Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Child Abuse

So PZ Myers writes a perfectly nice, reasonable, and eminently sensible "Yes Virginia" type post, publicly directed toward a young, brainwashed little girl who needs to revisit the smug all-purpose question that Jebus-Rode-A-Dinosaur Creation "Museum" huckster Ken Ham taught her to ask. Ham taught the little girl to ask "Were you there?" in response to any information presented to her that doesn't jibe with her programming (except, presumably, biblical narratives).

Naturally, no good deed goes uncalumniated:

I had to tell you that my friend wrote on Ken's Facebook page that she knows Emma and some guy... sent my friend a PRIVATE message blasting Ken and Emma (how sweet). I didn't see the message because I didn't want to...

And so another generation arises to drink the kool-aid, and perpetuate a stunted, shriveled intellect, and waste their most precious gift of all -- the capacity to learn.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Clown Car Contestants

Taibbi has some pretty good smackdown on the rising political star of Mary Tyler Moron. Aside from having a gerrymandered district consisting of rich white assholes, Bachmann's success up to this point is essentially summed up here:

Bachmann claimed that back in her college days, she was up one night praying with a female friend of hers when "the Lord gave each one of us the same, exact vision... It was a picture of me, marrying this man, in the valley where his parents have a farm in western Wisconsin." Meanwhile, miles away, Marcus "was repairing a fence on the farm where he worked, and the Lord showed him in a vision that he was supposed to marry me." According to Bachmann, Marcus initially complained to God that he wanted to see the world first, and only later relented.

Snickering readers in New York or Los Angeles might be tempted by all of this to conclude that Bachmann is uniquely crazy. But in fact, such tales by Bachmann work precisely because there are a great many people in America just like Bachmann, people who believe that God tells them what condiments to put on their hamburgers, who can't tell the difference between Soviet Communism and a Stafford loan, but can certainly tell the difference between being mocked and being taken seriously. When you laugh at Michele Bachmann for going on MSNBC and blurting out that the moon is made of red communist cheese, these people don't learn that she is wrong. What they learn is that you're a dick, that they hate you more than ever, and that they're even more determined now to support anyone who promises not to laugh at their own visions and fantasies.

Bachmann is the champion of those tens of millions of Americans who have read and enjoyed the Left Behind books, the apocalyptic works of Christian fiction that posit an elaborate fantasy in which all the true believers are whisked off to heaven with a puff of smoke at the outset of Armageddon. Here on Earth, meanwhile, the guilty are bent to the will of a marauding Satan who appears at first in the guise of a smooth-talking, handsome, educated, pro-government, superficially pacifist, internationalist politician named Nicolae Carpathia — basically, Barack Obama. Bachmann has ties to the Left Behind crowd and has even said that Beverly LaHaye, wife of LB co-author and fundamentalist godfather Tim LaHaye, was her inspiration for entering politics.

Ah, yes, the "those people hate you because you're smug and they know you're laughing at them" gambit. Well you know what? Fuck them. Fuck 'em all right in the goddamned neck. I'm not even going to bother with (justifiably) ridiculing the sort of oaf that feels compelled to profess divine intervention for every mundane activity and decision; there is nothing particularly wrong with belief per se, but those sorts of chuckleheads are either delusional or cynical in their faith.

But it is the implicit and explicit assumption that everyone else needs to get on their page, that they have the right to indoctrinate everyone's children with their special faith, that they are intrinsically more moral than us heathens Because They Believe. How is that not smug, how is that any better than the people who laugh at them because they are tethered to superstition and magical thinking (as opposed to religious belief being one mode of introspection and genuine reflection)?

Bachmann gets lumped in with Palin generally, but that is not an entirely honest comparison. Palin is clearly just out to soak the suckers with this ongoing cock-tease; she has yet to display an iota of aptitude or even basic desire for the job, much less for the rigors of campaigning for said job. I seriously would not be surprised if Palin's ultimate goal were to host an afternoon Oprah-type talk show (or perhaps an inverted View setup, with a bunch of like-minded troglodytes and one token librul to bash on in between circle-jerking whatever hapless celebrity is on to pimp their latest box-office load).

Not that Bachmann is the real deal, mind you; again, her incessant god-bothering jabber is either delusional (if real) or just pathetically empty (if put-on), and either way, her actual track record in the House appears to be one of grandstanding more than actually doing anything. Her chances for winning the nomination are slimmer some people seem to be thinking for now, because she is at least as intensely polarizing as Palin.

Personally, I would put money on Huntsman eventually getting the GOP nod. That he worked for Obama is a cardinal sin easily inverted -- once he figures out how to turn that into a "Hey, I tried to work with these guys" sound bite, he will start to pull disaffected independents, which is what any contender is going to need. If he can get half a rhythm going, there is simply no viable competition in that party.

The one clip of the recent "debate" I did catch spoke volumes -- Pawlenty trying to assert himself with his "Obamneycare" care guff on the Sunday circuit, but when confronted with it at the debate, with Romney just skull-fucking him the whole time, Pawlenty punts, taking care not to look aat Romney the entire time. That sort of gutlessness does not work well in a party of, to be generous, fanatical adherents. These guys have just spent the last three years doing everything they can to be an impediment to Obama, they are expecting "balls to the wall or not at all" at this point.

But for someone like Bachmann to be viable, as with Palin, there have to be enough moneyed donors to get her in the game. And that really is difficult to conceive -- they don't give that kind of money to people unless they know they can control them, and a culty midwesterner does not seem like a smart investment.

Either way, hell -- remember when we used to sit in amazement that a mouth-breather like George W. Bush could get in? Good times.

Get the Frack Out

Let's keep it simple: anybody who's fine with fracking needs to be fine with it in their own backyard. Funny how all these warnings about how we need to achieve "energy independence" simply revolve around fetishizing this or that tech, finding "new" and "clean" sources, or Drill Baby Drill (though again, not in the backyards of those squawking for it). But nobody ever talks about simply consuming less, about what the effects and opportunities might be if people drove smarter and less, if we enforced better fuel-efficiency standards, if people shut the fucking light off once in a while when they're not using it.

You can champion all the new tech you want, whether it's green and clean or kitchen faucets spewing fire. But at some point, at least a modest level of conservation has to enter the discussion. Or not.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Magical History Tour


In Sarah’s version, Revere was

“He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that uh we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”

Jesus Christ, can anybody really add anything to that? It's beyond parody. If 'murka really wants to elevate a bubbleheaded snowbilly on her (if you're a middle-aged man who's not getting any) fuckability quotient, then as always, it deserves precisely what it will get in the bargain.

Palin has pushed this stupid bus tour as an opportunity to school ignint 'murkins on their Constooshunal ingnince. Maybe Roger Ailes can spring for a tutor to live on the bus with them for a few weeks, bring her up to speed on who's on Mount Rushmore and such like.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Cheesy Rider

Once again, if we accept the classic premise that markets act on demand, then our corporate media is a reflection of us as a nation, a bloated, rotted husk which, like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, just doesn't know it's dead yet.

Also, too. Someone should maybe tell these halfwits the difference between a "scavenger hunt" and a "snipe hunt". Here are three major differences the mediatards can share with their window-licking friends:
  1. Scavenger hunts have clues.
  2. Scavenger hunts have a point.
  3. Snipe hunts are, by definition, participated in by gullible morons.
Consider the most consistent line 'mongst media morons far 'n' wide, regardless of political bent -- they admit that they don't know what the subject of their "articles" is actually doing, ergo, they are literally following her around, unable to speak with her, for absolutely no reason at all.

If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the American media -- which again, like the country itself, is merely a series of obvious scams that people, in a tragic spate of collective Jungian subconsciousness, have agreed to dance to. Much like disco.

And we all know how that turned out.