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If I Could Just Touch the Hem of Her Garment, I Know I’d Be Healed

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When Victoria Jackson kept displaying a brand of insanity that’s weird and disturbing even relative to her Big Hollywood cohorts, I had sort of assumed, perhaps naively, that John Nolte would eventually just change her login password and stop answering her emails.

I don’t respect much about Nolte’s writing or editing, but it can at least be said about him that he takes conservatism seriously, and wants to advance its interests.  So I’d thought a sideshow hot mess like Jackson would eventually get cut out, if for no other reason than that she makes them all look fucking crazy.

Silly Blucas, what were you thinking?  This is the far-right, where one can only fail upward, so of course Victoria Jackson’s joined up with the Tea Party Express, and has been traveling the country on the GOP’s dime. Being a low-level GOP-shill has its advantages, of course, one of which is the ability to come within poking distance of Sarah Palin:

Happy mayhem surrounds Sarah Palin.  Pushing, snapping, hugging.  I couldn’t get near her if I tried, so I just stood in the back watching the circus.  At one point, I couldn’t resist, while she was signing Ron Rivoli’s guitar, I reached out my arm through the crowd and touched her red jacket with my finger!

There is, in fact, PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE of Jackson’s creepy-subway-groper behavior:

Uhhhh, that’s her, in back left next to the bumper sticker, straining her neck to get into the shot.

But hey, we all have celebrities we’d spaz out over if we got to attend something like this with them, so I won’t make fun of her too much over this.  And if this were a dorky “ZOMG SARAH!!! DRILL BABY DRILL!! DRILL THOSE COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS RIGHT IN THE FACE!!!” bit by Jackson, I probably wouldn’t have posted about it.  It’s the weird, out-of-nowhere detour about race that really makes it awesome:

There were a few protesters on the outskirts of our rallies, but I only saw one up close.  In Albany, NY standing next to a statue of George Washington was an angry black woman holding a sign that said, “Yes, We Can.”  She looked very angry.  The media was on her like flies.  They got shots of our Tea Party crowd with her in the foreground.  I was asked to pose next to her for a group shot.  I kept glancing at her face.  It takes a lot of energy to keep a frown that long.  Finally, I asked her, “Why are you so angry?”  She whipped her head around,  her eyes on fire with hate, and snarled, “Don’t talk to me, Whitey.”  I walked away slowly, wondering why she was so mad at me.

I suspect she doesn’t like white people.

I used to think that black people didn’t like me because of the slavery thing a hundred years ago.  But, I just learned from Lloyd Marcus’ book “Confessions of a Black Conservative” that blacks are taught since the day they are born that “Whitey is keeping them down.”  No wonder why she hates me.  She doesn’t know it is a Liberal lie.

Now, while I do think that “Don’t talk to me, Whitey,” is a perfectly reasonable, measured response to being approached by Victoria Jackson, I’ll eat my hat if this woman actually said “Whitey.”  Do black people even say that anymore?  I’m pretty sure Victoria Jackson is getting reality confused with bad movies from the ’70s again.

In Lloyd Marcus’ book he talks about growing up in the “projects.”  He says that his family moved into a brand new building that within two years was filthy and dangerous.  Lloyd says, “All I kept hearing from the majority of adults was that everything was the ‘white man’s fault.’  Even at the tender age of nine, I sarcastically thought to myself, ‘How can we stop these evil white people from sneaking in here at night, peeing in the stairwell, leaving broken wine bottles on the ground, smashing the light bulbs, and attacking people.’”

He explains that the “liberal cradle-to-grave government dependency programs kill incentive and ultimately hurt people.  Meanwhile, Conservatism is branded as mean and heartless.  What is ultimately heartless is an ideology that enslaves people in a system that rewards sloth and discourages achievement.”

