Monday, October 26

Endlessly Repeated Idiocy. And Such Small Portions!

FIRST: one thousand apologies to Jaye Ramsey Sutter for any deleterious immune-system effects from the Pickle Men pic, and Best Wishes for a speedy recovery. I know in my own (still throbbing) lymph glands that it's cold comfort, but the one I was going to use was worse.

This reminded me of the local teevee news Homespun Hoosier Humorist and Whacky and/or Heartwarming Feature Story Narration Sinecure who used to
do restaurant reviews--this is the retired Homespun Hoosier Humorist, from the 70s, not the current guy who used to take his dog along with him as substitute for being even remotely interesting, and who was just seen yesterday encouraging some sixty-something perpetual adolescent to drive up and down his driveway at 8:30 AM of a quiet suburban Sunday in a homemade car which was apparently powered by some combination of late-50s NOVI racing engine and one or more decommissioned naval guns--where was I? Oh, who used to do restaurant reviews, which he sorta landed on after a decade of filling dead air as a sort of local Art Buchwald minus the wit, the political savvy, and the delivery. And every last fucking restaurant got ten stars, or whatever it was. Never varied. I think they might have dispensed with the star system after a while, but not out of any sense of embarrassment, just in the way the Town Slut eventually moves away and gets married. And sometime later he gave an interview in which he explained that very early on in his reviewing career he'd given some beanery or other a mediocre review, and they reported that it hurt their business, so he felt bad and always gave glowing reviews after that.

And he said this as though it were the most understandable thing in the world, and as though the moral of the story was he'd just not quite understood the power of television in his previous decade sopping up the perks of local celebrity. So, a thousand more apologies, Jaye, and lots more in advance, but on the other hand, we consider making people sicker a badge of authenticity.

Sometime yesterday--Halftime, probably--I went poking around the teevee schedule, and while crossing the News divide thought I spotted Jonah Goldberg in the little box o' feed in the corner. Sure enough. One C-SPAN or another was bringing dozens of Americans whose remotes were broken the ruminations of America's Overactive Swim Bladder. I lasted all of fifteen seconds, during which time he was explaining to his inexplicable audience--okay, maybe they were all armed with pies; I didn't stick around--how some liberals were drawn into Journalism, which Might Be a Good Thing in a Way for some reason I wasn't going to wait around to hear, since it would immediately be followed by the observation that however well intentioned this unfortunately led to ever' last bit of information US citizens could come by being filtered through the Filtering Filter of Liberalism. Which he probably then qualified some more.

I didn't check whether the Info button gave the recording date, so it might have been the release party for Liberal Fascism, or the trade paperback of Liberal Fascism, or any of several postponement parties for Liberal Fascism, or the blegging party for Liberal Fascism, or 1998, 1992, or him reciting from Mummy and Pater's flashcards anytime after he reached two-hundred pounds. Doesn't matter.

So either someone, somewhere, thought it was financially worthwhile to have Jonah Goldberg blather, in public, about the psychological makeup, a subject on which he appears no more knowledgeable than on any of the numberless other areas he's never studied, and 99-44/100% of those he has, of a group of people which he gives no indication of knowing a single example of, in an apparent effort to further the sales of a "book" he "wrote" which actually managed to set a new standard of lack of scholarship for Modern English with its title, or else he did so on his own. No wonder these people love capitalism.

And bear in mind that even if this had been an actual opinion, and not the psittacine squawking of some huge, flightless poultry experiment in producing the World's Most Massive Foie Gras gone horribly wrong, he still couldn't defend it; and just pause a moment to reflect where his evidence comes from: some mid-70s Gallup deal as reported in Newsweek, or US News, or somesuch which was based on self-reporting. And how it's continued for Goldberg's life span despite the fact that the last "liberal" act of the Mass Market US Press was reporting the results of the Washington Post's Watergate coverage. "Journalists" reported themselves to be libruhl, therefore they are. The required level of gullibility would also have you believe that all physicians went into medicine for the opportunity to serve Mankind, and all clowns love children.

And that, in turn, pretty much describes my political mood when I fired up the internet generator this AM and found Fareed Zakaria urging a more temperate approach to our sure-to-be successful Afghanistan Surge-a-Thon, if by "more temperate" you mean "anywhere to the Left of Dick Cheney". I mean, sorry, I must have missed the explanation of What th' Fuck Fareed Zakaria is doing there in the first place. His entire public career seems to consist not just of being absolutely wrong about everything while remaining likable, but also in leaving town after the disaster is widely acknowledged in order to follow the Mushy Middle to the Guaranteed Path to the Next Clusterfuck while mentioning "Democracy" a lot.

Sure, sure, there were plenty of So-Called Liberals and/or Moderates who got on board with the Iraq War, and few who've missed many meals for having done so. But most of 'em, to judge from the endless recapitulations after, want us to believe they bought into the Saddam=Rape Rooms Plus Everybody Though He Had Nukes routine, and would just as soon we not mention that they figured backing a sure winner couldn't hurt future employment opportunities in America's lucrative and growing Pre-emptive Invasion Excuse Mongering industry. Zakaria's the only one who immediately comes to mind when "Seems to have actually believed in that Islamic Democracy Domino Effect bullshit" comes up in conversation. And he's the guy who knows Islamic societies.
The crucial judgments that have to be made involve what the troops will do and how much of Afghanistan to cover. One option is the idea Ricks recently suggested to me: "Why not do the Petraeus plan [counterinsurgency] for the major population centers and the Biden plan [counterterrorism] for the rest of the country?" Following that middle course might be the most practical solution; more forces could still be needed, as McChrystal suggests, or perhaps we can make do with the almost 100,000 coalition forces already there. Obama should carefully consider all the options before racing to demonstrate how tough he is.

Squish, squish, squish. Y'know, sometime when you have more than 725 words in a major newspaper, and some time to spare from the vital business of showing that Dick Cheney is as full of shit now as he was when you agreed with him wholeheartedly, you might try telling us Why. Or else where we can get good deep-fried catfish in Pittsboro, IN.


guitarist manqué said...

maybe they were all armed with pies;

One can only hope. Soupy Sales claimed that he had been hit by more than 25,000 pies in his career, has Loadpants caught even a dozen? Sure Soupy was an overachiever but is it too much to ask that Jonah take 10 or 15 thousand?

Anonymous said...

I too ended up watching one of the CSPAN's yestreday. Just in time to catch the end of some sort of book store event with John Derbyshire and Alan Comes. Colmes,it appears, is the go-to guy when you are trying to portray some wingnut loon as some sort of thoughtful moderate.

Christopher said...

the psittacine squawking of some huge, flightless poultry experiment in producing the World's Most Massive Foie Gras gone horribly wrong

Damn, son, at least leave something for the children to bury.

Sometimes I worry about how much Goldberg pisses me off. I don't think it's healthy to loathe somebody as much as I do him, but he doesn't even try. He's a fucking disgrace.

Escaped Waco Alive said...

And such small portions....

My favorite Woody Allen joke...