Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
October 14, 2010 - October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The Right Ad

Why are these women laughing? I want their glasses.

PICKING UP THE PIECES. I don't pretend to know what is going on with CountryPunk. All that alternate universe stuff. I think it has something to do with deerhounds. To most of us, they seem a few cards shy of a full deck. So, apparently, the missing cards are located in another universe. Enough said. I'm sure he'll work it out and return to something like sanity. SOON.

In the meantime, we have real mid-terms to think about. Here's the best ad any campaign has yet run.

Don't know if it will save Christine O'Donnell. (She should have worn her Palin glasses and something other than black in her 'I'm not a witch' ad, but maybe the Lord will provide.)

But it's a template for everyone else. Like Nike says, DO IT. Tattoo the Dems with their confiscatory tax and fiscal policies. And never ever relent. They're the issue. Not some normal human being who has the courage to run without having spent a lifetime faking the perfect life for the benefit of campaign cameras.

There's also this from Bruce Josten at the Chamber of Commerce. Another Mercersburg boy.

When I knew him, he was a big swimming jock. Now he's a smooth operator on the political scene. Hope for us all, I guess. Including Christine O'Donnell.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tired of Prostate Blue.

Anybody else getting sick of cancer accessories?

WICK-WICK-WICK. First. my apologies for not having posted since Saturday. I've made it a practice to post on the weekends like clockwork since I never have any time on weekdays, but Sunday I couldn't bring myself to the task. Am I the only one who's sick of LFL football, the cheap, violent hits, the unruly crowds, the rotten officiating, the saturation coverage by WSPN? And I guess this weekend was the final straw. I don't watch the Lingerie Football League to see constant reminders of prostate cancer -- blue chinguards, blue shoes, blue panties. Yeah, I know prostate cancer kills more people than any other form of cancer, but that's not why I tune in to sports programs. Is it so wrong to just want to see football? Why does every sporting event, bake sale, and public gathering have to confront me with the image of a cancerous prostate?  Tired of big round football player breasts too. Sorry. Just a bugaboo of mine. I get distracted.

Which means I've got some catching up to do. I've been remiss about the mid-term elections. Yeah, I know it looks like President Mikulski is going to pick up even more seats in November. And, with the new laws about blog commentary, I couldn't say otherwise even if I thought otherwise. She's such a great president.

And her vice-president is great also. Even if she does put her foot in her mouth from time to time. That's what makes America America, right? It could be worse... Think Biden. Of course that couldn't happen. Not since he got castrated at Guantanomo.

All I'll venture to propose is that there are other candidates on the various tickets. If they want to arrest me for that, so be it. I've said nothing about sugar, transfats, alcohol, tobacco, the explosive eroticism of abortions, or anything sexual about the sex that hates any mention of sex unless it's about Lady GaGa. Whom I adore. Appropriately from afar.

And I'm absolutely NOT looking at her crotch. No ma'am.

Are we clear? Are we cool? Sure we are. I've never answered a single spam ad for Viagra or Extenz. And I promise I haven't looked up from the ground since I posted the Lady GaGa picture.. I fervently believe all noodles should be like cooked macaroni.

So PLEASE vote come November... please...?

All this before I've brought you up to date on my Hispanic Manhound MacBeth.

He just got his Canine Good Citizen Award.
Never said anything sexist or racist in his life.

Everyone knows I'm Scottish, right? I'm not making any point with that, you know? I just like plaid. And so does MacBeth. He only looks frustrated. In actuality he's completely comfortable with the way of things these days, including his recent operation, and he voted for the Mikulski-Boxer ticket three times. See?

I'm sure there was something else I wanted to say. Even if I can't think of it right now. That's why you all come here so faithfully. Because I always have something to say about the world and such. Why I just made the list of Top Ten Tolerable Male Blogs in the latest National Review survey. Who says it doesn't pay to be a conservative? You know. The way we all understand it now.

Try this:

You have no idea how the world is constituted. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you there was a world where Americans are still clinging perilously to freedom, not as a lost and tragic memory, but as something they still might retain. The temptation of the giant nurturing tit is seducing them as it has drowned us, but some of them are fighting against it. On weekdays, at least.

I know that was all out of line. My apologies to President Mikulski and Vice-President Boxer. But I think you'll find that I haven't actually broken any of the laws regarding hate speech, or any of the regulations issuing from the Blogging Responsibility Act as I understand it, or any other laws governing fit speech by bloggers. I walk the line. And my attorneys are on line.

Which is why you're all still here. And why MacBeth is still smiling.

P.S. Full disclosure. MacBeth truly loves football.

No accounting for dogs, is there? Why people have spent so much money for so many years. You'd think they'd get tired. But what do I know?

