Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WHAT MAKES THEM HAPPY.

Shorter entire right wing: Paupers get their benefits yanked -- HOORAY!

They're already laughing about how Congress didn't cross their t's, giving the antis their big chance in the Halbig decision. I don't think much of Democrats, but I must say it looks like they're at least trying to bring us some relief, while the Republicans (and the conservatives whose hands are up their asses) are rooting for them to fail. Which is pretty much the dynamic, isn't it?


Monday, July 21, 2014

JONAH GOLDBERG'S LOVE GOSPEL.

Ladies: Grateful to be considered something more than an object, but nostalgic for old-fashioned romance?  Jonah Goldberg has good news: Conservatives may be willing to treat you nicer. In fact, look at the sacrifice he's prepared to make:
Political correctness can actually be seen as an example of Hayekian spontaneous order.
The guy who wrote Liberal Fascism is saying nice things about P.C.!  The need to peel some unmarried-female votes from the Democrats has been judged an all-hands-on-deck situation at Camp Conservative, I guess, and Goldberg must move with the times. But he can still keep his Hayek! Also he can portray himself as a thought-leader:
I wish more conservatives recognized that at least some of what passes for political correctness is an attempt to create new manners and mores for the places in life where the old ones no longer work too well...
Identity politics is only part of the story, and not even the most important part. Medical, technological, and economic changes are almost surely far more important than changing demographics alone...
The New Conservatives are watching their pressure gauges and tracking the New Mores. Apparently these studies are desperately needed (and possibly eligible for a grant!), because the New Conservatives are locked in a Mores Race with the liberals to see who's got the best political correctness, and Goldberg wants potentially donors to know that the libs' sexual Sputnik is still in orbit:
Democrats recognize this, which is why they’ve cynically exploited changes in family structure, female labor participation, and reproductive technology and declared that Republicans have declared war on women.
This is like saying "Democrats cynically exploited growing tolerance of minority groups to make us look like bigots."  There's a step missing there, Goldberg, can you guess what it is?
Progressives are steadily dismantling the beautiful cathedrals of traditional manners and customs, arguing that they’re too Baroque, too antiquated. They use the sledgehammer of liberation rhetoric to destroy the old edifices, but their fidelity to liberty is purely rhetorical. In place of the old cathedrals they build supposedly functional, modern, and utilitarian codes of conduct. But these Brutalist codes are not only unlovely, they are often more prudish than traditional approaches...
It's like he knows us, right? To capture chick votes we smashed the cathedrals of courtly love! Which was awkward, you know, because all those apses and semitransepts are so vaginal, but it was worth it to get rid of that meddling Christ. Then we put up a Government Fucking Center. A bit sterile, but it does the job, especially after you put down the hemp mats.

Goldberg thinks he can do better:
What I would like to see from conservatives is recognition that some of the cathedrals are outdated. But instead of arguing that they should be razed and replaced with Jacobin Temples of Reason with rites and rituals grounded in abstraction, why not argue for some long overdue updating and retrofitting? I guarantee you more women prefer a modified version of the traditional process of wooing, courting, and dating before sex than the “modern” schizophrenic system of getting drunk enough for a same-day hook up but not so inebriated to forget to get a signature on the consent form. Traditional notions of romance and respect are far better tools than the mumbo-jumbo campus feminists have to offer. The problem is that the mumbo-jumbo feminists are fighting largely uncontested.
I look forward to seeing this conservative modified version of the traditional process of wooing, courting, and dating before sex. "I'm here to read you some pastorals." "OK [continues texting]." Later: "I swear by my life and my love of it I won't cum in your mouth."

Just not being a dick was never an option, I suppose.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP...

...about recent doings in the Culture War, one of my favorite subjects and, as I admit upfront, a cheering alternative to the news from Ukraine and Israel. Couldn't we all use a little good news?

I could have spent a little more time in the column on the Archie-dies-for-gay-friend thing, but here's a little lagniappe for your late-night real people from Patheos' Mark Shea:
Good Soviets Will Now Repeat: “Archie Died For Our Sins”
Like I said the other day: I didn't know how great an idea this was until I saw how badly it pissed off the Jesus freaks.

UPDATE. Forgot to post the link earlier so here it is.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ELAINE STRITCH, 1925-2014.



She was great. (In this clip, wait'll she warms up! She begins a tad pro-forma, as if she doesn't like filling in for Merman nor the giant image orthicon cameras pointed at her -- that discomfiture is fun to observe, too -- but soon she shakes it off, and by the encore it's as if she's spotted a friend in the audience and is showing off.)

Now maybe I'll download her children's album.

UPDATE. Guess we should have this, especially if you've never seen it:



Not many people in history could be called definitive interpreters of Sondheim and Noel Coward.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

U MAD BRO?

After National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke put up a column about how it's okay to cry over the little wetbacks he nonetheless wants to throw out of the country, I tweeted this:









Cooke took it thus:








Tbogg chimed in:










Drawing this response:











Liberal Fascism has much to answer for: It has apparently bred a generation of wingnuts who think that if you make fun of them it's the Warsaw Ghetto all over again.

UPDATE. In comments, quoting Cooke on the harsh necessity of the extirpations ("But let’s recognize, as we do so, that the tears are real"), hellslittlestangel finds the verse I'm kicking myself for missing:
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size...
Spaghetti Lee has a good one too. D Johnston chooses to freestyle: "Kids, I know we're sending you back to a place that's a virtual war zone at this point, but I hope you'll accept my sympathy as a consolation prize. You think I want to do this? You think this gives me joy? Not a milliliter. But paperwork is an important part of life, and it's best that you learn it now before you enter into the business world..."

