Fake Books on the Subway

This video is funny, but one thing it isn’t is trolling.

Or at least, there’s no evidence of it being trolling. Trolling means provoking a negative reaction for your own amusement or rhetorical purposes. Making other people laugh at silly book titles is not trolling. And that’s all the video shows us: other people laughing. I might guess that at least a few of them were in on the joke, especially since this is the second such video.

Get your nomenclature right, internet!

And Now, Some Throwback Political Dudgeon

Yes, I changed the theme again. I wanted some red.

I used to have a Blogger blog devoted solely to politics, Revolutionary Nonsense. It’s been five years since I wrote anything there, but when the primary campaign produces its inevitable disappointment, I occasionally meander over there to see if anything from the time when I pretended I was an amateur pundit holds up.

Here is one such, from the summer of 2011, when the first glimmer of the total decadence of our political class came clear to me: Thieves, Liars, Whores, Swine and Gilded Fools: A Four-Letter Dissertation on Politics.

No, I have no animus for the Rangles and Byrds of the world of politics. Thieves are thieves, and eventually they end up robbing themselves. I reserve my true hate for the ones who claim not to hunger for graft or power but for a Square Deal for all Americans, the ones who claim that it is time to put politics aside and do the People’s Will. Proggies have been shilling that line for a century, and it’s the biggest pile of dinosaur shit there is.

The People don’t have One Will; that Rousseauist fantasy builds nothing but guillotines. The People are a multiverse of conflicting dreams, desires, and ideology. They have no Main Line from which silken-voiced princes with first-rate temperaments can eternally suckle. 40% of them hate Democrats, 40% hate Republicans, and the rest would rather everyone just play nice. You cannot claim a Mandate to do whatever the hell you please on the basis of winning 51% of such an electorate. It is a house built on quicksand.

The People’s Will is a fantasy, and I hope that Obama knows it. Bill Clinton did. That man was as gifted a liar as politics has seen in a while, but he was a better whore. And whores know that it doesn’t matter what the john wants if you get extra for the service. So if the john wanted to hear that The Era of Big Government was Over, then Billi would make that sound pretty coming out of his mouth. He knew the tricks; he knew the game; the People (or 60% of them) loved him.

Here’s another: I am the Wrecking-Ball Right

It is the knowledge of this ignored benefit, this silent payback, that animates what Reich calls the Wrecking Ball Right, the awareness that the bureaucrats, the lobbyists, and the politicians are the true Ruling Class of this country. And like any ruling class, they will self-aggrandize, to the ruin of the nation unless checked.

The time for that checking has come. We are in debt for trillions upon trillions of dollars to pay for our Ruling Class’ follies. They have turned our heavy industry into scrap-heaps, our cities into wastelands. A drive through any part of Baltimore City shows the marks of the kind of “strong, effective government” that Reich wants to save. A city with one of the best harbors and shipyards on the Atlantic coast is home to block-upon-block of empty, collapsing rowhouses, which only the desperate and the criminal use. Only the names of the politicians on campaign posters above the streets change.

Robert Reich’s social model of government as the counterweight to the wealthy is yesterday’s panacaea to society’s ills, snake-oil and laudanum peddled by confidence men weeping crocodile tears. We’ve had a Department of Education for over forty years, and American schools fell behind almost every industrialized nation. We’ve had a Department of Housing and Urban Development for over fifty years, and every middle-class family who could afford to bought houses in the suburbs. We’ve had a Department of Health and Human Services for the same time, and not a soul has anything good to say about our health care system

It would be bad form to link only to my own stuff, so here’s an almost-throwback post on The Other McCain. I say “almost-throwback” because it’s not a dissertation on the folly of Third-Wave feminism, but an old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone rant against the great Conservative-Boob-in-Good-Standing, David Brooks.

Oh, there’s a reason I always walked out a room whenever David Brooks walked in. Restraining my Jacksonian populist urges requires conscious effort sometimes, and it’s best not to risk an assault charge.

Look what he’s made me do here. I’ve endorsed Trump for pure spite. The worst thing David Brooks can imagine is Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination, but what would be worse for Brooks — what he cannot even imagine — is for Donald Trump to be elected president.

