Dé Sathairn, Eanáir 31, 2009

With The Super Bowl Coming Up

I've always thought that if I was a dictator I would have my enemies raped in large stadiums during sporting events. But then again maybe it would be more effective to send my goons to their homes so that they could be raped in front of their children.

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 30, 2009

More Reaganism Post-Mortum

an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

Never mind those elitist dictionary writers who be tryin to tell us what English is an ain't. Here's a Real American definition of what capitalism and socialism be.

Capitalism.- Cutting taxes on anything is always good.

Socialism- Raising taxes on anything, in any economic situation, for any reason, ever.

"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." So saith Lord Regan, and in so saying the man was able to build a political coalition of Great Deciders that lasted for twenty five years. "Not all conservatives are stupid people, but most stupid people are conservatives." So saith John Stuart Mill, and while I gladly admit to being intemperate at times, I must say this is rather a bit harsh, or at least oversimplified.

The most distinctive trait of being human is to seek and desire to know moral truth, and for many of us this desire becomes an all-consuming obsession. Such people typically become dogmatists. They convince themselves that they have discovered a great moral Truth that is as tangible and objective as physical truth, and that anyone who disagrees with THE TRUTH is either hopelessly ignorant or knowingly rebelling against the obvious TRUTH. For a select few not even this level of moral certainty is enough. Not only must there be an objective absolute TRUTH, but this TRUTH must be constantly in mortal peril. Even the most mundane decisions and wondering semi-conscious fancies exist only as tests to determine whether one truly accepts the TRUTH or not. Every firing synapse decides the philosophical foundation of one's life, over and over again.

In order to take one's desire for clarity to such lengths, it certainly helps to be stupid, but it's not absolutely necessary. An overdeveloped sense of romance will do. Nor does such an impulse necessarily lead to conservatism; but with its emphasis
on tradition, religion, institutions, and conveniently pre-determined social roles, it's easy to see why conservatism holds greater appeal for the TRUTH warriors. Apply the ideal of constantly endangered TRUTH to the subject of taxation, and what you end up with is "Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes."

Now imagine how the TRUTH warrior would react if we were to drop him into the late 20th century United States, a time when the paper-thin WASP social consensus was being slowly ground to dust. Oppressed ethnic groups were asserting their places at the table, Protestant notions of sexual morality were being more and more openly sneered at, immigrants from more and more corners of the globe were coming in at ever-accelerating rates. The idea that American national identity was based on the Renaissance Europe model: where common language, dress, cuisine, ritual etc., was the only thing to distinguish one feudal Christian state from the other, was being ever more undeniably exposed as the lie it has always been. Any TRUTH warrior living in such a time and place would understandably be confused, and right-wing commentators to this day are perfectly open in their belief that doubt and confusion are the worst things a person can possibly experience. Enter anger. Enter talk radio.

For no particular reason I had my radio tuned to KLIN this morning while Laura Ingraham interviewed former Reagan staff member Bruce Bartlett. Bartlett was there to answer for his apostasy that conservatives should learn to accept such programs as Social Security and Medicaid. To those of us who care more about correctly perceiving reality than knowing the TRUTH this is nothing but the wisdom of experience. Recall how W. first started to lose his monarchical grip of the country when he tried to touch SOS. For one thing his top priority for what to expend "political capital" on revealed that not even the White House truly believed that Al-Quida was a more dire threat than Hitler, and so must be the only thing the nation focuses on. On a more basic level the attempt to privatize Social Security failed because people like it, and as the population grows older and sicker, people are going to like both SOS and Medicaid even more.

Bartlett tried to explain how Regan's famous 1981 tax cuts were gradually trimmed in half over the course of his term, either to keep Social Security afloat or to meet some other government obligation. Why he had to explain this may seem strange to you. It may perfectly obvious to you that, while taxes can indeed be too high, society needs a government to provide for defense, roads, legal protection, some means of attaining and measuring private property etc, and said government needs to pay for itself somehow. You probably feel insulted by even reading this paragraph. I mean it's not as if this is some high falluting concept out of Plato's dialogues, this is second grade social studies. Surely there is no American political movement which claims that the best way to run a 21st century empire is to reject what was perfectly obvious to the Mesopotamians. Well fuck you buddy, you don't know The TRUTH.

Ingraham was of course apoplectic. When Bartlett tried to point out that people will not stand to see their parents and grandparents impoverished, Ingraham said something along the lines of 'I can't believe that you're using that old liberal scare tactic of Grandma eating dog food.' Never mind that this 'scare tactic' is based on real-life examples from the pre-New Deal depression. Cue Stephen Colbert.) A caller berated Bartlett with something like 'reducing taxes raises revenue, what do you not understand about that?' ( It is indeed an easy concept to understand. So blissfully, erotically easy to understand.) Bartlett asked if that logic should be extended to reducing tax rates to zero and called the statement 'idiotic.'(Just when Chuck Hagel retires and I thought I'd never hear an honest Republican again) this prompted Ingraham to manfully defend her caller and berate Bartlett some more.

If there is anything that has held the conservative movement together more than morbid obsession with the gayness, it is its hatred of taxation. The incoherent mixture of a constant need for authoritarian Great Fathers and hatred of "government". Ever since the passage of prop 13 in California,(Which required a 2/3 vote in both houses of the legislature to raise property taxes, thus making a tax hike officially more radical than impeaching the governor.) this knee-jerk against paying state bills revealed that the bitter stew that became Reaganism was not the tough-love conservatism of Edmund Burke or Cicero. Something darker was going on. There was a fundamental meanness to this, a proud childishness. This was the behavior of people who felt jilted. People who, by virtue of race or adherence to old mores or some other irrational reason, had been led to believe that American society was personally theirs and no one else's. Now their voices were being diminished for reasons they couldn't comprehend. They looked about them to find a country where so much was happening without their consent or approval. So they picked up their toys, marched off to their suburban corners, and refused to play with anyone else.

An entire generation who were happy to accept the prestige that came with being citizens of a great empire while angrily denouncing any suggestion that this came with responsibilities. The decline of great cities was blamed on the crimes of a few that lived there. Poverty excused with old wives tales about crack babies and Cadillac queens. My own birth into humanity at its zenith, and the promise that came with that, betrayed by those who claim to love this country more then I. The history books are already damning your truth, and whatever God there may be has already done so from the beginning.

Dé Máirt, Eanáir 27, 2009

For In These Days There Is no Ernie Chambers, Every Man Does What He Thinks Best.

