Monday, November 29, 2004

Pretzel Logic 

Oooohh, now there's a headline our noble Armchair Warriors won't care for.
Shadow of Vietnam Falls Over Iraq River Raids
As marines aboard patrol boats roared up the Euphrates on a dawn raid on Sunday, images pressed in of another American war.

Interesting that the only time the Times will use the "V"-word is when the war starts to look like Vietnam -- you know, water+dramatic lighting+swift boats+black humor=Vietnam
You see, the rest of us had been operating under an equation more like catastrophic failure to understand the culture and history of the land we're waging war over+confusion of liberation and occupation+puppet government+constant, increasingly laughable claims of turning the tide+widespread human rights abuses+asking men to be the last to die for a mistake=Vietnam.
Our mistake. We'll readjust.
Yes, when I play The Doors' "The End" really loud while watching a young marine kill an unarmed and injured Iraqi man, or patriotically hum The Mickey Mouse Show theme while watching American troops engage in brutal urban warfare, it begins to look a little Vietnam-ish. At least aesthetically.

See: Marx, Karl (Referring to Louis Napoleon)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Thanksgiving Prayer 

William S. Burroughs

To John Dillinger, in the hope that he is still alive.

Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shit out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen,
feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for
Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
nobody's allowed to mind the
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories-- all right let's see
your arms!

You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Despite Defeat, Our Sentences Run On 

Greatest city in the world:
Freemans tuesday night the 16th of nov. the bush twins along with 2 massive secret service men tried to have dinner they were told by the maitre 'd that they were full and would be for the next 4 years upon hearing the entire restaurant cheered and did a round of shots it was amazing!!!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Proportional Representation: It's Fun! 

Democratic candidates received 3,184,943 more votes than Republicans nationally - a victory margin of nearly 4% in the popular vote.

Monday, November 15, 2004

David Brooks Now Only Covertly Bitter About His Last Book 

Shorter David Brooks:
Tom Wolfe and I are very similarly misunderstood.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

David Brooks Wishes We Lived In the Day Where You Could Salt the Earth and Put Heads On Spikes 

Shorter David Brooks:
The CIA, through a targeted campaign of truth-telling, is undermining the President's determination to let preconceived notions based in specious and selective intelligence dictate his foreign policy. They must be destroyed.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Post... From the Future! 

Some ranking Democrats voiced concern with Bush's selection of Tomas de Torquemada as the newly-created United States Inquisitor General; but, in part because of their unwillingness to be seen as "obstructionist" and especially because of their concern about the all-important Catholic vote, they did little to block the appointment.
-Future New York Times "Future Week In Review" section



Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Comma Splices Come Again No More 

To the "Testy Copy Editors":

The post quoted on your message board is here. (Spot the glaring typo!)

I was essentially making the same point as "catwoman":
God forbid we treat the readers as people. I've long stopped thinking that trained journalists have a right to be insulated from those they allegedly serve.

But, you know, with sarcasm and stuff.

Now, though, I'm really very sorry that I called you guys elitist, and to make it up to you, I will personally call all of your papers and commend them on how wonderfully egalitarian the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are today.

In penance, I shall cleanse my archives of adverbs whilst reconciling my subjects and verbs.

'The More Things Change' Dept. 

New York, 1968:

Jimmy Breslin, Murray Kempton, and Bill Barry, who had been bodyguard to Bobby Kennedy in his campaign, were having a sad drink together.

Kepton had written in a column that morning, which began, "We are two nations of equal size ... Richard Nixon's nation is white, Protestant, breathes clean air and advances toward middle-age. Hubert Humphrey's nation is everything else, whatever is black, most of which breathes polluted air, pretty much what is young....
"There seems to be no place larger than Peoria from which [Nixon] has not been beaten back; he is the President of every place in this country which does not have a bookstore...."

Bill Barry finished his drink and left. This day was almost too much for him to bear.

Breslin was talking of leaving the country. Moving to Ireland. It seemed an appealing idea.

"That's a marvelous commentary on the progress of the twentieth century," Murray Kempton said. "Joyce begins it by leaving Ireland to be free and Breslin ends it by going back."

