Thursday, July 31

Jonah Goldberg: Putting The Cack In "Cachexia".

D. Pantload, "A Losing Salute". July 30

I'M serious: can a nation aspire to greatness, however defined, while a fat, loathsome slug like Goldberg eats free on its tender stalks and leaves a trail of slime everywhere?

Oh, I don't mean that in the First Amendment sense; Americans have tolerated worse and been made stronger for overcoming it (though they haven't been subjected to any mass-marketed stupidity so dismal, outside the specialty markets of End Times Revelations and cable television jewelry sales, in my memory, at least). I mean Goldberg is the ugly growth that won't go away, and that a sane person would seriously consider Getting Looked At. One may, of course, postulate without fear of concrete rebuttal that no one anywhere near the Goldbergian political orbit qualifies as sane, but someone at Goucher gave the man a diploma. Some editor at the El-Lay Times and/or other fine practitioner of what Oscar Wilde once called "journalism" must actually chew his stuff before spitting it into the Opinion Hole, though perhaps he is simply an experienced drinker. One hopes. At any rate, we must assume that, as it is patently obvious that Mr. Goldberg has no marketable sexual skills, there must be some money changing hands somewhere. And this sort of thing is met with shrugs, while honest prostitutes almost everywhere are still harassed by The Man.

(I'm serious. I have no idea what "aspire to greatness" means for a nation, and as for individuals, most of the people I've met to whom the term applies provide little if any support for its adoption as a guiding principle. They seem almost uniformly to aspire to collecting large enough wads of cash that they can live comfortably without having to concern themselves with the sort of philosophical problems "greatness" might raise. Or anything else. As for nations, well, I've been listening to this shit my whole life, having chosen to be born a Boomer and subjected to the carpet bombing campaigns of a succession of Roy Cohn battalions, forcible insertions of "God" into banal Boy Scout doggerel, which is then forced into the mouths of high school students, and dire warnings about the End of Our Precious Freedoms lest we stamp out comic books, pinko screenwriters, or Negroes, et. seq.  All I know is that you or I, given the opportunity to live in Sparta, Ancient Rome, or any of the three other civilizations whose Hollywood renderings give Victor Davis Hanson a hard-on, would, in all likelihood, choose exposure at birth. But, curiously, the one thing people who do profess to believe this stuff are convinced of the immutability of is the rightness of their own opinions. We find it curious--and, after fifty years, more than a skosh tedious--that the only black night of the "conservative" soul occurs when, and is limited in scope to, the prospect of losing an election. No one seems to ask why the Reagan Revolutionists were so good at renaming airports and so bad at everything else that the latter is now Worse Than Ever, and, hence, more in need of the application of "Conservative" "Principles" than ever.)

(Come to think of it, the airports haven't improved much, either.)

So now Goldberg rises like a fart bubble in a bathtub to defend his nation's honor against the comic books rock and roll marihuana addict commie thespian Soviet appeaser water fluoridator integrated school atheist takeover of public education love-in generation anti-war commie ACLU dupes leftist professors sex educators secular humanist anti-gun Big Government politically correct elitist nanny-staters unintended consequences Gay and Lesbian objectively pro-terrorist dead-enders Thought Crime of ESPN honoring the 40th anniversary of the "once infamous, and now famous, black-power salutes from the medal platform at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics" of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, which "rests on an inch-deep nostalgia and the triumph of celebrity culture".

One can, of course, simply attack, or simply dismiss, the antics of a cosseted buffoon who--nearing forty himself!--imagines the pathetic scrambling of his mentor Mr. Eff Buckley II, e.g., to Cover His Racist Ass Once The Game Became Untenable has rendered Goldberg's generation bulletproof on the issue.  Pooches were screwed! But I don't own slaves!  One could point out the same inability to construct an argument and the substitution of the keyboard twitch and the stale dyspeptic belch, the latter a mere mannerism picked up wholesale from that earlier generation that drilled young Jonah with Birch Society flashcards. There's the usual, comic, self-anihilating disavowal of his own words ("By the end of the 1960s, America had seen two decades of steady — if too slow — racial progress.") and the attendant hapless history, and, as usual, the frantic application of tar without control, lest his lack of a point and reflexive flinching be misconstrued (" In 1972, Palestinian terrorists — grateful for 1968’s lesson in the propaganda value of Olympics media attention — slaughtered Israeli athletes."). The man is the Comstock Load (do not sic me, Dear Reader!) of wingnutty stupidity. One almost swings the pick blindfolded:
Comments by ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott typify the inanity of ESPN’s award. Scott, who was 3 years old in 1968, nonetheless told the Desert Sun newspaper that he remembers how “tense” the times were and how he remembers thinking, “Oh, that was cool for a black man to do that.” He added: “As an adult, I get it even more now.” Even more than when he was barely out of diapers? That’s setting the bar high.

Jonah Goldberg is four years younger than Scott! How do you reach that place, where dishonesty, even blatant dishonesty, even powered by the self-hoisting petard, is practically an autonomic response?  It's like short-changing someone in a fast-food transaction then ostentatiously pocketing the difference in plain sight.

I was fourteen years old that October, a white, middle-class suburban kid and a Track and Field fanatic who was coming to realize that the sort of morality tales told me in Sunday School and Civics Class seemed frequently at odds with what might be called "reality". Nowhere was that more apparent than with race.