Mark Christensen, Christian supremacist state senator for the profoundly sociopathic berg of Imperial, has a problem with eastern licentiousness, and is trying to pass a bill that would, among other things, prevent strippers from showing their damnation udders after 11PM, and would forbid "adult-themed businesses" from operating within a quarter-mile of a school, day-care center, playground facility, residence, or church." Since every municipality that isn't some western Nebraska Thunderdome has at least one of these facilities within every quarter mile of space it takes up, it is quite obvious that the bill is a backhanded attempt to ban strip clubs and porn shops altogether.

I remember the days when Christensen was a Unicam rookie. He was downright cute back then, what with his aww-shucks attempt to legalize roadside bear traps and gosh-darnit gushing to the Journal Star about the Aryaness of his children. He was just a kid having fun out there. But I suppose it was only a matter of time before he up and did something truly stupid, it was only a question of how soon. Quite frankly I was expecting him to call for restricting public office to those who baptize their children with prairie dog gore by now, but this is perfectly stupid enough.

But perhaps I'm being too harsh on the man. He does after all come from a part of the world where AM radio is still considered to be the great marvel of mass communication. Christensen's bill is a solid twenty years too late even by right-wing standards. In fact it might be enough to inspire "Right-Wing 80's Night" at The Bricktop. They could play heavy metal records backward while mumbling about infant sacrifice. Rewards would be given out for "best ethnic underclass inner-city boogeyman costume" and tip jars could be replaced by "donations to the freedom fighters in Nicaragua." It would truly be a magnificent time for all.

The retroness of Christensen's anti-porn bill is made all the stranger by the fact that he has a website that he himself seems to have personally written on. http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_blogs.php?SenatorID=68

I find it hard to believe that the senator has never given in to the temptation to Google "humble Christian Women who desire nothing but to be good Christian wives, mothers, and homemakers, but are still totally down with hot lesbian pussy if that's what their men want them to do" But just in case Christensen has indeed never given in to such an impulse, allow me to give some examples for why his bill is a hopeless anachronism.

Go get pegged you podunk WASP shitheel bastard.

Dé Domhnaigh, Eanáir 25, 2009

Jesus Christ Superstar

Ever Since "JCS" first appeared as a double-LP in 1970, there have been many who have noticed that the opera's non-believing composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, nonetheless adhered too a couple of nefarious old Passion Play conventions; namely the "gay Herod" and the "conflicted Pilate", that don't mesh up with the available historical record.

The "conflicted Pilate" is based mainly on John's account of Jesus' trial and condemnation. It was written at the time of the definitive split between Judaism and Christianity, a split that was as nasty as relations between the two faiths have been ever since; and the fact of the matter is that the vacillating governor of dramatic tradition simply doesn't gel with the historical record of the actual Pilate. The admittedly sketchy accounts of the man depict him as a ruthless bastard with no qualms over crucifying the innocent.

"His blood shall be on us and on our children!" Has this ever struck you as a terribly odd thing for an angry mob to spontaneously shout out? When the conflicted Pilate washes his hands he does so for all of Rome and all of the nations of Europe and North America that were spawned by it. The conflicted Pilate serves to rationalize antisemitism, and more importantly serves to wrest ownership of Christianity away from its birthplace and place it firmly in the hands of the Caucasian West. Jesus Christ was a member of a conquered race, executed by an outside imperial power in a manner meant to squash all cries for self-determination and allow Rome to spread its "superior civilization" unimpeded. The United States is just the latest in a long line of imperial Western powers that should be very glad that Pilate has washed his hands for us. No need to worry about where the blame for the death of Jesus lies. The savage natives killed one of their own because they lack our advanced sense of mercy.

Equally false and pernicious is the gay Herod. The real life Herod Antipas was more enamored with vagina than a Catholic schoolgirl is with her own, yet the bastard daughter of Freddie Mercury depicted in "Superstar" is part of a dramatic tradition that goes back centuries. Magnificent gayness and catty skepticism are blended so that it becomes difficult to tell one from the other, which is exactly the point. If you share my habit of lurking on right-wing evangelical message boards you will find that it is still common to accuse non-believers of homosexuality, not because of any swishy personality traits of this or that atheist, but because atheism itself is perceived as inherently gay. Non-religious people are, of course, disinclined to believe in divinely mandated gender roles, and so are much less likely to be bothered by those who deviate from traditional gender roles.

Male supremacy ordained by God The Father is the only justification for male privilege based on anything more than undisguised thuggery, and equating rejection of male privilege with rejection of manhood itself has always been the means of keeping men with a rebellious streak or overdeveloped sense of fairness in line. To deny the Sky Father who sows the seeds of all creation is to castrate yourself.

But where was I? Oh yes. "Jesus Christ Superstar" featuring cinematic o.g. Ted Neely in the title role, was in Lincoln last night, and it was really good, even great. The thing about it though is that, in spite of knowing better, I couldn't stop myself from expecting epically badass. Neely can still wail, but is clearly aging, James Delisco had fire as Judas, but was just a little off in conveying the delusion and frustrated intelligence of a budding sociopath. Cristina Sass nearly atones for all of the small flaws as a perfectly fine Mary Magdalene.

The music was a bit over polished throughout. One of the things that makes "JCS" so enduring is that Webber and Rice were able to do rock far better than any of the gaggle of art-rock dweebs from the same era were able to do opera. The composers understood 70s funk and psychedelia well enough to know just what snaps, pops, and snarls would give the precise emotional cues to the players. The music of the original LP is dirty, brimming with menace, lust, anger, and the bitter poison of accepting fate. It is in the soundtrack where the nonbelievers' Jesus lies and adherence to old conventions becomes the stuff of academic twaddle. This is the music of jungle ritual, the dance that symbolizes our abusive love affair with death. None of this going home to God shit. This is music for fucking the black.

But anyway, I just wasn't getting that from the music of the show, and I don't know whether this is because the producers were overly-reverent or because of my own hyper-familiarity with every note. My mother was thirteen when the vinyl version of "JCS" was pressed,and her teenage enthusiasm for the work was passed on to me. I've lobbied to have the discs, leather album cover and all, passed on to me through her will, and I really don't think she has any choice in the matter.

Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 21, 2009

Chicago on Obama Day

I drove the Dan Ryan during rush hour and thus achieved the long-elusive final step of manhood. Granted I was heading inbound during the afternoon rush, but the lack of wasted youth and gasoline that comes with being in a four-mile backup is more than made up for by the danger of driving at fifty five miles an hour, other cars within two inches of either side of you, continually pouring down from the exits that lead to and from every downtown street, while you have a mere five miles to find the twelve macrometers of space needed to cross six lanes and reach your ramp in time.

I had come to the city to personally inquire about a room being rented out for three hundred a month. Considering the cheap cost I shouldn't have been surprised that it is in fact just a room. I am to be flatmate to two middle-aged male immigrants from somewhere in Latin America who may or may not be a couple. We've been in phone contact for the past couple of weeks before I finally said I would come to look at the space on Friday. Then on Tuesday morning I began to wonder what I was going to do with my unemployed workdays here in Lincoln, so I called one of the fellows up to let him know that there was an open spot on my schedule, and that I could be there round 6 p.m., accounting for traffic.

2502 No. St. Louis. The largely Latino neighborhood features an auto dealer billboard written in Polish, the surely delusional specter of a living K-Mart at Addison and Kimball, and about three dozen places to get an Italian Sausage and a plastic cup of Old Style for fifteen dollars. No need to buy a parking permit here, but you will need to pioneer your own space and defend it with a lawn chair or pickle bucket when you're away. Logan Square is the most prominent landmark, and perhaps the name serves as shorthand for the entire neighborhood. I suppose I'll find out soon enough. Although The Windy City is best described as a schizophrenic modern Babel shot through with rock salt, it also has a regularity to it. 2502 No. St Louis could be most anywhere between Division Avenue and Skokie.

I listened to the inauguration over NPR just past Council Bluffs. I've heard neutral
observers describe Obama's address as 'not as inspiring as his campaign speeches' and 'at times a bit harsh' and I suppose that's a fair statement. After all, both the new president and the polite media abide by the old American folkway that declares optimism to be a virtue unto itself. So by inaugural address standards I suppose it was a bit chilly. But for those of us who are proud to shout "fuck the optimistic" to the rafters, and yet still stoke enough small embers of hope for better days to keep ourselves breathing, the speech was as beautiful
as any that Obama has given. Nobody who doesn't know me reads this damned blog, so fuck it. Yeah I cried. I wept like a sick child without its mother.

There's no denying that the man has a better way with words then I do. Where Obama quoted scripture in saying that "the time has come to set aside childish things." I would have said "the time of whining about Wal-Mart greeters saying 'Happy Holidays' and East Coast patricians playing pheasant hunter dress-up in a vain attempt to appeal to your all-consuming common man auto-circle-jerk is at a most decided end
you fat ignorant greasy-tank-top wearing bigoted shitpiles." I will never be president.

There's been a great deal of snow in eastern Iowa and Illinois recently. More cars then usual are abandoned by the side of the road, while the drifts off the edge of the interstate look big enough to bury the highway and everyone driving on it if anything were to set off a minilanche. A good rule of thumb for Chicago weather is to subtract ten degrees from everywhere else on the plains. For the past two days this rule could be extended all the way to Iowa City.

I stopped there for gas and a bag of chips on the trip out yesterday. A couple of dittoheads at the downtown Casey's were boldly mocking the new order, and I quote their words verbatim.
"I heard there was some professor in Minnesota who found out that the people who voted for Obama committed seven times more of the crimes then people who voted for McCain"

I'm afraid he's got us there. There was indeed "some professor in Minnesota" who gained the pharaonic power to violate the secret ballot, find out which ballot was filled out by whom, gained total access to the police records of all voters across the nation, and compiled all of the data over a period of ten weeks. The jig is up boys.

Illinois speed limit laws make no distinction between scrubland and suburb. So it's sixty five miles an hour across dead cornstalk space that looks like everything between Toledo and Cheyenne. So be it. Its eighty five dollars woth of gas round trip. I held to the speed limit and was passed by semis carrying houses. All the same there were cherries flashing in my rear view as I looped from I-80 onto the Stevenson. The trooper turned out to be attending to a three-car wreck at the base of the junction. It took fifteen minutes to get out of the choke point but after that it was smooth driving into The Loop, driving five miles an hour over the limit now to avoid being the cause of an eight-mile pileup.

I remember the last time I was here, sitting on the Red Line pointing and laughing at the glacial parking lot that forms twice a day on the Ryan. This time I brought my car and the Sartesian curse of freedom that comes with it. If Chicago is wicked it is because driving through the city removes all fear of Hell. The collective suicide of the expressways gives way to city streets where all drivers going all directions hit every red light, while pedestrians carrying groceries that smell like laundry blithely teleport through your vehicle as you crawl to the next red light.

After viewing the room and making arrangements I cruised down Milwaukee until I reached the expressway and headed south. My plan was to find a cheap motel on 95th and then a bar where I could mix with jubilant locals. Traffic flowed smoothly in the express lanes until it wasn't flowing at all. As I slowed a white Ford screeched to a halt three inches from my rear bumper to spare me the fate that caused the standstill.

It was a red Honda Accord, about ten years old, flipped onto its top and about half the size that it was supposed to be. There were four men standing on the shoulder looking upon the wreck with perfect tranquility. I took this to mean that either the occupants were alive and well or so pulverized that there was nothing to do but stand and whistle.

I found no lodgings of any kind on 95th. I still need to learn the lay of this town a lot better. Not even the gnarliest no-tell can be found in the heart of the city. I wondered about until I ended up heading west on 55th, vowing not to change directions until I found a place to stay. Half an hour went by as I crept past Midway and on to Cicero.

Cicero is one of several inner-ring suburbs whose continued independence from Chicago proper is an intractable enigma. In fact it really wouldn't be accurate to call it a suburb at all. It lies just seven miles from The Loop, still dense enough for one-way neighborhood streets and rousing games of bumper pool between drivers and walkers. Here is where I found my bed for the night, the Karavan Hotel.

Patrons are not allowed in the office of the Karavan. Money is passed through a slot in the bullet-proof glass. Several signs on the wall proclaim the staff's willingness to call the police if necessary, while a town government poster arrogantly declares Cicero to be a gang-free zone. The main light in my room was a bit off. The shadeless lamp provided enough light to see though reading was quite laborious. The television offered only the local networks and free porn on channel four.

"Gang-Bang Sluts" and only "Gang-Bang Sluts", looped over and again for my entire nine hour stay. I found it emotionally numb and visually stale, though it had its good points. In one scene a redhead exercises in the privacy of her bedroom, only to turn around to find that four perfectly strange naked men have been staring at her the whole time. She is of course perfectly elated and nature takes its course. My favorite scene involves a forty-year-old plastic crystal meth Barbie being railed by some Latino fellow with a rat tale. All of a sudden two white Adonises who were sandwiching a young brunette at the other side of the room drop what they were doing, slowly walk over to Barbie and rat-tale, and proceed to masturbate on the veteran actress with the most profound and disturbing sullenness. It was as if they were psychic brothers shooting their loads upon each other's coffins.

