Can’t His Campaign Shut Her Up?

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 30, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

We have to stop talking about Jeremiah Wright because “this conversation doesn’t help my kids.” Also squawked Michelle. At this point I’d say it’s neck and neck between Michelle and Wright himself as to which Obama personage is the most self-absorbed. I guess I can agree with her–I doubt any conversation either with or about Wright ever helped Michelle’s kids. Quite the opposite, I’m sure.

This kid, on the other hand, is definitely going places.

What the Hell: Obama’s Generalities Gone Beyond the Bizarre

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 2:12 pm

What is the matter with this man, Barack Obama? Does he really believe the people he’s speaking to are this stupid (and bitter and xenophobic gun-lovin’ Christianists, lest we forget) or has he been thinking in these nebulous sorts of proto-terms of over-arching meta-narrative for so long that he no longer can separate them from reality?

“I mean, it is true that part of the job when you’re running for president is that anybody who is tangentially, you know, even remotely associated with you is somehow fair game and that’s unfortunate because most of us in our lives –- we meet people, we know people, some people we work with or we sit on a board withwe don’t really go vet them and find out all the terrible things they might have done because, you know, we don’t know or what they said to see if it’s politically correct,” Obama continued.

Does he even listen any more to the crap that is coming out of his mouth? It’s one thing to take a concrete instance of horrible crime, a student massacre, and use it as a jumping-off point to talk about violence in general, including the ludicrous, degrading comparison to verbal insults. It’s taking “narrative” to a whole new level to say in one paragraph that William Ayers the unremorseful terrorist bomber is “tangential” to him and that he had no idea what terrible things he “might have done”. Ayers was so tangential and his crimes so long ago that he had no idea because he didn’t vet him even though he’s an ambitious politican who held a fundraiser at Ayers’s house. It’s too stupid even to bother to call Bullshit on it, but apparently that still needs to be done. What is the matter with this man? He actively works at disconnecting himself from reality, because the reality–that he associates with a terrorist and took political and spiritual advice, marriage blessings, and his children’s baptisms from a raving lunatic–is becoming inconvenient as quickly as it becomes known. Run, Barack, run like the wind. Keep spitting out these twisted balloons of nonsense completely untethered to reality. God save the U.S.A., John McCain, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This might work, to a point, phrased correctly, with Jeremiah Wright: I didn’t know he was that bad, honest. But William Ayers? Wikipedia and Google are just for starters; plenty of people much older and smarter than I were actually around when he was planting his little puff-bangs. And as a matter of fact I guess Google is now sprouting with Wright references, but the difference is, dear Barry, that Ayers was notorious long before your names were linked in the press for a little canoodling in a Chicago nonprofit joint or whatever the hell it was. It doesn’t take much. People just aren’t as stupid as you think.

H/t Hot Air headlines.

Disingenuous Word

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 10:01 am

Can we just drop the word “former” from descriptions of “Obama’s former pastor”? Find some other word, like the literally true “retired.” He’s only former because he retired from the church and not through any action of Obama’s. A small but telling detail in article after article.

Ahead of His Time

Filed under:Authors,Blogging,Cool — posted by Anwyn on April 29, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

“There are to be forty interlocking committees sitting every day and they’ve got a wonderful gadget–I was shown the model last time I was in town–by which the findings of each committee print themselves off in their own little compartment on the Analytical Notice-Board every half hour. Then, that report slides itself into the right position where it’s connected up by little arrows with all the relevant parts of the other reports. A glance at the Board shows you the policy of the whole Institue actually taking shape under your own eyes. There’ll be a staff of at least twenty experts at the top of the building working this Notice Board in a room rather like the Tube control rooms. It’s a marvellous gadget. The different kinds of business all come out in the Board in different coloured lights. It must have cost half a million. They call it a Pragmatometer.”

–C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

All the relevant parts connected to all the other relevant parts by little … links. The major difference, of course, is that the Notice Board was to be run by an Institute whose purpose was to manipulate, gull, lull, and damn the population, while the internet really is the embodiment of the old sixties radical slogan: Power to the people. When anybody net-savvy can link and pipe up their opinion, you really can see the views of vast swaths of people taking shape “under your own eyes.” It’s a marvellous gadget indeed.

