genetically modified foods,  they've been sending black conservatives to stick up for white conservatives for years. Here’s Project 21 spokesperson Deneen Borelli, for example, a frequent talking head on Fox, claiming in 2012 that Obama threw the black community “under the bus” by supporting same-sex marriage; here she is that same year responding to the Trayvon Martin shooting with “race-based concerns with Barack Obama, Eric Holder and their involvement with the Black Panther movement…” Most recently Project 21 defended Trump against the CEOs who quit his business councils (“it certainly reeks of corporate America bowing to the will of the anti-Trump resistance movement”) and by bothsidesing the Charlottesville incident. Diamond and Silk can only hope the wingnut sinecures remain so generous into their old age, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if it ever comes time to cut staff, white people won't be in the first wave.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

STRAIGHTS AND FREAKS.



I put up some pictures from the two rallies I attended in Washington Saturday: The pro-Trump Mother of All Rallies, and the March of the Juggalos. The two groups had something in common: in each case the crowd was conscious of its outsider status. But the Trump people seemed defensive, like they know they're surrounded by people who don't like them and from whom they may have to defend themselves. Maybe it's because they know how precarious their victory was, so though they claim the privileges of the majority (a preacher on their stage kept talking about "restoration") they hang onto the grievance and persecution of the minority. It seemed at least a fifth of them were dressed in some kind of security gear -- shirts and jackets with "Burnside Bums," "Picket Patriots," "American Guard," and other para-paramilitary names printed on them -- and stalking around like they were looking for malefactors to take down. (I got some of this on my Twitter feed, but Will Sommer's from Saturday is better.)

The Juggalos, on the other hand, were the opposite of paramilitary -- their costumes were variegated  and fanciful -- they're literally a motley crew -- often loud and vulgar but never aiming to intimidate. They were louche as hell, having clearly dispensed with as given their last fuck whether the world at large digs their scene, but confident that whatever the world thought, their Juggalo crew had their back (the "Fam-i-ly" chant was big at the Lincoln Memorial). Over the mainstream as they were, they didn't seem to expect enemies; you didn't see anyone looking to crack heads. They wanted respect, but only as a means to get the law's unjust persecution off their backs; other than that, if you didn't like 'em, your loss. They were an easy group to be around, but so would be the Trumpkins, I imagine, when they're not on their imaginary battlements; it's too bad they think they have to always be on them.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

TODAY IN WINGNUT GRIFTS.

Some of my longer-serving readers will remember a project by Bill Whittle called Ejectia. It was yet another online wingnut nest, but pitched by him as something more than a website -- indeed, a "City-State of Virtue" that he intended to build with reader donations. He even had "early test renderings" of the intended result ("Some people would like it to be a collection of Greek buildings in a verdant valley. Some want it on a tropical isle...").

Ejectia of course vaporized,  and Whittle went on to new horizons - and he's still out there grifting, bless him, with the same cutting edge material. But what of the dream of an alternative rightwing universe? One would think that with Trump mutilating America into the human centipede of their dreams, conservatives would have no need of fantasy lands. But hope springs eternal, and if they bought it once they'll buy it again, so here's something called "Respvblica" (the "v" is for "it's like in the gladiator movies, see?"). I learned of it from a pitch letter that began thus:
A NEW NATION DAWNS, VIRTUALLY 
Believing that real estate is not necessary to form a country in our Internet-led world today, innovators, pioneers and entrepreneurs Benjamin Poser and Joshua Resnek announced the start of Respvblica.com, the first, credible virtual nation. At first, it will launch as a news and commentary site, offering some of the sharpest writing about issues people truly care about, or should.

Respvblica is proud to be joined by Keith Ablow, MD, the New York Times bestselling author and psychiatrist who has spent ten years as psychiatry Contributor for the Fox News Network. Keith is available to talk about this new online nation...
Ablow, you may know, is a famous crackpot, the inheritor of the tinfoil crown of Dr. Martin Abend from Fox's prescursor, WNEW-TV. The other guys, who knows; Resnek seems to be a Jews-for-the-GOP sort with a taste for culture war ("Jews claiming shock and horror at some of the things Donald Trump says do not claim shock and horror watching five love making sessions during a popular movie..."). Also, his name appears in some novels by Keith Ablow, probably as an inside joke; Resnek himself writes novels -- the promo for one tells us, "through finely wrought portraits of Iowa and Washington DC of that era and of himself as a lover, as an observer and as a close-up, real time participant in the war protests and the great rallies, he stirringly depicts an American social and political era and reveals the American pastiche in all its violence, emotion and irony." What more could you want (though maybe hold the himself-as-a-lover part)? As for Benjamin Poser, he's a mystery man; maybe he put up the starter money.

From the site's "Become a Citizen" pitch:
We live, after all, in an age of Jihad, when virulent ideas have been promulgated by entities which began without any land mass, but called themselves nations, nonetheless. What if our nation—Respvblica—also were free from the notion that a land mass is essential to nationhood?
Hell of a model, guys.
What if we invited people all over the world to remain citizens of the countries in which they live, while also holding dear their allegiance to a virtual nation that, as we grow, can offer them online learning about liberty, best in class legal representation to assert their rights to free speech and the pursuit of happiness, as well as the power of a growing citizenry to obtain preferred pricing on goods and services, all around the world?
It's like your survivalist treehouse, only cuh-lassy! The price of admission is -- how cute is this -- "$17.76 USD for the first 14 days, then $17.76 USD for each 30 days." That's for starters -- I expect there'll be Platinum Citizenships and such like as soon as it gets going. Something's got to pick up the slack from Respvblica's slow-moving Kickstarter, and it'll have to be you the sucker -- er, citizen!

The site itself, you will be unsurprised to learn, is hot garbage, with a heavy pro-Trump, kill-Palestinians focus. But remember, they're not selling the steak, they're selling the pizzle.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DREHER AND NOSTALGIA FOR GERMAN RACISM.

Wondering about AfD (Alternative for Deutschland), Germany’s entry in the international fun-fair of Fuhrer-phumphers? Here’s a nice rundown from Deutsche Welle, with some points of interest:

“When it was formed in 2013, the AfD's main thrust was its opposition to bail-outs of indebted European Union member states, like Greece. Its leader, Bernd Lucke, described it as a 'new type of party that was neither right- nor left-wing.'" (Hey — just like what our dummy journalists think about Trump now!)

“German border police should shoot at refugees entering the country illegally, the former co-chair of the AfD told a regional newspaper in 2016”;

“The AfD also sees itself as a defender of the traditional nuclear family model. It is anti-abortion and hostile to alternative lifestyles.”

Sounds pretty wingnutty, even by American standards. A piquant feature is that their current leader, Alice Weidel, is gay — not unheard-of among anti-untermenschen bigots; think of Pim Fortuyn and Ernst Röhm.

Ah, but longtime readers will know where I’m going with this — right to Rodland! Rod Dreher does the finger-on-chin, quizzically-cocked-hip musing thing on AfD. First, get a load of the Lolworthy header:



Ja, das ist eine Schwarze Frau!

As often, Dreher has loooong quotes from another source, this one claiming a German “Christian civil war” between Merkel’s CDU and the AfD neo-whatsits, in part because the CDU “saw eastern Germany as more open to “Asiatics.” “It’s a powerful charge,” says Dreher, “and I have no way of knowing whether or not it is true. But I’ll assume that it is.” LOL. Also, per the source:
…the CDU’s postwar leader, Konrad Adenauer, was a Catholic who attended mass faithfully. Subsequent leaders have been less and less pious. Angela Merkel is the least pious of them all…
Yeah, we’re in legitimate political science territory here, but Dreher is rapt. He is aware of the Head Lesbian in Charge, but seems to have found some wiggle room via something called Christians In The AfD, which equivocally gibbers at length that it's okay if it's for whiteness; Dreher, who Wants To Believe, observes, “maybe they believe it makes more sense to tolerate same-sex marriage (which is now a fact in Germany) within a larger context of the state working to support marriage in general. I don’t know… It’s in German, but I read it in translation via Chrome.” Again, LOL.

But then Dreher gets to the good stuff — White Supremacy, Deutsch edition (because it’s a good idea to support other nationalists’ Supremacies, in case you need their support in, for example, a World War):
In general, I believe that all nations have the right to determine their own character. If a historically Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist nation wanted to maintain its religious and civilizational character, they would have the right…
We don’t begrudge you darkskins if you want your own table at the campus union — why should you begrudge us our white nations?
…To the deracinated, globalizing liberal, it doesn’t really matter if the medieval church in the town center becomes a mosque or a disco, as long as procedural liberalism has been respected. This kind of thing gives lie to the claim that liberalism is neutral.
Christ is King is the neutral state — oh, if only the Inquisition were still around to show you libtards! Thereafter, more what-if-white-people-invaded-a-dark country bullshit, and this remarkable graf:
If you asked Western Christians if they would rather live in Christian Lagos or atheistic Berlin, I suppose most would choose Berlin. I would, or at least that’s what I think off the top of my head. It’s not simply because the standard of living is higher there. It’s also that despite the absence of Christianity, the culture is much more familiar. But consider this: Christian children raised in Lagos almost certainly have a much greater chance of retaining their Christianity into adulthood than children raised in Berlin. What profiteth it a man to raise his kids in all the order and comfort of the West, but watch them lose their souls? According to the logic of my own principles, I ought to choose Lagos over Berlin. And perhaps I would do so, after thinking about it.
Sure you would! Dreher, who’s always fucking off on European foodie vacations, pretending he’d go live in Lagos? Shit, he couldn’t even stick it in St. Francisville, Louisiana. The fucker has lived in Philly, Brooklyn, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, and has had three religions — he’s the very definition of a rootless cosmopolitan!