It was ten o'clock when I stepped out for food and beer. I was tired from the drive and was coming down with a nasty headache from hunger or caffeine crash or most likely both. I dropped my plans for going to a bar. It really wasn't my celebration at any rate, and I had film study to do.

I bought a six-pack of Bud from a carniceria down the block when I noticed a chicken and fish place directly across the street. God dammit I should have gotten the food first. This will be like leaving razor blades lying about a Siberian mental hospital. I crossed the street, put the beer behind a potted plant out of sheer bitter vanity, and walked in to get my supper.

I ordered a large chicken wing and hush puppy platter. Three pounds of fried fat for seven dollars. It was two minutes before I saw a black man on a bicycle grab my beer through the window. Luckily he turned out to be an honest man and gestured towards me to find out if the six-pack was spoken for, and I pointed to myself to affirm this. He walked into the shop and said "hey man I was just making sure it was yours otherwise I was going to take it you know what I'm saying?"
"Yeah. I understand."
"Say do you got a cigarette."
"Not on me I'm afraid."
"Aww man."
He turned around, walked five steps, then turned back around and moved to the exact spot where he had been.
"Hey do you got any change?"
"You can have one beer."
He feigned offense for half a second, then said, "Hey thanks. I'm taking my beer and goin home!"

He walked out the door, pulled a single Budweiser out of its ring, pointed at it through the window while giving me a thumbs up, got on his bike and left. Meanwhile my order was ready, I grabbed it, went to the flower pot to get my five-pack, and headed home myself.

A decade's worth of access to "The Daily Show" has caused me to forget how violently dull Jay Leno truly is. I ate about half the food and drank three beers until I was full. Around 11:30 I looked out the window to see the only other American-born Caucasian in all of Cicero. This was Sheryl, the neighborhood prostitute. She gave a quizzical look in my direction while she waited for somebody from Wisconsin to park his Land Rover and get settled in his room.

I fell asleep at some point around midnight and woke up perfectly refreshed at 3:30. Apparently network television has extended the news/insipid banter combo of the morning shows into the wee hours, and I had grown weary of Gangbang Sluts, so I decided to step out for coffee and a newspaper and then decide whether to try to fall asleep again or leave early.

I was formally introduced to Sheryl about a block away from the 24-hour Dunkin Dough nuts. She asked me if I wanted a blowjob and I said no, but she could come into my room and warm up for a few minutes if she liked.

"Oh, right. Well, o.k."

The porn, of course, was terribly awkward, so I turned the TV off and the radio on. It was Spanish talk radio, I think they were talking about Obama's Guantanamo plans. I gave Sheryl a beer and told her to talk about whatever. She said that she lived a couple blocks off Cicero avenue on 22nd, and that she had a sister who she didn't like. That's all she said about herself.

She asked if she was sure I didn't want anything. My food had gotten cold and it had the slice of bread at the bottom that you'll find at urban chicken shacks that I really don't care for. So I traded her the food in return for a kiss that tasted of aspirin and the oily residue of bottom shelf malt liquor and she was on her way.

I dozed in a half sleep until 5:30, than I showered and checked out. I found the front desk worker praying from his Koran and tried to politely wait. After three minutes of not being at all noticed I gave up on this and rang the bell. He took my key without any hint of a word or facial expression and I was on my way back home.

There was a massive semi fire on inbound I-55 that was having an apocalyptic effect on people heading into the city for work. I however was on my way out. The Iowa State Patrol was unusually active on Wednesday, speed traps every twenty miles or so. I was adhering to the speed limit and conserving gas. The tank I bought just before getting onto the Stevenson lasted all the way to Des Moines, and the temperature seemd to go up ten degrees for every fifty I drove west. Ain't nothing gonna break my stride.

I was hungry when I got to Des Moines so I decided to head into downtown for a gyro or something like it and the cheaper gas of a neighborhood c-store. It turned out that I only had enough loose change for twenty three minutes at the parking meter at a spot near 4th and grand with nothing but national fast food chains in the vicinity, so I hustled to The Kaleidescope, Des Moines' world famous downtown skywalk mall. I wolfed down a panini from the food court, satisfied that this was indisputably morally superior to eating at a mall food court in the suburbs.

By the time I reached Omaha it was 55 and brilliantly sunny. I was sweating in my two layers of shirt and thinking about how much cleaning my apartment still needs and who will take care of Telly. I can only hope that Lincoln is cold and bitter at the end of the month so that's it's easier to leave. But since when has hope been anything but mental heroin? A dragon for suckers to chase. Two weeks of torturous embraces and being told how much I'll be missed.

Dé Domhnaigh, Eanáir 18, 2009

By All Means

"Jan. 20 has turned into a schlock inauguration, (where) every last moocher has come to cash in on Obama,There are some of us who want to bang our heads against the wall."

Michelle Malkin

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 16, 2009

Equating 1-seat majority with Right-Wing Mandate=1 Seat Minority


There are rules to operating in a two party system, consisting of a generic left-of-center party and a generic right-of-center party, the most important rule is accepting that the political realm will not be the one to provide you with an all-encompassing philosophy that removes all doubt and sense of vulnerability. Move to the Andes, marry an illiterate teenager, and hunt alpaca if that's what you want. Leave the business of governing to those who live on planet Earth.

Tennessee Republicans came out of the November elections with a 50-49 majority in that state's house of representatives. Any fool with the slightest understanding of politics knows such a situation would require the bare-majority party to keep its moderates happy, as Senate Democrats have done with Joe Lieberman, despite the vitriol among liberal bloggers directed towards the rat bastard.

But the modern GOP isn't elitist enough to elect any fool to positions of power,only the transcendentally stupid need apply. The people truly reign only when they elect state legislators who fail to understand either their own state legislature or the general workings of any parliamentary body anywhere.

So it was utterly predictable that Tennessee Republicans interpreted their microscopic victory as a unanimous cry from the Volunteer state for allowing feti to carry guns and carving the Ten Commandments out of the Smoky Mountains, utterly predictable that house elephants would try to muscle their members into elevating shaved gorilla theocrat Jason Mumpower to the speaker's chair. The right wing of the party's caucus honestly believed that it could spend two years ramming its agenda through one single-vote victory at a time, going so far as to have house members sign a pledge saying that they will vote for any GOP candidate for speaker.

Enter moderate Republican Kent Williams, who signed the pledge and held to it.
Williams has in the past been bullied for his moderation. He had to fight off a far-right challenge in the primary from a candidate backed by Mumpower, and has even received a few threats from the most deranged homophobes and Mexican hunters. Having had enough, Williams struck a deal with the forty nine house Democrats to honor his pledge by voting for himself, and getting the support of the entire Democratic caucus to give him a majority of one. After Mumpower was dutifully nominated for speaker, and after a intoxicatingly pathetic attempt to shut down nominations immediately after failed, Williams name was offered for consideration, the Democrats lined up behind him, and he won.

