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July 30, 2011 - July 23, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011


What We Face

"Childish" is a charge I can credit.

WAKE UP, NEWENS. I'm not saying we can't win. I'm just being realistic about what we're dealing with in the current political environment. Which is not good.

I'm not going to provide a lot of links, if any. You have to do the work. Because you're going to have to do a lot of work in the next year or so if we're not to lose our nation.

I'm not going to connect all the dots for you, either. Another skill you're going to have to get better at. If you want to avoid total destruction.

Watched Hannity last night. He and Juan Williams screaming at one another -- after a poignant moment when Williams acknowledged Hannity had somehow divined his firing by NPR (the subject of his latest book). "Are you all right?" Hannity asked after a taping. Well, no, Williams wasn't all right. The two are obviously friends. But then they did a screaming match, and think about it. Juan Williams is a graduate of Haverford College and Hannity was a housepainter whose bio still contains no mention of a college degree. Why Hannity congratulated Williams on his friendly interview with Jon Stewart "even though he hates me."

Then the "Greatest American Panel" came to the point of a physical blow, as Patrick Caddell, a Carter-Democrat pollster who has frequently seemed to be half-Republican these days, was absolutely quivering with rage at the fumbling, lunk-headed behavior of the Republican house he called "childish," even as conservative Romneyite Hugh Hewitt absolutely refused to shut up long enough for him to make his point. Caddell went so far as to smack Hewitt's arm. (I'd have smacked his face, but that's just me.)

Michelle Bachmann keeps telling us in her reedy voice, "I have a titanium spine strong enough not to vote for raising the debt limit." Meanwhile, the MSM is feasting on the news that her husband thinks he can cure homosexuality with prayer. No, she doesn't have a titanium spine. We've learned she suffers from crippling migraines. It's stressful being a Christian icon, isn't it?

Also saw Rand Paul last night. On Fox News. They announced he'd be on after the commercial break. I turned to Mrs. CP and did his whole sing-song spiel almost word for word right, in advance of his actual appearance. Usually, Mrs. CP doesn't like it when I do that kind of thing. This time she had to admit I'd nailed it all except for my closing line, "Whatever Daddy says."

Cut to Big Hollywood, where they're all pumped about Sarah Palin's new movie, "The Undefeated." Even liberal critics are cutting the movie a break. Wow. Things are looking up, aren't they? No they aren't. Big Hollywood is an Andrew Breitbart site -- he's also got sites called Big Government, Big Journalism, and Big Conservative Delusions -- characterized by bold conservative mission statements and really really weak writing. Big Hollywood's managing editor, John Nolte, can't write a paragraph without some major grammatical error, and the site's reviews, which should be its main attraction from a conservative standpoint, always fumble and stumble through incoherent lead paragraphs designed to convince us of what(?), the intellectual bona fides of the reviewer (though they can't seem to spell bona fides correctly), while managing to convince us that the writer is too self-absorbed to be trusted. (Except for Kurt Loder. The best living movie reviewer.) Breitbart's whole 'new media empire' is put together with spit and glue and baling wire and hardly anyone who can actually write. The conservative existential fix in a nutshell.

Where were we? The Big Hollywood braintrust thinks Sarah Palin is overcoming her media tarring. No, she isn't. How did John McCain become the Republican candidate in 2008? The MSM pretended to like him. Until he got nominated. Same process is underway with Sarah Palin. The Dems want us to nominate her. She's their favorite 2012 presidential candidate because they're certain they can destroy her. Does John Nolte know it? NO.

How stupid are we?

We are very damn stupid when it comes to politics. I'm not saying there aren't smart Republicans. It's just that the Democrats have an almost insuperable edge in terms of resource allocation.

In the old days of European aristocracy, any family with three sons gave the eldest the title, the second was sent to the military, and the third to the priesthood. Now we have rich political families. The eldest inherits dad's senate seat, the second son goes to the mass media to fight for social justice, and the third becomes a professor at an Ivy League school near you.

And, yes, there's a Republican aristocracy, too, just as numerous and just as rich. But the eldest son goes to Wall Street as a banker, the second goes to Wall Street as a lawyer, and the third goes to Wall Street as a trader. Something we might characterize as a brain drain.

Which leaves us with what? A mass media empire that can give Barack Obama a 15 to 20 point propaganda advantage in any election, while we try to counter it with sincere but dim graduates of Oral Roberts, the Barbizon Christian Barber College, the Stillwater State Graduate Business School, rich Mormons who are too friendly and virtuous to be anything but creepy, and balding, toupeed, sometimes overly bronzed white male Middle American Babbits who never quite seem to understand what a killer instinct their 'betters' across the aisle were born with. And, of course, the purely crazy ones.