Joe McGinnis, The Selling of the President

(New York, 2004)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

David Brooks, DLC Mascot 

Shorter David Brooks:
The Democrats should listen to me and go after the rich people who wouldn't even buy the book I wrote about them because they have no bookstores.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Backlash In a Nutshell
Or, Liberals, Choose Your Battles

Class warfare! Sound the alarms!

Bucking a trend

Vote breakdowns among the city's 36 precincts show that affluent east-end neighborhoods went for the ban, while western working class neighborhoods -- where most of the bars with smoking are located -- rejected it.

"It was the 'cakes' versus the blue collars," said Swapinski of the Hospitality League. "The cake eaters said, 'We'll save you from yourselves,' and we said, 'Go to hell.' "

Art is a Form of Catharsis 

The battle for the hearts and minds of Real American voters rages on at Fuck the South.

In the immortal words of David Rees,
Hell, our atheists are more
Christian than their
Bible-thumpin' motherfuckers.

Things Unrelated to Other Things 

Buy the new Sally Timms album and then see her at Maxwell's, if you're in town.

McSweeney's has a very accurate piece today On the Utility of Minneapolis-St. Paul as a Base of Operations for Various Well-Known Superheroes or Super Teams (a subject which I've actually considered many times while standing around downtown waiting for the goddamn bus).

Also, buy the new Jon Langford album, which, truth be told, I like a bit more. Then you can see his art, if you want.

And finally, for those of you feeling campaign withdrawl, the stuff I've just started reading (or re-reading) to feed my sick addiction.

The Selling of the President, Joe McGinniss
The Boys On the Bus, Timothy Crouse
Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, Hunter S. Thompson
Not campaign-related, but required reading anyway, What's the Matter With Kansas?, Thomas Frank.

And a selection from Bush's co-hagiographer, to give us hope for an eventful second term.

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
-Hunter S. Thompson, via Billmon

Also, Beer Is Considered a Soft Drink There 

Seriously, man, Russia's fucked up.

Russia, as the Soviet Union before, still celebrates May Day, or the Day of International Workers' Solidarity, but calls it the Day of Spring and Labor.

There is still, for now, Constitution Day, though not as before on Dec. 5, honoring Stalin's Constitution, but on Dec. 12, the anniversary of the one adopted after President Boris N. Yeltsin ordered the shelling of the Parliament in 1993.

Every American ought to have a working knowledge of Russian history, because it completely resists the logical narrative form that we try to shove American history into -- no progression from bad to good to better to world's greatest country ever, but, in fact, a series of disasterous experiments, brief victories, violence and inept autocratic leadership. The biggest heroes have the biggest flaws. It's impossible to fall anywhere on the political spectrum in Russia without inadvertendly tying yourself to an ideology refined and espoused by some brutal murderer, be it a decade or a couple centuries earlier. But people have an understanding of the complexities and dark periods in their history there, unlike here, where we understand that "slavery was bad, but it is done now so get over it" and sleep in on Columbus day with a clean conscience.

Of course, we all will become scholars of Russian history once ours starts mirroring it.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

It's Cold Outside 

Roy at alicublog has been expressing my own despair with a little more venom and efficacy than I can manage right now, and he's been fighting hard against the "plenty of reasonable people can find reasonable reasons to support Bush" argument with my full support -- honestly, right now, there are Bush-voting members of my own family who I would verbally abuse if I didn't live a thousand miles away from them (not many, of course, because all the reasonable ones, including two lifelong Republicans, voted for Kerry).

And Roy linked to this, "An Open Letter to the Democratic Party: How You Could Have Had My Vote".

After reading this reasonable young woman explain so reasonably why she voted for poverty, torture, and endless war against a vague threat, I can only paraphrase the great Robert Mitchum:
Baby, we don't care.

Fuck you and fuck your vote, if you're real and not just some insidious random-word-generator with a vendetta against me.

It's been two days since John Kerry conceded, and all I am seeing, hearing and reading from the Democratic party is that you guys think you lost on "moral values." You seem to think this means nothing more than opposition to gay marriage.

Of course not! We know it also means a principled objection to the existence of homosexuality, not to mention the legality of a safe abortion preformed by a professional doctor!

Many of us would have given our left arms for a Democrat we could have supported.