One might think the fact that Jason Mumpower was completely owned by a school-board level maneuver proves his inability to serve as speaker. Nonsense. Only elitists believe that there is any such thing as ability. No, there is only proper belief.
If the past two elections have taught us anything, it is that absolutely nothing, not even two deliciously brutal defeats, will ever remove the right-winger's sense of entitlement. He is wholly unconcerned about Real Americans being in the minority. In fact he would love nothing more than to be the only Real American, so long as he can reign eternally over the defiled.

And so the impotent rage of the GOP Volunteers was the most predictable part of this story of all, save perhaps for their craven dishonesty.

“'Kent Williams has betrayed his constituents and the people of Carter County in breaking his pledge — his signed oath — to vote for the nominee of the Republican caucus for Speaker of the House,' says Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith."

Except no.

"According to a text of the pledge, the House Republican Caucus members committed only to “vote for a Republican for Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives” as well as a Republican Speaker Pro Tempore."

Kent Williams pledged himself only to vote for a Republican, and he did. And now, thanks to a Dr. Suess-level failure of logic that is nobody's fault but your own, the representatives of the people of Tennessee just may have to act like adults instead of biovolating for two years about Spanish-speaking pot smoking homosexual Christmas tree killers.

To the modern conservative, being forced to act like an adult is the ultimate embodiment of hell. One wonders how church attendance in Tennessee will be affected.

Dé Luain, Eanáir 12, 2009


Conservatives dislike lawyers because they are a reminder of society's imperfection. Populists hate lawyers because they are a reminder that truth and justice cannot be magically discerned through intuition or "common sense". Put the two together in the form of AWM radio, and the results are pretty ugly.

I myself disagree with conservatives and feel nothing but the blackest most absolute loathing for populism. (aka, intellectual communism.) Yet while I hold nothing personal against lawyers I can't say that I like them very much either. Nobody does really, and I can't honestly say that I had a point in writing this.

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 09, 2009

But Anyway

None of the normal milestones of life have meant anything to me. First car, first girlfriend, first apartment, high school graduation, college graduation, all I have felt towards any of these is resentment of those who accept without question that these are important events and approached me with breathless and loud enthusiasm. My parents still take it personally. At some level they still think that I hold something against them. They are still unable to conceive of someone being scornful towards the idea that there is a natural track to life. Now that I think of it I'm sure my mother had some idea in her mind of what the grand occasion of my college graduation would be like. How she must of looked forward to it, but I can't help her. The two hours of high school commencement were infinitly more hellish then my week in jail, and nothing like it must happen again. There is my own brain and there is the universe outside of it, always. My achievements will never be offered for celebration to the general public. Neither will my existence.

I've always felt that if their really is such a thing as a universal human nature; with universal desires and universal emotional reactions, then human existence is essentially fraudulent. Perhaps I am simply stuck in adolescent rebellion against this. Still I believe that liberty exists only when biology is nonexistent. If I had to live under all of the same biological imperatives as a woman, there is no question that I would be insane or dead by now. I have spoken of others before about uploading my consciousness to the internet, and though these conversations were fantastic and jovial, I wasn't kidding. If the means were available to do so I would do it, and will if the means appear before I die. What sort of half-awake fool actually enjoys being a body?

But I don't feel low now. Today is the sort of mildly cool day that makes me feel like a kid again. The spring recesses are the ones I remember, and though it's absurd to talk of Spring it is delightful to be able to smell the melting dirt. And I can accept this physical world without reservation so long as I am the one setting the terms for how I do so.

Déardaoin, Eanáir 08, 2009

Brent Bozell III Thinks You're Stupid


Bozell is the former head of the Parents Television Council, the group that has been making hay for the past eight years filing complaints with a sympathetic FCC about people saying naughty words and she-devils showing their naughty parts. What makes Bozell so interesting is how he doesn't make the slightest attempt to be an honest intellectual broker. He is the purest and most unabashed right-wing hack one will ever find; chaining himself to the wall of the echo chamber and chirping away. For proof of this one need only consider the title of Bozell's last book, "Whitewash: How The News Media Are Paving Hillary Clinton's Path to the Presidency"

It will never stop being funny will it? When one thinks of how the right wing spent years coordinating an elaborate point-by-point smear campaign against Hillary Clinton to be deployed at critical points of the presidential race, then was forced to scramble up a confused and pathetically lame narrative of otherness against the man they never dreamed could possibly win, my God. This will never, ever, cease to be perfectly hilarious. Nothing else is remotely humorous by comparison. The once feared right-wing noise machine has been talking to nobody but itself for at least four years now, and still they are too stupid to notice. Magnificent.

But I digress. I post here to discuss an article Bozell just wrote concerning an incident between NBC and lovable muppet Ann Coulter. It seems that "The Today Show" was going to have Coulter on to hawk her latest paginated tantrum before liberal pressure groups complained. Bozell's column is part of the conservative pressure group counter that ended up getting Coulter rescheduled and dutifully interviewed by Matt Lauer yesterday morning.

I must say that I disapprove of how "Crooks and Liars" and other lefty sites tried to have Coulter yanked off the show. I for one am not offended by Coulter's shtick, partly because I really am a Muslim-loving homosexual Communist who masturbates at the sight of aborted fetuses, but mostly because I find Coulter to be terribly sad, and I do pity her. Ann Coulter writes books for people who buy one or two books a decade from some shopping mall storefront if they have any cash left over from their purchase of a fine oil painting of a Labrador retrieving a duck. Ann Coulter makes a living, and like I said, right wing media have grown so stupid that not even those who are slightly dull and blinkered by television believe what they have to say anymore. Coulter makes her living by shilling to the absolute dumbest of the dumb, and while she is perfectly worthless to society, I really don't think that she makes society any worse then it already is. This is the only thing that has kept Ann Coulter from a screaming meth habit and a history of physical abuse against obese barber college dropout boyfriends one-third her age. So be it.

Let me digress further to explain how pressure groups work. You may have been puzzled in the past when some mighty organization caved in to the demands of some tiny and obscure advocacy group. It's quite simple really. Any corporation that has grown so large that its potential customer base is all of humanity has no choice but to try to never piss off anybody. Small dips in revenue can cause the most nervous shareholders to jump ship and lead to a chain reaction, and so a group of a few hundred out of a world population of billions has a good chance of getting their way if they threaten to boycott this or that for whatever reason. And so the Coulter/Today incident became a deeply childish game played by respectable grown up burghers who manage to keep their faces straight if not their dignity.

