Dé Sathairn, Samhain 22, 2008

And Michelle Malkin Thinks You're a Newborn Hamster Blind Subretard

A gay man sued e-harmony for discrimination. Michelle Malkin is upset about it, and was kind enough to name him so that her minions may subject him to righteous Christian harassment.

"New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks -- heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide."

To be clear: eHarmony never, ever refused to do business with anyone. The company broke no laws.

It is typical for conservatives to throw in the "private, law-abiding" adverb when defending corporate behavior. The thing is that this is demonstrably false in this case. It is illegal to discriminate against potential customers based on sexuality in California and New Jersey. Malkin's villain of the week wouldn't have had a case if E-Harmony was completely "law-abiding". Nor would Malkin have anything to be outraged about.

"Neil Warren, eHarmony's founder, is a gentle, grandfatherly businessman who launched his popular dating site to support heterosexual marriage. A "Focus on the Family" author with a divinity degree, Warren encourages healthy, lasting unions between men and women of all faiths, mixed faiths or no faith at all."

This paragraph is pure stroke-inducing absurdity. Why does Malkin go through so much trouble to convince us that Warren is a good, "grandfatherly" man. That is of no relevance to anything. He either discriminated against gays or he did not. His level of grandfatherlyness is worth precisely two wet shits to the issue at hand. It is terribly sad to know that this was written by a grown, educated woman, using the argument tactics of a weeping ten year old girl caught wearing lipstick. 'But I'm a good girl mommy!! I love you so much!!'

I also loved the assertion that trolling an online dating site is a perfectly natural and healthy way to find the love of ones life. (As long as it's straight) One wonders what Malkin has to say about the Christian grandfatherly wholesomeness of Russian bride dealers, or this guy from Denver:


This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a rib-eye, or a female patient suing a vasectomy doctor for not providing her hysterectomy services.

Um. No. While straight sex and gay sex may be fundamentally different from each other (Though not necessarily so. 'Hitting it from the back' is, after all, a perfectly common practice among straight couples.) the shell game of finding a date is fundamentally the same no matter what one is looking for. A better metaphor would be a grocery store that sells nothing but meat because the store owner has an imaginary friend in the sky that tells him not to cater to vegetarians.

"The company agreed not only to offer same-sex dating services on a new site, but also to offer six-month subscriptions for free to 10,000 gay users, pay McKinley $5,000 and fork over $50,000 to New Jersey's Civil Rights division "to cover investigation-related administrative costs." Oh, and that's not all. Yield, yield to the grievance-mongers:"

The woman who sees thinks wearing a checkered scarf is a show of support for terrorism complains about 'grievance-mongers'. Too easy, let's move on.

I have enormous sympathy for eHarmony, whose attorney explained that they gave in to the unfair settlement because "litigation outcomes can be unpredictable." The recent mob response to the passage of Proposition 8, the traditional marriage measure in California, must have also weighed on eHarmony management's minds. But capitulation will only yield a worse, entirely predictable outcome: more shakedowns of private businesses that hold views deemed unacceptable by the Equality-at-All-Costs Brigade.

Perhaps heterosexual men and women should start filing lawsuits against gay dating websites and undermine their businesses. Coerced tolerance and diversity-by-fiat cut both ways.

'If you continue to force straight dating sites to expand their customer base and increase their profits we just might force you to do the same. Just you wait.' You know, I do remember a time when I was somewhat scared of these folk. Seems a thousand centuries ago.


Dé hAoine, Samhain 21, 2008

Thomas Sowell Thinks You're Stupid

A longtime supply-side economist and esteemed member of the eternal right-wing think tank circle jerk, Sowell spent much of the presidential campaign stating the common circle-jerk line that Barrack Obama had no major accomplishments in his life. While the old canard that you're nobody unless you're giving orders to somebody else is a foundational tenet of conservatism, the "no accomplishments" line seemed especiallyodd coming from Sowell, who, like the pre-political Obama, accomplished most of his life's work in the academic realm, with its modicum of sycophants and mere six-figure salary. If being president of the Harvard Law Review is "accomplishing nothing" than surely being a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution (Dedicated to making right-wing academics stop whining since 1919) at that pitiful cow college Stanford is accomplishing less than nothing.