Lloyd continues to explain that he has “witnessed the devastating effect of liberalism in his own family.”  He writes, “My forty-something drug addicted cousin is a serial ‘impregnator’ with several out of wedlock children.  And yet, he enjoys a new townhouse, food stamps, free health care, and methadone all funded by working taxpayers.  In essence, the government is enabling and funding my cousin’s irresponsible life-style.”

So Jackson-by-way-of-Marcus’s argument is that black people simplistically blame white people for all the problems in their community when they should be… simplistically blaming liberals?  Awesome.  Way to break the cycle.

I know nothing about Marcus, but that weird detour about his cousin has me thinking he’s got to be playing white conservatives.  “Yes, we are all related, and we are all deadbeat welfare queens!  I can say so ’cause I’m black!  Just give me a book deal and you can quote me whenever you want to be racist, and no one will be able to call you on it!”

Jackson’s not done, though, and proceeds to post a picture of her “teenage daughter.. on the front of the bus flirting with David, a black teenager.”  Welcome to post-racial America, Victoria Jackson’s daughter, where your mother will post a completely unflattering photo of you sitting next to a hot black guy, with your mouth hanging open, in order to prove she’s not racist!  This might help.

Apparently, though, the simple beauty of young love in first blossom is not enough to quiet Jackson’s rage:

His black father William is sitting near me sleeping.  Reporter Richie keeps bringing up the race thing, for over an hour.  Finally, I explode, “The President is a Racist!  The “police acted stupidly” comment Obama made about the Crowley-Gates affair was the most racist thing I have heard in a long time.  And shame on the President for purposefully stirring up racial conflict!  It popped out of his mouth at the end of a health care speech when he was off Teleprompter!  Oops!  His Jeremiah Wright training leaking out!”  I immediately realized I’d given the NBC guy the fodder he was after.   I was caught in a tired moment and I didn’t even have my make-up on.  Well… Obama is a racist, but I don’t want to be involved in childish tit-for-tat whining.

I just want my country to be FREE.

Now, even if you didn’t like the “police acted stupidly” thing, and thought it was knee-jerk or irresponsible or whatever, how is it racist, unless you think a black guy criticizing a white guy is inherently racist?  And even if you think Gates contributed to the situation or escalated it, and/or you think Crowley made an honest mistake, he clearly wasn’t, you know, right.

You gotta love how she’s going to prove she’s not racist by going off on an incoherent rant, immediately namechecking Gates and Wright.  I thought this thing was about taxes?

All of Jackson’s tribulations at the hands of scaaaarrry black people were worth it, though:

In Boston, after I had touched Sarah’s jacket with my finger, I had gone back to watching her talk to her fans when suddenly Sarah had turned around and our eyes met.  She did a double take and said, “Oh!  I love you!”  She hugged me and then she said, “Thanks for all you’re doing.  I want your autograph!”

For the rest of the day I was speechless with a dumb grin on my face…

Just the rest of the day?

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Written by dieblucasdie

April 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Finished With My Woman ‘Cause She Couldn’t Help Me With My Mind

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Victoria Jackson with her Eurovision entry for this year:

It seems these days
I’m in a haze,
And I can’t concentrate on things,
Don’t eat or sleep,
Feel incomplete,
And kinda scared and creepy.

I look over my shoulder lots
And shudder when I watch TV.
I bite my nails and cuticles
And watch my words very carefully.
I bite my lip a lot
And fidget with the buttons on my blouse.
Why?
…BECAUSE THERE’S A COMMUNIST LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!

I’m jittery, my teeth I grate
I twitch, I shake, I ruminate
Lately I’m perplexed and pinched
In pain, I pout and ponder.

Why aren’t people shocked or something,
Why aren’t people up in arms?
Does anyone read history?
Or see red flags, or hear alarms?
The streets are filled with deaf and dumb
As I squeal like a mouse,
“THERE”S A COMMUNIST LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!”

My husband really misses me.
My parents think I’ve gone crazy.
Only Glenn Beck understands me,
And, of course, Sean Hannity.
But, it seems, besides us three,
And the nice people who drink the Tea,
There’s no one else who can see
THE COMMUNIST LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!

