December 21, 2009 - December 14, 2009
. I knew about John Stossel and his long
history as a mote in the eye of ABC News. Mrs. CP didn't. Now he has
this new show on the Fox Business Network (Thursdays at 8 pm), and I
expected her to be impressed. She wasn't. Last night, he did this
health care thing with the CEO of Whole Foods, who got into so much
trouble by proposing that his own company's health plan was better than
the federal healthcare bill. I don't think Mrs. CP actually objected to
what he was doing by having a studio audience some of whom objected to
what he was proposing. I think she was objecting to the fact that
Stossel really is a journalist. One earnest longhair in his audience
who objected to a non-government approach actually whined about having to pay (Excuse
me -- get a bill for) his own money for a finger injury costing $500--
as if the government owed him
treatment for free. And Stossel let him make the argument without
What Mrs. CP wanted -- what I wanted -- was Stossel to tell the whiner, "You're a joke. We don't owe you anything." But he didn't. He's not O'Reilly. He's a journalist.
What I was struck by. He obviously salted his in-studio audience with people who want the government to take care of them. The camera lingered on them throughout, arms folded, cross little faces, sooo unhappy about the mere mention of capitalism, even as the Whole Foods CEO explained how his company's health program worked and multiple hourly paid employees expressed their happiness with their company health plan. What was clear was that nothing could ever dent the dissenters' view that only the government was competent to make anything better for everyone.
Which made me think -- frankly -- of our schools. For example, there was a Stossel guest, a woman, who tried to explain the value and productivity of profits. She convinced no one. She sounded like a PR agent. Which reminded me that kids in our schools today learn far more about media spin and Global Warming and the sins of America than they ever learn about basic economics. How do you teach the ineluctable fact that profits are the source of innovation, reinvestment, and new, cheaper goods and services to people who have been propagandized by NEA schoolteachers to believe that they're owed everything in life by just showing up? And when that's all they learn, you get something like this (maybe a stand-in for Stossel's grumpy socialists...)
I mean, how dulled to basic reasoning do you have to be to hear about a
completely successful program and see no possibility of good in it.
Because the government is automatically better. And how obtuse do you
have to be never to have heard a story like this and wondered... just
wondered... that stuff like this might be true...
AND. How f___ing braindead do you have to be not to know that
this kind of byproduct of
government interference is just flat fucking
I guess you'd have to be like the people
Reid, Pelosi, and Obama are so confident they can fool. Wouldn't you?
Because smart people are all Democrats. Like the Jersey Shore cast. Right.
. The good news is that the Fox Business Network has
finally produced a winning alternative to the Three
Blind Mice that
make up the cast of Fox & Friends. The bad news is that FBN's "Imus
in the Morning" wastes a few minutes on obligatory stock-markety snore
bait before it gets down to the 'business' of jeering at absolutely everyone and everything via Don Imus's now perfected pose of malignant
narcissist heroically battling prostate cancer while evincing not the
slightest concern or regard for a single other human being on earth.
It's laugh-out-loud funny half the time and annoyingly financial or
dully reminiscent of his old MSNBC show the other half. (Bo Dietl?
Please.) At any rate, because Imus starts so slowly, I've continued to
make the mistake of tuning in to the beginning of F&F, even though
the stooges appear to be on a mission of getting demonstrably dumber
every damn day.
But maybe today was the last straw. This morning, self-admitted cultural genius Steve Doocy announced that he had seen "Avatar" and pronounced it "great," "fantastic," and promised a full review on Friday. It's probably only a coincidence that James Cameron is a scheduled F&F guest tomorrow or so. I'm sure you've already been exposed to some of the MSM reviewers who share Doocy's glowing appraisal of the movie we're supposed to flock to like lemmings, but I thought you might appreciate some additional, uh, information:
Pretty cool, huh? Hollywood insight on 9/11, the Iraq War, Global
Warming, and the sickening evil of American capitalism all wrapped up
in one diverting, half-billion-dollar, high-tech, big business 3D blockbuster. I can
only wonder why Cameron didn't see fit to solve the healthcare
controversy, too, while he was at it. Unless he had as much trouble
raising the 2.5 trillion dollars the 'solution' costs as we will.
And there is one final caveat about Hollywood's most expensive movie ever, included almost as an afterthought in a lengthy U.K. article about Cameron's Magnificent Obsession, which struck me as odd. (And great that an American filmmaker who has made a fortune in America wants to debut his biggest movie ever in Europe...)
