Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
July 2, 2010 - June 25, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Penny for your thoughts

SPEND SOME PENNIES. CountryPunk is feeling mellow. I'm not. I'm fed up. The weird one had this to say:

Let me guess? Early next week you will pound the shit out of the concept of "collegiality".

If I am to guess, you will go so far as to say that those who do not agree with you politically, could not possibly, not EVER, be considered a "friend".

You will go on to pound your drum of nationalism, as seen "properly" ONLY through red-tinted glasses, and only seen from some red-hot, high perch such as yours.

Now let's talk about your "fans" for just a minute...

You haven't called on us to be "collegial". In fact, you've only called on us to be in agreement with you, to be "productive" on developing new and improved websites purporting your view, or TO BE SILENT!

Yet I still love you, and here's why.

You are the BEST "Wizard of Oz"!

Yeah. Wizard of Oz. That's me. Except I'm not hiding, figuratively or literally, and my thunder and lightning are not pre-recorded special effects. I'm not a journalist, so I have no need for collegiality. I have no authority other than my thoughts, so I have no need to ask for compromise, consent, or discussion for the good of the group. Furthermore, my glasses are not tinted. They're just 2X reading glasses, so that I can read the fine print. Anyone who seriously wants to contend with me can add up all his comments and pit them against my accumulated archives (only 2 millions words worth about everything). If they do that, they'll see that only a military sharpshooter will ever take me out. Sarcasm won't. Crazy non sequiturs won't. LSD hallucinations won't. Appeals to Rodney King "Can't we all get along?" logic won't. 'Nice' is not a word that has any meaning here. InstaPunk is, always has been, and always will be about destroying the enemy. Who is everyone who disagrees with us or, more specifically, me. Which should be a disincentive to nonsense (comments) like this:

HOLLYWOOD, notwithstanding.

The punks show keen eyes, more often than not. Particularly for their movies.

The MOVIES! Where we live forever!

I think I will be a butterfly today.

The rest of you can be vampires or werewolves...unless you choose to be toys?

Note: The toy soldiers die first!

The cowboy and BUZZ?


Well, you get my point.

This movie will go on as long as it needs to go on.

And just like musical chairs, one of us is going to have to give up our chair in rather random fashion.

And if, by chance, I am lucky enough to find a seat?

I could be convinced to give it up for IP, if he would only stop whining, for cripes sake!

Musical chairs is a game that suits some. Usually those who want to fit in. I don't. Most of the people who comment here know what they're getting. What's that? Ammunition. They're not fans. They're not journalists. They're citizens. They're mad. And they're free.

Free to look elsewhere for better insight. Wherever they find it. This isn't a club. Or a cult. Or a dream. Or even a movie.

It's just punks thinking and living on an electronic page. Usually, thought and emotion are separated here. But both are necessary if anyone is to see life-felt conviction. The proof that it's not some intellectual game. (Whining? Really? It can't be a slap at me, and if it's a slap at my friend CountryPunk, I'll be going home with a windpipe in my briefcase. He may not care, but I do.)

The ones who are here know why they're here. They don't much care about random snipers. Any, all, of us can be taken out by random snipers. No big deal. Some of us will be. Even by a bad pennysworth of ill will. It's been known to happen.

What won't happen is that any of us will change our minds because someone jeers in the crowd. If the presumptive sages understood that, they'd give up trying to sound superior without a shred of evidence to back them up.

As we've said repeatedly, we don't ban people from commenting. But we reserve the right to make you outcasts. A thing that happens to the stupid, the pretentious, and the pointlessly annoying.

Some free advice. Its real worth? Pretty much like the catcalls from the peanut gallery. One penny.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Day

RAEBERT. The other day I went all curmudgeon in the comments, and I feel obligated to explain. We were about to take delivery on a deerhound puppy, which should have been (and was) a joyful experience, but I was also afraid. I didn't feel like turning the page so quickly on Psmith. Scots are great at guilt. Every moment of relieving anticipation also felt like a betrayal. Confusing and contradictory emotions make Scots angry -- at themselves and the world. All my own posts for a couple of weeks have been distractions. I know some of you are saying, "All this for a dog? Get a grip."