Like George Wallace!

Let's meet our poor, lost vote, and begin to feel the bile rise:
I am a single, heterosexual, college-educated woman in my late 20's with an annual income of about $30,000. I live in a solidly red state in the South, the region you guys wrote off entirely without even trying to persuade us to vote for you. [Note: This is the first point at which we begin to decide that perhaps we didn't really care about your vote to being with] I am not an ideologue, and I experience painful ambivalence about many political issues. The notion of an abortion makes me queasy, but I don't want Roe vs. Wade overturned. I have friends who've been impregnated by rape and friends who found out late in their third trimesters that they were carrying babies too malformed to ever have normal lives. [Aren't I compassionate?] The pictures of Iraqi children who've lost arms from the bombs my tax dollars bought make me shed tears, but I recognize that the war was the right thing to do, given the information we had available at the time the decision was made. [Information which I didn't question then and have no qualms with now] I had no health insurance for three years, but I'm still, hesitantly, not in favor of socialized medicine. [It is my understanding, because I am stupid, that Kerry's plan was precisely what he explained repeatedly that it wasn't. Also, I've never been to Canada. Or heard of western Europe. This self-evident principle of mine warrants no further explanation.] I know people who abuse the social services, but I also have friends who would be dead without the food stamps and SSI checks they collect each month. [God rest their souls.] I believe in God and consider myself a Christian, but I don't go to church, and Falwell, Robertson, and their ilk scare me more than they scare you.

Can you feel that, Democrats? That is me being sooooo close to being on your side. Can't you just taste my precious, precious vote?

More vote-dangling prickteasing continues in the next graf:
I have gay friends who are closeted and gay friends who couldn't be more open if they had QUEER tattooed across their foreheads, and I think they should be allowed to get married if they want to. [I don't think so very strongly, mind you, but I have been known to watch Will and Grace] I read The Onion, Dilbert, Dan Savage's sex advice, Salon.com, and quite a few blogs. [Your best humorists and sexperts could not sway me! I am the mighty lost voter!] The local librarians know me on sight. ["Here comes that woman who can't bring herself to vote for Kerry again. I bet she feels very conflicted about the Justice Department's extra-constitutional powers to force us to give them the records of every book she's checked out to investigate her loyalty. Look, she is borrowing a book by very reasonable hat-wearing former liberal mystery writer Roger L. Simon!"] ... I shop at Wal-mart, but I feel guilty about it, and if they unionized, I would never cross the picket line. [Thankfully, once I cast my very conflicted vote for Bush, I won't have to worry about crossing any picket lines.]

President Bush's close relationships to people like John Ashcroft scare me. I hate the PATRIOT Act and am fearful of what might be part of PATRIOT II. The two dumbest trial balloons I've heard floated for his second-term agenda are privatizing Social Security and abolishing the income tax. When he says that God chose him to be President during this time of trial, I am embarrassed. I roll my eyes. [I disagree with or am scared of the largest planks of my candidate's platform. I have very basic disagreements with his major beliefs and principles, and his agenda has the potential to personally hurt my and the people I love. I have made voting a form of masochistic self-flagellation.]

Now we get to the good bits. Why, exactly, oh you reasonable young moderate, did we lose your vote? Because of talking points transcribed directly from the RNC.

1. You didn't give me clear positions on the issues. I followed the news closely all through the campaign, but I still don't understand Kerry's position on Iraq. I know he voted for the IWR, but then he voted against the $87 billion. To you, that seemed to be a symbolic stand against Saddam Hussein (the IWR) but also a principled stand against a President who was out of control (against the $87 billion). To me, that was just confusing. He said he would have done everything different, but he also said that, knowing what he knew today (the day he was asked) he still would have cast the same vote. He said that he would bring allies to our side to share the burden, but he also said he would be sending 40,000 more of our troops. He said that we must finish the job, but he also said it was the wrong war at the wrong place and the wrong time. Huh?

Ror the sake of consistency, once John Kerry voted to support giving the President the authority to make war providing that he presented genuine proof that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction before beginning the invasion, he should have decided that Bush could do no wrong in waging the war.