(Yes, Jonah, it may be difficult for you to believe, but the toothless Federal gumming that followed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 did not actually result in any more African-Americans voting in the Jim Crow South; just as the Brown decision resulted in shuttered public schools for a decade, it resulted in an increasingly militant oppression of blacks.  And, before I forget, you're not qualified to sniff the jocks of Jesse Owens or Jackie Robinson, or, for that matter, to comment on who called whom a "Tom". Do you have the slightest inkling, or the tiniest concern, about what Jesse Owens faced when he returned to America as an Olympic hero, let alone before? If too slow! The pooch got screwed! Who do you think was doing the screwing? Not the Olympic Project for Human Rights. If Jackie Robinson sided with the gradualists of his era's NAACP, the motor behind the failed Brown, at a time when real personal sacrifice was being made just to bring attention to the dichotomy between Law and Practice; if Owens in his destitution became a spokesman for the US Olympic committee, despite the turbulent times; if there were people on the other side of the issue insensitive enough to disrespect either man because of it, then it is their shame and their business, and not yours to play political puff football with. You have no idea what you're even talking about.)

I remember '68. I remember Bob Beamon jumping out of the goddam stadium, Al Oerter winning his fourth discus gold, and Jim Ryan being felled by mono and Kip Keino. I remember the great Lee Evans demolishing his own world record in the 400, Jim Hines breaking 10 seconds in the 100. And I remember Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

And, you know what? I didn't piss myself about Black Power. I respected, even admired them, certainly far more than the people who just boycotted the Games, and all the more so when the white sportswriter brigade stopped trashing the draft-dodging Muhammad Ali long enough to call for their heads, and Avery Brundage, the slimiest invertebrate to ever preside over anything less than a junta, threatened to expell the entire American team unless Smith and Carlos were suspended. And I knew--probably more instinctively then, or perhaps by virtue of being a track athlete, and now more de jure--that the Olympic ideal is the celebration of individual achievement. not the rampant bullshit nationalism that the Games have become, with the encouragement of sponsorship dollars, since the beginnings of the Cold War.

And which, of course, has only gotten worse since then, as teevee dollars dictated more and more of what the individual committees did, and which turned every Games into a Jingoism-fest-cum-soap-opera for people who don't give a shit about sports at any other time and couldn't pick Jesse Owens out of the line-up people like Goldberg would have put him in for vagrancy.  The noblest of Olympic events, Track and Field is now a shambles and a sham; there isn't a record in the record books that can safely be considered untarnished. This is the direct result of the influence of US television money, which brought about the end of Olympic amateurism on the grounds that the Evil Empire was winning medals which were rightly ours. The East German women's swim team was once (rightly) considered an international disgrace; today cheating is considered a matter of individual preference, so long as you're a) American and b) don't get caught. That's the real fucking irony here; it's too bad we don't have men of the stature of Tommie Smith and John Carlos anymore. They, like Jim Hines, like Lee Evans, like Owens and Robinson before them, have spent much of their adult lives giving back to young people and their communities. Which is one more thing no one will ever say for Jonah Goldberg.

And thank you, ESPN.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was F@$kin' Outstanding, man.

I come here for brilliant passionate rants and am never disappointed. But I must say, that was the best in a while.

Thank you.

Prof.

LittlePig said...

You're of stouter heart than I, Doghouse - reading Jonah makes me nauseous.

The Poster Boy Of Nepotism is so representative of these times: never have so many kissed so much ass for so little reason.

John said...

Soooo, the PLO learned about the value of the Olympics as a propaganda tool from Tommie Smith and John Carlos? Once again we are reminded that Adolph Hitler just didn't make an impact.

Corley said...

It's time for a BLTR book, DR.

Anonymous said...

Won't you please submit this piece to the L.A. Times; it's such fine writing, and on fire with more passion than that little cheeto-scarfing pantload has experienced since the day his new world of warcraft figures arrived. Such fine writing.

map106 said...

Well, sort of off-topic, but it was during the Athens (the 2004 ones, not the original--I'm old, but not that old) Olympic Games that I realized Brian Williams was a piece of shit (forgive me, I'm slow at these things). He spent the first half hour of the march of the athletes describing each country's political association with the U.S. I almost kicked in the TV. I was tempted to call NBC, but didn't. Someone must have, 'cause after a while, he shut up. Would that he had continued to do so.

ignobility said...

That was beautiful. Thank-you.

freq flag said...

Peter Norman, silver medalist, R.I.P.

Norman, a white Australian, donned a badge on the podium in support of their cause, the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). It was also Norman who suggested that Smith and Carlos share the black gloves used in their salute, after Carlos had left his gloves in the Olympic Village. This is the reason for Tommie Smith raising his right fist, while John Carlos raised his left.

Norman died of a heart attack on October 3, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia at the age of 64. US Track and Field Federation proclaimed October 9, 2006, the date of his funeral, as Peter Norman Day. Both Smith and Carlos gave eulogies and were pallbearers at Norman's funeral.

--source, Wikipedia

Mr. Wonderful said...

Riley:

Brilliant.

That is all.

rcocean said...

Verbose, badly written, and full of logical errors. Sounds like a parody from "Stuff White People Like." You dislike Goldberg's column for some reason. You might have a point but I'm not going hunt through the avalanche of prose to find it.

But as a conservative, I love it when white liberals defend "black power" it loses them votes and influence in the mainstream. Keep up the good work.