Why do I always have to be embarrassed when a Republican politician speaks? Their mushmouthed southern accents. Their dopey gaffes. Their determination to interpret opposition contempt as a conversation that needs to be rejoined more productively.

I cringe when a Democrat politician speaks. He (or she) always knows the talking points, is always on message, always a demagogue. Vicious. And always forgiven by the interviewer.

Republicans? "Uh, I didn't mean to say that, I was misquoted, I resign for the good of my family."

Democrats? "I can't believe this party's obsession with returning to slavery, the death of small children through tiny cuts in the school lunch program, and the desire to subject women to the 'barefoot and pregnant' ideal of the Reagan administration. And I've already apologized for my own sexual indiscretions, so let's move on, shall we?"

To use Brizoni's locution: Really? Really?

But at the end of their screaming match, during which Juan Williams essentially accused Sean Hannity of all these positions, Hannity shook hands with him and then tossed his goddam football. Williams is still on message, delivering his talking points. Hannity is still a black Irish radio bumpkin with a low forehead. And the Dems pretend to be afraid of Fox?

Tell me what you're prepared to do not to play the fool for another season.

Wake up, kiddies. You don't win by throwing a tantrum. Not against these guys.





Real vs. Rill

Catch that? She's RILL, folks.

A BRIGHT SIDE. InstaPunk is not a funny video site. We are here to discuss issues of the day, not giggle like stoned teenagers at YouTubes of other stoned teenagers lighting their crotches on fire, and then their stoned teenage friends put the fire out by stomping on it, thereby stomping on his balls a bunch as well. Maybe I can justify showing this... this with an anecdote.

A few years back, I heard a radio interview with a vomit fetishist (stay with me). The 21st century is the Age of the Unfettered Fetish, and this guy was out and proud as loving to get puked on. Most illuminating part of the freakshow (the only illuminating part. I won't lie, I wasn't in this for the edification) came when vomit dude explained that he had to shut his porn site down because he was only ever contacted by three guys who were into it as well. Not a large market.

Think about this. He wasn't leaving mimeographed bile erotica at truck stops in 1989 and then sitting by the phone crossing his fingers that some like-minded degenerate would call the 900 number in the letterhead. He was on the internet.­ Civilization's newly-opened steam valve on thousands of years of taboo. Remember when pot was kind of an underground thing? Remember when you could never find yourself accidentally reading an essay by Lyndon LaRouche? Remember when you had never seen even a picture of a dead body, outside of a war textbook? Now I can pull up, within seconds, crime scene photos of Jeff Dahmer's fridge on my phone to settle a bet. And every kink you can think of, even as solely an exercise in grotesqueness, already has a community devoted to it. That's an acknowledged fact. Quantum physics writ large (if you get that pun, I say to you NERRRRRD). Every perfect has joined perverted forces with every other brother in perversion.

Even with that internet, vomit guy only found three other vomit guys. The moral of the story? There are limits to human depravity. Even now.

We see the Paris Hiltons and Amy Winehouses (remember when you had to be good to get into Club 27?) of our popular consciousness and despair for our young girls. Good news: It's not all of them. It's not even a lot of them. Judging by her seven-minute "PSA," Courtney Stodden is the only one like her in her town. Only the dumb girls aspire to plastic tits and thousand dollar wigs for their rat-sized dogs. Yes, one is too many, I agree. But take heart. Humanity's innate desire for self-respect isn't so easily extinguished. Tiny ember of hope.

I'll leave you with our 16-year-old superstar's empower ballad "Don't Put it On Me." That's "On," folks. On. When you're plotting strategies for the coming battles of the next 18 months, take a moment now and then to think of this song. Then think of the young girls you know who aren't "inspiring" [sic] to keep it rill. You'll smile when you realize who's the exception and who's the rule.


P.S. On the off chance there's a gal who doesn't already know: If you're out with your man and he cranes his neck to gawk at a Stodden type who "be poppin"? Dump him. On the spot. Don't wait for an explanaiton. None is possible. Don't burn any emotional calories over him. Shake his hand, say "We're done here," and walk away. Just like that.




Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hitman

When called, he does what he does better than anyone.

THE NORWAY THING. Our new friend J.W. Helkenberg didn't volunteer to do it. But The Old Man asked him to. So he blew the dust off his dual pistols, which he keeps in a velvet-lined case under the futon in his spartan quarters, and dispatched commenter Jack with what seemed to be unlimited ammo.

We're impressed. So impressed, in fact, that we've decided to recognize Helk's completed contract with a post.

