Above: the exact position of a dying Yeti, from the Rutland Book of the Dead
Jake "FOX News' Favorite Sister" Tapper, "On President Obama's Bow to the Japanese Emperor, An Academic Friend Writes That Both the Left and the Right Are Wrong". November 15
ONE thing I meant to say about Sarah Palin yesterday, and neglected to (I keep forgetting that the stuff's too strong nowadays to roll one as soon as you get out of bed), is that at some point someone has to acknowledge the chain of deceit and what it's done, and continues to do, to this country. And, perhaps, even take a stab at severing it. Why not Hitchens? Why not Oprah? This is not specifically about Palin. I'm satisfied she's embarked on that Celebritainment cruise which guarantees that half the people who come into casual contact with your pseudopersona will hate you immediately--something she had covered already--while of the remaining half familiarity will eventually breed whatever passes for contempt among the short-attention-spanned. It's about the whole complex of 1) "Fame", however fleeting, marginal, or trivial; or 1a) Notoriety, same; followed by 2) PR-sculptured teevee appearances; followed by 3) book deal; followed by 4) teevee appearances in support of book deal, followed by follow-up book deal. The only reason Sarah Palin is "news" this week is she wrote, I mean "wrote", a book which goes precisely as far as calculated in serving up the pseudo-juicy: a couple pull quotes for "news" stories (McCain campaign, Couric, Levi Johnston for the 50th percentile reader); great slabs of grievance and anti-Washington, anti-Em Ess Em for the Base, hedged just enough so the Tappers and the Hitchenseses can pretend to find evidences of complex thought while the mic is on. It's all measured to the sixteenth inch and held together in the cheapest way possible, just long enough to make the sale, like the savviest plywood bric-a-brac. And it's news like the direction of this AM's sunrise is news. Just say No! Does Oprah Winfrey, the Woman Who Gave You Barack Obama, really need Sarah Palin on her show? How much better can she eat? And why?
(This reminds me: I was casting about Monday night for something to gaze at while I rode the stationary bike, since for some reason ESPN had replaced Monday Night Football with a Ravens-Browns game. I landed on a repeat of Bill "The Tucker Carlson of News" Kurtis' Cold Case Files on the Black Dahlia case. And the big reveal in the first half is that Kurtis gets to do a walk-through with the author (Steve Hodel) of one of, at last count, fourteen trillion books which have solved the case. And Kurtis tags along pitching nothing but softballs, which is irritating enough on its own, doubly so when it's obviously done as a condition to get the author of a best-seller to fill the first 20 minutes for you. But what's worse is that Kurtis then moves on and tries to get the current detective "on" the case, and an LA Times reporter who did the 50th anniversary story, to throw hardballs for him.)
Anyway, you know I have no stomach for watching FOX News, or reading comments at Red State in order to get riled up about something which was permanently settled for all rational people in 1964. Thankfully, skilled internet chefs arrange and package the stuff into individual delicacies so I won't feel completely out of touch.
And then despite myself, sometimes, I'll poke it around the edges a bit, which is how the American Broadcasting Company wound up on my radar half a week late. (Incidentally, Tapper caught some flak for calling FOX a "sister organization" from people who apparently ignored the fact that he works at ABC News, the Ur-FOX, which pulled itself up from A. C. Nielsen's sub-basement in the 1970s by out-Silent-Majoritizing CBS and NBC, which led directly to some bright (or just utterly embarrassed) boy in Roone Arledge's stable figuring out that America was ready to dispense with news altogether. Which, of course, it did, beginning when Arledge got control and gave half the ABC anchor desk to a real-estate pitchwoman with a crippling speech impediment and absolutely no idea what she was reading. My only objection is that "fraternal twin network" might have been closer to the truth, if one can even use that word in this company without spontaneously combusting.)
Both Right and Left Wrong! Sez My
"This picture shows two things," my friend writes.
"1) The 'right' is wrong about Obama's bow.
"2) The 'left' is wrong about Obama's bow.
"His bow is neither (1) unprecedented nor (2) a sign of cultural understanding.
First of all, and don't take this the wrong way, but eat shit. Second, when did The Left weigh in on this, apart from the standard mirth/disgust/outrage at the latest bat droppings from FOX being picked up by her "mainstream" sisters? And that's pretty much a continual process at this point. You've got a "news organization" going ape over this for forty-eight hours, and you've got CNN, ABC, and print outlets picking up the "controversy". Considering how few Leftists are ever spotted in those environs it ought to be easy enough to name the one you saw. We had four cedar waxwings in the evergreen out back one day last year and I can still tell you what time of day it was.
Third, the Right "called the bow unprecedented"? That's your parse? "Unprecedented"--which was not simply Wrong but Dead on Arrival, by the way--was actually one of the more sane and rational reactions in Wingnut Land, and we're talking here about its "news" "reporting" arm, not what some dickhead typed on his blog. What the Right actually was saying is that the President, with a moment's gesture in a moment of Protocol, had, voluntarily or no, symbolically or in fact, surrendered the fucking sovereignty of the United States of America, in perpetuity, to the Japanese, or would have if he hadn't already deeded it to the Saudis. And to get the full flavor of it I'd have to type the parse in ALL CAPS. You contrast that with somebody claiming it was culturally sensitive? And wind up with a wash?
Incidentally, not that I care one whit more than this will ever mean, which is Not a Fucking Thing, but the two men shook hands first, which is about as Japanese as the quick shower, dignified game shows, or thinking for yourself. Doesn't that count as a Double Reverse Slate negation of the bow, and no tag backs? Lessee, bad parse, glossed-over details, and pre-ordained pseudo-conclusion. What did you say your "friend's" academic discipline was, again, Jake?
"But if Obama can get the dollar to stop bowing to the Yen I take it all back."
Oh, Economics. At least we solved one mystery.