Rachel Watches Chilling and Soul-Crushing Videos So I Don’t Have To

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Not Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on October 14, 2008 @ 8:54 am

Reading this makes me uneasily rethink my disagreement with something like this.

Dear Alan Colmes

Filed under:Language Barrier,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on October 3, 2008 @ 8:14 am

The middle class doesn’t make minimum wage. You’re tipping your hand rather obviously, which is that, of course, you want to use government mandates to magically transform the poor into the middle. Too bad you don’t have the economic sense to understand there would no longer be a middle if that happened. Then what class would you talk about? C’mon, you’re shooting yourself in the foot here.

Love,
Anwyn

Celebrities Insult You for Watching Their Work

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on October 1, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

And condescend to you over the knowledge needed to know you must register to vote. Because what are you doing right now … ? Watching TV, our product? Watching a movie, again our product? Watching this video online, still our product? Wow. You’re doing that instead of registering to vote? You know you gotta register, right? Ya know that, right?

Cuz remember, if you spend your time watching what we do, you must be dumber than dirt.

What a bunch of wackoffs. Honestly, the only one I was sorry to see in there, though, was Amy Adams.

Honesty’s a Bitch to Your Election Prospects

Filed under:Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on September 30, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

Not that persuasive … to anybody who doesn’t already think you walk on water. Sign that man up to take the lead on all future American crises immediately! Of course, as a “Look over there!” to the question of why he hasn’t been calling the individual members of his own party or why, if he has, they haven’t responded, it’s pretty classic.

I wish I had a category that, when clicked, would play the refrain of South Park’s Mormon shredder: “Dumb dumb dumb dumb duuuumb!”

Beatles Diplomacy

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Music,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on August 16, 2008 @ 11:12 am

A post on the Beatles. I don’t know what this blog is coming to. I blame SarahK, whose ongoing saga “We Can Wiirk It Out” has got the Beatles stuck in my head today, much to my distress.

I dislike the Beatles. I like individual songs here and there (“I Will” leading that category by several lenths), but in general I find them (the group) overblown and overrated. On the “overrated” charge, I am willing to concede that, being far too young to have been around for the furor they caused when they were coming up, I probably cannot appreciate by how far they were the first of their kind. And I certainly have not missed the fact that a lot of my favorite musicians cite them as influences. So I don’t want to be ungrateful. But sometimes their sheer pompousness really gets to me. Have you ever really listened to the words of “We Can Work It Out?”

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Think of what you’re saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right.
Think of what I’m saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Wow. We can work it out, as long as “work it out” means you immediately drop your POV and position and embrace mine. Otherwise we’re through.

“You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right” is undoubtedly said between many a couple during arguments. If one person didn’t think the other was unutterably wrong, there probably wouldn’t be the fight to begin with. But it’s not a basis for “working it out.” It’s the basis for the ultimatum being given here: Drop it or I’ll drop you. Seems like they’re past the point of presenting arguments with evidence and logic behind them to try to sway the other person or at least get a compromise. So what is there to work out?

The bridge is possibly the worst of all. “Fighting sucks, so stop doing it. Obviously I’m not the one fighting; it’s just you being so very, very wrong.” If you go to war, needlessly, for I did not desire it, then men will be slain. Saruman sez: I didn’t desire the war, I just decided to overrun your lands and lay waste your forests and plunder your people and you were supposed to do nothing. Because you didn’t do nothing … war! See what you did?

This song is the same thing in microcosm. It is horrible, and not worthy of McCartney, the man who wrote “I Will.” Looks like there may have been some personal overtones to it, but once you put a song out there like that it becomes a general recipe, and this is one of the worst I’ve ever heard.

Want Less Stuff in Your Life?

Filed under:Good Grief,Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn on August 5, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

It’s simple: Keep only 100 things, not including anything in your shared household, anything you might want to use later, anything with personal history, or any books. Then get rid of crap you’re not using, like a yoga mat, and some extraneous clothes and the pewter LotR figurines. Voila!

Zabaduba describes in detail this guy’s self-parodying “purge.”

So, Dave was so disgusted by his cluttered lifestyle that he’s rebelling by living in a fully furnished house (with piano!), with a completely stocked kitchen and loaded bookshelves, while keeping all the personal items he doesn’t use everyday in a box for a year. Wow. Inspiring.

Judging by the comments, there are too many people who still think that good intentions and high-flown ideals are what count. Why do you have to bother to set up a Game with a Namegoal like 100 Thing Challenge … and then make a mockery of it right from the get-go by taking more than 100 things out of the running for elimination? Why can’t you just get rid of crap you’re not using, like the average rest of us?

Oh yeah … that wouldn’t gain you the admiration of a slice of the masses. But dude, as long as you’re sacrificing, I’ll be happy to take those LotR pewters off your hands.

On What Planet

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 1, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

… do you pass a “comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices” that does not already included drilling in the United States, offshore or otherwise?

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post.

If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”

So to pass some magical plan that’s going to bring down gas prices through Barry Dust and Hope, he’ll throw a bone to “compromise” that will do the thing that actually will bring down gas prices.

It’s not so much that I think Obama’s stupid, it’s that I think he’s deeply invested in the belief that we–both his opposition and his potential base, mind–are utterly stupid. Nobody could say these things if he didn’t believe he was talking to dolts.

Granted, the kinds of people who heckle speeches probably could use some doltspeak, but I have to admit to a little bit of flabbergast even there, at the patronizing, kindergarten-teacher way he speaks to these–black, lest we forget–shouter-downs:

Obama eventually stopped speaking, turned around, and said, “Excuse me, young men. This is going to be a question-and-answer session, so you can ask a question later. Let me make my statement. Why don’t you all sit down? Then you can ask your question. That’s why we’re having a town hall meeting. Sit down. You’ll have a chance to answer your question. But you don’t want to disrupt the whole meeting. Just be courteous. That’s all. All you got to do is be courteous. That’s all. Just be courteous and you’ll have a chance to make your statement.”

The men eventually sat down and their sign was taken away by those sitting nearby, and eventually a campaign staffer took it away.

*** UPDATE *** Per NBC’s Lauren Appelbaum, Obama eventually took a question from one of these protestors. Here’s the exchange:
Obama: I’m going to call on these young men. Just one of you. All right? And remember, I made a promise to you. But also I want you to give your mike back after you ask your question or make your comment.

If you have a four-year-old or similar-aged child, you’ll recognize this phrasing right away. It’s what you do to teach children who are just learning manners and correct human interaction. I give you something, but remember what you have to give me back, courteously. Hearing him speak this way to other adults, even clear jerks, leaves a bad taste.

Frankly, the most amazing thing to me about it is that they even cooperated after being babytalked like that. I don’t expect it to work as well on, say, Ahmadinejad.

All said, I prefer McCain’s manner of handling hecklers: “This may turn into a longer speech than you had anticipated.”

Proliferation of What?

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor? — posted by Anwyn on June 30, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

We don’t know, just that it’s to be “non-nuclear.”

[Christie Brinkley] is also on the board of directors of the Global Security Institute (they work for world peace and non-nuclear proliferation) and was recently in Rome for the Nobel Laureate Peace Summit.

I Gotcher “Context” Right Here

Filed under:Blogging,Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor? — posted by Anwyn on June 25, 2008 @ 6:29 am

The AP’s recent demand for bloggers to stop quoting them without payment, in a petulant bout of trying to unilaterally do away with fair use, included the pretext that people needed to read entire AP stories “in context” rather than bloggers’ selected quotes.

“Cutting and pasting a lot of content into a blog is not what we want to see,” he said. “It is more consistent with the spirit of the Internet to link to content so people can read the whole thing in context.”

No serious blogger I’m aware of quotes material without providing a link. Except maybe to the AP in the light of this silliness. But that’s beside my point today, which is that somebody should clue Time magazine into how this works. In an article linked by Hot Air headlines today, Time quotes a phrase from Rachel Lucas’s post on the pregnant teenagers in Gloucester: “marauding narcissistic sluts”–a phrase so strikingly crafted, by the way, that I recognized it and its source instantly upon reading it in Time, but you’d never know who said it if you just read Time. Moreover, you’d be informed that it came from a “conservative” blog, a description Rachel herself would certainly take exception to.

A blog at The Village Voice did a little better, linking Rachel directly in discussing her pronouncement that all teenagers should undergo mandatory sterilization, but failing to include what the AP would no doubt describe as context: The fact that Rachel doesn’t really support mandatory sterilization.

This is one of the pitfalls of blogging, that if people don’t read you regularly they may miss posts that explain some of your hyperbole, that mitigate some of your rhetoric, that outright say some things are satire or just an over-the-top rant. But at the very least, sources like Time ought to see an obligation to provide a link that allows people to judge for themselves what the person quoted is saying and what she means by it. The MSM has been doing this forever, quoting people at the scene of whatever incident they’re reporting and identifying those people by name, even though that adds no additional “context” to the story and not much about the mindset of the person being quoted. Now that the mindset and context are available out the ears, the MSM doesn’t seem interested in people’s real opinions or the reasoning behind them, or even, in this case, identification of the speaker–because that would involve sending readers’ eyes elsewhere, to mere mortals with blogs, and everybody knows they’re not real content providers, but just unreliable cut-and-pasters with no context of their own.

It’s a backward stance and a hypocritical one–if you’re going to cite bloggers, you need to identify the source, at the very least just as you would identify the speaker in a news story and at the very most with a link that provides the “context” the AP was so exercised about. If bloggers are such peons unworthy your notice, then stop quoting them at all. Oh, wait–they come up with really juicy phrases like “marauding narcissistic sluts,” don’t they? Too good not to quote, too bad to ID and link. Poor, poor MSM caught in the web–the World Wide Web, that is.

Update: Commenter Buzzion notes that the article no longer describes the blogs in question, including Rachel’s, as “conservative.” That’ll teach me to always screencap. The text now reads:

Some blogs hosted a righteous orgy of “slutshaming,” denouncing Gloucester’s “marauding narcissistic sluts” for following the toxic example of movie stars and the Spears sisters, and longing for the return of the scarlet letter.

This morning it said “Some conservative blogs hosted …” I’m (reasonably) certain of that because it was the first thing I emailed Rachel about it. You can take my word for it or not, as it is secondary to the point–that they should be linking or IDing by name blogs they quote, no matter from what spot on the political spectrum.

Go Back to Learning; Don’t Bother Getting Educated

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn on June 11, 2008 @ 7:48 am

Dear Copywriters Everywhere, Including the Ones on the Email I Just Got from Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions website, where you can sign a petition, for all the good it may do, asking Congress to authorize development of more domestic oil resources:

Stop telling us to “get educated” or “educate yourselves” about anything at all. Go back to the older formulation of “learn more about …” right away. “Get educated about the issues” sounds trendy and pretentious, implies we’re uneducated to start with, and uses an unnecessarily tortured grammatical formulation. “Learn about” or “learn more about” is stronger in both structure and meaning.

Sincerely,
Anwyn

Phrase Focus

Filed under:Abortion,Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor? — posted by Anwyn on May 15, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

Dear Columnists, Especially on the Right:

It is not “a woman’s right to choose.” It is more properly called “a woman’s right to choose abortion.” Without abortion she still has a choice: Keep her child or give the child up for adoption, both perfectly viable if heart-rending alternatives.

I read the phrase, which is, after all, only what everybody calls it nowadays–the common cant on abortion–in a Pat Buchanan column about something else entirely and it made me realize the more we accept the phraseology of the opposition, the more we legitimize their semantic sleight-of-hand. Now you see the abortion; now you don’t, because it’s become a “right to choose.” No, it is the right to choose the abortion itself, nothing more or less.

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

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 30, 2008 @ 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.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace