Friday, May 16, 2003
Virginia Heffernan actually wrote up that guilty pleasure 80's show on VH1. Her write up is mostly pretty positive, and I agree with a lot of her points. She highlights MoRocca and Michael Ian Black as being the funniest commentators. Good, but she also mentions someone named Aisha Taylor, and I don't know who the fuck she is (The new Talk Soupchick maybe? I don't like her at all), and she forgets the greatest of all, lovable Mikey from Queer as Folk (I've never learned that guy's name).
posted by Eric |
In more important news, I don't know if you're following this "Trucker Hat" story today, but its really heated up and taken on a life of its own. Go to Gawker and read everything, and follow every single link if you have the time.
The cliff's notes version is here This is that great feature on The Black Table where this girl does a write-up of Best of Craig's List. She'll get you up to speed.
The two funniest little bits in all of this were 1)A reader writing into Gawker talking about the LA equivalent of the "B'Burg Hipster Fucktard" (unwashed hair, ill-fitting thrift store clothes, trucker hat, glasses from the Salvation Army bin) look (there its soft porn star, couture sweat pants kind of stuff) and 2) In delving into the "trucker hat" phenomenon, a girl brought up the related phenomenon of wearing them at a jaunty angle. She said she got drunk at a party and went around straightening all of the guys hats, and they all sheepishly re-crookened them after a few minutes.
The most important single link in all of this is this one These are anti Trucker hat T-shirts that all right-thinking men and women should purchase immediately and wear to Williamsburg/Greenpoint.
If you don't have time to hit the link this is the copy: "Take of that stoopid fucking hat"
This is a story from the part of the country I'm from where the biggest employers are the sex industry, insane asylums, and juvenile detention centers. A guy in Fort Wayne, IN, an hour or so away from my hometown of South Bend, IN, and a small city which has about 2 strip clubs per capita, is suing "Showgirls III" for making it impossible for him to consummate his marriage on his wedding night, though probably not for whatever reason you're probably thinking.
The there's this write up of "The Naked Cowboy" Just as I suspected, he is not a genuine New York weirdo but in reality a shamelessly self-promoting huckster, and a savvy businessman. Warn every out-of-towner you see.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
This is going to become a regular feature, given the fact that there is a fiercely Zionist strain in my political thought, and how much its needed at this particular moment. On a given day its almost too easy to find some iteration of the current Anti-Semitic memes, such as Israel being held up for criticism and blame for all of its troubles, while actual murderers and tyrants the world over are given a free pass, and the idea that America's support of Israel was somehow the catch-all explanation for September 11th and in fact for all Islamist terrorism world-wide. But still, we need as many vigilant critics and bloggers as possible to hold these pernicious ideas, which have such unfortunate prominence on the Left and on the Right, up to scrutiny.
posted by Eric |
A major offender of late has been the normally more astute New York Observer. A typical example is the laughable Nicholas Von Hoffman piece this week. Now, I already know that this man is a joke, and has been proven absolutely wrong about absolutely everything. Andrew Sullivan has even named an award after him, given for hilariously off the mark predictions. Still, somehow, someway, this man is published, and in a paper I like, though at this point he should probably be sent to a suburban Penny Saver to re-learn his craft.
The point of the piece is to further that idiotic meme, brilliantly parodied by Lileks yesterday that, yes my friends, there is a chill wind of oppression blowing across the land! Top-40 artists of conscience are chained in gulags! Hollywood dissenters are being sent to Republican re-education camps in Indiana! The Dixie Chicks are forced to make a living as wandering minstrels, having been consigned to a life of poverty for daring to uttering the unutterable!! Oh, wait a minute, none of that is happening. According to Von Hoffman's piece however, which as per usual is based almost entirely on anecdotal information and rampant speculation, there is a right-minded, intellectually daring, enlightened minority of "literate, college-educated, managers, and professionals" who have the intellectual clarity to understand 9/11 for what it really was " . . . these people are convinced that the years of supplying money and arms to Israel triggered what they see as a retaliatory attack on the United States."
Okay, I get it, I feel so much better now. I had been so unduly traumatized by seeing the mass murder of thousands of civilians from a few blocks away, but now I see that it was merely a "retaliatory attack" for my government's nefarious policy of supporting a democratic ally as it waged a war against barbarous terrorism. The idea must have been to clear ground to establish a small Palestinian state at the World Trade Center site. I don't remember Bin Laden saying that in any of his speeches, but it must have been somewhere.
So, how much of the population is comprised of the sort of astute foreign policy analysts who see Islamist terror in these terms? "When the poll-takers come around, these people are not going to tell them what they really think, any more than they’d tell anybody else whom they don’t know and have no reason to trust. Hence, there’s no telling if we’re dealing with one half of 1 percent of the population, or 2 percent, or what." A whole 2 percent (possibly)! So, why aren't the informed views of this enlightened and enormous voting bloc being sung from the mountaintops? Why aren't we seeing attempts at universities across the country to turn Israel into the new international pariah through a boycott? Why aren't we seeing pundits from across the political spectrum opine that the Iraq War was a secret plot by a small cadre of Likudniks who have infiltrated the Bush cabinet and are secretly running things in that sneaky, Jewish way of theirs? Why aren't we seeing major Broadway plays that argue exactly their point of view? Why aren't we seeing members of the International Solidarity Movement and other "peace" organizations, which have been proven to have helped suicide bombers written up as heroes in the "mainstream" press? Why aren't we seeing made up "massacres" of Palestinians being accepted as gosepl truth by big media? Oh, wait a minute, we are seeing all of that.
But anyway, these brave dissenting, BA brandishing middle-managers are being quashed, censored, maybe even jailed! Its a freedom of speech issue! Or is it? Hoffie again: "When our politicians talk about freedom of speech, they are referring to freedom from governmental interference, from political police, from the kind of suppression exercised by a certain Mr. Saddam Hussein. But that’s not what’s going on here. The underground dissenters aren’t afraid of the government; they fear informal social and economic punishment." His only concrete example of this punishment is James P. Moran's being stripped of that most fundamental of rights that all Americans take for granted: the right to a post as Regional Minority Whip. Not only that, but Moran is actually (brace yourself) "being threatened with opposition in the next primary." Trying to quash his dissent by the underhanded means of opposing him in a primary! Is there no depth to which the shadowy Jewish cabal will not sink!?
The Von Hoffman piece is so laughably easy to "Fisk" that its almost not any fun. Its truly shocking that it ever saw the light of day or the eye of an editor. Its filled with so much airy speculation it threatens to fly off the page. Its a conclusion, based on a supposition, based on a supposition, with next to no supporting argument. The first supposition, that there is a significant, educated minority who harbor these hatefully anti-Israel views, is based on pure speculation, and is of course a sulf-fulfilling property according to Mr. Von Hoffman's logic. We'll never know their number because they are forced underground by the chill wind of oppression and all that. That second supposition, that the chill wind of oppression actually is blowing, is confirmed, in circular logic, by the fact that there are, only in his opinion, so few public anti-Israel voices. The only piece of evidence he offers is the infinitely debatable example of Rep. James P. Moran.
It is the conclusion, however, which is not only nonsensically illogical but potentially very dangerous. In Von Hoffman's own words, "It seems to me that the sense of being gagged and intimidated is growing—and, with it, a resentment that is not without a nasty edge." And, in the final two sentences, "The secret resentment and anger are not unlike an underground peat fire. You know it’s there—but how deep it smolders and how long and how hot it may burn, no one can say". What these sentences amount to is an excuse for critiques of Israel taking whatever vile, Anti-Semitic, or violent expression they may take. You see, these people can't be held accountable for their actions, because they're simmering with hatred for the Jewish cabal that runs everything, and with mainstream America for supporting them, just like the 9/11 hijackers. So, I guess we can expect more swastikas, more attacks on Jewish youth by "peace protesters," more Muslim hate groups speaking at American universities, more Buchanan, more Le Pen, and, more 9/11's, but thankfully, now we know why. Its the Jews controlling everything and quashing all dissent, and everyone else's own damn fault for letting them. I nominate Nicholas Von Hoffman for a Tom Dalyell award.