Exactly the same feeling I had as a kid, thirty-some years ago, watching
much-ballyhooed 3D experiments like "House of Wax" and "Carnage." Maybe
the eyes and the brain don't like being continuously fooled into a
perceptual illusion for 90 or 180 minutes at a time. No matter how much
technology is deployed, at some point in
time, illusion becomes delusion and the result is bodily
resistance in the form of nausea.
The way some of us react to other popular delusions on the world stage at the moment -- the messianic identity of Barack Obama, the Democrat love of humanity which is pushing the healthcare bill toward passage, the "save the world through scientific autocracy" movement that is acting itself out so magnificently in Copenhaaaagen, the, uh, you get the picture.
Pun intended. Getting the picture in these instances requires a special set of eyeglasses. You've got to view the world in exactly the right artificial way not to see that the deep virtual reality you perceive in front of you is merely a tricked-up distraction from the deadly real knives advancing on your back from behind you.
That's why I didn't show you another Avatar trailer. What's far more important is the image above. The fools are being so willingly taken in. Every lying despot hands out his own set of glasses. And people put them on and keep them on. Soviet/Marxist glasses. Castro glasses. Che Guevara glasses. Chavez glasses. Al Gore glasses. Pelosi glasses. Obama glasses. They even learn to disregard the nausea as a kind of dyspeptic aversion to 'conservatives.' Why shouldn't they? They've learned to disregard every inconvenient fact along the way, too. Nausea has become part of their limbic response to life itself.
So why shouldn't James Cameron have his own special glasses? Enjoy the view. As long as you can bear it without puking your guts up.
Unfortunately, I'm already there. Without some safe zones, all they're doing now is making enemies of the rest of us. Which is another way of saying, screw you, Steve Doocy. Not seeing Avatar anytime soon.
UPDATE. Here's a Big Hollywood roundup and a more daring soul who sees in Cameron a D.W. Griffith figure. My only quibble -- not sure from what I've heard that 'Avatar' is the technological breakthrough it's supposed to be. Want to see a cinematic breakthrough that still takes the breath away half a century later? Take a look at this SINGLE UNINTERRUPTED SHOT in 1958's Touch of Evil.
Yeah, Orson Welles was a lefty too, but he was far more than a
. I mean, who said what, when? The enlightened libs
said Obama could fix everything forever. Idiot conservatives said he
was just another pol, peddling panaceas to gullible fools. Who was
right? No matter who you are, left or right, he's broken all his
campaign promises. [Promise Keeper Update]
Righties remember his promises about a new spirit of bipartisanship, transparency in government, televised hearings on C-Span in which both Republicans and Democrats could exchange views about solutions of the healthcare problem, and no increase in taxes for the little guy.
Lefties remember that he was going to undo all the Bush policies like the Patriot Act, big pharmaceutical companies' control of drug pricing, Wall Street invulnerability to the vicissitudes of the economy, and any escalation of the militaristic response to the threat of Islamic terrorism.
All of those promises lie broken today, less than a year into his first term.
So who were the dumb ones?
The dumb ones were the ones who voted for Obama the messiah. Which is a huge majority of those of you who voted for him. The promises he made to conservatives were mostly less important to conservatives than the lies he told to independents. He intimated to them that he would govern from the center, not the left. Conservatives never believed it. We placed our credibility in what he had said in his two autobiographies, in his record as a community organizer, in his charmed friction-free life with no real job responsibilities. (Do you really want to lecture us about how wrong we were?)
We thought he was a racist, Anti-American, African Liberation Theology fanatic, and probable Marxist who would do everything possible to diminish the image and influence of his own country throughout the world and appease authoritarian and totalitarian regimes who have done nothing but oppose American values and ideals. We thought he would seize on the fact of an economic downturn to increase centralized government power and punish the people whose hard work makes propserity possible for the rest.
This was the promise we saw in his background and character. We never believed what he said. His lies don't bother us in the broader context. (we never believed the bipartisan transparency rap, for example.) He has fulfilled all the promises of his character. The only promises he hasn't kept are the ones that have nothing to do with his own increase of personal power.
Are we surprised that he kept the executive powers George W. Bush carved out with respect to intelligence and surveillance of private citizens in regard to the war on terror? No. There's a consistency of purpose here that's so dead simple only a liberal could miss it.
Every single move and decision of the Obama administration is consistent not with any set ideology but with the increase of executive power. Where the Bush administration sought more executive power, he agrees and moves to confirm it. Where he sees some other opportunity to extend and increase executive power -- over banks, businesses, health care, etc -- he siezes it.
