Saturday, December 22, 2007

Overheard in Lancaster, California 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Weinerschnitzel fast-food restaurant on Avenue K

Woman sitting at next table: "It's too bad Schwarzenegger can't be president. He'd go over to Iran and Iraq and make them stop."

COMMENT: To Lancaster's credit, the people with her politely said nothing to indicate they agreed with the astonishing stupidity of their late-lunch partner.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Taco Bell on 15th Street West

Man ordering food: "I say 'Merry Christmas' because I know it offends people."

COMMENT: I know a lot of "liberals" (whatever that words mean nowadays, when "Far-Left extremist" is applied to everyone who wants to see fewer dead Americans), and I don't know a single person who is offended by "Merry Christmas." Offended by obnoxious, self-righteous Cafeteria Christians, yes. I do, however, know dozens of people who are specifically offended by "Happy Holidays." And I've looked through the Gospels very carefully, trying to find the part where Jesus exhorts his followers to act like total assholes and drive potential believers from the faith with their hypocritical, whiny nonsense. Can't find that part. Could somebody help me with this?


Friday, December 21, 2007

Giving Jonah's book more scrutiny than it deserves 

Making fun of Jonah's book "Liberal Fascism" has been fun, but some conservatives are responding predictably. "All you liberals do is make fun. You can't respond in a respectful tone, and you aren't addressing the serious allegations of the book."

This book, quite frankly, doesn't deserve any respect. And neither does anyone who defends it.

And it's very annoying to hear whiny conservatives get all politically correct over rudeness considering the wankers they vote into office on a regular basis.

Another thing that's annoying about conservatives is their astonishing ignorance and their laziness. Honest decent people know how to do a little research on their own and find several different sources and figure out what the buzz is about. Conservatives show up on liberal Web sites and expect liberals to do the work for them. (Just like in the real world.)

Look, guys, if you had any honesty or decency in your souls, you would already know why Jonah is full of crap. (But then, if you had any honesty or decency in your souls, you would have abandoned the sophistry and the logical fallacies of the conservative movement long ago.) So I think it's understandable that "liberals" - the word you use for anyone who can see through your nonsense - dont' take you seriously, and frequently don't view your efforts as good faith attempts to see the other side. The information is out there, for good, honest, decent people who have the ambition to learn about their world. Do conservatives really expect to be treated seriously when they go to a liberal humor site and expect other people to do all that work for a bunch of nitwits who seems to have no idea that there is a real reality outside of what Rush Limbaugh tells them?

However, "liberals," accustomed as they are to doing the work that conservatives aren't intellectually equipped to handle, do sometimes step up to the plate. Orcinus has offered up the start of
a serious discussion of what's wrong with Jonah's book. All sincere conservatives, if such exist, should go there, read and think about why the conservative movement is viewed with such scorn by honest decent people.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Marshall McLuhan weighs in on Jonah Goldberg 

(Editor's note: Not really.)

Humpty-Dumpty is the familiar example of the clown unsuccessfully imitating the acrobat. ... The integral and unified egg had no business sitting on the wall anyway. Walls are made of uniformly fragmented bricks that arise with specialisms and bureaucracies. They are the deadly enemies of integral beings like eggs. Humpty-Dumpty met the challenge of the wall with a spectacular collapse.

- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, Ch. 19

(The theme for the old Space Ghost is playing right now. Somehow it seems to work perfectly for Goldberg criticism.)

McLuhan wrote this in the 1960s, but he seems to have been writing a cautionary tale for wingnut welfare recipients - like Jonah Goldberg ... and all other conservatives who are primarily supported by nepotism and think tanks - who start to believe the ranting rattling around in their echo chamber.

Jonah is Humpty-Dumpty. "Sitting on the wall" means "writing a history book." "The acrobat" means "the historian." "Uniformly fragmented bricks" means "facts, historical integrity and intellectual honesty."

And that explains why Jonah Goldberg had a great fall.

Marshall McLuhan. A great man, truly ahead of his time.

Update: One more Sadly, No! post on the sad, sorry Jonah Goldberg affair.


The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism. 

That's what Jonah Goldberg says in his fascinating book on fabricated conservative history (also known as conservative history) titled "Liberal Fascism: The American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning."

If conservatives want to be taken seriously by honest decent people; if they want to be able to walk down the street without being shriveled up by the disapproving glare of their neighbors; if they want to look in the mirror in the morning and see a human, they will boldly and loudly denounce this stupid, stupid man, and they will raise the hue and cry to have his stupid, stupid column evicted from the newspapers and replaced with a conservative columnist that makes conservatives look a little less stupid.

It won't happen. At this point, it's painfully obvious that conservatives don't care what honest decent people think, and their stupidity is a badge they wear proudly.

(Did I offend anyone? Sorry, I know how politically correct you people can be when it suits you. I'll try to be more considerate of your feelings next time.)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My new role model is an anime character with blue hair 

I'm trying to decide if this period of my life will later be known as "when I was reading Zinn and MacLuhan at the same time" or "when I found a new role model and lived happily ever after."

If it works out, it will probably be the latter. But there are a lot of reason why it may not work out.