Helk responded to Jack twice, but I've only included the second response, because it covers most of the ground of the first. And I've reformatted it for visual clarity. Quotes from Jack in italic, Helk in "plain" text.

* * *

What we are talking about here is ...

This line of thinking leads absolutely no where. Let's say the Norwegian authorities had taken a sudden interest in defusing anti-immigrant sentiments, beyond fostering a culture of tolerance (which is, apparently, distasteful ).

Not distasteful, dangerous.

They would have done . . . what, exactly? Posted guards outside youth camps and mosques? Cracked down on right-wing groups (a move which I'm sure would've been received well by those now labeling Norwegians as "soft")? Ban the Progress Party? Restrict immigration? Construct Fortress Norway? What?

They would have prepared their armed forces for a rapid response. I am saying that the lack of response is an indication of a lack of preparedness. A lack of conceptualizing the threat (due to blissful ignorance) leads to a boatload of Norwegian police sinking on the way to the island. It leads to not a single helicopter being available to intercede in the situation. It leads to a 90 minute response time. I think the killer actually just got bored (or horrified) with the killing, and just quit on his own. It wasn't like he burnt through all his ammunition.

"Norway - home of the *real* Vikings. Need I say more?"

Yes, you do. You're making assumptions regarding Norway's role in the Cold War without any supporting evidence.


OK, I can offer some supporting evidence. (I said I would if you *needed it*)

In the immediate post-war years Norway maintained a very low profile in foreign policy. The country hoped to remain outside the power blocks and likely areas of conflict. Norway put great hope in the United Nations and in fact the UN's first Secretary General, Trygve Lie was a Norwegian.

Global politics prevented this and as East/West tensions built up Norway was ***forced*** to come firmly down in the western military camp. Although relatively unscathed, Norway still benefited from the American Marshall Programme. Initially a reluctant recipient, Norway eventually received 2.5 thousand million kroner between 1948 and 1951.

There is more, more, more. I can bring it. Do you want it?

You're assuming (as is TP, whom you quote to support this assertion) that Norwegians were, in their impotence and apathy, content to sit back and relax and let the U.S. assume the burden of defending it. Which in itself implies that Norway made absolutely no contribution to its own defense or to NATO (of which it is a founding member).

No, wrong on two counts. First, I am not saying they did absolutely nothing, they *acceded to* US protection. Second, Norway is not a founding member of NATO. At all. "Following an abortive attempt to create a Nordic Defence Alliance, Norway, along with Denmark, joined NATO in 1949." [cite]

"They avoided considering the possibility that Hitler would invade,... er, I mean, that a homegrown maniac would kill a bunch of leftist children at a *VIP-studded* leftist retreat located on, you guessed it, a relatively remote island."

I wish you would've alerted the proper authorities ahead of time, if you were so aware of this possibility. But wait, according to you they couldn't have actually known. Or something:

"This is not to say that the name, date and time could have been known in advance, not at all. Only that the character and nature of the crime was already being predicted by people in Norway (and elsewhere). They knew it was inevitable, but they preferred to live in blissful ignorance."

Names, quotes, anything. Please.


Here you go: "According to Aftenposten, the Norwegian Army base at Meymaneh is amongst the least secure bases in Afghanistan, the base is less secure than other bases belonging to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)." [cite]

OK. Aftenposten is a Norwegian newspaper. Lack of security being, apparently, a Norwegian *thing*, the newspaper decided to point it out to it's citizens. Maybe in an attempt to alert people that Norway was living in a state of blissful ignorance.

More:

Norway's anti-immigrant Progress Party won 23 percent of the vote in the last elections in 2009. [cite]

and

"In 2011 we expect their activity to contribute to steering the public debate in the direction of increased xenophobic sentiments. This could contribute to an increased polarization within and between extremist groups in Norway. Increased activism among Norwegian anti-Islamic organizations can however also increase the use of violence in such groups, particularly in connection with demonstrations and commemorations." [cite, read the whole thing]

So the word was out, but nobody was *preparing* for the eventuality. Or, if they were, they forgot to include boat and helicopter preparedness in their training materials.

"There is a new purity movement, whether anybody wants to admit it or not. This nutjob Breivik did nothing to improve the (extremist) anti-immigrant platform, in fact he might have squelched it."

So there is a "purity movement" afoot, but Breivik has undermined it and possibly "squelched it." Is this a bad thing? Did this "purity movement" have any validity in the first place? Aren't Breivik's actions merely the inevitable product of such a movement, as you've implied?


