Thursday, April 27, 2017


The New Yorker did an extremely generous profile of Rod Dreher this week. If that profile were the only thing you'd ever read about him, you wouldn't know he was nuts. The profile sympathetically tells Dreher's life story as a metropolis-hopping journalist whose heart is really in the holy boondocks (where for some reason he just can't seem to sink down roots) and his apotheosis as an author of easy-reading religious books. Profiler Joshua Rothman lauds Dreher's in-stores-now Benedict Option as a friend-of-Jesus-in-a-chartreuse-microbus plea for Christians to "consider living in tight-knit, faith-centered communities, in the manner of Modern Orthodox Jews," and seems not to have noticed the apocalyptic lunacy of his long public trail of magazine columns. Speaking of which, here's one from this week, responding to a poll that shows 62% of liberals belong have a religious affiliation, down from about 85% in the 1990s:
There Will Be No Religious Left... 
More broadly, we could say that many of the things liberal Christians believe in and advocate, in contradiction to normative Christian orthodoxy, already exist outside the church, period. Liberal Christianity often appears as a somewhat desperate attempt to sanctify modern beliefs...

There will be no religious left in the long term because the religious left, as it is currently constituted, doesn’t even believe in its own religion.
Considering there are still millions of liberals going to church or shul or whatever, this seems rather hysterical. To the extent Dreher bothers to explain why he thinks liberals are doomed to atheism, rather than spew hot gas and adjectives, he mainly cites sex. His sources rail against "a church unwilling to say that all homosexual genital relations are morally wrong; a church which at least makes some allowance for abortion when necessary to assure a mother’s freedom"; Dreher howls that the lib-godly "futilely try to update their doctrines to accommodate the modern world — especially regarding sexuality..." and are about "the legitimization of homosexual desire and the approbation of sexual permissiveness," etc.

Those of you who've read my criticisms and others' of Dreher will know this is SOP for Dreher, who is obsessed with sex, especially homosex (gay "persecution is coming" and you should "prepare for resistance"; gays are coming to kill him, just like they did black people in the days of Jim Crow) and double-definitely trans sex (the he-shes are taking over the multiplexes, even in Texas!). But those who only know him from The New Yorker will get only the merest hint of this when Rothman delicately broaches the subject -- and boy do I mean delicately:
I told Dreher that his life story seemed very similar to those of many gay men I knew... Surely, I said, he must have sympathy for gay Christians.
Like many orthodox Christian intellectuals, Dreher holds labyrinthine views on homosexuality. He is opposed to same-sex marriage but in favor of civil unions...
Labyrinthine, he says! And in the last ditch Rothman finds a Gay Friend to defend Dreher. Want to guess who that might be?
The writer Andrew Sullivan, who is gay and Catholic, is one of Dreher’s good friends... 
“There is simply no way for an orthodox Catholic to embrace same-sex marriage,” [Sullivan] said. “The attempt to conflate that with homophobia is a sign of the unthinking nature of some liberal responses to religion. I really don’t think that florists who don’t want to contaminate themselves with a gay wedding should in any way be compelled to do so. I think any gay person that wants them to do that is being an asshole, to be honest—an intolerant asshole. Rod forces you to understand what real pluralism is: actually accepting people with completely different world views than your own..."
It's perfect in a way: Sullivan, onetime king of the gay conservatives who made his movement bona fides by pimping The Bell Curve to polite company (and only just recently showed how easy that was for him by wondering aloud why black people can't be more like those nice Asians), now steps up to protect America's cuddliest homophobe by telling us the hundreds dozens couple of gay people who give florists a hard time are the real bigots. He may get that crown back from Milo yet!

Now if someone has the bad taste to notice Dreher raving "We are all Brendan Eich" and predicting gaymageddon unless the Elect mount the battlements,  he can just wave his pass -- in such fancy type, too! -- and go on about his Crusader business.

Soon enough we'll be hearing about Erick Erickson's misunderstood pluralism.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Trump’s threat to defund sanctuary cities just got kicked in the ass by a federal judge, so natch the brethren are doing the Black Robed Masters shit.

“Increasingly I wonder if this Lawfare post from March about a ‘revolt of the judges’ against the Trump White House was correct,” huffs Allahpundit at Hot Air. “On display here is a fair amount of judicial arrogance,” squeals Marc Giller of The Resurgent. “All of this smells far more politically motivated than anything derived from sound legal doctrine,” snarls Kemberlee Kaye at Legal Insurrection.

Well, of course. They hate cities; they hate furriners; and they especially hate the obviousness of the fact that immigrants help make our great cities the economic powerhouses that keep this country’s head above water, while the cracker exurbs mainly generate meth labs, a drain on public funds, and Trump voters.

Even worse for them: It’s to an extent one of their favorite wingnut legal precedents that’s keeping them from playing out this particular racist fantasy. Once again stepping in the shit they meant for someone else's shoe! Small wonder that, despite their near-complete rule of the federal government, they’re such miserable sons of bitches.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF Managing Director Christine LaGarde, and Trumpelina who puts her name on other people’s clothing designs: One of these things is not like the others and the crowd at the G20 Women's Summit didn’t go for it.

You’ve probably already heard about Chris Cilliza sweetening his own beat by defending Trumpelina from the women who had the effrontery to mutter at her (and after he harshed on Chelsea Clinton, too — man, he’ll never miss a meal!). “It's important to remember,” Cilliza warbles, “that Ivanka is, first and foremost, her father's daughter. As such, she is going to defend him -- as would almost every daughter…” This is pretty much the Washington Examiner’s take as well: “Ivanka Trump booed in Germany while defending her father's record on women." Others in the MSM got in on this angle too -- that Trumpelina was just being a good girl, protecting her soft-headed old daddy from the mean femininimisms who pelted him with mudballs. So much for the toler— well, you know how it goes.

“Ivanka Trump 'Booed' at Women's Forum in Germany,” headlines Newsmax, as if there were some question of the booing’s authenticity. (Well, they did say the booing audience had “a majority of women”; maybe booing is something ladies aren’t supposed to be able to do, like comedy or self-determination.) “That NATO bill just got 10% higher,” says Twitchy, echoing something The Leader is probably bellowing right now in the Lincoln Bedroom while he waits for his buttpad to be warmed.

GOP mouthpiece Amanda Carpenter, looking for some of that sweet Tomi Lahren triangulation from Trump, essays that Trumpelina was “becoming like Hillary Clinton in the worst ways… she’s sort of becoming increasingly unlikable.” Watch your back, Chris Cilliza! There's more than one way to speak "pet me" to power.

Many morons, including Breitbart, accused the audience of behaving “rudely.” “Rude Germans Boo and Hiss Ivanka Trump,” hollered The Gateway Pundit. “So rude Germany, so rude,“ tsked WorldNewsPolitics. “NASTY WOMEN! Ivanka Trump BOOED…HISSED By Unbelievably Rude Crowd,” headlined We’re New But Loud Like Breitbart Come Let Us Slow Up Your Computer With Pop-unders.

And of course they did. Look at how the New York Post pre-emptively fluffed Trumpelina's coming-out:

Because Trumpelina is entitled to this. So what if she has no relevant attainments, let alone enough of them to qualify for such a position? She’s a princess and deserves to be plopped down amongst some of the most accomplished women in the entire world to offer her unqualified views. After all, I assume her father reasoned, it’s just that one, the German, I wouldn’t shake hands with because you have to show 'em who's boss; and that other one, from “Imph” I think they call it, she musta gotten the job by fucking the last guy, DSW or whatever it is, he’s a real hotshot.

Trump sent Jared Kushner to Iraq and let him sit in his bigboy playroom but, brutish as he is, you know he wouldn’t send Jared to address the United Nations or go anywhere else where he had to pretend to actually know something.

But the G20 women's summit — well, that’s just a bunch of chicks, right? What's the big deal?

Sunday, April 23, 2017


...about the firing of Bill O'Reilly and the end of Lena Dunham's Girls and the strange secret they share!

I refer glancingly in the column to two of our favorite terrible writers, who join a few others in running away from the now-toxic O'Reilly as fast as possible. “I have lots of conservative friends in my age cohort who complain about the effect heavy Fox watching has on their parents,” says Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. “The general complaint is that their folks have become a lot more opinionated about political issues, and a lot angrier and more bombastic.” You can see how this puts them out of phase with a conservative movement whose most successful proponent is President Donald Trump. (Dreher adds, "If I had cable TV I would definitely watch Tucker Carlson’s show, because he’s fresh and unpredictable." Yeah, that's some Next-Gen shit right there.)

And at National Review David French laments that O’Reilly was steeped in “a toxic culture of conservative celebrity, where the public elevated personalities more because of their pugnaciousness than anything else,” leading to “a loss of integrity and, crucially, a loss of emphasis on ideas and, more important, ideals” — which, near as I can figure it, means that O'Reilly is no true conservative because true conservatives don’t act like that.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


The end of O'Reilly's TV show means nearly nothing to me. Big-ticket rightwing rageclowns like him are like blockbuster movies and reality shows, just gargoyles for gawkers, and we who have free souls it touches us not.

