Instapun*** Archive Listing

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October 15, 2006 - October 8, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Friday Follies

What would Jason do?

TGIF. It's Friday the Thirteenth. Maybe that's why Air America is finally going belly up. It's a special kind of folly to spend millions of dollars trying to prove that the dumbest, dimmest creature at the party is amusing enough to listen to on the radio day after day after day after day... It makes you wonder, what kind of punishment would Jason mete out for such an offense? I mean, apart from the obvious instant justice of a knife in the gizzard. Wouldn't he, maybe, arrange for the creature to be elected to the U.S. Senate, from some dumb state like Minnesota, just in time for endless nationally televised hearings about the illegal financing of the nation's worst talk radio network? Sounds good to me.

I'm getting into the Jason frame of mind.  It feels good. Simplicity. No nuances. For example, ordinarily I'd be reluctantly rooting for the National League to win the World Series and pay down their huge ongoing humiliation by the Junior Circuit. But guess what? This year, I'm a Detroit fan. Screw New York. The Yankees AND the Mets. They're the rich bitch skinny-dipping in the lake with the slut quarterback. Whatever happens to them is okay with me. Virtue is obviously on the side of the team that so spontaneously celebrated their playoff victory with their own fans, as if they actually cared about all those working class stiffs who don't make a million bucks for looking at a month of called third strikes. More power to them. Maybe next year I'll regain my sense of historical context about the designated hitter rule that has magnetized all the great lazy pitchers into the American League and destroyed the national pastime, but this year I'm a Motown guy in a hockey mask. Go, Tigers!

And while we're on the subject of simple justice, I'll concede I can't wait for the Democrats to win the November election and control both houses of Congress. Think about it. Senate Majority leader Harry "Snopes" Reid. Speaker of the House Nancy "Nip/Tuck" Pelosi. They'll have two years to torture the American public with attempts to impeach GWB and eviscerate the GWOT, while doing absolutely nothing about Iran, North Korea, and France. They'll be lucky not to lose every single seat in the House and Senate in 2008. This is the real Karl Rove plot. It takes a Jason to understand his kind of genius.

What else? Yeah. Snow. Earliest on record in Detroit, New York and Chicago? I'm dying of suspense waiting to hear how the Global Warming mafia is going to prove that this is yet another symptom of how George Bush is heating up the climate. Right after that press conference, I'm going to get out my long knife and...

Well, you get the picture. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Go ahead. Punish yourself. I'm sure you deserve it.

PSAYINGS.5Q.11. WorldNet Daily is up in arms about YouTube's apparent attempt to censor David Zucker's lampoon of Dem foreign policy.

The short film by Zucker, who worked with "Scary Movie 4," "Airplane!" and other comedies, reportedly had been offered to the Republican Party for use as an ad, but it was declined. Then it appeared on the Drudge Report and also on YouTube.

However, after a brief period of accessibility, the verification page started appearing on YouTube. It asked that: "This video may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community. To view this video, please verify you are 18 or older by logging in or signing up." Today the verification page on the spoof was removed.

Some other YouTube videos on stripping or other explicit activities have similar advisories; some don't. But the campaign video doesn't contain any of those typically objectionable items.

It contains depictions and references to Albright and North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, with Albright presenting the dictator with a basketball and later singing Kum Ba Yah. At the same time, terrorists are sneaking past in the background or foreground....

"The closest thing to an explicit image in the ad is a scene in which 'Albright' bends over and her skirt tears a bit in the seat, hardly the stuff that sets FCC commissioners' hearts aflutter," said a comment from Matthew Sheffield on the weblog

The commentator noted YouTube has "dismembered conservative and politically incorrect speech" in the past, pulling videos critical of Islam and even banning popular conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, who is also a WND columnist.

Sexually suggestive videos were found on the site unblocked, as were entire episodes of television shows. So was a clip from a movie depicting the assassination of President Bush, "Death of a President."

I expect conservative bloggers will immediately start suggesting that we boycott YouTube in favor of sites like BlipTV, just like they've been campaigning for us to boycott Google in favor of

I'm starting to have a problem with this boycotting schtick. I've been known to withhold my patronage for the sake of a grudge. Because of the Exxon Valdez, I don't buy Exxon gas unless I'm in danger of getting stranded. I don't buy Ben and Jerry's ice cream because I think they're hippie, lefty jerks. I don't attend or watch Jane Fonda movies. I don't buy French wine anymore unless there's an occasion that absolutely demands Moet Chandon. However, I don't pretend to myself that Exxon, Ben, Jerry, Jane, and France give a rat's ass about what I do.

When the right-wing blogosphere got so het up about Google's deal with the Chinese government, I looked into as an alternative. But there was a problem. sucks. They don't turn up nearly as much relevant stuff with their search engine. I also looked at BlipTV because Michelle Malkin was having trouble with YouTube. BlipTV sucks too. So I'm not going to boycott either Google or YouTube.