Let us rekindle our Jacksonian spirit, America. Let us ignore the advice of David Brooks and ask ourselves, “What would Old Hickory do?”

If Trump ends up becoming our 45th President, this is how he’s going to do it – you may detest the man, but he’s the enemy of everyone who’s the enemy of you.

The Universe Doesn’t Care About You

That’s the edited version of this old invitation-to-greatness, which I found a useful tonic this morning:

Think a scar (or a tattoo, for that matter) is permanent? It’s not. Your body was literally formed from stardust and will eventually return there. The duration of a scar doesn’t even register on the big time line. In fact, I heard that God watches jewelry commercials and LOL’s when they say that diamonds are forever. It’s all a big joke up there. There’s a drinking game in Heaven, where angels do a shot every time humans invest “for the long term.”

I want to know what his source of Heavenly intel is, but otherwise, heh.

Two Reruns: A Moving Tribute and a Glorious Hilarity

First, in honor of Pat Conroy’s passing, his own eulogy of his father, the Great Santini. The essence of it:

We were raised by the men who made the United States of America the safest country on earth in the bloodiest century in all recorded history.

Read the Whole Thing.

Second, Ace of Spades reposts the madness of his Kaboom Lamentation:

Kaboom was for people — children, I mean — who had decided to give up on life. And it’s a sad thing for a six-year-old to have already thrown in the towel and said, “Ah well. The hopes and dreams of kindergarten are ultimately exposed as so much folly. Give me the Kaboom, Ma. I’m ready to settle.”

It just keeps getting funnier from there.

full_of_win

Praise be: It’s F-f-f-friday! Linkfest for the Weekend

Casting around the Internets:

A pre-med student, asked as part of a class to comment on the Emma Sulkowicz affair, goes into full attack mode. She leaves it all on the field. Relevant quote:

If we don’t give colleges the power to put the accused on trial and convict criminals for murder, why do we give them the power to do so for cases of sexual assault?

Why, indeed? One might speculate that this has less to do with stopping a violent crime that is about 20% as common as it was in 1973, and more to do with enabling bureaucrats and their ideological water-carriers to attain power. If one were so inclined.

The Pope Calls Attacks on the state of Israel anti-Semitic.  Everyone who jumped up and down about Papa Francesco’s pronouncements on the climate has to pay attention to this too, right?

There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the state of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.

Catholicism is Jewish, and that’s a good thing.

Fancy-Schmancy old-school headphones from Master & Dynamic. Beautiful. WANT.

The headphones are made of steel and aluminum, and pair we tried out were gunmetal grey. The MW60s last about 15 hours on one charge, but they can still be used with an included cable if they die.

I don’t have $600 to drop on something like that, but man do I wish I did.

Can Donald Trump Destroy SNL? If you read this hand-wringing AV-Club article all the way through, you may miss it, but the message is there. Conservatives abandoned SNL long ago (I didn’t mind Tina Fey throwing daggers at Bush – she was mostly funny when she did so. But their cowardice in going after Obama, their pretense that nothing about him was risible, was pathetic). But if they lose their support among lefties, then that could mean something. Hey, if we play our cards right, they might destroy each other.

Mexico Just Got Excorcised. This is apparently a thing.

A few months ago Mexico, the second largest Catholic country, was exorcised of its demons in an unprecedented rite of exorcismo magno performed in secret in the city of San Luis PotosĂ­.

This would seem to be at odds with the stricter rules for excorcism that Benedict enacted in 2009. But whatever works.

Happy weekend.

Everything’s a Problem is the Tumblr You Didn’t Know You Needed

For a long time, we were lost in the darkness. Unable to tell what was problematic, or, if we dared push past our privelege to consider if it was problematic, to know just how problematic it was.

Those. Days. Are. Over.

For example, of course you knew that Wonder Woman’s costume was Problematic. That’s a no-brainer. But could you in your wildest imagination have discerned that enjoying Potato Salad without consideration for it nonwhite origins is even MOAR Problematic?

Of course you did not, you foul hater you.

But now you can know. Listen. Absorb. Don’t Resist.