Yes Please

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on April 28, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

Possible tenth-anniversary DVDs of Sports Night.

H/t Daddyman.

Disney’s Mary Poppins: Practically Subversive to Modern Audiences

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn @ 9:44 am

We’ve been watching a lot of Mary Poppins around our house lately. It was a favorite of mine when I was a child, but I’ve only now become struck by how political a film it is. The over-arching narrative of aloof, self-absorbed parents seeing the light and reconnecting with their children is both obvious and common, but it has some surprising messages for adult takeaway scattered among the magic and musical entertainment.

Pro-capitalism, personal responsibility and personal achievement: Mr. Banks expresses a certain amount of anger (of the kind most humans feel and express when it is pointed out to them that they are not behaving correctly) at the upsetting of his proscribed world by Mary Poppins, then is disgraced and fired from his position at the bank, but once he has learned the lesson that his children and their development are more important than money, he is restored to the rightful place at the bank in recognition of his hard work and achievement, as well as in recognition of the lessons his bosses have themselves learned about the important things in life. He will be a more well-rounded human being and a happier one in adding to, rather than subtracting from or replacing completely, his previous life.

Anti-feminism or at least anti-childish forms of protest: Mrs. Banks leads a dual life as a featherbrained suffragette and a completely submissive wife (“Ellen, put these [protest materials] away, you know how the cause infuriates Mr. Banks”). Her main form of interaction with her children is an occasional run of interference for them with their father. The writers’ benign contempt of her political activities is seen in the way she palms off the care of her children in order to go to Downing Street “to throw things at the Prime Minister” or to dash off to lead “our gallant ladies in prison” in song. Her transformation is more symbolic than her husband’s: The pageant banners she and her fellow suffragettes wear are sacrificed as kite-tails in the closing “family quality time” scene.

There is a danger in hanging too much political message on a piece of light entertainment; the objective of a happy ending alone is almost enough to explain these details away, but the “almost” makes it intriguing. These messages appear to come from the screenwriters rather than from the original Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers; though it’s been a while since I read them, the emphasis was more on the fantastic nature of Mary Poppins and her acquaintances, the theme more along the lines of “magical nanny makes household run smoothly and everybody happier” rather than teaching the parents to create this outcome themselves. And if I am misremembering somewhat, the mistake is slight: If the objective were to teach the family to help themselves, there would not be such a long string of sequels with titles like Mary Poppins Comes Back. Though the film, written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi of many other Disney classics like Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Blackbeard’s Ghost, does a fine job of visually creating the magic of the central character Travers envisioned, Disney’s Mary Poppins combines a familiar set of lessons with a less common set of details that make it interesting and possibly downright anathema to feminists and anti-capitalists. To which I say, more power to ya, Mary.

Nathan Fillion to Lead Another Pilot

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on April 24, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

Called Castle, created by Andrew Marlowe and directed by Rob Bowman of The X-Files: Fight the Future. Fingers crossed for both a good show and a hit this time.

H/t Whedonesque.com.

Move to Another State. Please.

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 23, 2008 @ 11:29 am

You’re giving Indiana a bad smell.

Photo caption:

Indiana 2nd Congressional District candidate Tony Zirkle addresses a gathering of the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party on Sunday in Chicago. The group was celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday while Zirkle spoke of ridding society of prostitution, pornography and the trafficking of “young, white women.”

Believe it or not, the photo doesn’t quite say it all:

When asked if he was a Nazi or sympathized with Nazis or white supremacists, Zirkle replied he didn’t know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it.

Stupidest. Politician. Evah. Believe it or not, it gets worse:

“This is just a great opportunity for me to witness,” he said, referring to his message and his Christian belief.

Stupidest. Person to Use Christianity as a Fig Leaf for Unconscionable Political Moves. Evah. The cringe goes on:

He also told WIMS radio in Michigan City that he didn’t believe the event he attended included people necessarily of the Nazi mindset, pointing out the name isn’t Nazi, but Nationalist Socialist Workers Party.

You ignorant buffoon, the Nazis weren’t named Nazis either. They were the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. You don’t even have to be able to understand German to parse those cognates. And the non-cognate, “arbeiter,” is German for “worker.”

Embarrassment to Hoosiers, Republicans, and Christians everywhere. I can’t believe this man could pull it together enough to run for federal office.

