Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alas, Skeletor and Hordak were disqualified.

No link, because, REALLY now, but you can find it if you want by googling the phrase "conservative bloggers select the 25 worst figures in American history." Here are the choices made by these Very Serious People:

01. Jimmy Carter
02. Barack Obama
03. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
04. The Rosenbergs
05. Woodrow Wilson
06. Benedict Arnold
07. Lyndon Johnson
08. Ted Kennedy
09. Timothy McVeigh
10. Aldrich Ames
11. Margaret Sanger
12. John Wilkes Booth
13. Nancy Pelosi
14. Harry Reid
15. Jane Fonda
16. Richard Nixon
17. Noam Chomsky
18. Al Gore
19. Al Sharpton
20. Alger Hiss
21. George Soros
22. Michael Moore
23. Hillary Clinton
24. Bill Clinton
25. Saul Alinsky

Firstly: spend a moment musing over the right's truly bizarre hatred of Jimmy Carter. A mostly-ineffective President who went on to help poor people build houses? The WORST AMERICAN EVER? Really? I mean, I know part of their hatred comes from his insistence on treating Palestinians as though they were human beings, but the pathology clearly goes far, far deeper than that. Don't get me wrong; I'm well aware that Carter did some completely deplorable things while in office, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it ain't his defense of William Calley that has wingnuts all het up.

Anyway, Carter has pretty clearly matured since he was President. I know it's sort of obnoxious to try to psychoanalyze total strangers, but since you will never, ever get an even slightly coherent reason from wingnuts for their Carter-hatred, indulge me: They could never even admit this to themselves, but I think they hate him because he embodies actual Christian values, and because he makes their sainted Ron Raygun look like the malignant clown he was. He's a living repudiation of their entire awful worldview. And if any actual wingnuts read this, you will get to enjoy an angry, probably-agrammatical refutation of this idea in comments. Look forward to it!

Secondly: The immaturity level here is positively comical. I guess that goes without saying, but think about it: what the hell is Harry Reid? A pH-neutral pile of organic goo, is what he is. But he also happens to be one of the leaders of the political party that they hate more than anything; therefore, he's the FOURTEENTH WORST AMERICAN EVAR!!!!11 This principle pretty much applies to the whole list. Are you a current right-wing bugbear? Congratulations; you're one of the Worst Americans Ever. Have a kewpie doll.

Thirdly, and relatedly: There is zero sense of history here. They could have done a much more effective list every bit as wingnutty as this if they recognized the existence of the past. I mean, there are ALL KINDS of people they would--or bloody well OUGHT to--hate WAY more than Jane Fonda (fercrissake) or Noam Chomsky, if only they were aware of them. I mean, just from my own particular area of interest: Eugene Debs? Emma Goldman? Ben Reitman? Bill Haywood? Mother Jones? Alexander Berkman? Upton Sinclair? Nope--just Saul Alinsky, a guy none of them had even heard of until a few years ago, when it transpired that he wrote a book with "Radicals" in the title that Obama apparently read, instantly catapulting him into the ranks of the WORST AMERICANS EVER. Kee-rikey.

(CORRECTION TO ABOVE: I just realized that unlike fellow Russian expatriate Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman was never actually a US citizen. But the point stands.)

These are the people we're going to be giving the nuclear launch codes to in November. Just sayin'.

Monday, August 23, 2010

William Friedkin, To Live and Die in LA (1985)

I wonder why we waste our lives here
When we could run away to paradise
But I am held in some invisible vise
And I can't get away

Again, spoilers for old movie.

The first question you might ask about this movie--with justification!--is: what the holy hell is the deal with the crazed Islamic suicide bomber at the beginning? He's a right-winger's wet dream, sure, but what is he supposed to have to do with anything?

I think it was really just desired that the movie open with a confrontation between the protagonist, LA cop Richard Chance (William Petersen) and an unimportant, subsidiary villain; the sort of thing movies do all the time. But making the confrontation so politically charged was clearly not coincidental. Seems to me that there's a persistent element of othering in this movie. There's the suicide bomber, There's John Turturro as a mule who, we are clearly meant to assume in his first scene, is planning some sort of airplane terrorism. There's the crooked lawyer, who is said to have represented hippies, and we all know what they're like. And then, of course, there's Willem Dafoe as Rick Masters, the mastermind counterfeiter, who, though he speaks with an American accent and putatively is American, is very clearly coded as a sinister European. First: just look at him; he's Willem Dafoe, fercrissake. Has any actor ever looked more sinisterly European? Then, there's the suspiciously decadent, androgynous burlesque at which his paramour dances. When we first see them kiss, she looks very much like a boy, which cannot be coincidence. And, as we find out, she herself is also into women. There's a lot of frighteningly non-American gender-fluidity going on here.

'Course, on the one hand, this is just another instance of the movie's counterfeiting theme--these two as a fake version of a "normal" couple (and Chance's quasi-abusive relationship with his informer is clearly another version of this), but on the other, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to suggest that the movie emphasizes the distance between the law and the outlaws in order to make the subsequent effacement of this distance more striking. In other words, I don't think there's any cause for wingnuts to get too damn smug about a movie featuring a crazy Islamic terrorist. I know subtext is hard and confusing, but civilized people recognize its importance.

A very impressive movie, this is, if you can handle the overwhelming nihilism at its core. A formidable neo-noir. It's strikingly shot, Dafoe is awesomely scary, and the Wang Chung soundtrack is just stunning (the fact that a synthpop band was chosen to score a movie about counterfeiting is probably significant, but ultimately pretty trivial). The only really notable problem--but it IS a pretty big problem--is this: there's a big fucking car chase in the middle, that absolutely murders the film's momentum. I don't have a problem with car chases qua car chases, but this one absolutely does not belong. In the making-of documentary on the DVD, it is made quite clear that they basically included this sequence because they could, with no concern for how it might fit into the movie (which is not, at heart, an action movie) as a whole. One moment we're witnessing a classic noir trope--a seemingly simple plan spinning terrifyingly out of control--being played out; next moment: break for twenty minutes of cars driving at one another! (The sequence may not actually be that long, but it sure feels like it.) Unfortunate, but the movie does more or less recover from it.

The DVD also includes an alternate ending that the studio apparently insisted be shot. If not quite happy, it's certainly comic: Petersen somehow doesn't die after all (it's not clear to me what happens to Masters in this version), and he and his partner are reassigned to a base in Anchorage, there to more or less waste away. I think we're all thankful that integrity won out and this version was rejected, but I'm kind of glad it exists. It really adds an exclamation point to the movie's counterfeiting theme. It would be interesting to do an analysis of the movie in comparison to Gaddis's Recognitions.

This is the kind of sanctimony that I, as a vegetarian, am allowed to display.

My favorite part was when she subsequently caught the lobster and boiled it alive. ROTFLMAO! It's just a laff-a-minute with ol' Lois, isn't it?

I really do always feel more than a little nauseated when I pass the lobster tank at the supermarket. I harbor fantasies of staging some sort of commando raid and freeing them, and were I a genuine revolutionary rather than just a champagne socialist, I would put these plans into action (even if what exactly I'd do with them, living in a landlocked state, is very much open to question).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Duck Comics: "Have Gun, Will Dance"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An effort at mild optimism.

No, not this song, which is about as good as you'd expect a country ballad entitled "We've Got to Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero" to be. Irresistibly calls this to mind. Rather, the comments. There are a few that make you want to curl up and die, but the overwhelming majority display every bit of contempt that such a venture deserves. I don't know if that's because the video was linked by a high-profile liberal blog or what, but at any rate, especially in a forum in which the normal mode of discourse consists of people calling one another "fags," it's nice to see a strong concentration of sanity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A very angry post containing no jokes whatsoever.

So I've gotta tell you, I'm sort of freaking out a li'l bit over all this horrible, flaming, racist idiocy over the non-Ground Zero non-mosque. I mean, you know there's been anti-Muslim hysteria seething all these past nine years, but this really seems different in kind, in two ways:

1. People no longer even feel the need to hold up the feeble pretense that they don't actually hate ALL Muslims, just the terrorin' kind. This seems to have been the golden opportunity that a frightful number of people were just waiting for to basically assert that all Muslims are terrorists and that therefore their civil rights should be cavalierly abrogated. And, of course, it was completely predictable that we'd move immediately from the original subject of controversy to "those People shouldn't be allowed to build any mosques anywhere ever." Alphanumeric characters are not adequate for me to express the depths of my absolute and utter disgust for this racist scum.

2. Opposition to the non-mosque has become completely mainstream. There is no difference whatsoever here between allegedly respectable politicians and crazy people with blogs. I mean, good on Obama for at least asserting that they fucking well have the right to build the thing, even if it's horrifying that an assertion of the most basic of Constitutional values should seem necessary, and I suppose it could be worse in the sense that if McCain were President right now, there would be an anti-mosque bill winding its way through congress as we speak. But the neo-nazi garbage spewing from a rabid wingnut queen like Pam Gellar is absolutely indistinguishable from that spewing from Respectable Commentator and future Republican Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, as well as innumerable other commentators and congressthings. And to complete the picture, even Democrats, like that scum-sucking piece of shit Harry Reid, are jumping aboard, whether out of their usual cravenness or out of real conviction--doesn't matter.

It's easy to hope that something like this will just blow over, but even if this specific incident does, the door remains open for more and much worse. Of course, I can pontificate about this with a certain detachment, what with being a religiously-unaffiliated white guy, but my helpless rage and sorrow just REALLY bubble to the surface when I think what it must be like to be a perfectly ordinary Muslim citizen, just trying to live his life (or hers, but Muslim women are generally regarded more as victims than active perpetrators--the whole "white men saving brown women from brown men" thing), which has to already be harder than it needs to be due to standard-issue tribalism and xenophobia, and to now have to deal with all this extra thuggish bigotry from awful, Julius-Streicher-esque (yeah, I went there--and it's goddamn well justified) demagogues who couldn't care less what violence they incite or whose lives they ruin in the name of their all-consuming hatred--and all with essentially no high-profile defenders on the putatively-other side.

I know this doesn't mean anything coming from me, and I know that even if it DID, nobody to whom it would matter will read it, but let me just say: I am sorry. I am so so so sorry that you have to live in such a deeply diseased, hateful culture. There is simply no excuse. All I can do is assure you that, appearances to the contrary, there is a very large minority of Americans who don't feel that way at all, for as little help as that is. Maybe it's condescending of me to even write such a thing, but what else can I do? I just feel so helpless in the face of this tidal wave of hatred.

I've said it before, but it has never felt more appropriate than now: the terrorists have won. Massively and decisively.

The increasing incoherence of homobigotry

Scott at World o' Crap subjects a column by some dimwitted woman named Nancy Pearcey at World Net Daily to some intense mockery.

Now obviously, you can't expect WND columnists not to be batshit-crazy assholes, but what strikes me about this column is that the author is that the author is trying to construct an actual, coherent argument against gay marriage, and that argument is as follows:

Proposition: Gender dysphoria is a lie, and people whose minds and bodies are out of sync--and people who support those people--are sinning against God.

Conclusion: Gay marriage is wrong.

Nope--I didn't leave out a step. That's the complete argument. Never mind for a moment the fact that the proposition is both false and deeply, cruelly inhuman--even if we can imagine a world in which it is completely true, there is no logical way to get from point A to point B. The only possible connection is "grr! Punish!" but that rather flies in the face of the alleged "logic" involved in the argument.

Now you say, yeah, but that's kind of missing the point; of course the argument doesn't make sense. "Arguments" against gay marriage never make sense, because they absolutely, invariably, one hundred percent of the time boil down to people grasping for a rational way to justify to the world at large their completely irrational prejudices. And that's true, of course, but the fact remains that people like Nancy feel the need to make these ever-more desperate, flailing attempts to defend an untenable position, which shows, I think, the extent to which they know, even if they'd never admit it to themselves, that their beloved legal discrimination is, if not in the short term then certainly in the medium term, a lost cause. And we're not just talking about fringe figure, either--witness Ross Douchehat in the formerly-respectably New York Times, and yes that's an incredibly juvenile play on his name, but he's a deeply horrible person who richly deserves to have his desired perception of gravitas violently deflated at every opportunity.

Duck Comics: "Just for Laughs"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Duck Comics: "An Easter Basketcase"

Friday, August 13, 2010

Paul Verhoeven, Robocop (1987)

Spoilers for a twenty-three-year-old movie!

Look, I hate to sound accusatory, but I think I have little choice but to hold you people responsible for not letting me know that this cheesy eighties action movie with a dopey-as-hell title is actually enormously thematically rich; a razor-sharp satire of postmodern late-capitalism. It's not particularly subtle, but it's still very smart indeed, to the point where the film's status as "action movie" seems somewhat questionable; sure, there's plenty of action to be had (and pretty badass action, to boot), but the parts that don't involve shit blowing up are so much more than necessary filler that it's hard to really see the one aspect really predominating over the other. Whatever. Semantics.

This is capitalism in full flower: corporate ownership of public services is pretty well complete: health care, science, the police (natch) and pretty much everything else appears to be under the control of--or pretty near to being--the megalithic Omni Consumer Products. A republican's wet dream. Sure, the idea of "giant evil corporation" isn't exactly a stunningly original concept for science fiction (and most uses of the trope are at least flirting with a similar idea), but it's rather more pointed here than I've ever seen, with bland corporate boardroom meetings discussing matters of life and death in purely profit-driven terms, with ethical concerns not just elided but rendered literally unthinkable. Don't tell me this doesn't happen many times a day across the country and the world.

The ultimate example of this is Robocop himself, of course--an individual quite literally reified and completely dispossessed in both body and mind. If that's not a potent metaphor for the human condition under an all-consuming capitalist régime, I don't know what it is. One bit I particularly liked was when Robo's consciousness is flickering in and out and we can see the staff having a New Year's party, totally unconcerned with any of this, feeling nothing but momentary giddy excitement when they see his prone form scanning them. One woman plants a kiss on his visor. They just haven't got a clue, and really, why should they? That's just how this era works.

This is not a movie that exactly relies on great acting to make its point--under the circumstances, it's no great shame that Peter Weller (as Robocop, né James Murphy) doesn't do much of it; he isn't exactly called on to. Mostly, everyone else does what they need to, but let's have a word for Miguel Ferrer as the horrible, conscience-less, yuppie-scum Young Executive, who pretty much embodies the nature of a society based on profit. There are plenty of banking executives today who would fit quite snugly into his shoes. Alas, they'll never even come close to receiving his comeuppance.

And let's have more than a word for Kurtwood Smith (aka, "the dad from That Seventies Show"--how great is that?), who pretty well steals the show as the sadistic crime boss (well, open crime boss). His psychopathic goons are pretty damned unnerving as well. Several times, he emphasizes the fact that they're just doin' what everyone's doin'--buying and selling; making the most money they can. It's absolutely instantly predictable that Smith will turn out to be in cahoots with OCP, but no less effective for that. Years later, The Wire would explore very similar themes with considerably more subtlety, but Robocop's bluntness is singularly bracing.

That's not to say that the movie CAN'T be somewhat subtle, however. One of the most astute aspects of it, to me, was the series of brief news broadcasts interspersed throughout, in which the relentlessly cheery anchors relate tales of violence, death, and devastation in various parts of the world. None of these have any direct relation to the plot, but the implication is clear: the world is completely fragmented; it's impossible to place any of this stuff into any kind of context, or understand how it relates to anything else (I just about DIED when the movie cut to a very real-looking commercial for a fun-for-the-whole-family board game about nuclear brinksmanship called "Nuke'Em." SO PERFECT.). With cause and effect essentially gone, there's no way to deal with social problems in a coherent way; hence, Robocop himself--the idea of an invincible crimefighter solving all the problems that need to be solved is a popular one for movies of this genre, but it's quite clear that a robotic police officer is not the answer to our prayers--he apprehends a few random crooks, sure, but while he may stop a convenience store stick-up and a would-be rape, the clear subtext is that you cannot fix such a deeply diseased society just by randomly hacking away at its symptoms, no matter how armor-augmented you are.

I'm sorry to say, then, that the ending kind of lets the premise down. This ending clearly implies--blatantly contradicting the movie's overall outlook--that, really, the only problems with OCP are Douchey Young Executive and Corrupt Old Executive, as opposed to there being much more endemic structural issues. The movie ends in the boardroom with Robocop doing in the latter, and everyone else in the room is all smiles in a ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead way. Are we really just forgetting that earlier in the film, they weren't particularly bothered (except for financial reasons) when a malfunctioning police droid murdered the hell out of one of them? I don't know. I suppose there could be some deep, satirical reason for this, but I tend to think that--whether or not this was the result of outside pressure--Verhoeven just decided to pull his punches, slapping a happy ending on what is manifestly not a happy movie. Too bad. It coulda been one of the best ever if he'd stuck to his guns.

Still, I was impressed as hell with Robocop. Think I'll give the directed-by-other-people sequels a miss, though. I would bet any amount of money that they jettison entirely the most interesting parts of the original in favor of more explodey stuff. But said original is definitely a high water-mark in a subgenre not generally known for its great intellectual acuity.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: When I say "not a happy movie," I'm talking in terms of the structure of society. It's perfectly appropriate for the ending to be happy in terms of Murphy regaining his personal autonomy--in Marxist terms, sloughing off his false consciousness--but much less so in the sense of implying that society as a whole is somehow all better.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Duck Comics: "The Kangaroo Kid"

Saturday, August 07, 2010

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

I was waiting in a doctor's office the other day for what I knew quite well would be a nothing appointment, but everything was running gruesomely late. I had my Terry Eagleton book, but reading somewhat complex prose in the service of involved arguments was JUST NOT HAPPENING with goddamn fox news omnipresently on the television. It was an experience extremely reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange. Thankfully (thanks for extremely small favors, granted, but whataryagonnado?) I was not forcibly exposed to any of their SUPER-horrible ideological pundits (beck, hannity, orally), but it was bad enough. Per some dude, the guy who leaked those military documents to Julian Assange should be executed for treason. You know they'd like for Assange himself to be, were he, you know, an American living in America. I also got to hear (well, I tried to avoid hearing it as far as I was able, but willing total sensory deprivation isn't that easy) Donald fucking Trump talk about--according to the caption--why he's hoarding money instead of hiring people. Presumably, the answer is because he's a horrible, repulsive sociopath who wants to make some sort of moronic point about how bad anything is that does anything other than funnel more money to rich motherfuckers. Fuck THAT guy with the force of a hundred thousand industrial, solar-powered pistons, and fuck the society that makes him into a celebrity.

Even when they were somewhat less explicitly polemical, they were still so grindingly stupid as to make you want to destroy your eyes and ears. Some ladies and gentlemen were debating whether or not viagra should be a thing that government-subsidized health plans provide, if birth control pills aren't. One of them made the point that viagra might be necessary to have kids and like that, and then the REAL genius of the bunch (I made no effort to discern who these people actually were, naturally) made the brilliant counterpoint that most people--shock!--use viagra for recreational sex instead of reproductive, and that therefore we should determine what they WANT that viagra for (presumably using a secret spy network--so much for the idea that saving money, rather than just making other people's lives worse, is the point here) before just passing it out all willy-nilly. What strikes one is how goddamn MEAN people are here: you can't just say, yes, okay, these drugs (viagra AND birth control) help improve people's quality of life, so why WOULDN'T we provide them; oh no, we have to get into long, involved hair-splitting debates about whether people "deserve" them, or whether, shock horror, we would be subsidizing people having FUN, which would obviously be a very bad thing (you can sometimes (but only sometimes) get them to grudgingly agree that public funds should be used to ensure that people don't actually die--but that it should be used to make their lives worth living? That is a few dozen bridges too far). How twisted do your values have to BE for this to be a debate you want to have? We can spend billions on utterly superfluous military hardware with no debate at all, and yet we get caught up in this cruel, penny-ante bullshit. Gah.

'Course, if I want to try to block out the TV, I can frantically flip through a magazine. I could read an article about some "fat academy" thing for obese teens, where their diets are strictly regulated and are, no kidding, NO-FAT. I don't understand how that could be remotely healthy, but I suppose that's beside the point. God knows we should try to be more sane about food, but I somehow don't think that oscillating violently between one extreme and the other is the best way to go about it. If being a part of society means that you get SO unhealthy that you have to temporarily exile yourself into a special camp thing--I dunno, people. Or, I could read an incredibly patronizing article about Susan Boyle in which her douchey-sounding brothers express their deep concern about her mental health, clearly multiplied exponentially by their deep desire to be in a magazine article. The question of why she can't fucking well speak for HERSELF if anyone has to went unaddressed. I'm sure someone somewhere has done some work on the reification of celebrities, which surely isn't a new phenomenon, but which I can only imagine is more pronounced with reality show winners and such--because there's this inchoate but real sense that we somehow own these people, having elevated them more or less directly to where they are. The implications of this are certainly Troubling.

One of these articles was in People and one was in Time, but reading them blind, there would be no particular way to tell which is which. I removed the staples from them and exchanged their covers. I'm pretty sure the only way you'd be able to tell the difference is when the double-page ads that start on the inside covers failed to match up.

Did I mention that I was in this waiting room for over NINETY MINUTES? I really felt like this forcible exposure to the deadening, vacuous horror of American culture in full flower was going to give me a nervous breakdown. It certainly didn't help that AS I was consuming this appalling stuff, there were some teabagger types behind me loudly commenting on the fox broadcast and economic news in general and what a TRAVESTY it is to have economic relief for, pft, teachers and firemen, because when THIS guy had financial problems of some unspecified nature, there was no one to bail HIM out, so SUFFER, BITCHES. It really does say something about the American mindset that instead of thinking, "everyone, me included, should get the help they need to live good lives," we think "everyone else should SUFFER like I suffer." There's a quote from someone I can't quite remember that goes something like: these people would be happy living under a bridge overpass roasting a pigeon over a trash fire, as long as the people living under the other overpass didn't have a pigeon. I have never seen anything to make me doubt the veracity of this. And you can bet our porcine plutocrats are chuckling piggishly over the way they've been able to buffalo the rest of us into such a mindset.

So that experience kind of sucked. In fact, given that the actual appointment was as meaningless as I knew it would be, you've gotta figure that the overall experience was, if anything, a net negative for me, healthwise. Fortunately, I have a good antidote for such rubbish, and that is to go out for a unicycle ride. I suppose maybe it's a bit too obvious, but unicycling is a good metaphor for living a balanced life. You're riding a bike, and who cares? You can only fall to the side, and that's easy to learn to avoid. With a unicycle, you can theoretically fall in any direction--a full three hundred sixty degrees of falling possibility. But if you're good (and let's face it: I'm pretty good), you can smoothly and serenely counter all of the forces trying to shove you this way and that.

So basically, I would recommend it to anyone. Plus, as a special bonus, you can be like Gyro:

No, that's not exactly a standard-issue unicycle, but come on--you can't expect to be AS cool as he is. You can only aspire.

To answer the question posed by this post's title: by unicycle, obviously. Here's a tip you're not gonna get from your career counselor, most likely because she's a blithering idiot: if you have a job interview for the position of Assistant Trombone Technician or whatnot, and it comes down to you and one other equally-qualified candidate, how are they going to decide who gets the job? Well, they might just flip a coin under ordinary circumstances, but if you, unlike your hapless counterpart, unicycled to the interview--well, it's not gonna be a tough choice, is it? Duh! A unicycle is the ultimate tiebreaker.

Less flippantly, I will say this about unicycling: it's one of those things, or at least it was for me. You know that people do it. And you know that these people can't just be circus performers and things--after all, you can buy a cycle any ol' place. And yet…there's this mental block that causes you to sort of place it outside of your potential realm of experience. So you don't even think about it. And yet…why shouldn't you? Why not, I ask you? Aren't you at least a little curious what it's like? Come on. How could you not be?

And it's super-rewarding, too. Right now, I go riding and I think, why did I ever think this is hard? This is no more difficult than riding a bike. But of course, that's discounting the sixty or seventy hours (I would estimate) that it took me to learn--hours of much frustration and thousands of involuntary dismounts. Which is a lot to discount. And yet--I prevailed. My mind couldn't understand complex physics to save my life, and yet my body has somehow learned how to make all the thousands of minute adjustments necessary to successfully ride a one-wheeler and make it feel easy. And the fact that you can program yourself like that is just plain cool. Start practicing today.

Duck Comics: "The Black Moon"

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Love wins out, for now.

I hope that my overwhelming cynicism about politics doesn't mean I'm not allowed to feel pretty good about California's "we hate fags" law getting slapped down (for the time being). Here is a song that I saw on Balloon Juice (yep, Balloon Juice again--apparently, I don't have an original thought in my head). Not normally my kind of music, but it's very moving:

I would point out that there is absolutely NO way that Team Homobigot could ever make an equivalently powerful song arguing against gay marriage, because--well, it's obvious, isn't it? You can TRY to make hatred look like love if you must (hence, the organization whose name I'm co-opting in this post's title), but--well, I'll believe it when I see it.

The response you would get to this song from such a person would no doubt be along the lines of "yeah, maybe it makes gay marriage SOUND harmless or even, pft, positive, but that's just because you libruls allow yourselves to be led around by your emotions, whereas us highly analytic conservatives, driven only by pure logic, can see that, regardless of what some folksinger says, gay marriage will destroy society; plus, two dudes getting it on is totally mega yuck-barf to the max."

Maybe there's hope, though. Youtube comments: pretty much the worst discourse community on the internet, or possibly in the world, right? Yeah, generally, but there are no dickish comments on this song, and here's one that really stands out:

Im not sure what to make of this song.i didnt cry and dont think gay marriage is acceptable.but the way this woman sings about it makes me change my outlook completely.

So there you go. Not everyone is operating from pure, unfiltered hatred. Conceivably, if we last that long, someday almost no one will be. Holy shit, I can't believe how optimistic that sounded. Note that "conceivably" is not necessarily intended to indicate a huge amount of faith in this. But wouldn't it be nice to think so?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Annals of Great Headlines.

Spotted on Balloon Juice, this one:

Yeah, some editors were clearly having some fun here, but it's still great.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Duck Comics: "A Game of One-Cupsmanship"

I was buffaloed into doing this by the DCR commentariat. I wasn't that enthused at first, but I got into it.

Quite unexpectedly, incidentally, that previous post--just a short, lightweight, li'l entry--garnered more comments by FAR (twenty-three, currently) than any other blog post I've ever done. Sheer. Insanity.