I'm more interested in the conservative pseuds who try to explain it all on the internet, and so far their take seems to be that the preferred viewing choice of your aged relatives who send you pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose doesn't have anything to do with conservatism.

"He Was a Centrist, Not a Conservative," claims Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart. But look where Pollak's baseline is, via his approving quote of some wingnut chin-stroker:
What if we could magically remove the metaphoric glass and see, face-to-face, the average American, once his political views are no longer distorted by media bias? What would we see? 
The answer, basically, is Ben Stein.
Tell your aged Obama-hating relatives that their avatar is Ben Stein and they'll smack you. I won't even accept that slander on them! Hell, if the average American were the chinless Stein, we'd have receded into the primordial ooze years ago. (Try to imagine Ben Stein without money. He'd be raving next to an overpass. Or at least whining loudly.)

The others are worse. I include the worthless Chuck Todd who, seeking to impress Hugh Hewitt for some reason, "agreed" with him according to this Daily Caller report that O'Reilly wasn't a real conservative, that is, not a fancy intellectual like Hugh Hewitt:
“He was — to me, what he did — he was the tone-setter,” Todd continued. “He was sort of that anti-political correctness.” 
“He was the opening act that brought the crowds, but he became almost more fun to watch than the concert itself, sometimes, but he was the entertainer, probably more entertainer than any of the others.”
Similarly, gameshow buffoon Trump isn't conservative either -- he just pumps out rightwing policies self-identified conservatives eat up, but he ain't got good taste so when the smart guys stand around in cigar bars with snifters and talk about the Glooory of the Mooovement & Burke & Hayek &tc they shove Trump into a coatroom and blame the smell on the dog.

Plus there's Mark Judge at Splice Today -- "The left is cheering the demise of O’Reilly, but liberals have nothing to boast about," he says, because someone got raped at Occupy and what about that bitch who said she was raped but wasn't, huh libs? And Scott Lehigh at the Boston Globe: "Bill O’Reilly types aren’t just a conservative problem," because all those liberal TV hosts are sexual harassers too and the only reason we don't have proof like with O'Reilly is because chicks lie to protect libtards to keep their precious abortions.

At National Review Ian Tuttle tries a variation: Sure, the old-fogey conservatives go for O'Reilly, but we youngs are modern and a-go-go and we think O'Reilly's trad, dad:
This rough-and-ready genealogy might even include a third generation, emerging now — one whose world was shaped by September 11, Iraq, economic recession, and the hyper-partisanship of the Obama years. These conservatives are not Bill O’Reilly; they’re Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham. Their media are podcasts and Twitter, and while they’re certainly combative, they are more interested in a savvy, cosmopolitan conservatism that goes toe-to-toe with progressivism on its own turf (consider Shapiro’s popular campus-speaking events) than in the countrified, bigger-government, populism-tinged conservatism embodied by Mike Huckabee.
"Ben Shapiro, Mollie Hemingway, and Mary Katharine Ham??" cry the youth of today. "That's all I needed to hear. Direct me to the scene of their symposia, where I will vape, denounce socialism, and maybe beat up some antifa chicks!"

At least Tuttle's got enough sense to be ashamed, but not enough to see that O'Reilly isn't the problem. You still need someone; that someone could be younger, and maybe even female (sexual harassment is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have for this gig!) or non-white (the murderous psycho Sheriff David Clarke might even do). But you will need someone to summon the clans, and he or she will have to be a scumbag -- and, since this is the age of Trump rather than the age of Reagan, that person also has to let the slavering masses know he or she is a scumbag. Because St. Ronnie wouldn't make it today; they'd see through his unctuousness right away and despise him for thinking them dumb enough to believe he's a nice guy. Shit, even conservatives don't believe in "trickle down" or "law and order" or any of those magic words anymore -- you can imagine what the marks they've been bilking for decades think!

No, for them only the Savage Messiah will do. And if the prissier among the Movement Conservatives have to stand off the side, look as innocent as their careers as childhood snitches taught them, and say oh no this is not what we meant at all, well, they can afford to pretend it's strategy instead of self-deception -- after all, they still get paid.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Trump has really taught conservatives to turn on a dime and accept new realities that were once (if you ever believed a word they said) disgusting to them. Remember when it was a wingnut rite of passage to hatewank over Lena Dunham? (My detailed examinations here, here, and here.) Now that her show Girls has ended with her character apparently getting a ridiculously impossible academic job and a kid, the brethren are in love with her.