Then Dreher thinks about whether Christian refugees are bad for thinking of going to Germany where it’s less Christian than their native hellhole, and comes to this:
Hard, hard questions. If Germany loses her Christian faith, she may be persuaded in the future to return to it. But if Germany loses her distinctly German culture through mass immigration, there will be no going back. Obviously, the Hitler legacy makes these questions excruciatingly difficult for Germany — as well as hard for the rest of us, or at least it ought to make them hard — but that horrible legacy does not settle the questions.
I should fucking think the "Hitler legacy" -- that is, the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the Second World War -- settled those questions for good and all. But maybe hardcore Jesus people like Dreher have a more, let us say, transactional relationship with Nazism.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DAMNED LIBERAL OSCARS SNUBBED ROB SCHNEIDER AGAIN.

At rightwing ladymag Acculturated, Mark Tapson has written the ten millionth conservative complainer about how the artistic commissars are prejumadiced against them:
The culture leans sharply left, and in our current, highly-polarized political climate that means conservatives in the arts tend to be treated as outsiders at best and pariahs at worst. Listen to the personal experiences of conservatives in Hollywood, for example, whether “above the line” (the stars, producers and directors) or below it (the rest of the crew), and you will understand why most keep their politics in the closet to avoid bad vibes, ostracism, and/or outright hostility. The left, of course, dismisses complaints of blacklisting and bias as paranoid whining, but they are very real indeed.
Wow -- someone in Hollywood was hostile to you? Must be your politics!

Tapson has a more specific gripe, too: He claims the New York Times best-seller listings are cheating rightwing authors like Dinesh D'Souza of their proper rankings:
The Times says its list is based on “surveys” of “a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week. These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.”

Confidential context? Best assessment? Broadly popular? This sounds suspiciously unscientific and non-transparent, and does not address the evidence of the sales figures themselves. The once highly-regarded “newspaper of record” is notoriously leftist and D’Souza is a lightning rod for Progressive animosity, so the idea that there might be some manipulation of the list is not only not ludicrous, it’s likely.
This goes back to something I've been saying forever about wingnut whining -- for example, when they complain that Yale and Harvard are prejudiced against them, I always say: Why not quitcher bitchin' and instead make Bob Jones and Liberty University the intellectual lighthouses to which the best students flock? Then you won't need to worry about Yale and Harvard! Bypass the gatekeepers! Be the star you are!

Similarly, why worry about the Times rankings at all? (Shoot, Regnery doesn't -- they say they'll stop using the Times rankings in their marketing which, given their bulk-sales-to-gomers approach, probably won't make any difference.) Conservatives having been saying for decades that the Times is untrustworthy and irrelevant -- why not instead lobby for the New York Post, Breitbart et alia to have their own lists, and then you can all enthuse that D'Souza's Liberal Fascism for the Even Dumber is #1 on the American Thinker Best Seller List?

The answer's pretty obvious: These guys don't really believe what they say they believe. They don't want the path cleared so they can be judged by the wide world on their own merits. What they want are the glittering prizes their enemies dispense, because somewhere deep in their blackened little souls they burn with desire for the approbation of the people they spend their days raging against, like spurned teenage suitors. And, if they can't have the prizes, they can at least retain the boogiemen -- Hollyweird! Eggheads! Shut Up and Sing! -- that they and their yokel supporters can invoke whenever they feel like having a good cry about how persecuted they are.

For his coda, Tapson then tacks on another popular rightwing favorite: Let's Put on a Culture! (A nice one, not that entarte kunst those liberals do.)
The upshot is, it’s time for conservative artists to do more than complain about the culture bias; it’s time for us to -- first and foremost -- create great art (or none of the rest of it will matter), and secondly, create alternative distribution channels to disseminate it: magazines, networks, publishers, production companies, studios, awards shows, foundation grants, everything the left used to create the current infrastructure that favors its worldview.

The technology for this transformation is available. The funding is available (if only moneyed conservatives had the vision to use it effectively). All that’s necessary is the will.
Yep, all it takes is the will, and the endless, fruitless quest to get Rupert Murdoch to finance your hard-hitting dramedy about the Knockout Game. I hear this kind of thing a lot, and the payoff is nearly always a dud or a grift -- take the sad cases of Liberty Island and Declaration Entertainment. It's not that I think they can't do it; it's just that I think the real conservative artists are just making their art rather than boo-hooing about bias -- notwithstanding the former is much harder than the latter. Try to imagine Evelyn Waugh crying that the Labour Party was keeping him down.

I understand the emotions, but outside of ungovernable obsession I don't understand why they post and print so much about the subject in public where people can see it. I can see bitching at the liberal media if you're a politician -- it may convince your voters the stories they tell on you are false. But what's even the point of crying about how Big Artistry isn't fair to your play, book or film when your readers probably only ever watch Game of Thrones and Clint Eastwood movies, and only ever pick up a book to smash flies? Maybe it's an easy space-filler for when one of their propagandists calls in sick.

UPDATE. I realize that quoting wingnut comboxes is the lowest form of comedy but I ain't too proud for it when the lulz are this good: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit aggregates the story and her commenters are -- well, look how some cowboys answered "Is it Time for Conservatives to Create an Alternate Culture?"


Go over there and look, it's hilair. Sample: "I thought conservatives already had an alternative culture. I thought it was called church."

Monday, September 11, 2017

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about how the brethren reacted to Trump's deal with Pelosi and Schumer -- with a special guest appearance by the Lamestream Media!

I regret I didn't have more space for Jonah Goldberg, who in addition to the see-I-told-you-he-was-a-Democrat dumbness complained that the Republican Congress couldn't do anything because Trump was blocking them by being a bad leader: “Even under the best circumstances, major legislation cannot get out of Congress without robust presidential leadership,” he protested. “I wish it were otherwise, because Congress is the first branch of government and should take the lead. But in the modern era, you can’t outsource the big stuff to Congress.”

This is funny because, waaaay back in June of 2017, Goldberg saw things very differently: while “for decades, under Republican and Democratic presidents and Republican and Democratic majorities, Congress has been a feckless doormat for the president,” he said then, Trump’s being a bad leader meant McConnell and Ryan “have had to step up, filling a breach that began under Woodrow Wilson and became a chasm at the end of the Obama years,” and in consequence “the system isn't breaking down, it's finally starting to work as intended.”

Luckily for Goldberg, his readers can’t remember much further back than their last visit to the gerontologist.

Friday, September 08, 2017

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



These guys don't get enough play.

•   The only products for which demand never relents, even during natural disasters, are water, bread, milk, and guns, apparently. I thank Media Matters for pointing out that conservatives are now frothing because the government of the Virgin Islands, threatened by Hurricane Irma, issued an order allowing the authorities to seize guns during the impending emergency. The governor says it's to supplement government ordnance at a crucial time, but the NRA knows what it's really about: The thin end of the statist wedge! "This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk," says NRA executive director Chris W. Cox, and Tucker Carlson brought on NRA rageclown Dana Loesch to yell about it. "It really is confirmation that the pro-Second Amendment people have a right to be paranoid about gun registration!" cries Carlson; later in the broadcast he repeats that said people are not paranoid, as if he realized this were a thought that might flash through some of his less effectively brainwashed viewers' minds. I wish I could figure out a way to convince them that the Goldurn Gummint wants the death tax paid in firearms, so these idiots can do shows and op-eds about how corpses will be left defenseless against grave-robbers without their shooting irons.

•   The Republicans in Congress are supposed to be mad at Trump for cutting a deal with the Democrats to delay the debt ceiling crisis by three months. Ha! Most of them voted for this deal. Also, the GOP are still holding up their end of what we may call the Grand Bargain:
GOP again moves to help keep Trump’s tax returns secret 
...[Democratic Congressman Bill] Pascrell, who's measure demanded Trump’s personal and business returns, argued, “How can we debate tax reform proposals without seeing the president’s tax returns? […] Congress has the authority and the duty to obtain and review President Trump’s tax returns to ensure there are no potential conflicts of interest in the tax policies he is proposing.” 
This, evidently, did not prove persuasive. The Ways and Means Committee voted 21 to 14 to reject the New Jersey Democrat’s motion, which would’ve directed the Treasury Department to provide the documents to Congress, with literally zero Republicans breaking ranks.
What have I been telling you for months now? Notwithstanding the smokescreen of the debt ceiling: Trump gives them the policies they crave, and in return the Republicans let him grift. If you find what's happening on Capitol Hill confusing, just remind yourself of that.