Maybe I have lost my mind,
Or have been drugged by some narcotic.
Maybe I’m watching a movie called 1984
Or maybe I am just psychotic.
If I’m in a dream, fast asleep
I guess I will just try to keep
My eyes shut ’til this goes away
And I awake to a happier day
When my ukulele does not play
This dire song of distress and dismay
Called…THERE’S A COMMUNIST LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!

What I love about Jackson is how completely unconcerned she is with actual politics.  She doesn’t care about policy, she doesn’t care about the crass horse-race mechanics, she doesn’t even really care about half-baked conspiracy theories.  Her entire engagement with the political sphere begins and ends with some guys on the TV telling her to be afraid, so she’s afraid.  There’s zero political content in the above; it’s all about her fear.

She is like a parody of a parody of a Michael Moore strawman.  It’s pretty startling and saddening that someone like her actually exists.  If I were John Nolte I’d be embarrassed.

He’s No Sam Waterston

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Oh hey, look who’s joined Big Hollywood‘s stable of right-leaning, uh, celebrities!  It’s ADA Ben Stone!  I’m starting to wonder what it is about Law & Order that attracts actors with such a bizarre version of conservative politics.

As long, disjointed and just-plum-loco as ADA Ben Stone’s inaugural post is, there’s something about it that I find, well, cute.  Maybe it’s the general first-day-of-school icebreaker feel (“Hi everybody!  I’m Mikey!  I like Ronald Reagan and Glenn Beck but I HATE communists.  They’re so stupid!  I bet my little sister is a communist!”).

Or maybe it’s the novelty of seeing a far-right crazy person who seems to think it’s still 1951.  It’s almost like a creative writing assignment:  “What would a paranoid conservative blog posting look like if they’d had the internet during the early days of the Cold War?”  So much of this blog is devoted to smarmy fratboy wankers who think Obama’s the Beast from Revelations, here to institute compulsory sodomy and abort every non-Muslim fetus, that there’s something charming about a little bald dude still wringing his hands over all those Hollywood Jews on the Soviet payroll.

What does Big Hollywood mean?

Is it a tribute or in-house sarcasm?

So far I only know Big Hollywood’s politics as counter-revolutionary conservative – and if I’m wrong, Andrew and John, please correct me … and that’s why I’m here … as a pro-life libertarian … a category I’ve been in long before I even heard of the name Glenn Beck.

I’m here to try stemming the Revolutionary Tide that has been rising in larger and larger waves from the shores of 18th Century France when the guillotine gave its deadly review to the court of Louis XVI; and subsequently the communes of Paris eventually threaded their legendary grand guignolthrough the minds of Karl Marx, Vladimir Ilytch Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung.

So here I am … in Big Hollywood … clutching my memories of the American Declaration of Independence and its words: “All men are created equal.”

It always seems bizarre when conservatives try to style themselves as part of a Burkean tradition.  It’s one thing to point out the excesses of the French Revolution, but to go all out and side with Louis XVI?  And you gotta love Stone expressing his hatred for the “Revolutionary Tide” (a force so sinister it deserves to be both capitalized and italicized), by quoting a document that initiated a revolution.

No, my dear Progressives, Americans were not intended to be gestated as possible candidates for abortion … despite what Chris Matthews of MSNBC infers.

Recently, in the best French Revolutionary tradition, that enlightened despot rode roughshod over a rather royal member of the Catholic Church who was defending Rome’s decision to excommunicate a Kennedy for supporting abortion.

Hmmm … Mr. Matthews kept hammering the poor Roman Prince over what the penalties would be for abortion … should Roe v Wade be overturned … with the inferential reminders of Catholic Inquisitional sadism … and the “Robe” took the bait and folded.

I conclude that the penalties for abortion should be “probational,” periods of close observation on all three corners involved: the mother, the father and the doctor/abortionist. If abortions become chronicwith these citizens under close observation … perhaps jail time would be the only effective deterrent.

