Tuesday, June 9


• When Ross Douthat makes more sense than you do, on a social issue, no less, it's either time to give it up, or time to keep your job at Slate: The Gray Lady's youngest columnist evah [caution: face mullet] pens a column on abortion which actually, sorta, kinda, a bit backhandedly, sure, manages to approach the issue as it is (a matter of Constitutional law), acknowledges that there is some counter-argument out there to the idea that Abortion is One Big Contraceptive Lark for procrastinators (which is to say Ross simply tries to pawn an Ace or two, as opposed to Saletan stacking the deck before dealing them to his straw adversaries), and goes the whole 750 words without referencing that Gallup poll. Someone once noted that Patience was that virtue we admire in the driver behind us, but not the one ahead, and if so, Douthat is still a tailgater, but he's not swerving madly from side to side while blowing his horn incessantly while caught behind a half-mile of traffic. Then again, he doesn't write for Slate.

Still, the Right's legal mythos apparently cannot be cast down the stairs if it still clings by age 25 or so; it's interesting how often people who claim that whenever the courts expand (personal) rights they are acting in loco senatorium yet believe the solution to this is achieving a legislative majority on the Court:
If anything, by enshrining a near-absolute right to abortion in the Constitution, the pro-choice side has ensured that the hard cases are more controversial than they otherwise would be.

Standing Truth on its head does have the advantage of allowing weasels to see it eye-to-eye, but, alas, this never has the desired effect. Let's try this again: had laws criminalizing abortion been properly, i.e., Constitutionally, formulated in the first place there would have been no Roe, because access to abortion was a fundamental (i.e. Constitutional) right unjustly taken away without the bother of the amendment process. By rights it would have been your side, Ross, which was agitating for judicial legislation. Go argue with the 19th century.
One reason there’s so much fierce argument about the latest of late-term abortions — Should there be a health exemption? A fetal deformity exemption? How broad should those exemptions be? — is that Americans aren’t permitted to debate anything else.

Oh bosh. The reason we argue over late-term abortions is that in forty years it's the only place where your side gained enough traction to assert some measure of (judicially sanctioned) legislative control. The anti-choice movement may be conflicted, confused, and/or dishonest about much of the issue, but it is not notably constrained by considerations of the trimester in which the Murder takes place. In fact, it is constrained only by internal political considerations from adding Contraception to its list of felonies.
The result would be laws with more respect for human life, a culture less inflamed by a small number of tragic cases — and a political debate, God willing, unmarred by crimes like George Tiller’s murder.

Know what, Ross? You broke it, you bought it. The GOP had a quarter century to make abortions illegal, it had twenty-five years to limit the debate to the third Trimester, and it had two-and-a-half decades to put anti-abortion terror organizations in prison. No middle ground will stop those people. Your people.

• I'm sorry, but must coverage of the sentencing of Eula Lee and Laura Ling make the debate over Who Lost China sound rational? Brutal regime? Check. International ploy, ulterior motives, bad actors on the world stage? Okay. But does applying all this by the trowelful make it more truthy or something? Is impotent railing supposed to make people feel better? I surely don't mind, but it does ring hollowing coming from the same bunch that peddled the rationale for the Iraq war, pushed paid Pentagon shills as non-partisan experts, and, to this day, presents Dick Cheney's continually-shifting liefest as one side of a national debate. One-way skepticism is the mark of religious conviction, not accurate reporting.

• Then there's what they are good at, which, locally, means shilling for Miley Cyrus appearances. I am too old to give a fuck, of course, except for a few philosophical questions: Is that what you went to college for? Given that it's the worst imaginable sort of commercial ipecac, and at the service of the soul-destroying Disney Corporation, which could survive very well without your free plugs (ABC is gettin' paid, sure), and, given that the average American likely believes in Jebus, angels, astrology, UFOs, Biblical cryptograms, Oprah, or psychology, making it odds-on that at least some of you imagine there's some psychic payment for all this to be collected by someone somewhere down the road, is there any shit you wouldn't eat off a plate, on air, for a dollar? And since you do this sort of thing day-in, day-out, with no recently recorded suicides, do you have someone else shave you, or do you still trust yourself with a razor? This last applies just to the men, plus one of the women.

The worst, though, was opening up the virtual front page of that virtual newspaper, The Indianapolis Racist Star and Shopping Guide to see the following headline hanging over the byline of the guy who occupies what used to be the pop music critic's chair:

Miley tickets will cut out the middle man.

Which, of course, one reads just to find out what sort of distortion is taking place, since the idea that "Miley Cyrus" would go to war with Ticketmaster is about as likely as "Johnnie Walker" turning Prohibitionist. Turns out, of course, that in the universe of Six Helpings of Turd Each Day! Ticketmaster is not a middle man. Ticket brokers are the middle man, and Ticketmaster is God's Own Sword of Just and Equitable Concert Prices for the parental ATMs of consumer-goods addled tweens.

Ticket scalping is legal in Indiana, except when the NCAAs or some other supra-legal organization comes to town to rent one of the stadia we maintain for 'em. Then it's suddenly illegal within whatever radius the city decides to enforce. Similarly, the point of this exercise has nothing whatever to do with fairness, and everything to do with PR; it's all about unleashing hordes of zombielike consumerettes on hapless parents, then tossing a few crumbs for them to fight the pigeons over. You think Ticketmaster's gonna thwart brokers from buying up the first six rows for Creed, or Crue Fest 2, if they want 'em?

And I fuggin' love ticket brokers, since there's about one event every three years that catches my attention, and I know that if I'm willing to pay 2/3 of face value for a single fucking Eagles ducat the Poor Wife an' I'll be sitting right up front. Surely now is an excellent time to teach mindless tweens a little something about Supply and Demand? Even if it's too late to teach their parents the value of contraception, or boarding school?


missy said...

oh the phenomen "miley cyrus" the new teen star. she is also famous in germany. somebody told me she is the richest teenager at the moment *?*

TM said...

Ross should consider a full beard, so that he can better hide his doughy jowls.