SITUATIONAL ETHICAL LAFFS.

I am a hypocrite. I thought the idea of Archie Andrews getting killed to save the life of gay friend Kevin was silly. But then Rod Dreher walked in...
Nope, nothing overtly political here. Hey, since I was last in Riverdale, they’ve got teen lesbians, one of whom is a "fierce Latina"...
Seems like everybody is gay in pop culture today... 
Seriously, it is a fascinating question how two percent of the population can have had such a tectonic effect on a culture, and in such a short time.
...and now I think it's terrific.

P.S. On Twitter, Tristan R. Salazar notes: "That CDC study [Dreher] mentions does peg the number of LGBT in the US at about 2% -- the same percentage as that of Jews in the US, and yet (almost) no one says, 'What's with all the Jewish people in popular culture?'"

UPDATE. "Harumph!" says Jay B in comments. "Gays are one thing, but when did Jews start writing comics?"

Also, how did I forget to include this:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WHY SHEEPLE NO LIKE SHELDON?

From Reason magazine:
How to Talk to Nonlibertarians
Take a shower and don't stand so close to them when you talk. Just kidding! Do go on, Sheldon Richman:
If libertarians want to change how nonlibertarians think about government, they will need to understand how nonlibertarians think about government. By "nonlibertarians," I mean the majority of people who spend little if any time pondering political theory or what Murray Rothbard called political ethics. They may focus at times on particular government programs and actions, or on proposals for new programs, but rarely about government as an institution.
You mean normal people?
...So how can libertarians speak to these people in a way they will understand? How do we get them to question deeply held beliefs that may never have been articulated? My basic advice is to start by trying to see government as they see it. This may be distasteful, but if you want to persuade people, what else are you going to do? Without this, you might as well be speaking in a foreign language.
I have to say it's amazing they let this be published someplace non-initiates might see it. (I know, fellas, but at least technically Reason magazine is available to the public.) Richman sounds like an alien in a cheesy sci-fi story trying to figure out what is this "love" the humans speak of?

But he does try: He even acknowledges that people worry about losing their job and having no safety net to help them, which must have been a big step for him. Unfortunately:
...The libertarian job is to convince people that, on two counts, government provision is a bad way to secure a good end. First, it is morally wrong because it requires compulsion — the threat of physical violence — starting with taxation. And second, as a consequence of the first feature, state provision is inferior to private provision because it is outside the free and competitive market — a process that, unlike the political realm, ties rewards to customer service and stimulates entrepreneurial discovery, which makes products and services better and cheaper.
I see the problem here: Richman thinks that the littlebrains don't know that the power of the state is terrible. But we do know it, and nonetheless prefer to deal with the welfare state -- yes, even with police and taxes -- than take a chance on rule by corporations, because we also know that people who pitch us "customer service" and "entrepreneurial discovery" as an alternative to our current means of survival are the sort of well-manicured grifters who try to talk senior citizens into giving up their life savings for a fake stock certificate.

With a little patience Richman might be able to polish his act sufficiently that after ten minutes people won't want to throw garbage at him, but I don't think he has it in him -- really, look at this --
In other words, consumers would be safer without government protection. But that counterintuitive claim must be patiently demonstrated, not merely insisted on. (One disadvantage for libertarians is that most people are ignorant of economics.)
-- and imagine the guy trying to win hearts and minds anywhere but FreedomFest and Koch Industries. We all get tired of glad-handers, but these guys don't even seem to like people. And they certainly don't want to offer them anything except the opportunity to be smug shits like themselves -- and they think that's a great come-on because for libertarians that's the tippity-top of the Maslow pyramid. They'll give out toy guns in Harlem to make a point, and give a speech at Howard to make a point -- but it's not the people of Harlem or Howard they're trying to make their points to -- it's the people who already agree with them, and who'll get the press release and say boy, our guys really showed those people.

It's not a formula for political success. Fortunately for them, their sponsors have deep pockets and can buy politicians who'll just straight up lie to them about what they're trying to do.

Monday, July 14, 2014

NOW NEW VILLAGE VOICE COLUMN UP....

...surprise, it's about the border crisis. The brethren are really tearing this up like an abused German Shepherd mauling an infant; check this World Net Daily headline:
WILL OBAMA'S BORDER CHAOS SPARK REVOLUTION?
Exclusive: Morgan Brittany on administration action: 'It is classic Cloward-Piven'
Well, you say, even at a low-rent outfit like WND, the authors don't always write the headlines --
Ah, but this is what the left and this administration wants. It is classic Cloward-Piven. Overwhelm the system, anger the populace, create chaos, and then, martial law takes over...

If Obama gets his way and the system collapses through illegal immigration or financial means, if he succeeds in confiscating our guns and ammo so that no one but the government has them, then we the people will be at their mercy, and the sad thing is that many people will welcome their control. At that point the American people will be helpless against a totalitarian state, and they will have succeeded in the full transformation of this country.
She forgot the bit where a leering Nicaraguan lights his cigar with a dollar bill and sneers, MUCHAS GRACIAS SEÑOR OBAMA! HA HA HA HA! as your sons and daughters are herded off to work as poolboys and tequila-bandolero waitresses in Aztlan, but otherwise it's perfect.