This is a man who can't bring himself to condemn Ahmadinejad, Chavez, or even Mugabe. He can diss the U.K. Prime Minister and the Queen. But he can't be an alpha male with ruthless dictators.
Probably the good news not reported by the right-wing commentators. If Obama doesn't have it in him to be a messiah, he also doesn't have it in him to be a Mugabe, no matter how envious and adoring he is.
Not Mugabe. What a relief. He's just a weak, wilted putz. Like a
better-dressed Carter. The only important question that remains -- can
we undo the enormous harm he has wrought before it sinks our nation? I
have to say yes. Why? Because I have
to say yes. Anything else would be defeatism.
As for those of you who thought they saw a messiah...
You really really really suck. Watch your video again and tell me you were immune. To insanity. Better yet, make another video expressing the same degree of blind stupid faith. Waiting...
P.S. By all means, come back. Tell us how much you believed in Obama. Then tell us how much smarter you are than, duh, conservatives, who have always believed that men are men and none should ever be worshipped.
Bests and worsts of the
decade soon to follow. This is just a
Best politician. Michelle Bachman. She has all the liabilities of Sarah Palin -- articulate, good-looking, conservative, determined, smart, and ebullient. Must be awful. No. She's great.
Best movie. No nominees this year. None, nada, nil, zilch.
Best television show. 'Fringe.' Does it matter that the show makes no sense, that the plots are frequently borrowed from 'X-Files," that the whole premise is absurd? Yes. But not enough. The Aussie agent is hot and so is her "we're not having sex but love each other" boyfriend from some old network soap opera. Hell, it doesn't even matter that the plots fall so completely apart that it's easy to turn the thing off ten minutes before the end because you've figured out the paranaormal explanation this week. Well, yeah, all that does matter. But the Aussie FBI agent is still hot.
Best sporting event. Tiger Woods sleeping with every woman in America. While winning all those golf tournaments. Unless it was the X-Games, which are absitively, unf***ingly unbelievable.
Best news story. The AP assigning eleven reporters to fact-check Sarah Palin's book and only four to fact-checking ClimateGate. I mean, really. How cool does it get?
Best song. There weren't any good songs this year. Here's the newest good song:
. InstaPunk. Yeah,
we've looked around. Read the popular conservative nominees.
Objectively, finally, we've decided the best is, uh, us.
Best new cable show. Imus in the Morning.
Worst politician: Nancy Pelosi. We'd elaborate. But there's no need.
Worst movie: '2012.' People actually believe this end-of-the-world shit. Meaning liberals. You know, the rational ones.
Worst television show: Too many to list. The woman who had all those kids who also divorced her husband for better ratings. Unless it was the woman who had all those babies just to prove that she could have all those babies. Either way, the only thing proved was that women are completely f***ing nuts, which must make all those Brandeis, Smith, and Wellesley grads feel great. As they shouldn't.
Worst sporting event: Every NBA game played this year. With Honorable Mention to "March Madness."
Worst news story: The Obama Inauguration. And all the subsequent magazine covers. Yuk. Yuk. Yuuukkkkk...!
Worst blog: Temptation abounds. I'd love to hit all the obvious targets and smash them into ruins but, hell, there's only one Worst Blog. Andrew Sullivan.
Worst new cable show: Tossup between Rachel Maddow and Joy Behar. Since they're both morons, why do I have to decide? But I will. Rachel Maddow is the one I'd like to argue into the weeds. She's vicious, awful, and deranged, but not retarded. Like Joy Behar is. Meaning retarded. Give me Rachel to crush. And I'll be happy. Or as close to it as I can get in an age when Obama is able to destroy my country with a 49 percent approval rating.
I know. ObamaCare. Nuclear trigger in Iran. Troops to
Afghanistan. The Copenhagen climate change farce. But what the hell is this thing? Does it look like a
failed and out-of-control missile test to you? Really? That's what
us, of course.
I am absolutely not a rocket scientist. But to me it seems that an
out-of control missile test would look like, well, something out of
Not a perfect -- and I do mean perfect
-- spiral with a crazy blue light beaming from the center point.
For example, here's a failed misssile test:
You know. Failure. FAIL. Not a mesmerizingly mathematical light show.
And, sure, there are lots of conspiracy
theories fanning out across the
Internet. But, uh, shouldn't
I'm just asking.
Fast food franchises have basically gone nuts in the past few
months. They want us to know how much great fast food we can buy for a
buck or two. Which is a wonderful tribute to American capitialism's
talent for competing in the teeth of a massive recession through
advertising. But Mrs. CP has been getting increasingly grumpy about it
all. Subway subs that aren't even remotely appetizing to look at.