Well, it's a kind of love. They want to have their cake and eat it too -- and in this their attempt is very like what they do with Trump as well: They say mildly bad things about her, but endorse her policies -- that is, endorse what they think her show's conclusion means in the purely political terms they think apply to every area of human life. Here's Erika Andersen at The Federalist:
Don’t Tell Her, But Lena Dunham Just Made A Pro-Life Season Of ‘Girls'
See, Andersen says, in the real world Dunham's a baby-killer -- "I don’t know for sure if she supports abortion up to 9 months of pregnancy," she says, "but let the record show, she probably does." (Despite the vinyl revival, Andersen doesn't seem to know what the word "record" means.) But the Invisible Hand of the Art-Marketplace forced Dunham to call for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, culture-war-wise, by having her character have a baby:
They could have thrown in a late-term abortion (and wouldn’t the pro-choice media just love the “stigma-reducing” that would showcase?), but they wouldn’t dare go there. 
Why not? It’s her body, right? Because it’s not, and everyone — yes, EVERYONE — knows it. 
Every time a character on TV has a baby, it's a thumbs-up for the Republic of Gilead. (Except Murphy Brown -- she's still a whore.)

Meanwhile Kyle Smith -- National Review's new culture-scold hire, probably enlisted to appease the readers who are confused and angered by Armond White -- praises "Lena Dunham’s Ultimately Conservative Message." Dunham, you see, is the bad Hannah -- "[she] says unconscionable things, just like her narcissistic screen alter ego" -- but "Dunham the writer," ah, she's almost as good as Jonah Goldberg, and "Hannah’s reckless, destructive self-absorption" betrays Dunham the writer's awareness that Dunham the slut is a filthy slut and abortion is murder. Maybe in her next project, Dunham the writer will kill Dunham the slut, like Dr. Jekyll did Mr. Hyde! In the meantime, comrades, let's keep our wits sharp with our guiltily-retained Fappening files!

Of course, the show's not over till Chunky Reese Witherspoon sings, and one can only approach Ross Douthat's contribution with a certain Hell No. Take this:
Tony Soprano pining for the days of Gary Cooper set a tone for all these stories, which then echoed and re-echoed in the Louisiana swamps of “True Detective,” the New Mexican borderlands of “Breaking Bad,” the halls of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Again and again the viewer watched a male protagonist trying to be a breadwinner, paterfamilias, a protector and savior, a Leader of Men; again and again these attempts were presented as dangerously alluring, corrupting, untimely and foredoomed...

On “Girls,” though, something very different was going on. The fall of patriarchy had basically happened, the world had irrevocably changed … and nobody knew what to do next.
You young people today -- Destroy! Destroy! When are you going to find time to build! By the time you get to Douthat's fuzzbeard Catholic version of Lena Dunham is Conservative ("True, this was motherhood solo, without a mate or male provider. But the male absence felt more like a signifier of masculine failure than feminine empowerment") you have...

Who am I kidding -- I'm sure nobody ever actually gets to that part; why bother to read that far? (Certainly not for the pleasure of the prose!) In the end, these exegeses are unneeded: the people who liked the show will bid it adieu and go watch something else, and the culture warriors will just scan the headlines and quickly flip ahead to the Ann Coulter column, taking it on faith that their public scribes have properly informed History how everything they like -- TV shows, Clint Eastwood movies, choc-o-mut ice creams -- is further proof that tax breaks for the wealthy and persecution of minorities are God's holy will.

Anyway now they can move on to Emma Watson. She too is a libtard, and hot, and ripe for conversion fantasies. Which of them with be the first to write that Beauty and the Beast shows the good Emma's desire to be done with Pajama Boys and instead enjoy the violation of a true conservative mangoat? My money's on Rod Dreher!


In a district that hasn't gone Democrat since 1979, Dem Jon Ossoff lapped his nearest Republican opponent by nearly 30 points to force a runoff in a special election in fucking Georgia.

At National Review, Alexandra DeSanctis fires up the centrifuge:
For months, this race has been cast by activists and pundits as indicative of the road ahead for the current presidential administration, perhaps illustrating whether Donald Trump’s abrasive personality and controversial agenda have already turned off voters. But as the results rolled in on Tuesday evening, it became clear that the GA-06 special election has been perhaps the best example of the national media making nothing into something...
A look at the district’s history should have been enough to talk progressives out of placing their hopes on Ossoff’s slim shoulders...
Tuesday’s results don’t fully clarify the role that the president has played in the fluctuating dynamics of GA-06. But they do prove that Trump hasn’t enraged so many Americans that a nearly unknown Democrat — even one with significant national funding and attention — could turn a solid GOP district blue overnight.