I said nothing to indicate that this is a bad or good thing, only that it will have an impact. And it has had an impact. And as far as Breivik's actions being inevitable, refer to the link [above] (to wit, "In 2011 we expect their activity to contribute to steering the public debate in the direction of increased xenophobic sentiments.")

Again, I am neither defending nor attacking the 'purity movement' I am merely pointing out that it has been adequately detailed by the Norwegian press (and 'secret police'). And by adequately detailed I mean to state that there has been ample evidence to suggest that Norway is *vulnerable* to home-grown fanaticism.

"Now, think about that. This guys actions may actually result with a greater influx of Muslim immigrants. And so I guess I would say that, in the end, the Norwegians will likely get more of the same. And, by degrees, they will watch as unfamiliar customs slowly come to dominate their (native) culture."

So Norway, which is (or isn't; I'm not exactly sure what you think it is) a supposed bastion of right-wing, anti-immigrant extremism, is now *more appealing* to Muslim immigrants?


I never said bastion - which would imply it is a majority position - and I did not say "more appealing." I said that the resistance to immigration might be squelched. Because people who resist immigrants don't want to be aligned with Breivik. For now.

Oh, and please stop with the "Eurabia" nonsense. I'm willing to wager that Norway's Muslim population (which constitutes all of 2-4% of the total) is and will never possess the capabilities to undermine Norwegian culture or whatever.

Well, despite the lack of Muslim critical mass (in terms of modifying Norwegian culture), the presence of immigrants has led directly to this mass killing. Now, I don't blame* immigrants (in the sense of intent), but Breivik didn't go on a killing spree *just because*. He went on a killing spree to launch an anti-immigrant European war. Now, however far-fetched that is, it is a *direct result* of the Muslim presence in Norway. So is it unsafe to presume (based on secret police disclosures among other things) that an increased Muslim presence is somehow *not* going to lead to more frequent hostilities?

Here's a synopsis of your argument: Breivik, who's representative of a larger movement, has, through his actions, discredited the (apparently legitimate) anti-immigrant platform.

Not discredited, embarrassed.

Thus, more Muslims will immigrate to Norway, which in turn will precipitate more attacks (from a movement which has been "squelched," remember), and eventually Norwegian culture will somehow collapse entirely in the face of the foreign hordes.

They (Norwegians) will lose their capacity to live in blissful ignorance (just like a woman loses her capacity to walk (comfortably) alone at night following being raped). You cannot go back to a time before. You must accept the new facts. Norway has been (mentally and spiritually) raped by a violent mass murderer who desired to start a Pan-European anti-immigrant war.

Airtight logic, there.

Finally, credit where credit is due.

* * *


[ED: The Boss has also closed this comment thread in the original piece, thusly:

Helk:

All right. Let him go. You have proven what needed to be proven: he can never quite agree to disagree because he just MUST be right, even if he has had to concede point after point, including the ultimately rational basis of your argument.

Throughout, the intent is to keep driving for finer and finer points of dispute so that the larger context will ultimately be lost or become irrelevant.

Prime example in the latest response. Norway's unpreparedness was analogous to U.S. unpreparedness for 9/11. The "Everybody fucks up" argument.

Only problem -- 9/11 was a worldwide wakeup call. It was followed by terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. When your friends and neighbors have been assaulted and murdered, it's simply negligence not to be ready with the best emergency response you can muster.

Splitting and resplitting and re-resplitting hairs doesn't change the point of the original post one bit. It simply seeks to obscure it.

For no discernible reason other than the need to counter a bold statement by someone who must, by virtue of his political affiliations, be wrong, stupid, ill-informed or prejudiced.

Recall that the debate here began with a series of name-calling attacks [by Jack on me]. That's the only rationale for the respond, respond, respond, respond mentality we've seen on a topic that ultimately isn't that important, unless it's an ego issue for the commenter.

I declare this debate done, this comment thread closed. I started it with an opinionated essay I see no reason to retract. I asked Helk to see how far it would go. He's done that.

It's gone way too far. Truth. Helk wasn't particularly invested in the debate. It's just that he can do this kind of argumentation in his sleep.

What have we learned? Ego will drive you onto a dangerous limb attached to increasingly frail branches and even twigs if you lose sight of the main point in pursuit of just having to prove that you're somehow smarter.

Nobody is smarter than Helk. And nobody has less ego involved.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Can we be done with it now? Norway is just great, has no big questions to ask itself, and they can be satisfied, like all liberals, that their good intentions are all that's required in a purely accidentally dangerous world.

As to the dead ones? Well, they're dead, aren't they? And won't be heard from again.