Yes, I know the difference between dogs and people. I have a two-year-old granddaughter. I know the difference. But I also know that we encompass and control the lives of our dogs. The responsibility is total because dogs spend their whole lives being two or so. I know I spent time in my office doing business work, and InstaPunk, which could have been more time with Psmith and the others. I could have walked him more than I did, spent more time on the couch with a hand on his head or haunch. Could I have made his incredibly short life better? Did I even deserve another deerhound? And what the hell is so great about InstaPunk anyway? I was spoiling for a fight. With myself.

But now the new boy is here. It's our first full day together. I'm not in the office. I'm in the media room with Mrs. CP's laptop tricked up with attachable real keyboard, mouse, and power pack. He's snoozing on a rug in the hall, eight feet away. (She's so much wiser than I am. She planned the whole thing.) He's not Psmith. He's not a plug-and-play replacement of Psmith. He's his own man already. And he does not make me sad. When we took delivery from the breeder at a park on the Delaware River (three hours worth of juggling seven leashes), I met three of his litter mates and (surprise) two delightful whippets who looked tiny next to our greyhound Molly, whom we took with us to ease our boy's transition away from the only life he had known thus far. The bonding was immediate. He clambered up on the picnic table bench to give me a grave kiss minutes after we met him. When the time came to put him in the car and carry him away from everything past he curled up next to Molly and waited to go home. He ate like a champ, slept all the night through on the bed, and had the stairs conquered, up and down, by seven this morning. He likes people more than dogs. Although he discovered another puppy in the bathroom mirror this morning and whined at it. Maybe he's missing the other puppies a bit. Otherwise, he's on top of the transition, calm, affectionate, the ancient infant of his kind. He already knows to ask when he wants to go out. He's a smart boy. And he'll be a big boy, too. His paws are enormous, though he's as narrow as a roof beam. A four-month-old, forty pound roof beam. With eyes like the memory of earth.

I only had one bad moment. The breeder, who had spent well over an hour on the phone with Mrs. CP before agreeing to release "the pick of the litter" to us, explained that ordinarily her husband would also have spent an equal amount of time on the phone with us. But then they both read the post about Psmith. After that, she said, her husband told her, "They can have any puppy they want." I thought piercingly of the lost boy and couldn't speak, but I was glad at that moment for this blog, however little value it may have in the grand scheme of things.

It doesn't matter if there's a grand scheme of things or not. What it always comes down to is our scheme of things. Right now he's squeaking his squeak toy. The breeder says that's a sign of a courser. I don't care. If he wants to course, we'll do it. If he doesn't, we'll find other things he likes to do. He's been hunting for Psmith, from room to room, knowing there's a deerhound here. Very soon he will realize that the deerhound here is him.

The greyhounds know it already. And so do we.

I thank you all for your forebearance. Truly.

First photo at home:

We listened to bagpipes together. He didn't bolt. He did the regal thing instead.

Those of you who get it get it. Those of you who don't won't. I'm cool with that. Everything's all better now.

Monday, June 28, 2010


If Yoda were a girl...

ABOUT YOUR YEN. In the InstaPunk tradition of watching and reviewing a blockbuster long after everyone's stopped caring about it, Mrs. CP and I finally ante'd up the scratch to see Avatar on-demand this weekend. (I put up $2.50; she made up the remaining $2.49.) Did we get our money's worth? I'll let you know at the end. But I wouldn't post this if I thought anyone else had said what I'm going to say. I read all the reviews and they ALL missed everything important. Such is life. Why I watch, however belatedly...

