Wednesday, March 11

Two Words, Cupcake: Ben Fucking Shapiro


Jan Hoffman, "The Little Mr. Conservative". March 8

LOOK, I like ya, kid. Really. It's no problem that you're a conservative, or "conservative". You're a kid. The fact that you manage, while "clearing up" the distinction between genuine, principled Conservatism and the horribly unfair, party-and-policy-based common definition you see bandied about illiterately, to define Conservative "principles" backward from those very policies, well, you're a kid. A bright one, but a kid, and the bright ones are the ones who imagine themselves as intrepid pioneers every time they discover a new intellectual continent. This is why we have people called "teachers", rather than simply turning you loose in the library (or, for the Love of Jewish Christ, with a fucking AM radio) once you've mastered the alphabet. And this is why the best of those teachers is rarely also your parent, and rarely someone who's teaching High Latin once a week to a bunch of home-schooled upper-middle class Judeo-Baptist tweeners. Personally, if you've gotta have some outside religious instruction--and since humility is off the Christian menu these days--I'd like to see a Zen master come in once a week to whack you with a stick.

Not for the violence, mind you, but the intended purpose: shaking you out of complacency. Maybe you'll manage to do it for yourself later, but it's something your parents, or a good teacher, should be doing for you now. You're posturing, young man, and you found one of the few venues where you can do that for a lifetime ("conservatism"--party, policy, or principle--is a lot like Golf that way, and no real surprise there). Didn't you get a close up look at Bill Bennett? At Rush? Do you really want to be them in thirty years' time? Because the Precocious routine you've got going has a shelf life of three years. Like we said, take a gander at Ben Shapiro. He knew it all at age sixteen, too. By twenty-one he was saying, "I'm Ben Shapiro, dammit! I was a wunderkind!" And now he's the Norma Desmond of wingnut welfare, trying to pretend that if he never updates his photo or his bio he'll never lose his job with Goodwin Procter.

Look, kid: there are a few jobs available to the preteen, and rightly so; being a kid is generally more important than any of 'em. You can be a miniature Country & Western singer, itinerant Bible-thumping preacher, an actor, or a violin prodigy. Or a "conservative" pundit. If the answer isn't "Violin Prodigy" you really need to think long and hard about whether it's actually worth it, or at least Google "Marjoe Gortner" before you go any further.

It's facile applause from an easily-satisfied audience, kid; we suspect you're already bright enough to have figured that out, especially since you paused on your applause lines up there like George W. Bush. The saddest thing about that article was learning that it was your PR efforts for that book that brought you to CPAC, and not vice-versa; instead of taking you there and letting you borrow the cell phone your parents should have grounded you for a week, and assigned you to write a book about Ecclesiastes. (But, hey, what do I know? My experience of Jewish Christianity predates Mammon's hostile takeover.)

And I suspect it's occurred to you that there are any number of pubescents out there who can eidetically mimic some author's public speaking style after a couple hours watching Book Notes, and any number of gifted young intellects who can defend Liberalism, Marxism, Buddhism, or German Nihilism with an élan to match your own. But those tend to be markets where the adults confine their admiration for a dog walking on two legs to a Saturday afternoon at the circus. I mean the real circus.

The good news though, kiddo, is that if you manage to keep your head on straight you've already learned enough to become a New York Times Op-Ed columnist.

4 comments:

heydave said...

Eww, now you made me visualize creepy camaraderie between this short putz and Bobo.
Can I get your cleaning, Mr. Brooks?

Linda said...

You know a group of people are seriously f*cked up when they let themselves be inspired by ridiculous leaders. That would be 15th century France, which allowed an illiterate teenaged peasant girl who heard saints talking to her become a literal kingmaker, or the U.S. conservative movement, which is thrilled and inspired by the speeches of fake, unemployed plumbers and tween pundits.

Rugosa said...

Yes, he's a bright kid but needs to go around the block a couple times yet. "Personal responsibility" is code for, among other things, "using birth control is evading personal responsibility; but having random unplanned babies is responsible."

Porlock Hussein Junior said...

So, I haven't followed the story, but do his parents run a good enough home school that he'll recognize Johnson's aphorisms? If so, I'll have to give them a little credit.

A staunch Christian, that Johnson; but not a comfortable one. Not, you might say, a tame lion -- and if the young gentleman doesn't pick up on that one, the outlook for him is bad.