Congratulations, Jack. We're all in, uh, awe of your brilliance.]





Dyspepsia

Tea always did upset my stomach.

DUMB IS DUMBERER. Why does Charles Krauthammer look so sour?



Because Republicans are on the verge of blowing their huge advantage against Barack Obama.

The confrontation about the debt limit was a good idea. It exposed the inflexibility of the president, who cannot bring himself to compromise his anti-capitalist ideology even when the fiscal viability of the nation is at stake.

The whole country has seen that he cannot propose his own plan, nor can his party, if the simple question is asked, "How can we reduce spending so that $40 dollars of every $100 we spend is borrowed, in perpetuity?"

But let's not forget that this has always been a game of "chicken." Who will blink first? Who will drive off into the ditch before the Mutually Assured Destruction of a head-on collision? The people are now well able to see that the Democrats have no intention of reducing spending under any circumstances. Point made.

And point made was always the best possible outcome in a political structure that gives Democrats control of both the senate and the White House as compared to Republican control of the House of Representatives. That's it. Game over. Time to raise the debt limit and attack, attack, attack the Democrats in the 2012 election.

Here's the irony that fills me with despair. The Tea Party freshmen in the house were elected as representatives in a representative democracy. Their job is to do the right thing, whether their constituents agree or not. Isn't that the ultimate definition of citizen politicians? You didn't elect us to follow your kneejerk reactions but to serve the nation. And we're perfectly content to be voted out of office if you don't finally approve of our votes.

Still waiting for the irony? Here it is. The Tea Party caucus which insists it's okay to let the U.S. go into a state of at least technical default are -- by this exact positioning -- proving that they are already pure politicians, determined to hang onto their seats regardless of national impacts of their votes. Their seeming principled opposition on this issue is actually proof that they've already sold out.

Point made, goddammit. The debt limit has been raised dozens of times over the years. Yes, there was value in objecting this time. But what's the mission? To regain control of the U.S. government, meaning the presidency and the senate.

So the senate has passed nothing. The president has proposed nothing. There hasn't even been a federal budget during the Obama administration. What more do you want? The only reason not to pass some kind of even relatively clean bill raising the debt limit is to protect individual asses in the House of Representatives.

I'm thoroughly pissed off. I'm done with all righties who insist there's no penalty to pay for the nation if the world thinks we can't pay our debts or can't forestall a downgrade of our credit rating, which wouldn't have been a possibility at all if we hadn't made such an enormous issue of it in the first place.

I'm old enough to be sick to death of the win-it-all or lose-it-all strategy. If the dollar ceases to be the curency of first resort in the world, we will all suffer. Interest rates will rise, inflation will increase, and all the little people the Tea Partiers claim they care for will be thrust into a world of diminished purchasing power and escalating penury. Why? To prove a point? To take an axe to a situation that begs for actual intelligence rather than a mindless inflexibility that reminds me of nothing so much as Obama's obsession with corporate jets?

Frankly, I'm done with most of the Republican field. This isn't what I signed up for.

My candidate for the Republican presidential nomination right now? Evan Bayh.

Yeah. A Democrat Why? Obama must be defeated. He's destroying the United States of America. But so are all the suddenly heedless libertarians who think they just might possibly win the 2012 election by pissing in everybody's bathwater in the name of ideological purity.

Oh. Okay. Here's the beginning of what Charles Krauthammer has to say:

“I respect what they want to do; I share what they want to do: shrink the government,” he said. But at a time when the country is going into debt and destroying everything in its path, Krauthammer said that Conservatives need to understand the only way to stop the damage, according to our Constitutional system, is to control the White House and the Congress.

To do that, the GOP needs to win the presidential election in 2012. He and O’Reilly both agreed on the belief that Bachmann and other Tea Party members who hold such a black-and-white stance and insist on not passing the Boehner bill – or any bill increasing the debt ceiling – could cost them that possibility. Krauthammer said the Tea Party is fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time, and no matter what, their position won’t be won from “pointing a gun” from half of Congress.

“You cannot govern from one branch. All the Conservatives control now is half a branch … and under our system, you’ve got to have it all.” he said.

He's kinder than I am. Because he has a stomach ache. I don't. I have full on nausea.

(Sorry about your 36-hour jibe yet, Pete? You should be.)




Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Triple Threat

Photo by MRS. CP.

SHE KEEPS TAKING PICTURES WITH THAT I-PHONE
. Under orders on this one. You know how you've read about the wars between Izzie and Elliott and Mickey? Well, mostly it's this way. uh, peace. Mrs. CP seems to feel my usual bellicose flair is misrepresenting the facts. (Though she's dead wrong in this instance. All hell coud break loose at any moment, which Mrs. CP knows, because she emailed me this pic as if it were a treasure culled from the deepest sea. I'm just saying.)