In his latest column, Sowell turns to another old righty mainstay; the idea that government entitlements and decadent pop culture has made Americans less mentally tough than we used to be. Specifically, Sowell bemoans a "right to win" and a supposed increase in sore-loserhood, and while he certainly should know all about that he somehow fails to make a convincing argument. Let's look at some of the highlights.

"Hillary Clinton's supporters were not merely disappointed, but outraged, when she lost the Democrats' nomination to Barack Obama. Some took it as a sign that, while racial barriers had come down, the "glass ceiling" holding down women was still in place.
Apparently, if you don't win, somebody has put up a barrier or a ceiling. The more obvious explanation of the nomination outcome was that Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary. There is not the slightest reason to doubt that she would have been the nominee if the votes in the primaries had come out her way."

True. There is not the slightest reason to doubt that Hillary Clinton would have won if she would have won, and as for Clinton supporters being outraged; well, maybe at first, for a little while. But it does seem as if the unbridgeable gulf between Obama Democrats and Clinton Democrats that right-wing pundits (and a reality-show era media unable to explain anything in terms other than conflict) assured us was there in a great orgy of wishful thinking was in fact bunk. That Sowell is still able to believe that there are fuming Clinton supporters somewhere, waiting with the most extreme patience to enact their revenge, shows the true power of the think tank bubble. Not even electoral reality gets through.

"As the election approached, pundits warned that, if Obama lost, there would be riots in the ghetto. We will never know. But since when does any candidate have a right to win any office, much less the White House?"

And other pundits pointed out that the pundits who warned of chaos if Obama lost were prissy morons whose knowledge of the "hood" was wholly derived from early 90's action films. This is just the first third of the column, and so far Sowell has set up his premise by citing an angry electoral faction that does not exist and unprovable fear-mongering by unnamed pundits. It's a true wonder why he dignifies the nonsense with the written word. Just give him a radio mike and let him duke it out with his schizophrenic strawmen along with the rest of that crowd.

"The worst of all the reactions from people who act as if they have a right to win have come from gay activists in the wake of voter rejection of so-called "gay marriage," which is to say, redefining what marriage has meant for centuries."

That's Sowell's photo up top. You surely noticed that he is a black man, as did I; and I much say it is rather strange to see him insinuate that a human institution that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years must be good, and well, that's all I'll say about that. Also note the use of the old "redefining" shell game in regards to gay marriage. How it is that a monogamous gay union is more of a radical departure from the imaginary norm of a monogamous hetero union than, say, hetero polygamy is never explained.

"Blacks who just happened to be driving through Westwood, near UCLA, were accosted in their cars and, in addition to being denounced, were warned, 'You better watch your back.'

Even blacks who were carrying signs in favor of gay marriage were denounced with racial epithets."

Sowell leaves a great deal of information missing here. How many epithets? What percentage of the protesters were engaging in such abhorrent behavior? Is there some sort of black vs. gay West Side Story about to go down? Or was it a tiny number of jackasses letting off stream? Afterwards to be passed through the right-wing echo chamber until the amen chorus was convinced that this was the typical behavior of all of the anti prop-8 protesters.

"In Michigan, an evangelical church service was invaded and disrupted by gay activists, who also set off a fire alarm, because evangelicals had dared to exercise their right to express their opinions at the polls."

Puerile and childish. But pulling a fire alarm is something less than a menacing threat to speech, don't you think?

"In Oakland, California, a mob gathered outside a Mormon temple in such numbers that officials shut down a nearby freeway exit for more than three hours."

Sowell reaches a moral low with his emotionally loaded language here. It is in fact perfectly normal for police to temporarily close streets (Yes, that's right. Even on-ramps!) whenever "mobs" are exercising their First Amendment rights.

In their midst was a San Francisco Supervisor who said 'The Mormon church has had to rely on our tolerance in the past, to be able to express their beliefs." He added, "This is a huge mistake for them. It looks like they've forgotten some lessons.'
Apparently Mormons don't have the same rights as other Americans, at least not if they don't vote the way gay activists want them to vote.

Well as a matter of fact, the Mormon Church (Which I assert speaks for itself and not its followers) has more rights than we do. They are able to spend money advocating for a political measure in a state hundreds of miles from its power base without having to save a dime for taxes as the rest of us do. They are a religion, after all, and thus extra-political.

As for the quote above; where, exactly, is the threat? Has Sowell learned nothing about Bay Area history at Stanford? In 1845 a group of New York Mormons decided so sail around the Americas in a ship called "Brooklyn" in order to take the shorter route to Utah from the West Coast, and guess what major West Coast port is roughly parallel to Salt Lake City? The emigrants of the Brooklyn were treated kindly by San Franciscans, they met none of the violent discrimination of the east. They were fed, rested, and treated for any sea-related maladies.

Now we have the Mormon Church's support of prop. 8, which is a slap in the face of a famously large amounts of San Franciscans. The tolerance of San Francisco has indeed been betrayed. Though I suppose it isn't the first time that this wonderful city has been vilified and spat upon, simply for living the American ideal, by those who have no clue what the freedom they spout about actually is.

"In the past, gay activists have disrupted Catholic services and their "gay pride" parades in San Francisco have crudely mocked nuns."

There's a good chance that these are the fellows that Sowell has in mind; the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Simply shocking, isn't it? A room full of felons joking about prom night could not possibly be as crude or disgusting as men dressed as nuns.
My God the depravity has driven me blind.

"How did we get to this kind of situation?
With all the various groups who act as if they have a right to win, we got to the present situation over the years, going back to the 1960s, where the idea started gaining acceptance that people who felt aggrieved don't have to follow the rules or even the law.
"No justice, no peace!" was a slogan that found resonance.

One more old right-wing standby for road. America's social problems are rooted in the protests of the sixties. Except no, Tommy, that's utter nonsense. The practice of people breaking the law out of a sense of aggrievement is much older than the nineteen sixties, and is hardly confined to those on the left or those trying to change the status quo. When I think of the sort of behavior that Sowell describes, my thoughts turn towars murderous union-busting, pogroms and race riots, corporations disregarding environmental rules, churches covering up sexual abuse, and presidents exaggerating threats to start dynastic wars.

But that's just me.

When the majority of the people become like sheep, who will tolerate intolerance rather than make a fuss, then there is no limit to how far any group will go.

I don't believe that Thomas Sowell is a homophobe, I really don't. No, what he is is a conservative in the most honest sense of the word; a man who lacks the emotional strength to accept that his own society is neither his God or his Daddy, but simply human. As a human society it is inevitably flawed, not by the powerless and outcast at the bottom, but from the rarefied list of surrogate fathers (for those addicted to surrogate fathers) who reign at the top.

So no, Sowell is not a homophobe, at least not primarily. His main prejudice is against the rebel, the boat rocker, in a word, the essential American, who dares to fill his mind with insufferable doubt. Sowell's final paragraph, in which he derides the majority of his countrymen as "sheep" and insinuates that we must "make a fuss" to prevent the boat rockers from doing unspeakable things, is far more menacing than any of the incidents he lists in his column. To look the status quo in the eye and say "fuck you" is the most human and vivacious thing that a person can experience, and to Thomas Sowell this is the way to madness.

Pathetic. A dried husk, willfully drained of his vitality by an assuring Levathian, feebly swats at the demons of his mind.


Dé Céadaoin, Samhain 19, 2008

Kill Bill is The Defining Movie of The Decade (Bear With Me on This)

There have been some who have dismissed the philosophical elements of "Kill Bill" as mere gimmick and flash, and there is in fact some truth to this. It is clear in watching the film that that director Quintin Tarantino spent most of his energy on making sure that the fight scenes and the backgrounds looked cool, and just how morally ambiguous could this movie be; considering that once Beatrix Kiddo has finished her mission of slaughtering a hundred people or so she is every bit as self-satisfied as Rambo or Colonel Braddock?

But though the ambiguity is often shoved to the background there are many key points in the film where it bubbles hotly to the surface, and though Tarantino has always been about flash and style above all else, his understanding of humanity is just as keen as any more sober auteur.

Who is Beatrix Kiddo? At the beginning of the story she is simply "The Bride"(Though the name 'Kiddo' is cleverly hidden in plain sight) a woman with no family and seemingly no history, marrying an average man, (with the overtly average name of Tommy Plympton) she doesn't love chiefly to provide stability to her unborn child, whom she has deluded Plympton into thinking was his.

Towards the end of the film, Kiddo admits to Bill that she had no hope that the marriage would work. It is only through blood sacrifice that Plympton is able to fulfill the main social role of a spouse, i.e. to provide a common identity and base for interacting with the wider world.

It is only after "The Bride" is savaged and the wedding party butchered that she gets a name. She awakens from a coma in some anonymous hospital after four years of being the victim of periodic rape, without even as much human interaction that comes with screaming or begging for mercy. Kiddo awakens lost, confused, atrophied, completely driftless. It is only after she defends herself from another would be rapist and long time tormentor "Chuck" that Kiddo gains some sense of direction. She gradually trains herself to use her own legs again, commanders Chucks "Pussy Wagon" and draws up the hit list of her former lover and colleagues, the only people who know her to be Beatrix Kiddo.

Who is Beatrix Kiddo? She is, both to herself and the world, the enemy of her enemies, and nothing else. When "Kill Bill" does delve into ethics it is typically to observe how hollow such an identity is. Observe the scene between Budd and Elle Driver when he asks her if she is now disappointed without her arch-enemy.

It is significant that the two volumes of "Kill Bill" came out in 2003 and 2004, when American society was beginning to show faint signs of recovering form it's post-9/11 shock. It was not yet enough to prevent the re-election of poor George Bush. Bush (or at least his handlers) is very much like Terantino's Bill; the Dark Father, one who uses his powers of emotional perception to command loyalty and love by inspiring his followers to lose themselves and submit to his personal ambition.
Such is the condition of the ultimate follower, the subject. The battered wife, the man willfully oppressed by some dictatorial regime, and the terrorist fanatic are all one in the same. The subject will suffer anything rather than return to the weakness and mortality of the self.

It's easy to see how a Bill or any number of real life Dark Fathers could flourish in the criminal underground. The Dark Father thrives in any environment where blood is routine. But human will is stronger than outward signs would suggest, and a routinely violent world is the only one in which the Dark Father flourishes. The power of European kings gradually began to wilt as war and chaos became gradually more occasional. As 9/11 continued to pass into the distance,and the failures of the Bush administration became more undeniable, it was only a matter of time before the absurd cult of Dark Father Bush, Dark Father as common man* began to fall apart.

(*As opposed to the more typical Dark Father, one who is refined and somewhat otherworldly, a Bill type.)

As the shock and trauma continued to dissipate, Americans became horribly aware that we were being cheated of the country that had been promised us. The nation that invented airflight, perfected spaceflight, cured polio, harnessed electricity, resurrected democracy, and became the arbiter of culture for the whole developed world; was now the enemy of its enemies, and nothing else. The right wing's vision of America was composed chiefly of the grim pseudo-morality of Manichaeism. America was good because it fought evil. Evil was evil because it fought America.
Stem cells, clean burning cars, college education for the general populace. All these were distractions at best and Satanic voodoo at worst. There is time only to steal ourselves for the eternal fight.

There will always be thugs and fools in any society that see nothing wrong with this. Incapable of understanding the glory that comes with passing new medicines, technologies, or new ideas to future generations of total strangers, they understand only the glory of using brute force to crush the Other. They sit in their glass and metal box churches, freed from thought by the VH1 theatrics of the stage, praying God to never forget his children, exhorting him to always send more enemies.

Their day is done. They were never anything more than a tool for the Dark Father, and now he is dead. What better metaphor could there be for a Sarah Palin rally than the defeated Elle Driver, flailing about a ravaged trailer, sustained only by blind rage.

Those who wonder how the supposedly unelaborated slogans of hope and change could have inspired so many need only watch the closing credits of "Kill Bill" as a radiant Beatrix Kiddo rides with her daughter, free from the identity of enemies, free to create herself, free to create her life, to create, love, and live. Life is what most people will always choose whenever death is not the default, and I will never abide those who say that the fact that the latter is more typical is proof that it is our eternal destiny.

Dé Domhnaigh, Samhain 16, 2008

Random Thought For the Day

There are those who think that a hatred for evil is a natural extension of a love for good, and that to lack a visceral reaction to human malevolence betrays a lack of appreciation for what is good.

The truth is exactly opposite. Love for good and hatred for evil are wholly independent of and unrelated to each other. Indeed, those who pride themselves on hating murderers or terrorists more than other people usually do so out of fear that a true love of virtue would make them appear weak or effeminate.

In order to know that murder is wrong, one must first know why life is good. Life is not good because of the perceived glory that comes with fighting and punishing evil, it is good precisely because of the amoral pleasures and vulnerabilities that fearless defenders typically scorn.