OK, so a quick rundown of the factual errors in this section:

1) Kennedy has not been excommunicated or even threatened with excommunication.  He was asked not to take Communion.  It’s unclear if he would have actually been denied Communion had he chosen to ignore this request.

2) The order didn’t come from the Vatican, it came from a US bishop.

3) Chris Matthews is not, in fact, more powerful than the Catholic Church.

4)  Why the fuck is “reminders” italicized?

To recap the ideological stance here:  abortion is murder, guys.  It is so much like murder that the sentence for it should be probation.  Unless it’s chronic.  I am so down with this new conservative “get one murder free” policy.  Now that’s some libertarianism I can get behind!  Tell me who you will use your free murder on in the comments!  As for me, well, Asher Roth better sleep with one eye fucking open.

But hold up, DA Ben Stone is about to go from LULZ to WTF:

In the 1940’s, the possible jail penalties certainly didn’t keep my parents, a surgeon and his alcoholic wife, from having two illegal abortions, cardinal illegalities.

I was informed of those facts at the rather dumbfounded age of 10.

“My parents had two of my siblings murdered?!”

No one was arrested … because no one knew … except for my equally stunned sister and myself.

Divorces are a war zone, of course … but divorce after two abortions … for the surviving children … is a Holocaust zone.

With an actual lifetime of survivor’s guilt … ranking second only to the Irish predisposition for alcoholism … I’m surprised I’ve done as well as I have … thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous … and the words, “Let go, let God!”

Now here I am back in not just Hollywood but Big Hollywood!

What a journey!

Another quick fact-check for Mr. Stone:  most (but not all) bloggers were not aborted as fetuses.  Having a rough childhood does not make you a Holocaust survivor.  Not being aborted as a fetus does not make you a Holocaust survivor.

And, I mean, clearly Stone’s family situation was messed-up.  Does he think that jail time for his parents would’ve helped matters?  Or, alternatively, the government forcing his mother to bring two more children into that situation?  There’s not any easy answers in a case like that.  Which is why, you know, it should be the woman’s choice and not the government’s.  I shouldn’t have to be explaining this to a self-identified “libertarian.”

Ugh.  At least Stone gets back on track though:

What are my plans with the coming articles?

To track my personal experience with the former Soviet Russia’s undeniable strategy, its unrelenting efforts to Communize all of theater and film in the United States.

Again with the freaking italics.  And… “personal experiences”?  Did he infiltrate the KGB or some shit?  Does he even realize that Soviet Russia doesn’t exist anymore?  I can’t wait for these posts.

Finally, we are actually choking in the debt-ridden quagmires placed under us so that Lenin and Stalin … and Castro and Chavez… and Mao and Pol Pot … and Osama bin Laden can all see their evil vindicated by history and Hollywood … highlighted to eternity by the fall of the United States to world Communism … our nation’s suicidal, deaf and dumbly naïve surrender to the Red/Islamic game plan now being heralded in Hollywood, Chicago, New York and Washington D. C. … yet smugly bandied about in White House dinner parties as the “Progressive World Government.”

Ah yes, bin Laden, that pinko commie scum.  I thought people like Stone had more or less died out, even on the right.  Everything he dislikes is part of a worldwide communist plot.  I can’t wait for the nuanced version!

Jesus Only Healed Lepers Who Were Referred By Their Primary Care Physicians

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Now, I’ve already wasted much of my precious youth documenting the various ways in which Big Hollywood‘s Steven Crowder is a total dick.  He links to racial statistics provided by hate groups, insults key American allies, brutalizes his imaginary/future children, will happily turn any argument into a wang-measuring contest, and peppers his writing with more random scare quotes than anyone this side of Alfonso Rachel.

But even given the high bar he’s already set for presumption, callousness, intellectual incuriosity, and wounded masculinity, his writing on religion never fails make my jaw drop.