Cyber Predator

One more anonymous dope enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.

. Another Drudge Report story we don't understand. Why would anyone care that some old goop emailed a photo of his privates to a sports reporter? Why should it be a story at all? He didn't even send his pix to Erin Andrews, the Emmy-Award winning anchor of ratings giant WSPN.

She's rumored to be the next Editor-in-Chief of the NYT.
She's very smart, in spite of those unsightly chest bumps.

I do think it was inappropriate for President Mikulski to comment on the case. The President of the United States should not be calling for the death penalty for some anonymous pervert. Think about it. If it should come to a trial, how could you even assemble an unbiased jury? Look at the picture. He does seem sorry. The tears are real. Life without parole seems more than sufficient.

But, then, we're edgy. Why we're in the Top Ten. Edgy and "highly intellectual for a male site" as reviewed by

Just saying. Thoughtful. Unlike Private Parts Boy above. (See Brizoni's Tweet...)

Sorry for the unsually long post. Sometimes, even men have a lot to say.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Paradox of the New Elites

1939 Talbot-Lago "Teardrop Coupe"

THE BEAUTY OF REAL ATTAINMENT. This morning I had to sit in the waiting room while a necessary surgical procedure was performed on my 8-year-old Toyota MR2. Not life-threatening, thankfully, just new brake pads and rotors up front. But it gave me my once-every-so-often opportunity to catch up with the automotive press -- countless old issues of Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine. The former always used to be derided as a GM shill -- like the NYT has become for Democrats -- while the latter has always had a decidedly more 'elitist' flavor, focusing on the most expensive, high-performance, and classic cars that constitute the drool factor in the automotive world for adolescent boys aged 8 to 80.  I couldn't help noticing that a certain homogenization has occurred.

Motor Trend
has acquired more of a global perspective, acknowledging that stricken Detroit really does have to compete with the world's best and faces something of an uphill battle in doing so. Mucho emphasis on technology, green features, clever, motile beans.

, on the other hand, seems every bit as obsessed as Motor Trend with electric cars, miniature gas-sippers, I-Pod connectivity, and microprocessor-controlled intelligent cars designed to protect the incompetent from their own bad driving skills. What difference remains is at the margins. Automobile retains two decidedly retro preoccupations -- 1) a focus on automotive writing AS writing, and 2) a nostalgia for obsolete autotomotive attributes like speed, performance, and beauty. Almost as an afterthought, (though, one suspects, not really) the magazine has a few pages at the very end of each issue devoted to automobile auctions. That's where I was reminded of the Talbot-Lago above. A specimen in original (i.e., nicked up, never restored condition) recently sold for about $7 million. As part of the explanation of the price, the copy noted that original condition is fetching ever higher prices these days, and there is no intent by the buyers to restore. Rationale? A car can be restored many times; it can be original only once.

Original Condition. Signs of use and experience. Wear and wisdom go together.

Which reminded me of something I haven't stressed of late. The danger of contemporary political and media elites is not that they're elite. It's that their elitism is a function of position and power, not accomplishment.

There's nothing whatever wrong with the existence of elite people, talents, and minds. There isn't even anything wrong with certain kinds of elite privilege. In fact, that's the chief virtue of a capitalist economic system.

The most talented among us create opportunities for everyone. They come up with ideas nobody had before. Why shouldn't they receive economic rewards, acclaim, and extraordinary fame? For example: The Talbot-Lago is, to me, an apogee of automotive artistry, a source of inspiration that may be responsible in part for subsequent generations of Jags (1, 23, 4) Buicks, Cadillacs (1, 2)  Corvettes, (1, 2, 3) and even the Pontiac Solstice. But the Talbot-Lago would never have been possible without Henry Ford, whose Model T transformed the automobile from a toy to a civilization-changing industry that employed millions and catapulted a nation to a brand new standard of living. Ford was an example of the pragmatic elite: he catalyzed an industry that produced money and opportunity. Design achievements like the Talbot-Lago catalyzed dreams that fueled the creativity of people who were capable of taking Ford's vision to a whole new level. Is one more important than the other? No.

If you have the Model T without the Talbot-Lago -- designed and built for and affordable only by rich people -- what do you get? The Russian Lada.

If Obama had had a czar in charge of developing Henry Ford's technology.

But we've been taught, relentlessly, that the rich are parasites, that they take without giving, that their whims and desires are always at our expense. Like most so-called 'liberal' ideas, this one's hopelessly illiberal, dull-witted, and almost unbelievably antique. Also ironically revealing. Today's liberals hate capitalism because they're not in charge of it. They foment class warfare because their whole view of the relation between economics and creativity is rooted in the kingdoms and colonial crimes of Europe. They see Ferraris and Lamborghinis and think 'theft.' This guy owns a car that costs what could feed hundreds and could liberate them from poverty if only things were more fair. And they're the ones who know what is fair.

Which is how we can see the true nature of the new elites. They're a supposedly enlightened version of the old old elites, the English, French, and Italian aristocracies who owned everything and sponsored -- i.e., paid for -- the greatest artistic and architectural achievements of a dozen generations. Liberals and progressives see themselves as the Renaissance Medicis. The sine qua non of all cultural achievement. Their contribution to the advancement of the human race? Power. Money. Innate superiority. Plus, the power to ennoble those who choose to be subservient to them for the promise of knighthood, dukedoms, titles. Hence the servility of the Gates, Spielbergs, and Streisands. Collectively, they're the superior ones who gave Europe its great cathedrals and paid for the contributions of Michelangelo and Voltaire.

But in our case -- the case of the United States -- what powers this delusion? The sense of belonging to the new nobility -- Harvard Law School, a seat in the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, or a place at the banquet table in Washington, DC. They're just better. And they're entitled to direct the erection of the new generation's 'green' Chartres. Not because they're more talented but because they're entitled.

The genius (Georges Paulin) who designed the Talbot-Lago above was shot by the Nazis for spying on the Luftwaffe.

Pardon me for believing that his automobile design said more about life and beauty and love and sex and humanity than anything the totalitarian bureaucrats who killed him could ever understand.

He was elite. What I'd call elitism in 'original condition.' Not restored, remanufactured, replicated, or simply updated by some arcane process of association. (Auction Note: An original '71 Hemi Barracuda just went for $450K; a new, 'updated' Hemi Challenger goes for $30K.) We could do with more elites like Paulin. The ones whose vision encompasses personal fulfillment for even a few rather than the need to level the ignorant masses in mediocrity.

When my only remaining choice is a Lada, I promise I'll be on the front lines with a pitchfork.

P.S. What Doc Zero had to say:

Interesting to use the automobile to explore the difference between achievement and entitlement.  It reminds me of the scene at the end of "Schindler's List," where a grief-stricken Schindler cries that he could have saved more people, if only he had sold his car.  The Left sees every social problem as an epic humanitarian crisis, which we could solve if only we sold all the cars, and gave the proceeds to a benevolent State full of Oskar Schindlers.

I guess we *do* know what a car designed by modern American politicians would look like - hello, Chevy Volt.  I still bristle when I hear people talk about its $41k price tag.  I ran the numbers on the subsidies required to produce it, and the real price is closer to $81k apiece.  It's a perfect symbol for the blind, inept super-State: a car nobody wants, sold with a raft of lies about its performance, with a price tag hidden behind billion-dollar subsidies. 

If Henry Ford had crapped out a car like the Volt, its few buyers would have destroyed his business with lawsuits for fraud, and practically no one would have been willing to pay the unconcealed actual price.  On the other hand, a car designed with true passion and artistry stands the test of time, and sells for $7 million at auction.

Maybe that's the final lesson to draw from the parable of the teardrop sports car: the works of the State are expensive, ephemeral frauds.  The achievements of free-market genius stand the test of time.

Always did think he was a smart bugger.

Never Mind.

SERENPINQUITY. I had a question for all of you, but I aimed it wrong. Sorry. I was thinking of the other Internet again. I'll be right back with another question. Soon. I'm old enough now that I do get jangled. Forgive me.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Graduation Day Imminent

NO LONGER AN ENT. Because everyone is asking so insistently... yes, Raebert is about to graduate from his puppy obedience class. Next Tuesday. He's not the valedictorian. That honor will go to an impossibly cute bulldog named Rambo, but Raebert has done very well in school. His handicaps and advantages cancel each other out. Handicap? As a sighthound, he can't stop watching everything that's going on, even the stuff in the remotest corners of the warehouse-type structure where classes are conducted. He's especially mesmerized by the forty-foot mirror on one side of the training ring. He keeps seeing a gorgeous deerhound whenever he looks. He can't take his eyes off that boy. Neither can I. Despite the distractions, he has proved himself adept at sitting, staying, and doing figure eights. There's also a command called "hurry," which is about heeling faster than average. That's when he leaves all the other students in the dust. Not by being faster. But by being a deerhound. Second gear -- anything faster than a stroll -- invokes that silken, flowing stride even greyhounds don't have. Suddenly, everyone else disappears. Like watching a racehorse warming into race mode. Beautiful.

I'm not a proud papa or anything. Strictly objective. He's close to his full stature now, though not filled out. Sometimes it seems like you can hear him growing it's happening so fast. Lying down, he can't ever get comfortable because the bones and ligaments and tendons are all expanding, getting bigger.

And he's definitely smarter than Psmith. There. I said it. But I still miss the lord of all things. That's the ingratitude of humanity for you. Raebert wouldn't be here at all if we hadn't lost Psmith. So why do I keep thinking, when Raebert wants to curl up next to me, how much fun it would be to have both of them beside me? Two deerhounds? Three? In this direction lies madness.

I promise to resist temptation. Unless some forward thinking political party adopts the intensely more reasonable slogan than anything we've heard to date: "More Deerhounds."

Then I'll be a goner.

P.S. Don't be grumpy. The last time I had a deerhound puppy I stopped posting for several months. This time I'm being comparatively cool. So don't give me any grief. You don't know what it's liike. It's like watching God doing a Michelangelo, adding that one indispensable detail to the Sistine Chapel. Divinity.

MORE DEERHOUNDS: Note the advanced cerebration of the 'round the Mulberry bush' game. Rocket scientists, every one of them.

And the flowy side, when they're not the wind itself:

Psmith's daddy at Westminster.Yeah, he won the hound group, he did.

Okay. I'm stopping now. Because Raebert's beside me, sleeping though not snoring. Deerhounds don't snore. Kewl.

Why there's a Radcliffe

NOTWITHSTANDING.  A woman's college means there can be a men's college. Which makes it possible to have a Harvard Glee Club. With no women in it. Thank God. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Philly is Glowing...

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE... Eduardo asked, so I'm obliging. I'm reluctant because I don't want to jinx the Phils and also because I've had WIP SportsTalk glued to my ear since 6 am. So this won't be long, but I'll make a few points you might not hear elsewhere.

The New York sports press is already starting to rally: the playoffs in 2010 aren't the same order of magnitude as the World Series in 1956 when Don Larsen pitched a perfect game, which is, of course, better than a mere no-hitter. Yawn.

But the truth is, this is a big deal. Most no-hitters are pitched against bad teams or in times when good teams are in a down period. I watched most of the Twins-Yankees game last night because a Yankee-hater has an obligation to root against them. Somewhere around the fifth inning, the TBS play-by-play announcer was applauding the continuing aggressiveness of the Twins batters given that at that point they had a very healthy lead. He said (and I'm quoting roughly not exactly), "In the playoffs, you have to play every inning like it's the ninth inning." True. And that's the setting in which Halladay displayed a level of pitching dominance few expert observors have ever seen. (Their words, not mine. I've been listening to them on SportsTalk all day long.)

I'd been surprised by how many baseball pundits were picking the Cincinnati Reds to beat the Phillies because it's been 14 years or so since the Reds played a post-season game. They were hungry, it was said, and Philly had better look out. Also, the Reds had led the National League in homeruns, batting average, and runs scored. All of which went away when Roy Halladay took the mound last night. They might as well have been the last-place 1964 Mets Jim Bunning pitched his perfect game against.

We've had about 40 years of playoffs leading up to the World Series in the major leagues, and there has never been a no-hitter thrown in any of those games. The list of pitchers who have thrown two no-hitters in one season is very short (maybe five guys total). The list of pitchers who have thrown a perfect game is about 20 guys long. The list of pitchers who have thrown a perfect game (or any kind of no-hitter) and a post-season no-hitter is exactly ONE pitcher long: Roy "Doc" Halladay.

Very. Big. Deal. Mike Schmidt called it the greatest Phillies baseball game he had ever seen. All I need.

One more thing and then I'll get back to SportsTalk. Roy Halladay isn't in Philadelphia for the money. He coud have gotten twice the dough if he'd waited for his free agency status and signed with the Yankees. He came to Philadelphia because he wanted to. Because he wanted to play with a real team in the post-season. The word in Philadelphia is that it was Halladay who engineered the deal that brought him here. He's an old-time ballplayer. He works hard, plays for pride and accomplishment more than money, and he's been waiting 13 years for the opportunity he seized by the throat last night.

After I get finished with SportsTalk, I'm going to spend the rest of the day watching "The Natural" and cornering the local market on rabbit's feet for the games to come. I'm no fool. In baseball, anything can happen. The Phillies could lose. But this is a moment for all us fans to savor. No matter what happens afterwards.

P.S. Because I don't think anyone else will do it, here's a tribute to Doc Halladay's 12 years in Toronto and to the Toronto Blue Jays fans who also know what a worthy man he is.

We know he's yours, too, and are delighted to share his amazing performance this season with you. Thank you and merci. We in Philadelphia are grateful -- and sad for your loss. Forgive us for taking him away from you. However far we go this year, we'll parcel out a part of it to you.

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