Saturday, July 26, 2008

This Week In Stupid

This was the highlight of Obama's week:

This was the high point of Saint Barbecue's week:

Although McCain did meet with the Dalai Lama. See you at the Beijing Olympics, Senator Straight Talk!

And exactly what is the purpose of that stylish windshield sticker on Poppy Bush's (I refuse out of principle to refer to either him or his offspring by these twee numerical nicknames they so adore) golf cart? Is there an epidemic of golf-cart joyriding at the millionaires' compound in Kennebunkport? Or is this a feeble attempt at WASP humor? Probably all of the above; I imagine the kitchen help are constantly tempted by their employers' preening narcissism to add special sauces to the cuisine. Weekend amusements probably feature the Filipino houseboy dipping his uncircumcised cock into Bar's fourth Manhattan, before mercilessly banging the maid on the seat of Poppy's precious golf cart. "Hands off!"

Anyhoo, let's dig it. Certainly I'm not helping the Obamanauts repackage any of the Civis Mundi schtick he threw at the Berliners (that would be the humans, not the jelly doughnuts); while I agree with it in principle, he's running neck-and-neck with a guy who in a rational country would be running twenty points behind a stray dog saddled with a sandwich board campaign sign. Most Americans aren't ready to engage as citizens of their own country, at least as the founders envisioned it. Speaking -- or even passably understanding -- French, for example, is in too many circles a sign that you eat snails, hate 'murka, and probably take it up the poop-chute. This, along with the natural angry codger niche, is McCain's natural turf.

Still, Obama stepped up to the "questions" that the "experts" had about him, hung with troops in Afghanistan, talked to most of the important leaders in the region to favorable reviews, and ended it in front of 200,000 people. If McCain and his crew think it's that easy, they are welcome to fucking well try it. He wouldn't draw one tenth of that in any European country without a chunk of them being protesters. No wonder his counter-strategy was to hit American towns called "Berlin" and hang out at sausage restaurants. He didn't have much choice in the matter -- only the "wurst" options were available for his interminable tilt at mediocrity. [Begins self-mortification for excruciatingly bad pun.]

Speaking of taking it in the ass, if Matt in the Hat jumped off a cliff, would the Drudge Packers follow? Pretty please?

Some of the reporters traveling with Obama were surprised upon landing to discover their editors in something of a frenzy. The reason: Drudge is using terms like "chaos" and "mob scene" to describe Obama's visit early this morning to the Western Wall. But that's not the way the pool saw it.

That's because he's a partisan fabulist at best, and a fucking liar at worst. Either way, not so much a journalist as a spoon-fed tipster. Which makes the people who read and regurgitate his "tips" not so much journalists themselves, as bloggers with a fuckin' corporate per-diem. If you ever get tired of letting this asshole send you out on daily snipe hunts, there's plenty of actual news to report on. Just a thought.

Normally when you read something this unspeakably moronic, if you haven't already seen the byline, your first assumption is, "Christ, it's fucking Goldberg again." You can practically smell the Pantload, a heady whiff of popcorn chicken, Hai Karate, and desperation.

But no, it's a different box of rocks. They have an endless supply, you know.

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

Also, like W, Batman used his daddy's connections to dodge the draft, skip out on Air National Guard duty, skate on a coke bust, irritate his classmates at Yale with his uppity bumpkin attitude, do more coke, brand some pledges, fail upward through a variety of daddy-initiated "businesses", and lawn-dart the nation. Eerily alike, if you really ponder all the similarities.

Although Preznit Batman probably wouldn't have picked The Penguin as his veep. I mean, this is real-life, people, not a comic book....or, um, the sixth movie derived from a comic book. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Like Bluto ranting about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, forget it, he's rolling.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The easy riposte is to wonder aloud why "conservative" mores and tropes are so familiarly employed in fantasy and graphic narratives? That's not to denigrate either form; obviously fantasy and sci-fi have always been thinly-veiled allegories, and many of the early comics (Superman especially) use the values of nationalism and patriotism to tell their stories.

And the narratives of graphic novels have improved exponentially just in the past generation. As a young reader of comic books (mostly DC mystery comics, some superhero stuff), I can only assume that some if not all of that improvement came out of a frustration and desire to get out of the swamp that comics (especially the increasingly ridiculous Marvel superhero pro-wrestling matchups) had gotten bogged down into in the late '70s and early '80s.

But how about V for Vendetta, a marvelously written and portrayed narrative about fascism creeping in the name of "security". Security for the state, mind you, not its citizens; they become fodder for the machinations of state power and its corporate donors. Yeah, Klavan left that one out in his litany of purloined classics-for-conservatards. Surprised he didn't throw in Transformers while he was at it.

As ridiculous as Klavan's original "Batman is W" premise is -- and Jeebus H. Christmas, it is fucking ludicrous -- what cannot go unanswered is his revolting attempt to annex "values" (morality, faith, self-sacrifice, nobility of fighting for right) under the "conservative" banner, as if this cadre of draft-dodgers and moral reprobates -- people who have never actually lost or fought for anything in their damned lives -- had some sort of divine right to those ideals. First of all, Bush is not and never has been a "conservative", in any traditionally recognized sense of that term.

