Wednesday, November 25, 2009

That Swirling Sound

Kunstler susses the current media/culture dynamic with his usual cheery optimism. Obviously it's a quick and easy rant button to push, why presumably sentient beings would waste one second of their lives watching reality teevee or Erik Estrada dancing or what have you. Fish in a barrel and all.

And the last two months of the year are always the silly season anyway, when it comes to what qualifies as newsworthy. This is not coincidental; the corporate media, after all, are in business to sell ad space, just as if they were airing Jon and Kate or Leave it to Llamas. If you no longer have to try, content-wise, because enough idiots show up to the train wreck regardless, it instantly becomes much easier to control your marginal and operational costs.

But the silly season has expanded to all year long, not just summer and the holidays, the media 'tards just frog-jump from one contrivance to another, hoping to whip another crowd of morons into a frenzy. This throws the usual bread-to-circuses ratio ever more out of balance. The distractions become bigger, emptier, and somehow more baroque and protracted; the characters more interchangeable and uninteresting; the peanut gallery playing to ever-dumber audiences.

So when random mouth-breathers take up their electronic crayons to draft their hysterical plaints about how the scope of poor Sarah Palin's public abuse has been uniquely unfair and vicious, I have to wonder where the fuck they were when Hitlery Clinton was being called a lesbian and a murderer. Whatever fancifully-based mortal wounds the herd animals of the MSM have apparently inflicted on this beleaguered Christian woman, so far they have not Gone There.

Probably the worst rumor-mongering Palin has had to endure revolved around the birth of her most recent rugrat. But between her failure to tell anyone about the impending birth, her efforts to wear clothing to obscure the pregnancy, and her peculiar (and dangerous) insistence on flying home from Texas while in labor, and the subsequent knocked-upness of her presumably abstinence-educated daughter, some confusion was bound to occur. The most important thing to remember about Sarah is that, whatever the issue or event in question may be, it's never ever her fault. These really are the biggest bunch of fucking crybabies since the Michael Jackson funeral (no doubt available on DVD any day now).

The fact of the matter is, the media has stepped over itself in order to allow Palin to peddle her unnecessary memoir, regularly trotting out talking heads who have not actually read the damned thing, but can still be counted to let us all know what a compelling read it is. None of them ever quite seem to get around to asking the more fundamental question, "Does this book serve any purpose whatsoever, and if so, what in hell could it possibly be?".

Well, the purpose is to make her some money, and keep her name out there, keep her options open. But her idiot fanclub have higher aspirations for her, of course -- merely reifying their incoherent tropes is just the cover charge. And that's just not going to happen if the money people don't believe she's a good investment.

Comparisons are inevitably made to George W. Bush, who counterintuitively comes out looking rather intelligent and well-spoken next to Palin. But Fredo had a serious pedigree in both the familial and political senses of the word, which Palin has yet to cultivate in even a professional sense. And until she can convince some of the actual money and power players in her party to sponsor her tomfoolery, she'll always just be a populist totem, to be trotted out at appropriate times and make these drunken goobers forget that their jobs have been outsourced and their homes have been foreclosed, and that both parties are balls-deep in those problems.

But people who have that kind of money and influence clearly are not going to invest in Palin populism unless they can control the aim of its vituperation. Truly influential people will always be mortified at the very notion of the country being run or even affected in any truly meaningful way by the dipshits waiting in line at the signing of a book they'll never quite finish. [Hilarious video here.]

And really, who can blame them? There's a reason Mencken loathed and distrusted the democratic process, and these fucking yahoos are it. Damned if I can find a difference between these fools and a gaggle of moony-eyed teeny-boppers waiting in line to see the Twilight sequel for the eighth time. Jesus H. Christ, they must have interviewed a couple dozen people in that segment, and not one of them made any fucking sense at all. It's obviously not some isolated agitprop edit, either -- videos like this proliferate, at the teabagger rallies, at the summer town-hall putsches, and not one of these goddamned people has the presence of mind to explain themselves or how they can buy into this happy horseshit.

Surely one (1) of these bozos is able to show up at what they reasonably anticipate (or assume, or hope) is going to be a media event, and have taken two minutes to prepare some meaningful sound-byte manifesto beyond the usual boilerplate they picked up through Glenn Beck osmosis. Or not, since it has yet to happen. Any sensible person should be viewing these troglodytes with a hearty mixture of scorn and contempt, of figuring that they pretty much deserve whatever they get. Pity is always wasted on the willfully, obnoxiously ignorant -- you don't have to buy what Hopenchange is selling, but you do have to have a better answer for why not, or at least one that makes some sense.

Now supposedly, there is a wide disconnect between the amount of coverage Palin gets, and the amount most people think she should get. And yet it continues unabated, much like her reality teevee counterparts. It's the old Yogi Berra conundrum -- nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

What it is is a vile combination of the newsertainment symbiosis which has metastasized and seems well on its way to turning every journamalistic institution into tabloid coverage, celebrity ass-sniffing, and reading viewers' tweets; and the impulse of the flailing media establishment to mainstream all these niche marketing gambits. All the things they do are covered on the internets, and faster and better, so there's no need for the people who actually crave that sort of Twinkie news coverage to bother with watching Andrea Mitchell cover some fucking book signing.

And in the meantime, the "recovery" is still jobless, the bubble is still being re-inflated, Goldman Sachs is still fucking you and your grandchildren over, Blackwater is still conducting ops and will probably be covertly bombing Laos next week. And Sarah Palin is well on her way to becoming the conservatards' Lucy Van Pelt, forever dangling incoherent hopes and fever dreams in front of their bloodshot eyes, and always yanking the ball away when the time is right. And why shouldn't she? Why should the Democrats have all the fun with true believers?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Not a Flaw, It's a Feature

Per usual, The Beast's Allan Uthman nails the Democrats' perfidy right on the head:

The Democrats seem to be throwing this thing on purpose. The public option is DOA and was probably always meant to be. And it’s not because they’re wussy or incompetent. It’s because they’re corrupt. It’s because all they are is the sock puppet on the left hand of corporate hegemony. Bribery is legal in this country—we call it campaign finance. That’s why we can’t have a single-payer system, and that’s why this bill devolving into yet another massive theft of taxpayer money was a foregone conclusion. In the end, maybe some poor people will be able to get treatment when they couldn’t before, but only in the weakest, most costly and corrupt way conceivable. And if that’s the only way we can do it, then I guess I’m for it.

Of course they're throwing it on purpose. Nothing else explains the scummy opportunism of the Stupidak Amendment, a useless and easily-negated piece of crap tacked on to a deliberately unpassable bill. The whole thing is nothing more than yet another massive upward wealth transfer, because evidently our grandchildren's pockets have not been picked quite enough.

But consider -- even with a 40-seat House majority, it took Stupak to get the necessary votes to pass it by just 5. Forget the whole "Democrats from conservative districts" handjob, those are the constituents who are most in need of a real health-care effort. If they really think abortion trumps their own actual health-care crisis, then I suppose they deserve exactly what they're signing up for. But that's likely not the case, just more politically expedient.

This is a sideshow, and everyone knows it. If it persists -- and it will, because the insurance industry owns treacherous frauds like Max Baucus outright -- the Democrats deserve whatever they get. Including Obama. The only way he avoids being a one-term punchline is if he sufficiently convinces enough people in '12 that, bad as he and his party have screwed this pooch, the other side is even dumber and meaner. But these are all truly awful, awful people, who need to be tossed at the earliest possible opportunity. That'll happen the day Sarah Palin goes away and pigs fly out of Joe Lieberman's ass.


So as we mosey through the Week O' Sarah, wondering exactly what this dingbat wouldn't do for a Klondike Bar or five minutes of undeserved attention, several things naturally spring to mind. Ed's spectacular takedown of her ghostwritten doorstop (and mad props to Ed for taking one for the team, doncha know) is a solid confirmation of what we pretty much knew it was going to be -- a smug, defensive, incoherent, blithering mess that adds nothing to any debate, much like its supposed author.