One of the headlines has to be that we weren't terribly offended by the anti-military theme. You know it's going to be there, but in a work of complete fantasy, it just doesn't pack any punch. The reference to "shock and awe" and the schlocky "twin towers" symbolism, for example, come across as just plain silly in this context, clear anachronisms that will contribute to the inevitable wearing down of this movie's reputation in years to come. "Dated" is the word they'll use more and more. Until it's a film school footnote. All it will ever be: the umpteenth attempt to do a breakthrough 3-D thing. Sigh. Failed again.

Of course the visuals are beautiful. The graphic artists who created the landscapes and flora of Pandora are genuinely gifted. (The fauna not so much. But more about that later.) There has to be more to a movie than that. As Emerson said, "Beauty without expression is boring." I was reminded of this with a bump during the looong lyrical second act when our hero avatar is exploring Pandora with Yodette and learning the ways of the forest. I was in full passive spectator mode when Mrs. CP suddenly turned to me and said, "This is one boring movie."

Things got much more exciting after that, obviously, but no third act can restore what wasn't there in the first place. It's the very DNA of Avatar that's fatally flawed, beginning but not ending with the script. This is where Cameron's anti-military bias offends the movie's entertainment value more than this conservative's political sensibilities. His protagonist is merely a placeholder, a necessary foil, for all the things which must happen to carry the action to its preordained conclusion. That's why it's an understatement to call the plot predictable. It's more accurate to say that the plot is set in concrete as soon as we've met Jake, the Colonel, and the corporate weasel in charge. There's only one way this can go, and by golly we're going there no matter how many implausibilities we have to bulldoze our way through like the wrecking machines of the evil unobtainium mining corporation.

Including the character of the protagonist Jake. He's a Marine. For James Cameron (as for Sigourney Weaver at first), that's all we need to know about him. He begins as a simple and soulless killing machine who will follow any military-ish orders without question until events literally club him on the head and thence into consciousness. This assumption may be convenient for Cameron, but it's deadly to much else, including plausibility, suspense, and the vital audience identification with the main character. When I say plausibility, I'm referring to the willing suspension of disbelief, not the fantastic premise. There's no reason whatever to think that a Marine corporal is somehow automatically equipped to be an undercover intelligence operative prepared to infiltrate a foreign culure, earn their trust and admiration, and work continuously throughout for their destruction. That's the polar opposite of what Marines are, in fact. They are frontal assault, courage, duty, loyalty unto death, protective of innocent civilians, and from first to last members of a unit -- not solitary soldiers of fortune -- with inviolable standards of honesty, integrity, and above all, honor.

To cover this massive contradiction, Cameron gives us a cheap, selfish motive for Jake to sell out his sense of personal honor without a moment's hesitation. Slaughter of whoever and however for the return of his legs. At a time when, every single day, we can see instances of American military men who clearly value their record of honorable service over their lost limbs. And who are making supreme sacrifices in two theaters of war to prevent collateral damage to civilians. Which leaves us asking, "Who is this scumbag Marine who betrays his officially assigned duties so easily (especially given that he's already indicted the troops on the ground as "mercenaries"), and why should we care about him at all?" The only answer: Because he is the designated hero and at the proper juncture in the script, he will become that hero. Built-in stalemate. The result is a protagonist without an identifiable face, figuratively as well as literally (in his atavar role). He's an expressionless cipher smack dab at the center of the picture.

Which is the principal reason for Mrs. CP's ennui during the movie's show-off second act. Sure, it's a spectacular attempt at visual seduction. But structurally it's merely an enormous set piece whose purpose and end result are axiomatic. It's a combination montage of falling in love and, well, Rocky training for the big fight to come. But because we know all this, we also have time to ask questions and notice what's missing underneath the flash and color. Why was do-gooder anthropologist Sigourney so hostile to a cripple at the beginning and so quickly affectionate after Jake enters the Nav'i culture? Doesn't she suspect, particularly in light of all the obvious clues, duh, that Jake is double-dealing, at best? Why does she insist on his video diary without conducting interrogations, if not inquisitions, of her own? What is her agenda?