Poll after poll, the United States ranks as the most “God-fearing” nation on the planet. Good on us! Whether you believe in God or not, it’s tough to deny the reality of Christian principles being an intricate part of our country’s historical fabric.

One has to ask themselves however, as arguably the last “Christian nation” around, why were our Founders so adamant about keeping the Feds grimy paws out of our churches?

Why indeed!  I would think they did it to foster religious freedom and avoid repeating Europe’s history of bloody religious conflict.  But no, Steven Crowder is here to set me straight:

There’s no doubt that the Founding Fathers were deeply spiritual men (and when I say spiritual, I mean in the Judeo-Christian sense, not in the Disney/Pray-to-colors-of-the-wind type silliness). With that being said, could it be that they wanted to separate church and state, in order to PRESERVE the Christian principles that built this country?

Think about it. When has government successfully forced people to do ANYTHING that they didn’t already want to do? From forced “integration” in Detroit, to putting a tax on a morning breakfast beverage, the results have always been disastrous.

OH.  I SEE.  The Founding Fathers would’ve liked an iron-fisted theocracy, but were so sure the government they were in the process of setting up would be comically ineffectual that they decided not to bother.

And, uh, I can think of a lot of things that the government successfully forces people to do.  I mean, I’d rather just blow through that 4-way stop on my way to the grocery store, where I’d rather not pay sales tax on my tin of Maxwell House morning breakfast beverage, but hey, government.

Silly, government, with your “taxes” and “civil rights enforcement,” when will you learn that people are hateful cheapskates?

But hold up, it’s about to get real good:

A freedom-saturated environment is conducive to the growth of faith in God. I’m guessing that might be why our Founding Fathers were much more “spirit” rather than “letter of the law” Christians like their English counterparts.

You know who else felt the same way… Jesus.

No, really. Jesus was forthright with his whole “I am the way, the truth and the light” deal (heck he was even crucified for it), but ultimately, the man left the decision up to us.

I guess what I’m wondering now is, if the Son of Man never felt the need to force anything down our throat… Where does our government get off thinking that they can?

All the messianic stuff surrounding Obama is blasphemous, but Thomas Jefferson?  That dude was JUST LIKE JESUS.

Also, you know, right after the “light of the world” thing, Jesus says this:

Do not think I have come to abolish the law and the prophets.  I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law. (NAB, Mt 5:17-18)

But the best line of the piece is here:

Americans don’t want universal health care, we’re getting it.

Uh, Americans do want universal health care and we’re not getting it.  I mean, I kind of want to live in the conservative-alternate-reality where a Democratic Congress is cramming through a single-payer bill.  He… he’s knows that’s not remotely what’s happening, right?

If freedom has generally bred positive choices, one would have to wonder what comes of statism. Historically, all signs point towards revolution. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, even though the muskets would be fun to have.

Crowder loves the system the Founders set up so much that he’s willing to foment armed rebellion against it.  Now that’s patriotism!

Written by dieblucasdie

November 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm

One Kind of Son of a Bitch or Another

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When Adam Baldwin first starting posting at Big Hollywood, I was understandably chagrined.  I’d heard before that he’s well-known on-set for forcefully articulating his conservative views, but despite what this blog might suggest, I don’t automatically hold that against someone.  I mean, there’s clearly a difference between being “a conservative” and being “a big enough douche to associate with Andrew Breitbart.”

But at first he restricted his posts to repping for Ride 2 Recovery, so I was relieved.  Even my heart is not black enough to try to criticize or mock something like that.

Then he stumbled out with a few “WOOO AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM” posts, but they were so awkwardly argued, and went so far out of their way to prove they were coming out of good faith, that I didn’t have the heart to cover them here.

But now, sadly, he gone and done it.

Part of the common far right interneteer’s stock-and-trade is to take something immensely popular, find some silly nitpicky way in which it doesn’t match up to a rigid conservative ideology, and raise hell.  It’s a specific instance of two broader strategies:

1) portray conservatives as an upright minority beset on all sides, the last bastion of American decency.

