Tag Archives: wingnuttery

The Bonfire of the Inanities

Word that winger filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, the auteur behind Fire from the Heartland and Battle for America (and, it should be noted, actual movies such as Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner and Julie Taymor’s Titus), has produced a feature length documentary about Bailin’ Palin inspired Balloon Juice to solicit title suggestions. Mine is up top, but you can offer yours here.

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From punditry to paleontology

Raymond Chandler once dismissed Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express by saying its solution “is guaranteed to knock the keenest mind for a loop — only a half-wit would think of it.” This P.J. O’Rourke rant about laws banning cigarette-smoking merits the same response:

My grandmother was able to keep people from smoking indoors with one cold stare. Why would laws and parliaments and police powers and courts and all sorts of annoying and ugly signs everywhere be necessary? All this expense and exercise of power of one group of people over another – why is all this needed to achieve what my grandmother could achieve with one cold stare?

That’s one of the leading lights of conservative intelligentsia, folks, a published author and nationally recognized columnist. You’d have to have seven-eighths of your brain surgically removed simply to address that remark on its proper intellectual level.

I’m old enough to remember the days when smoking was still ubiquitous, and it was considered your problem if you wanted to have a meal or a conversation without the stench of cancer sticks filling the air. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a half-smart argument from somebody who thought I was the reincarnation of Stalin because I wanted to be able to breathe in my own fucking apartment, I could afford to buy my own island in the south Pacific, where the trade winds would carry a warning whenever an old fart like P.J. O’Rourke was coming over the horizon. Move this guy from the punditry column into the paleontology wing, that’s how fossilized these arguments have gotten.

Come to think of it, I’m old enough to remember when National Lampoon was funny and P.J. O’Rourke sounded like an amusing iconoclast, instead of a mastodon sinking into a private tar-pit of the mind. Boy, does that make me feel old!  Hey, P.J. — I’ve got a stare every bit as cold as your granny’s, but those anti-smoking laws are just the thing for bartenders, waitresses, flight attendants, and anybody who wants to live his life without getting into a battle of wills with some nicotine-ridden putz out to make a spectacle of himself.

There used to be a time when reading O’Rourke’s books had a certain low entertainment value, like watching an old monster movie in which some stop-motion dinosaur knocked down cardboard buildings. That was quite a while ago — O’Rourke’s act is even more tired than Camille Paglia’s, if such a thing is possible.  O’Rourke may see himself as The Man Who Came to Dinner, but his movie is really The Beast From Hollow Mountain, and the swamp beckons.

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The real moral clarity

Radio host Michelangelo Signorile takes on a Jesus whooper over the church’s role in fueling anti-gay hysteria. The invincible ignorance of the whooper is astonishing but not, alas, surprising. Signorile cleans his clock not just once but many times, but he probably went away thinking he’d shown good Christian compassion.

“You go and think instead of reading your Bible all the time.” Genius.

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‘Tis the season

It’s the end of the year, snow is on the ground, the air is full of fellowship and good cheer. You know what that means: It’s time for wingnut columnists to crank out a few column inches denouncing Kwanzaa as a sham and a fraud.

In the past, anti-Kwanzaa columns have mainly been the province of baby wingers trying to make a name for themselves as bold contrarians and independent thinkers — or, at least, the conservative approximation of same. This year, with President Obama keeping them in full-froth mode ’round the clock, conservatives of all career levels are probably going to trot out the golden oldies about Ron Karenga and the Sixties.

As part of an ongoing research project, I invite all and sundry to send me links to particularly egregious examples of wingers hating on Kwanzaa, whether by mentioning them in the comment field or sending them to me via the e-mail address above.

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Atlas pouted

After the Hieronymous-Bosch-Meets-The-Island-of-Dr. Moreau spectacle that was CPAC, followed by the entirely predictable news that RNC chairman Michael Steele has leased a long-term parking spot for his lips on Rush Limbaugh’s butt cheeks, I thought the conservatives had topped up their crazy tank and would spend the rest of the week sleeping it off.

Silly me. Now the flappers are talking about “going Galt” — i.e., emulating the pioneering, hyper-creative inventors and innovators of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, who grew tired of being taxed and regulated by the masses and, under the leadership of John Galt, took their toys off to a secret valley where they could live in peace while the world economy collapsed. Kind of like what a teenager imagines will happen after he runs away from home because his fascist parents want him to take out the garbage once in a while. Personally, I always thought Atlas Pouted or Atlas Held His Breath Until He Turned Blue would have been a more appropriate title for the novel, but I’ve never had much use for Randian notions of how the world works — for my money, The Fountainhead is the only film that can rival Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments for chuckles and guffaws. 

The biggest joke is that our current John Galt wannabes aren’t nearly as essential as they seem to believe.  Let’s trek into the fever swamp and listen as these strange creatures gather around their favorite salt lick:

  • I shut down my online businesses in early November, I don’t remember why. I’m now a net user of Obama Cheese. I may even apply for food stamps.
  • Small businesses will lay off employees, and I hope the first to go are the ones that voted for bho. They wanted ‘hope and change’, well you got it. These bho voters have NO idea how much more taxes they are going to be paying. I just hope those bho voters have their IRA, 401k and stocks cratered as much as those who DID not vote for bho. Such(sic) it up kids!
  • I’m starting my victory garden this spring. My sister is expanding hers and in exchange for my helping with that I will be able to claim some of the produce. I’ve been couponing for over a year now and have a nice stockpile of food for when things get really, really bad. I can’t believe that my country is on this path. From Ronald Reagan to this Marxist in the span of one generation. Unbelievable.

Crooked Timber is urging bloggers to encourage and applaud this wingnut tantrum whenever possible. Sing it, brothers! Since the chief contribution of conservative philosophy has been to enable the Midas Mulligan financial antics that have brought the world economy to its knees, I say a nice long stay in Galt Gulch is just what the doctor ordered — for conservatives and, more importantly, the rest of us.    

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