Palin deserves some credit for coloring the thing in on such a tight schedule (ba-dum-bum), and given the well-earned abuse she's absorbed over the last year, I don't begrudge her a payday, so long as she steps the fuck off and goes away already. But I don't think any of us see that happening; Palin can yap about the benefits of remote Arctic Circle livin' and moose chili and Ice Truckers marathons and such like, but the fact is she loves this shit.

She's a narcissist, through and through, and she clearly loves the attention, the adulation, the incoming royalties. Hell, even Oprah kisses her ass. Who wants to go back to the Methlab of the Mat-Su Valley, a frozen 7,000-troglodyte squat with an abandoned eight-figure hockey rink, after all that? Best believe she's going to stick around and cash in. They'll be pitching tent in Greenwich, and ol' Todd'll have his snowmobile parked up next to the cee-mint pond by the end of next year.

Tina Brown pretends to sorta get it, but so what? Yes, Sarah's a one-trick pony, her only card that of the perpetually-aggrieved hausfrau, brandishing rather than hiding her utter lack of sophistication and clarity in an act of smug defiance. Her entire schtick since day one has been to piss and moan about the media bashing her, the barely latent sexism (even though few men -- the one-ball Glenn Beck notwithstanding -- could have gotten away with her level of sheer nonsense) and intellectualism (especially the apparently traumatic experience she endured at the nimble paws and gnashing teeth of noted journamalistic pit bull Katie Couric) they subjected her to.

So of course the corporate media's default response is to indulge her, to have her on every possible chat show to preen and babble about the unfairness of it all, as oblivious of the irony as any tea-party 'tard hollerin' at the gubmint to git the fuck out his Medicare. They haven't got the balls to turn her down, much less ask her tough questions, such as "Why are you still here?"

Seriously, a cartoon character, or one of the kids from the new Twilight opus, possesses as much political insight and policy expertise as this fool. Palin is no longer a former vice-presidential candidate, she's just another interchangeable celebritard, whose guff her idiot fan club hasn't yet tired of. Her only tangible ability seems to be infuriating people with triple-digit IQs, which not only explains the appeal with her retard base, but how she got on Oprah and Baba Wawa. Hell, why not make her a host on The View while you're at it, she'd fit right in.

The media are happy to be complicit in what is the beginning of an 18-month cocktease, where Miss Thang will coyly deflect questions about whether she will run, without once having to worry about answering questions pertaining to why she should run, or what she has to offer in terms of actual policy and ability. Indeed, it is already all but forgotten that scarcely a year ago, this woman was in the running for the most important job on the planet, with absolutely zero qualifications or seriousness of purpose. At this point, Palin is like the guest that won't leave a party; it's 3AM, everyone else has split, and she won't get the hint that no one's up for another round of fuckin' Pictionary. Finish your drink and get a cab home already, sweetheart.

But in this the supposedly liberal media are identical to their supposedly liberal brethren in Congress. They simply cannot help falling all over themselves to genuflect to people who viscerally despise them -- in great part because of that very tendency. So it is that Queen Oprah can spend no small amount of her own money, time, and platform campaigning against Palin last year, and have her on now to plug an utterly meaningless, unnecessary book.

It doesn't matter that Palin still has yet to say one thing that is either true or correct or informative or useful; the thing is that she moves product and draws ad dollars. (Of course, the book should break that true-or-correct streak simply by reciting her personal history with some level of accuracy; even so, one expects the usual glossing-over of the curricula vitae, but perhaps she'll at least explain why it took her four colleges and five years to earn a BA in communications.)

Her Rhodes Scholar economic pronunciamentos are just moron icing on the stupid cake. This is a person who perfectly ventriloquizes their audience -- obnoxious, dirt-ignorant, and fiercely proud of it. Most people would be embarrassed, or at least appropriately circumspect, by not knowing what the fuck they're talking about; for Palin, this natural urge is invariably trumped by the need to speak her mind, such as it is.