Anyway.  In this EXTRAORDINARY  photograph, Mrs. CP has managed to capture the total love which exists among the cats in our household. They're in what we call the Tack Room, which has a great view of birds you'd like to kill if you were a cat and not too lazy to figure a way to do it. uh, Sorry.

The long gray blur up top is Mickey, who appears to have paid off Mrs. CP to sliminalize him into more of a tomcat stud than a zeppelin. (Just don't know where she got the PhotoShop chops. Hmmmm. Should I be worried about her iPhone?) I can live with that. The little bundle in the middle who looks like a monkey is Izzie. She's good at sleeping and Mixed Martial Arts, in reverse order. The THING that's so scary in the foreground would be Elliott. The picture makes him look he has two faces and no eyes. That's not true. He has three faces and one eye that gravitates oh so slowly from one side of his head to the other. (Wes Craven has been hanging around the house talking movie scripts.)

Am I done yet? No?

All right. They're the cats. The current ones. But that's the thing about cats. We got Elliott because Mrs. CP couldn't ever stop thinking about Mac. (She won't ever admit that, so don't let on. Whereas I never think of him unless I see a windowseat on a sunny day.) That's how cats are eternal. Me, I miss the black ones, Ajax, Butler, and oh, stop. Their descendants aren't here yet. Why I have to inflict this on you:


If you would wound CP, go for cats & greys & deerhounds. Just make
sure you kill him dead. Because he will absolutely kill you back. Dead.

Sorry. I thought I was just posting an iPhone pic of my wife's. Why is it harder than debating Jack?

Yeah. You know. (Thanks, honey. Now I'm remembering them all, pretending my eyes are just moist.)





UPDATE: Feminism Still Province of Hysterical Phallophobes Who Won't Take Responsibility For Their Inability to Cope With Life

Feminists add to that equation the belief that having their vanity fully indulged is a fundamental human right.

THE EQUALITY BLUFF. Nothing new to report, I'm afraid. Feminist thought has made no progress whatever in confronting its inane premises, adopting a more reality-centric narrative, or generally getting over itself. The latest outburst came at nerd circle jerk mecca San Diego Comic Con.

Thursday, I attended a panel titled “Oh, You Sexy Geek!” a discussion of the implications of “sexy women” in geek/nerd culture, and how that may or may not be used to pander to men.

Don't we typically reserve the word "implications" for things that matter? The specific gravity of the Invisible Woman's hooters may not qualify. Sorry, go on.

I was excited for the panel, considering I am frequently frustrated by the media’s exploitative use of women (whether it be the host of a show, such as Olivia Munn, or booth babes at E3) to appeal to a market that they treat as exclusively male. However, my expectations were quickly dashed when discussion of media literacy was tossed aside in favor of accusations of jealousy. Bonnie Burton and Adrianne Curry mused that women who were critical of sexy geek culture in any way were just jealous, had no confidence, and were projecting their issues with self-esteem onto the women who felt empowered by walking the Comic-Con floor in a Slave Leia costume.

When Jennifer Stuller (one of the creators of the upcoming Geek Girl Con) suggested that women who criticized “sexiness” were more than likely deconstructing the media, and by extension a society that tells women their worth lies in their ability to appeal aesthetically to men...
­
You get the idea. Feminists are upset that many women don't buy or aren't interested in the whole Patriarchy conspiracy theory, and, adding insult to injury, some women even call feminists out on their insecurities! They're not supposda!

Protip: "Deconstruction" doesn't have quite the Smart Guy gloss it did 40 years ago. Protip: Male sexual attention isn't inherently dehumanizing or exploitive. I understand feminists are terrified of it, but that's their fault and their problem. Protip: Markets will focus exclusively on men ON OCCASION, yes. The idea that women are never catered to is ridiculous. Any market that wants to survive in 2011 won't ignore 51% of the population. And last I heard, the geek sector was doing pretty well for itself.

Protip: It's not that feminists are uptight. It's that they're chickenshit. Another feminist had this take:

Worst of all was G4′s Chris Gore, the lone man on the panel, who showed his female co-panelists just how much he respects them by showing up nearly an hour late and proclaiming as he sat down, “I speak for every other man in this room when I say I want to put my penis into all of these women.” This elicited uncomfortable titters from the audience and panelists. How often are women place in that position? Of being diminished by a “joke” that, even if meant to make fun of their sexualization, still makes you feel nervous and without a good way to confront its incredible inappropriateness. I’d like to say that if I were the moderator or on the panel, I would have called him out on it, but I know how being in that kind of situation can make you suddenly silent.

Sigh. Once more: Equality means no special treatment. Which means-- and it breaks my heart that I have to spell this out-- no special protection. None. Which means, dear feminists, you're going to have to grow a backbone. The "good way" to ask Chris Gore to ease up on the penis talk (a fair request) is to find said backbone and ask him. Odds are he would have meekly backed off. Hipster film nerd guys are even more chickenshit than you. And that's saying something.

The price of liberation is you do things for yourself. Sorry if no one mentioned that.

So, yeah. Feminism. Still a sad mountain of crap.




Monday, July 25, 2011


uh, about Norway...

Part I


Part II

BARBARIANS.4.1-17. There seems to be some doubt here in the early going under new management about what constitutes "political incorrectness," which has always been InstaPunk's signature attribute. I'm leaping in today to make an object demonstration. For purposes of education only.

Here's one hint.

Here's a longer one.

Risk offending people with truth, not clever turnabouts or sniping at the targets everyone has come to expect as expected and therefore safe.

I know we're all supposed to hang our heads in grief about the tremendous human loss suffered by Norwegians in recent days. But it's possible to feel sorrow about the dead while still highlighting some fundamental truths that are habitually overlooked in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

Though not all residents of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land are Norwegian. We have our own card-carrying citizens of that province of human existence. Whatever you choose to ignore will simply go away. Unless it inevitably comes home to roost. Reality, I mean. (I suspect InstaPunk has been trying to withdraw from these pages because his own brand of political incorrectness was becoming expected and therefore safe. I think he was hoping for better than allegiances to philosophers as rigid as they are dead and manifestoes so dogmatic they can't help reminding one of the UnaBomber: 'Everything went wrong here, and all we have to do is repeal all the time and events that transpired between then and now.' You know. Fresh start in utter denial of history. On the right path at last. Riiiiiiiiight... Libertarians. The brilliant ones. Say again? Oh, never mind. Cuckoo. Cuckoo. Cuckoo.)

In this context, Norway is simply an example of the kind of wishful thinking that destroys otherwise intelligent minds and advanced civilizations the world over.

All right. Norway. Home of the quintessential barbarians, the marauding, murderous Vikings. Utterly transformed since, well, the advent of the Nobel Prize and the end of World War II. Nobel, father of dynamite, thought his redemption lay in a posthumous funding of laurels like the Peace Prize. Which might have worked, to some degree at least, until the Pax Americana, which convinced all of Europe that their life under an American nuclear umbrella meant that they (after centuries of unending warfare) had somehow attained ultimate virtue. They paid next to nothing toward their own national defense, i.e., the making of war, and could spend as much as they wanted on pretending that everyone could be saved by taking care of their material wants from cradle to grave.

Which led them where? To complacency, smugness, a commitment to "tolerance" that bordered on the self-destructive, and prodigious fiscal irresponsibility. They forgot that they were responsible for anything pertaining to actual survival, including the physical protection of their own hyper-civilized citizens or anyone else's.

Unlike many of you, I've known actual Norwegians. They are in many ways awe-inspiring. Handsome, long-lived in their handsomeness to the point of seeming the elves of Tolkien's LOTR. Even tempered. Hard working. Outstanding companions (though subtly sad somehow). It's impossible not to like them. But you can't get close to them. They are above you, above everything, however humble their demeanor. How they have managed to give their vaunted Nobel Peace Prize to one of the world's great monsters, Yassir Arafat. Their above-it-all-ness, born of complacency, also accounts for their great errors -- Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. They just don't know any better anymore. Life in Loth Lorien doesn't permit of recognizing imminent evil. Immersed in all their natural and physical beauty, they can simply wish it away. It's all us non-elves who have to contend with mere human ugliness.

Why the killer who slew ninety and wounded ninety more was allowed to rampage for ninety minutes before he was not gunned down but peacefully apprehended to lobby for his own agenda in uniform. The alarm didn't go out. When it did, they could find no boats, and when push came to shove they no longer had the balls to pull the trigger. And now, of course, the sentence facing the mass murderer from their own perfect haven is 21 years. Imagine. It just couldn't be their own fault, could it?

Why the search for blame is already beginning to focus on the same bete noire our own home-grown utopians have repeatedly identified: Us.