The only justice is to act kindly towards those around you without regard for who they are and what they do or do not deserve. The virtue of my actions are determined only by themselves. Who I act upon is of no consequence. I will defend myself when necessary but I will always remember that there is no more virtue or value in self-defense than there is in any other biological process.

The man who howls for the blood of a murderer or terrorist "out of respect for the victims" is a nihilist and a thug. Negative morality does not exist, period. If the essence of good is opposition to evil, than there is no difference between good and evil. There are only different jersey colors, justified by nothing.

And this is why I will take care to be perfectly civil towards murderers, rapists, nihilists, and thugs.

Déardaoin, Samhain 13, 2008

Tasty Inn

Would I be so terribly out of line to suggest that a local institution is actually inferior to a national fast-food chain? Tasty Inn is cute and all, what with the drive through window on the wrong side of the car and the smell of two day old unmopped grease in the interior, it's just that it has nothing to recommend it. Even their trademark, the Tastee chips, are nothing you couldn't get with Tostedos and onion dip. Beyond the chips the menu offers a chicken sandwich that tastes like grease, a fish sandwich that tastes like grease, a hot dog that tastes like grease, and a steak sandwich that tastes like grease.

The later took quite a bit of work. I like steak sandwiches. There's something about taking a medium-well steak, and putting it between bread that just works. Plus I'm a big condiment man, living in a part of the country where a taste for meat is equated with masculinity in a wholly rational and not at all homoerotic way. Putting A1 or what have you on a piece of steak is generally frowned upon; as real men are perfectly satisfied with the taste of pure beef flavor exploding in their mouths. So take a steak and make it a steak sandwich and suddenly it becomes socially acceptable to put a little sauce on it.

The hunk of meat I got at the Tastee Inn tasted vaguely beefish but could have been most anything. It had the look of generic fried flesh. It was not chicken fried steak, that has some flavor to it. No, I believe they simply take cuts of steak and throw them into a deep-fat fryer. Scandalous. The first bite of one of these sandwiches makes one feel like one has been up for three days turning favors in a truck stop bathroom.

A man next to me is checking his Myspace under the handle "Texas Vampire."

Dé Céadaoin, Samhain 12, 2008

You Must be Joking.

"They always said, ‘You think race relations are bad here in France, check out the U.S.,’ said Mohamed Hamidi, former editor of the Bondy Blog, founded after the 2005 riots in the heavily immigrant suburbs of Paris."
New York Times; 11/12/08

As regular readers of this blog may know, I am a dyed-in-the-wool left-wing bohemian drug-addled wretch. I am what professional wordsmith Dan Fuerbach has dubbed Amerotrash, and it goes without saying that there are many things I admire about Europe; relaxed sexual mores, tolerance for midday drinking, Dante, Goethe, Nietzsche, Kafka, Bergman, Bunuel, Goya, Magritte, Joyce, Herzog, Vinnie Jones, Rasputin, Ravaillac, etc.

Nonetheless I am still fundamentally American at heart,so I know cultural arrogance when I see it, and am rarely surprised by it, especially when it comes from the French. But I couldn't help but to be floored by the quote above. I have no problem conceding that American race relations have been as bad as France's or Europe's in general, but WORSE?

You're kidding right?

Dé Luain, Samhain 10, 2008

Too Late In The Day For Coffee

I'll have to take my Sailor Jerry's with hot tea. I also found some opium that I had been missing. God but I love early winter nihilism. Give me the glint of neon Santa Claus over black ice mixed with the police lights arresting a drug fiend outside of mother's house. Make it someone my cousin knows but not me. Make my uncles angrier, fatter and dumber, make the seventy-year-old chain smokers at the North Platte VFW more invincible, make the mid-afternoon sky duller and more sullen on cold sunny days, make the neighborhood unlivable, make a gallon of gas last a week and a bottle of Sailor Jerry's last a day.

I bought the LP of the "Purple Rain" soundtrack for seventy five cents at the thrift store today along with a pair of generic thrift store gloves that match nothing I own.
A record player is something else I don't own. The coffee pot is relatively new.

Dé Luain, Samhain 03, 2008

Hello There

G. Gordon Liddy here, posing with a machine gun in front of a bikini-clad woman to remind you that the entire conservative movement is built upon middle-aged white men with the sort of masculine insecurities that a twelve-year-old boy would be ashamed to admit to. Don't you think it's high time to put us to bed?