Fiscally, he's a checkbook diplomat -- he makes all the mouth noises about tightening spending and such, and if push comes to shove, he'll be happy to take it out of whoever has the weakest (or preferably no) lobby. But most of the time, he's fine with letting earmarks slide, so that his more treacherous policies pass unchallenged. Go ahead and build that shipyard in Pascagoula, and when that Patriot 3 draft hits your desk, just sign the thing.

Which is the other part of Bush that is not conservative, his encroaching authoritarianism. Bush personally may in fact be less of a banana-republic creature than his actual policies might seem to indicate. But the fact of the matter is that he is completely disinterested in facts, nuance, geopolitical interrelationships and repercussions, etc. He doesn't know, doesn't care.

He has ceded the decision-making process on all those things to Cheneyites who are unmistakably devoted to an authoritarian level of force and opacity. Kidnap an innocent man from Canada and send him to a dungeon in Syria to be beaten for a year? No problem. And as Klavan notes implicitly, any second-guessing of this ridiculous, closed-to-the-public process is just tugging on Superman's (or in this case, Batman's) cape.

Besides, as the missing-in-action Jeff Wells points out, "appealing to a vigilante superman who operates beyond the law to restore order out of chaos is the appeal of fascism."

And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised -- then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

Oh, I thought that's why they had 24. Very well then, bunky -- make this long-needed epic already. I do wish they'd quit bleating around the Bush, and just fucking do it. Christ. It's bad enough that they can't just go to the theater and watch a goddamn movie without incessantly preening and prattling on about this or that hidden subtext to endorse or decry. They can't just watch something, it's either sainted praise or Entartete Kunst.

Look, pal, if you believe in your cause so much, then just write a goddamned spec script and take points, seek funding, all that shit. Get Mitt Romney and T. Boone Pickens to kick up some venture capital and get rolling. Phil Gramm had a point about all this fucking whining, you know. You'd think people who were okey-doke with starting wars, force-feeding prisoners and torturing people for questionable info would show more initiative. Start a recycling drive or something; Goldberg's Yoo-Hoo empties alone would probably cover Kelsey Grammer's nut for getting in on this future masterpiece.

I'm kinda torn on captions for this beaut, so here's two and please add your own in comments:

Photo Denis Poroy AP
  • Since his recent arrest, Christian Bale has really started to let himself go. Shame on you, paparazzo!

  • The Preznit, unappreciated as always, schleps back from the Kwik-E-Mart with milk and Newports for the little woman, pb&j fixins for himself. Why can't every weekend be Tee-Ball Weekend?


Kimberly said...

how about 'if I weren't the one lurking in the shadows, offing do-badders, protectin' yer rights by tearing them up, just who WOULD be? hmmmmmMM>?????'

cavjam said...

and many of the early comics (Superman especially) use the values of nationalism and patriotism to tell their stories.

Superman originally contained little if any nationalism. Social justice was his aim.

In fact the original radio show featured the "fighting a never-ending battle for truth and justice" meme. It wasn't until later (the eve of WWII, IIRC) that "the American way" was added, along with invulnerability and an ability to fly.

KWohlmut said...

Sharp commentary -- I read the Klavan article via "World-O-Crap". I commented there, and earlier on Cunning Realist, pardon me for repeating here:

It never ceases to amaze me how [neo-]conservatives can praise and take allegorical fiction to their breast, while utterly and completely misinterpreting the fiction's obvious themes and messages.

Star Trek -- multiculturalism makes us stronger -- The Prime Directive: advanced civilizations do not interfere with the affairs of lesser cultures even if it means a bit of sacrifice by the advanced culture.
Conservative Star Trek -- when the Captain blasts those phasers, throws a few haymaker punches, and then sleeps with the exotic women, everything will work itself out for Truth and Justice.

Battlestar Galactica (v.2005) -- If humans(/Americans) were at the disadvantage in a war, we'd resort to terrorism and suicide bombing to stay alive too. People resist their occupiers even when it's tactically pointless, and the occupied never really give up. Our enemies are complex beings with motivations and unique qualities all their own, interacting with them can sometimes increase our knowledge.
Conservative Battlestar Galactica (v.2005) -- Our enemies are inhuman soulless clones which deserve nothing more than extermination by any means we have at hand.

Lord of the Rings -- (a small cute furry protagonist sneaks across million-man armies to destroy the most powerful warlord on the planet with scarcely a fight) -- direct assault by armies is not what settles great historical confrontations; war is destructive, terrifying and to be avoided; and power corrupts even the best of us towards Evil.
Conservative Lord of the Rings -- Evil must be militarily confronted in one grandiose all-out assault no matter how hopeless the odds, because somehow magically the good guys always win military struggles at the last minute.

These people read (or watch) classic works of allegory, then ignore what the author was trying to say and see only what they want to see.