Islamophobia and Mass Murder

By Mark Steyn

Posted on July 25, 2011 1:25 AM

I have been away from the Internet for the weekend, and return to find myself being fitted out for a supporting role in Friday’s evil slaughter in Norway. The mass murderer Breivik published a 1,500-page “manifesto.” It quotes me, as well as several friends of NR — Theodore Dalrymple, Daniel Pipes, Roger Scruton, Melanie Phillips, Daniel Hannan (plus various pieces from NR by Rod Dreher and others) — and many other people, including Churchill, Gandhi, Orwell, Jefferson, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, not to mention the U.S. Declaration of Independence.* Those new “hate speech” codes the Left is already clamoring for might find it easier just to list the authors Europeans will still be allowed to read.

It is unclear how seriously this “manifesto” should be taken. Parts of it simply cut and paste chunks of the last big killer “manifesto” by Ted Kaczynski, with the occasional [insert-your-cause-here] word substitute replacing the Unabomber’s obsessions with Breivik’s. This would seem an odd technique to use for a sincerely meant political statement. The entire document is strangely anglocentric – in among the citations of NR and The Washington Times, there’s not a lot about Norway...

Any of us who write are obliged to weigh our words, and accept the consequences of them. But, when a Norwegian man is citing Locke and Burke as a prelude to gunning down dozens of Norwegian teenagers, he is lost in his own psychoses. Free societies can survive the occasional Breivik. If Norway responds to this as the Left appears to wish, by shriveling even further the bounds of public discourse, freedom will have a tougher time.

[*and Darwin.]

So I'll demonstrate the meaning of real political incorrectness. The children who were gunned down didn't deserve it. But Norway earned this moment of national identity crisis all by itself. It's called hubris. And I'm not afraid to say it. And if what you hear in the background of my prose sounds like a bitter laugh, observe that it is bitter first and a laugh second. Unless I'm as big a sonofabitch as I've always been seen to be.

Because I'm....





InstapunkNFLlockout

Finally. The Post I
Wanted To Do Today



SPLENDID. Peter had a post he wanted to do, and Brizoni had a post he didn't want to do. (We gassed about it all via email. For hours.) Then TruePunk, that cussed cuss, had to stir up his own hornet's nest, as usual, and now it's late and all I want to do is point out one obvious fact: America doesn't give a shit about the debt crisis because the NFL Lockout is over!

There's a phenomenon the i-Generation doesn't know about. It's called late night AM radio. Cooler than texting, cooler than Facebook or Twitter, cooler than almost anything. Permit me to explain.

A thing called the Skip. During the day, your AM dial gets local stations, which are fun, but at night the whole world changes. It's night now. All hell breaks loose. If you're in Delaware City, you can suddenly get South Bend clear as day. If you're in Santa Monica, you're able to hear Trenton. What's happening is that the signal is bouncing off the troposphere or something and it's almost like being a shortwave radio nerd.

So what are you hearing tonight? Nothing about Obama, Boehner, Reid, and Pelosi. You're hearing about the football dreams of whatever town your radio is dragging in.

Talking NFL here, folks. There are only a few days for teams to sign free agents, make trades, and rebuild themselves for the suddenly renascent season. Who's going to get T.O., Plaxico, Randy Moss, Kevin Kolb, Matt Hasselbeck, Albert Haynesworth, Jesus!

Yeah, I know Twitter is producing rumors. But forget Twitter. Listen to the latenight AM feed. That's where you will hear about dreams, my man.

The plumber in Bethesda who wants Hasselbeck as a Redskin because he thinks the Eagles have McNabb's number. The attorney in Berkeley who's convinced the Forty-Niners could win the Super Bowl in 2013 if they traded Alex Smith for a first round draft choice in 2012. The sewer worker in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, who wants to trade Rashard Mendenhall for Reggie Bush, just because. Right now, at this very moment, heated discussions are occurring all over the country, market by market, about life and death matters involving free agents in the NFL. Cock your ear and adjust your antennae. Hear it? The cacophony arcs across the nation in a way the politicians only wish their issues could.

Do you find this depressing?

I know I should. God, how stupid can people be? With the country on the edge of ruin. But I find it oddly comforting.

Why? Because people natively know the difference between political crisis and existential threat. What they don't pay attention to makes the intelligentsia angry and patronizing. What they do pay attention to makes the intelligentsia angry and patronizing.

Guess what? The news this week was good. The lockout is over. There will be an NFL season.  All is well. Cock your ear.

And guess what? When the guys who are presently glued to AM radio start listening to debt crisis news instead, then we'll be in deep shit. But not before.

A small point. A very small point. But one I wanted to make. Before all the earnest, learned ones ruined my day.

Sorry. But it's late now. And maybe nobody will notice that I took my eye off the debt crisis ball. For a moment.

Maybe.




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