And what's up with the Nav'i? They clearly know that Jake is a human in a phonied up body, and humans are the greatest enemy they have ever faced. Didn't they already boot Sigourney's social worker ass out of their community? But speaking of enemies, exactly which ones have these faultless creatures ever faced before this in paradise? Oh well. Maybe they'll explain that part later.

More importantly, what's up with Jake? How much beauty and sensual delight and superhuman physical sensation do you have to experience before you begin reappraising your whole relation to existence? Actually, we already know the answer to that question. Nothing can happen till the end of this set piece, at which point his transformation will occur all at once with some kind of a bang. Forget we asked.

Leaving, perhaps most damagingly, the rest of the second act free for us to start making up our own movie in place of the one that's being delayed so endlessly (if beautifully) right now. For example, when Jake finally turns on the cartoonishly evil colonel, how are Sigourney's geeks ever going to protect that high-tech coffin of his from the rampaging mercenaries while he saves the Nav'i from the evil earthmen? (Virtual kung fu? Secret avatars in waiting prepared by the savvy Dr. Sigourney?) How are the scriptwriters going to manage bringing the sundered lovers back together after she discovers what a treacherous piece of crap he's been? And what's it going to take for Jake to earn back a trust he absolutely never deserved? Oh. Got it. That great big, really nasty flying thing that's even bigger than their usual nasty, semi-domesticated flying things has been tamed five times before in ages of great peril. (What peril? Never mind.) Well. At least that's settled. Thanks.

In short, the movie is already a shambles before the final act that absolutely everything in the picture has been nothing but a setup for ever arrives. All of what should be thrills, excitement, and stirring emotion in the final showdown is ultimately, however technically astounding, pro forma in cinematic terms, a set piece of its own despite its self-consciously epic scale.

Truth is, that last sentence also describes the entire movie almost perfectly, at every level. Avatar wants so badly to be seen as an order-of-magnitude leap of the cinematic imagination. It isn't. In reality, it is a clunky assemblage of references, borrowings, and set pieces stolen from a long list of other movies. It's a kind of pastiche of great sci fi-fantasy-epic blockbusters by Cameron's peers, including his own. So much so that it's impossible to believe it's not being done self-consciously and therefore either cynically or fraudulently. The only possible excuse I can conceive of for what Cameron has done in Avatar is that he believes if he copies and steals from absolutely everybody, the end result somehow amounts to breakthrough creativity. Especially if he admits it explicitly once or twice.

I had an "aha" moment at the end of the first act, when Jake makes his manhandled entry into the Nav'i headquarters. The disdain, catcalls, and evident loathing of what they recognized as an avatar by the Nav'i tribe reminded me instantly of the scene in Last of the Mohicans where Daniel Day-Lewis's Mohican enters the enemy Indian camp. I flashed on the image of that movie's archvillain Magwa, and then I heard Magwa's voice. The voice of the Nav'i chieftain was Wes Studi, the actor who played Magwa. "You've got to be kidding me," I said out loud.

I'd had my suspicions earlier, but then I knew. That's when I began to make mental note of all the bits and pieces Avatar is made of. I probably didn't catch them all, but here's a partial list with sometimes direct and sometimes indirect hints about where various strands of Avatar DNA originated:

Lord of the Rings (Lothlorien, archer elves, the Nazgul, etc, etc, etc, and elves)
King Kong (flight through the tree roots, monster submission to humanoid female, predator eaten by bigger predator, oafish human interlopers, monster stampede)
Star Wars (Yoda ears, fauna, giant military robots, war in the woods, etc)
Harry Potter (hippogriff-human bond)
Jurassic Park (much more fauna, salvation by predator on predator)
Last of the Mohicans (elk hunt, cross-cultural romance, strung-up semi-crucified tribal enemy, etc)
Finding Nemo (Isn't Pandora really under water? All that blue...)
Aliens (Sigourney, of course, man-operated monster robots, foul-mouthed Hispanic military chick doomed to die)
The Matrix (Neo, waiting for Neo while the killer thingies dismantle the ship where his body's concealed, resurrection)
Apocalypse Now (Flight of the Valkyries, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning")
The Road Warrior (symbolic post-death experience, salvation by outsider)