You see, there's a question of marginal utility involved. If some behavior that I intend to be punishing to someone else actually punishes me more than it does them, I don't do it. It's called cutting off your nose to spite your face, or, more simply, girlcotting. (Those of you who have teenage daughters will understand the reference without falling into a fine sexist fury.) I also think it can be directly counterproductive in absolute terms. I never bought into the "Buy American" reflex that kept so many well intended folks in Ford and GM cars when they really did hunger for a BMW or a Honda. That misguided loyalty is a big part of why Ford and GM are in such desperate straits today. Deep down, they just never got it that they had to compete. Can a million angry conservatives keep afloat? Maybe. But they'll still die eventually if they don't rise above the mediocrity that characterizes their product today.

And what about all those angry conservatives? I have a vision of them ostentatiously ignoring Google, YouTube, and God knows what other new media sources while they slowly perish of information starvation, always finding less than their lefty opponents and showing up too late with their handicapped arguments. It's a kind of voluntary solitary confinement and far too much like a poor relation of political correctness to suit me.

I'm going to keep on using the products and services I find helpful. It's certainly not news to me that a lot of the new media barons are leftist idiots when it comes to politics. I can take that into account. I don't generally go to YouTube looking for pro-Republican videos . But if I want to see a video of Django Reinhardt playing jazz in Paris way back when, I sure as hell won't be thinking of BlipTV.

I also have no problem at all with maintaining my purely symbolic boycotts of products I don't like or find helpful in any way. Boycotting the New York Times is a particular pleasure. Ditto with Detroit's giant gas-guzzling SUVs, lilke the Cadillac Escargot and the Lincoln Nasticator. I haven't decided about the Hummer yet. I mean, I know it's a fuel hog and all, but if I get the assault rifle I asked Santa for this Christmas, it would look super cool mounted on the dash of one of those leviathan Hummer truck things.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Post-Election Thoughts

Our new Secretary-General Elect

PSAYINGS.5A.40. It's (almost) official now:

NEW YORK -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously selected South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon to be the organization's eighth secretary-general yesterday, acting just hours after North Korea declared it had tested a nuclear weapon.
The 192 member-nations of the U.N. General Assembly are expected to affirm the choice later this week or early next week, giving the low-key South Korean foreign minister more than two months to prepare before beginning his five-year term.

I know we all got a little numb during the final blitz of campaign ads, whistle-stop tours, and the nightly hype of the MSM about the dread possibility of a "September Surprise," but in the end the system worked, as it usually does in a democratic enterprise. Perhaps the process is overlong (I mean, who can even remember all the way back to those endless primary debates in February and March?); yet there's no getting around the fact that voters wouldn't have had the ability to choose meaningfully among the competing U.N. reform agendas put forward by the candidates if we hadn't seen them under fire from one another and in the blizzard of (arguably too) negative TV ads that saturated worldwide television in August and September. Back in midsummer -- be honest here, please -- could you really have explained the differences between Ban Ki-moon's 5-point "Reform Roadmp," Ahmud Ti Ranh's 10-point "Reformist Jihad," Bill Clinton's 28-point "New Deal for the U.N.," George Galloway's  4-point "Fatwah against Israeli Control of the U.N.," and Kofi Annan, Jr.'s 7-point "Five-Year Plan for Creating a Path to the Selection of a Committee to Carefully Consider the Framework of a Reform Process"? I know I couldn't.

And as unpopular as it may be this morning, I'll  even speak up in defense of the extremely negative tone of much of the campaign, from the media echo chamber of scurrilous allegations about Ban Ki-moon's  supposed ties to the Reverend Sung Moon's religious cult to the unbelievably personal TV attacks on Kofi Jr. based on nothing more than his blood relationship to the outgoing Secretary General. Like everyone else, I winced at the ugly thread of anti-Arabism that finally sank Ahmud Ti Ranh's hopes, but in the final analysis voters do have to feel confident that whoever is running the U.N. is putting the welfare of the entire world above narrow allegiances to individual regions, religions, and non-state entities. If Ahmud's integrity is as spotless as he kept claiming it was, then he should be able to use the name recognition he received this time around to mount a more successful campaign in 2010.

Finally, I will admit that I too am relieved that the whole circus is over at last. The ubiquitous clamor of a campaign like this one is always fatiguing. In its wake, one can't help feeling drained and exhausted. Still, with so very much at stake for everyone, the exhaustion is the good kind, imbued with the knowledge that all the energy consumed was the worthwhile sort that ends in real accomplishment.

Congratulations, Secretary General Ki-moon. We pledge our support for the promises you made and look forward to the "100 Days of Reform" that will kick off your period of "honeymoon" with the Security Council and the General Assembly. With the popular mandate you've received, you should be able to make some serious progress at last, not only on U.N. reform, but also on the other issues you pushed so tirelessly during the campaign: ending the genocide in Darfur, de-nuclearizing Korea and Iran, restraining the violence and chaos of international jihadism, and ensuring that Hamas and Hizbollah either recognize Israel or disband. Remember, they know we'll be watching attentively..

Good luck on all that. To you. And to us.

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