The last time I had a role model was 2001, when I was editor in chief, and then managing editor, of the Daily Sundial, the campus newspaper for Cal State Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. It was difficult to go from being a reporter to being in charge. I didn't always know what to do. So I thought of the great newsman, Lou Grant. And, faced with a problem I was unsure about, I would think, "What would Lou Grant do?"

It helped.

Lou always knew what to do. And I think Lou knew that it was better to do the wrong thing right away and just get moving than to sit around and try to figure out what the right thing might be. Learn from your mistakes. Apologize later, if not right away, wait until the end of the night. (And I apologized at the end almost every time I closed the paper. A general apology. Just in case I had offended anybody without realizing it.)

At the time, I was not thinking of the one-hour drama "Lou Grant" Lou Grant. In 2001, I hadn't seen it in years, not since it had been a first-run show in the late 1970s. I was thinking of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" Lou Grant. That's on all the damn time. Great show!

I don't purposely emulate Lou Grant anymore. I think I just sort of absorbed everything from the character I needed, and I still call upon that when necessary. (It's kind of rusty.)

But now, I have a new role model.

(This is going to sound weird

Lou Grant was a role model for the newsroom (and perhaps for difficult situations in real life as well.) My new role model represents a way of living.

She is very serene and very forgiving. She is always smiling, very sympathetic, an understanding, ambitious, focused person

And she has blue hair.

Like Lou Grant, she's fictional. She's also a cartoon.

I refer to Kanade Jinguchi, the president of the Miyagami Academy Maximum-Authority Wielding Best Student Council (better known as Best Student Council).

"Best Student Council" is the name of the anime series. It's 26 episodes, and I have seen the first 18, and I'm hooked. I have never seen anything like this. It's all about the Miyagami Academy, an unusual institution, where a bunch of weird anime shit is always happening. The academy was created by Kanade Jinguchi, who is usually called Miss Kanade. She is 18 years old, and she comes from the very wealthy, powerful and mysterious Jinguchi family. I have an inkling of what the academy was created for, but I'm not going to spoil the many surprises.

The Best Student Council is the core group that, well, I guess they run the school, in some manner. They have more power than anyone on the rarely-seen faculty. The council is about twelve girls from around 7th grade to 12th grade. Each seems to have a secret, and many of them seem to have powers. Little by little, "Best Student Council" reveals these secrets. It's alternately funny and tragic and surprising and, sometimes, it's even a little retarded. (What would anime be without those Speed Racer moments?)

And Kanade presides over it all with serenity and joy. And I want to be more like her.

Kanade has a little help. Her protector and second in command is the rough and tough Nanaho Kinjo, known as Miss Nanaho most of the time. Nanaho kicks butt. She's the leader of the Assault Squad. (Did I mention that Miyagami Academy has an Assault Squad? They also have a Covert Squad, a photography club AND a paparazzi club, a 100-foot cannon (for scaring off boys who show up on aircraft to marry Kanade), a self-destruct button and a very special puppet named Puuchan.)

(Does an all-girls school really need all these accoutrements? Watch the show. You'll soon find out that Miyagami Academy really does need all this goofy shit. Remove one goofy element and the whole thing falls apart.)

Kanade needs Miss Nanaho around so Kanade can be her very special self. I hope I can achieve the state of serenity that Kanade has. Or I can be my own Nanaho. Or maybe I can attract a Nanaho by being Kanade, the way Kanade did.

Be the blue-haired girl.


Jonah and the Fail 

Jonah Goldberg has written a book (his word) called "Liberal Fascism: The American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning."

Jonah is a conservative columnist, and he is very stupid, even for a conservative columnist. I welcome his book because it appears to be so dumb that it will sweep away any doubt that he is a pig-ignorant douchebag, and if his book gets the attention that such an uninformed screed deserves, honest decent people will shun him and everyone who doesn't stand up and denounce Jonah, his book, every newspaper that carries him and everyone who tries to defend this transparent, childish and witless asshattery.

Not because he calls liberals fascists. This is bad enough, and quite stupid on its face. No, Jonah should be denounced for making his arguments in the stupidest way possible. No straw man remains in its package, no sophistry is left unmolested, and I believe that several brand-new logical fallacies were created in the underground laboratory of the Hoover Institute just to help fill this 400-page book.

If I was a conservative, I would be very angry at the conservative talking point manufacturers that let this book get through because it makes conservatives look dumber than anyone thought possible. (But then, if I was smart enough to figure out how dumb this book is, I wouldn't be a conservative, would I?)

Don't believe me? Think I'm exaggerating?

No. Not even a little.

The lively, fun-loving folks at Sadly, No! have been a regular bunch of degenerates the last few days in making fun of Jonah's book. It has been brutal. If it was a movie, it would be rated NC-17. (Such cruel mockery may not be politically correct, but I say if conservatives don't want to be ridiculed, they shouldn't be so ridiculous.)

Below are their recent posts on this subject:

A tantalizing peek at history's greatest book

Everywon I don't like iz a Nazi!!!11!!

Simply goddamn embarrassing

In a way, all else is commentary

A masterwork of obfuscation

Goldberg ad astra

Joseph McCarthy: Man of the Left

Official Sadly, Goldberg! Appreiation Day

Goldberg ad astra (Pt. II)

So so so so SO awesome

Be nice, you say? After you start wading through this pile, you'll see that I am being nice.

Have fun.


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