While I do disapprove of liberal objections to a perfectly irrelevant woman appearing on a nearly irrelevant show, the conservative reaction was, predictably, that of hyperdramatic teenagers. The Drudge Report screamed that Coulter had been "BANNED FOR LIFE" from NBC based on the word of a "top network executive" who supposedly claimed "We're simply not going to have her on anymore, it's over." This was nothing but the truth, Coulter was going to be on "Today" and then she wasn't anymore; and now she has been. Of course "anymore" is a phrase that is rarely used literally. Just last week I told a barmaid that I didn't want to drink anymore, and yet I was drunk last night.

Which finally brings us back around to Bozell, who takes the "BANNED FOR LIFE!!!!!111111lol" angle and runs with it.

"The Drudge Report caused a firestorm when anonymous NBC insiders leaked the word that Coulter had been "banned for life" from that network. CBS featured her on 'The Early Show,' and a combative Harry Smith tried to insult her to the extreme. He called her 'goofy,' 'simplistic,' 'sophomoric' and a 'whiner.' 'You should have a cross,' he said dismissively. "You should put yourself up on a cross." Why are they so upset?"

Mr. Bozell, is that really your idea of insulting somebody to the extreme, you gynophobic boot-licking Nazi son of a fat whore? If you think that was "insulting to the extreme" then you couldn't possibly know that Coulter is a fellow conservative, because you've never read anything that she's written. Here's some quotes from "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America" copied and pasted courtesy of Media Matters.

Liberals' hysterical obsession with the "Republican Attack Machine" turns Democratic primaries into a contest of: "Who's the Biggest Pussy?" Although I would have voted for "All of Them," inasmuch as none of the Democrats could face questions from Fox News's Brit Hume, the winner turned out to be [Barack] Obama. Hillary [Clinton] claimed to be a victim of Republicans, while Obama claimed to be a victim of Republicans, Hillary, and racists. [Page 79]

Even grifters know that to be embraced by the cool people in America, you must claim to be a victim, preferably abused by religious fundamentalists.
In a related phenomenon, various half-black celebrities insist on representing themselves simply as "black" -- the better to race-bait their way to success. Actress Halle Berry, singer Alicia Keys, and matinee idol Barack Obama were all abandoned by their black fathers and raised by their white mothers. But instead of seeing themselves as half-white, they prefer to see the glass as half-black. They all choose to identify with the fathers who ditched them, while insulting the women who struggled to raise them.[Page 7]

The media accuse Republicans of playing dirty pool, but they turn to the retarded press secretary for an attack on his former boss. [Page 118]

Bozell, gutless imbiber of leprous jackass semen he is, even went so far as to not list the full title of Coulter's book in his column, knowing full well that accusing anyone of "assaulting America" is a far more extreme insult then anything old Harry Smith had to say to the lovable muppet. It's good to know that Bozell, despite being dumber then a mother cat that offers her tit to a furry piece of coyote shit, is at least smart enough to not negate the premise of his column in the first paragraph.

"The so-called 'objective' media clearly feel threatened because they are the very liberals Coulter is attacking. If they weren't liberals, none of her mockery of liberals would bother them."

This statement is quite nearly shocking in its stupidity and 12-year-old logic. But the real hell of it is that I don't think Bozell is being dishonest here. I think he truly believes that all humanity is sociopathic. He himself is clearly unable to emphasize with anyone outside of his own imagined tribe, and so he assumes that this failing of his is universal. It seems that a lifetime of licking cockroach droppings from the bottom of his refrigerator has robbed Bozell of the ability to wish goodwill upon others.

"Oh, they might not appreciate her style, as some conservatives don't. But they wouldn't have pitched debates inside their walls about how they will savage her in interviews — and I defy the networks to deny this — or how they would remove her from their airwaves altogether."

Never mind that temporarily losing a slot on a single show from a single network falls a bit short of removing one from the airwaves "altogether." It is firmly established that Brent Bozell is stupid enough to wrap barbed wire around his dick and call himself a pair of car keys. Yet even I wouldn't have dreamed that he would be dumb enough to create an opening like this:

But they wouldn't have pitched debates inside their walls about how they will savage her in interviews — and I defy the networks to deny this

Brent Bozell weeps nearly to the point of suffocation whenever he runs out of Portuguese infants to rape- and I defy him to deny this.

Brent Bozell can't bring himself to touch his wife unless she "screams and begs just like that bitch I killed in Little Rock"- and I defy him to deny this.

In revenge for refusing to let him steal her hydrocodeine, Brent Bozell once beat a ninety year old woman to death with one of her own great-grandchildren, whom he later ate in boiled semen broth-and I defy him to deny this.

Brent Bozell still thinks the Rickroll is funny- and I defy him to deny this. But first we move on.

"It's easy to run down a list of inflammatory liberals who are welcomed on the TV morning shows. Start with Kitty Kelley's wild "investigative" books on the Reagans or the Bushes. Or Michael Moore's kooky conspiracy theories. Or Al Franken suggesting Karl Rove and Scooter Libby should be executed over Plamegate. (NBC's Matt Lauer and his off-camera crew laughed at that.")

Apparently Bozell loves getting reamed in the ass by power so much that he considers hyperbolic mocking of authority figures to be as bad as violently slandering half of the American populace because of how they vote.

But when Ann Coulter speaks, the brass knuckles come out. In 2007, Coulter was heavily criticized for joking that she couldn't talk about John Edwards, since an ABC actor was forced to apologize for saying "faggot" at the Golden Globes. Liberals were furious. Coulter responded by saying next time, she'd echo Bill Maher and just wish Edwards died in a terrorist attack. Elizabeth Edwards then denounced Coulter for suggesting she wanted her husband dead. Harry Smith invited Mrs. Edwards on CBS, offered her brief softballs and let her verbally whack Coulter with a bat.
Smith is an enormous hypocrite. He completely ignored vicious remarks by Mrs. Edwards just days before, in accepting a "Rage for Justice" award, that the Bush administration was waging a class war that compared to slaughters in Darfur:
"The White House has led the charge against working people, in their own class war. The late, great Molly Ivins once wrote: 'If there was class warfare, that war was long over. And it was a massacre ... a genocide to which there have been words of acknowledgment, as there have in Darfur, but as with Darfur, no meaningful action.'

Mr Bozell, I know that the sight of a prepasted toothbrush in front of your eyes causes you to soil yourself in confusion over what to do, but surely you realize that to call John Edwards a "faggot" or to use that term as a generic insult against every individual, is to demean all gay men, and is in no way equivalent to a harsh attack on a president's policies. On second thought, never mind. You probably don't have the slightest clue that this is so. Your failure to run the Ghostbusters out of business has clearly left you blind and embittered, and there's really no hope for you.

You may have in the past wondered why liberals go on about latent or unconscious racism and sexism. It is a highly sketchy subject to be sure, but if you were to ever ponder why white men in western societies are much more likely to personally identify with authority figures more than other people, the subject becomes much less sketchy, and indeed provides a pretty good explanation for a lot of things.

Brent Bozell is a perfect example of this. Every absurdly moronic assertion made in this column carries an air of self-importance that couldn't possibly be justified by anything. It is the sort of exquisite nonsense that could only come from one who believes that he was born important. I hate to be the one to break it to you, Mr. Bozell, but President Bush neither knows or cares who you are, Ronald Reagan thought you were an asshole, and daddy never loved you. Now please go back to your day job of being laughed at by blind quadriplegic jenkem addicts you disgusting pig fuck toady bitch.

Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 07, 2009

Blazing Saddles

I saw it for the first time in a few years last night. Blazing Saddles is funny as ever, and as I grow older I become more and more impressed by how technically perfect it is. In later Mel Brooks films the vulgar laughs grew a bit too loud to blend well with the clever, while the "clever" gags were also too loud; overly winking and overt in their cleverness. In "Blazing Saddles" the low-brow and the, well, middle brow, blend seamlessly.

It's been said that a movie like "Blazing Saddles" could never get made today, and I suppose that's true. The most common reason given for why this would be the case is the old politically correct bogeyman that supposedly drains us of our joie de vivre, but this is a gross oversimplification on several levels. "Saddles" was a movie of its time, coming at the tail end of mass produced and increasingly awful westerns featuring the same virtuous pioneers, menacing Indians, swarthy mincing villains, and heroes as perfect prototypes of masculine order. These tail-end westerns, with names like "Town Tamer" and "Captain Apache" were still being run on TNT or AMC until just recently, and I suppose you could check Netflix or Youtube if you wanted to see just how terrible they are today. At any rate the American Western was a completely different animal from what we see today in the post "Unforgiven" environment; one or two high-budget, introspective pieces of Oscar bait per year. Why would any major studio make a western parody today? With or without the baker's dozen of "niggers"?

Another point to consider is that "Blazing Saddles is deliberately transgressive in the vein of South Park or Troma, and more importantly it is successfully transgressive. This is not the sort of insulting laugh-track "comedy" of Family Guy or Dane Cook. Rather it is the sort of transgression that exposes defensive social pieties as total nonsense without ever directly challenging these pieties to a fight.
"The Sheriff is 'BONG'" "Scuse me While I whip this Out" the Yiddish speaking Indian chief, "Where the white women at" the parade of cliche movie villains; all of it is brilliant, so effortlessly brilliant that it's impossible to tell if it's by design or accident. Roger Ebert said of Mel Brooks that "There are some people who can literally get away with anything -- say anything, do anything -- and people will let them." and this is undoubtedly true. While I myself hate to delve into ethnic stereotyping, and American antisemitism has been anything but nonexistent, the American Jew has generally been seen not so much as a reviled savage that must be stamped down then as a mysterious thing outside and apart from our own social power struggles. The American Jew is disliked and distrusted by many for this sense of apartness, but here is not one of the places where he knows the horrors of the absolute bottom. Surely the great Jewish-American comedic tradition has something to do with this. And while Woody Allan found a diamond mine in playing to the stereotype
of Jew as SuperYankee too smart for his own good, the true heart of Jewish comedy is as bawdy as the uncle who harasses your girlfriend when you make the mistake of bringing her home for Christmas. Mel Brooks was forged in the same Borsht Belt comedy circuit as Milton Berle and Don Rickles. It was only a matter of time before the standard Borsht fare of single-entendre standup would produce the perfect American Fool; the outsider relieving tension by uttering truths that those with a stake in the power structure dare not.

In the end though, there is a kernel of truth to the charge that the current age is too "PC" to make a movie like Blazing Saddles today, some truth to the charge that liberal squeamishness keeps legitimately transgressive comedy out of the major major studios. It is not however a squeamishness that is inherently liberal in nature, nor
would those who excuse their own boorishness as rebellion be wise to embrace "Blazing Saddles" to the full.

Insomuch that there is any such thing as a "liberal agenda" in Hollywood it was forged in the downfall of the studio system, the revolt against the DeMills, the Meyers, and the Fords. It is not at all a stretch to put "Blazing Saddles" in the same league as "The Graduate", "The French Connection", and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." films that were highly stylized but not idealized; stark and perfectly honest in their portrayals of sex and coercive power structures. "Blazing Saddles" is openly scornful of everything the straightforward Western holds dear. A town full of dim incestuous Johnsons ("The common clay of the new west; you know, morons.") must trust their safety to a sheriff who isn't just black, but antithetical to the traditional cowboy hero in every other way. Instead of being simple, emotionless, and chaste, Black Bart is verbally sharp, urbane, fashionable, and twuly well endowed. Mel Brooks' Yiddish Chief and Hedley Lamar's parade of stock villains reveals one of the most important points of "The Other" concept; that everybody else is everybody else. This is a sentiment that oozes out of everything John Wayne and Randolph Scott ever did, and was expressed in "Saddles" just a few years after more contemporary Johnsons were railing against "Jewish Communists" for agitating the civil rights movements of the sixties.

I am one of many people who consider the early seventies to be the best period for American film, and "Blazing Saddles" is one of the first examples I would cite when asked why. There are some who still try to downplay the greatness of "The Godfather" or "Easy Rider", understandably skeptical towards the idea that there was ever a time when the artists were in charge of Hollywood, but indeed it was so. All of these films really are as great as the gray ponytailed jackass sitting on the barstool next to you says they are. You need only see.

But this happy state of affairs would of course not last. Major studios were able to reestablish control, not through the old "studio system" but via the mental light calorie blockbuster, that endless parade of science fiction and superheroes that fill us with indescribable joy when we are young, and that when we are older fill us with the same sort of feeling one gets when looking at a Polaroid of one's childhood self embracing a long dead puppy; warm, but also a good deal embarrassed. There is also the well-worn story of the social malaise of the seventies killing the spirit of reform and possibility and leading to a conservatism that would grow bolder and meaner until American vitality was almost completely strangled.

Comedic films became infantile. Even satirical films would become increasingly slapstick without any of the snappyness that gave smart people permission to laugh at slapstick in "Blazing Saddles." Those films that took it upon themselves to critique society tended to be quite self-consciously serious. Deadly serious, mendacious, cloying, dull, and finally unbearable. Think of Kevin Spacey's career arc from "American Beauty" to "K-Pax". Self-styled auteur would counter blockbuster mass-marketing with mass-marketing, and so began the age of Oscar bait dominance, the zenith of Steel Magnolias and John Grisham. Jeffersonian fire replaced by Clintonian therapy.

I freely confess to generalizing and overdramatizing, there was plenty of absolute garbage produced by Hollywood in the seventies, while Martin Scorsese has been an unstoppable force for genius through all eras. I sought only to give my explanation for what is a generally agreed upon truth; that the transgressive artistic genius of "Blazing Saddles" has never been matched, and is unlikely to be any time soon given the current state of American film. (Team America; World Police is probably as close as any big-studio movie has come, and given the flatness of that movie's reverse-PC equal offense approach, it really didn't come close at all.) And so for now transgression is left to the cult DVD set, the purposely tawdry and stupid, and that's perfectly fine for awhile. But "Blazing Saddles" grows old, and sooner or later someone will need to produce another perfect star for American cinematic comedy to orbit around.

Dé Máirt, Eanáir 06, 2009

I've Noticed Long Ago

That people generally enjoy wearing themselves on their sleeves, and what each other to know what kid of people they are.

What I have never done is be able to look at this with anything but disgust.

Dé Sathairn, Eanáir 03, 2009


There has never been a Western philosopher who wasn't hyperbolic about something, and there probably never will be, considering that European philosophers operate in a materialistic culture, that demands its thinkers make moral and physical truth into something as literally true as the wall in front of your face. For Sarte the inevitable hyperbole comes in his idea of total freedom, to the point where even a biological human nature is illusory.

At the opposite and equally wrong extreme is the idea that human nature is uniform, that every person ever alive desires the same things: sex, material wealth, power over his environment and other human beings. These are the things that all societies are built on, and self-styled revolutionaries act only out of spite for what they can't have or as a backhanded means of taking what everyone wants.

I myself think that there is some biological element of human personality, but I still hold to the idea that existence proceeds essence. The only universal desire is desire itself. Biological imperatives filtered through a conscious human brain produce so many different desires that it hardly matters if they come from the same impulse or not. It just isn't true that everybody wants as much sex and dominance as they can possibly get, and that anyone who claims to be relatively unconcerned by these things is a capricious lying weasel. There are many who are moved more by their internal dialogues then their interactions with others, and for us the thing is simply to desire something, to have something to want and work for and measure the passage of time with.

But there is a terrible loneliness that comes with the realization that we are creatures of ourselves, that there is no common essence that can possibly be created through blood, religion, language, sex, or anything else, and so there can be no common experiences, no objective perceptions. The most intimate moments between the closest people must pass through minds wholly unconnected to each other.

It is no surprise that existentialism and religious skepticism have thrived in a Europe that has suffered epically to maintain the illusion of common essence,and gave it up only when it absolutely had to for its own survival. The United States has faced no such choice. There has been no inquisition here, the World Wars and the ethnic/religious mythologies that produced them are nothing but abstractions to every American who wasn't unlucky enough to be a man of eighteen to thirty during the wars. We have had our Pogroms in the form of savage anti-black race riots, but we don't hear about those very often, not as much as we hear about the evils of the Godless Communist and the fanatical Muslim, not as often as we are told that being American is inoculation from the worst elements of being human.

No, this is the land of the achiever and the eternal optimist, a land that demands a moral code that is simple and light. And so there is the American idea of liberty, one based on the idea of a universal human nature and universal desires. One that offers influence over society in the form of tangible corporate pyramids, surrogate penii in the form of a house or an automobile or a rifle or (just about anything else you could think of really) Most of all American liberty is expressed through desire for tangible things: big car, big yard, big dog, brass ring.

So those American artists and thinkers who have stared into the void and taken it for what it is tend towards nihilism of the harshest and most relentless kind. The bitterness of a jilted lovers, rejected by a universe they thought was made for them. There is no Camus among us extolling the happiness that comes with futile mortal striving. Instead we have Stephen Crane making comrades with devils and Mark Twain rejecting any redeeming feature of being human with increasing vehemence. Poisonous anger, outrageous self-abuse, and general embrace of death are the usual traits for the American who rejects common essence.

A close parallel to contemporary American society can be found in Dostoevsky's Tsarist Russia; boisterous, ambitious, self-assured, and more then a little full of shit. Empires cannot function without the illusion of common essence and the mythology of superior essence that springs from it. Nor can illusions of common essence cannot possibly survive the vast sampling of humanity available to people who live in empires.

Americans have historically tried to solve this problem by embracing either lies or death or both. It hasn't worked, and it's not going to, and the Joy of Futile Striving Party doesn't look like its going to be winning any votes anytime soon.

Because You Seem to be Confused

Here's a little lifeline to the right, since I do try to be a nice guy.

Nobody hates Nancy Pelosi except you. She isn't particularly liked mind you. She's not the rare Obama style superpolitician that gets people to actually admire her, but there is none of the fear and loathing around Pelosi that one sees around Hillary Clinton.

Nobody except you is afraid of Nancy Pelosi. Let me reemphasize this, because judging by the past three years of "San Francisco values" boogata boogata you seem to think that there's an uninformed public out there that just needs to know about Nancy Pelosi before she becomes a figure of mass revulsion and the public triumphantly returns the GOP to power in order to stop the devil woman.

The fact of the matter is that we do know Nancy Pelosi. We find her to be boring and unremarkable, but we don't hate her, and we're not going to.

Did you really think that we wouldn't notice the same charges of bossiness or haggery directed at every prominent Democratic female? Well, it's especially pathetic when directed against Pelosi. All you're doing here is weakening this line of attack for the day when some avenging butch liberal Amazon roars down from the plains and really makes entitled white male brats feel insecure. Your cries of political correctness whenever someone calls you out on this game of yours will only grow lamer and more irritating to the reasonable person.

For two election cycles you have tried to cast Pelosi as a castrating harpy, and twice in a row it has spectacularly failed, nay, perfectly failed. I am quite confident that the demonization of Pelosi has not affected a single one of the millions of votes cast in either election.

And still you fellas keep at it. My God it's like watching a man starve to death trying to fish with an unbaited hook. It's as if you actually believe your own cartoonish horseshit about what "True Americans" are like. It's as if you you really do believe your own strawmen of what liberals are secretly thinking.

And that's simply too God-damned tragic to contemplate on a cold and cloudy day, so I just thought I'd help you all out.

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 02, 2009

Anne Hathaway

She's quite beautiful. I realized this while grocery shopping. I often have pathetically obvious epiphanies that are of no possible interest to anyone, and this was one of them.