Burgers and fries from everybody else that, in her opinion, are almost
enough to turn you off burgers and fries for good. Especially when they
that limp, almost raw bacon which actually makes her want to throw up.
So this is for her. And it's also in the way of a tip to McDonald's,
Burger King, Wendy's, Sonic, etc. We're not buying because the burgers don't look good.
Sorry. The problem appears to be self-proclaimed "food dressers" who don't particularly like food themselves. Maybe you should do something about that. One way to phrase the question to yourselves:
Suit yourselves. I know you will.
was going to say something. I'm almost certain I was. But I forgot what
it was. I'm sure Doctor
Zero can remind me. In the interim, all I can think to do is
reproduce an email from ace
Yes, Lake, I have been following the unfolding mess. The corruption is
all pretty slam dunk. The question is, does it matter? I enjoy seeing
Al Gore fleeing the questions he doesn't want to answer. But it doesn't
satisfy in any meaningful way. It makes me feel a little like a
liberal. I have so little regard or respect for Al Gore that I can't
believe anyone takes him
seriously. But they do. Obviously. This must be how the left (i.e., the
sexually dead and dying totalitarian
minority) views Sarah
Palin. Except that I'm not afraid of Al
Gore. I don't feel any particular need to disembowel him in print.
He, uh, speaks for himself. Even when he doesn't.
Maybe that's my character flaw. On the other hand, for a great big idiot on the world stage, he differs from Palin in that he isn't a beautiful, charismatic woman. Significant? I think so. I really do.
I saw an abbreviated clip and thought it was the whole thing.
It wasn't. The whole thing is funnier. Just thought I'd share. Golly,
Shatner's short, just a little bit of a thing, though round. Sarah's
just a little bit of a thing, too, though more nicely rounded.
I know that title sounds pompous. I apologize. But
guy who's apparently the new up-and-comer in standup comedy. Anthony Jeselnik.
don't know what to make of him. On the one hand, he's obviously
brilliant, innovative, and so sure of himself he can tell jokes in about thirty
words that other comedians would pad and string out for minutes. He's not hangdog, ugly, pitifully horny, nerdy, obsessed with
four-letter words and, uh, tits,
scatological, self-deprecating, or desperate for approval. He even
congratulates himself on the quality of his material. ("That joke was perfect.") On the
other hand, he's also, almost provably, a true sociopath. So there are
A lot of questions. In an interview he admits to having a back pocket full of jokes that are "too soon." Deaths of celebrities, etc, whose passing requires immediate ridicule that he'll remove from his act before anyone else thinks it's acceptable to put into their act. I've watched him. It's the oddest feeling. He's funny. And he isn't. Both at the same time. I can't tell if my ambivalence is because he's young and I'm old, or if it's because he's doing a Lenny Bruce kind of thing -- daring us to laugh at what our very souls tell us isn't funny but is.
It's hard not to like him when he takes down a pure dumb-cluck jerk like Dane Cook:
It's hard to like him when he tells the joke he skewers Dane Cook for
failing, finally, to tell.
And then there's the sociopath thing. I saw a performance of his on the Comedy channel. Toward the end of his act he told two jokes, one of which he regarded as immeasurably worse than the other. I can't tell them the way he can, but you tell me which one is the worse:
So here's the thing. It's the end of his act. He explicitly
acknowledges that people come up to him and say, "You're funny, but we
have concerns about you as a person." He tells us, on the way to his
concluding punchline about what a dick he is, that people can tolerate
the first joke but not
the second. Huh?
HUH? A joke about a drowned baby is materially less offensive than a joke about an accidentally killed newlywed? Thanks for making that clear. Tell it to the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico.
Part of me is saying he's more than a comedian: he's pointing out that we have it in us to laugh at this kind of cruelty, which is its own kind of satirical comment on his audience. Which would be a kind of literary performance art. Laughing, in that case, would be a kind of split-reed music of life. Not Seinfeld, to be sure, but smarter and just possibly funnier because the joke is never the joke. WE are the joke he is telling his human commentary to.
Another part of me is saying, he really doesn't know that the dead baby joke is the worse joke by far. He should be locked up. On general principles.
I don't know. What it means that he's the hottest comedian on the scene. What he means by his incredibly dark jokes. What I make of the fact that I laughed my ass off at his Dane Cook impression. There's a certain command there, undeniable. It's like he's coercing you to laugh.
Is that what comedy is in the New Age of Obama? God help me, I admit he makes me laugh. Must be the punk in me. Am I as evil as he is?