After some concerned-face interviews with voters and a hummer for the top Republican candidate ("Across the district, fans of Karen Handel told me time and again that they chose her as the most experienced Republican who was most likely to succeed"), DeSanctis gives us the moral of the story:
Much remains unclear about the political dynamics of the sixth district; this, evidently, was not a normal election. But the unnecessary national frenzy surrounding this race should teach us a few crucial lessons: Among them, that polling in special elections is largely unhelpful and often misleading, and that early voting doesn’t determine the fate of the race. It should teach us, too, that Democrats shouldn’t expect to flip decades-long Republican strongholds overnight — not even with the help of a scapegoat like Donald Trump. Politics moves slowly in America, and it doesn’t take much heed of those constructing narratives.
I don't see how Ossoff can show his face in Georgia after such an embarrassing defeatvictory, do you?

Of course, that's just in the wingnut press -- surely the liberal mainstream media will...

Man -- and I thought wrestling was fixed!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Another shitty, front-loaded-with-received-wisdom internet TV review at The Federalist...
Since first appearing in L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables,” the story has been dramatized multiple times. It is, however, the 1985 television show with Megan Follows that has entered the canon as the movie about Anne. That beloved classic is about to be challenged by a new remake: Netflix’s “Anne” is set for release on May 12. You can view the trailer here.
...but with a record-scratch twist:
While many fans are eager to re-explore their favorite characters, others have been dismayed by footage from the new series. What we see in a released scene is a startling aberration from the spirit of the original story.
I know how she feels. Like when I was a kid and saw the Disney movie of Old Yeller? I thought for sure they'd show the dog's brains blown out in slow-motion, capturing the brutal sadism of the Newberry-medal-winning novel. Or was that Pet Sematary? Anyway, what a rook!
In the new show, Anne talks to her friend Diana about sex via a peculiarly unpleasant analogy. She says men have a “pet mouse” in their front pants pocket and that women have babies after they pet the mouse. This conversation is apparently the beginning of an entire plot thread.
At first glance, fan outrage might seem a little silly. We are, after all, talking about a character who experienced abuse and institutionalization before the Cuthbert siblings adopted her.
...the fuck? Talk about startling aberrations. Now you've ruined the inevitably film version of your review for future generations of extremely sheltered children!
Regardless of whether she lived in the 1890s or the modern world, a real-life Anne would have suffered trauma. Quite likely she would say inappropriate things to her peers.
Just me, maybe, but if all the children who have pet names for pee-pees were abused, the Catholic Church scandal is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Even Anne’s creator must have realized this. Just as anyone nowadays who plans to adopt an unknown older child from foster care becomes fair game for everyone else’s second-hand horror stories, so also Marilla Cuthbert is warned in the book that “foundlings” are liable to set fires and poison wells.
Set fires and poison wells? Damn, are you sure this isn't The Walking Dead you're talking about?
Yet Anne is not the kind of child who does any of those things. She is not realistic. And that is the whole point...

There is a reason children have long been given inspirational, idealized protagonists. When you think about it, is it realistic that Harry Potter is so well-adjusted? That Charlotte, even if she could spell, would care about Wilbur? That Cinderella has such a good work-ethic? There is also a reason it is cruel and perverted to take away those protagonists and replace them with the grit that some adults call reality.
I might agree, in the offhand way one agrees with monomaniacs for the sake of a quiet life, that it's kinda too bad if the show had Anne of Green Gables working a glory hole. But she just has a childish, fanciful name for a penis. Still author Anne Mussmann ("a stay-at-home mom who writes during nap time") goes on and on about the "glimpses of perversion" represented by the mouse thing:
Just as children cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, we should recognize that they have a right to be protected from sexual references that are inappropriate for their developmental level. They have a right to sit down to a story marketed as family-friendly without hearing the characters talking about “mice” in men’s trousers.
LOL, again, but also WTF: I thought that was what the Benedict Option was for -- really godly rightwing people who've turned their backs on This Fallen World will only show their broods Veggie Tales episodes from which the Witchfinder General has scrubbed all worldly references. No contact with the godless, no problem!

So what is Goodwife Mussmann complaining about? Probably that This Fallen World is allowed to disappoint her expectations at all. That's why, though I'm inclined to laugh at these freaks, there's always an edge on the humor -- because they're just nuts enough about what you and I see as no big deal that I can imagine them really trying to make us all live up to their fantasies.

Monday, April 17, 2017


...about the Tax Day marches, the violence at Berkeley, and the efforts of the brethren to mash them all up in one melange of doubleplusungood. A worthwhile companion piece is Will Sommer's backgrounder/scene report on the goons who went to Berkeley mainly to beat up hippies and secondarily to portray their aggro disorder as a free speech movement.