2) portray conservatism as a repository of hidden knowledge that THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW (ie, “Everybody loves Harry Potter, but we know Rowling is secretly trying to turn our kids into bisexual Wiccans.”)

This approach works well for them when they attack popular things people already feel kind of guilty about liking: celebrity culture, misogynistic hip-hop, violent, sex-filled movies, etc.

But it, uh, doesn’t work so well when your target is a plainly benign cultural institution that humanely, simply, and consistently articulates American society’s most basic values, and of which almost everyone shares fond childhood memories.  Attacking fucking Sesame Street as morally bankrupt doesn’t make you look like a tough-talking contrarian, it makes you look like a jackass at best, and a crazy person at worst.

What’s so bad about saying “we share common humanity despite ethnic/religious/linguistic differences?”

A main tenet of the multiculturalism and Enviro-Statism inculcated by Modern Liberal educators and as practiced on “Sesame Street” — exemplified in “We All Sing the Same Song,” is the diminishment of the unique greatness of American culture.

Shit, and here I was thinking we were all children of God.  Apparently not.  And it’s more than a little odd that Baldwin wants to rep for “the unique greatness of American culture” by trashing one of the most quintessentially American cultural institutions of the last 50 years.  I mean, unless he wants to side with Baywatch, I can’t think of a close rival to Sesame Street when it comes to representing American culture on a global scale.

Written by dieblucasdie

November 9, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Johnny’s First Watchmen Review

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robert-newton-as-long-john-silver

I am completely baffled by Big Hollywood n00b Chris Yogerst’s new review of Watchmen. First, thanks to Male-Gigolo-in-Chief John Nolte’s shoddy editing,  BH already ran a dozen or so Watchmen pieces when the film first came out.  Sure, the DVD’s out now, but Yogerst’s piece doesn’t contain any of the hallmarks of a standard DVD review:  no mention of commentary or special features or what-have-you.

In fact, the review doesn’t have a lot of content at all.  It’s mostly Yogerst doing a mind-blowingly poor job of recapping the events of the movie.  Seriously, this thing is written at a 6th-grade level.

Yogerst sets the scene:

Edward Blake was the most corrupt superhero, with a past of heartless murder of women and children. Once he realized there was a plan in place to kill thousands of innocent people to save millions, he decided to right his past by alerting his fellow “watchmen.” This decision ultimately leads to his murder.

Yogerst’s take on the film’s ending:

In the end, the “watchmen” decide to let the plan continue, or else the end result will surely be a nuclear apocalypse. This decision was a tough one and was in no way one of self interest. Regardless, film still tries to leave us questioning our heroes on some level.

This book report is about Treasure Island.  The author is a man named Robert Louis Stevenson.  There is a pirate named Long John Silver who at first is good but then bad but then good again.  I hope I never get the black spot.  In conclusion, the book never says whether pirates are good or bad but at least Jim Hawkins makes it out OK.

Also, what the fuck is this guy talking about?  Rorschach and Nite Owl are too late to stop Veidt, and Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan only make the decision not to reveal what he’s done and ruin the peace he’s brought.  They never aid him.  They never have an opportunity to stop him and decline to take it.

Then there’s this bit:

Most certainly a conservative’s favorite character will be Rorschach, whose actions are anything but soft on crime. He is programmed to fight evil, both foreign and domestic. Rorschach eventually sacrificed himself since he could not live with the decision to sacrifice thousands to save millions.

Also there’s the part where Rorschach is completely fucking insane.  And running around exacting brutal revenge on petty criminals didn’t do shit for the people of Lower Manhattan.

Watchmen never makes an endorsement or a repudiation of Veidt’s actions, or Rorschach’s.    Its only consistent position seems to be, “Hey, you know those people in the ruling class?  Fucking nutballs, the lot of them.  Sometimes they do the wrong thing for the right reasons.  Sometimes vice versa.  And sometimes they’re assholes for no reason.  I wouldn’t trust them if I were you.”