“I told (Channel 16, WNDU in South Bend) in the beginning that I’d speak to any group that wanted me to speak,” Zirkle said Monday. He said he’s also recently spoken on the subject to a pair of black journalists.

“I’m keeping my promise. I’ll speak to any group. (The National Socialist Workers Party) was interested in the targeting of white people for prostitution.”

“That’s the risk you have to take to get your point across,” Zirkle said. “If the Black Panthers or the Jewish Zionists want me to speak about these issues, I’ll do it.”

I’m positive the Black Panthers will sign right up to get a talk on how porn and pimps drag down white women. And of course everybody knows Zionists are as bad as these people who Aren’t Nazis! Unmitigated moron.

H/t Hot Air headlines.

Mindless Exertions

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 9:54 am

A phrase from Mr. Sippican Cottage has stuck with me: “…skinny from mindless exertions and not work…”

It’s a phrase from one of his “flash fictions,” to be sure … and there’s no saying (at least not by me) how much of his characters’ thought represents author’s voice. But I tell you this: I’m not much in favor of mindless exertions myself, so if you can find me a household chore or some productive work that will strenthen my abdomen muscles, weaker now than at any other time in my life after being stretched over a baby-laden uterus, as well as diminish the soft little pouch of fat thereon, I’d happily do it rather than the Pilates I keep putting off from day to day. That is all.

I’m Glad You’re Here to Tell Us These Things

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on April 22, 2008 @ 9:27 am

Telling people what they really think, and how they really think, seems to be going around. Justice Stevens of the Supreme Court says:

…current decisions by state legislatures, by the Congress of the United States, and by this Court to retain the death penalty as part of our law are the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process…

Well! Now that you’ve pointed that out, Justice Stevens, perhaps you can tell us what exact line of thought and conclusion would be an “acceptable” deliberative process. Or, rather, tell it to your fellow Justices and to Congress so they can get it right next time.

H/t Pat Buchanan.

Happy Birthday, Rachel

Filed under:Heh — posted by Anwyn on April 21, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

Ms. Lucas gets an Instalanche and some marital advice.

Government Health [Care/Insurance] Advocates, Take Note

Filed under:Mothering,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 3:27 pm

This is what it looks like when the government gets involved in the prescription process for one drug. One drug!

Nora Ephron: When Harry Met Sally and Jamal

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 11:15 am

Oh, sorry, is that raaaaaaacist? Tell it to Nora Ephron:

Here’s another thing I don’t like about this primary: now that there are only two Democratic candidates, it’s suddenly horribly absolutely crystal-clear that this is an election about gender and race. This may have always been true, but weeks ago it wasn’t so obvious — once upon a time there were eight candidates, and although six of them withered away, their presence in the campaign managed to obscure things. Even around the time of Ohio, when there were primarily three candidates, the outlines were murky, because Edwards was still in there, picking up votes from all sectors.

You mean, after decades of shilling and shrilling on the idea that a woman candidate should succeed primarily because she’s a woman, or that a black candidate should succeed primarily because he or she is black, suddenly a person of the very party promoting that nonsense suddenly … doesn’t like the idea of people choosing their candidate on race or sex? Well, why not? Oh. Bitter, redneck Pennsylvanians, of course:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men.

The racially enlightened, who will carefully explain to you that they like a candidate because of race or gender, assume everybody else is still racially backward and will pick based on which candidate’s race or gender they dislike the least. Because those are the only two choices, both predicated solely on racial or sexual identity. So the group degraded, ignored, belittled, and marginalized in the Race-and-Genderstakes, having no “dog in the fight,” must have to pick based on hatred. Or, you know, they might actually pick based on something other than race and gender (gasp, what’s that you say? tell me more of this “judgment and issues” criteria you speak of). And I can’t help thinking a greater part of the mass of white women and black people will do so too, Nora Ephron’s assumptions notwithstanding. But that won’t be great for her either, because:

A lot of them will [vote for McCain]: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them.

Translation: White men can’t be counted on to do what I want against their better judgment.

Well, thank God for that, anyway, Nora. Go ahead, try it: Thank God. You sure seem bitter enough to turn to Him.

H/t Hot Air.

PS, Nora, let me put this in terms you can understand: A movie quote. “But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘Shit, it’s raining!’”


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace