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March 16, 2009 - March 9, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009


Stations of Loss

How much of everywhere will look like this in 2029?

HISTORY IF YOU CARE. Funny how things work, how trains of thought get started and lead to other destinations. Over the weekend I glimpsed some Top Gear promo featuring what the Brits call a 'shooting brake' or an 'estate wagon.' It got me wondering about the obsolete American term for the same kind of vehicle: 'station wagon.' I realized I didn't have the slightest idea where it came from. So this morning I did a Google search and was rewarded with the following from JustaCarGuy.com:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Station Wagon, origin of the phrase

I was thinking about Station Wagons after posting about the Desoto and the Dodge a post or so down the page... and I realized that the phrase must orignate from the horse drawn wagons that went from station to station... or stages, hence Stage Coach... ergo station wagon.

Well, it made sense to me until I looked on the web for confirmation.

I was wrong.

The very first station wagons were called 'depot hacks' - they worked primarily around train depots as hacks (taxicabs). The modified back ends that made them depot hacks were necessary to carry large amounts of luggage - everyone traveled by train then, remember, and you needed a car that could comfortably carry people and large amounts of luggage from the train station to home. They were also called 'carryall's' and 'suburbans' (a name Plymouth used on their wagons until the late 1970's). 'Station wagon' was just another derivative of 'depot hack'; they were vehicles that were used as wagons (to carry passengers and cargo) from (railroad) stations.

He got it from a dedicated station wagon website, where there is also an excellent photographic gallery of this dead staple of American vehicular design.

The thing is, I miss station wagons. I've always had a soft spot for them because in my most serious car days a generation back I had a friend who loved both speed and bigness. His dad owned a Type 27 Bugatti, whose eponymous founder famously derided W. O. Bentley for making "fast trucks." But my friend preferred Bentley's vision of the roadgoing locomotive (cowcatcher optional) to the continental European ideal of the quicksilver scuttlebug too elusive to step on. He didn't disdain sports cars. But he preferred the big Jags -- the XK 120s and 140s -- to the Alfas, Fiats, Matras, Elvas, and Lotuses that made smallness a cardinal sporting virtue in the fifties and sixties.


Elva Courier. Cute, huh? Very Euro.

His personal ideal was American to the core, police cars and, yes, station wagons outfitted with tires, suspension, braking, engine, and audio components that would make them fast and agile enough to run down the scuttlebugs without any loss of big-car utility and comfort. As a big man and a multi-tasking one, he wanted plenty of leg and seat room, 100-Watt Stones belting from the stereo, a wide Detroit ashtray for his cigars, amusing passengers, and a few hundred pounds of tools and parts slamming around in back while he executed four-wheel drifts that would make today's fast-and-furious Hondas an endangered species if they'd interfered with his cornering arcs. Below is a picture that's close to what he'd have wanted, though he'd have switched out the alloy wheels for drilled stainless steel hubcaps, mounted the white-lettered tires with the inside blackwalls out, and he'd have fabricated his own dual exhausts, blueprinted the 440 V-8, and added fore and aft super-het radar detectors, headers, a manifold with two four-barrel Holley carbs, Koni shock absorbers, and calculated a custom camber and tow-in alignment that would have snapped the numb Chrysler steering into amazing responsiveness.


He'd also have installed metallic brakes and repainted in primer or matte.
The idea was not to look fast, but to
be fast and look nondescript to cops.

Sorry about all the retro tech jargon, but the point here is that unlike today's minivans, the station wagons of old had the capacity to be utilitarian, sexy, godawful fast and, if not nimble, tenaciously athletic at handling. There was nothing inherently feminine about them, nothing suggestive of the bulbous wombs on wheels you see mooing blissfully down the highways of a morning, so content in the primacy of their cargo that the mother behind the wheel can't even be bothered to compensate for her abundant blindspots by checking the rearview mirror. She has no power in merging maneuvers, she veers from lane to lane as if guided by the wind-heeled spinnaker of a sailboat that knows it always has the right of way, and she has more faith in the belts and trusses of her childseats than she has knowledge of the physics that make underpowered high-center-of-gravity vehicles so incredibly vulnerable.

I'm not tring to be mean. Honestly. But surely our wives and children would be safer in transportation appliances more like the old station wagons -- lower, less tippy, with more visibility all round, lower, more solid automobile handling characteristics, lower. To the ground. Yet station wagons are a thing of the past. Why?

I know it's crazy, but I also happened this morning on a beautiful but depressing photographic essay on the ruin of the City of Detroit, which you can see here. The first image was of the pathetic remains of Detroit's great train station, and I thought, "Hmmmm." Even if I don't know where the term 'station wagon' comes from, maybe the soul of the Detroit automotive manufacturing triumvirate does. Obviously, not every American city has lost its links with its railroad legacy, but Detroit definitely has, and that's the city that governs the American understanding of what contemporary transportation requirements are. Maybe their current vision of safe travel for women and children has taken on a tank-like quality because their headquarters city bears so much resemblance to a war zone.


Tell me this pic of the Packard plant doesn't remind you of Enemy at the Gates.

I realize I'm not making a defensible economic, historical, or rational argument. It's just a sensory reaction. But what are the odds that I'd light on the Detroit nomenclature 'station wagon' and then stumble on a photo of the tragic state of the Detroit train station?

Now think about the kind of corrupt, tax-heavy government that has run the City of Detroit into the ground pretending that government can make up for the loss of private sector revenue. It can't. It isn't that business is the exploiter. It's that government is the parasite. Always the parasite, feeding itself on the weaknesses of the people.

All you mommies: Is that what you really want?

If government succeeds in killing the engines of capitalism and private enterprise, the portrait of Detroit you see above could be all of us in twenty years time. Think about that, why don't you?

We are the change ghosts we've been hoping for.

P.S. A final plink of serendipity. The Michigan Central Station was finished in 1913, the year the income tax was legalized in the United States. Metaphors involving cancer come to mind. More irrational poetic guff. Right?




Friday, March 13, 2009


InstapunkNoonanDepression

Obama not returning
Peggy's phone calls



"There's no pill for this kind of depression," she says.

LETDOWN. The poor dear is genuinely upset. Her column today is positively lugubrious and uncharacteristically lacking any mention of Barack Obama. In fact, his absence is actually kind of a negative presence:

I spoke to a Manhattan-based psychiatrist who said there is an uptick in the number of his patients reporting depression and anxiety. He believes part of the reason is that we're in a new place, that "When people move into a new home they increasingly recognize the importance of their previous environment." Our new home is postprosperity America; the old one was the abundance; we miss it. But he also detected a political dimension to his patients' anguish. He felt that many see our leaders as "selfish and dishonest," that "our institutions have been revealed as incompetent and undependable." People feel "unled, overwhelmed," the situation "seemingly unsalvageable."

Unled?  Selfish and dishonest? Peggy! Get a grip on yourself. The president is a married man. Sure, he said he'd call, but that's not a lie in the usual sense. It's a standard gambit for letting you down easy. Would you have been happier if he'd said, "Of course I'll never call you. I deeply appreciate all the gushingly unctuous admiration you've shown me in your columns, but I'm just not that into you."?

Yes, you're feeling "overwhelmed" at the moment, but that's not really a good excuse for all your talk of "Xanax, Zoloft and Klonopin." Anti-depressants aren't going to help in the long run. They're just a delaying tactic. We've got a two-step process for getting over what ails you. First, take a good long look at this picture.



Uh huh. She's beautiful. She's his wife. She's also the mother of his children. Hundreds of adoring columns aren't going to erase these three checkmate-caliber advantages. It's not just that you've lost him. You never had him. Which means it's time for step two.



That's right. Haagen Dazs Sticky Toffee Pudding. It's the perfect antidote -- vaguely British, pretentious, and as treacly as your own prose. You'll forget all about your depression halfway through the first pint. (Make sure to eat it with a silver spoon.)

Trust us. Everything's going to look much much better by and by. Somebody out there is sure to want you. Almost certainly, probably.

Well, that's our good deed for the day.

Anybody else having problems with depression? Think of us as Blaagen Dazs -- healing flavors for every taste.






Only one thing to add...

Wait for the Johnny Cash fix at the end.

GONNA BREAK, ARE YOU?  Waste of time, I know. InstaPunk readers are too sophisticated to like country music. But I don't care. Here's a single song featuring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and the 'Man in Black' himself. (Yeah, our tribute/obit is long overdue. Coming.) Before you declare yourself above it all, though, read what this English major regards as one of the high points of romantic poetry. Dramatic, involving, memorable. (I've memorized whole verses of this one without meaning to. It just feels so good to declaim it out loud at a full moon.)

The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes
     
The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
Riding--riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--
His rapier hilt a-twinkle--
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter--
The landlord's black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching--
Marching--marching--
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding--
Riding--riding--
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight--
Her musket shattered the moonlight--
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
Riding--riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And then ask yourself, what is America BUT romantic poetry? And if we're going to survive the current ordeal, don't we all have to find the highwayman in ourselves? Here we call it punk. But the label is unimportant. The spirit is universal. And eternal. Ride, my friends, ride. Some of us never submit to the tyrannies of men. There's always a price to be paid, but sometimes the stakes are worth it. Dying is part of living, and anyone who forgets that is a fool. If you really want to live, be prepared to die every day.


"Look for me by moonlight..."

Still alive. How about you?





(The audio file is NSFW):
Tough Girls

Yeah, they're all equal now and they can kick ass when need be. Right.

FANTASY VS REALITY. It's called liberation. Turns out that Rihanna's beating by Chris Brown was the bitch's own fault according to Massachusetts kids:

Many Boston teens surveyed say Rihanna is at fault for assault

Here's a conversation starter: Nearly half of the 200 Boston teenagers interviewed for an informal poll said pop star Rihanna was responsible for the beating she allegedly took at the hands of her boyfriend, fellow music star Chris Brown, in February.

Of those questioned, ages 12 to 19, 71 percent said that arguing was a normal part of a relationship; 44 percent said fighting was a routine occurrence.

The results of the survey, conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission across the city and equally among boys and girls, are startling for local health workers who see a generation of youths who seem to have grown accustomed, even insensitive, to domestic violence.

"I think you'd have to be pretty jaded if you weren't startled by it," said Casey Corcoran, director of the health commission's new Start Strong program.

Startled? Why? I've been furious for years about Hollywood's pretense that women are men's equals in physical combat. All they need, according to scriptwriters, is training. Differences in body weight, muscle mass, and upper body architecture mean nothing. How many girls are now convinced they're "tough enough" to go toe to toe with their boyfriends? Beating the shit out of people is a gender-neutral endeavor. Ask Cynthia Rothrock.



But it's all nonsense. In line with the new liberation mentality, there are female boxers, of course, but they almost never knock each other down or out. They flail away for some number of rounds and then there's a decision. Men, on the other hand, are capable of hurting not just women but other men. When you watch the ones who are good at it, you can't help but wince:



And boxing is the pretty part of it, governed by rules and sportsmanship. Without those things, it looks like this:



The truth. Male violence can be incredibly ugly and effective. Men can't be allowed to hit women. Ever. Because it's never a fair fight.



I can't address the masochism that convinces today's teenage girls that they deserve to be beaten up. But no one can. Young women have always been nuts. That's why men have to be taught not to hurt them.

End of story. If your daughters think they're hot stuff in combat, it's time to have a conversation with them. If they think black eyes and broken ribs are something like love, commit them to an institution for their own good. If your sons think women are equal combatants, kill them. You'll be doing the rest of us a favor.




Thursday, March 12, 2009


What to Do:

Questions for Your
"Liberal" Friends




AS LOCAL AS IT GETS. It's simple, really. Everything the liberals want to do under Obama's leadership will cost us money, liberty, quality of life, and even length of life. What you want to know about them is this:

Just How Much Do You Want to Be Punished?

Preamble: We accept that you want the greatest good for the greatest number and that you believe in tolerance, social justice, equality of outcomes, saving the planet, world peace, and every possible group-defined human right except the right to life when it conflicts with the right to choose abortion. We also understand that in exchange for the elevation of these group-defined rights, you are willing to cede certain individual rights to government regulatory entities. What we want to determine is just how much you personally are prepared to give up for the government-administered utopia you believe in so fervently. For each of the following questions, answer "yes" or "no."

1. In order to effect economic equality consistent with my liberal principles, I personally am prepared to:

a. Give up the idea that I will ever be rich beyond my wildest dreams, no matter how talented I am.

b. Give up the idea that my children will ever be rich beyond their wildest dreams, no matter how talented they are.

c. Give up the idea that my children will be able to attain the same level of income I have achieved.

d. Submit myself and my family to government redistributions of income and assets in compensation for inequities that may have been caused (or accepted) by my father, grandfather, or great grandfather.

e. Accept that my children and theirs -- regardless of individual talent or merit -- will live in a state of economic equality that would today be considered, at best, paycheck to paycheck and, at worst, poverty akin to what you find in the egalitarian nation of Cuba.

f.  Feel proud of the fact that I have made this decision about what they deserve and can have for them, even though I have never experienced the privation I'm willing to consign them to, in advance of their ability to choose.

2. In order to achieve the ideal of absolute tolerance across all racial, religious, gender, and cultural lines, I personally am prepared to:

a. Give up some measure of my individual right to "freedom of expression" under the First Amendment to make sure that everyone else is free from the possibility of being offended by bigoted or other expressions they deem offensive.

b. Accept that my children will be permanently disadvantaged in their pursuit of educational and career opportunities by virtue of the fact that I and my forebears did not suffer the same kinds of discrimination experienced by the forebears of other racial, religious, sexual, and ethnic groups.

c. Accept that whatever my values are, the government has a superseding right and power to instill group consensus values in my children beginning as early as pre-school and to empower my children to reject my values whenever they conflict with the prevailing consensus.
 
d. Submit myself and my family to criminal legal liability for the possibly prejudiced thoughts behind any expression, action, or crime (on top of the fact of the crime itself) for the avowed purpose of eliminating 'hate' from the body politic.

e. Accept the possibility that the sins of my forebears past can never be atoned for and, consequently, that my children and their children will pay a lifelong penance as a multi-generational sacrifice to the principle of social justice.

f.  Feel proud that my own lofty principles have made my descendants indentured servants to a debt they played no part in creating.

3. In order to ensure universal healthcare on an equal basis, I personally am prepared to:

a.  Consent to the government's right to tax and regulate my preferred diet and sensory vices in the interest of preventing healthcare costs that must be borne by the general population.

b.  Consent to the possibility that 'equal' healthcare may result in treatment delays, drug rationing, and reduced technological advances in medical care owing to a decline in profit opportunity for pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

c.  Consent to the government's right to supervise treatment of my injuries and illnesses in order to prevent excessive costs that must be borne by the general population.

d.  Consent to the government's right to withhold treatment from me for ailments that are caused by my own poor decisions regarding drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, obesity, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and excessive age.

e.  Consent to the government's right to withhold treatment from my children and theirs for poor decisions they may have made about drugs, alcohol, food, and genetic parentage.

f.  Feel proud that I and my children and their children will probably die younger than my parents did because of the just equality in healthcare administration my principles helped bring about.

4.  In order to maintain the freedom to choose for all women who become pregnant, I personally am prepared to:

a.  Accept women as the superior sex, in that they have the right to choose life or death for the product of a man-woman union and men do not.

b. Give up my right, or the right of my sons, to have any say in the fate of an embryo they have fertilized and which would, if not aborted, become the fruit of their loins and just possibly a justification for their having lived at all.

c.  Live my whole life without ever confronting my own emotions about the fact that my own mother could have chosen to abort me for reasons of economy, convenience, or carelessly belated birth control.

d.  Accept that my daughter's freedom to choose means that she can make a life and death decision that could affect her mental health for the rest of her life without my having any right to participate in or even know about her decision.

e.  Accept that my daughter's freedom to choose might mean that she is the victim of rape or statutory rape without my having any right to know what happened to her, comfort her, or pursue justice against the malefactor to prevent additional rapes.

f.   Feel proud that my daughter's freedom to choose automatically places the state between her and me, as if I were the enemy to be feared and the state the friend who loves and protects her.

5. In order to prevent any aggression or imperialistic domination by the United States of America against other nations or foreign nationals, I personally am prepared to:

a. Accept as a postulate that the United States is at fault, by default, whenever some other nation or foreign entity expresses a grievance against us.

b. Overlook the excesses of foreign dictators who persecute their own people because the demons that inspire such crimes were probably caused in the first place by the colonial crimes of imperialistic western nations.

c.  Accept the probability that without U.S. bullying, the state of Israel will be destroyed in a nuclear attack within a decade.

d.  Accept the probability that extending U.S. constitutional  protections to non-U.S. citizens who are sworn to kill us will eventually result in another catatrophic loss of American life, probably greater by far than what we experienced on 9/11.

e.  Accept the possibility that I or my children will die a horrible death for my conviction that everyone who has a grudge against the United States is justified and that we are automatically guilty of what they seek to punish us for.

f.  Feel proud that I am willing to sacrifice the lives of my children and their children to foreign fanatics whose morality also celebrates the murder of wives, daughters and grandmothers for speaking to men outside their immediate families.

6. In order to save the planet from global warming, I personally am prepared to:

a.  Give up the carbon-generating technologies I have come to depend on, including minivans, child seats, email, Facebook, iPods, and Blackberries.

b.  Accept that my children will increasingly be navigating the highways in vehicles that are as crashworthy as aluminum beercans.

c.  Consent in the gradual demolition of western technological economies that are responsible for feeding and sheltering both us and the Third World we pretend to want to help.

d.  Celebrate the eventual establishment of a world government intent on leveling all nations and reducing their technological capacities to subsistence level, equal perhaps to what we see in Uganda today.

e.  Feel proud that my principles have dismantled everything accomplished in the human standard of living since the Renaissance began in the 14th century. Ah, the bliss of universal justice.

If there is no point at which they answer "no," you have every right to point out that they are self-hating masochists.


Artwork by Alan MacDonald, 1994.

If there is some point at which they answer "no" in any or all of these areas, you are entitled to point out that the leaders they trust so much have never identified the limits of what they will expect from their followers. Not Obama, not Al Gore, not Teddy Kennedy, not any of their "progressive" leading lights. Drawing a line between utopia and dystopia would be up to the rank-and-file liberals who have, it appears, entirely forgotten how to think.

Insist on answers to the quiz questions. Jolly them along. Don't let them get away with saying, "That won't ever happen," or "That's an unfair question." They don't know what can't happen, and it's never unfair to ask them just how far their "ideals" go.

When you have their answers, you might have the beginnings of a conversation. Not that it will help. Because they don't know how to think anymore. But at least you'll be justified in pointing that out to them. And none of them will be able to cite a single source that rules out the worst case questions you've asked.

Do it. Administer the quiz. Your own heart will beat faster and harder.




Tuesday, March 10, 2009


 
If We
Don't Do:
The Fewture

A fewturistic movie reviewed by a fewture critic. Kewl.

SOMETHING ABOUT THE PASSED OR THE OPPOSITE. Uh, where's Brizoni? Shouldn't this be his job? A movie like this? About where we're headed if the wonderful Kids keep getting dumber and go on electing celebrities instead of smart people to, like, you know, run the goverment?

Dirty Rotten Varmint said we were getting "pessimistic" here at InstaPunk (you know, a comment). That's not fare. We have high hopes for the fewture, especially after The Wun finally fixes everything with enough, you know, goverment and science and equalitarianism. Somebody even made a movie about it.



Like the reviewer said. It has it's entertainment moments. Funny. Stuff to silly too ever beleive.

But it's also relevent to all the congress stuff we see in the news every day now. Since congress noticed nobody has a job no more and the goverment should do more stuff and all.



But shouldn't there be more CG/FX? Just saying.


Like this would be good. Right?

Anyhow. The movie has some okay stuff in it only don't look at this because it could get you in trouble for being a rapist, and we all have to fight teeth and nails against rapism.

Its the smart thing too do. The main point is.... uh, excuse us. We got to take this call. Back at you later.





InstapunkSelfParody

THE Conservative Intellectual
Self Parody of the Week Month




Except that "just anybody" thinks he can.

BLOG INCEST. A hotshot blogger by the name of Jeff Goldstein seeks to explain "why the conservative movement finds itself out in the political wilderness."

Now, just to be clear, Mr Limbaugh will appear in the post — and as a character he will be prominently featured — but this post is no more about Rush than, say, Moby Dick is “about” cetology, or “The Jeffersons” is “about” a string of dry cleaning stores.

I offer that disclaimer because what seems to have gotten lost in the late unpleasantness between those who have supported Mr Limbaugh for his comments, offered in response to a specifc (and leading) prompt about the trajectory of an Obama presidency (with supporters having been called, alternately, “cultists,” “denialists,” “extremists,” or “idealists,” depending on who is doing the describing) and those who have been more critical of Mr Limbaugh for what they argue was either the provocative nature of his formulation or the lack of precision with which it was delivered, is the reason why any of this is at all important to begin with: namely, because where you stand on the issue provides insight into how you think language works — or should work — something that, protestations by a few prominent right wing pundits to the contrary, is not only not trivial or “fundamentally unserious” but is in fact crucial, I’d argue, to any understanding of how and why the conservative movement finds itself out in the political wilderness.

But before I elaborate...

That whole second paragraph is one sentence and you haven't started elaborating yet?

No wonder. No wonder... God, I don't even know where to begin. This post was deemed exceptional enough by the HotAir triumvirate of Ed Morrissey, AllahPundit, and Michelle Malkin that they accorded it a byline on a site that normally only has two. Because it's so damn helpful as an unravelling of the hyper-intellectual knots the conservative "braintrust" is determined to tie itself into? Give me a break.

What's with this sudden desire to prove to the world that conservatives are mighty intellectuals? That we can generate longer sentences, more convoluted reasoning, more allusive prose, more historic references than the numbskull liberals who have turned American universities into post-modern slagpiles of insane oxymorons? Islamic mysogyny is more valid than Jewish legal parsing? Black anti-intellectualism is a defensible cultural position? David Brooks's Manhattan coterie has more gravitas than Sarah Palin's Alaskan family?  It's all bullshit. The conservative position that wins with the public when it does is common sense, not Buckley-esque orgies of vocabulary and syntax. (Buckley knew that, too. He was extremely fond of both Reagan and Limbaugh. Go figure.)

What it begins to look like is a season of Survivor. Conservatives think they'll get voted off the island if they can't match the self-important, Byzantine rhetoric of the moron liberals in charge, forgetting that the moron liberals have never succeeded in improving the lot of average American lives with anything they've ever done. The New Deal? Disaster.The Great Society? Catastrophe. Jimmy Carter's Human Rights Campaign? Humiliation, defeat, and near economic ruin.

And then we get this. Jeff Goldstein trying to defend Limbaugh's plainspoken simplicity with a tornado of  pretentious bullshit. To what end? For what audience? Uh, HotAir. Evidently.

No wonder the Obama minions are laughing up their sleeves. No wonder the conservatives closest to the action have convinced themselves that if you can't make your arguments in dactylic hexameter haiku prose poems possessed of a certain Alan Ginsberg je ne sais quoi, you shouldn't even be talking politics in the public square. You should be consigned to the trailer-trash ghetto of talk radio where nobody worthwhile ever wants to go.

Time for conservatives to demand a changing of the guard. Screw the MSM. And the new generation of alternative media who are scrambling to replace the MSM. What we need is common sense, not another new layer of would-be celebrity intellectuals.

The National Review will explode if it ever comes to understand the most important point. Conservatism doesn't need a gang of intellectuals to make its key points. It only needs real people living their lives according to proven verities and asserting their confidence in the kinds of choices that make life a satisfying experience rather than a dreary ordeal of envy and resentment.

Period.

I don't dislike Jeff Goldstein. His heart is in the right place. I continue to hope that someday he will learn how to write. And return from the political wilderness he finds himself in.

UPDDATE 3/15/09. Commenter Mook joins others in defending Goldstein and cites a Protein Wisdom post he describes as "InstaPunk-esque." Just for the record, InstaPunk responded to that very PW post here. It seems to anticipate at least some of the debate in the comments section. But, as always, you're free to make up your own minds about what it all means.




Monday, March 09, 2009


Trojan Horse Revisited


UPDATE.  So what's new? Not much. Now we're promising a billion dollars in aid to the Palestinians, nominating a Saudi-sympathizing Israel hater to head the National Intelligence Council, seeking talks with Iran while they test missiles capable of striking Israel, improving relations with Castro's Cuba, declaring our openness to talks with "moderate" elements of the Taliban, making nice with the International Criminal Court that would like to try U.S. soldiers for war crimes, and planning to put the U.S. population in thrall to a cap-and-trade carbon tax -- based on the ludicrous lefty hoax of global warming -- that will hit up even the poorest Americans for as much as $700 a year. All that's in addition to the tidal wave of leftist policy already signed into law or proposed in congress and to the peculiar, seemingly deliberate insult delivered last week to the United Kingdom. Not to mention the president's almost casual dismissal of the 20 percent decline in value of the U.S. stock market since he took office. He compared it to a political tracking poll, though most polls don't swallow trillions of dollars in individual net worth. What's up with all that?

Some people now seem to be coming reluctantly to the conclusion that Obama has no plans to govern from the center. Others are beginning to ask if he secretly wants the U.S. to fail. I'd have more to say now if this site hadn't already said it in detail before Obama ever took the oath of office. But it occurs to me that maybe some of what was published here back then might be worthwhile for you to read again -- in the context of what's been happening in the first two months of the Obamessiah's administration. Maybe it won't seem so much like wild speculations from a jaundiced partisan. Maybe it will seem more, well, educational.

Here are some InstaPunk posts past on the subject of what the American people should expect from Obama and the Democrat congress, each of them accompanied by a representative quote. The boldface is added. (Read the Comments sections too. We were accused of being insane. Still think so?)

Trojan Horse 10/13/08

Barack Obama was raised by a Marxist mother as a mixed-race, stateless anomaly, in an isolated colonial acquisition of the United States, sent abroad for education in Third-World nations that had themselves experienced the brunt of European colonialism, and then released for a power elite education into exclusively urban locales within the continental United States. He knows nothing of life in the 48 states that don't contain one of the four most populous cities and precious little of life outside those cities. His major acts as an independent adult were to form alliances with a racist black nationalist preacher tied to Louis Ferrakhan, join the inveterately corrupt Chicago Democratic political machine, intimidate his electoral opponents into quitting the race before election day, and ally himself with a radical sixties political terrorist for the purpose of funnelling money to 1) educational programs designed to radicalize minority students and 2) a renegade national organization in the business of promoting minority voter fraud and minority access to fraudulent mortgage contracts. This is not a trans-racial second-term Lincoln stand-in. It is far and away the most left-wing political personage who has ever been nominated by a major party to run for the presidency of the United States.

President Zero 11/4/08

I have no intention of being gracious about this. I'd like to say I never thought I'd see the day we'd elect a president of the United States who hates the United States, but the truth is I've been fighting against this day for 35 years. I always knew this day could come. I just hoped it wouldn't.

Shazam 11/6/08

We are being fed a bland assumption, based on absolutely nothing, that the years must have mellowed him and if he now speaks like a moderate, he must in fact be a moderate... Why must he be? Can anyone point me to the third volume in his autobiographical trilogy that recounts his intellectual repudiation of marxist radicalism in favor of moderation? I don't think you can. This tireless writer hasn't written that book because the transformation everyone wants so much to believe in never occurred. Remember that he never repudiated Wright until political expediency absolutely required it. In sounding like a moderate, he is only following the instructions in Alinski's manual, saying whatever it takes to get inside the power structure you wish to subvert...  don't doubt that he's a marxist because there's no evidence he's ever been anything but. And there's abundant evidence that there's nothing he professes to believe in public that he won't change, retract, or reverse himself on at a moment's notice.

A Cautionary Note to the Victors  11/6/08

Do you believe the lie that the government really cares about your health, your healthcare, and your lifespan? Then you don't understand the circle of power at all. Have they outlawed tobacco and cigarette smoking? No. Because then they'd lose the incredibly onerous and regressive taxes they impose on cigarettes. They care about your healthcare only if it enables them to make more businesses -- insurance, hospitals, medical practices, pharmaceutical giants -- dependent on them for profit, permission, existence. That's what it means to be "liberal." Inside the circle, that is.... Your side is dedicated to only one constituency: power. If you don't understand that, you're outside the circle. Any good they do you is the sheerest accident, an unintended consequence of a strategy whose prime purpose is to maintain your pitiful dependence on their breathtakingly humongous lies.

The Gathering Storm  11/13/08

Obama promises to... conclude the American Cold War against the world. He will no longer act hastily and unpredictably. He will put away the big stick. He will be reasonable. And we are buoyed and reaffirmed in our support for him by the fact that the world cheers when we elect him to the presidency. Why are they cheering? Because things will slowly get better in international affairs as the civilized norms of traditional diplomacy are gradually restored to their proper place? Or because there will be a sudden sizeable window of time in which a young, naive, and inexperienced president of the United States will be trying to do too many things at once -- learn the job, staff his administration, resolve an economic crisis, and pursue an extraordinarily ambitious domestic legislative agenda -- leaving the door open for bold moves around the globe he can't possibly respond to effectively?
 
Terrorists Are People Too 3/4/08

Are any of you out there willing to slip for just a moment behind the curtain? Let's say you happened to meet a man who had spent more than a decade actively plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government and had, in furtherance of that cause, participated in acts that either intended the death of innocents or resulted in the violent deaths of his fellow conspirators. Would you want to go so far as to shake hands with him, smile at him, agree to call each other by first (no, not middle) names, affect even a superficial kind of businesslike bonhomie? Think about it. Upon learning who this man was and what he had done, mightn't you have felt a sick lurch in your stomach and a quick, clear conviction that though God might forgive a man such sins, you simply don't want to, can't bring yourself to, associate with him yourself?

The New Masculinity 3/7/08

If you thought what you've overheard about the Global Warming scare was just the adrenalin rush people who don't care about sports use to get excited about something, you were wrong. They've massed along all our borders, and they're about to hit us from all sides. The scariest part is the women. They think the Obama dude is sexy because he does hours of foreplay from the pulpit and his wife has more balls and attitude than he does. They love him to death.... What you don't understand is that all this talk about hope and change is really their hope that they can change us and everything we care about. They want to make life about being slow and careful and obedient and submissive. They want to take our cars away and replace them with [weeny hybrids]...

Just a Callow Pol 4/18/08

Consider the appalling amount of personal and absolutely vitriolic abuse President George W. Bush has taken in the last seven years. What sort of stampede of condemnation and disdain wouldn't have followed such a juvenile response by the Commander-in-Chief to the equally juvenile assaults he has been required to endure? (Just today, Drudge reports that Mayor Bloomberg is 'excited' about electing an 'adult' president. So maybe GWB should rise to Obama's level and flip one at NYC's incredibly pompous figurehead?) It may be unfortunate for some to think about, but one of the principal responsibilities of the man or woman who occupies the most powerful leadership post in the world is to be a glutton for punishment. They are required to take everyone's meanest, dirtiest, and most vengeful shots without responding in kind. In simpler terms, they have to be real grownups, even more than most of us grownups can manage. What they can't be is little shallow snots who react to a cheap shot or two like a 15-year-old cheerleader who goes all Old Testament on her MySpace page when a BFF steals her boyfriend.

A Voice from the Past  4/23/09

I'll confess right away that I don't share the universal conviction that he's a great orator. To me, he sounds like an imitation preacher. His whole accent changes when he launches into his periodic rhythms of self-aggrandizing gospel. I see an editor of the Harvard Law Review trying to come off as an inspired backwoods evangelist. I keep expecting him to heal someone. Just for the hell of it. I might be more impressed if he didn't turn immediately into a careful attorney at a deposition whenever there's no teleprompter to feed him his lines. But he does. In debates, he reminds me of every lame, verbose prosecutor CourtTV has televised in its now terminated subversion of respect for the legal profession. In short, Obama the inspirational firebrand leaves me cold. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't see it. Even the National Review and the Weekly Standard are larded with praise for such performances. Is there some obligatory correctness about all this that I've missed again? Probably.

The Seventies Are Coming  5/27/08

Yes, we're ramping up for the big throwback. Kids who have always had everything they could possibly want are bound to just love the hell out of being told they're selfish little pigs who need to be punished. (SQUEAL! The new metrosexuality!) I'm not going to try to disabuse them of the joy the return of the Seventies will bring them in that respect. They're probably even too sunk in their bored ADDS stupor to realize just how fatal the new double-nickel speed limit will be to people who have a hard time staying awake despite the simultaneous inputs of iPods, iPhones, and MySpace transactions. That argument will have to wait for the grim new statistics about how many indispensable "Millennial Generation" centers of the universe have been scraped off the nation's roads after falling asleep at the wheel on highways designed for 70 mph cruising.

The Nanny Paradox  2/1/08

When we tell them to care for everyone, we become conscripts. They get to tell us how to put the least strain on the system. We grant them the right to lay down the law about what we can eat, smoke, drink, breathe, drive, and even how we can fornicate. (No condom, no care for STDs?) Will there still be separation of church and state when health has become the secular religion?... Is there any theoretical limit when that occurs? If your right to life depends on avoiding behaviors deemed bad by the state, what will you do when the beneficent health czars decide not to treat the very people whose behaviors are most likely to result in specific care needs? People who listen to loud music aren't entitled to hearing aids. People with more than "n" speeding tickets aren't entitled to emergency care after an automobile accident. People who read too much or spend too many hours at their computers aren't entitled to ophthalmic services. People with too many prescription medications in their health care histories aren't entitled to expensive diagnostic services when their bodies finally crash. People who get cancer aren't entitled to treatment because holistic studies show either that your genetics or your "negative" lifestyle choices make you undeserving.

It's all pretty simple really. The Democrats look down on you and despise their own nation. And if you're a white American (or of British or northern European descent, or a Jew), Obama hates you. We are all going to be punished. A lot. Our president is glad the stock market is tanking. What wealth survives will be funnelled to his adopted race under the guise of social justice. That's pretty much all the analysis we need. What's left is what we choose to do about it.

P.S. For those of you with a handgun aimed at your temples, here's a crucial reminder.

P.P.S. Still worrying about the depressed. Apparently, the left is facing new challenges with Obama's presidency, too. Including Markos Moulitsas (2) and Jane Hamsher (NSFW, like from here). Uh, they can suck eggs for all we care. Sorry. No sympathy here. We hope they choke on their own history of spew.





SICK OF DAVID FRUM


HE'S GREAT. God Damn! This guy's a three-time loser in my book. After having been in it, he wrote a book criticizing the Bush administration while Bush was still in office. He blasted Sarah Palin before the election. He attacked Rush Limbaugh in the pages of a leftwing news magazine and also stooped to jeering at Limbaugh for his weight, his marriages, his Vicodin addiction, and his wealth. He's also a Yalie, a Canadian, and a grinning creep. Did I say 'three-time loser'? I meant Total Loser.

Hell. He's not even that smart. At least not smarter than me. I took the implied liberal IQ test that's given Obama credit for being a genius without reporting his actual test scores, and guess what? My IQ is 150 plus. (Mensa said it was 155 in 1981, but I didn't believe them either...) Yet I like Limbaugh and think he's smart, which should make me dumb as a rock in the Frum universe. Except that in my elite genius opinion, David Frum is a shallow, contemptible, narcissistic, pseudo-intellectual pussy. I'm also certain -- just close your eyes and see the truth of it -- that he's wearing pantyhose and a bra under his drab bespoke suit. Like all Canadian men who aren't hockey players do.

I'm levying these libels for a reason. Conservatives have to start seeing through the Old Boys Club of the National Review and other inside-the-beltway civilities. How long has Kathleen Parker gotten away with her repeated violations of the conservative trust without getting fired from the National Review? Too long. The same is true of David Frum. Take a look at this piece, posted today, by Jay Nordlinger of the National Review, who desperately wants us to know that he likes both Frum and Limbaugh. Not possible. Unless you both know people who know other people who have something to do with whether or not you're going to be able to make a living in the Washington, DC, of Barack Obama.

Obama is dedicated to killing our country. That's his mission in life. Except that we can overlook it if our personal income depends on writing story after story in the National Review about how we'd do something different while always behaving like perfect gentlemen. Is that what the DailyKos is doing?

Fuck. Them. All. Frum is a Canuck fairy whore who doesn't give a shit about anything but his next book contract and his MSM media price.

If he disagrees, he can come here. And tell me about it. He won't, though. Because he's a Canuck fairy whore. Who only went to Yale. Just look at him.

Compared to Frum, Rush looks damn good, all 350 pounds of him.




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