I'm sure there are others. And I know it's possible to make the case that there are elements of myth and meaning that are common across human experience and the media in which they are rendered, thus arguing that Cameron only seems to be plagiarizing his rivals. But if myth writes in broad strokes and fundamental oppositions of good and evil, that still does not mean there's no difference between myth and cartoon. My essential point is that Avatar is the world's most elaborate and expensive cartoon, and nothing more than that. It's a parade of images without substance of any kind.

The use of all the borrowed resonances from other movies and other stories is a kind of promiscuous freeloading on emotions earned not here but elsewhere. Are the Nav'i elves or Native American tribes? Seems like it would matter, doesn't it? One is a semi-divine magical race possessed of wisdom and a profound written poesy. The other is a primitive culture perfectly at home with warring against other tribes and, lest we forget, torturing their enemies horribly to death, including women and children. To cast the contradiction into sharper relief, elves are meta-physical beings in the strictest sense -- meaning, beyond the purely physical. The tribal Indians encountered by the 19th century U.S. Cavalry, on the other hand, were like every single primitive culture ever discovered in the wildernesses of earth: their lives, however natural and estimable, are intensely and basally physical -- incredibly hard, short, laden with toil and disease, and in any terms that we celebrants of their 'naturalism' would recognize, only semi-conscious.

But Cameron is pasting together a Hollywood collage of scenes designed to equate one with the other. In order to make us feel guilty. For what? When you start slapping together emotionally wrenching scenes from other movies across genres, you're in the business of manufacturing moral Frankenstein monsters. So Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now is napalming angelic elves? and if we identify (somehow) with Cameron's buffoonish hero, we're all Neo resisting a matrix which is concealing from us that the Nature our ancestors invented civilization to protect us from is nevertheless benign and more worthy of worship than the hard-won moral codes which separate us from the jaw-strength justice meted out by hyenas in the wild?

If you're a human being, pantheism is nonsense, a fantasy far more far-fetched than Star Wars or Avatar. The chief distinguishing characteristic of Nature is that it doesn't care who lives and who dies. As Avatar actually acknowledges right before its climactic battle scene, when Yodette tells Jake that "Eywha" exists only to preserve the balance, not to take sides. The only species ever to care about who lives and who dies is Mankind. (Is it rebuttal or marketing which turns this one accurate observation on its ass in the exciting climax?)

It's tempting, I know, to back away from all the artistic oxymorons and see this dumb movie as a nested series of ironies we're supposed to mull and learn from. But not all unexpected things are ironies. Sometimes they're just careless and unexamined contradictions accidentally juxtaposed by the superficial and pretentious ones who have convictions aplenty but no accompanying thinking process, or artistic integrity.

Now to the big question I posed at the beginning. Was the $4.99 worth it? I dunno. Maybe. I've now seen the archetypal post-modern blockbuster. It's an expensively produced scrapbook of stuff torn out of older, more thoughtful works of art and pasted into a glitzy album of hijacked photos claimed under one name on Facebook. Kewl.

Think I'm overstating? Consider the one most marvellously imaginative visual conceit of the planet Pandora: The Floating Mountains where the heroes went to hide. What an act of imaginative genius to conceive of such a thing....!

Look familiar? Rene Magritte, 1898 - 1967.

Avatar is to movie masterpieces what a lap dance is to true love. An imitation experience. I retract what I intimated earlier. Not worth the $4.99.

Think They'll Bury Him in His Sheet?

Phony ass. You won't be missed.

ANOTHER DEAD DEMOCRAT! Do you think Hell is segregated? If segregation survived anywhere, that'd be the place for it. Problem is, new arrival Robert Byrd would take some consolation in that. Maybe hell is only desegregated for those who won't enjoy it.

United States Senator and Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd passed away early this morning at the age of 92. His tenure in the Senate-- a record-setting 51 years-- was a perpetual and compounding disgrace for the people of West Virginia, and makes a compelling case for either their disenfranchisement as voters or outright expulsion from the Union.

Preperations are underway in the few nooks of rationality and justice remaining (if any) in our legal system to sue the Byrd estate to recover a portion of half a century's pork.

I never understood that "the good oft interred with their bones" line. Maybe 2000 years ago that's how it was. Nowadays it seems like everyone's infected with this "don't speak ill of the dead" virus that makes us lie whenever some nob kicks off.

I don't go for that. When someone who should be dead dies, I rejoice. At the top of my lungs.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback: Army-Navy 2009

SOMETHING ABOUT HONOR. There's a problem in Afghanistan and it isn't just Stanley McChrystal. Here's what we pointed out last fall:

Like many others, I watched as much of the football game as I could bear to. For several years now, I've been rooting all out for Army because they're on a losing streak that shows no sign of ending anytime soon. The CBS coverage was indifferent at best. We don't get to see the grand entrances of the cadets and midshipmen into the stadium, and thanks to TV avarice, we don't get to see any half-time activities at all. The announcers (Vern Lundquist and Gary Danielson) were almost boasting about their determination to cover the event "as a football game," which is weaseling to an astonishing degree, because it is clearly far more than that...

So maybe I imagined more than saw the ESPN post-mortem of another dismal performance by Army -- their third straight year without a touchdown against Navy -- and the complete silence on what I considered the biggest story of the game. The absence of the Commander-in-Chief for whom the game's trophy is named. I know that presidents usually attend only a game or two even in eight years of office, but surely this was a year in which Obama should have attended. Barely a week ago, he ordered 30,000-plus new troops into Afghanistan, choosing as his backdrop for the announcement West Point and its corps of cadets. Cynics accused him of using the U.S. Military Academy as a prop. Defenders said, as is their wont, "Oh stop it"...

But the president wasn't there. Secretary of Defense Gates tossed the coin before the game. Cool. But where was the president? Resting up between his overseas trips to Norway for personal honors at the Nobel ceremonies and to Copenhagen for another egoistic commitment to spend American treasure on behalf of the 'world community' while his own country languishes in economic adversity and uncertainty. So much for fine words at West Point and Oslo. But I haven't heard a single solitary word of recognition, let alone criticism, that the president of the United States didn't see fit to honor the youth, vitality, and humanity of the U.S. military by participating in the pageantry of the great annual contest in Philadelphia.

There's a good deal more to the post, which is titled "What Obama doesn't know about America." Take a look. He still doesn't. And even General Petraeus can't fix that.

The Curse of "Friendly Terms"

The Washington Post's reporter on the conservative beat.

SEEING ALL SIDES. I admit right up front that I'm writing this post in disgust. The way it is. The activating story is this:

FishbowlDC has obtained e-mails written by WaPo's conservative-beat blogger Dave Weigel, that the scribe sent to JournoList, a listserv for liberal journalists. (Read up on JournoList with Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone's 2009 story that he wrote for Politico).

Seems Weigel doesn't like (and that would be putting it mildly) at least some of the conservatives he covers. Poor Drudge - Weigel wants him to light himself on fire.

Weigel's Words:

ē"This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire."

ē"Follow-up to one hell of a day: Apparently, the Washington Examiner thought it would be fun to write up an item about my dancing at the wedding of Megan McArdle and Peter Suderman. Said item included the name and job of my girlfriend, who was not even there -- nor in DC at all."

ē"I'd politely encourage everyone to think twice about rewarding the Examiner with any traffic or links for a while. I know the temptation is high to follow up hot hot Byron York scoops, but please resist it."

ē"It's all very amusing to me. Two hundred screaming Ron Paul fanatics couldn't get their man into the Fox News New Hampshire GOP debate, but Fox News is pumping around the clock to get Paultard Tea Party people on TV."

Surprising? No, actually. I saw Weigel participate on a C-Span panel about the Tea Parties hosted by Jonah Goldberg, and I could see exactly who he was and where he was coming from, despite the fact that he was being lumped in as a "conservative" pundit. He was sullen, distant, overly careful with his words, and 100 percent transparent about the fact that however clandestinely, he despises the whole Tea Party phenomenon. He looked like he'd need to take a shower afterwards to wash away the stink. I'd never seen or heard of him before, but I was, uh, not impressed. I wondered why Goldberg never called him out. Civility and journalistic professionalism, I figured.

Now, apparently, the shit has truly hit the fan. He's had to resign. Fine with me. But not so much with the burgeoning camaraderie of the New Media. Hotair's Ed Morrissey:

I should note that Dave and I are on friendly terms, and he appeared on my show this week to talk more about the flap over his Etheridge reporting.† That criticism had a little more merit than his JournoList commentary, since it had to do with his actual reporting and not his conversations among friends and colleagues not intended for public consumption.† Most of these comments are fairly laughable and Iím certain routine in parlor discussions on the Left.† What matters, as Dave says, is his reporting, although itís fair to say that this kind of exposure of his attitudes towards the Right wonít help build credibility for his reporting on conservative politics, which is his beat for the Washington Post.

Thatís why I wonder why someone on JournoList decided to leak Weigelís commentary.† Dave is hardly the most high-profile contributor on JournoList (well, before today), and he seems a strange choice for someoneís animus.† His incendiary comments certainly are sensational, but thatís about the only thing about them that makes them at all pertinent ó unless someone on JournoList doesnít like the fact that the Washington Post is focusing on conservative issues in any way, shape, or form.† While I donít think Dave has been unduly hostile in his reporting, heís not exactly been cuddling up to the Right, either, but that may not be enough for someone on JournoList.† Or, conversely, it could be a JournoList member with more sympathy towards conservatives than his colleagues suspect that has objections to Daveís coverage of the Right.†† Either way, itís hardly a fair way to go about criticizing the work Dave does.

Time out for a loooong sigh. The problem I've had with Hotair from the beginning. They still think it's a fucking game. They have their ideas, we have our ideas, and we all have to agree to disagree in some grand souffle of collegiality. Ed even goes so far as to pretend that he's learned to be guarded about his (and Hotair's) casual communications:

One of the toughest lessons to learn in business, and in media relations, is that written communications will never be entirely secure or private.† In the corporate world, I had to learn that lesson the hard way ó that my e-mails and messages would get forwarded without my knowledge or permission, and that whatever I thought I had said in private could become public at any time.† Over the same period, roughly that of my entire adult life, I have also had to learn the hard way that ill-considered eruptions of anger would also become public eventually, and that angry responses to e-mail and to events around me may prove satisfying in the moment but lead to headaches and regrets in the future, and usually in the near future.

uh, right. Stonewall your friends and suck up to your enemies. That always works.

Moving on. Just to recap. The establishment liberals are trying to destroy our country, by whatever means, overt or stealthy, they can make work. Schmoozing with them is just stupid. Pretending that they can be or intend to be objective while they pursue their mission is idiotic, contemptible folly. The fact that they're nice to you in social situations doesn't change that. They're the enemy. Period.

Weigel isn't a good journalist who committed an indiscretion. He's a mole who got caught. Reading Morrissey's defense of him makes me want to throw up.

I keep trying to warn you all. The biggest danger of the New Media is celebrity, the "club" aspect of those whose boats are rising on the Internet tide.

We have to be ruthless about that. And denounce the "club" whenever it starts closing ranks around phantasms like the defunct definition of journalism.

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