In the end, a Palin/Beck team does seem more likely than not, but not as an actual political ticket (although, y'know, talk about heightening the proverbial contradictions). There's much more money and influence to be had on the talk-show rubber-chicken circuit. It's not like they can't count on plenty of free, fawning publicity from the hated MSM. If the media didn't keep enabling these diseased, neurotic chumps, they'd have to seek gainful employment.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

No More Mister Nice Pantload Junior

Oh-ho, this is just too funny. Even funnier is Steve's rundown of Ginger Pantload's quixotic effort. This is the kind of funny that would get rejected from a movie script because it's just too ridiculous to be believable.

Expect Jonah to come lumbering to the rescue any year now, just as soon as he finishes up his Endless Shrimp platterlong-awaited follow-up exposé, Schmiberal Schmascism (aka Cheetohouse 5½).

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Special Olympics of the NFL

It is simply a matter of time before the Raiders officially have Yakety Sax as their theme music. This is the biggest cluster of straight-up moron losers I have had the displeasure of watching since, like, ever. There are high-school players that will play harder for free. The entire team should be cut just for lack of pride. They clearly don't give a shit, otherwise they'd prepare.

Just go home already, baby. No one will miss you. You fucking suck, every goddamned last one of you. Seriously, go sell insurance or something already.

A Modest Proposal

The bigger the cap, the bigger the pillin',
Who gives a fuck about a punk-ass villain? -- Ice Cube, No Vaseline

What you have here is your classic 80/20 (or even 90/10) scenario -- the majority of the problems emanate from a minority of the group. This is not in dispute by most reasonable people. What may be in dispute is what to do about that minority. I have an idea.

The notion that something like this can even be polemically perceived as "inevitable" (or "nearly inevitable") does a tremendous disservice to the vast majority of people who just want to live their lives, go to school, raise their families, and all that. It's only "inevitable" if you're too much of a fucking loser to take advantage of that free (however flawed) state edumacation and work toward being useful.

Blaming it on the factors of aggressive music and video games is the sucka's way out. It's a hard-knock life pretty much everywhere, asshole. I went through the violent movies/music/games phase like everyone else back in the day, and somehow managed to avoid pulling a train on a drunk girl on a public bench. You're welcome, America.

The teens (it seems too much to call them "kids", even though they are chronologically young) who committed this act are going to be tried as adults, and rightly so. They will probably face sentences of roughly 20 years, give or take. Me, I think we'd be doing these punks and the world a huge fucking favor by just taking them round back and ending them, quickly and painlessly.

Nothing personal, boys, but we're trying to at least pretend to have a civilization here, and with all the state-funded options available to every card-carrying dipshit out there, you don't have to make full use of those options, but when you abuse the weak and helpless, well, fuck you. There are already too many people cluttering up the planet; it does not make sense to put up with people who cannot abide by the most basic of social mores.

But more pragmatically, here is my actual idea: what if we offer to cut that prospective 20-year sentence in half -- provided they first go to Planned Parenthood and get snipped? Which is more likely -- the world being robbed of their potentially illustrious progeny by such a tactic, or society being spared the bullshit of caring for their miserable, abused seed? Statistically it's far and away the latter. So why not give prisoners a new lease on life to just cut bait, why not bribe a crackhead whore with four kids she doesn't take care of to tie her fucking polluted tubes? There are people who have kids who shouldn't have a goddamned goldfish for a pet. Why exactly am I supposed to pay for their poor impulse control?

Enough is enough. I'm a utilitarian at heart, and I think there are creative, fairly non-coercive ways to incentivize the cessation of perpetually aggrieved morons. Let's at least take a step toward alleviating the truly "inevitable" idiocracy. Anytime you call a gang-rape at a homecoming dance "nearly inevitable", you've given up, period. I'd like to drown these motherfuckers in a shallow bucket, but I'd settle for them not reproducing.