What’s Yobert’s response?  “BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE MOTHERFUCKERS!”

Of course, anyone who believes the world has no heroes is looking through a polarized lens. There actually are people who fight for good and succeed. The USA hasn’t had a terrorist attack since 2001, and that is because we have our own heroes fighting for the greater good of the free world both here and abroad.

We don’t have one single hero, but rather hundreds of thousands of them. They are at every military base, fire station, police station, and every other institution that helps keep us safe every day. Without them, we would live in the dystopic world that occurs in the film once “watchmen” are outlawed.

What the fuck?  What in the name of Audie Murphy does this have to do with a goddamn thing?

Written by dieblucasdie

August 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Move the Fuck Over, Alan Colmes

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Aw, damn.  Looks like Big Hollywood has filled the position I have long been angling for: token LIBTARD.  But despite failing to secure a place on Big Hollywood‘s (metaphorical) payroll, I persevere.

His first piece is rather bizarre, though, and, unsurprisingly, betrays the attitude of an Althousian concern troll who constantly self-identifies as “liberal,” but does nothing except take critiques from the right to heart and point out ways every other liberal is doing it wrong.

I’m one of the last liberal believers in American Exceptionalism

So, in his first sentence at BH, he’s 1) repped for a narrow vision of American exceptionalism, and 2) questioned the patriotism of every other liberal in the country.  Awesome.  I don’t know what sort of crack this guy is on; every major politician in both parties has spouted some version of the “greatest country in the world” truism.

Expressing our culture matters. Look, at the end of the day, this war won’t just be won killing those who would kill us. It will be won by converting those who would join them to join us instead. But what do we offer to make it worth joining us, exactly? What makes our side worth joining? Who are we, and what are we trying to do in the world? Why can’t we talk about that?

I thought we were talking about American exceptionalism?  Anyway, Danziger has a simple solution for Winning Hearts and Minds:  Propaganda!  Woooo!

That’s leftist professor John Schaar, from his essay on patriotism – ‘The Case For Patriotism.’ Schaar was one of my professors in college – sadly, on that I didn’t pay enough attention to back then – and one thing about his teaching was that it was largely based not only in texts – the Federalist Papers and Mill and Locke – but in novels that he felt encapsulated a greater truth about America and American politics – novels like Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby.

Because he understood that what it takes to understand America is to understand myths.

And I’ve got to tell you that everywhere I look in popular culture – movies, television, books, music – the only myths I see are ones that define themselves in opposition to this unstated myth, and leave it to be defined as a negative – defined by where it isn’t.

Where are our American myths today? How can we prevail in this conflict, except by brute power, without them? How can we refashion them, with proper reverence to the myths that brought us to this place and with relevance to a wider world that suddenly connects us to cultures far outside our own? What American myth can a young Palestinian child find to compete with the hateful death-embracing myths that he is being force-fed today?

We need to make up some shit so people will like us!  Or we could, I don’t know, use our power on the world stage justly and conscientiously.  The problem with American exceptionalism is not the idea that America is a great country by historical standards; that’s pretty self-evident.  The problem with the version of American exceptionalism usually pushed by the right (like BH’s Doug TenNapel) is the idea that America is inherently great (or worse, perfect), and not made great by its actions and mode of governance.

The only people breaking that near silence today are those on the left who seem to believe that our national goal should be to provide redress to the masses of the world who have been wronged by the power relationships in the past century, and those on the right who simply seem to believe that national power – in and of itself – ought to be our goal. And that, having kicked down opposing powers and established our primacy, that the people of the world would simply stand with us.

So in Token Libtard’s formulation, the left is a bunch of hippies, the right is a bunch of warmongers, and the Glorious Third Path is being propagandists.  Awesome.  You’ll do well, here, dude.

Written by dieblucasdie

July 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm