February 11, 2011 - February 4, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
The Deja Vu Nightmare
WE SAID. All those people who foresaw Obama as another Jimmy
couldn't write this scenario. Carter sat on his hands bleating about
human rights while Islamist terrorists took over Iran. We've been
paying the price of that hubris for 30 years. But at least Carter had a
linchstone peace between Egypt and Israel to boast of, regardless of
what role he really played in effecting it.
Obama doesn't have even that. He's going to lose Egypt the way Carter
lost Iran without any
mitigating circumstances. You don't have to be a conservative to wonder
if the president is even paying close attention to the crisis, given
the missteps, misstatements, flat-out fumbles, and alternately too
stern and too weak pronouncements from the Oval Office. His CIA
director knows only what he reads in the newspapers. His Director of
National Intelligence doesn't know that the organization which fathered
Hizbollah, Hamas, and al qaeda -- the Muslim Brotherhood -- is not a secular oganization. Is The One perhaps too busy golfing
and filling in his March Madness card to realize that what happens in
Egypt over the next day or two is potentially more portentous than the
fall of the Soviet Union or the dismantling of the Berlin Wall?
Egypt's peace with Israel has prevented countless wars and full-fledged
genocide against Israel for 30 years. Now, clumsy kibbitzing by an
administration that has been tone deaf in all its foreign policy for two
years threatens to culminate in the kind of generational disaster that
only rank amateurs can inflict on the world.
I saw a former actor, Wayne Rogers, try to blame the American people by
inference. Yes, they care about gas prices but they don't know the Suez
Canal from the Rio Grande as a vital global waterway. Screw that. The
first constitutional priority of the American presidency is to protect
people from threats foreign and domestic, even the ones that don't show
up big in the polls.
We're looking straight down the barrel of the Islamist gun. How many
Americans will lose their hopes for the future -- and their hopes for
their children -- because of the oil shock, terrorism, and other
unexamined consequences of this utterly unforeseen disaster? How many
American troops are now, suddenly, destined to die stanching the
bleeding in this most barbaric portion of the global economy, which the
current administration has worked overtime to make more rather than
less pivotal to our national well being? (Of course we can't drill within
or off our shores... Gotta be Green, dontcha know?)
I do fault one sector of the American people, the cynical
intelligentisia and press who sold Obama like divine soap to a
traumatized public when they must have known what anyone of their
supposed intelligence should know -- that fine words are crap without
the character, resolve and sense of duty that make them mean what they
seem to be saying.
Lincoln didn't win the Civil War with the Gettysbug Address. He won it
with Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan. His two minute speech in
Pennsylvania was simply a reminder of why he was so committed to his
We have a president who makes lots of banal speeches. There is no time
at which he has demonstrated any ability to act, let alone act
decisively, swiftly, or competently on
behalf of the people he swore to serve.
Where are we? Defenseless ourselves in a world that depends on us to
defend them from harm, no matter how much they resent us for it. What
do we have instead? An empty suit who keeps smiling and explaining away
his blunders while the world burns down around our heads.
The worst things that happen can happen in an instant. Paying for
single moments of neglect, incompetence, and arrogance can take
Welcome to the unintended consequences of willfully blind idealism,
unless idealism is really rigid ideology instead. All
of you who voted for Obama -- look yourselves in the mirror and feel
the shame you deserve. You'll pay in other serious ways, but the shame
you'll be inclined to duck. That's why I'm here. I don't propose to let
you duck. You're an accomplice in everything terrible, genocidal, and
economically catstrophic that flows from this moment. Wriggle and
rationalize and writhe away from accountability all you want. I won't
let you get away.
When Egypt falls to the Muslim Brotherhood, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE. And we shall not
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
"I like the way
the line runs up the back of your stocking..."
This one caught my attention, not because
it is funny, but because it identifies the underlying pathos.
"There exists an unpolled universe of
dirty old men who are silently amazed by a mystery no one mentions:
that intangible something in the air which smells of falling
temperatures in the ardor of young men. What's going on inside those
baggy pants? Or inside those tiny skintight selves? No one wants to
ask; is this because we do not care? Or have we rather consented,
knowingly or not, to slowly bleed to death the real cause of unsafe
sex: the gender that is the
unsafe sex. "
Stand up young men, stretch your bodies
in the sun. Run along the edge, jump off the top, wrestle with the
unknown! Don't let the gynocracy get you down. Don't let them cut out
the parts of you that make them tremble.
In the space of time between the
extinguishing of man and the disappearance of our race they will, with
weeping and wailing, lament the loss of trembling.
What almost no one appreciates is how quickly this has happened. The
currency of female sexuality today is the pierced tongue and the 'tramp
stamp.' Only a generation ago it had to do with the tease, not blatant
billboard advertising of wares and techniques. Now we have 'urban
dictionary' entries about the donkey
punch and the dirty Sanchez,
both sexes chortling over their single-entendres.
No wonder there's a general decline in male libido. I just want to
clarify one thing, the 'dirty old man' reference. Frankly, I don't find
anything sexually attractive
about young women anymore, including basically any that are under 40 or
50. More and more, the young ones strike me as guys with tits and twats. The new
term of "connecting" as a euphemism for unromantic screwing is enough
to make me feel I have outlived my time.
People, even commenters here, keep asking why I continually refer to
myself as old even though I'm only 57. This is a huge reason why. Maybe
I'm wrong, but I have the distinct impression that if you lift the back
of a twenty-something girl's top these days, you'll see a tattoo a few
inches above her bottom that's designed to visually amuse her latest
'lover' while he pounds away doggy-style. What's that all about? Wer're
supposed to take her seriously as an emancipated, fully equal person of
note and individual accomplishment? Phooey.
Old.I.Am. The same way I feel about seeing Fergie
at the Super Bowl
imitating rapper accents and showing off a singing voice that, well,
let's face it, ain't no Doris Day, Lena Horne, or Tina Turner.
Real sex is in the past. Which makes it harder to care about
anything and everything.
I keep wondering what percentage of everybody is now just
units of lust and consumption and bathroom breaks, text-messaging acquaintances instead of living life with real intimates? Maybe you can educate me
about my world-class fuddy-duddy-ness. But I'll leave you with this
while you think about it:
Of course, it doesn't help my cause that David Lee Roth looks
increasingly like a dissipated old accountant, balding, bloated, and
boring. Oh well. Nobody ever promised that life would be fair.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Just for fun:
to 3:55 in if you're impatient.
Yeah, it's old, but I think you all deserve a laugh, and somehow
this is still as fresh as the first spring daffodil we're all waiting
for. I'm not completely sure the video will play for everyone, so
here's an excerpt
Rob Zombie directed an episode of CSI:
Miami recently – but he probably won’t be directing a second one.
Last night on Fox News’ Red Eye, Zombie seemed like he really wanted to
vent about the “longest three weeks of my life,” directing David Caruso
on the hit CBS show.
Zombie says he started out “enthusiastic,” but by the last day, “I
wouldn’t even get up from the chair, I was sitting behind the monitor,
he’d be like ‘how was I?’ and I go, ‘I don’t give a shit.’”
So what was the deal with Caruso, who is famous for basically this?
Zombie said he set up a scene for Caruso to drive into, when he was
told, “‘David’s not great with driving.”
I was like, ‘okay, we won’t have him driving car, he’ll already be
parked, and he’ll step out;’ they go, ‘he’s not good with doors.’
Apparently he’s also not so great with sitting either.
Zombie hired his friend Malcolm McDowell to play the bad guy in the
episode, and McDowell “purposely came in with the idea he was going to
drive David Caruso up a wall.” Zombie said McDowell would make him wait
to do his close-up shots and, the greatest sin of all, would step on
Caruso’s famous button line at the end of each scene. “Mission
accomplished,” he said. (And cue Who scream.)
And, yes, this is a rerun, but who could resist?
No need to comment. I'm not extorting appreciation. This is just a
great unselfish act on my part because I don't have to go to court
WHO KNOW BETTER. I was going to write about this with maps, showing
the incredibly tiny geographic percentage of the country that voted for
Obama, but my Marine friend dissuaded me. "Nobody cares about maps," he
said. "Election demographics are a snooze. Besides, you've already done
that. It was a snooze."
He's right. To an extent few people realize, being a regular blogger
means learning constantly how wrong you are about what moves people. So
I'm forced to a more obscure and ambitious differentiation.
My point being that it's the Obama supporters who are the ignoramuses,
not the much ridiculed people who oppose him.
Yes, there are people throughout the length and breadth of America who
support Obama. In every state, city, and township. Why maps don't work.
At least not geographical maps. But when I was in college, I learned
that the definition of place is not entirely geographical. I learned,
Well, let me back up for a moment. Before
college I had realized that the concept of "place" is an incredibly
plastic and malleable thing. I have spent most of my life less than ten
miles from the New Jersey Turnpike. Most people who do not live in New
Jersey tend to conflate the Turnpike with the state itself. Funny to
those of us who live here but intensely relevant to my larger point.
What we all know without having to articulate it is that the Turnpike
is its own place, separate from the places where we actually live our
lives, even if those places are less than a hundred yards from one of
the portals called exits.
The Turnpike has its own police force, its own governance and
administration, its own maintenance crews, its own diminutive cities
and icons. While the loci called rest stops have names drawn from New
Jersey history -- Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, Frank Farley (?!), et al
-- there is no cultural diversity to speak of and no external
connection that isn't a pretense. Except for their names, all rest
stops are the same rest stop, the fuel attendants all wear the same
uniform, and the gas pump and fast food prices are equally, well,
uniform. In short, the New Jersey Turnpike is an incredibly skinny,
incredibly long, incredibly homogeneous, incredibly segregated subset of New Jersey. It does not interact with its
neighbors; it simply sits alongside them, confident of its own
superiority to the customs and chaotic variety of whatever it
transects. For when you enter the Turnpike, the toll card is like a
visa to a foreign nation, revokeable at any time, even if your visits
are a daily occurrence.
Back to college. Where I learned that there's an elite distributed
across the country who are a lot like the Turnpike. They have more in
common with one another than they do with the geographical places
they're supposedly located in. Lake Forest, Illinois, is Grosse Point,
Michigan, is Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, is Chestnut Hill,
Pennsylvania, is Rumsen, New Jersey, is, well, you get the picture. The
children go to the same prep schools and colleges, the daughters are
debutantes shopping for the same dresses, and -- as much as any
conclave of Armenians -- they all know each other before the first day
of orientation at Pine Manor, Smith, Middlebury, or Yale. They're their
own place, their own country. And they're pretty sure they own the rest
But they're a tolerant bunch and they also grant visas to the token
commoners who are prepared to play ball. Hell, a turnpike doesn't make
money without consumer traffic and payers of the tolls. Obama Nation
from the top down perspective. Just imagine what it's really like to be
them, though. You go to your restaurants and you don't know where the
food comes from or how. The same with your clothes, your electricity,
your cab rides, even the elevator you take to your highrise office.
Absolutely everything in life that makes life work is a mystery you're
superior to, until it gets broken. At which point you demand the proles
see to it. The same way the Turnpike knows nothing of the real economic
engine which feeds it drivers. As long as everyone bows at the toll
gate, they are the masters of all they survey.
Not the only turnpike-style enclave however. There are also the takers
in the urban realm, who are likewise all from the same place, hands out
and empty except for their fistfuls of grievances and demands. And the
government employees who grow up in a culture entirely alien from real
American life, where time in grade trumps competition and talent in the
whole nationwide school system, as well as municipal, state and federal
employees of every stripe. Yes, they may live next door and drive
exactly the same SUV and minivan you do, but they have less in common
with you than they do with their fellow featherbedders in every other
state and commonwealth in the nation. They just don't see life the same
way you do. You're the Turnpike travellers. They're the toll booth
attendants, exacting their (more than) fair share of every mile you
Does interacting with us change them, elevate them, ennoble them? No.
Does the New Jersey Turnpike visit and gain illumination from
Moorestown, Gloucester, or Paramus? No. All the defining transactions
are different. Homogeneity and heterogeneity are fundamental enemies.
The former possesses a sense of unconscious, non-introspective
entitlement. The latter is too, well, heterogeneous even to observe
that a distinction exists. They're our next-door neighbors, aren't they?
And so we, the ones who are actually out here living in a dazzlingly
variegated world of individuals, unique circumstances, and affecting
human dramas have no conception whatever of the tiny, narrow world in
which our 'superiors' exist.
For example, the racial comfort of the Lake Forest-Rumsen-Chestnut Hill
set prospers, as do all their ideals, through non-contact with any
unsettling reality. There are no temptations to be racist on Nantucket
Island or Malibu. They live inside the Turnpike sound barriers and hear
nothing that could disturb their certainties.
The same goes for even the suburban, middle-class denizens of this
other, 'unexceptional' America. The competitive strife and urgency of
the real-world market is merely quaint when it is visited by people who
can never be fired for incompetence and who are looking forward to
automatic promotions based on showing up somewhat regularly.
And so they miss it all. All the good, wondrous, beautiful, moving
stuff. That a tractor in the field isn't a calendar picture-in-waiting
but a multi-generational, multi-dimensional manifestation of the
meaning of life. That there are soldiers who actually serve their
nation in the full knowledge that they might perish in that service and
still regard the transaction as worthwhile. That tradesmen of all sorts
-- from candle shops to car repair garages to plumbers and purveyors of
affordable furniture -- are betting their homes and families on their
ability to outstrip the competition. These benighted ones -- from
debutantes to shop instructors -- don't have to get it.
They see government the way they do because they are the indistinguishable
statistical units they don't understand our resentment about being seen
If everyone you know went to Groton and Princeton, who are the "people"
the constitution maunders on about? Nothings and nobodies. Literally.
You're already a commodity. Why shouldn't everybody else be, too?
Which maybe explains why teachers in New Jersey simply can't begin to
understand why they should give up anything
when the state that's paying their salaries in perpetuity is utterly
bankrupt. What's the problem? Where's my ice cream cone? I've been
waiting for more than two minutes now...
My Marine friend warned me against making the 'Two Americas' argument.
I accept his admonition. But I think the America I grew up in needs to
understand exactly who and what they're dealing with.
And I didn't show you a single map. But have you figured out my title?
I'm a Country Mouse. I live at present more than ten miles below the bottom of the Turnpike. (Talk about low on the totem pole... Or should that be low on the Turnpike toll?) AND I'm a...
Do I care that
has 'quit' smoking?
FLASH! uh, no. For multiple reasons. I don't think he was
ever really a smoker in the
Look at him. He's a phony poseur. Not a smoker. Could he light up in a
windstorm outside on the White House lawn? Not a chance. The picture
says it all. He's just lipping the thing, not sucking his lungs full of
delicious toxins. Besides, who's really going to tell the president of
the United States that he can't fire up a coffin nail in the Oval
Office? Nobody. Unless it's the First Lady. Which would make him just
PW'ed as we all knew he was anyway.
His quitting is a lot like the way Hollywood leading men suddenly give
up drinking on-screen because the script says it's time for them to get
after the plot.
Actually, I'd feel better about him if he were a real smoker. Begging time
off from the Nobel Committee to sneak out the servants' entrance and
scarf down two butts in a row in the frigid Oslo winter. Or ducking out
of the West Wing to snarf one up before the next round of dignitaries
arrives. You know. Over there behind the 175 year old Jackson boxwood.
Maybe that would put him in contact with real citizens from the White
House kitchen and laundry. Fat chance. They don't know shit about
plovers' eggs and thousand dollar putters, do they?
All this is just amateur bullshit. How long have they been saving the
fact that our president's terrifying two-cig a day habit has finally
thus proving what a MAN he is?
Phooey. Or did I say that already?
Yeah, I did. I'll say it again. Phooey. He smokes like a wannabe
desperate to get the part of the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold on a
Lifetime movie. Meaning, uh,
like, he's never done it before.
Kind of like the way he carries out his duties as president.
No. Not dead, dying, or even seriously indisposed. Just a cavalcade of
distractions starting about midweek last week. Late-ish one evening,
maybe Tuesday, a 100-lb deerhound pup suddenly starts throwing up all
over the place for no discernible reason and doesn't stop for a couple
of days. Then a greyhound goes drastically lame, requiring a second
huge (panic and) contortion of routine and special procedures. A case
of pharyngitis in the stepdaughter ranks. Concomitant modem and phone
problems. And on top of all this, Jury
Duty. Which seemed to have been dealt with until it suddenly
wasn't, maybe Tuesday night, and precipitated lots of drastic
reshuffling to comply with the appearance mandate, which is continuing
in an aggravated fashion even as we speak. Explanations and
elaborations to follow, unless they become too painful to speak of.
That's February in these realms and always has been. T. S. Eliot was a
great poet but a rotten judge of cruellest months: February by a
landslide. Hoc dixi.
Apologies. The Super Bowl was
dutifully watched. Delighted that at least one prediction of this site
was proven wrong. Congratulations to Green Bay.
Gotta go. Injured greyhound stumbling up the stairs when he should be in the
training room getting his pads off and his long sideline face on. Back at you as
soon as the juror who decided the case by looking at the back of the
plaintiff's head has extorted the necessary verdict from the absent
. I admit it. For a while there I lost heart. Then I heard
old Marine friend. Who said, "Just keep going. Because you can't not keep going."
He's right, I suppose. It doesn't matter who believes or doesn't. I still believe. Regardless of
everything. Even if I'm dumbly repeating myself. Every "new" post idea
I floated by him he politely confirmed I'd
already made, abundantly,with graphics and music in support. "So I must
be done," I said. "Not by a long shot," he replied. "Sometimes what
people need is the image of the loser who insists on raising the rifle
to his shoulder and firing again, even though all is lost." Trust a
Marine to invoke that particular recipe for, uh, victory. Victory
Pyrrhic and Parthian.
"All is not lost," I
protested. "Thiis is still
"Precisely," he said. "That's what InstaPunk is. The never ever giving
up thing. Where else do you find that? Your readers and commenters.
They are your army. With good
reason. They follow because you fight.
the writers who ever actually cared about people, and they know it. You
never ever ever stop. The
only one who ever almost forgets that is you."
"Don't.," he said. "You were Nuke.
Doesn't matter if now and again you're as low as Shane.
Try to remember. You're the weirdest man on the planet, part savior,
part cold-blooded killer, and part thoroughgoing thinker. Nobody could
be as hard and hated as you without possessing some deep virtue. Remember that."
I'll try. Except that Marines have never been noted as philosophers. Go
figure. He's probably just one more insane non sequitur in the double
failure of my life. Which I tend to think of as two inverted peaks of
Unless I just like the music.
Tomorrow I'm putting my boots back on. And the spurs. If it weren't
illegal, I'd also holster a .45. If I had one. If I had one in the
closet downstairs. Which I don't. Of course. Obviously. Speaking
metaphorically. Of course.