2. You didn't convince me that you would defend America against the threats of terrorism. Kerry seemed to think that terrorism is like any other crime. You catch the people responsible and put them in jail, and that's that. After seeing the destruction – physical, financial, psychological, and emotional -- wrought by the September 11th attacks, [From far, far away in a "safely Red state"] I do not understand how he could believe this. The hijackers lived among us, ate at our restaurants, shopped in our malls, and wounded us worse than we have ever been wounded before. How Kerry saw this as a crime, and not as a paradigm-shifting event that deserved a military response, both in direct retaliation and to keep it from ever happening again by going on the offensive, is something I don't understand.

Yes, the actual targets of the 9/11 attacks, New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. all demonstrated their confidence in Bush's ability to protect them from another attack by resoundingly voting out of office the man who sat on his ass while the hijackers rammed planes into buildings. In fact, almost all major urban areas, surely the most obvious targets of future attacks against America, expressed a little less faith in our war president than our suburban Southern young woman, here.

"We love you, New York," the Reasonable Republicans say, "and what we are doing hurts us as much as it hurts you, but we know what is best for you, for we occasionally visit and felt very bad on September 11th."

The rest of it is meaningless drivel that won't be foreign to anyone who's spent much time on a warblog or the comments section of a troll-infested lefty blog. This woman's a fake, obviously, but one on which a considerable amount of effort was expended. Go on over and say "hi." Show her a little of that Democratic Hate Speech which turned her off to our cause.

Fuck the Lord Chancellor 

Rehnquist, you old queen, should you die in the next few days, remember as you breathe your last that your legacy will consist of this, this, and your stupid robe.


"Leadership! Marriage! Moral values!" says the Inflatable President 

New entry to the sidebar on your left: the indispensable Fafblog!, which reminds us once again that our side is funnier and smarter and constantly grappling with a giddy feeling of apocalyptic despair.

I'm Sorry For What She's Done 

I'm not willing to go quite as far as Greg Palast, but there is no doubt in my mind that the majority of Americans voted, in some fashion, against Bush -- and the coming weeks or months may show that more people intended to vote for Kerry nation-wide. It's apparent that Kerry was the intended choice of hundreds of thousands of uncounted voters, but we can never know if it would have been enough to bridge the popular vote gap. But if the record someday shows that Kerry bowed out early without a fight to protect our fragile Democracy from lawsuits and the hardship of "another Florida," then fuck him and fuck the Democratic party. We have a winner-take-all system -- when it's this fucking close, you don't back down because the other side is better at stealing.

Just peruse this and see how confident you feel about our democratic process, bitches.

Dread is the new optimism.

Empire of the Senseless 

Seriously, we're really sorry.

On the Bandwagon 

(I don't know who made it, but I stole it from here.)

Friday, November 05, 2004

How We Still Love the War 

Well, America, you've done it. You've killed Atrios.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Every Day's a Battle 

Scout has the important and intelligent post-mortem thing that I'm too depressed to write right now.

David Brooks was right!!! "Blue" America is different and out of touch with the REAL AMERICA!!

I just spent almost a week in Ohio trying desperately to turn-out voters individually, one-by-one, in a classic grassroots fashion, and all the republicans had to do was put the "State-Wide Gay-Bashing Initiative" on the ballot to turn out every single moron in the state. And you know what, folks? The morons outnumber us. Hate won. So fuck America. There are 59,108,395 Americans that I want to punch in the face right now. I spent 5 months trying to reason with individual voters in two "Swing States" when I should have just been driving through rural Ohio running people down with my car.

Hating fags and being scared of Arabs won.

What went wrong? I can identify a few key factors:

1) The American People
Bush supporters and undecideds alike clearly didn't have any idea what Bush stands for outside of hating fags and killing foreigners. The Program on International Policy Issues had a handy little survey demonstrating this. Huge majorities of his supporters simply think that Bush thinks the way they do, when, in fact, he believes precisely the opposite.

2) The Press
They are to blame for Factor One.

3) John Kerry
Hell, it's probably his fault, too.

4) Me
I don't know. Fuck this list.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I Don't Want to Talk About It 


Fuck fuck fuck.

Hell, I'll admit it freely now: you are all completely right. I do hate America.

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