Tuesday, July 17, 2007

George Will: International Punch Line

Jesus Christ, George WIll is a fucking tool. His latest column, crowing about the demise of Antioch College, is absolutely mortifying.

The rise and fall of Antioch College

During the campus convulsions of the late 1960s, when rebellion against any authority was considered obedience to every virtue, the film "To Die in Madrid," a documentary about the Spanish Civil War, was shown at a small liberal arts college famous for, and vain about, its dedication to all things progressive. When the film's narrator intoned, "The rebels advanced on Madrid," the students, who adored rebels and were innocent of information, cheered.[citation needed]

Can I call bullshit on this? BULLSHIT. First question: did this event actually take place? A google search for "to die in madrid" and "antioch college" returns two hundred fifty results, all of which--amazingly--are to this very column. It MIGHT be true, I suppose, but it certainly has a strong whiff of bullshit about it. Are we meant to believe that the film had provided no contextual information for this statement? That it opened with "the rebels advanced on Madrid?" I don't know; maybe it did, or maybe they just weren't paying attention, or maybe they were drunk and unruly and just reflexively cheered for any mention of shit getting fucked up. Also, notice that he implies that ALL of the students partook of this applause. Uh huh. If I had to guess (and I do, since there's no other information to go on), I'd say Will probably took this incident from a memoir some such from one of these allegedly-formerly-liberal conservative pundits who go on at length about how teh librul at college turned them conservative. But I'm quite ready to state as a fact: THIS NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED. The most that occurred is that a few students cheered inappropriately. Horrors.

Also: "rebellion against any authority was considered obedience to every virtue." WOW is that ever bad writing.

Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, had been so busy turning undergraduates into vessels of liberalism and apostles of social improvement that it had not found time for the tiresome task of teaching them tedious facts, such as that the rebels in Spain were Franco's fascists.

"Hey, are you taking that course in Modern Spanish History?"
"No, man, I'm totally swamped. I have to retake Liberal Vesseldom this semester, and if I don't get at least a B+ in Social Improvement, I won't be able to finish my Indoctrination Degree in time."

Seriously, wuh? That's one wild-ass conclusion to take from a highly dubious premise. On another note, I would be fucking amazed if a majority of Will's readership could describe the ins and outs of the Spanish Civil War.

So anyway: Not an especially consequential incident. But of course, that's irrelevant, because even someone as dim as Will wouldn't try to use it to make a sweeping indictment of an entire college, would he...?

That [sic] illustrates why it is heartening that Antioch will close after the 2007-08 academic year. Its board of trustees says the decision is to "suspend operations" and it talks dottily about reviving the institution in 2012.

That's right: a meaningless, probably apocryphal incident that happened--IF it happened--forty years ago demonstrates why we should all gloat about the college shutting down. Makes sense to me!

"Dottily?" Seriously?

There is, however, a minuscule market for what Antioch sells for a tuition, room and board of $35,221 - repressive liberalism unleavened by learning.

See, this is why Will is completely insufferable, in a nutshell. You just know he thought the phrase "repressive liberalism unleavened by learning" made him sound terribly clever and sophisticated, in spite of being completely nonsensical and not even remotely following from anything else he's said. It doesn't make you look smart, George. It makes you look like a guy who desperately wants to look smart.


In 1993, Antioch became an international [citation needed] punch line [sic] when it wrote rules to insure[sic] that all sexual conduct would be consensual, step by minute step: "If the level of sexual intimacy increases during an interaction ... the people involved need to express their clear verbal consent before moving to that new level." Does consent to a touch cover a caress? Is there consent regarding all the buttons?

Please don't make even mildly risque "jokes," George. It's fucking gross. The policy in question was not terribly well thought-out, but the college was trying to stop sexual violence. Will's contempt at the idea is unsurprising.

Although laughable, Antioch was not funny. Former public radio correspondent Michael Goldfarb matriculated at what he calls the "sociological petri dish" in 1968. In his first week, he twice had guns drawn on him, once "in fun" and once by a couple of drunken ex-cons "whom one of my classmates, in the interest of breaking down class barriers, had invited to live with her." A true Antiochian still, Goldfarb says: "I do think I was made stronger for having to deal with these experiences."

Yes, that's right: some guy had a flakey classmate; therefore, Antioch is TEH LIBRUL INDOCTRINASHIN!!!11 This is only ONE of the many deep insights that the Intellectual Conservative has to offer.

I could go on, but I won't. If this stuff really interests you, you might check out the article that Will cribbed most of this column from (except the Spanish Civil War part, which comes from god knows where). It's clear that the college has had problems, but there is absolutely no need for anybody to see them reflected through the warped, ideological mirror of a smug, self-satisfied prick like Will.

Friday, July 13, 2007

God hate YOU, and YOU, and YOU, and even YOU, little Timmy!

Westboro Baptist Church isn't just God Hates Fags anymore: it's also God Hates America. No links, for obvious reasons, but you can find it easily enough. Anyway, the point is, they have honest-to-god mp3s up, of "patriotic" songs about how this country fucking sucks and everyone in it should die and go to hell. Includes such smash hits as "Wicked Land of Sodomites" and "This Land Is Fag Land." They're all to the tunes of well-known actual patriotic songs; musically, they ain't much to speak of--the sort of thing you might expect a kindergarten teacher to sing to her class while accompanying herself on the piano, if she were a deranged neo-nazi. Nonetheless, let's go through them, shall we?

1. "Anchors All Gone" ("Anchors Aweigh")
A jaunty little number about how God hates the navy, or something. I'm a little surprised they would use the word "fuck." Best line: "God sinks your battleship, you little wimps." Includes the word "IEDs," as do a surprising number of these little ditties.

2. "Now God Hates America" ("My Country 'tis of Thee")
Kinda what you'd expect. IEDs! "Explosions everywhere!" Uh...if you say so.

3. "We Have a Message" ("Country Roads"--wah??)
Believe it or not, it's not what you'd call a life-affirming message. "Filth and fags, God hates you." The really fucking creepy thing about this is that it features a children's chorus. "Brokeback Mountain," the singer exclaims. "That's nasty!" the children put in. It would be sort of funny if it weren't child abuse.

4. "God Hates America" ("This Land Is Our Land")
"God hates America, land of the fags." What more do you need to know? Mercifully brief.

5. "WBC Pledge of Allegiance" (regular Pledge of Allegiance)
I'll just provide the words, for your edification.
Woman: "You pledge allegiance to the fags who run all of America and to all the filth for which they stand. Feces-eaters, under Satan, disease-spreaders, hating liberty, denying justice to all."
Man: "You pledge allegiance to the flag, knowing God hates America, and all the sin for which she stands. God-haters, under Satan, united in Evil, hating liberty, denying justice, to all."
Woman: "We pledge allegiance only to God and pray he destroys America and all the people in the land. More dead soldiers, more lost limbs, taking vengeance on the disobedient, bringing His justice to all."

6. "This Land Is Fag Land" ("This Land Is Our Land")
Possibly the only good thing about the Westboro Baptist Cult is the way they devalue the word "fag" by overuse. I find this title hilarious, frankly. It's like these people are all eight-year-olds. The song itself is pretty boring.

7. "Wicked Land of Sodomites" ("America the Beautiful")
"O Wicked Land of Sodomites, your World Trade Center's gone." Very uplifting. Also, the following deathless couplet: "O wicked land of sodomites, you've reached the bottom rung/On top of all your filthy deeds, you eat each other's dung" ("that's nasty!" goes the children's chorus).

8. "Semper Fi, Semper Fags" ("Marines' Song")
They don't like the Marines, needless to say. They should use it in commercials; it almost makes ME want to join. IEDs, also.

9. "US Smarmy" ("The Army Goes Marching Along")
Like the next song, the title is extremely forced, like the kind you'd find in the title of a movie parody in Mad Magazine. They hate the army, too. More IEDs.

10. "Toast Guard" ("U.S. Coast Guard Song")
Ha ha..."toast." Okay, guys, we KNOW you hate the US armed forces. Is it REALLY necessary to devote an entire damn song to each branch? It's getting pretty boring. This one DOES feature pirate noises at the end, though.

11. "Air Farce" ("Off You Go")
Yes, clearly it IS necessary. Let it be duly noted, then: Teh Air Force=Teh SuXx0r. All right then.

12. "Filthy Flag" ("It's a Grand Old Flag")
I'm surprised they didn't substitute "fag" for "flag." That's one rhyme they are generally unable to resist. Rest assured, it is made use of in the lyrics.

"More to come soon!" we are assured. A frightening thought. But whatever. I'm done here. This is piercing through my ironic hipster detachment and making me sort of ill.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bring back the ducking stool

Leaving aside the nutty overrating of BC, this tribute would be more moving if it weren't THREE MONTHS late. What, Tinsley just emerged from his drunken stupor, realized his alleged hero was dead, and just HAD to barf out a perfunctory tribute? And is that the most leaden, joyless rendering of a BC caveman EVAH, or what? I suppose it's POSSIBLE he's meant to look grief-striken, but he actually just appears to be hung over--a condition, I think we can assume, with which The Tinz is intimately familiar.

Is it in poor taste for me to mock this little exequy? Maybe, but blimey, the extreme lateness, coupled with the half-assed drawing and the text's hyperbolic desperation, don't exactly scream "sincerity" to me.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Celebrate the Fourth with Lolpreznits


One thing I will never understand is how an alarming number of liberals--otherwise normal, sane people--can defend the atomic bombings of Japan. It just makes no sense to me. Ugh. Anyway, what with the Japanese defense minister's recent comments, the topic's been coming up lately. Here is a particularly horrifying post by an individual who doesn't usually sound like a deranged sociopath. I went off on him in comments, and since my response was more substantial than what I generally post here, I will reprint it:

A people are responsible for their government, don't let evil lunatics run your country is the lesson.

And if you do, don't complain when someone else has to smarten you up in the most violent way possible.

Why is it that on this ONE ISSUE an alarming number of otherwise sane liberals go completely batshit crazy? You go from mocking Debbie Schlussel to being her. As if you can somehow justify atrocities with self-satisfied, facile "rules" that you just made up...so if people have a shittastic government, and they don't all rise up and stage a bloody revolution, they all deserve to die? Can it be possible that you are truly unaware of how smug/callous/insane that sounds? I know that I'VE been letting evil lunatics run my country for quite some time--and you bloody well would be too, if you lived south of the border. Someone should probably nuke a few of our cities. So WOULD that be okay?

Of course not, America has, once again, not wrecked the kind of havoc and certainly not for the same reasons as Imperial Japan. I do believe that Bush sincerely thought he was doing the right thing in invading Iraq, that he believed all the “beacon of democracy” nonsense.

You say "of course not" as if this is an obvious, or even sensical, point. You think our motives MATTER to anyone on the receiving end of American "justice?" Sure, I think Bush probably believed all that crud, too (though I think the people surrounding him were much more cynical)--so what? That just means he's fucking deranged. Who KNOWS what he'll do next? It seems like those of us who let him get in power are BADLY in need of a little nucuylar "smartening up."

This whole "it was okay JUST THIS ONE TIME, because their leaders were REALLY REALLY SUPER HORRIBLE, but NO WHERE ELSE!" business is fucking nonsense. Either you're in favor of murdering the shit out of untold thousands of civilians (and leaving thousands more with horrible diseases) because their leaders suck, or you're not. I can't believe a non-wingnut would even THINK about trying to argue otherwise.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Deeper! Deeper!

So: Scooter' sentence commuted. I ought to be outraged, and I kind of am, but really, at this point, all I can think is, why the fuck NOT? We've already determined that this administration fucking sucks shit in every conceivable way (if this somehow lowers your opinion of them, you were a LOT more optimistic than I ever was); now we're just playing for a high score. So hell, let's just fucking GO for it--the more blatant and visible the corruption becomes, the more difficult it will be for the revisionist historians of the future to try to claim that this piece of shit was a GREAT PREZNIT. Not that they won't try anyway, but hey. This is just one more piece of rotting fruit we can throw at them.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dopey beer ads

It has come to my attention that there are those who question my interpretation of the keystone light ad below. All I can say is, I think that this is simultaneously giving keystone not enough and far too much credit. Overt physical violence against women is rightfully taboo in advertising--but do ya REALLY think that there isn't a pretty substantial audience that would enjoy it nonetheless? There are plenty of beer ads where *emotional* violence is played for laffs; why would anyone imagine it would stop there? And do ya REALLY think Keystone is too high-minded to be willing to do their best to give the people what they want? It may be possible to imagine a version of the ad in question where it's a guy getting whacked around, but come on, who's fooling whom? It's not coincidental that it's a woman. Here is another commercial, which I don't find offensive, and which, though I'm loathe to admit it, might even be sort of funny. Note that the guy who uploaded it entitled it "Cell Phone Bitch in Beer Commercial," in spite of the fact that there's nothing mean about her behavior, and that it even ends on a conciliatory note. And yet, our uploader loader feels animosity towards her--presumably because she embarrassed the guy, even by accident. Ya think HE is unlikely to think the woman in the other commercial got what she deserved? And ya think Keystone isn't playing to people just like him in it?

I really, really don't think I'm reaching here.